Hello Will Power,
Thanks for this list, where did you find the J-Documents?
You said you would never trust anything said by the Watchtower. Generally speaking, that's a good approach. However, they do mix in some truth with all the lies. Sometimes it's deliberate, and sometimes it's accidental. I found the J-Documents by reading the NWT.
I started reading the Bible seriously in 1958. In 1959 I became vaguely aware of the New World Translation. In 1960 I made a friend who had a copy, and I talked him out of it. He grew up a JW and became a lover of the Lord Jesus in high school. When I met him he still had some of the WT stuff lying around. So, after warning me of some of the pitfalls to watch for, John gave me his CGS. I read it cover to cover and made notes on funny stuff. After I finished it I obtained the five volumes of Hebrew Scriptures and read each of them cover to cover.
After that they remained mostly on the shelf. I bought and read a new Bible translation every year for quite some time. When KIT came out I really liked that and started using it quite a bit. I had learned Greek and so I was not as concerned about being mislead by the NWT when I could just read the Greek for myself. It was fun to make notations of all the pretzel translation I found as serendipity.
Some of it was little stuff that didn't seem to make a great deal of difference. For example, "home" in Matthew 1:24. "Home" is nowhere in the Greek (I've even seen this in other translations). Interestingly, the verb here is the same one found in John 1:11. If Franz was up to something nefarious in Matthew, it was too subtle for me.
Other things like "some" in Acts 2:17 were as attention getting as a stake in the eye. Scripture tells us God does not measure out his Spirit. He doesn't give you 100 pounds and me 30. He doesn't divide up the Spirit (like a pie) so that we get equal "portions" of Spirit. She gets "some" ... you get "some" and I get "some." NO WAY. When God pours out his Spirit every recipient gets 100% ["all"] of the Spirit. And neither God nor the Spirit is diminished, being infinite.
Well, in 1973 or 1974 I started passing on interesting things I found in their Bible to Jehovah's Witnesses. With the world ending in 1975 many of them were doing almost anything to get their field service hours up so they could trick Jehovah into thinking they had been diligent all along! So I just set up Bible studies with one after the other. Most ducked out after one session. A few had the grit for more than one. After some modest success in converting a few to Biblical Christianity, I was encouraged to really dig into their Bible. The ones willing to go more than one round with me frequently had a high regard for the Word and actually believed they could (anyone could) understand the Bible without the WT to tell them what it meant. When they found out that was contrary to what the WT actually taught, they were chagrined. One big-wig in a local circuit here actually wrote a resignation letter and had me proofread it for him. He freely admitted to me (and a few other non-witnesses) that he would never believe or teach that t he WTS was the "faithful and discreet slave." He even got sick once when that was a topic in a WT and he was the WT study overseer! After the first month meeting with me he stopped counting the hours on his time sheet. He was a scrupulous guy. He was not making headway with me, and I was with him, so how could he count it as witnessing time? After several months he decided he had too much to loose. His kids would never speak to him again. His wife might divorce him. It turned out sad. He began teaching his Bible study students directly from the Bible without WT literature. He could not honestly encourage them to be baptized and commit themselves to an organization he knew was not God's Organization.
Let me drop that there, except to say that one real irony was that I also wound up studying with his first convert (neither one ever knew I was working with the other one). By that time the convert was an elder and married to the daughter of another circuit big-shot. She told him flat out that if he even thought of leaving that "open-minded" religion he would never see her of the kids again. I spent much less time with him. However, he once saw an elder club me unconscious from behind because I was passing out free literature at an assembly. Maybe that impressed him a little. He was a sales rep and could get free time during the day by arranging his schedule. He began praying to Jesus, "calling on the name of the Lord," and was soon sharing with me (and others) wonderful discoveries he was making from the Bible. He even found a Trinitarian JW in his Kingdom Hall that he could fellowship with from time to time.
