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Published by api-3755336
The NWT is not an exact and faithful translation of the Bible in many passages.
The NWT is not an exact and faithful translation of the Bible in many passages.

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Published by: api-3755336 on Oct 15, 2008
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The New World Translation:God's Word?
By Mike Spencer, Spiritwatch Ministries
What is the New World Translation? The New

World Translation is a Bible version prepared,
printed, and distributed by the Watchtower Bible
and Tract Society, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York. It
was produced in stages between 1950 and 1960.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, Inc. is
the official publishing organ of the Jehovah\u2019s
Witness (JW) religious sect. Since its final
completion in 1960, the New World Translation
has been rendered into dozens of languages for
use by Jehovah\u2019s Witnesses worldwide. While
early editions of the New World Translation were
printed with a bright green cover, more recent
editions have a black or dark brown cover, making
them look more like ordinary Bibles. The translation has been revised three times: once
in 1969, once in 1970, and again in 1984. In 1984 the Watchtower Society produced a
large print study edition. It contains center column references, footnotes, and
appendices, most of which seem to have been expressly designed to argue in favor of
the Jehovah\u2019s Witness sect\u2019s controversial theological perspectives on a variety of

All Jehovah\u2019s Witnesses, beginning with their earliest involvement in the Jehovah\u2019s
Witness sect, are trained to regard the elite Governing Body of Jehovah\u2019s Witnesses as
God\u2019s authorized representatives on Earth. The Governing Body is the ruling council of
the Jehovah\u2019s Witness sect. It numbers about a dozen men and is loosely based on the
Twelve Apostles of the New Testament (1). Since the Governing Body and the
Watchtower Society are (according to their own claim) \u201cGod\u2019s channel\u201d of
communication, every piece of literature printed on the Watchtower Society\u2019s printing
presses (including the New World Translation of the Bible) is regarded by all loyal
Jehovah\u2019s Witnesses as \u201cspiritual food\u201d from \u201cthe hand of Jehovah" (2). To question,
doubt, or oppose the New World Translation is, in the mind of a Jehovah\u2019s Witness,
tantamount to opposing God. For more information on how the Society boldly claims
this authority to interpret the Bible as it sees fit, clickhere.

What motivated the Jehovah\u2019s Witness leadership to produce the New World
Translation? The Jehovah\u2019s Witness sect\u2019s leadership, who published the New
Testament portion of their New World Translation in 1950, were surprisingly candid
about their reasons for doing so. I invite the discerning reader to study carefully the
following comments, which appeared in theirWa tch tower magazine dated 9 /15 /1950,
p.314. I have taken the liberty ofhighlighting those passages that are especially worthy
of notice:

Preparing and releasing the \u201cNew World Translation\u201d

We acknowledge our debt to all the Bible versions which we have used in
attaining to what truth of God\u2019s Word we enjoy today. We do not discourage the
use of any of these Bible versions, but shall ourselves go on makingsuitable use
of them.However, during all our years of using these versions down to the

latest of them, we have found them defective.In one or another vital respect
they are inconsistent and unsatisfactory, infected with religious traditions or
worldly philosophy and hence not in harmony with the sacred truths which
Jehovah God has restored to his devoted people who call upon his name and

seek to serve him with one accord. Especially has this been true in the case of
the Christian Greek Scriptures [the New Testament], which throw light and
place proper interpretation upon the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. More and
more the need has been felt for a translation in modern speech, in harmony

with revealed truth, and yet furnishing us the basis for gaining further truth by

faithfully presenting the sense of the original writings; a translation just as
understandable to modern readers as the original writings of Christ\u2019s disciples
were understandable to the simple, plain, common, lowly readers of their day.
Jesus reminded us that our heavenly Father knows the needs of his children
before they ever ask him.How has he [Jehovah] made provision for us in this

need which we now keenly feel? (3)

The Watchtower article then proceeds to describe the rapid production and
dissemination of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (the
Jehovah\u2019s Witness New Testament), implying, of course, that this remarkable event was
\u201cJehovah\u2019s provision\u201d for their keenly felt need.

