NWT informative Pamphlet FYI

by Adonai438 12 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Adonai438

    To everyone

    This is an informative (LONG :) ) Pamphlet I had on the NWT that some have been interested in seeing. It has not been e-mailing well so I thought I'd post it here. It was a Newsletter from a ministry and there is no Copyright on it and can be photo-copied for personal use only-I believe---

    Information for any one interested otherwise just ignore it ;)





    the emphatic diaglott. ........................................................... 1

    the new world transla TION ................................................. 2

    scholars' comments ON The new world translation.. 4

    examples OF mistranslation ................................................... 5

    YHWH as jehovah ....................................................................... 16

    additional examples........................................................................ 17

    appendlx: granville sharp rule .................................................... 19

    The Jehovah's Witnesses constitute a large and aggressive sect which has opposed the doctrines of biblical Christianity from its inception. Many fine works have already detailed the history and doctrines of this group and contrasted the latter with biblical teaching.' It is our goal in this article to briefly critique the English translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses' Watchtower Bible and Tract Society's The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT).

    Our purpose will be to determine the legitimacy of the Jehovah's Witnesses' claim to respect and honor the Bible as divine revelation. If the Witnesses have not translated God's revelation with care and accuracybut instead have incorporated their own doctrinal bias in disregard of the Greek textthen it is unlikely that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS) is, as widely proclaimed, God's sole channel for communicating His will to mankind today.

    Indeed, the combined weight of four indisputable facts proves the Watchtower Society has no regard at all for the Word of God. These four pillars of disproof of Watchtower claims include their 1) pervasive unbiblical theology, 2) clear bias in translation, 3) numerous false prophecies historically, and 4) changes and contradictions in their doctrine, history and important dates. 2

    The Emphatic Diaglott

    Before we begin our analysis of the NWT, we should note that for about 70 years the New World Translation was preceded in use by the Emphatic Diaglott, published in 1864 by Benjamin Wilson and based on the 1806 recension of J. J. Griesbach. Un-
    fortunately, in utilizing this translation, the Witnesses never informed their members that the translation was flawed or that Wilson was a Christadelphian, who, holding similar doctrines with Jehovah's Witnesses, naturally sought a translation in harmony with Christadelphian bias. For example, the Diaglott translates Matthew 25:46 "age-lasting cutting-off" and John 1:1 "the Word was a god," both in harmony with Christadelphian (and Watchtower) denials of eternal punishment and Christ's deity respectively. 3 Professor Edmond Charles Gruss of the Master's College in southern California, author of a standard work on Jehovah's Witnesses, Apostles of Denial, and a former member of the group, observes how the Diaglott fits the needs of the newly formed Russell ite (Jehovah's Witness) religion.

    Wilson was self-educated; his work shows that he certainly was not a scholar. Neither did he have the respect of those whowere scholars. Obviously, his purpose was not to translate, but to justify his theological views.... It may be concluded, then, that the Emphatic Diaglott was adopted because of its Christadelphian bias which agreed almost perfectly with the new Russellite group that was forming. The Russellites accepted the renderings of Wilson, for they did not have the linguistic ability either to evaluate or to determine their correctness, nor did they wish to question that which so perfectly supported their theories... . 4

    In spite of his bias and errors in translation, Wilson had claimed "scrupulous fidelity" to the original languages: Scrupulous fidelity has been maintained throughout this version in giving the true rendering of the original text into English; no regard whatever being paid to the prevailing doctrines or prejudices of sects, or the peculiar tenets of theologians. To the Divine authority of the original Scriptures alone has there been the most humble and unbiased submission. 5

    As we will see, the Jehovah's Witnesses also make similar claims to scholarly objectivityand yet also fail to live up to them.


    Eventually the Watchtower Society produced its own translation. The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. The alleged manner in which this translation was produced is relevant to note. We cite Professor Gruss who quotes from a legal case wherein testimony was being given under oath. F. W. Franz was the Society vice-president who testified before the Court of Session, Edinburgh, November 23,1954. F. W. Franz and N. H. Knorr headed the secret committee of seven translators. The Scottish Daily Express, November 24, 1954, records that Franz testified that

    1) he and Knorr have the final word in translation;

    2) he, Franz, was head of the Society's Publicity Department, and

    3) translations and interpretations come from God in such a way that they are invisibly communicated to the Publicity Department via "angels of various ranks who control witnesses." 5 "

    This is a rather startling admission, for the actual control of men by "angels" or spirits sounds more like spirit possession than divine inspiration. And perhaps it is instructive to note here that one mediumistic translation which claims to originate in the spirit world has translations similar to those of the NWT. The 1937 NT translation by spiritistic medium Johannes Greber has similar translations for John 1:1 and Heb. 1:8 and is even quoted by the WBTS in several of its books. 56 Given the serious errors of translation in the NWT, if Witnesses were actually controlled by "angels" of various ranks, these spirits would of necessity have to be immoral angels; i.e., demons. This fact would indeed explain the theological bias and anti-Christian nature of their translation.

