Stronger Than Fire
post written by Emma Filbrun
Title: Stronger Than Fire
Author: Mark Yoder
Major Themes: Spain, Inquisition, Bible, Translation, Reina-Valera, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Synopsis: The Spanish people needed the Bible in their own language, but would Casiodoro be able to get it translated before the Inquisition caught up with him?
Who translated the Bible into Spanish first? Have you ever even thought about it? Most of us in the English-speaking Christian world know about John Wycliffe and William Tyndale and the translators of the King James Bible—but what about the Reina-Valera Bible, the standard Spanish version? Why does it have that name? When was it translated? I always assumed that the Valera part had something to do the the true version, since the Latin word for truth starts with a “v”. Beyond that, I had never thought about it—until I saw Stronger Than Fire in a catalog! This book went on my next order.
Casiodoro de Reina was born in a farming family in Spain in the early 1500s. He was in his mid-teens when he first heard the powerful preaching of a couple of priests in Sevilla. He wanted to hear and learn more about God’s Word, and ended up in the school that Constantino and a few other true believers ran there. Soon, he knew his life’s work was to be translating the Bible into Spanish for his people. How could he accomplish this, with the Catholic Inquisition in full swing in Spain?
For a number of years, a monastery near Sevilla offered a safe haven. When that became too dangerous, Casiodoro escaped to Geneva, Switzerland, but soon had to flee to England. Would he be able to finish his task there? Or would the Inquisition have their way and torture and kill him, as they did so many other people?
Stronger Than Fire is an amazing story about strong faith in the face of trials and pressures. I am thankful to have had the chance to read it and share it with my family. There are a number of chapters that are very hard to read, as they relate the accounts of people who were captured, tortured, and burned at the stake by the Inquisition, but those same chapters show the victory of truth over error. I love the way Casiodoro’s family grew in their faith and helped him with his life’s work. This is an amazing story of a man I never heard of before, and of the true Christians in Spain at the time of the Inquisition. I had never read a book about them before! I highly recommend this to all Christians.
WARNING: Chapter 16 mentions perversion among the monks. Chapter 23 describes a man being burned to death in Geneva. Chapters 26 and 27 describe tortures and burnings in Sevilla.
Read Aloud—Ages 10 – 13
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Keywords: Spain, Inquisition, Bible, Bible Translation, Reina-Valera, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Renaissance/Reformation History, Europe, Inspirational Fiction, Persecution