In the above Watchtower article note carefully how the writer characterizes all other
Bible translations as \u201cnot in harmony with the sacred truths which Jehovah God has
restored to his devoted people.\u201d To put it plainly, the writer is saying that all other
translations areunsatisfac tory because they do not agree with the Jehovah\u2019s Witness
sect\u2019s alleged \u201crestored sacred truths\u201d. \u201cSacred truths\u201d in the above Watchtower article
is merely a buzzword for the doctrinal system of the Jehovah\u2019s Witness sect; a doctrinal
system that God has [allegedly]res t o re d to his people (the Jehovah\u2019s Witnesses) in
these latter days through the agency of the Jehovah\u2019s Witness leadership (\u201cGod\u2019s

channel\u201d of communication).

Notice also, in the above Watchtower article, how the writer describes the Jehovah\u2019s
Witnesses need for a Bible translation \u201cin harmony withrevea led truth.\u201d In other
words, the Jehovah\u2019s Witness leadership needed a Bible translation that harmonized
with their [alleged] \u201crevelations\u201d. In view of these clear statements in the Jehovah\u2019s
Witness sect\u2019s own Watchtower magazine, can anyone doubt that this is the real reason
why the New World Translation was produced?

Consider these two important truths about the art of Bible translation:

1. Accurately translating the entire Bible from the original ancient Greek,
ancient Hebrew, and ancient Aramaic is a task requiring a considerable
degree of technical expertise. It is a job for bona fide Greek and Hebrew
scholars. It is not a job for amateurs or dilettantes armed with a lexicon
and having little real understanding of the subtleties of Greek and
Hebrew grammar.


2. Having an accurate translation of the Bible is very important since the
Bible is the only infallible means we have for obtaining detailed
information about God and his will for our lives. Scripture defines our
belief, our practice and therefore, how we will live.

Four red flags of warning must be raised about the New World Translation:

1. The New World Translation is entirely the product of one religious sect.
Translations produced by one individual or one sect should always be
approached with caution. Translations produced by teams of scholars
representing a diversity of theological perspectives are safer. The diverse
theology of the translators in such cases forms a built-in safeguard
against any one sect or individual smuggling (either deliberately or
inadvertently) their own doctrinal bias into the translation. The New
International Version and the New American Standard Bible are good
examples of \u201csafe\u201d translations (i.e. ones produced by theologically
diverse teams of highly competent Greek and Hebrew scholars).

2. The Watchtower leadership has repeatedly refused to divulge the names
and/or academic qualifications of the people within their organization
who produced the New World Translation (4). Common sense should tell
anyone that it is not wise to trust a Bible translation produced by totally
anonymous translators, whatever might be their stated reasons for
wishing to remain anonymous. How are we to know whether they have
the necessary expertise to produce an accurate translation? Let me
illustrate. Suppose your ten-year-old son needs a kidney transplant.
Suppose that a man you have never met before approaches you, claiming
to be a surgeon, and offers to perform the operation free of charge. Yet
your repeated requests to know this man\u2019s name, to find out whether or
not he graduated from medical school, or to learn whether he is a
member of the American Medical Association are politely rebuffed. The
\u201csurgeon,\u201d allegedly because he is extremely humble and wishes to
receive no glory or credit for his good deeds, simply refuses reveal this
information about himself. Would you allow this man to operate on your
son? If you would not trust a loved ones mortal life to an anonymous
(possibly unqualified) \u201csurgeon\u201d, why would you trust your eternal
destiny to a committee of anonymous (possibly unqualified) Bible

3. Numerous qualified Greek scholars of international renown have voiced
serious reservations about the New World Translation. Dr. Bruce
Metzger of Princeton University (arguably the world\u2019s foremost living
Greek scholar) calls many of the New World Translation\u2019s renderings
\u201cerroneous" (5). Dr. Julius R. Mantey (co-author of A Manual Grammar

of the Greek New Testament and A Hellenistic Greek Reader) called it \u201ca

shocking mistranslation\u201d(6). Dr Robert Countess concluded, in his PhD
dissertation on the New World Translation, \u201cit [the New World
Translation] must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At
some points it is actually dishonest" (7).

4. As far as we have been able to determine, no baptized Jehovah\u2019s Witness has ever been awarded a post-graduate academic degree by an accredited institution in the field of Biblical Greek or Hebrew. This is rather


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