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Major Problems with the New World Translation

Pocket edition of the New World Translation of...

The Jehovah Witnesses love to knock on your door and promote their New World Translation (NWT) as the best Bible available to read and study.  A few months back I responded to a question concerning the NWT and decided to post my answer.

Dear Steve,

The New World Translation used by Jehovah Witnesses comes from the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls” that were written in Hebrew. It contains exact scriptures (in English) and puts God’s name back in the Bible over 7,000 times where it is supposed to be. That is the only difference in their Bible. Why do the newer versions of the King James Bible leave out God’s name? Psalm 83:18 clearly says his name is Jehovah. Other scriptures are Exodus 6:3, Isaiah 12:2, Isaiah 26:4, Genesis 22:14, Exodus 17:15, and Judges 6:24.  In the newer King James versions, his name is taken completely out.  In my opinion to truly know someone it starts with knowing their name. How can you truly know someone if you don’t even know what their name is? Therefore, would you want to use a Bible that leaves God’s name out, or would you want to use one that sanctifies it? The choice is yours.

Angela

Dear Angela,
Thanks for writing and giving your view. I will begin by correcting a few obvious errors in your comments. First, your translation does not come directly from the “Dead Sea Scrolls.” The primary source material for the Old Testament in the NWT was Kittel’s Biblia Hebracia. This edition first appeared in 1906. Multiple secondary sources were used including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The New Testament for the NWT was taken from the Westcott and Hort manuscripts. I have a Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures published by your organization and it admits Westcott and Hort were the primary New Testament text utilized. These manuscripts are accepted as valid texts for the New Testament. The problem is not the original New Testament texts; the problem is how the Greek in the NWT was translated into English and how words were added that were never in the original text.

Second, Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (word used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). The resulting combined word, “Jehovah” has been used for the name God by many groups but it is not found in the Bible. Nowhere do you find the word Jehovah in the original languages, Hebrew or Greek.

Third, forcing the word Jehovah into the New Testament is simply wrong. When your translators did this they went against thousands of Greek manuscripts of the New Testament; some of which date back to the second century. Instead the New Testament uses the words “Lord” [Greek: Kurios] and “God” [Greek: theos] when talking about God. The writers never used Jehovah, even when quoting the Old Testament. The Greek New Testament source for the New World Translation, Westcott and Hort, never used Jehovah. They used kurios for Lord and theos for God. The Kingdom Interlinear confirms Jehovah was never in the original text. This interlinear published by the Watchtower Organization shows how kurios (Lord) and theos (God) were changed to Jehovah in the English translation. Stating God’s name was left out of the King James or any other version of the Bible is false. Angela, I suggest finding a Kingdom Interlinear at your hall so you can see for yourself.  When your organization says they removed the name, they are lying to you.

Finally, let me address additional problems with the New World Translation. When it comes to this translation we find it almost universally rejected by noted scholars in the field of Biblical translations. Dr. Ron Rhodes, who wrote “Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah Witnesses,” stated:

“The New World translation is an incredibly biased translation. Dr. Robert Countess, who wrote a doctoral dissertation on the Greek text of the New World translation, concluded the translation ‘has been sharply unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual translation…It must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At some points it is actually dishonest. At others it is neither modern nor scholarly.’ British scholar H.H. Rowley asserted, ‘from the beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated.’ Indeed, Rowley said, this translation is ‘an insult to the Word of God.’”

Dr. Julius Manti, author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, calls the New World translation “a shocking mistranslation.” Dr. Bruce M. Metzger, professor of New Testament at Princeton University, calls the New World translation “a frightful mistranslation,” “erroneous,” “pernicious,” and “reprehensible.” Dr. William Barclay concluded that “the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New Testament translation. It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest.”

It is highly revealing that the Watchtower Society has always resisted efforts to identify members of the New World Translation committee. The claim was they preferred to remain anonymous and humble, giving God the credit and glory for this translation. However, as former Jehovah witness David Reed notes, “an unbiased observer will quickly note that such anonymity also shields the translators from any blame for errors or distortions in their renderings. And it prevents scholars from checking their credentials.”

The Watchtower Society must have been utterly embarrassed when the names of the translators of the New World translation were made known to the public. The reason for concern was the translation committee was completely unqualified for the task. Four of the five men in the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training whatsoever (they had only a high school education)[1]. The Fifth, Fred W. Franz, claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburg Scotland he failed a simple Hebrew test.

In court Franz was asked if he knew Hebrew and he said yes. He said he had a command of various languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, and French. When asked if he speaks Hebrew, he said no. He was then asked if he could translate the fourth verse of Genesis into Hebrew. His answer was NO! The fact was Franz, like the others on the committee, did not have the knowledge to translate Hebrew or Greek. The truth is Franz dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after his sophomore year and even while there, he had not studied anything related to theological issues[2].

More could be said about the errors of the New World Translation but I will stop here for now. Angela the New World Translation should be avoided at all costs.



[1] Rhodes, Ron, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah Witnesses, Harvest House Publ. , 1993, p. 97

[2] Ibid, p. 97

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 89 comments… add one }
  • Steve Bruecker December 14, 2014, 8:52 pm

    Thanks Skaiter for the web site recommendation. I am aware of this site and have used it occasionally as a resource. Steve

  • Kent January 5, 2015, 7:11 pm

    Howard, that is why you had the translations wrong because you based it on your “LOGICAL REASONINGS” that would fit in your ever changing doctrine http://jehovahswitnessesrefuted.blogspot.com/2010/12/ever-changing-world-of-jehovahs-witness.html. I am a former JW myself, By the grace of Jesus Christ i am saved and free from your (I hate to say this) “LIES” or if not, your deceptions among yourselves. Explain to me what happened to the Holy Scriptures during the gap starting 1611 (King James Version was completed) to Aug. 1950 (NWT Released).

    You do not have the correct translation, it is one’s preconceived theology into the text, rather than allowing the text to speak for itself.

    You are driving a big number of people to Hell (which you do not believe).

  • Anthony Brooks January 26, 2015, 6:14 am

    can I say that now that I am currently dealing with one and having to compare the original Greek text to their version. I have never seen a more wrong translation… I say all JW are brainwashed.

  • nadia March 10, 2015, 8:18 am

    Hey Guys,
    I am studying the NWT, KHV, NIV.
    As I am not from a Christian background and would love to be a Christian officially, I am yet to label myself into a denomination because of these controversies.
    I am studying the bible with both Jehovah Witness and a Pentecostal connect group.
    firstly:

    “It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH”
    from my studies with JW, they explain the same thing, and that they translated it to an English word, in order for us to read and say it properly.
    I mean, can we really pronounce YHWH in English?
    JW explains why they don’t like to use the word ‘Lord’, as it is a title like ‘Mrs, Dr, Mr, ‘ we shouldn’t be calling God by a title, and should call him by his name God or YHWH. I mean if you really want to get to know God, why would you call him by anything else other than his name.
    JW explanation of this makes sense to me, and I never understood why God has so many names in the bible and why we just can’t call him By his original name or just God.

