As some of you know by now, I spent Sunday, 7 August, renewing ties with a dear friend. We're both disfellowshipped, the difference between us being he is seeking reinstatement and I am not. We got into some very spirited discussions on different Bible topics and one of them was the value of the New World Translation itself. My friend was rather surprised that I was still using it in light of my telling him I had no intention of returning to the organization.
"Well, you know the New World Translation was produced by real Bible scholars," he said. "Oh, which scholars?" I asked. "Well, Frederick Franz, for one. That man was a genius!" "Well, he may have been a genius," I replied, "but he was no Bible languages scholar. That much is certain. He studied koine Greek for only two years and never learned Hebrew or Aramaic. He was no more a language scholar than you and I are."
I saw this exchange as one more example of how the WTS has lied about or obscured its past. In the case of the New World Translation, this was easy to do since it has consistently refused to reveal the names of the translation committee. Thus, it would be easy to allow the rank and file to believe that Franz was an accredited and recognized expert on biblical languages even when he was no such thing.
I told my friend that I used ten different Bible translations in my reading and studying now. The WTS does not want rank and file Witnesses to do so. When he countered with the fact that different translations are quoted or cited in the publications I told him that was generally not true of the Watchtower study articles or other pieces in the study versions of the magazine. A different Bible version might be occasionally referenced, but mainly the WTS stuck to the New World Translation to enforce its own orthodoxy. But to me, the most interesting point of all this was the belief that Fred Franz was a first-class Bible scholar.