Open Letter to the TBS – Dr. Gómez

 

This is an Open Letter to the Trinitarian Bible Society.  This is only available in PDF format.  

February 2, 2009 

 

Dear Dr. Roland,  

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord. 

 

Due to what your general secretary, Mr. Greendyk, has recently written about us and our Bible, there are some people spreading around (parroting) not the positive but the negative of what he wrote. (Perhaps this was his intention.) Unfortunately, I feel obligated to write this letter to you.  Through this open letter I would like to communicate to you my disappointment with the Trinitarian Bible Society (TBS). 

 

First, please allow me to share with you this e-mail that has been forwarded to me. I will make it public in the near future: 

 

pastedGraphic.png

 

 

Trinitarian Bible Society USA 

William Greendyk, General Secretary 

October 26, 2007 

 

Dear Mr. Dunsford,  

 

At present, until the RV 1909 Revision is complete, I would definitely recommend the use of the RV Gómez, revised by Dr. Humberto Gómez in 2004.  While the 2004 Spanish Bible is not without its flaws, these are very minor when compared to the corrupt translation rendered by the very commonly-used 1960 Reina-Valera Bible currently in use by many, if not most Christian missionaries to Latin America.  The 1960 departs from the original Masoretic Hebrew and Greek Received Texts in many areas, and it has been shown that the basis for many textual changes in the RV 1960 Bible are the Critical Texts of Westcott and Hort, furthered by the fact that Mr. Eugene Nida – the ‘father’ of the NIV in English – was ‘Translation Secretary’ of the committee that undertook the RV1960 Spanish Bible!  A host of texts could be given to illustrate the corruptness of the RV 1960, but I shall only include a few of them below: 

 

  1. Luke 23:42 – The word “Señor” (Lord) has been removed, even though it is found in all Greek texts, including the Textus Receptus and the Westcott and Hort Texts.  
  2. Mark 1:2 – Falsely states that “Isaiah” is being quoted….original texts simply state “as is written in the prophets.”  
  3. 1 Cor. 9.27 – Uses the word “eliminado” (eliminated) instead of “reprobado” (reproved), thus teaching that one can lose their salvation.  
  4. 1 Peter 2.2 – asserts that one must “grow up in salvation” (not in original Greek).  

 

These are only a few instances; in fact, entire books have been written on the subtle and corrupt influence of the RV 1960, and unfortunately I have neither the time nor the permission to go into an in-depth coverage of that Bible as part of my job here at the TBS.  

 

Thus, while we at the TBS are prayerfully revising with extreme care the RV 1909 for a thorough and accurate Bible translation, I can say with all frankness that, despite certain flaws which the Gómez Bible presents, this is probably the most accurate Bible that a 

Spanish missionary would have to date.  Of course, if we thought this Bible was unsurpassable, we would not be carrying out the revision of the RV 1909 which we are presently doing since 2005.  Thus, without wishing to get into the intricacies of the problems we have with Dr. Gómez’s Bible, suffice it to say that of the three Bible versions mentioned, the RV Gómez is at this time one of the best Spanish Bibles on the market.  It contains some spelling and grammatical errors and other indications that it was done in haste, but the textual accuracy surpasses that of the RV 1960 very much.  While the same cannot be said in comparison to the RV 1909, that Bible is difficult, if not impossible, for present-day Spanish-speakers to read, which makes it a very ineffective missionary tool.  I speak from experience as a former school principal in Bolivia, where I worked as a missionary for more than a decade.   

In the end, then, while I am neither qualified nor permitted to officially ‘endorse’ Mr. Gómez’s Bible, I simply wish to state personally that if a choice were to be made between the RV 1960 and the RV Gómez, as a Christian I would by all means choose that of Dr. Gómez at the present time – until the RV 1909 revision, undertaken by a committee of Bible scholars, many of whom are versed in the original tongues, completes their revision of the RV 1909.   

