A Fair View of Fred Franz' Translation Abilities

by IW 47 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Mistah MOJO
    Mistah MOJO

    I disagree. Yes, the NWT is the most doctrinally biased translation ever produced in English, but Franz was a schoolboy, out of his depth. MM

  • Mistah MOJO
    Mistah MOJO

    If you seek an painstakingly literal, consistent, and accurate translation look no further than the Concordant Literal New Testament with Keyword Concordance. mm

  • Anitar

    Has anyone mentioned Westcott and Hort? I thought their work influenced Franz about 60 years beforehand, even though they were denounced by their own colleagues. Can someone please clarify, I'm not quite sure.


  • Narkissos


    In 1881 Westcott and Hort published a critical edition of the Greek New Testament based on a comparison of the then extant manuscripts. With a few exceptions, the NWT follows this Greek edition of the NT rather than earlier (e.g. Tischendorf's) or later (e.g. Nestle & Aland) ones. However this only has a bearing on textual choices (i.e. which Greek text is to be retained), not on the translation itself. And of course this has nothing to do with the OT.

  • Forscher
    More and more the need has been felt for a translation in modern speech, in harmony with revealed truth,...

    Not to get off topic, but forscher this is the most profound quote I've read on this site in a long, long time. Thank you!

    You're welcome IP_SEC! I think it is an important quote considering the way they deny that was ever a principle or aim in translating the NWT.

  • Hondo

    We need to keep in mind that there are hundreds of biblical language theologians and scholars that still say that the NWT is a very badly translated/interpreted version of the bible, no matter how well educated, or uneducated, Franz was. Also remember, the Catholic church, irregarless of what anyone thinks about this organization, maintains a very detailed library of biblical interpretations and translations based on history, philosophy, culture, etc., and is continually reviewed and updated based on new archialogical finds, on old information revealing new biblical evidence, etc. This source would have been available to Mr Franz, which I highly doubt he took advantage of. Although I can't say for sure, I doubt that Franz paralleled his translation techniques of the NWT with the practice of hermaneutics (Catholics use this science), which takes into account the above mentioned aspects of life such as culture, history, etc., and should be interlaced with other translation methods when interpreting/translating 2000 year old information. I would think he based his translation efforts solely on his limited language knowledge and most likely "guessed", or used other questionable "biblical" sources, at the way some portion of a phrased or passage should be read (of course taking into accounted, to a good degree, the Watchtower Society's specific doctrine at a particular point in time. In his case circa the 50's.

  • truthsetsonefree

    I remember as a kid being taught that he was a genius. That he gave his talks from memory, spoke seven languages and all sorts of other things.

  • metatron

    Fred Franz was a genius, a man with remarkable memory and personal discipline. However, the New World Translation is often an

    idiosyncratic work - and can be difficult or cumbersome to read. Forcing the name "Jehovah" into the Greek Scriptures is just outrageous.

    I often felt that the whole organization would somehow suspend deep thinking and simply let him handle it, as if no one else was capable.

    Much of his appearance of erudition on stage was simply because he liked to give tangetical speeches, which could be hard to follow

    if you didn't understand that rambling style. At one Gilead graduation, he talked about apples, how they were mentioned in the Bible,

    how Issac Newton may have thought about gravity because of one falling, how gravity was everywhere - and finally ..... how, like gravity,

    God's Holy Spirit was everywhere, too. This went on for an hour or more.

    That was Fred.


  • VM44

    Concerning Fred Franz's ability to translate from English to Hebrew, there is an article that considers the topic at the website:


    Get the article:

    Fred Franz, William LaSor, and the NWT by Robert Hommel


    Mr. Homme writes the following:


    There is no evidence that the NWT Translation Committee possessed the training or skills necessary to produce an English Bible from the original languages. Frederick Franz’s refusal under oath to render Genesis 2:4 from English into Hebrew is suspicious, given that there is no reason a Hebrew scholar qualified to sit on a modern English Bible translation committee would be unable to do so. Ron Rhodes and other writers who have used the Franz cross-examination as evidence that Franz lacked proficiency in Hebrew have done so legitimately. It is Mr. Stafford’s appeal to William LaSor that proves to be – in Mr. Stafford’s own words – “superficial, inaccurate, and misleading.”

  • VM44

    *Removed because of formatting problems* --VM44

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