    Secondly:

    With the Trinity, I am yet undecided on what to believe,
    as I come from Muslim background, they believe God is one and the only, and there is no one equally powerful to him.
    This is why I questioned the Trinity initially as how can Jesus and the spirit be just as powerful as God? How can God be three things when he is the only one, and one God only?
    Then I come to understand, that because Jesus was Gods first creation, Jesus is god first ‘word’ or breath, therefore Jesus is from god, made from god, apart of god, is god in a way.
    Jesus is Gods representation on earth?
    no and then I still wonder,
    because at church we sing about Jesus, yet I feel we are loosing connection to god because we are singing about someone else and not about him.
    How can I get to know and love God, when we pray to Jesus, sing about Jesus etc.
    I understand god sacrificed Jesus for our sins. as a ransom for our mistakes and sins, and this is a big decision God made. To give up his first son as a ransom for our mistakes. Its powerful and overwhelming.

    Thirdly:

    Jehovah is mentioned in the KJV several times as the name of God
    Psalm 83:18
    Exodus 17:15; 6:3
    Isaiah 12:2; 26:4
    Genesis 22:14
    Judges 6:24

    can someone explain why jehovah/Yahweh (YHWH) is mentioned in KJV but God is also mentioned as ‘God’ ‘Lord’ ‘Elohim’ ‘El Shaddai’ ‘El Elyon’ ‘El Olam’

    If someone or some people can help me with understanding all this that would be fantastic ! All points of views are welcome 🙂
    sorry if there are spelling errors, I am typing fast, past 2 am and i can’t be bothered proofreading.

  • Steve Bruecker March 12, 2015, 6:46 am

    Nadia,
    Thanks for your thoughtful questions and comments. You nicely organized your letter into 3 parts, so I will answer each of those issues.

    1. The first problem is Watchtower Organization’s assertion God or Jehovah is God’s personal name. He asked Moses to call him by the title “I AM who I AM.” The Hebrew word was “Haya” and not YHWH. Even though Haya is related to YHWH, we discover God wears many titles. Each title helps us to understand His greatness.

    The second problem is the idea we need to address God by His personal name. Other than God telling Moses to call Him “I AM who I AM,” where are we commanded to only call God by His English name Jehovah? We can address God by His many titles, just like the Hebrew Scriptures do. Why do the writers address God by many titles? According the JWs, is this wrong?

    Third, I believe the true motivation for their emphasis on the personal name of God is to discount the Trinity. The definition of the Trinity is one God subsists in 3 persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal. By the use of a personal name it sounds silly to say, “Jimmy subsists in 3 persons Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” So by trying to get rid of the Biblical titles used to describe God in the Scriptures, they think they can render the Trinity false. They know the title God subsisting in 3 persons is not contradictory. It is not only logically possible but is what the Bible teaches (see my teaching “Loving the Trinity” on the web site).

    Fourth, the Watchtower Organization adds Jehovah to the New Testament (New World Translation), where in the original Greek manuscripts the name Jehovah NEVER appears. This practice is a deliberate corruption of the New Testament.

    Fifth, in the New Testament to help the distinctions between Jesus and the Father, the writers used the title God for the Father and Lord for Jesus. This was especially helpful when the two persons of the Trinity, the Father and the Son, addressed each other. Wayne Grudem writes in his book Systematic Theology: “When we realize that the New Testament authors generally use the name ‘God’ (Gk. theos) to refer to God the Father and the name ‘Lord’ (Gk. kyrios) to refer to God the Son, then it is clear that there is another Trinitarian expression in 1 Corinthians 12:4–6: ‘Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.’ Similarly, the last verse of 2 Corinthians is Trinitarian in its expression: ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all’ (2 Cor. 13:14) .” In addition we see the three persons mentioned separately in Ephesians 4:4–6; 1 Peter 1:2, and Jude 20–21.

    An example of where the Father and God are interchangeable (synonymous) can be found in Matthew and Mark.

    • Matthew 12: 50 “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”
    • Mark 3: 35 “For whoever does the will of God, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

    2. Jesus is not a created being. This was a 3rd century heresy called Arianism and was thrown out because it contradicted the Bible. You can read more about this from my web site under the Icon called “Loving the Trinity.”

    3. In the Bible God is called by many names which describe different facets of His nature, attributes, and character. A few of the Old Testament names for God and their meanings are: El-Elyon, “The Most High God”, Jehovah-Jirah, “The Lord will provide”, Jehovah-Shalom, “The Lord of Peace”, and El-Shaddai, “The Almighty God”. Since the Hebrew Scriptures have no problem addressing God with various names, why do the JWs try to make a big deal about the name Jehovah? Above I gave good reasons why they try to discount the doctrine of the Trinity by making a big deal with one personal name. The Hebrew Scriptures don’t do this. However, they do focus on 3 primary names or titles for God, Elohim, YHWH, and Adonai.

    I hope my response is helpful. I have many articles refuting the false teachings of the Watchtower Organization. You can find them under various Icons on the home page.

    To continue to study with JWs is a dangerous practice. They have the wrong Jesus and are eternally condemned. Jesus himself said this, John 8:24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” Jesus was asking the Jewish religious leaders to believe He is fully God (by saying I am He is referring to Exodus 3:14). If you reject the Trinity, when you die (or a JW dies) you will still be in your sins. This means you will pay the penalty for your sins yourself. Only by trusting the one true Jesus can the penalty be paid by Him and your sins forgiven.

    Steve Bruecker

  • erin April 1, 2015, 3:38 am

    Steve you did an excellent job. I work at a nursing home the Lord is guiding me to learn lots of religions. Nadia the Trinity is not overwhelming think of this mist water and ice are all types of water. God, Jesus, and Spirit are all God. also watch the capital letters written in new king James version He They Him stand for God. lower case god means made up or created by people.

    JW’s i have a question why is it there are so many things in your bible except john 1:1-3 that says one God. yours says in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God… If the word was a God if there is only one which one was He? you have one translation we have many but they mean the same thing just some are easier to understand. and it isnt biblical to celebrate holidays yet i dont read in the bible that giving away watchtower notes are biblical either. God said to go and make disciples not hand out fliers. If you come to my house ill pray for you in Jesus name. Amen

  • Steve Bruecker April 2, 2015, 2:39 pm

    Nadia,
    Thanks for the kind words. You said some good things in your response. Especially, the fact that JWs believe in more than 1 god, since they believe Jesus is a lesser god.

    However, be careful using any physical examples to explain the Trinity. The water example commits the fallacy called modalism. This is where God is one being and He appears as one mode at a time. In the OT God is in the Father mode. In the Gospels God is in the Jesus mode and after Pentecost, God is in the Holy Spirit mode. Read my series Loving the Trinity, where I give more depth as to the problems of modalism and why physical examples can never describe an all-powerful, immaterial being.

