Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cipriano de Valera: A Spanish Reformer, Part 3

This is the third post in a series. Access prior posts below:

A Forgotten Reformer (sbcIMPACT!) published September 23, 2011

To continue with our brief look at the life and work of Cipriano de Valera, here’re a few more quotations from the small biography[1] I found:

In 1596 Valera reedited the Spanish translation of the Geneva catechism according to the Spanish edition of 1559. From the same work he had already in the Two Treatises[2] of 1588 extracted the agenda of the Lord's Supper, which he repeated in the edition of 1599 of those Treatises. 
In 1596 likewise he reproduced with some retouches the New Testament of Reina who had died in 1594.

In the succeeding year appeared Valera's Spanish translation of Calvin's Institutes. (153).
I briefly touched on one of Valera’s treatises in my previous post and my sbcIMPACT! article. I haven’t had time to pour over his translation of the Geneva catechism, his Two Treatises…, the 1594 New Testament, or Calvin’s Institutes, so I can’t comment directly on any of those works.

But may I draw your attention to something very important? Each of the works mentioned in that biography were all written in Spanish. Though at first this may seem obvious, it is important to remember that many of Valera’s contemporaries were penning their treatises in Latin. True, Valera was building on the foundations of others here (such as Casiodoro de Reina and Juan Pérez), but the point remains that virtually all of Valera’s works that I’ve encountered were written in Spanish.

I haven’t been able to adequately study all of what Valera has written. But I have been fortunate to have translated a small section of one of his works in my last post. His concern both for believers and his homeland is expressed in powerful language. His life of making available in Spanish the word of God and the works of the Reformers backs up that language.

In our day when information is instantaneous we’ve lost the value of the printed word. The Reformers, including Valera, went to great lengths to make the truth known at great cost to themselves personally.

Whether you are a Spanish-speaker or not, God has greatly blessed you with access to His word. You should read the works of the Reformers. But even if you don’t, you should read the Bible. It is so accessible to us now that we have no excuse before these men who sacrificed so much to make it available, much less before the Great God who used these men as a means to reach us with the gospel.

[1] Boehmer, Edward & Benjamin B. Wiffen. (1904). Bibliotheca Wiffeniana: Spanish Reformers of Two Centuries from 1520. Karl J. Trübner: Strassburg. Google Books. Digitized May 15, 2008.
[2] The work was called “Two Treatises on the Pope and on the Mass…” Neither was very flattering to its subject.

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