Is the NWT a translation or simply a rewording w/ edits ?

by mP 11 Replies latest social humour

  • mP

    Did they really start from teh Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts and translate or did Freddy and the friends simply take other Bibles and reword each and every sentence. Naturally during this exercise they would have altered the text to make it comptaible with their eschatology. I think this best explains what really happen during those sessions as they had no literary skills they honestly couldnt read the originals.

    Any thoughts ?

  • Caminante

    "Freddy" did have the skills to read ancient Hebrew, and he had studied two or three years of Biblical Greek. Moreover, he had a high ability of easily learning foreign languages, thus he became qualified to coordinate the translation project. They started translation in 1947 and released the complete Bible in 1961.

  • james_woods

    Remember that they had the Emphatic Diaglot from a non-JW author whose widow bequethed it to the Watchtower Society. This was an interlinear translation of the NT from Greek which I am sure proved very helpful when making the NWT New Testament.

    I have absolutely no confidence that the NWT was actually a word by word translation from original language records - as the original poster says, they really did not have the scholarship available to accomplish such a thing.

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    i'm not sure about the english version. all other languages were translated from the english version though. they say that they took the original languages as reference too, but even if that's the case - and i highly doubt it - all non-english translations are meta-translations.

  • OnTheWayOut

    The NWT took 14 years to translate- 1946-1960. It is very literal and must have included examination of the ancient words.

    Ray Franz tells us that Fred Franz was the chief expert on Hebrew. He had a lot to do with the entire translation from Hebrew and Greek to English. All the known Governing Body members were known not to have any formal training in Biblical language. George D. Gangas, a Greek National, learned English as an adult and served as a translator at WTS. He appeared to have a knack for language and learned more. It is suspected that he was instrumental in translating the NWT, but his knowledge of Greek would be more in line with modern Greek.

    It is widely known that nobody at Watch Tower had the education credentials that experts would say was needed to take on such a task. While WTS would say that Holy Spirit was used, that would presume that God wanted a new translation. WTS paints itself into a corner by saying that God protected "His Word" but also saying that it was altered in the decades after Jesus' life.

    It is clear that NWT was made to support existing doctrines of the religion. It seems much more likely that NWT was developed by comparing existing translations instead of starting from scratch.

  • james_woods

    Well stated, On The Way Out. This is exactly what I think really happened.

  • WTDeserter

    Agree completely withJ. Hofer on translations other than English. The methodology for translating the NWT to other languages would be to translate a long list of 'keywords' with one or maximum two alternative words you could use during the translation. A computer aided translation tool would bring up these words during translation and you could not deviate from the words set down at the beginning of the translation work.
    A brother knowledgeable in Greek volunteered to assist in the translation but was told that his knowledge would not help but hinder the work, now figure out how that is to be interpreted!
    P.S. By the way, isn’t this the humor section?

  • slimboyfat

    Which translation starts "originally" in the gospel of John? Is it Goodspeed's translation?

    I remember reading a rumour the NWT largely copied that translation.

    The first edition of the NWT of Christian Greek Scriptures also used "originally" in John 1:1, but they later changed it to "in the beginning".

    I've also read a rumour that the NWT largely copied Rotherham's tranlation, but I have compared the two side by side and they are not that similar.

    It's probably just a mixture of renderings copied from various translations with a dose of Fred Franz's own unique renderings thrown in for good measure.

  • Wonderment

    slimboyfat: "Which translation starts "originally" in the gospel of John? Is it Goodspeed's translation?

    "Originally" was used by Rotherham, and the early editions of the NWT, probably in answer to the question? ...How should we render the first two words of John 1:1 (en arche) lacking the article?

    As I stated in another related post, I can see where some translators influenced the NWT translation choices in some places (such as Rotherham, ASV, Emphatic Diaglott, Concordant, Goodspeed and Moffatt), but overall, the NWT went their own way.

    The NWT did not choose anyone version to go by verse by verse. A close comparison of the NWT with the original texts show that the NWT was made directly as they say, from the Hebrew and Greek Texts, and not from another version.

  • Ding

    I think the first NWT said "Originally" in John 1:1... not sure though.

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