Sounds like I've gone to telling war stories. I guess I was. Some didn't have the courage to act on the truth they knew. Others did. One former elder is now a pastor in a church in Riverside, CA. A former Bethelite is a minister in his new congregation. (Took him almost 20 years to convert his third-generation JW wife.) Of course, there were your regular publishers. I helped other Christians set up outreaches in more than 30 cities. Exciting times.
In 1977 I realized I needed to take a close look at these "J-Documents." After all, since the NT refers to Jesus as having inherited the most excellent name, the name above every name. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that no name is above the name above every name. Many scriptures call Jesus God and many scriptures spoken of the LORD in the OT are applied to Jesus in the NT. So, the J-Documents would have to reflect these facts. I just had to locate them!
Thanks, Fred Franz! On pages 28 to 30 of the 1969 KIT Freddie gave a listing of where he found most of the J-Documents (in New York City!). Yep, his extensive research was done by taking the subway to a few libraries in NYC. Then he took the subway home.
In Phoenix, I was almost on the opposite coast. And, I was pretty poor -- making about $2.00 per hour selling auto parts as a counterman. However, I took some time off work and hitchhiked to NYC where a single brother in the Lord let me sleep on the floor in his studio apartment at night. During the day I took the bus to the same libraries Franz had visited. I held in my hands many of the very same books he did. I did not find other copies. I had the exact same copies in my hands that he had in his hands. I only had a few days, and I was ill organized. (I usually am.)
Sometimes the discoveries I made were petty. For example, in KIT 1969 on page 24 is a picture that purports to be the 1902 version in the "Gabun" language. Well, there ain't no "Gabun" language. I had several librarians looking for me -- Franz should have tried that! One of them discovered a "Gabon" dialect of (I think it was) the Fang language. We got it off the shelf. Bingo! 1902 edition! On the front inside cover was written in handwriting, "NT in Gabon" but the "o" was not all the way closed at the top! Franz had misread it as "Gabun" when it said "Gabon."
Likewise, on page 25 is a picture of the "1816 version in the Hawaiian language" -- according to Franz. Actually, the first translation into Hawaiian was made in 1886. How did he goof that one? It seems that 1816 is the founding of the American Bible Society. He mistook the notation on the title page about the founding of the ABS in 1816 for the year of the translation. All he had to do was turn the page and look on the back! Great researcher!
And, just to round out the pictures, on page 24 is a picture of a Malagasy version. I have a xerox of Hebrews 1 in this Bible where Jesus is called "Jehovah" in Hebrews 1:10 by his Father. These "many non-Hebrew missionary sources" may call Jesus by THE NAME in more places than the J-Documents do.
Page 22 of 1969 KIT gives a chart listing "38 Languages other than English or Hebrew using a vernacular form of the Tetragrammaton." What a hoot! Number one is Choctaw. When I figure out how to upload images, I'll give you a mind blower: Chan 1 in Choctaw. Here's a hint: In Chan 20:28 Toma calls Jesu "My Lord and my Chihowa!" But you will get to verify all this for yourself when I learn more about the operation of this board.
After a few days research at the great centers of learning in NYC I headed back to the wonderful Sonoran Desert -- God's country. I think it took me four days to hitch-hike back. And, I went back to selling auto parts over the counter for $2.00 per hour.
These days I got more money. Lately, I've been buying J-Documents over the internet. Recently, I passed up one (I think it was J7 - Elias Hutter's Nuremberg Polyglott) for $15,000.00 -- tad outta my range! I also passed up one for $1,700.00 and another for 600.00 Euros in Vienna. Right now, I'm buying mostly in the $100 to $250 range -- mostly in Europe (bet I shouldn't give that away). Surprisingly, if you know where and how to look, something seems to come on the market every month or so. Currently, I have J4 and J10 on the way. Lately I'm being deluged with data. I can't get to it all.
So, that's the short version of how I found the J-Documents. Got another question?
More Power to Ya -- NWT@Cutlip.Org