The Dreaded Brackets, share your favorites

by drew sagan 15 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • LDH
    The Jerusalem Bible opens 1 Corinthians 7:2


    I don't have a bible. What does the rest of the verse say?

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    Indeed, brackets are a legitimate translational device to help the translator clarify or extend a meaning not capable of being adequately covered by the receptor language. And as long as the sense is extended but not altered, the provision of brackets is acceptable.

    However, Freddie Franz took the concept of bracketing to another level not even attempted by other translators. It was obvious to all but the ignorant or the credulous, that he had a secret theological agenda to push. The main thrust of this endeavour was in the doctrine of Christology. In his blind dogmatism, Freddie risked being blasphemous, simply in order to "put Christ in his place"

    For instance, the expression "Created all things" is an exact reresentation of the Greek of Rev 4:11. Freddie saw no hesitation in "translating" this clause without modification - why? - because it referred to "jehover".

    But the very same expression did undergo a modification when it was used in Col 1:16. The modification consisted of brackets. This altered the clear meaning of Paul's argument. To Freddie, if Christ did indeed "create all things" then He would have to be the Yahweh of Rev 4:11. So the text, not Freddies ideas, needed to be altered. The judicious use of the brackets now made the Bible say what Freddie wanted it to say, that Jesus was NOT the creator of ALL things, but only of "all-but-one" things. He Himself being a creation.

    Wonder if he is pondering his unwisdom in Hades with erm erm...... his father, the Devil


  • blondie

    Any other bracket examples in the WT publications (not just the NWT)?

  • moggy lover
    moggy lover

    Here's one from my personal notes. Unfortunately I don't have the Wt article with me.

    In the Sept 15, 1983 WT, [have not got a page number however] the Wt quotes historian Paul Johnson as saying "[Apostate] Christianity began in confusion" making him say, by implication that the "true" Christian Church began as a tightly controlled, highly organized system, as represented by 21st C JWs.

    Thats the best I can come up with......Sorrrry.


  • TD

    I agree, moggy lover. The insertion of the word, "Other" at Colossians 1:16 is a good example of eisegetical interpolation in the NWT. Personally though, I think allegations of inconsistency and dishonsty that can be found at the typical evangelical website dealing with the NWT are overstated. ektisaV ta panta

    ( created the all..)


    .....en autw ektisqh ta panta

    ( him it was created the all..)

    ...are similar but not identical expressions.

    I think the problem here is the fundamentally different way JW's and Evangelicals have of looking at the same scriptures. JW's see a real difference in the expressions, "You created all [things]" vs. "By him all [things] were created." They view the latter as a altogether different assertion because of their presuppostion that Jesus himself is a created being. IOW, a JW will understand the latter as an expression of agency and infer exclusion (of the prehuman Jesus) whether it is explicitly stated or not.

    My observation is that evangelical websites often either misunderstand (or misrepresent) the issue. They apparently want to pretend that the NWT makes an interpolation while other Bibles, like the NIV for example, contain an exact representation of the Greek and are therefore "Pure." In reality, "Created the all" is an exact representation of the Greek. "Created all things" "Created everything" etc. are English translations. The substantive, implicit in Greek, must be added by the translator and technically it too should be bracketed, although this absurd level of bracketing is usually only reserved for interlinear subtext. So it's not a question of, "Other" vs. nothing at all. It's a question of "Other things" vs. "Things"

    Personally I think the JW's are wrong here, so in that sense the brackets are "dreaded," but at least the brackets are there to alert us. A number of translations, even some billing themselves as literal do not use brackets at all.

  • james_woods

    I remember one (non-bracket) bracket from years ago. It was in one of the paragraphs in a WT Study article. It went into one of Paul's writings on Christian vindication. Paul was stating that several steps were needed to come to christian faith.

    Seems the article wanted the order of things to be the reverse order of the way the NWT translated Paul.

    So, they quote the scripture like this: Reversing the order, Paul writes: "xxxxxx -------"

    No explanation whatsoever, just "reversing the order"... sorry, cannot remember the specific scripture or WT article.


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