An unbelievable quote by the JW's about the New World Translation

by isnrblog 18 Replies latest jw friends

  • steve2
    Its all very circular.

    I agree. Translations of the Bible are unavoidably influenced by the translators beliefs and, in turn, the resulting translations themselves influence people's beliefs. Round and round and round it goes, century by century by cxentury, millenium in and millenium out. And we're expected to accept that the latestof endless numbers of translations faithfully adheres to the "original copies". Dah!

  • isnrblog

    They were not really "up front".

    The Bible is a mythical book and by its very nature, it is gauranteed to be interpreted a thousand differant ways. There is no proof God wrote the Bible or that Jesus ever lived.

    This statement is surprising to me as a recent ex Witness. It's definitly true, but I would not expect it from the JW's.

    Further, saying that their translation is spun by their theology and justifying it is not exactly honest.


  • isnrblog

    Agreed and exactly my point.

  • kool aid man06
    kool aid man06

    The last paragraph on page 480 of this August 1,1962 Watchtower states--"To get an objective view of the matter,in exploring questions such as these it is best to use the nonsectarian and nonreligious Hebrew-English and Greek-English dictionaries,instead of those that have been produced by some religious denomination". How is this to be reconciled with the question box in the September 2007 Kingdom Ministry? Have they received "new light" once again? It seems that all their "new light" is so bright that it has completely blinded them!

  • sir82

    If it's written, you translate what is written, you don't interject or correct what you are translating...

    I suspect you speak only one language - or at the very least, have no experience translating?

    How would you translate the following phrases into [pick your language]:

    "I have a frog in my throat"

    "He's about 3 cards short of a full deck"

    "You can't add too much water to the reactor"

    The first 2 are idiomatic expressions - if you translate them literally into any other language, it would look strange, to say the least.

    The 3rd one - does it mean "You'd better not add too much water - there'll be big trouble if you do", or does it mean "add as much water as you like - it is impossible to add too much water". Completely opposite meanings from a vague sentence, depending on...wait for it...interpretation.

    Bible writers wrote in the informal vernacular of the day, using many idiomatic expressions, and also wrote many utterly vague sentences (heck utterly vague books for that matter). They had no concern whatsoever about easy or difficult it would be to translate their ideas into then-non-existent languages thousands of years in the future.

    I agree with the posters above - a truly objective translation of a book as varied and complex as the bible is virtually impossible.

  • isnrblog

    Again, I agree. My post was intended to show the Witnesses twisted view. I do not believe in the Bible, but they do, so any contradictions in their literature is fair game.

    My mother is french and we spoke both languages growing up so I do understand your illustration and it is a very powerful arguement.


  • B_Deserter

    The problem with interpretation is the nature of the Bible itself. Oftentimes, there is more than one english word or phrase that fits the Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic word. For example, John 1:1. Many people say that JWs were wrong in adding "a" to make it "a God." It would seem like they were adding a word, but there are no indefinite articles in Greek. Many ancient languages left out words and letters and those that were missing were implied by the context. The arguments on whether or not the context necessitates an "a" to be added are strong on both sides. Basically what it boils down to, is that Bible translation is all about guessing the original author's intent. Translating according to pre-conceived theology is necessary to fill in the gaps, or else such translations would be impossible.

  • isnrblog

    I think you are totally wrong. A translator with a good understanding of the contemporary language, customs and even slang of the period would do a better job.

    Someone with a preconceived theology is like a mathematician decided before hand that 2+2 would equal 5 and than building a mathematical argument to support it.

    Trying to translated the Bible, when you already believe a theology gaurantees innaccuracy.

    I actually don't give a s**t about the Bible. This line of discussion simply reinforces the idea that the Bible is innacurate and in effect meaningless because all translators have a theology. In fact, there is no proof that the Bible is even Gods word.

  • B_Deserter

    My point though is, are there any Bible translators who really know everything about the language? The slang and everything? Even when you're having a conversation on, say, instant messenger, it's easy to misinterpret what someone is writing, even though you're an actual speaker of that language. There are many english works that people get multiple meanings from. A translator who is the most familiar with the original languages will do a better job, for sure, but mistakes still can and will be made, because there's no way to tell if the author used a certain exception, or even slipped in the pen and made a grammatical error. If you're arguing for the "a God" position in John 1:1 using Greek grammar rules, there's always the possibility that someone along down the 1500-year line of copying and re-copying the passage might have made a mistake at one point. At some point, you have to guess at something. It may be an educated guess, but a guess nonetheless.

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