    Thanks,
    Steve

  • anthony April 21, 2015, 7:32 am

    The name Jehovah was not used until 1270 in our literature and was invented by the catholic church… he has many names so lets not get too hasty as to what God’s name really is…

  • Miranda Lights May 19, 2015, 6:39 am

    The New Worlds Translation is not accurate. The anonymous translators used the name Jehovah instead of the original form YHWH or Yahweh..I noticed at major point, its like they are forcing readersto use Jehovah..On the first hand, where did they get that name and why did they chosed that name instead of Yahweh?? I was searching recently and I found out that the name Jehovah was formed by Latin monks,, it was from the original form “YHWH” became Jehovah..it was an error

  • garywallace August 12, 2015, 2:27 pm

    I had a older J.W. at my door today, and before he started asking, I did the asking. Who founded J.W. A- I don’t know. Q- Who translated the N.W.T. or The N.L.T. A- I don’t know. Q- John 1:1-3 reference to A God, how many god’s do you worship. A- He would not answer that question, but started to give a J.W. answer that made no sense. Q- I asked him to do the research before investing his eternity to the J.W. A- He insisted that he had done his research of the J.W. and stated that Biblical Scholars insist the N.W.T. is a legitimate translation. I have read many experts write, “This is the worst translation. This is how not to translate any written work,” Etc. I asked the man why all translations even into other languages, why is it only in the J.W. bible that it is written, “and the word was A god,” A- Because all other translations are false. Q- I asked him why is it a secret who translated their bible, and are you sure they had the language skills in Greek, Latin, Hebrew or Aramaic. A- No answer. Q- Why are there so many rewrites listed in the front of the N.W.T. A- No answer. And with that he offered me a good day and left. I believe if you know more than they know about the J.W.’s, they do not have answers.

  • Steve Bruecker August 13, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Gary,
    Great questions! You did an awesome job…Steve

  • sherri August 14, 2015, 7:14 am

    If JW is wrong then why did the king james put JEHOVAHS name back in its new version over 6,000 times? No one should ever take the babblings of some one who has truly not taken the time to study his bible seriously, funny how JW puts many translations side by side for one to reference yet you say we have our own words that is ignorant on your part,

  • Steve Bruecker August 16, 2015, 5:29 am

    Sherri,
    Jehovah is a hybrid name created when you combine YHWH and Adonai. I am okay with its use in the Old Testament. However, the New World Translation forced the name Jehovah into the New Testament. There was no justification in the Greek text to do this. The KJV doesn’t do this. This is why people should stay away from the NWT.

    Steve

  • Courtni Starr September 7, 2015, 1:01 pm

    Thank you Steve! I do not affliate with a church as I have developed a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with our Father God through Jesus Christ and communion with The Holy Spirit! The HOLY Trinity! A JW just left my house proclaiming that I was going to hell, LOL! False Prophets are EVERYWHERE in Sheeps Clothing! In ALL THINGS, TEST THE SPIRIT!

    Continued Blessings and Prosperity,
    Courtni

  • Carolyn January 19, 2016, 10:39 pm

    Steve, I would first like to state I am not a JW. I was born an raised Catholic. I have studied with JW, LDS and Christian groups. RE: YHWH – It is my understanding that vowels were taken out (not used in writing”. Is this true?? Is Jesus’ name in the bible completely spelled out? If it is true, which vowels are missing? How different would the pronunciation be if they were changed a bit? On another note, I’ve heard the King James Bible added back the name of God(YHWH) 7000 times. I believe anyone can give links to support “their” belief. This can be very frustrating for someone trying to attempt to learn and understand the bible. All this does is push people away.

  • Steve Bruecker January 20, 2016, 2:13 pm

    Carolyn,
    It is my understanding there were no vowels in YHWH. I believe vowels were added to help us pronounce the word as “YaHWeH.”

    The Greek transliteration for Jesus is Iēsous. No vowels are missing for the name of Jesus. The King James took the word YHWH or the English LORD and made it Jehovah in the Old Testament. This is really no big deal.

    Don’t let these issues sidetrack you from studying the Bible. What will really confuse you is studying with JWs and the LDS. They distort the Bible and hold heretical beliefs. I have spent hundreds of hours trying to help them see their errors. I have found them blinded to the truth. On my web site are multiple articles outlining how to share with Mormons or JWs.

    I hope this is helpful,

    Steve

  • Anonymous March 7, 2016, 12:54 am

    Although I agree with all of this informtion and it is awesome for future reference. I think, we as Christians need to be focusing on how to help open these people’s eyes! I don’t think throwing information like this will do anything, in fact I know it doesnt. My entire immediate family is being swayed by a Jehovahs witness, showing them any information, especially coming from the Internet has done nothing but start arguments.

  • Steve Bruecker March 7, 2016, 6:00 pm

    Dear Anonymous,
    I agree with your assertion that just showing JWs information isn’t very effective. However, my site is to equip people like you. Thousands of JWs have left the organization because Christians like yourself have equipped themselves to share one on one. God can and will use good arguments to help people find the true Jesus. I know ex-JWs who found the truth and let the Watchtower Organization. The Apostle Paul used arguments all the time and so did Jesus. As Christ’s ambassadors we need to be equipped to share the truth in love.

    Steve

  • Patrick April 21, 2016, 3:32 pm

    Steve,
    Many people have discussed in this post the KJV adding back the name God (YHWH) in newer translations. Can you comment/Explain where/why this happened? Thanks!

  • Steve Bruecker April 23, 2016, 7:07 am

    Patrick,
    Thanks for your question. I am not sure what the big deal of the KJV using “Jehovah” in the Old Testament. The KJV translators used the English word “Jehovah” when they saw YHWH in the Hebrew text. Other translators used LORD when they saw YHWH. So what’s the big deal? Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (word used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). The resulting combined word, “Jehovah” has been used for the name God by many groups but it is not found in the Bible. Nowhere do you find the word Jehovah in the original languages, Hebrew or Greek.

    Bottom line when any translation goes from Hebrew to English there is no problem with using the English word Jehovah or LORD. This is not a restoration of the name of God, it is a translation of Hebrew into English. One chooses Jehovah and the other LORD. Why is this a controversy?

