The discussion of this text is taken in reference to a discussion I had with a JW Elder I know. Most of the time the discussion focused on things not even worth discussing, two things did come up I thought I would examine with more detail because something seemed wrong. One of these things I discussed here
Basically I challenged him to produce a scripture that says membership to an organization is essential for salvation. He produced Ephesians 4:1-16
He focused on how the scripture states that Christ gave us these 'gifts [in] men', next he went on to read this part of the verse (NWT READING):
11 And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, 12 with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ, 13 until we all attain to the oneness in the faith and in the accurate knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of stature that belongs to the fullness of the Christ
He focused on how these 'gifts in men' where used to readjust the 'holy ones' and how they are essential in coming to an accurate understanding of Gods purpose. I feel there are a number of problems with such an interpretation, and maybe you can help me find even more.
1. The first thing I noticed in examining verse 8 is that the NWT translates is differently than other translations. Most other translations of this verse read "Gifts to Men", not the "Gifts in Men" the NWT states. Some translations even go so far as to render the verse "Gifts to his people", basing such a translation against other scriptures that deal with Christian gifts (1 Corinthians 7:7, 1 Peter 4:10). So what should the proper translation read? Should it read '[in]' or 'to'. Personally I think the Kingdom Interlinear settles the matter, under the Greek text has the literal translation as 'to'. Getting in deeper to this text we find that Paul is actually making reference to Psalm 68:18. The NWT reads:
18 You have ascended on high;
You have carried away captives;
You have taken gifts in the form of men,
Yes, even the stubborn ones, to reside [among them], O Jah God.
While this can seem to confuse matters, doing a simple search on the term used for men in this verse (Strongs 0120) will show that a general use of the word 'men' in this verse does not match up with their 'gifts in men' interpretation as found in many of their publications. In fact this word can be found in Genesis 6:1 which reads:
And it came to pass, when men (0120) began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
So a general use of the term can be more than appropriate, this scripture does not demand us to think that it is foretelling a 'Christian Elder' arrangement.
2. Moving along in the verse we reach verses 11-12, which when read in the NWT give us a deep impression of 'theocratic order'. The NWT states:
11 And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers, 12 with a view to the readjustment of the holy ones, for ministerial work, for the building up of the body of the Christ,
Notice that this arrangement is for the readjustment, not of the 'great crowd', but instead for the 'holy ones'. This builds its own problems in interpretation. If we are to follow Watchtower logic we encounter a 'pyramid' like structure, putting some Christians as more important than others. It puts a few organizational men at the top (the gifts in men), with their anointed followers that they must correct and teach. By their own interpretation the 'great crowd' simply isn't mentioned, instead one simply led to feel 'if it's good enough for the anointed to be readjusted, it's good enough for me'. They also don't connect the fact that all of their 'gifts in men' are not anointed, another blunder in thinking this refers to an authority class Christians must submit to. Notice how the NIV version renders verse 12
12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
While the Watchtower may be justified in using the term 'readjustment', doing so seeks to build up their own doctrine of 'spiritual food' and instruction from the 'faithful slave'.
More info on katartiðzw (readjustment) can be found here.
If there is anything I have wrong about this let me know. As I said it was used as 'proof' in order to fit the JW doctrine of organization, and so I wanted to put it to the test. This is what I found. I find it amazing that by the way they make subtle changes in the NWT they are able to bring out an understanding that just doesn't seem to be there. One that only Jehovah's Witnesses can really see.