What version of the Spanish Bible do you recommend? | SpanishDict Answers
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6 Vote

I'm preparing to go to Honduras for mission work.

I'm wondering which translation of the Spanish Bible would be most useful there now.

Could you please share which translation you think is best and why?

  • Posted Jan 14, 2011
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11 Answers

6 Vote

Not to be confusing, but it's incorrect to refer to the NVI (Nueva Versión Internacional) as the NIV (New International Version). They are both thought-for-thought translations, with two entirely different translation teams. But, when you read them side-by-side, you will notice differences, not to mention that one is in Spanish and the other in English. tongue wink

The NBLH (Nueva Biblia Latinoamericana de Hoy) is a word-for-word translation, based on the LBLA (La Biblia de las Américas), and I recommend it highly. The major difference in the NBLH from the Reina Valera is, the NBLH doesn't use the vosotros verb form which is a plus for me. Some say the Reina Valera 1909 edition is the equivalent of the King James bible, and an idiotic wikipedia post says the Reina Valera 1960 is the equivalent of the New International Version. The poster obviously has not read either version to make such a statement.

For what it's worth, I have the NBLH on my Blackberry, and on my laptop I use The Word bible study software, and I keep the KJV, the NBLH, NVI and RV1960 open in parallel view. I hope this is not too confusing raspberry

  • Thank you, this makes sense. One question, if the rv1960 is a kjv equivalent, then what are the lbla and nblh the equivalent of? - chefJOSEPH Jan 15, 2011 flag
  • Sorry about the delay, my flu has put me back down. The lbla uses the vosotros whereas the nblh does not. Both are very similar to the RV, just a tiny bit more 'modern'. - Jack-OBrien Jan 15, 2011 flag
  • I know this is a super long time ago...but the LBLA is equivalent to the NASB. It is translated with the same translation philosophy - JonathanMose Oct 17, 2012 flag
3 Vote

New International Version (NIV)

The translation is excellent because it is thought by thought rather than word for word. If you read them side by side (which I recommend and have been doing for years), you can learn alot of Spanish while you are learning alot of truth. I believe that there is a side-by-side English/Spanish version made, and I was planning on getting it as it's a little hard to juggle two Bibles at once.

Give it a try. I really think you'll like the translation. Not only is it accurate, but it is beautiful.

  • I have one and it is great! :) - 0066c384 Jan 15, 2011 flag
  • Thank you! Do you think the folks in Central America would be using the NVI? - chefJOSEPH Jan 15, 2011 flag
1 Vote

I really like the Reina Valera (any version–antigua, 1960 or 1995–but especially the 1960 version)

  • Thanks for the reply, but could you explain why you like it, I'm curious? - chefJOSEPH Jan 15, 2011 flag
  • In my opinion, the RV is easy to read, but it uses some Spanish terms the are considered 'outdated' by some. - Jack-OBrien Jan 15, 2011 flag
1 Vote

If you read them side by side (which I recommend and have been doing for years), you can learn alot of Spanish while you are learning alot of truth.

I wonder, have you ever tried listening to the bible being read in Spanish while reading it? I have been spending quite a bit of time lately listening to the book of Mateo this way.

  • That sounds like an excellent way to learn (Spanish & the Bible)! Do you recommend a certain audio Bible? Where would I get it? - chefJOSEPH Jan 15, 2011 flag
  • Lately, I have been using youtube simply because I like the way the playlist can be set up, but there are many places on the internet to find these types of resourses...Try typing in La biblia audio or La biblia mateo (for example) - Izanoni1 Jan 15, 2011 flag
1 Vote

Thank you all for your replies and comments. This has been very helpful.

1 Vote

I access free Spanish Bible versions on a website called Bible Gateway, and can listen to either NVI or LBLA via iPhone while following the text on computer or iPad. The Narrator on the LBLA version is easier to follow and uses the vosotros form. The narrator on the NVI version speaks faster but uses the ustedes form.

This has been an excellent teaching tool for improving my reading, listening, and speaking skills in Spanish -- and the bonus is I am spending time in the Bible.

