New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

by Quendi 64 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TD
    TD
    What they thought of as "translation" was making certain the reading of a conventional scripture came out on their side of things. That is fraud. Or, to be as kind as possible: intellectual malfeasance or ideology.

    I agree. JuanMiguel did a really excellent thread on the absolute importantance of transparency in the translation process and doing everything humanly possible not only to avoid bias, but to avoid even the appearance of it:

    http://www.jehovahs-witness.net/watchtower/bible/206981/1/Translating-the-NWT-in-the-Shadows

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I don't believe a regular seminary course is sufficient. Graduate work, focusing solely on the language, needs to be done. French drive me crazy, memorizing le masculin and le feminine form for words. Gender assigned to words like fish, ball, game, you name something sexless and it has a gsender.

    Connotations are hard for me, as I posted. Even when I use an English theasaurs I see the list. When they are compared to each other, my gut fills in which one is preferable, from a gestalt understanding of American English. Reading the definitions is helpful but I rely on my gut for coloration, elegance, etc. Then I had to learn the idiomatic expressions that make no sense to someone outside the culture. After learning them, I can't remember one right now as an example. They are useless to translate word for word.

    The WT has decent English but many times it is so stilted and written exclusively in one voice, I wonder if some foreigner is writing it for propaganda, just the way my brother's English Maoist items were.

    I watch C-Span history a lot. The profs always refer to other profs' works or cite a particular prof for the best research in that area. The arrogance floors me. I guess by credentials I have a better education than Franz but I would never assume what he assumed. The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi find were both translated by teams of scholars. International teams.

    Personally, I feel the NWT and many other translations have lost the majesty of the English language in a bid to dumb it down. Soon, we will have Dick and Jane, which was a text book series that taught reading skills to American children. See, Spot, SEE. Look at Puff. Look how Spot sees Fluff.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    It is indeed unfortunate that F.W. Franz did not have more formal education, because what he did receive was just enough to make him dangerous - particularly in the field of linguistics.

    Rather than being an unrelated matter, I would have thought that - as with any reference work - the credentials of its author (or translator) would be the very starting point of establishing its credibility. Certainly, all the reference works in my home library (mainly to do with the mechanical and elecrical engineering sciences) were carefully selected with that in mind.

    As to those "better educated men" who have "done worse", to have been better educated that Fred Franz would not have been too difficult:

    - one could have gone further than he did at university, and yet still only have a minimal education. (The old saying about "In the Land of the Blind, a One-eyed Man Rules Supreme" comes to mind here!)

    Any bible translation whose principal (or maybe only?) translator fell out of college after only a few years is to be treated with extreme caution. (In saying this, I realize that I risk the ire of those many JWs - such as I once was - who believe Frederick Franz to be one of "The World's foremost scholars of Greek and Hebrew")

    Bill.

  • Joey Jo-Jo
    Joey Jo-Jo

    There are rumours going around that the NWT is based on another vesion of the bible which I dont recall its name, that the author used spirit mediums to write the bible, is that true?

  • TD
    TD

    Bill,

    You make a good point and I understand and agree with it. I wouldn't waste money on an engineering manual that wasn't written by a credentialed expert and I sure as hell wouldn't stake my professional reputation and livelihood on the ideas of an amatuer.

    Translation isn't that sort of hard science though. Translations are all different in various ways and there's a lot of plurality of thought among scholars. That's why there are so many different translations.

    If the academic credentials of Frederick Franz are really the issue here, would you accept the credentials of Rolf Furuli instead? He's a Ph.D. in semetic languages and very proficient in ancient Greek. --Very active on B-Greek and defends the NWT more often than not.

    I doubt if most critics of the NWT would accept his opinion either. The issue would soon morph from one of credentials into one of objectivity.

    Well the truth is, there's an awful lot of subjectivity out there. A conservative evangelical scholar would no more allow that the NWT's rendering might fall into the range of semantic possibilities than a JW District Overseer would allow that perhaps JW leaders are not "the faithful slave" after all. --Just not gong to happen.

    To those who think Franz was utterly incapable of even translating Greek, I'm curious. Most critics of the NWT acknowledge that the KIT is better in a number of ways. Where do you think the KIT came from? Was it plagiarized? If so, from where?

  • TD
    TD

    Joey-Jo Jo

    There are rumours going around that the NWT is based on another vesion of the bible which I dont recall its name, that the author used spirit mediums to write the bible, is that true?

    That would be The New Testament by Johannes Greber. Greber was a Catholic priest turned spirit medium who produced his own translation with the help of these alleged spirits in 1937. It was not the basis for the NWT, but Greber's renderings were quoted in support of it -- even after his methods were known. ---Very embarrassing...

  • PSacramento
    PSacramento

    I don'tknow how things were back then, but lets be honest here for a minute.

    IF someone who had various translations availbel to them, various lexicons and conconrdances availabe to them AND time AND resources, can not virtually anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew and greek, put forth their OWN translation of the bible?

    I believe the answer would be yes.

    They would start with a core translation, one that they agree with in base and the passages that they feel they need to "tweak" they look up the other ways it has been translated and if they don't find one that agrees with their view, they look for a different yet acceptable meaning for the words or a given word that wil change the meaning and still be "textual correct" or "grammatically correct".

    Most if not all greek words have more than one meaning and can be shaped to mean other than what it typically means and still be "correct".

    I believe that, basically, is what they did.

  • Terry
    Terry

    IF someone who had various translations availbel to them, various lexicons and conconrdances availabe to them AND time AND resources, can not virtually anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of Hebrew and greek, put forth their OWN translation of the bible?

    I believe the answer would be yes.

    This could be done and has been done. The bible has even been done AS A NOVEL!

    Go to "The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel" page

    The Book of God: The Bible as a Novel (Hardcover) by Walter Wangerin

  • PSacramento
    PSacramento

    Well, there you have it, LOL!

    Thanks Terry.

    But I am sure that Walter doesn't pass off his novel as the ONLY and MOST correct translation of the bible.

    See, I don't really have that many issues with the NWT, other than what was INSERTED such as Jehovah and the bracket "other" we get, the use of torture stake and silliness of that nature.

    Every translation has it bias, there are still some older ones that have Jehovah in the OT ( but not the NT of course), even though it has been recognised as "incorrect" gramatically, something that even the WTBTS admits.

  • TD
    TD

    There's not a whole lot of academic review of the NWT, (Despite what both JW's and their critics say) because scholars generally have better things to do with their time. Those who have expressed opinions ranged from Julius Mantey who denounced it as evil and corrupt to Jason BeDuhn who appears to like it.

    But no one (To my knowledge) who was able to speak from a position of authority has ever claimed it was forged, faked or plagiarized.

    There was a participant on this board some of you may remember who went by the screen name, Narkissos. He holds the equivalent of a Ph.D. in linguistics and was a professional translator. I believe he had actually assisted a little bit with the French NWT. His most consistent criticism, at least in comments he made to me, was that the NWT was overtranslated. And by this he meant that verb tenses were often painfully emphasized at the expense of nuances, like the proto-gnosticism in John.

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