New World Translation on Jeporady

by moomanchu 19 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • moomanchu

    Is this true, e-mail I got from mom, sounds like BS to me.

    Recently on Jeopardy on TV...One of the questions was.....What is

    >the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures?? No one got the >correct answer, so Alex Trebek said "New World Translation of the Holy >Scriptures, printed by Watchtower Bible Tract Society.... ] >This following is worth reading! Maybe even putting a copy of it in >your book bag!!! > > >Book: "TRUTH IN TRANSLATION: ACCURACY AND BIAS IN ENGLISH >TRANSLATIONS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT" >Author: Jason David BeDuhn is the Associate Professor of >Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He holds >a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana, an >M.T.S. in New Testament and Christian Origins form Harvard Divinity >School, and a >Ph.D. in Comparative Study of Religions form Indiana >University, Bloomington. >The Nine English Translations Compared in BeDuhn's book are >: > >- The King James Version (KJV) >- The Amplified Bible (AB) >- The Living Bible (LB) >- The New American Bible (NAB) >- The New American Standard Bible (NASB) >- The New International Version (NIV) >- The New World Translation (NW) >- The (New) Revised Standard Version (NRSV) >- Today's English Version (TEV) >Excerpts from his book : >Chapter Four : Examples of translation of the Greek word >"proskuneo", used 58 times in the New Testament. The word is translated >various ways as worship, do obeisance, fall down on one's knees, bow >before. >Scriptures discussed include Matt. 18:26; Rev. 3:9; Mark 15:18,19; Matt >2:1, 2, 8,11; Matt 14:33; Matt 28:9, "... in our exploration of this >issue, we can >see how theological bias has been the determining context >for the choices made by all of the translations except the NAB and NW... >translators seem to feel the need to add to the New Testament support >for the idea that Jesus was recognized to be God." >Regarding Matt. 28:16, 17, where all versions except the NW use >"worship" >where the NW uses "did obe isance": "Here all translations except the NW >have recourse to "worship" -- a rendering which makes no sense in this >context... This contradiction seems to be missed by all the translators >except those who prepared the NW." >Chapter Five : A discussion of Philippians 2:5-11: "The NW >translators.. have understood "harpagmos" accurately as grasping at >something one does not have, that is, a "seizure." The literary context >supports the NW translation (and refutes the KJV's "thought it not >robbery to be >equal)..." >Chapter Seven : A discussion on Col. 1: 15-20: "It is a >tricky passage where every translation must add words." "The LB >translator is guilty of all the doctrinal importation discussed above >with reference to the NIV, NRSV, and TEV, and even surpasses them in >this respect. So it is the NIV, NRSV, TEV and LB -- the four Bibles >that make no attempt to mark added words - that actually add the most >significant tendentious material. >Yet in many public forums on Bible translation, the practice of these >four translations is rarely if ever pointed to or criticized, while the >NW is attacked for adding the innocuous "other" in a way that clearly >indicates its character as an addition of the Trans lators... But the NW >is correct. >"Other" is implied in "all", and the NW simply makes what is implicit >explicit.. >It is ironic that the translation >of Col. 1:15-20 that has received the >most criticism is the one where the "added words" are fully justified by >what is implied in the Greek." >Chapter Eight : A discussion on Titus 2:13; 2 Thess 1:12; 2 >Peter 1:1, 2: "... the position of those who insist "God" and "Savior" >must refer to the same being.. is decidedly weakened." >Chapter Nine : A discussion of Hebrews 8:1: "so we must >conclude that the more probable translation is "God is your throne..., " >the translation found in the NW... It seems likely that it is only >because most translations were made by people who already believe that >Jesus is God that the less probable way of translating this verse has >been preferred." >Chapter Ten : A discussion on John 8:58: "Both the LB and the >NW offer translations that coordinate the two verbs in John 8:58 >according to proper English syntax, and that >accurately reflect the >meaning of the Greek idiom. The other translations fail to do this." >"There is absolutely nothing in the original Greek of John 8:58 to >suggest that Jesus is quoting the Old Testament here, contrary to what >the TEV tries to suggest by putting quotations marks around "I am."" >"The majority of translations recognize these idiomatic uses >of "I am", and properly integrate the words into the context of the >passages where they appear. Yet when it comes to 8:58, they suddenly >forget how to translate." "All the translations except the LB and NW >also ignore the true relation between the verbs of the sentence and >produce a sentence that makes no sense in English. These changes in the >meaning of the Greek and in the normal procedure for translation point >to a bias that has interfered with the work of the translators." "No >one listening >to Jesus, and no one reading John in his own time would >have picked up on a divine self-identification in the mere expression "I >am," which, if you think about, is just about the most common >pronoun-verb combination in any language." "The NW... understands the >relation between the two verbs correctly.. The average Bible reader >might never guess that there was something wrong with the other >translations, and might even assume that the error was to be found in >the.. NW." >Chapter Eleven : A discussion of John 1:1: "Surprisingly, >only one, the NW, adheres to the literal meaning of the Greek, and >translates "a god." "Translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, NASB, AB, >TEV and LB all approached the text at John 1:1 already believing certain >things about the Word... and made sure that the translations came out in >accordance with their beliefs. ... >Ironically, some of these same >scholars are quick to charge the NW translation with "doctrinal bias" >for translating the verse literally, free of KJV influence, following >the sense of the Greek. It may very well be that the NW translators >came to the task of translating John 1:1 with as much bias as the other >translators d id. It just so happens that their bias corresponds in >this case to a more accurate translation of the Greek" "Some early >Christians maintained their monotheism by believing that the one God >simply took on a human form and came to earth -- in effect, God the >Father was born and crucified as Jesus. >They are entitled to their belief, but it cannot be derived legitimately >from the Gospel according to John." >"John himself has not formulated a Trinity concept in his >Gospel." >"All that we can ask is that a translation be an accurate >starting point >for exposition and interpretation. Only the NW achieves that, as >provocative as it sounds to the modern reader. The other translations >cut off the exploration of the verse's meaning before it has even >begun." >Chapter Twelve : A discussion of holy spirit: "In Chapter >Twelve, no translation emerged with a perfectly consistent and accurate >handling of the many uses and nuances of "spirit" and "holy spirit." >The NW scored highest in using correct impersonal forms of the relative >and demonstrative pronouns consistently with the neuter noun "holy >spirit," and in adhering to the indefinite expression "holy spirit" in >those few instances when it was used by the Biblical authors." >Summary : "... it can be said that the NW emerges as the most >accurate of the translations compared...the translators managed to >produce works relatively more >accurate and less biased than the >translations produced by multi-denominational teams, as well as those >produced by single individuals" "Jehovah's Witnesses... really sought >to re-invent Christianity from scratch... building their system of >belief and practice from the raw material of the Bible without >predetermining what was to be found there. Some critics, of course, >would say that the results of this pra ctice can be naive. But for >Bible translation, at least, it has meant a fresh approach to the text, >with far less presumption than that found in may of the Protestant >translations." >"...Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of >the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original >expressions of the New Testament." >Commenting on bias in translation : "To me, it expresses a >lack of courage, a fear that the Bible does >not back up their "truth" >enough. To let the Bible have its say, regardless of how well or poorly >that say conforms to expectations or accepted forms of modern >Christianity is an exercise in courage or, to use another word for it, >faith."

