First Edition of the Bible in Spanish
La Biblia, que es, los sacros libros del Vielo y Nuevo Testamento.
Translated by Casiodoro de Reina.
[Basel: Thomas Guarinus and Samuel Apiarius], 1569. (Prothro B-120)
The earliest complete Bible printed in Castilian Spanish was translated by Casiodoro de Reina (c. 1520–1594) of Seville, who fled the Inquisition in 1557 and preached to Spanish Protestants throughout Europe. Emboldened by the Council of Trent (1545–63), which had endorsed vernacular Bibles, Reina based his translation on the Spanish Old Testament known as the “Ferrara Bible” (1553), the Latin translation by Santi Pagnini (1470–1536), and various Greek sources for the New Testament. Although editions of this Bible continued to appear outside of Spain, it was not until 1790 that the Spanish crown allowed the first Castilian Bible to be printed within Spain. Known as the “Biblia del Oso,” the “Bear Bible” of 1569 derives its nickname from the woodcut on its title page showing a bear retrieving honey from a beehive, a reference to the sweetness of the Lord’s words (Psalm 119). Accompanying the woodcut are the Hebrew and Spanish texts of Isaiah 40:8, “The word of our God shall stand forever.”