Frederick Franz, "Bible Scholar"

by Quendi 115 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    I used the older version of the New English Bible. The book fell apart. It needs to be rebound. My notes in the margins are precious. Right now I am trying to break in the New International Version.

    I don't like the more accessible language ones. Biblical language can be so majestic. I seem to be in a minority for my preference.

    Comparing different versions is great. Recently, my church had a small Bible Study group and we each brought our home Bibles. Hearing different translations widened by understanding. We had about five different versions.

    I've never seen the NWT in any recommended list.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    The prisoner explanation was that criminals can be highly intelligent and they certainly have incentive (overturn of conviction) and available time. I don't think they have much library time. The work I saw was better than what most lawyers could do.

    I was listening to NPR about Thoreau. The narrator said people had several trades back then, as opposed to now. They were Renaissance people.

    Personally, I find it so much easier to accomplish things surrounded by colleagues. I know I rage against the Witnesses but it is possible to perpetuate a cult and believe sincerely in what you preach.

  • Wonderment

    Band on the Run said: "I've never seen the NWT in any recommended list."

    That is not surprising. The NWT runs against popular doctrine. However, Alan S. Duthie (University of Legon) does recommend the NWT among some others. See below:

    "If you belong to a small group of serious students of the Bible who are trying to appreciate to learn the Hebrew or Greek languages, then you will appreciate the value of a 'crib' or 'gloss' translation, especially an interlinear one, or a relatively word-for-word one like the NASB, KJ2, NWT , YOUNG, DARBY, RV, DOUAY, Concordant." (Bible Translations and How to Choose Between Them, p. 67 )

    "For detailed word-studies and similar interests in the original languages, we suggest either a very literal version like NAS, NWT , LTB-KJ2; or preferably an interlinear version K[ingdom] I[nterlinear] Translation . Marshall]. (How to Choose Your Bible Wisely, p. 225)

  • hamsterbait

    There is a website that shows Freddie's credentials.

    He did a mere 15 hour entry level course in classical NOT biblical greek. he dropped out of university because he thought Armageddy was "imminent" around 1913. He was merely INVITED to apply to compete for the Rhodes scholarship.

    His "scholarship" in the litterature is of the same LOW standard as found in Hislop's "Two Babylons"

    I think the site is called "Watch the Tower" I recall I got this info on there or at least from one of the links.


  • Wonderment


    You made some interesting comments which reveal insight and value for the truth. I like your stand on the divine name which is similar to my undertanding of it. I believe it is a great loss to remove the divine name for petty reasons.

    In regards to Frederick Franz's knowledge of Hebrew and Greek, I tend to believe he had more knowledge of the "original" languages than he is credited for. There is only concrete knowledge that he studied two years of Greek, but there is some "incidental" knowledge that he knew far more than acknowledged. Even Raymond Franz, not a fond family member of Frederick, admitted to me that Frederick had the competence to tackle bible translation. He has also told countless others of his uncle's ability with languages, and his unusual mental discipline. In fact, he was often miffed by dubious evangelicals who took his note of his book on Franz's credentials and made it look like he had zero knowledge of Greek. In the quote below, keep in mind, Ray was fair, but had no fondness of Fred who was at least partly responsible for his disfellowshipping, and had a different personality that created friction with Ray's.

    This is what Raymond Franz literally said:

    "... Fred Franz studied Greek for two years at the University of Cincinnati, with high marks, and continued his studies personally thereafter. One need only read the critical notes accompanying the New World Translation to see the extent of his knowledge of Biblical Greek and its grammar. He was self-taught in Hebrew. However, knowing him personally I am satisfied that he was capable of developing a thorough knowledge of the language. He was unusually mentally disciplined. He taught himself Spanish, a language I spoke in Spanish-speaking countries for nearly 20 years. While in Brooklyn, I associated with a Spanish-speaking congregation that he attended. I heard his use of the language both there and, previously, in Spanish speaking countries. Whether in conversational expressions or in public talks that he gave in Spanish I did not once hear him make a single grammatical error. He similarly learned Portuguese and gave talks in that language. He knew German from his childhood (his father having been born in Germany).

    On one occasion, while in Cincinnati, I took Fred Franz ( he himself did not drive) to a Hebrew museum which he knew contained a particular Biblical Hebrew manuscript that he wished to research. I stood alongside him while he read through the portions of the Hebrew text he wished to investigate. While working on the Watch Tower's Bible dictionary Aid to Bible Understanding., on more than one occasion I had to seek out his assistance with reference to Hebrew renderings. He was always able to supply the needed information. In 1971, on a trip to Israel, we visited the Watch Tower's branch office located in Haifa. A member of the staff there, Dalia Erez, a young Jewish woman, native to the country, did Hebrew translation of the organization's publications. She spent part of one day discussing with Fred Franz certain translation problems she was experiencing and received his assistance and recommendations. She clearly found his knowledge of Hebrew solid.

