Accuracy of the Revised NWT

by dabster 60 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Splash

    I recently gave a Bible reading, and I used the black bible.

    Afterwards I was asked why I chose to use that version. I said it is a more accurate version than the new grey one.

    I was shown the TMS instructions stating that the grey version should only be used, so use that in future.


  • Crazyguy

    The greek text at Rev. 5:10 says that that they are to Riegn as priests on the earth, no mention of them being kings and not over the earth but on it.. I believe this is a partial quote or reference of the verse in Deutoronomy where it speaks of the nation of Israel being a holy nation a royal priesthood. Also when you look back just one verse in Rev 5:9 its describing the great crowd and not just the 144K.

  • Apognophos

    Crazyguy, which of these Bibles does not say "kings" or "kingdom"?:

  • Bobcat

    I agree that the older NWT was usually more literal than the rNWT, sometimes to a fault (controversial verses aside).

    On the other hand, the rNWT has broken away from devotion to the W&H master text and has made use of newer texts such as the UBS & Nestle tetxts (See e.g. here & here).

    Here and here and here are also some comments on various renderings of the rNWT. I view the NWT (both old and new) as neither the best nor the worst. IMO it has a useful place in a good Bible library.

    Here was an interesting comment on "other" in Col 1:15.

  • dabster

    Thanks everyone. I appreciate all your comments - and links.

    Agno, you say, "... no translation can be very accurate and also very clear. They're largely at opposite ends of the translation spectrum." I'm no Greek scholar or New Testament text critic but understand the ESV to be very faithful to the original texts and very readable (getting off-topic here, but doesn't matter). I look forward to watching the clip on the NIV 2011 translation - haven't had the opportunity yet - to hear the views on the ESV.

  • Wonderment

    Crazyguy: "The greek text at Rev. 5:10 says that that they are to Riegn as priests on the earth, no mention of them being kings and not over the earth but on it."

    You may be correct or not to suspect that the WT understanding of this text is faulty. I am not going to debate the interpretation of it.

    However, your comments about the NWT being not accurate in translation here is left wanting.

    You say, "no mention of them being kings."

    It all depends on how the translator wants to go about it. The Greek word in KIT for "they are to rule as kings" is "basileúousin," a present active indicative verb form of "basileu ō," which mean: "I reign over" or "I rule as king." The word for "king" in the Greek text is "basileús." One can see that "basileús" and "basileúousin" are closely related. This means that the NWT did not err by using the word "kings" in the expression. If you were to check other Bible versions, you would find that some others do the same. But you are targeting just the NWT. Why?

    Concerning the rendering "over" and not "on" the earth as most other versions do, a fact is that prepositions have a lot more leeway in translation that some believe. True, the preposition "epí" in Rev. 5.10 means generally "on" or "upon" the earth with an enfasis ‘on contact’ as many versions reflect, but it is also true that "epí" can mean "over." If you look at the diagram of prepositions in the KIT, you will notice that "epí" is resting on the oval depiction. You will see that "epí" is not only making contact with the oval, but at the same time the sense of "over" the oval form is clearly visible.

    So, it all depends on the angle the translator is seeing in the action. That "epí" can also mean "over" in the genitive (the form found in KIT), I refer you to The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Frederick Danker which states: "[epí] prep., expressing the idea of ‘hovering’, with gen., dat., or acc. [...] --a. w. gen. on, over... By extension, of authority or control understood as ‘over’ someth.... [...] (In ref. to location fo a biblical passage by story content); before, in the presence of ..."

    Conclusion: The alleged inaccuracy of the NWT in Rev. 5.10 on grammar grounds cannot stand under scrutiny. Better stay with the interpretation angle if you want to make sense. It's hard to argue against faulty interpretation.

  • Apognophos

    dabster: I can't speak to the ESV specifically. If we're talking about translations that are very readable and also reasonably accurate, then the new NWT fits that bill too. The NWT used to be painstakingly accurate in many ways, but it took some steps forward and some steps back in the new NWT (I would say more back than forward). The decision to now replace "Sheol" and "Hades" with "the grave", contrary to the Society's old boasts about leaving those words intact, is one such step backward. The most notorious inaccuracy of all is the unwarranted substitution of "Jehovah" for kyrios and other terms in the NT.

