At the meeting last week I was handed a new silver-grey deluxe Bible NWT 2013. After months of them being a drooled over item only enjoyed by the elite, now they were handing them out wholesale.
I have to say that it is a handsome volume with its silver page edges, twin page marker and flexible cover . I am not ungrateful and I say thank you Watchtower since they did not ask any money and will not get a contribution.
What do I think of it ? Well, despite the good looks it is the words that matter, and I am most concerned with the revisions to the text .
There are waytoo many to have found yet, this will be an ongoing process but the changes that I have seen I have not liked. I am not a scholar, these are just my personal thoughts:
In Gal 5.22 a fruitage of the spirit is no longer "long-suffering" but "patience". To me patience is what you show in the supermarket queue or when your kid is playing up . Long-suffering conveys to me the qualities a person has who endures hardship for years with good grace. What do you think Paul meant?
1 Tim 5:17 now reads that "Elders who preside in a fine way are worthy of double honour" Hmmm.. I cannot say that it is wrong, but given the use of the title in the congregations, the verse is loaded with implications. Incidentally, the same Greek word Presbyteros is still rendered "older man " in verse 19. This Bible is less literal and less consistent.
I dislike the wording that Jesus now rides on the colt of donkey in Matt 21. One would have thought that the more generic term "ass" was appropriate since it may have differed from a modern small donkey. This conjures up a picture of a very young donkey straning under the burden of a big strapping man ! That would not be allowed on the pleasure beaches of Britain and I am sure that was not the case in the Bible account.
Mind you, "obsessed with arguments" is better than "mentally diseased " in 1 Tim 6.4. I am sure that other changes will come to light in time. NB I will keep using an old one at the meetings (if I accompany my wife) so as to spot the differences.
Other features of the volume are disappointing, or would be if I were going to use it regularly. I miss the running headers at the top each page that summarised the content. You could find the general area of the passage then use them to find what you wanted. They have gone, thus making it harder to find what you want...It also contains pages of stuff (on thicker paper) that explain and interpret "The Bible's message" and interpreting Daniel's prophecy. To my mind a human explanation and interpretation belongs outside of a volume entitled "Holy Scriptures". This also makes the book a bit fatter than the old one
In short, I feel that this has traded literal accuracy for a more paraphrasing easy reading approach (dumbing it down perhaps?) I was told anecdotally that it had fewer words and was easier to translate . I can believe that they would want to make it easier and cheaper for themselves, but if one respects what they see as the Word of God, then surely the "Gold standard" of accuracy should apply? I would like to read a critique by someone who can do so properly like Mr De Buhn.
Actually , I am not alone in thinking that it has shortcomings - I culled these comments from the pro Witness JW Talk messageboad :
" Remember the revised Bible is in Simplified American English, then again American English is Simplified by definition :lol: "
"However, with this Bible the silver edge leaches ( a MS has a water drop spot on his ) and a sister online here stated her Bible swelled up ( like a sponge? ).
Thus again -don't get it wet!"
Also there is the misprint at the top of page 267.In this Bible Numbers 32.14-36 is followed by a heading "Numbers 35: 37-33.22
but the text is ok..........
That is sloppy proofreading ..