For the more studious types: question on the revised NWT

by L3G 3 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • L3G

    I know it's a small point, but I couldn't help noticing. It's about a now inconsistent rendering in Ecclesiastes. The older Fred Franz editions of the NWT had consistently rendered the Hebrew kesīl (Strong's 3684) as "stupid one(s)" throughout Ecclesiastes, but now the revised NWT has "fool," but only at a cluster of 4 instances from 7:5 to 9:17. There are 11 occurrences of the word from 2:14 to 7:4, and 3 more from 10:2 to 10:15. Only these middle 4, namely, 7:5, 7:6, 7:9, and 9:17, have been changed to "fool."

    To help visualize the matter:

    2:14 stupid one(s)

    2:15 "

    2:16 (twice) "

    4:5 "

    4:13 "

    5:1 "

    5:4 "

    6:8 "

    7:4 "

    7:5 fool(s)

    7:6 "

    7:9 "

    9:17 "

    10:2 stupid one(s)

    10:12 "

    10:15 "

    Why has this happened in only this middle cluster of the word? It can't be just coincidence.

    I have an idea, but it's just that, only an idea. Of all these passages, ONE is popularly used to counsel those viewed as going wayward, those "getting offended." It's right in the middle of the 4, 7:9. In the NWT it reads:

    Do not be quick to take offense (old NWT, Do not hurry yourself in your spirit to become offended), for the taking of offense lodges (old NWT, rests) in the bosom of fools (old NWT, the stupid ones).

    Of course this verse in the older editions suffered from Fred Franz's literalism, outdated English, and general eccentricities, and that's a factor here in now modernizing the translation. But why this inconsistent change in translating the word in only four verses that appear in sequence?

    If you were around the Org for any time, you know that this passage is regularly used to counsel the brothers and especially the sisters, both from the platform and individually. It's popularity is up there with Prov. 3:5 or Heb. 10:25. Could it be that they wanted to make this popular "counseling verse" more palatable to those being counseled, less likely to hurt them by being called stupid, so they changed the instance in 7:9 to "fools" instead of "stupid ones," and they tried to pad this by also changing the 2 occurrences of the word before it and the one after it to "fool" too? The inconsistency has to stem from something.

    If this is right, then it shows how they are more interested in applying the Bible's counsel (at least in this case) than in presenting what it really says, eh?

  • goingthruthemotions

    I feel the BORG needed to update the NWT to support there ever changing false doctrine here in the present and in the future. I have to say...out of the bibles i have read. I do like the old style NWT....the new one is bunk!!!!!!.


  • RubaDub

    It is true that the Hebrew word kesil has been rendered different ways based on the translation, such as "fool" or "stupid one".

    However, going back to a more literal translation such as the original NWT based Hort and Wescott version, a more accurate translation for kesil would be "asshole".

    Rub a Dub

  • FFtruther144


    Do you know the NWT is Hort and Wescott because you study the NWT & NIV/ESV/NKJ, Etc.?

    Or do you have written proff, such as an admission, or credit given, or anything that documents this fact?

    Thank you.

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