Black Sheep: Bruce Metzger, a world-class Presbyterian scholar said many things about the JWs. Most of them were targeted at "exposing" the many errors of JWs. He does not agree with WT theology. He went as far as writing a lengthy essay on how JWs have reduced the greatness of Jesus Christ in their translation.
("Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ," Theology Today, (April 1953 p. 74); see also Metzger, "The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures," The Bible Translator (July 1964)
Nevertheless, it is the assumption of some here, that the NWT is rubbish, and that no reputable scholar would ever recognize the alleged scholarship the WT claims. That's where the above quotes comes in. It serves the only purpose of showing that some scholars of his caliber do "recognize" the scholarship of the NWT. Not that he agrees with WT theology. Nor, it should be expected that scholars support the WT theology all the way.
Here is another one of Benjamin Kedar, Professor Emeritus of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (highlighting mine):
"Since several individuals and institutions have addressed me concerning the following matter, I make this statement; henceforth it will be sent instead of a personal letter to anyone appealing to me to clarify my position.
1) Several years ago I quoted the so-called New World Translation among several Bible versions in articles that dealt with purely philological [pertaining to the study/science of languages] questions (such as the rendition of the causative hiphil, of the participle qotel). In the course of my comparative studies I found the NWT rather illuminating: it gives evidence of an acute awareness of the structural characteristics of hebrew as well as an honest effort to faithfully render these in the target [English] language. A translation is bound to be a compromise, and as such it's details are open to criticism; this applies to the NWT too. In the portion corresponding to the hebrew Bible, however, I have never come upon an obviously erroneous rendition which would find it's explanation in a dogmatic bias. Repeatedly I have asked the antagonists of the Watchtower-Bible who turned to me for a clarification of my views, to name specific verses for a renewed scrutiny. This was either not done or else the verse submitted (e.g. Genesis 4:13, 6:3, 10:9, 15:5, 18:20 etc.) did not prove the point, namely a tendentious [with a purposed aim/biased] translation.
2) I beg to make clear that I do not feel any sympathy for any sect and this includes Jehovah's Witnesses. Of course, my mistrust is not directed against the individual member of such sect but rather against the organisation that manipulates him and puts forward its dogmas and rules as the ultimate truth. It should be conceded, however, that the groups and organisations that fiercely oppose the witnesses do not behave any better.On the whole, synagogue, church and mosque also tend to exhibit dogmatic arrogance coupled with intolerance of and enmity with other confessions.
3) I cannot help expressing my deep conviction that the search for truth will never benefit by linguistic quibble. Whether the author using the word naephaesh denoted 'soul' as opposed to body (Lev 17:11) or meant something else, whether 'almah' means 'virgin' or 'young woman' (Is 7:14) is of great interest to philologists and historians of religion; an argument for or against blood transfusion or the virgin-birth of Jesus respectively, cannot be derived from it.
4) Obviously, it is man's destiny to make the choice of his way a matter of conscience and to the best of his knowledge. There exists no simple set of rules such as could be learned from the mouth of a guru or the pages of an ancient venerable book. Those who pretend to act according to an infallible guide, more often than not interpret the texts in accordance with their preconceived wishes and notions.