    Steve

  • David July 9, 2016, 10:05 am

    Steve,
    LORD is a mistranslation of the Hebrew YHWH (or JHVH). The Hebrew word for Lord is Adonai or adoni, not YHWH. Lord is a title meaning Master, or Sir, etc, depending on the context. YHWH is a name, the personal name of God. Exo. 6:3 “my name LORD” (as many English Bible substitute or replace the name Jehovah or Yahweh with Lord in all-caps). The original Hebrew read my name is YHWH—an actual name, the very personal name of God was used.
    While some argue over the pronunciation, many scholars, such as Nehemiah Gordon (one of the discoverers of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Karaite scholar), George Wesley Buchanan of Wesley Theological Seminary, . Gerard Gertoux: Hebrew scholar, specialist of the Tetragram, president of the Association Biblique de Recherche d’Anciens Manuscrits, and others agree that the name had 3 syllables, and was pronounced Jehovah or Yahowah or Yehovah. So I concur with the NWT translators in rendering the NAME JEHOVAH throughout the OT as an English translation of YHWH, and not being replaced or changed by the substitute LORD which takes away from the essence and meaning of the what the original was really saying–it was emphasizing the Name of God. Ps. 83:18 does not say that “men may know that he whose name alone is LORD”, but says that he whose name is Jehovah. What clarity when the translators add a name instead of a title!!! The problem of adding LORD is a major mistranslation found in many English versions of the Bible. The KJV only includes about 4 times, including Exo. 6:3 and Ps. 83:18. The same is true is the NEB and LB, which included the name only in some places in the OT. The ASV includes over 5,000 times, translating YHWH as Jehovah through out it’s NT. The same is true with the Darby, Young’s Literal, New Simplified, Voice in the Wilderness, Recovery Version, and the Jay P. Green Interlinear translations–all include a correct rendering of YHWH as a name, Jehovah, throughout. The Divine Name KJV also includes in both the OT and in the NT whenever it quotes from the OT. The Jewish NT by David Stern includes in footnotes. Darby also includes in the footnotes of some NT text.
    However, many of the major English translates exclude the name, such as the NIV, TEV, RSV, NKJV, NSRV, etc, replacing by an NON-NAME, and the title LORD, usually in caps. Some just include a brief mention of it in the footnotes on Exo. 3:14-15 or Exo. 6:3. But remove the name otherwise, as completely insignificant, replacing by LORD, a title which is not a personal name of God, and which does not in any way represent what the original Hebrew stated.
    Interestingly, the most widely distributed Bible version in Spanish include the name Jehovah – the Valera and the Version Moderna. The most widely distributed version in German, the Eberfelder (1871 and 1905 editions) include it. The most widely Portuguese version, the Almeida includes several times in the OT. And other foreign languages, including over 50 African languages, include the name in both the OT and NT.
    So you see a problem with the NWT, but I see a problem with many English Bible translation that MISTRANSLATE the Name of God, and replace with LORD several thousands times!!
    As to other Bible texts in the NT, that has already been discussed by other sources. The NWT appendices, in its various additions, have included detailed write-ups as to why they translated certain texts such as John 1:1, Acts 20:28, Romans 9:5, 1 Col 1:15-18, Titus 2:13, Gen. 1:2, and others they way they did. And it almost every case, including John 1:1, they pointed to other Bible translations or translators, mostly by Trinitarians, that agreed with the NWT rendering of those passages, either in the main text of the translations or their footnotes.
    As Bible student, I have over 35 Bible translations, in English and other foreign translations, and based on my extensive study and comparison of different Bible versions, I can affirm that the NWT is a faithful translation of the Bible, and is more accurate that many of the popular English versions of today. I concur with Jason David BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies, who wrote regarding the NWT NT: “The NW [New World Translation] emerges as the most accurate of the translations compared.” Although the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation are the result of religious bias on the part of its translators, BeDuhn stated: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”—Truth in Translation, pages 163, 165.
    And although he felt that the NWT had both peculiarities and excellences, Robert M. McCoy concluded his review of it by stating: “The translation of the New Testament is evidence of the presence in the movement [Jehovah’s Witnesses] of scholars qualified to deal intelligently with the many problems of Biblical translation.”—Andover Newton Quarterly, January 1963, page 31. Regarding the OT part, I agree with Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Hebrew scholar in Israel, said in 1989: “In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.”

  • David July 9, 2016, 10:16 am

    Just a correction from my above comments regarding the ASV. I wrote:
    “The ASV includes over it 5,000 times, translating YHWH as Jehovah through out it’s NT.” Instead of NT, I intended to write OT.

  • D.E.T. July 14, 2016, 6:17 pm

    “Second, Jehovah is not a Biblical word. It was created by combining the original Hebrew name for God YHWH and adonai (word used by Jews who didn’t want to say God’s name). The resulting combined word, “Jehovah” has been used for the name God by many groups but it is not found in the Bible. Nowhere do you find the word Jehovah in the original languages, Hebrew or Greek.”

    Using that logic, we shouldn’t use Jesus (which is derived from Jehovah, by the way), either. Several other prominent Old Testament (or Hebrew Bible, if you prefer) names, such as Jeremiah, Jehoshaphat, Joshua (which is actually the same name as Jesus), etc., are formed from Jehovah. Why change the spelling of Jehovah to Yahweh or replace it with LORD when the same isn’t done for names derived from it?

  • Steve Bruecker July 16, 2016, 5:19 pm

    David,
    Don’t waste your time quoting so called scholars in support of the NWT. For every “scholar” you quote there are tons who say it is a piece of junk. These men were hired by the Watchtower Organization to do the translation and didn’t have a basic understanding of the original languages. How can anyone do an accurate translation and be ignorant of Greek and Hebrew? You can use the NWT if you want but my recommendation to anyone else, don’t waste your time.

    As far as the name of God being Jehovah, this is simply false. It is YHWH and the vast majority of New Testament scholars have no problem with using the English word LORD. But for argument sake let’s place Jehovah in the Old Testament, wherever we find YHWH. What have you gained? We then can say Christians believe in the Triune Jehovah (One God subsists in 3 person Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; co-equal and co-eternal). Are you okay with saying the Triune Jehovah?

    Then the NWT attempts to place Jehovah into the New Testament. I dealt with this issue in my original document. Jehovah being added to the New Testament is a travesty and completely disqualifies the NWT.

    Steve

  • Steve Bruecker July 16, 2016, 5:24 pm

    D.E.T.,
    As I wrote David, I am okay with using the English word Jehovah in the Old Testament where YHWH appears in the Hebrew text. By the same logic I have no problem using the English name Jesus wherever the transliterated Greek work “Iēsous” appears.

    Steve

  • Brad August 9, 2016, 12:24 am

    Hello everyone, this is a very interesting topic for me as i was at one stage an Unbaptized Publisher with the JWs, i used to go out on the door to door work telling others of an impending doom. I took the NWT Bible for what it was, the true inspired word of God. It has been only recently that i have a lot of time to restudy the Bible and the doctrines of the JWs organization, i took it as an attack on the their Bible if someone said to me that it wasn’t correct. But lately i have been researching everything they told me using their Interlinear, Diaglot and other resources available out there n the net. Up till 1985 all their INterlinears were of the true translation, then they started to change the meanings to match their own teachings, you can see this as the newer books omit everything they taught re translation prior to this, I asked why, i started to read sites and listen to those who used to be Elders and Bethalites that found out the same thing. I have now had to start all over again but with trying to not think about my indoctrination in to their beliefs that has messed me up a little. Trying to read the Bible and not the Organization so to speak, i am finding ot so confusing now to accept the trinity as i have been shown to not believe it, like who was talking to Jesus as his Baptism, Jesus was the first born of all creation. Jesus saying that gis father was greater than he, he does the will of his father, i know the argument that while ghe was on Earth he was for a time lower than the Angels, i have read for weeks different views from other religions and not the WTBTS views. Is Jesus God? AAAAAAARGGGG thinking about all this now hurts lol…..I have been swayed to believe now after reading stuff from JWSurvey and JWFacts 4Jefovah and all these other things that hat i have been taught is not the full truth and doing my research nd learning a little about Hebrew and Greek i can see for myself where they have made the changes to manipulate the scriptures to their own making. It makes me angry..I got for myself the Greys Interlinear Bible and in regards to John 1:1it stated the at the end of the scripture that the word was with (THE) God… So do i worship Jesus? Jehovah or both grrrrr it is so confusing for me now…..
    Anyway the NWT was and has a lot of influence with Wescott and Hort, well they were spiritualists and spoke to demons so now this is worrying me a little now to as they started the ghost guilds movements and most of their reasoning was to manipulate their ideas into the scriptures to support a one world government world order

  • Steve Bruecker August 16, 2016, 10:38 am

    Brad,
    Thanks for writing and sharing how you are trying to understand the truth of the doctrine of the Trinity. I will email you to interact with you privately.

    Steve

  • Clay August 24, 2016, 3:11 pm

    Steve,

    I have recently been introduced to the NWT by a visiting JW. I was unfamiliar with the JW religion until I started visiting with this person, and since visiting with him and studying some of the differences in the NWT translation and the NWT, I am concerned for what he has been taught by the JW’s.