[End of letter.] 

pastedGraphic_1.png

 

Dr. Rowland, I would like to point to just three things for now: 

 

  1. The changes 
  2. The misspellings and haste 
  3. The timing of your Revision 

 

 

  1. THE CHANGES 

 

In his letter, and in the quarterly TBS letter of August 2007, Mr. William Greendyk makes mention of several discrepancies in the 1909 Spanish Bible revision.  Through this list he reveals some of the issues that your experts plan to deal with in their ongoing revision: 

 

  1. Luke 23:42 – The word “Señor” (Lord) has been removed, even though it is found in all Greek texts, including the Textus Receptus and the Westcott and Hort Texts.  
  2. Mark 1:2 – Falsely states that “Isaiah” is being quoted….original texts simply state “as is written in the prophets.”  
  3. 1 Cor. 9.27 – Uses the word “eliminado” (eliminated) instead of “reprobado” (reproved), thus teaching that one can lose their salvation.  
  4. Psa 35:9 Y mi alma se alegrará (se gozará) en Jehová; 
  5. Ps 37:7 Calla a Jehová y espera en él. Calla ante Jehová. RVG Guarda silencio ante Jehová. 
  6. Joh 10:7 Volvió, pues, Jesús a decirles: 
  7. 1 Peter 2.2 – asserts that one must “grow up in salvation” (not in original Greek).  
  8. Salud vs. Salvación 
  9. Heb 3:1 Pontifice vs Sumo Sacerdote 

 

To me it is very strange that these same discrepancies have already been corrected in the Reina Valera Gómez Bible.  And in a very special way it caught my attention the change that your experts are going to do, or have already done, regarding “El Sumo Sacerdote” in the entire book of Hebrews. I guess you know that there is only one Spanish Bible that has done precisely that and it is the RVG. 

 

I have in my hands the 1909 Reina Valera Bible that your Society edited and published in the year 2001.  Yet it contains many Critical Text errors; many of the same errors that exist in the 1960.  Why were these TEXTUAL errors (Critical Text corruptions) not corrected the first time you decided to produce a Spanish Bible revision?  Was your 2001 Revision done too hastily?  I wonder.  Where were your experts then?  Mr. Greendyk acknowledges that entire books have been written about these TEXTUAL errors.  Misspellings and typographical oversights are understandable.  But why didn’t TBS take advantage of the information available and make all the necessary corrections of the known TEXTUAL errors to begin with? 

 

  1. THE MISSPELLINGS AND HASTE 

 

Mr. William Greendyk said It contains some spelling and grammatical errors and other indications that it was done in haste.” 

 

As the old saying goes: “One way of demonstrating one’s power is to take it away from those that have it.”  You see, Mr. Greendyk’s words sound as if his desire is for the credibility of our work to decrease so that his might increase. 

 

Dr. Thomas Gilmer asked me to send our edition of the Spanish Bible to TBS.  He also said that he would encourage them to accept it and to let me know of any errors they found in it. 

 

At your request, I did send several Bibles. However, instead of notifying me, you let everybody else know about our errors, misspellings, etc. Mr. Greendyk’s words have been parroted by many others. This greatly upsets me because I have never spoken one iota against TBS. 

 

You call this collaboration? 

 

Mr. Greendyk knows that those errors have been corrected, yet he continues to say that our Bible “contains” errors.  Should I send him “my committee of experts” to let him know the difference between the past tense and the present tense?  This is 2009, not 2004. 

 

When we printed our first edition (in 2004), we knew it was not a finished product. Dr Roland, YOU KNEW IT TOO. I have a copy of the e-mail in which I informed you that there were some mistakes in it. 

 

Many missionaries, including your TBS representative, Dr. Thomas Gilmer, recommended to us to print it the way it was.  The idea was to let people know that it was an unfinished work and to openly ask for the collaboration of all that were interested in our Revision. Some say it was a good idea because it brought the collaboration and inquiry of more than 300 preachers from several countries.  Some say that it was a mistake on my part because of the criticism we have received for the mistakes along with the accusation of being too hasty in our work.  It appears that Mr. Greendyk and TBS saw an opportunity to take advantage of my mistakes in an unfinished product and start their own. 

