I'm sure quite a few of you on the board remember the KM that discouraged learning the biblical languages. Well, here are scans of this newer article from the Nov Public WT. Very boring read with little direct prohibitions (understandable since its for outsiders), but still a bit of an eye roller with their reasons for not bothering to learn them. Sorry I couldn't provide something more fun to tear into (and for not making the links active...I'm using fedora and firefox)
Do You Need to Learn Hebrew and Greek? (WT 11/01/09)
So, I'm guessing this article excuses the New World Translation committee from knowing any Hebrew or Greek. Job done.
Wow. So lets discourage people from even trying to verify what the GB teaches. I can't think of a more noble way to demonstrate your desire to learn more about the bible then to attempt to learn Hebrew or Greek.
Then they have the balls to actually say what they really mean for once.
"In the meantime, the old adage may prove true, A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." (pg 21 of WT, 2nd link provided in Narkissos post)
Real knowledge is dangerous... only to the power that the GB wants to keep over their flock.
C U L T!
I guess they MIGHT discourage it, based on YOUR examples!
Such nonsense; we are ALWAYS studying it- not as a course, but when discussing any biblical subject...
You are Legends in your own minds... (Dirty Harry)
:Do You Need to Learn Hebrew and Greek?
Even if you do, you still have to master the art of understanding Bible gibberish. Not an easy thing to do, since it is full of it.
Merci Narkissos. :)
Your one liner is apt for The GB. But shame on me for now stooping to insults. I'm sorta sorry.
I earnestly urge you to continue studying the bible and get a hold of the kingdom interlinear edition if you can find an old one. Wonder why they stopped printing that?
No, I believe one does not need to undertake such a study if one is moved, by some motivational impulse, to accept the Bible as a book of Christian values and perceptions. Perfectly acceptable translations are available reflecting differing viewpoints, from extreme conservative to extremely liberal. I believe we must have the right to investigate the competence and the value judgments that these translators brought to their work. A so-called "translator" of the Bible who comes to my door but who refuses to devulge either his identity or proof of competence, better be quick to change his mind before I get off my couch and throw the bum out.
Having said that, however, if someone is moved by some motivational impulse to do such a study, I believe we ought to encourage such an individual. There will never be enough men and women competent in these ancient languages. Their creativity and collective wisdom will always be welcome in the rich world of Christian debate and discussion.
If I may be indulged a personal recollection.
I Recall telling my CO in confidence that I had this indefinable urge to study NT Greek. [Hebrew was an unfathomable mystery to me] It was something I could neither explain nor expand on, although I rather suspected that I did have reason enough. I did not tell him that I was becoming suspicious of the writing style of the NW "T" and that I was beginning to suspect that this "translation" was in fact merely a transcription into Watchtowerese, the patois spoken at Bethel HQ, from another English Version.
Rather than being encouraging, he was alarmed and tried various persuasions to deter me. He used incentives such as an implied promise of higher responsibilities, to dire warnings of official retribution, none of which worked. This was back in 1980, when I was younger and had a lot more spunk than I have now. I did do such a study in our local Bible college at night school over two years, without of course telling him. I never regretted it. Ever.
It was enough however, to convince me that the "translators" of NW "T" had produced their version simply for the purpose of transforming the Bible from an independent voice into a pliant whore, using it to make it say whatever they wanted it to say.
Oddly enough, I know less about the NT and the richness of its revelation than when I first started this study almost a generation ago.
Hmmmm..Lessee...where does the predicate go at 2Tim 3:16? Isit "All Scripture is inspired", or isit "All inspired scripture is.." Ahhh well... Mabel? watsferlunch?
The basic reasoning of that article is that "learning Greek and Hebrew is so hard, and the results so inaccurate that it is not worth doing". That attitude shows a general mental and spiritual laziness of the WT. It is heavily manifested in the NWT, which lacks any evidence of scholarship behind it. And why should it? That would be doubleminded for the WT to discourage scholarship while secretly having scholars of its own.
It is one thing to be able to translate from one language to another, but of greater significance is to comprehend the culture of the times, and to ensure we do not translate our culture into theirs. This understanding of their lives, their idioms, their beliefs, the political, geographic and religious environments, and so on may be discovered by reading reliable reference sources that are written in English.
The authors of Scripture were writing to their own immediate readership, for their own purposes, often as propaganda, using the understandings of the times, often making mistakes, putting slants on the record, and so on. These aspects are not discovered simply by learning another set of words and associated grammar.
The meanings of their words can reasonably be deduced by reading a cross-section of reliable translations (but, I suggest, paraphrased versions should not be taken as providing definitive answers).