    I was first introduced to God’s Word as a young child via the KJV. I have compared many versions and always find myself coming back to the KJV. I am not comfortable with the many versions that came about at later dates that change, add to, and omit from what I hold to believe is still the purest translation available, even though I would recommend to a new reader to become familiar with some of the archaic language (words) that are no longer used in today’s English. An example would be the word “ye”, which I am sure you know is the plural form of “you”.

    Okay, back to the JW and his adament denial that God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost are one in the same. All I would like to add to the above conversations is that there are too many references made which indicate that these three are one, and I take great exception to the fact that in 1 John 5:7 the NWT stops short of rendering that the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost are one, by obvious omission. Since reading some of the comments above, I have now learned of another change that I find absurd, and that is what you and some of the other commentators state is rendered at John 1:1 about the Word being “a God”…oh well.

    What I stated to my JW visitor, and will state here that my faith in what the Word of God states is simply that; faith. I do not presume to understand how there are three separate entities that are “one”. No more than I understand that when a male and female join together they become “one flesh”. All I know is that God says that is the way it is, and I accept these facts based on faith, and faith alone. Bottom line, I refuse to attempt to analyze the mind and Word of God through the use of “human logic” nor the “wisdom of man”…

  • Steve Bruecker August 24, 2016, 5:59 pm

    Clay,
    The Bible teaches 3 things that establish the doctrine of the Trinity: 1) There is only one God, 2) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate and distinct persons (Person is not physical but the ability to think rationality, communicate, and love) and finally, 3) Each person is God. The Trinity is the only solution to what the Bible teaches. This is why Jehovah’s Witnesses struggle to make sense of the scriptures and need their distorted translation to defend their beliefs.

    I will contact you via email so we can continue this conversation.

    Steve Bruecker

  • Evaana Steele September 24, 2016, 5:28 pm

    Steve, I have begun meeting with JWs, to witness to them, I have learned a lot already that is really paying off already(2nd meeting), it started b/c 1 came to my door and though I was cordial, I said I don’t believe what they believe. But, as soon as I closed the door, God told me I was supposed to witness to them!
    I wanted to express to others that we are to learn all we can and in a firm yet loving way we should be proving our case. Maybe God has sent them to save them?
    I have decided that it’s my job to present the truth and it’s His job to save them. There’s no pressure on me, but I’m to be utilized in His planting seeds.
    Just wanted to share what God told me in case He tells anyone else through here. He has guided me to lots of useful ways to speak to them. Such a privilege!!! God bless!!!

  • Steve Bruecker September 26, 2016, 11:48 am

    Evaana Steele,
    What a great letter! As followers of Jesus Christ we are all called to be ambassadors for Christ to an unbelieving world. And that includes Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    If you look at my web site I have multiple articles that will help you share with JWs. I have spent many hours with JWs sharing the truth with gentleness and respect. In some of my articles you will see the importance of forming a friendship relationship as you share the Biblical truth.

    Here are some solid articles that can help you:
    http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/6-sharing-with-jehovahs-witness/
    http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/category/religions/accurately-interpreting-the-scriptures-with-jws/
    http://biblicalworldviewacademy.org/18-challenging-a-jehovahs-witness/

    I hope that helps,
    Steve Bruecker

  • vickey December 19, 2016, 12:23 pm

    Dear Steve,
    Angela said “The New World Translation used by Jehovah Witnesses comes from the actual “Dead Sea Scrolls” that were written in Hebrew.” I am guessing she did not mean as you stated, First, your translation does not come directly from the “Dead Sea Scrolls.”
    The scriptures have been compared with the “Dead Sea Scrolls” and have been found accurate.
    You are correct that other translations have been used, The New World Translation is based on up-to-date scholarly research and the most reliable ancient manuscripts. In contrast, the King James Version of 1611 was based on manuscripts that were often less accurate and not as old as those used in producing the New World Translation. Textual basis
    The master text used for translating the Old Testament into English was Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica. The Hebrew texts, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia and Biblia Hebraica Quinta, were used for preparing the latest version of this translation. Other works consulted in preparing the translation include Aramaic Targums, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Samaritan Torah, the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate, the Masoretic Text, the Cairo Codex, the Aleppo Codex, Christian David Ginsburg’s Hebrew Text, and the Leningrad Codex.[33][34] Also, The Greek master text by the Cambridge University scholars B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort (1881) was used as the basis for translating the New Testament into English. The committee also referred to the Novum Testamentum Graece (18th edition, 1948) and to works by Catholic Jesuit scholars José M. Bover (1943) and Augustinus Merk (1948). The United Bible Societies’ text (1975) and the Nestle-Aland text (1979) were used to update the footnotes in the 1984 version. Additional works consulted in preparing the New World Translation include the Armenian Version, Coptic Versions, the Latin Vulgate, Sixtine and Clementine Revised Latin Texts, Textus Receptus, the Johann Jakob Griesbach’s Greek text, the Emphatic Diaglott, and various papyri.[33]
    Unlike paraphrased translations, the New World Translation renders words literally as long as doing so does not result in awkward wording or hide the thought of the original writings. Translations that paraphrase the Bible’s original text may insert human opinions or omit important details.
    So what have translators and scholars said about the NWT?
    In a letter dated December 8, 1950, noted Bible translator and scholar Edgar J. Goodspeed wrote regarding the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures: “I am interested in the mission work of your people, and its world wide scope, and much pleased with the free, frank and vigorous translation. It exhibits a vast array of sound serious learning, as I can testify.”
    Professor Allen Wikgren of the University of Chicago cited the New World Translation as an example of a modern speech version that rather than being derived from other translations, often has “independent readings of merit.”—The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume I, page 99.
    Commenting on the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, British Bible critic Alexander Thomson wrote: “The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars, who have sought to bring out as much of the true sense of the Greek text as the English language is capable of expressing.”—The Differentiator, April 1952, page 52.
    Despite noting what he felt were a few unusual renderings, author Charles Francis Potter said: “The anonymous translators have certainly rendered the best manuscript texts, both Greek and Hebrew, with scholarly ability and acumen.”—The Faiths Men Live By, page 300.
    Although he felt that the New World Translation had both peculiarities and excellences, Robert M. McCoy concluded his review of it by stating: “The translation of the New Testament is evidence of the presence in the movement [Jehovah’s Witnesses] of scholars qualified to deal intelligently with the many problems of Biblical translation.”—Andover Newton Quarterly, January 1963, page 31.

    Professor S. MacLean Gilmour, while not agreeing with some renderings in the New World Translation, still acknowledged that its translators “possessed an unusual competence in Greek.”—Andover Newton Quarterly, September 1966, page 26.

    In his review of the New World Translation that forms part of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, Associate Professor Thomas N. Winter wrote: “The translation by the anonymous committee is thoroughly up-to-date and consistently accurate.”—The Classical Journal, April-May 1974, page 376.

    Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Hebrew scholar in Israel, said in 1989: “In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.”

    Based on his analysis of nine major English translations, Jason David BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies, wrote: “The NW [New World Translation] emerges as the most accurate of the translations compared.” Although the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation are the result of religious bias on the part of its translators, BeDuhn stated: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”—Truth in Translation, pages 163, 165.
    I know you have a Masters Degree Christian Apologetics – Biola University La Mirada CA
    But just for instance, Benjamin Z. Kedar is professor emeritus of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was president of the international Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East (1995–2002), chairman of the board of the Israel Antiquities Authority (2000–12) and vice-president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (2010–15). and has written at least 20 books.
    I could go on with others but I think you get my point.
    The NWT is one of the most accurate translations of the Bible.