 

Another reason for many of the errors that existed in our first edition (in 2004) was because I made the mistake of sending the wrong pdf document to the printing press.  Though we knew that our first edition would contain errors, we at least planned to send the most up-to-date document which contained the least amount of errors.  However, the document I sent was not the final draft which I had saved in my computer.  Yet by the time we found out that the wrong document was sent, the printing process had already begun and it was too late.  The rest is history. 

 

Many of the missionaries that encouraged me to print it the way it was knew that it would take us several years before we could finish it.  Nevertheless, they told me the same thing that even Mr. Greendyk acknowledged.  They said, “With all the flaws in the 2004 RVG, it is still far superior to the 1909 and 1960.” 

 

These missionaries requested, “Bro. Gomez, please print it.  We need a more reliable Bible that we can use right now.  Meanwhile, we will help you finish the final product sooner.” 

 

Mr. Greendyk claims to know that “It contains flaws”.  If Mr. Greendyk knows of one misspelling in the latest printed edition of our Bible, I would like to know about it. Let’s be honest.  Mr. Greendyk knows that all those errors have been corrected. Again, this is not 2004. 

 

In the quarterly TBS letter of August 2007 the Spanish word yusivo is misspelled “jusivo”. It would be unfair and irresponsible if I were to write to others and imply that Mr. Greendyk or whoever wrote it is an ignorant man or if I were to say that your letters are filled with misspellings. 

 

Mr. Greendyk said that in Luke 23:42 the word Lord <kurios> is in all Greek manuscripts, including the Westcott and Hort Texts. Should I imply that he is ignorant, or that he is lying? No.  I know we all make mistakes. 

 

The gentleman’s agreement with Dr. Gilmer and I was that TBS would put all their resources and information at our disposal and to provide collaborators to help us find any mistakes and correct them. The result was that we did not get anything from you.  To the contrary we were the ones that ended up putting all our resources (Bibles, list of changes in our web pages, a module of our Bible for your computer programs, etc) at your disposal so that you could do your own revision.   

 

I have not received one iota of assistance from TBS in making corrections in our revision. None, zero.  On the other hand, your “experts” are feasting on the results of our years of hard work.   

 

 

  1. THE TIMING OF YOUR REVISION 

 

Hardly anyone knows that the TBS provided a revision of the 1909 Antigua in 2001.  The TBS had a chance to provide a completely accurate Spanish Bible in 2001 and failed.  I know for a fact that even your own experts and collaborators don’t use it.  Yet it is strange that now that we have produced a Spanish Bible that is being recognized and accepted all over the Spanish speaking world as the best Spanish Bible available (even Mr. Greendyk and TBS recognizes this) the TBS has a renewed interest in producing a Spanish Bible of their own again. 

 

Mr. Greendyk said in his e-mail that you have a committee of Bible scholars, many of whom are versed in the original tongues, occupied with an ongoing Revision “since 2005”.  

 

Somebody is lying here.  The year 2006 is when you received the copies of our Bible that we sent to you because Dr. Thomas Gilmer requested it, and I was told that you would no longer pursue a Spanish revision. 

 

Either Dr. Thomas Gilmer lied to me (of which I don’t think he did), or someone else lied to Dr. Gilmer. But Dr. Thomas Gilmer asked me to send several copies to England and to other people (if I recall correctly, to Mr. Greendyk also) in the US, which I did under the promise that Dr. Gilmer was going to find several collaborators from different Spanish Speaking countries to help us finish our revision. Now you are saying that you “started your own” revision in the year 2005. This is very strange.  It seems to me as if your only desire for us to send copies of our Bible to your people was so that they can use it to for their own Spanish Bible project. 

