Bible translation

by z 18 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Narkissos

    OK. "Ministerial servant" is an overtranslation (again) of the Greek diakonos which means "minister, servant, attendant" -- sometimes in a generic sense (Paul calls himself and his coworkers diakonoi, e.g. 2 Corinthians 3--4), sometimes (as in the Pastorals) as a specific office subject to the episkopos ("bishop, overseer"). In mainstream churches the word "deacon" stands for, and derives from, diakonos.

  • TD

    In general not the NWT (no one know lol)

    Today Bible translations are generally undertaken by groups of accredited scholars. Sometimes these groups are quite large and they're usually organized into committies or societies. Over 100 scholars worked on the NIV. Close to 30 worked on the 1966 JB (I believe J.R.R. Tolkein played a minor role.)

    When the Westcott-hort was done? Or any other main stream one?

    Who is or are the one in westcott-hort?

    It was published in 1881 by Brook Foss Westcott (1825-1903) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892)

    Must accurate as literal words not thought (the can think what aver the like)

    That's also a subjective argument. Even among translations billing themselves as Literal, there are differences. These differences are often the result of the religious notions of the translators.

    Is there MS in the Bible? What is MS in biblical sense?

    What do you mean by "MS?" Manuscript?

    Now the big one what do you think about the NWT?

    To be honest, most of the criticisms leveled at the NWT are the product of the religious biases of the critics. There are problem passages, but these usually fall under the heading of "Idiosyncratic translation" rather than "Mistranslation."

    If you don't have a religious axe to grind, probably the worst thing about the NWT (IMHO) is the wooden, Eastern seaboard American English it's translated into. For example, there's a literary beauty to the expression, "My head with oil He anointeth" that's lost if you translate it "He greases my head with oil."

  • z

    Nark TD thx so much

  • Forscher

    Narkissos, Leo and TD did about as good a job as can be done to answer the questions that you asked Z. What I'd like to add my ten cents worth is to your question about the NWT. Although it is on my shelf and I do use it at times because I the footnotes in the Reference addition, I think one needs to keep one thing in mind where the NWT is concerned, the WHY behind the NWT.
    In 1950, the WTBTS had the following to say in the Watchtower about why they produced the NWT:
    *** w50 9/15 p. 315 New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures ***

    9 We acknowledge our debt to all the Bible versions which we have used in attaining to what truth of God’s Word we enjoy today. We do not discourage the use of any of these Bible versions, but shall ourselves go on making suitable 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 or 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, 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’s 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 made provision for us in this need which we now keenly feel?
    Please especially note the following from the passage, "More and more the need has been felt for a translation in modern speech, in harmony with revealed truth". The WTBTS wanted a Bible that harmonised with their teachings. I think that TD would probably agree that any translation of the Bible with that kind of an openly stated agenda must be used cautiously, if at all (but then, excuse me for presuming to say what TD might or might not agree with.). I have the refernce edition and like the footnotes. But I still say that it is not good to rely solely on the NWT for the above reason.


  • z

    Forscher you are so right I have the Hebrew, NWT, and others the NWT was giving to me by him (try to witness me lol) the Hebrew on one side is Hebrew and on the other side is English at the bingeing he give me the Watchtower and the Awake one day My daughter read this ones (she is in low school) and said “are the for adult” me “I think so
    And why are you asking” she answer me “because the English use here to me is grate 4 English”
    Looking in the bible right in the beginning Genesis 1/2
    The Hebrew (English translation)… and the spirit of god hovered upon the surface of the waters. when you read the Hebrew side is the same so are all other Bible but when you read the NWT….. and god’s ACTIVE FORCE (ha?wtf?) was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters. now lets see witch one is more simple the two above or NWT ?
    Look like the don’t the Trinity in here the Spirit

  • Narkissos

    Regardless of the doctrinal intent, the case of active force for ruach typically illustrates one very common flaw of the NWT: mistaking a definition for a translation. This happens dozens of times: "time indefinite," "system of things," etc.

    Moreover, the translation of ruach in Genesis 1:2 is inconsistent with the rest of the NWT. From 6:3 onward ruach will be rendered as "spirit".

  • Mysterious

    The staunch evangelicals here prefer the NIV bible and they are a very devout lot. Not sure what the hook for that particular translation is though.

  • TD

    I love the way Narkissos puts it.

    The NWT rendering of John 17:3 is one problematic passage for me. At best, it's an anti-Gnostic translation of what is clearly a Gnostic gospel. Ginoskosin is in the subjuctive mood, expressing the desire of Christ that people may "know" the "True God." The NWT adds a new verb "taking", which is not in the original text and the original verb (know) becomes a noun (knowledge) and the new object of this new verb.

    I think this can easily be seen by attempting to translate the NWT rendering back into NT Greek. The subjunctive mood is done away with entirely, and a genitive must be introduced into the construction that wasn't there before.

    But is this a mistranslation or just a poor translation? (Like you might get from AltaVista's Babelfish.) JW apologists, will run to Vine's and point out that "Taking in knowledge" is one lexical entry for ginosko.

    I think this is another example where definitions are masqueraded as translation.

  • Narkissos


    I guess it is an overtranslation of the tense (present) rather than the mode (subjunctive). A lot of painful rendering of verbs in the NWT reflect just that. One frequent nuance of the present tense (indicating an ongoing action or process) they interpreted as the acquisition of knowledge rather than the (continuous) action/state of knowing. Which is absurd inasmuch as the text, in perfect Gnostic fashion, insists that knowing is (not "leads to") eternal life. To that extent I would rate it as a mistranslation.

    The problem of "exercising faith" for pisteuô is somewhat similar, but here the English (or French) translator has a real problem, since the related Greek noun (pistis) and verb (pisteuô) were splitted in Latin between fides (faith, foi) and credere (to believe, croire). There's a formal loss in having the two separated, and many translators try to connect them together one way or another -- for instance, using "have faith" instead of "believe"; but even this is formally unsatisfactory, especially since GJohn never uses pistis.

    Of course the NWT solutions (to a non-issue in the former case, to a real issue in the latter) are especially suited to the WT theology which connects salvation (1) to a doctrine you have to learn and (2) to a specific form of activism inseparable from faith.

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