  • Steve Bruecker December 20, 2016, 9:13 am

    Dear Vickey,
    So what have translators and scholars said about the NWT?

    [Steve] Obviously, you did a cut & paste from your Watchtower Organization. I don’t mind that as long as you are quoting qualified scholars and not taking quotes out of context. In my research I found problems in both areas. My quotes are edited versions from a specific organizations web site: http://forananswer.org/Top_JW/Scholars%20and%20NWT.htm#Thomson

    [Vickey] In a letter dated December 8, 1950, noted Bible translator and scholar Edgar J. Goodspeed wrote regarding the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures: “I am interested in the mission work of your people, and its world wide scope, and much pleased with the free, frank and vigorous translation. It exhibits a vast array of sound serious learning, as I can testify.”

    [Steve] Bill Cetnar, who worked at Watchtower Headquarters in New York during the period when the New World Translation was being prepared, was sent to interview Dr. Goodspeed in March, 1954 to seek his comments on the first volume of the New World Translation Of The Hebrew Scriptures. Cetnar writes:
    “During the two-hour long visit with him it was obvious that he knew the volume well, because he could cite the pages where the readings he objected to were found. One reading he pointed out as especially awkward and grammatically poor was in Judges 14:3 where Samson is made to say: `Her get for me….’ As I left, Dr. Goodspeed was asked if he would recommend the translation for the general public He answered, `No, I’m afraid I could not do that. The grammar is regrettable. Be careful on the grammar. Be sure you have that right” (Cetnar, W.I. & J., Questions For Jehovah’s Witnesses Who Love The Truth [Kunkletown, Pennsylvania: W.I. Cetnar, 1983], p. 64).

    [Vickey] Professor Allen Wikgren of the University of Chicago cited the New World Translation as an example of a modern speech version that rather than being derived from other translations, often has “independent readings of merit.”—The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume I, page 99.

    [Steve] Here are Wikgren’s comments in full:
    “Independent readings of merit often occur in other modern speech versions, such as Verkyl’s New Testament (1945) and the Jehovah’s Witnesses edition of the New Testament (1950)” (The Interpreter’s Bible, 1952 Vol. 1 page 99).
    Dr. Wikgren was quoted accurately and completely. That is to say, he does not go on to define which “independent readings” of the NWT he finds to be “of merit.” We do not know what Dr. Wikgren thought about the NWT’s more controversial renderings, such as John 1:1 or Colossians 1:16.
    Dr. Wikgren, referring to all of the modern English versions he has been discussing says this: “A free, idiomatic rendering is not concerned about literal meanings” (IBID). Thus, his endorsement may be less than Witnesses would like.
    Verkyl’s New Testament (also known as the New Berkley Version) reads “and the Word was God” for John 1:1c, and does not insert “other” into the text of Colossian 1:16. None of the dozen or so other modern English versions Dr. Wikgren discusses render these verses as does the NWT. It is therefore unlikely that Dr. Wikgren would include the NWT readings of these verses among those he considers meritorious.

    [Vickey] Commenting on the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, British Bible critic Alexander Thomson wrote: “The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars, who have sought to bring out as much of the true sense of the Greek text as the English language is capable of expressing.”—The Differentiator, April 1952, page 52.

    [Steve] Thomson had no formal training in Greek or Hebrew. He published several articles on the NWT in The Differentiator, apparently a privately published journal that appeared briefly in the 1950’s. The Differentiator is not considered a scholarly journal – indeed, I have been unable to locate a single copy in print or on microfilm – and there is no evidence that it was so considered during its publication.
    Thomson later wrote that while he generally endorsed the NWT, he found it to be “padded with many English words which had no equivalent in the Greek or Hebrew” (The Differentiator [June 1959], cited in Ian Croft, “The New World Translation and Its Critics”).
    Thus, Thomson does not appear to have been a recognized scholar in Biblical Languages, his review of the NWT was not published in a scholarly journal, and his endorsement is not quite as positive as the Watchtower might hope.

    [Vickey] Despite noting what he felt were a few unusual renderings, author Charles Francis Potter said: “The anonymous translators have certainly rendered the best manuscript texts, both Greek and Hebrew, with scholarly ability and acumen.”—The Faiths Men Live By, page 300.

    [Steve] In the Preface to his book, Potter writes the following: “This book is written to help people appreciate the good in religions other than their own….It is true to some extent that ‘every man grows in error,’ but too much stress has been put on that point by captious critics of religion. In this book the emphasis is rather on the more inspiring fact that ‘every man glimpses a truth” (IBID, p. v).
    Thus, it does not appear that Potter’s intention is to render a critical evaluation of the NWT. His words must be taken in the context of his attempt to emphasize the “good” he finds in all religions. We must also consider what criteria Potter uses to consider the merits he finds in the NWT.
    Reflecting the continual development of his personal religious thought away from orthodoxy toward more liberalism, Potter founded the First Humanist Society of New York in 1929. The organization stated as its philosophy a “faith in the supreme value and self-perfectibility of human personality, conceived socially as well as individually.”

    In founding the Humanist Society, Potter left the Unitarian ministry behind and declared that the Society would have no creed, clergy, baptisms or prayers. “I had given up my fast dwindling belief in the deity of Jesus and the doctrine of the Trinity,” he wrote. “Now, fifteen years later, I was leaving not only Christianity—if Unitarianism is Christianity—but Theism as well.”
    Potter’s education does not reflect that of a trained Biblical scholar, and he has not been recognized within the scholarly community as such. The reader may judge to what degree Potter’s theological “development” influenced his favorable opinion of the NWT, which (as the full quote indicates) is not entirely without criticism, despite the stated intention of his book.

    [Vickey] Although he felt that the New World Translation had both peculiarities and excellences, Robert M. McCoy concluded his review of it by stating: “The translation of the New Testament is evidence of the presence in the movement [Jehovah’s Witnesses] of scholars qualified to deal intelligently with the many problems of Biblical translation.”—Andover Newton Quarterly, January 1963, page 31.

    [Steve] McCoy, though generally well-disposed towards the NWT, is not above offering some criticism, which is not generally included when Jehovah’s Witnesses cite McCoy as an endorsement.
    For example, he chides the NWT for rendering Matthew 5:9 as “Happy are the peaceable” rather than “the peacemakers:” “One could question why the translators have not stayed closer to the original meaning, as do most translators” (IBID).
    McCoy continues with a more general assessment of the presence of theological bias in the NWT: “In not a few instances the New World Translation contains passages which must be considered as `theological translations.’ This fact is particularly evident in those passages which express or imply the deity of Jesus Christ.” (IBID).
    Mr. McCoy was a graduate of Andover Newton Seminary. He held degrees of Bachelor of Divinity (1955) from the Boston University School of Theology, and Master of Sacred Theology from Andover Newton. Though well-educated, he does not have the academic or professional credentials of a Biblical scholar, nor is he recognized as one by those who are. His opinion, of course, is worth hearing, particularly when all of it is heard.