 

I spent time with Dr. Gilmer as late as July of 2008 and he was still asking me if all the Spanish speaking countries were represented in the list of our collaborators. I even gave Dr. Gilmer a couple more verses that needed to be corrected not only in the Spanish Bible but also in the Portuguese Bible. I also gave Dr. Gilmer the names of two more collaborators, an Argentinean and a Brazilian, that could help you with your Portuguese Bible revision and he immediately took note. He also asked me to send him a pdf document of about twenty pages of our Parallel RVG&KJV Bible, which I did. And he asked me if I could help put the KJV and your Portuguese Bible in a Parallel document, and I told him that I would be very happy to do it for you. 

 

I guess being naive and trusting TBS is one more of my mistakes. 

 

I have dealt with you with respect, trust, and with my heart. I have never spoken evil against TBS and in return I feel that you have dealt with me treacherously. 

 

While some of the TBS people say some good things about us and our Bible, they do so at the expense of belittling and trashing us.  Dr. Rowland, “your expert” has been implying many things.  May I remind you that implying is the worst form of slander, because it is not only mendacious, it is also a cowardly way of saying something that you “did not say.”  You and Mr Greendyk say some nice things about our Bible but then you turn around and imply many things against it.  

 

Mr. Greendyk is only following the pattern set by you.  

 

In a letter that Dr. Thomas Gilmer brought to our last DBS meeting, he only wrote the first paragraph where you speak “nice” about our Bible. At first, we did not read the whole letter.  But now I have and here is what you said:  

 

“We are aware that the latest revision of the Reina-Valera Gómez Bible has been released. As soon as we were made aware of this news we ordered a copy of it. The Trinitarian Bible Society views the work of Dr. Gómez as most admirable, and we applaud his efforts to provide the Hispanic world with a better Bible. Actually, while carrying out our revision of the 1909 Reina-Valera Bible, we compare our work with the RVG on a frequent basis. Having said that, we believe it is safe to say that TBS revision of the 1909 will be one that most strictly adheres to the Masoretic Hebrew for the Old Testament and the Textus Receptus for the New Testament – in all instances. Rather than one that strives to render the Spanish Bible more “compatible” with the English King James Version. While we do refer to the English King James Version (as well as at least five other Reformation-era Bibles in different languages) during the revision process. The final authority for all translational discrepancies found in the 1909 RV will rest upon the original Hebrew and Greek texts, and not upon the English King James (Authorized) Version.  

While we certainly believe that the KJV (AV) is the most faithful and accurate rendition of the Bible in English, we would not place it above making translational evaluations and subsequent changes. Thus by way of example, if an instance is found where 1909 RV does not “align” to the KJV, but indeed renders an accurate Spanish translation of the original Hebrew or Greek, no change will be made.”  

 

Mr. Roland, you imply that we did not consult the Greek or Hebrew and that we only followed the KJV.  You are wrong.  Where did you get that information?  It is misinformation like this that has complicated an already controversial and sensitive issue in the past.  I expect misinformation to be spread by my critics.  But it’s even worse coming from an organization such as TBS which is supposed to be a wellinformed society.  Nevertheless, it is no surprise to me that Mr. Greendyk follows your example and implies the same things.    

 

Then he says straight out that we have produced a hasty and sloppy work; yet we see your well educated and credentialed experts copying from the hasty and sloppy work of us “ignorant” men.  

 

You have all the right in the world to pursue your own revision and to assume that your work will surpass ours; but because of my cooperation with you, the least you could have done was notify me that you were really planning to do your own revision. Instead, I was deceived.   

 

You must understand my frustration.  I was led to believe that your Society would assist us in the cause of producing a more accurate translation of God’s words for my people.  I would have loved to have had you and your people on board.  In fact, the door is still open and always will be.  But I do feel that I have been betrayed and taken advantage of.  Needless to say, I am greatly disappointed.   

 

I also understand now that I am not the only person that has been dealt with in such a manner by TBS.    

 

Sincerely, 

 

Dr. Humberto Gomez  

 

P.S. – I am sending a copy of this letter to all of our collaborators so that they know what is taking place.  I intend to eventually go public with this letter.  But I will first await your response of which I look forward to.