  • lisavegas420

    dagnamit...I should have asked Alex when we saw him at the fleamarket.

    I've heard this rumor before...I could find no evidence of any truth to it.


  • Zico

    The Jeopardy story is almost certainly made up.

    The Jason David BeDuhn one is partly true, there was a thread on him here recently. He's anti-Trinitarian, so he prefers the NWT's bias translation against Jesus' deity. He claims other translations are bias in their support of the Trinity, even if he's right, the Society didn't translate any of those pro-Trinitarian scriptures for scholarly reasons, they did it to support their doctrine.

    I believe he does criticise the NWT in other sections. Most scholars would disagree with him as well, of course, JWs would ignore them, and claim they're wrong, but get a scholar like BeDuhn, who agrees with them, and they'll love highlighting his scholarly credentials.

  • moomanchu

    Thanks for the replies.

    I hate getting these e-mails from relatives I'm sick and tired and too lazy

    to try to convince my JW relatives of anything anymore.

    I was just hoping that someone would have seen this before and would have

    a quick and easy come back that I in turn could send back to them.

  • El Kabong
    El Kabong

    The Jeopardy story most certainly is TOTAL BS. Many Biblical Scholars generally regard the King James version the "most accurate translation", but even that is debatable among biblical scholars. The NWT would NOT even be considered..........Second, why are the listening or quoting the "worldly person" named Jason David BeDuhn, whoever the heck he is. If he was a witness, they would consider him an apostate. Makes no sense, therefore, it's total BS.

  • Narkissos

    The same e-mail was posted a few weeks ago I think, with some interesting discussion of particular points following... however for the lack of a working search function on this site, it is lost, unless the thread starter sees this topic and remembers.

    From previous discussions on BeDuhn's book, I gather he is also critical of the NWT, especially on the issue of introducing "Jehovah" into the NT. I guess this will never appear in JW reviews...

  • bigdreaux

    the bible is up to interpretation. everyone says their version is more correct. even if it's true that a GAME SHOW says it's true, doesn't mean ANYTHING!!!!!!!!!! where are the facts to back it up. i don't even believe in the bible anymore, but, i can see that this has no meaning even if i did. like it was pointed out, witnesses jump on peoples quotes when it fits their needs. when it doesn't, no matter how valid, they discard it. truly, these are sad, misled, immature people.

  • Will Power
    Will Power

    I can vouch for the email going around - it prompted my spouse to order the book, and is reading it now.