    [Vickey] Professor S. MacLean Gilmour, while not agreeing with some renderings in the New World Translation, still acknowledged that its translators “possessed an unusual competence in Greek.”—Andover Newton Quarterly, September 1966, page 26.

    [Steve] Here are Gilmour’s comments in full:
    “In 1950 the Jehovah’s Witnesses published their New World Translation Of The New Testament, and the preparation of the New World Old Testament translation is now far advanced. The New Testament translation was made by a committee whose membership has never been revealed -a committee that possessed an unusual competence in Greek and that made the Westcott and Hort Greek text basic to their translation. It is clear that doctrinal considerations influenced many turns of phrase, but the work is no crack-pot or pseudo-historical fraud” (“The Use and Abuse of the Book of Revelation,” Andover Newton Quarterly, September 1966).
    Aside from the negative portrayal of “doctrinal considerations,” Mr. Gilmour made several factual errors in his comments about the NWT, indicating that he may not have been particularly familiar with the work he was reviewing (for more information, see Ian Croft’s “The New World Translation and its Critics”).

    [Vickey] In his review of the New World Translation that forms part of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, Associate Professor Thomas N. Winter wrote: “The translation by the anonymous committee is thoroughly up-to-date and consistently accurate.”—The Classical Journal, April-May 1974, page 376.

    [Steve] Mr. Winter’s positive comments are almost all directed towards the literal translation in the KIT – very little is said of the NWT. The literal translation in the KIT is generally very good and often may be used to demonstrate problems with the NWT translation. Mr. Winter also liked the layout of the KIT, with the English word appearing below the Greek word, rather than in a side column – which is how the classical Greek interlinears to which Mr. Winter compares the KIT are laid out. The fact that Mr. Winter seems unaware of identically laid out Interlinear Bibles, such as those published by Zondervan featuring the literal translation of Alfred Marshall, would seem to indicate that he was more familiar with classical Greek resources than those for Biblical Greek.
    Indeed, Mr. Winter was trained in and taught classical Greek. His familiarity with Biblical Greek is unknown, and he is not recognized as an authority on the subject by Biblical Greek scholars.
    Mr. Winter later wrote, “I am not happy with the use now being made of the review,” and he went on to note a few problems, such as Jesus’ words in John 8:58 (which NWT translates as “I have been”). Winter commented, “No way to go here but ‘I am'” (Thomas N. Winter, in a letter to M. Kurt Goedelman of Personal Freedom Outreach, dated 3 October 1980).

    [Vickey] Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Hebrew scholar in Israel, said in 1989: “In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.”

    [Steve] Benjamin Kedar received his PhD from Yale in 1969, but not in Hebrew. He is professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. No doubt, Professor Kedar is knowledgeable about Hebrew, but he is not a recognized scholar in Biblical Languages.
    In a form letter written to those asking for clarification of his apparent endorsement of the NWT, Professor Kedar writes:
    “A translation is bound to be a compromise, and as such its details are open to criticism; this applies to the NWT too. In the portion corresponding to the Hebrew Bible, however, I have never come upon an obviously erroneous rendition which would find its explanation in a dogmatic bias.”
    It will be noted that Professor Kedar limits his comments to the Hebrew Bible. Few scholars have complained about the Watchtower inserting its dogma into the Hebrew Scriptures. Indeed, since the OT contains far fewer explicit Scriptures teaching the orthodox doctrines that the Watchtower denies – Christ’s deity; the existence of the soul; and hellfire – it is not surprising that the NWT Hebrew Scriptures are relatively bias-free.
    Professor Kedar, of course, says nothing of the relative merits of the NWT Christian Greek Scriptures.
    Professor Kedar’s preference for the NWT Hebrew Scriptures is not shared by other scholars. H. H. Rowley, an eminent Old Testament scholar from England, wrote regarding the first volume of the New World Translation Of The Hebrew Scriptures:
    “The translation is marked by a wooden literalism which will only exasperate any intelligent reader – if such it finds – and instead of showing reverence for the Bible which the translators profess, it is an insult to the Word of God” (Rowley, H.H., “Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Translation of the Bible” The Expository Times 67:107, Jan. 1956).

    [Vickey] Based on his analysis of nine major English translations, Jason David BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies, wrote: “The NW [New World Translation] emerges as the most accurate of the translations compared.” Although the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation are the result of religious bias on the part of its translators, BeDuhn stated: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”—Truth in Translation, pages 163, 165.

    [Steve] Unlike most of the scholars used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, DeBuhn has not been quoted out of context. He does, indeed, believe the NWT and KIT to be generally accurate, and uses the latter when teaching Greek at Northern Arizona University.
    BeDuhn received his Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. This degree requires an intermediate level of competence in Greek. BeDuhn’s PhD from the University of Indiana is in Comparative Religious Studies, not in Biblical languages. He is not recognized in the scholarly community as an expert in Biblical Greek.
    This is not to say that BeDuhn is to be dismissed lightly. He is certainly knowledgeable in Greek, and says that he is doing work on untranslated Greek texts. He says that he is “not a theologian,” by which he means, I suppose, that he is not biased in favor of one theological viewpoint, but rather approaches the text purely from a grammatical standpoint. However, it is questionable whether one approaching the text from a professed “non-theological” standpoint is any less free from bias than one professing a theological commitment; nor that a theological commitment necessarily precludes an objective analysis. Further, Dr. BeDuhn as a “non-theologian” may limit his familiarity with much relevant scholarship (see, for example, Dr. BeDuhn’s statement that he is unaware of who Murray J. Harris is, below).
    BeDuhn argues that the traditional translation is extremely “unlikely” from a grammatical standpoint. To my knowledge, however, Dr. DeBuhn has not interacted publicly with the majority of scholarship on this topic (a summary of which you may find here) which his views contradict. This includes his recent book, Truth in Translation. Further, his statement that the traditional rendering “narrows the meaning from a quality or category (god/divine) to an individual (God)” seems a strawman argument: Those who argue that theos has a qualitative force in John 1:1c do not argue that Jesus is the individual, God, but rather that he possesses all the qualities or attributes of God. Trinitarians could even accept Dr. BeDuhn’s substitution of “categorical” for Harner’s “qualitative,” so long was we understand that for John, the category that includes the true God is a category containing only one Being (see Harris, Jesus as God, p. 298, n93).
    BeDuhn attempted to defend the NWT to Catholic apologist John Pacheco. You will notice that a necessary presupposition of BeDuhn’s argument is that John’s beliefs about God were not consistent with those professed in Deuteronomy. John is not “concerned” with the radical monotheistic commitment of Deuteronomy, BeDuhn suggests. He tells us that Paul does not “control” what John meant and vice versa. However, those who hold to the harmony of Scripture – as do Jehovah’s Witnesses – do not accept this necessary presupposition. Therefore both Trinitarians and Witnesses should reject his conclusions, for they are based on presuppositions with which we cannot agree.
    Finally, BeDuhn prefers the translation “and the Word was divine.” Dr. BeDuhn has stated in a private email that this rendering “leaves open” a Trinitarian solution (BeDuhn to Steven S. 12/26/2001). In this same email, he states that he does not know who Murray J. Harris is. It would seem that any cogent defense of Dr. BeDuhn’s views would require interaction with Harris’ thorough survey and analysis in his book, Jesus as God (see particularly Harris’ comments regarding “the Word was divine,” p. 63ff).
    BeDuhn sees “divine” as merely meaning a non-physical being, which may be the true God or lesser spirit beings, such as angels. We may ask, however, if John’s intended meaning was “divine” simply in the sense of a non-physical being, why he did not use the Greek word theios (“divine”), which would have expressed this sense in unambiguous terms?