1 Vote

NVI all the way. It is easy to read, is a translation, not a paraphrase, based on the oldest and most reliable manuscripts, not the Textus Receptus, such as the Reina-Valera. The language of the RV is foreign to Latin America, using many words and verb forms that do not exist outside of Spain. The RV would be the equivalent to the KJV in the Spanish world. It is the preferred Bible, but I have met a great many Christians who do not understand it. For them it is akin to hearing a mass in Latin. It falls meaningless on their ears.
The point of putting the Bible into the common language was so that everyone could understand it.
The NVI is understandable to most literate persons, with an intermediate reading level in common Spanish. Being a thought for thought translation it also better renders colloquialisms and other hard-to translate thoughts out of the Greek into Spanish than word-for-word translations do. The is a lot on RV onlyism in Latin America, just as there is KJV onlyism in the ENglish world. In most cases this is people clinging to tradition and what they know, with very little actual academic basis for their arguments.

At the end of the day the decision is relatively simple. Is the reader's reading level advanced enough to follow the RV? If not, then give him/her an NVI. If the pulpit Bible in their church is a RV, then find them an NVI-RV parallel Bible, so they can follow along with the pulpit, yet have a Bible they can understand for private study.

The best Bible is one that will be read.

Personally in English I use the NASB, while in Spanish I use the NVI.

1 Vote

I would say at least two things are important when choosing what Spanish Bible version to use. The first thing is accuracy--in other words, you need to make sure the version is as true as possible to the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts. Consider the origin of the version. Was it compiled by well known theologians, scholars, and professors in the context of a Bible Translation Committee, complete with accountability and valid endorsements?

The second thing to consider is the fact that since you are visiting Latin America (and not Spain) you want to be sure to choose a version that uses Spanish words and phrases consistent with the region you are visiting (i.e. you don't want to use the vosotros form of the verb in South America or else the people will not understand you).

With that said, I recommend Nueva Versión Internacional (NVI), nevertheless...

The Bible Gateway website http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ has a list of the origin of each version available through their website including many Spanish versions for Latin America and Spain.

Note: I highly recommend that you do not use the New World Translation (NWT) as suggested in another post because that version was not translated by known Biblical scholars, rather it was translated by people from the Watch Tower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses) who refuse to publish the names of the translation committee for accountability sake. Moreover, it is not an honest translation of the texts, rather it relies heavily on the biases of the society that produced it. In the NWT established Biblical truths are changed from the original texts to reflect the society's belief that Jesus is not God, whereas the original manuscripts say that Jesus is God.

Hopefully this helps! Enjoy the mission trip (if you have not already gone) smile

1 Vote

Nueva Traducción viviente (New Living Translation). I think it is the best one. My pastor (Chuck Swindoll) recommended that version to all of us. Mi pastor, Chuck Swindoll nos recomendó esta versión.

0 Vote

I often read the Bible in English or Spanish and listen to the other language at the same time. I prefer the New World Translation which preserves the Divine Name and is a literal word for word translation.

It's interesting to note that the latest King James version has also restored the Divine Name nearly 7000 times.

You can access the New World Translation free online and download it in many formats including audio here. At the same site under publications there are also many other Bible based publications in both English and Spanish available for reading online or for downloading in audio, epub or pdf etc, all free of charge.

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  • NWT is not a translation. It is a paraphrase, based not on the MSS but on other English Bibles. The Divine name does not appear in the modern translations such as the NASB and NIV because of a desire to remain true to the extant manuscripts. - Anacrusis May 31, 2013 flag
  • Do you mean extant Greek manuscripts? because from what I've read the tetragrammaton appears nearly 7000 times in the Hebrew texts - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetragrammaton#Dead_Sea_Scrolls - Kiwi-Girl May 31, 2013 flag
  • and according to this reference work the NWT's textual basis included a number of mss http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures - Kiwi-Girl May 31, 2013 flag
  • Out of reverence (Ex 20:7), the scribes inserted the vowels of the word for Lord (Adonai) so that it would not be spoken by the reader lightly. That is where Jehovah comes from, more likely the vowels are 'a' between the YH and 'e' between the WH. - Obadiah143 Jun 4, 2013 flag
  • I guess we run into similar problems with the pronunciation of Jesus' name too - given that his name in Hebrew would have originally been written in Hebrew with just the four consonants Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). - Kiwi-Girl Jun 17, 2013 flag
0 Vote

Even though this is an old post ill give my two cents.

I would recommend the RV 1602 Purified even though it uses and older Spanish vernacular it remains true to the Textus Receptus line of manuscripts which is based on the Majority Text which is a Byzantine Text-Type which has its origins among the original autographs which are the largest number of manuscripts that agree with one another versus the Critial Text line of manuscripts that has its origin in Egypt known as the Alexandrian Text-Type. It also differs from the Byzantine Text-Type in about 3000 places.

  • Good post! Please fill out your profile info. - HCAStudent Mar 14, 2014 flag
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