NWT inserting Jehovah in the NT (discussing the "J" references)

by AuldSoul 36 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • drew sagan
    drew sagan

    Good post Audsoul. I don't know what thread of mine you are talking about, but I'm glad you put this up. I can't believe I never caught this contradiction of theirs when I first became associated. The avderage JW just dosn't realize how absurd it is to use those "J" referances.

    The amazing thing about the WTS is when you take their 'great apostacy' teaching and compare to all of the referances they make regarding how accurate and reliable the original greek is. I plan on using this as part of a presentation to my wifes family. To take the Watchtowers position on a 'great apostacy' and that the original writings have been 'tampered with' is quite radical. The JW will have to admit that either their Bible is wrong and Jehovah shouldn't be in it, or that the Bible just can't be trusted at all. I think trying to get them to defend this teaching can be a way to help open them up.

  • peacefulpete

    Narkissos did you note the Shem-Tob Matt 11:11?

    Howard argues that Shem Tov did not create the Hebrew Matthew himself (e.g., translating from the Latin) but had an existing Hebrew text to work with-as he sometimes comments on its scribal errors and strange readings. Matt 11:11 is a good case in point, as the Greek, Latin, and all other Matthean witnesses contain the qualifying phrase: "nonetheless, the least in the Kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Shem Tov comments on the unique Hebrew version he is following, and how its lack of such a phrase implies that John is greater than Jesus. If he were translating from the Latin, Greek, or any other version such a comment would be meaningless.

    More evidence that JtB legends were the source for many of the tales and logion?

  • metatron

    Beyond all the scholarly arguements, it hit me as a shock to simply see how Jesus and the early disciples avoided

    using Yahweh or Jehovah at all, even when they had every opportunity to do so. You start with "Our Father, hallowed

    be thy name" - in which Jesus preferred Father! John failed to use Jehovah in his 3 letters, even in the New World

    Translation. Paul spoke about "One God, the Father ... and one Lord". Jesus could have inserted "Yahweh" into

    the famous transliteration "Eli, eli lama sabachthani" by quoting a different scripture that used the name - but he didn't!

    Scriptures about Jesus making God's name "manifest" do not mean that he told them the name "Yahweh" - a name

    they already were aware of ( because they had personal names derived from it, Elijah, Mattanyahu, etc.)

    I was stunned by the fraud in which the Society fails to tell you that Jews in the 1st century already didn't use the

    "Divine Name" as shown by quotes from Josephus and the Dead Sea Scrolls.


  • slimboyfat

    I am surprised at the mistake Leolaia makes in the following statement:

    Citing the "J documents" as part of a textual apparatus, on par with actual textual authorities, is probably the most amateurish aspect of the overall project (which at other times does reflect more responsible methodology), especially when the Society says that they "avoid overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis" by only inserting "Jehovah" into the NT where the "Hebrew versions" do so as well.

    While the "J documents" are cited along with ancient MSS and sources in footnotes, it is made abundantly clear in the introduction to the 1950 edition, as well as elsehwere when the matter is dicussed, that the NWTTC has not viewed these documents as "on a par" with Greek MS witnesses such as the Vaticanus. It is clearly explained that the primary criterion upon which the divine name is restored to the text is whether an OT passage containing the name is being quoted or strongly alluded to. The "J documents" were only ever invoked as evidence that other translators, when faced with the same problem of where to restore the divine name, often came to similar conclusions. They are cited with a similar intent as to how other English versions are quoted to show that other translators have viewed such controversial verses as John 1:1; John 5:58; Luke 23:43 and Rom 9:5 in a similar way.

    It is disreputable reviewers of the NWT such as Lundquist, Countess, Martin and others who have claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses are using the "J documents" as "on a par with" ancient authorities. The Witnesses themselves have never made such strong caims for the Hebrew versions.


  • lv4fer

    What a great post. I am so glad to see stuff like this. These are the types of post that get truth seeking individuals to really think.

  • JeffT

    Drew makes a good point. The WTBS goes to great lengths to talk about how we can trust the text of the bible that we have today because it was copied so carefully, then they turn around and say that they had to fix all the things that "apostates" did to it. I beleive that they have said that Jehovah "protected" the Bible to keep it accurate - but some how he couldn't keep his own name from being taken out of it!

  • AK - Jeff
    AK - Jeff
    The "J documents" were only ever invoked as evidence that other translators, when faced with the same problem of where to restore the divine name, often came to similar conclusions. They are cited with a similar intent as to how other English versions are quoted to show that other translators have viewed such controversial verses as John 1:1; John 5:58; Luke 23:43 and Rom 9:5 in a similar way.