    But besides that glaring problem, it was always a decent translation. My point about the foreword was simply that the very acknowledgement by the Society of having striven for the competing goals of clarity and accuracy is an admission that the new NWT is less accurate than the old one.

  • dabster

    Thanks Apognophos, I see what you mean.


    Adding the English pronunciation of a Spanish Monk's translation of YHWH into the NT where it NEVER existed..... How can that be be justified? It cannot, but "Jehovah" is a brand name, just like Pepsi.

    This is a bit off-topic, but I have been thinking about this a lot. Brand recognition takes time. People know who Jehovahs Witnesses are, even if they don't know their doctrine. Re-branding to JW.ORG is risky. I feel it has been done out of desperation. Trying to shield itself from lawsuits may be a major factor in the WTBTS's decision. Even with the internet, launching a new brand takes time and exposure.

    JWism isn't really big on exposure. They are launching a new brand, while at the same time, trying to retain some ambiguity. They really don't want people to know who they really are or what they believe. Just read the lies in the FAQ section of confirmation. This makes me tend to believe that:

    1) JW.ORG, like all things dub, is for dubs. It's all about trying to retain the most members possible through the manipulation of information. In the meantime, hopefully, dubs will crank out future $$$ donators and free laborers who want to be Caleb and Sophia.

    2) THE END IS NOT AROUND THE CORNER. Since re-branding takes time, the WTBTS knows full well that the Big A ain't coming. The passage of time has forced them to bet on JW.ORG. It's a risky venture, but has to be done.

    So what does this mean for the average JW? If you are older ( 70+) you don't mean shit. Unless you are a GB member or GB helper ( I just thought of a funny parody on Hamburger Helper! LOL!! Where is OUTLAW?!?!) then you are pretty much expendable. We have seen this take place with the DO's, many who are older, being fired. Are you in a nursing home?!? BFD...

    What about my generation ( hardy-har!!), the 35-45 crowd?? If you are not serving, you ain't shit either. Do you have the energy to labor for free like you did at 20?? I don't. Guess what?? You don't matter, just fork over the $$$. Are you ignorant enough to do it? I'm not. Are you sensing your own mortality as the 100th anniversary of Kingdom Rule passes invisibly?? Are you smelling the BS?? Are you realizing the frightening truth that you will get old? Are you prepared for that greatest of calamities?? Doubters who are approaching middle age, who are not "all in" are also worthless to the WTBTS. Our only worth is as examples to the young crop of JWs of what happens to those who leave JEHOVAH(tm).

    The WTBTS is all about the future. NOT the future paradise, the future of the corporation. When we are all dead and buried. Our children's children will be running the paperless E-cult. The core of " spiritually strong" non-confrontational, non-debating JWs, will grace the streets and subway stations with their Rolly-carts, silent peddlers of recycled dogma.

    Who knows, by then being a JW may be the best way of life! One Meeting a week, 10hr service at a Rolly-cart to be an Elder, Ms, or pioneer. Live music and talent shows at the KH. Internet "bible studies". Perhaps Caleb and Sophia will have families of their own? They can make films on how to correctly fold the literature ( Remember that a special letter had to be sent out because dubs couldn't separate the new tractazines..) that all JWs print from home at their own expense, as part of their "voluntary" offerings?? You can count time folding tractazines!

    None of the new JOrgs will even know we existed, or that books were printed by the now defunct WTBTS. What a great time to be alive!! HUZZAH!!!


  • Phizzy

    Dabster, the bit you quote fromthe Forward is typical of the WT's propaganda technique.

    It says : " Our goal has been to produce a translation that is not only faithful to the original texts but also clear and easy to read."

    That sounds good to the average unread JW, but there are problems. For example :

    There are of course no Original Texts in existence, only copies of copies of many more copies, all of which are known to have been heavily edited, and to contain errors. The oldest complete Manuscripts are late 3rd Century at the earliest.

    They are hardly being faithful to even these doubtful texts with their many blatant changes, and as pointed out above, introduction of the name Jehovah which appears nowhere in these Texts. They also leave out whole Books included in those same texts ! Like "The Shepherd of Hermas".

    How is any of that being faithfull to those early texts ? I also think they have done a poor job with the readability in a number of places, but I may be seen as nit-picking here , compared with the old, clunky NWT it is a vast improvemment in that at least.

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