    It is very pro NWT, but has an appendix about the inaccuracy of adding the word Jehovah to the New Testament.

    One thing I noticed in the book is how he talks about translation verses interpretation thenalso gives his reasons for agreeing with a certain translation using his interpretation!

    also for anyone who has to deal with comments from Jeopardy watchers like... "see the JW translation is the best - na na nana na" REMIND THEM that this same expert show has the Fall of Jerusalem at 586. Eyeballs were popping the day that question was on!

    and Jason David BeDuhn is baffled why they'd add the jehovah word to the NT when it clearly does not belong. Something that JWs love to brag about.


  • erandir

    I actually have a copy of the book. He makes a compelling argument for the NWT, but also there are a few things he points out about it that aren't so great, too. It's a good read.

  • Shepherd Book
    Shepherd Book

    The Jeopardy thing is definitely false, for the simple reason that ALEX DOESN'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS! He provides answers, and contestants supply the questions.

  • SirNose586
    The Jeopardy thing is definitely false, for the simple reason that ALEX DOESN'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS! He provides answers, and contestants supply the questions.

    Great point. I've never gotten that little email, or heard tell of it, but I'll be prepared for it when it does come...

  • Highlander


    New world translation


    What is the least accurate bible translation in history?
  • moomanchu

    Once again thanks guys.

    Here is my blatantly plagarized lazy response to my mom,

    Recently on Jeopardy on TV...One of the questions was.....What is >the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures?? No one got the >correct answer, so Alex Trebek said "New World Translation of the Holy >Scriptures, printed by Watchtower Bible Tract Society.... ]

    I don't believe this Jeopardy thing, for the simple reason that ALEX DOESN'T ASK ANY QUESTIONS! He provides answers, and contestants supply the questions. I'm too lazy and don't have the time to look up all the points from that e-mail you sent about the New World Translation and the Jeopardy show. The bible is up to interpretation. Everyone says their version is more correct. Jason David BeDuhn says in his book that he is baffled why Jehovahs name is added to the NT,also it has an appendix about the inaccuracy of adding the word Jehovah to the New Testament. So really you shouldn't be using this guy for any references or quotes. For comments from Jeopardy watchers like....... "see the JW translation is the best - this same expert show has the Fall of Jerusalem at 586.
    Witnesses jump on peoples quotes when it fits their needs, when it doesn't, no matter how valid, they discard it. I have faith in Jesus and Jehovah's word the bible what else do I need.
  • Gopher

    >> Game show fan here !!

    In all the years I've watched Jeopardy, the answers-and-questions given dealt with FACTS, not opinions or ideas.

    This e-mail cannot be accurate, unless the Jeopardy answer was stated in the form: "According to author or professor Jason David BeDuhn, this is the most accurate translation of the scriptures".

    Even that would seem to be very unlikely.

  • Borgia

    Here's the thread">



  • jeeprube

    Sure it's true, and smurf dolls get up and walk out of meetings all the time.

  • OnTheWayOut

    When a JW friend sent me this same email, I got the answer you are looking for.

    Here's my thread:

    Here's my first entry:

    So I get an email from a JW, good friend. He sends a bulk mail that was sent to him and spread around.
    Notice the main content:

    Subject: Fw: Bible Accuracy Recently on Jeopardy on TV, the questions was- What is the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures?
    No one got the correct answer, so Alex Trebek said "New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, printed
    by Watchtower Bible Tract Society.
    So here was my answer: I researched Jeopardy archives, pretty easy to do. The site is Just search for "Bible" and all
    the questions for a year or more come up. Search "New World Translation" and nothing comes up. This
    would be an opinion question, not a fact question, so they would avoid such a question. There was no such
    question with Alex saying "New World Translation." I googled the subject and it is discussed in various places
    on the web. This is the best possible reason why this untrue statement is circulating:
    it's a POWERPOINT GAME someone made up and posted on the internet and called it "Theology Jeopardy."
    It isn't the TV Jeopardy, and any common sense adult thinking person would know they would never endorse
    one over the other. For all we know, a Jw posted it and then used it as proof. Be careful what you email. Don't assume it's true because you read it.
  • Narkissos

    (and from there the link to an earlier and deeper discussion of BeDuhn).

  • AlmostAtheist

    >>What is the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures?

    The quick-killer on this one is the fact that Jeopardy doesn't ask questions, it gives answers. It would have been "This is the most accurate translation of the Holy Scriptures". Of course "Holy Scriptures" is a phrase I seriously doubt they would have used, since that could mean the Koran or the Book of Mormon, or whatever you consider holy.

    I wrote to that Bible translator guy (DeBuhn? BeDuhn?) asking if the quote of his they used was accurate and in context. He replied that it was, but didn't comment further. Apparently they didn't misrepresent him.


  • BluesBrother

    A detailed review of the book that shows that he had both good and bad things to say about NWT

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