    His knowledge of Hebrew was not equal to his knowledge of Greek and he was not an advanced or notable Hebrew scholar but his knowledge was sufficient to produce a creditable translation.



  • james_woods

    I believe the NWT's outstanding feature is the restoration of the Divine Name. Removing it in favor of titles is a crime.

    Crime? Crime against who - a cult who is obsessed with the name Jehovah?

    Restoration? It was inserted, not restored. There is no ancient evidence that it was ever there in the first place, nor that it was ever removed.

    Outstanding Feature? For sure - and isn't it interesting that the cult that did this is absolutely obsessed with this "divine name"?

  • Wonderment

    james woods:

    I think it was Quendi you quoted, who said to wobble: "I believe the NWT's outstanding feature is the restoration of the Divine Name. Removing it in favor of titles is a crime."

    I think the reference she made above of the divine name applied to the Hebrew portion, not the Greek portion. At least, that is how I took it.

    I believe it is a great loss to remove the divine name for petty reasons......Wonderment

    Thats funny..

    The name Jehovah is a Translation Mistake made by a 14th century Catholic monk..

    Franz adimited he used the name because it was the most popular..LOL!!..

    It`s a good thing the Catholics never named God "Chocolate Ice Cream Sunday with Nuts"..

    Freddy might have liked that name better..


  • Quendi


    You did indeed take my statements entirely out of context and without any understanding. That is most unfortunate. As for saying that the ancient texts did not contain the Divine Name, such a statement only reflects a profound ignorance. Thousands of manuscripts of the Old Testament exist which contain the tetragrammaton. It has also been found in copies of the Greek Septuagint version, a fact attested to by Jerome, translator of the Latin Vulgate. The only way to support your statement is to say that all of those manuscripts are fakes and forgeries. There is no evidence for that.

    Removing the Divine Name from the Bible is a crime, period. It was present there. And if a translator doesn't want to use "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" as a rendering, then s/he can simply transliterate the Hebrew letters and insert YHWH instead. There are some Bibles that have done just so. That would be preferable to lying to your readers. Substituting titles for a personal name is a lie, pure and simple. That is why I called removal of the Name a crime.

    I don't have any love for the WTS either. But I have not let my dislike for it cloud my judgment or induce me to make the kind of rants that have no substance. Please take the time to think objectively. If you can find any evidence to support your contention that the Divine Name was never present in the oldest manuscripts we have, then I'll listen to you gladly. But I very much doubt you will.


    Thank you for your remarks. I especially appreciate the additional information you shared about Fred Franz's background. I did not know about his studies in Hebrew and his continued education in koine Greek. He had some formal training in the latter, and with the resources available in the libraries both in Bethel as well as the city of New York, it is easy to see how he could have continued to expand and extend his knowledge. The testimony of Ray Franz is very important in clarifying this matter. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

    Yes, I was referring to the presence of YHWH in the Old Testament. I have given much thought to the NWT committee's use of the Name in the New Testament and I am not comfortable with it. That is because it is not present in the oldest and best manuscripts that we have. Since that is the case, it should be left out. However, as that same committee also noted, the NWT was not the first version of the New Testament to insert the Name into its text. There were many others translators who had done the same as the footnotes in the Reference NWT clearly show. So there is a precedent for it. But that precedent is not enough, in my opinion, to justify it. I would have preferred that the Greek kyrios be consistently rendered "Lord" with footnotes being used to explain why the committee feels that there are alternate renderings for it. Oh, by the way, I am a man, not a woman. But my handle has caused more than one person to think otherwise. ;-)


  • Wonderment

    Outlaw said: "The name Jehovah is a Translation Mistake made by a 14th century Catholic monk.."

    Have you ever made a list of Bible names and attempt to make a transliteration of their names into English? That would be a good exercise.

    Hint: The sweet name of "Jesus," as so many others in the Bible, do not exactly correspond to the original names. Sure, there is some uncertainty surrounding Jehovah's name when we try to transliterate the four consonants. However, other Hebrew names have vowels added later by scribes as a sort of help in pronunciation. But English names as found in our Bibles are generally quite different to the Hebrew ones. How many scholars do you know of that insist in using the closest Hebrew approximations?

    Since our Bibles do not follow the Hebrew or even Greek conventions, why should we then drop the name that appears more than all other names in the Bible? You either love or hate God's name. I happen to love God's name. I have no problem whatsoever in using "Jehovah," or some other form of the divine name. If you choose not to use the divine name, that is your choice. I have no right to condemn you.

    Interestingly, Jesus chose to glorify God's name before others. See John 12:28-30. I believe it is better to follow Jesus in this matter than to follow modern bible translators who have an aversion to his name. What do you think?

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