Why does the Watchtower material not capitalize the pronouns in reference to Jehovah

by I_love_Jeff 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • I_love_Jeff

    "Koine Greek was the language used by writers of the Old Testament Greek Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. The original Greek New Testament was written in all capital letters, without spaces, punctuation, accents or diacritical marks."


    Since the Jehovah's Witnesses interpret Bible verses using the ancient manuscripts, you would think that they would actually do what the writers of the Koine Greek Septuagint did and capitalize every single word in the New Testament.

    Also, why is it that in the NWT there are certain phrases that have caps while others do not? It seems a bit inconsistent and hypocritical when they are so anal about the proper interpretation of ancient Biblical texts that they do not copy the same style as those writers of old.

  • sir82
    why is it that in the NWT there are certain phrases that have caps while others do not?

    Not sure what in particular you are referring to without examples.

    I think you might be referring to a couple of things:

    1) Places where YOU appears in all capital letters.

    This is the method of the NWT translators to explicitly indicate when the pronoun "you" is plural. In virtually all languages besides English, there are distinct words for you-singular vs. you-plural. In English it's just plain "you" in both cases. So when you read "YOU" in the text you know it is plural.

    I'd say in well over 90% of the cases the context alone would be enough to determine whether the "you" is singular or plural without the capitalization. But as you noted, the WTS is often quite anal about insignificant matters, so it is what it is.

    2) Places where a pronoun is capitalized

    This is typically done in cases where the antecedent of the pronoun is ambiguous - by capitalizing it or not, you can indicate which antecedent applies.

    For example, suppose you said "God told Abraham that his patience would not last forever". Does the "his" refer to God's patience, or Abraham's patience? It could be either.

    But if you wrote "God told Abraham that His patience would not last forever" then, by capitalizing the "H", you indicate that the "his" applies to the "greater" of the 2 persons listed. In this case, the "his" pertains to God.

    they do not copy the same style as those writers of old.

    I don't understand your issue.

    Why should the writers of an English translation follow Koine Greek grammar or punctuation rules?

  • I_love_Jeff

    "Why should the writers of an English translation follow Koine Greek grammar or punctuation rules?"

    To be consistant with the JWs so called accurate interpretation of ancient scripts. They follow the rules to a tee, why not add that special feature just to be consistant? All capitals-Koine Greek, all capitals English language. Also, it is a bit strange seeing caps for certain words pertaining to humans (for example-YOU) BUT no caps for pronouns (him, his, he) referencing the Creator of the Universe-Jehovah.

    "Then to ?YOU? I will cause my spirit to bubble forth; I will make my words known to ?YOU.24Because I have called out but ?YOU? keep refusing, I have stretched out my hand but there is no one paying attention,25and ?YOU? keep neglecting all my counsel, and my reproof ?YOU? have not accepted,26I also, for my part, shall laugh at ?YOUR? own disaster, I shall mock when what ?YOU? dread comes,27when what ?YOU? dread comes just like a storm, and ?YOUR? own disaster gets here just like a storm wind, when distress and hard times come upon ?YOU."28

    NWT Proverbs 1

  • blondie

    YOU refers to a group rather than an individual

  • sir82

    Apparently you didn't read any of my post, which explains exactly why the quotation you cited is capitalized that way.

  • I_love_Jeff

    Perhaps you do not understand my post.

  • I_love_Jeff

    Even though the Watchtower Society recognized that original Greek text contained uncials, they went against all the rules of original Greek and used capital and lowercase within their version of say for example John 1:1 in support of their anti-Trinitarian teachings.

  • John_Mann

    Well if they want follow the original. They could not allow a translation. Just like Qur´an you must learn the original language.

    If someone really cares about what the Bible says I think not translate it's the best way to really understand the message.

    Those here who speaks more than one language will understand.

    To those who just speak english please just watch the movie "Lost in Translation". Every translator is a traitor, really.


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