    SBF - Whilst that may be clear to you, or to others who look at the matter deeply and carefully, it is not obvious to the average dub. I was an 'average dub' for 43 years, and I never questioned beyond the surface this issue. Dubs accept wholesale the premises used without looking at such premises carefully. I would suspect that if 50 run of the mill Witnesses were asked to identify the premises and argumentation to support the insertion of the Divine Name into the NWT Greek Scriptures, not a single one would even know that the J references are taken from later translations. Certainly the information about that is there - but it is essensially concealed from the Witness R&F, due to the lack of education, and the blinding myths of Divine Selection that override their every thought - not to mention the dangers always expressed to them of looking too carefully and beginning to 'question Jehovah'.

    IMO - even with the basic facts there, it is still dishonest due to these factors. They know that no respectable Bible scholars take the NWT seriously to begin with - it is there to hold Witnesses captive, not others.


  • Sirona

    Thankyou Auldsoul and others for this fascinating information. I realise I have barely scratched the surface of this issue.

    The listener:

    This is one of those things that blew me away when I first learned it. I went from high and mighty and smarter than thou to embarrassed, duped and foolish

    I agree completely. The average JW (and I was the average JW) thinks that they are so well educated in scripture. They couldn't be further from the truth.


  • Leolaia

    slimboyfat....Yes, I was talking about the textual apparatus itself, where you find things like J 7, 8 being cited on par with LXX P. Fouad Inv. 266 (neither of which are MS witnesses of the text in question) in Acts 3:22 where the uniform Greek text has kurios, or Acts 8:24 where they cite the witnesses as: " 'Jehovah,' J 7, 8, 10, 13, 15-18, 22-23 ; AB (Gr.), ton Ky'rion; DVg mss Sy h, p , 'God' ". In both cases (and in many others), they favor the "Hebrew versions" over the Greek MSS, but even citing the late J documents as MS witnesses in the apparatus by itself strikes me as quite amateurish. But what really struck me in that regard is their statement about "avoiding overstepping the bounds of a translator into the field of exegesis" when they describe themselves as DOING JUST THAT in the previous sentence ("we have referred back to the Hebrew text to ascertain whether the divine name appears there [to determine] ... the identity to give Kyrios and Theos and the personality with which to clothe them"). But such blatent exegesis is OKAY, they say, because they only insert "Jehovah" in the NT when the "Hebrew versions" do so as well (evidently utilizing the earlier exegesis of others): "We have looked for agreement from the Hebrew versions to confirm our rendering" (p. 1565). I know quite well as you note correctly that they claim that the "primary criterion" is "whether an OT passage contains the name is being quoted or strongly alluded to", and that the J documents are claimed to only confirm their "rendering".

    But I do not mistake this claimed methodology for the one that they actually used since -- as I noted in previous posts -- they frequently insert "Jehovah" into the NT in places where no scripture is being quoted or alluded to. What OT scripture is being quoted or "strongly" alluded to in Luke 5:17, or Acts 13:2, or Acts 16:24, or Romans 14:8? These are cases among many others that at best have only similar thought as OT texts (e.g. "I will praise Jehovah during my lifetime" in Psalm 146:2 is the cross-reference to "If we live, we live to Jehovah" in Romans 14:8; NWT) but which do not represent actual allusions, let alone quotations which is what the Society says they limit themselves to (p. 1564). (As an aside, note how the kurios in Romans 14:9 is not rendered "Jehovah" as it was three times in the previous verse in the NWT, even tho its reference to the "kurios of the living and dead" is directly based on the preceding statements about "dying for the kurios and living for the kurios so that alive or dead we belong to the kurios"; this is because the kurios in v. 9 explicitly refers to Christ who "both died and came to life"). On the other hand, in nearly every instance they interpolate "Jehovah" in the NT (236 out of 237 instances), they follow the "Hebrew versions" (originally there were two other cases without support, but they later found Hebrew versions for them). This tells me that their use of these versions was not merely confirmatory, but as a principal authority -- justifying the inclusion of "Jehovah" even where no quotation or allusion exists. And as another aside, two insertions of "Jehovah" in Jude (v. 9 and v. 14-15), as I pointed out, occur in quotations from extrabiblical pseudepigrapha that have OT intertexts (which the Society mistakes as being the actual texts being quoted by Jude), and there is no evidence that either pseudepigraphal book used YHWH to refer to God.

  • Badger

    As I recall, most bible translations go through some sort of peer review in theological circles, much like scientific theories and historical second sources. I know how secretive the GB is, but what do others in the bible translation biz have to say about it?

Share this