The New World Translation Quote from an Elder

by howdidtihappen 96 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • still thinking
    still thinking

    Atlantis...I think you should start a new thread with that little tid bit....fabulous bit of history...especially for lurkers

  • blondie

    Didn't Mantey say the WT had misquoted him.

  • Atlantis
  • Atlantis


    Yes, Dr. Mantey said that! (See section C.)

    In a letter to the Society authored by Mantey himself we read: "…Because you have been quoting me out of context, I…request you not to quote the Manual Grammar…again, which you have been quoting for 24 years." He also asked them to "publicly and immediately apologize" for their misrepresentation.

    Mantey Letter, p.3

    Why was Mantey so disturbed? His conclusion (found both in his Grammar and his letter) is that John 1:1 should be translated either "the word was deity" or "the word was God," not "the word was a god." Mantey estimates the evidence "to be 99% against" the Society's translation.

    Mantey Letter, p. 2


  • Atlantis
  • Atlantis

    The New World Translation

    The following is a list of problems:


  • Atlantis

    Blondie posted some great information! Scroll down here: When I was still an active JW, I was surprised at all the revisions

    1961 - original complete copy of NWT

    1970 - revision

    1971 - revision (large-print)

    1981 - revision

    1984 - revision

    Yet the WTS does not list the changes made from each revision to the next. It was interesting a few times when someone had an original 1961 Bible in the book study group and someone else was using the 1984 version. It is interesting that in the 1930-1985 WT Publications these are listed as revisions, and in the 1986-2004 WT Publications merely as editions (though under abbreviations, "revision" is used)

    Are there any lists of the changes, "updates," the WTS has made over the years in the NWT from one year to the next?

    *** w8112/15pp.11-12YourBible—HowItWasProduced ***



    The 1981 edition of the NewWorldTranslationoftheHolyScriptures is the culmination of 35 years of studious translation and careful revision. The translating project was initiated back in 1946, and by 1960 both the Hebrew and the Greek portions of God’s Word had been rendered into English directly from the original languages. During those years of translation a great deal of careful research was done by the New World Bible Translation Committee to assure that the translation was internally consistent in word choice and that the best possible readings of various manuscripts were used in the text. Jehovah’s Witnesses, who use the NewWorldTranslation as their primary Scriptural reference, have greatly appreciated and benefited from this scholarly work.

    However, the work of the translation committee (whose members remain anonymous at their request) was not finished in 1960. The NewWorldTranslation was first issued as a single volume in 1961, and this edition incorporated a careful revision of all the previous work. Since the 1961 edition contained no footnotes, a number of footnote readings from the earlier editions were put in the main text to conform more closely to the literal meaning of the original languages. Asecond revision, in 1970, took note of changes both in English usage and in the understanding of the ancient languages being translated. Over 100 words or expressions used in the 1961 edition were therefore altered.In 1971, the NewWorldTranslation was issued in a larger-print format with footnotes, and another revision of the text was made. N.

  • edmond dantes

    The fact that it is not even accepted as a legit translation by ANY scholastic organization speaks volumns about the corrupt nature of the NWT version of the Holy Scriptures. Words added, changed and/or removed make it a version, not a translation.


  • Wonderment

    Atlantis said: "Why was Mantey so disturbed? His conclusion (found both in his Grammar and his letter) is that John 1:1 should be translated either "the word was deity" or "the word was God," not "the word was a god." Mantey estimates the evidence "to be 99% against" the Society's translation."

    Mantey said: "without the article [in Jn 1:1c] theós signifies divine essence [...] pros ton theón emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature." (139, 140)

    (Pp 148, 149) "In Xenophon's Anabasis, 1:4:6, emporion d’ en to xhoríon, and the place was a market, we have a parallel case to what we have in John 1:1, kai theós en ho lógos, and the word was deity. The article points out the subject in these examples. Neither was the place the only market, nor was the word all of God, as it would mean if the article were also used with theós. As it stands, the other persons of the Trinity may be implied in theós."

    Mantey appears to be saying that using the "parallel" case of Xenophon's Anabasis, John 1:1c should be translated, not "the word was God," but rather, as "deity," for the word was not all of God."

    In his letter, he quotes Harner to bolster his reasoning that when the predicate noun precedes the verb (as in Jn 1:1) the emphasis in on the quality or nature of the subject in discussion. Not that it should be used to identify Christ with God. He made that clear by stating that the market of Xenophon's was not the only market, but "a" market, one of many markets. Applying this to John 1:1c, the NWT translators saw that Mantey unintentionally was allowing a translation: "the word was a god."

    The truth is that although Mantey does not like the idea of indefiniteness for John 1:1c, he supports it in Xenophon's case. The issue here is not grammar, but theology. Mantey is wrong to suggest that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb are not indefinite. Acts 28:4 proves him wrong. There, Paul is being called "a murderer" by the islanders. The Greek grammatical construction is similar to Jn 1:1c. Normally, when translators deal with this type of Greek construction they translate it either as indefinite or qualitative. No hard rule. Just the norm.

    In conclusion, this seems to be a case where the WT and Mantey are right in some things, and wrong in some others. This is not a case where Mantey is 99% right and the WT is only 1% right. The long list of translators siding with Mantey only proves that most Catholic and Protestant translators believe that Christ is the God. Interestingly, one of the translators he cites, Robert Young, translated John 1:1 as, "the Word was God," but in his later commentary he explained it as, "the Word was a God." He was silent about that. Why?

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