    [Vickey] The NWT is one of the most accurate translations of the Bible.

    [Steve] First if that is the best scholarly case you have, then it is weak. Either you left out condemning parts out of the quote or you used someone who not a recognized scholar in the field of Biblical languages and translations. In my article I quoted individuals who are at widely recognized for their scholarly work.

    Second, as I wrote in the article, none of the NWT authors knew Biblical Greek or Hebrew. Here is what I wrote:
    “The Watchtower Society must have been utterly embarrassed when the names of the translators of the New World translation were made known to the public. The reason for concern was the translation committee was completely unqualified for the task. Four of the five men in the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training whatsoever (they had only a high school education). The Fifth, Fred W. Franz, claimed to know Hebrew and Greek, but upon examination under oath in a court of law in Edinburg Scotland he failed a simple Hebrew test.

    In court Franz was asked if he knew Hebrew and he said yes. He said he had a command of various languages including Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, German, and French. When asked if he speaks Hebrew, he said no. He was then asked if he could translate the fourth verse of Genesis into Hebrew. His answer was NO! The fact was Franz, like the others on the committee, did not have the knowledge to translate Hebrew or Greek. The truth is Franz dropped out of the University of Cincinnati after his sophomore year and even while there, he had not studied anything related to theological issues.”

    NWT is biased translation to needs to be discarded. Multiple passages (John 1:1, John 8:58, and Colossians 1:16-18) have been distorted to reflect Watchtower beliefs. I have a Kingdom Interlinear (KIT by Watchtower Organization) that refutes the NWT. I can see why the KIT is no longer published by the Organization and some say you cannot find it in Kingdom Halls (I can’t verify this). I believe it has been discontinued because people like me can refute your position with a resource from the Watchtower Organization.

    Steve

  • Mrs. Garrett July 14, 2017, 3:39 pm

    I was once a former Jehovah’s Witness. Learning about Beth Sarim is what caused me to question the WBTS. I had no idea that the former president of my religion had falsely prophesied that Old Testament patriarchs would return to earth in 1925 and that a house was being prepared for them! It even includes the names of those returning in the title deed. I then begin to learn of their other false prophecies. The Bible clearly says to turn away from false prophets. I have been a born again Christian saved through faith in Jesus (the REAL Jesus!) for 10 years now. My mother is still a JW though. During my time as a new creation in Jesus, a member of His family, I have been studying and compiling together all I’ve learned so far.

    If you follow this link,
    http://www.believersbaptistcarrollton.com/free-resources/apologetics/
    you will find a document I did concerning all the names, titles, prophecies and similarities between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit which shows the evidence of the Trinity. I first made the document using the NWT and then made another in KJV for my church family to use. I plan on updating it as I have found more to go with it. 🙂
    I also have put together documents refuting the Watchtower doctrines of Jesus being an angel, no place of punishment, only 144,00 going to heaven, etc. I can share those with you if you like. And if there’s anything that needs to be added or adjusted in the documents at the above link, please let me know!

    To those defending the NWT: if it is the most accurate, then why so many changes and revisions? The KJV has remained virtually the same for over 400 years, yet the NWT has had about 8-10 revisions since the early 50’s. And don’t forget about Johannes Greber, a former Catholic priest turned mystic who wrote his own New Testament in 1937 and was used by the WBTS.

    Charles T. Russell was a Freemason and used the Masonic cross in his early publications of the Watchtower magazine. His tombstone is a pyramid with the Masonic cross on it!

    There is so much more to tell about the WBTS but I need to go for now. Take care and God bless!
    2 Corinthians 13:14

  • Steve Bruecker July 15, 2017, 10:44 am

    Mrs. Garrett,
    Thanks so much for adding your comments and insights. I love to hear from ex-JWs. Most of you have a passion to reach other JWs for Christ. That is my passion even though I never was a Jehovah’s Witness. I was an atheist before Christ dramatically changed my life. It is by grace we are saved, not because we are deserving but because of God’s great love for us.

    I will check out your site.

    Steve

  • Shari October 17, 2017, 5:57 pm

    This has been informative. I am a born again Christian and have also been asked by God to welcome JW into my home. They have been teaching me what they believe and most of this is new to me. I just learned that each day they start new needing to do godly works to earn their salvation. All I know God requires me to stay humble, welcome them with love and let Him do the rest. I’m praying He makes Himself known to them. Please be praying!!

  • Steve Bruecker October 19, 2017, 10:58 am

    Shari,
    Great to hear you are witnessing to the JWs at your door. My only warning is to make sure you know what you believe and why. They bring a false Jesus, false God, and false gospel. Their doctrines can sound so good and right. If you are finding what they teach attractive, then end the conversations. You are being trapped by them. If instead you are sharing the truth in love then continue. My site has multiple posts on the false teachings of the Watchtower Organization and how to share with them.

    Just be careful! As Dr. Walter Martin says they can turn the average Christian into a doctrinal pretzel. Don’t let them twist what you believe.

    Steve

  • Shari October 22, 2017, 5:25 am

    Hi Steve, thank you for your concern. I completely agree. The only reason I’m allowing them to spend time going through their brochure is because they’re neighbors and we have a relationship. When we go through the brochure I’m just so disturbed by what they’re trying to teach me and ive told them I’m solid in my Faith, I have an intimate relationship with Jesus and I will not be going on their website nor reading their bible but I love and honor you as friends but nothing you say will change my mind from what I have in Christ. When we go through the brochure I read my KJV and we go through scripture but their brochure and scripture confuse me every time, it’s so strange what happens, it never makes sense why we check a scripture according to that paragraph so I’m honest with them and tell them what I’m thinking but in the most loving way. Before they come I spend time in the secret place with Father and ask Him to show me the way and to make Himself known and when they are in my place I’m constantly seeking Father in my heart as it’s a spiritual thing what’s taking place and I see the confusion before me…sometimes I feel annoyed by them when they say things like, “well I used to believe like you also but now I know the difference” and I have to keep seeking Christ to give me the words and wisdom and most importantly His love…Im telling you wow I need Christ to do this as I have no idea. Next week’s session is #4 Who is Jesus Christ and Ive read it ahead and found scripture that’s relevant to indicate who Christ truly is that He is not another god…..I think what’s hardest about this is that they say the bible I have was translated wrong and theirs is right and I am not knowledgeable on this but I just know in my heart what i know anout Christ to be right and by the Holy Spurit helping me and I really can’t persuade them I’m not into persuading people into what I believe, I just know that Christ is going to do this through me as I wait on Him and stay humble, walking in love with them. Please if you have any advice on the upcoming session #4 Who is Jesus Christ and how to witness I did find John 1:1 of course, Revelation 19:13,16, 1 John 5:20, I’m basically waiting on my loving Father to open their hearts and make the truth known.

  • Steve Bruecker October 23, 2017, 11:48 am

    Shari,
    I love your reply and I am going to pull this offline and move it to an email conversation. That way I can send you attachments and it is easier to stay in touch.

    Steve

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