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Bible's title-page traced to the Bavarian printer Mattias Apiarius, "the bee-keeper". Note the emblem of a bear tasting honey.
The title in English says:
Full name Reina-Valera
Language Spanish
Authorship Casiodoro de Reina
First revision by Cipriano de Valera
Version revision 1602, 1862, 1909, 1960, 1995 and 2011
Publisher United Bible Societies

The Reina-Valera is a Spanish translation of the Bible, first published in 1569 in Basel, Switzerland, and nicknamed the "Biblia del Oso" (in English: Bible of the Bear).[1] It is named Biblia del Oso because of the illustration on the title page of a bear trying to reach a container of honeycombs hanging from a tree.[2]

It was the first complete Bible to be printed, although not the first complete Bible in Spanish; several others, like the 13th-century Alfonsina Bible (translated from Jerome's Vulgate), were published in previous centuries. Its principal translator was Casiodoro de Reina, an independent Lutheran theologian,[3] but a manuscript found at the Bodleian Library gives further evidence of the fact that the Spanish Bible was a community project.[4] This translation was based on the Hebrew Masoretic Text (Bomberg's Edition, 1525) and the Greek Textus Receptus (Stephanus' Edition, 1550). As secondary sources, Reina was aided by the Ferrara Bible for the Old Testament and the Latin Edition of Santes Pagnino throughout. For the New Testament, he had great aid from the translations of Francisco de Enzinas and Juan Pérez de Pineda. The 1569 version included the deuterocanonical books in the Old Testament.


The Reina-Valera Bible is as central to the perception of the scriptures by Protestants in Spanish as the Geneva Bible and the King James Version in English. It was first published on September 28, 1569,[5][6] and has undergone numerous revisions. The first of these took place in 1602 under the editorial eye of Cipriano de Valera. This edition was printed in Amsterdam. The 1602 revision moved the deuterocanonical books to a section between the Old and New Testaments called the Apocrypha.[7]

Next was the revision of 1862, followed by other important revisions in 1909, 1960, 1995 and 2011. Modern editions often omit the Apocrypha. Both the 1909 and 1960 revisions are still in print.

Since resurgence of the King James Only movement in the United States, and its exportation to other countries, there has been much debate among Christian groups who use the Reina-Valera Bible. However, the 1960 revision became the common Bible of many millions of Spanish-speaking Christians around the world, surpassing the 1909 in its reception. Almost all Hispanic liberal and Pentecostal churches use it, despite further attempts to revise it.

Other Revisions[edit]

  • The 1602 Purified Bible done in Monterrey, Mexico, by advocates of King James Onlyism.
  • Another Revision of the Valera Bible was made in 1865 by Dr. Ángel H. de Mora of Spain and subsequently printed by the American Bible Society. The ABS continued to reprint this Valera edition until the 1950s. It was then reprinted again in the year 2000 by Local Church Bible Publishers of Lansing, Michigan and also the Valera Bible Society of Miami, Florida.
  • The Reina-Valera-Gómez Bible, done in Matamoros, Mexico, by advocates of King James Onlyism.[8][9]
  • The Trinitarian Bible Society, itself advocating a mild form of King James Onlyism, is working on a revision of the Valera 1909 at this time.
  • In September 2009 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) published their first official Spanish edition of the Bible based on the 1909 Reina-Valera edition, with "a very conservative update of outdated grammar and vocabulary".[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The facsimile reproduction was published by the Spanish Bible Society (1970 ISBN 84-8083-073-5).
  2. ^ "La Biblia del Siglo de Oro". La Biblia Web, Sociedades Bíblicas Unidas. 26 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  3. ^ compare: Rosales, Raymond S. Casiodoro de Reina: Patriarca del Protestantismo Hispano. St. Louis: Concordia Seminary Publications. 2002.
  4. ^ González, Jorge A. The Reina-Valera Bible: From Dream to Reality
  5. ^ James Dixon Douglas, Merrill Chapin Tenney (1997), Diccionario Bíblico Mundo Hispano, Editorial Mundo Hispano, pág 145.
  6. ^ "Sagradas Escrituras (1569) Bible, SEV". Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  7. ^ A facsimile edition was produced by the Spanish Bible Society: (Sagrada Biblia. Traducción de Casiodoro de Reina 1569. Revisión de Cipriano de Valera 1602. Facsímil. 1990, Sociedades Biblicas Unidas, ISBN 84-85132-72-6)]
  8. ^ compare: Here Comes Gomez
  9. ^ compare: What About The Gomez Bible?
  10. ^ Church Edition of Spanish Bible Now Published
  11. ^ Santa Biblia, LDS Edition of The Holy Bible in Spanish [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Raymond S. Rosales. Casiodoro de Reina, patriarca del Protestantismo hispano, in Serie de monografías [de las] Publicaciones del Seminario Concordia, no. 5. Saint Louis, Mo.: Concordia Seminary Publications, 2002. ISBN 0-911770-74-7

External links[edit]