    Whether the origin of the NWT was from a supernatural source or not, the Watchtower Society clearly made similar claims to translation accuracy as that of Wilson cited previously. Of course, if Witnesses really believed the translators were possessed by "angels," it would be easy to
    assume the translation was divine and hence accurate even when the translators themselves did not know the original languages. Regardless, we find the WBTS claiming absolute fidelity to the Greek and Hebrew text.

    Their Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures declares:

    Sincere searchers for eternal, life-giving truth desire an accurate understanding of the faith-inspiring Greek Scriptures, an understanding that will not be confused by sectarian, denominational religious teachings but that is fortified by the knowledge of what the original language says and means. To aid such seekers of truth and life is the purpose behind the publishing of The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, Its literal interlinear English translation is specially designed to open up to (he student of the Sacred Scriptures what the original Koine Greek basically or literally says, without any sectarian religious coloration.''

    And their New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is even more assertive:

    It is a very responsible thing to translate the Holy Scriptures from their original languages. Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, into modern speech. Translating the Holy Scriptures means a rendering into another language the thoughts and sayings of the heavenly Author of this sacred library of sixty-six books, Jehovah God, which holy men of long ago put down in written under inspiration for our benefit today. That is a sobering thought. The translators who have a fear and love of the divine Author of the Holy Scriptures feel especially a responsibility toward Him to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible. They also feel a responsibility toward the searching readers of the modern translation who depend upon the inspired Word of the Most High God for their everlasting salvation. It was with such a sense of solemn responsibility that the committee of dedicated men have produced the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, over the course of many years. 7

    In their text, All Scripture is Inspired of God and Beneficial, the Jehovah's Witnesses make similar claims. Note their assertions to grammatical accuracy:

    The New World Translation... conveys accurately the action or state expressed in the Hebrew and Greek verbs.... The conveying of the state of the Hebrew verb accurately into English is most important, otherwise the meaning may be distorted.... Similar care has been exercised in the translating of the Greek verbs... .The New World Translation... is accurate and reliable... A faithful translation of God's Word. 8

    The loftiness of these claims is important to document in light of the New World Translation's repeated failure to live up to them. When one realizes the magnitude of the claim and the impoverished result, one must conclude that the Watchtower Society is engaging in purposeful bias in its translation As we will now document, at the point of their own doctrinal distinctives, they have little concern with what the Greek text
    actually says. Their only desire is to conform it to their own preconceived and unbiblical theology.

    Our analysis is divided into two parts. Part one documents representative comments on the NWT by those familiar with the original languages who have made a study of the Jehovah's Witnesses a scholarly pursuit, or are Greek scholars themselves. Part two documents the accuracy of these claims by citing specific examples of mistranslation from the NWT.


    Dr. Robert Countess' published doctoral thesis. The Jehovah' Witness New Testament: A Critical Analysis of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed 1982), is perhaps the most thorough and devastating critique of the NWT. His overall conclusions are that the NWT:

    ...has been sharply unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual translation... the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At some points it is actually dishonest. At others it is neither modern or scholarly. And interwoven throughout its fabric is inconsistent application of its own principles enunciated in the Foreword
    and Appendix. 9

    Professor Edmond Gruss, author of a standard historical and theological work, Apostles of Denial, writes:

    A sound interpretation of any passage requires a careful grammatical exegesis. Watchtower publications repeatedly present doctrines and interpretations of the Scriptures which completely misunderstand or ignore grammar. Before the Society entered into the field of translation, there were many verses which gave them trouble because of their direct contradiction of the Witnesses' doctrines. With the appearance of the New World Translation the difficult passages in many cases were weakened or eliminated by a translation that violated or ignored the rules of grammar. 9

    Dr. Anthony Hoekema, author of The Four Major Cults points out that:

    ... the Jehovah's Witnesses actually impose their own theological system upon Scripture and force it to comply with their beliefs. ... their New World Translation of the Bible is by no means an objective rendering of the sacred text into modem English, but is a biased translation in which many of their peculiar teachings of the Watchtower Society are smuggled into the text of the Bible itself."

    The late Dr. Walter Martin, author of Jehovah of the Watchtower, and a respected authority on cults, observes that of the anonymous seven member translation committee at least five had no training in Greek:

    These books possess a veneer of scholarship unrivaled for its daring and boldness in a field that all informed scholars know Jehovah's Witnesses are almost totally unprepared to venture
    into. As a matter of fact, the authors have been able to uncover partially a carefully guarded Watchtower secret: the names of five of the members of the New World Translation committee.
    Not one of these five people has any training in Greek... [or Hebrew], (12)

    Dr. Bruce Metzger, professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary and author of The Text of the New Testament states

    :".. .the Jehovah's Witnesses have incorporated in their translation of the New Testament several quite erroneous renderings of the
    Greek." 13

    Dr. Julius Mantey was one of the leading Greek scholars in the world and co-author of The Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar and A Hellenistic Greek Reader. He declares:

    I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. In fact, it is not their translation at all. Rather, it is a distortion of the New Testament. The translators used what J. B. Rotherham had translated in 1893, in modem speech, and changed the readings in scores of passages to state what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach. That is distortion, not translation. 14

    In light of the above testimony, we must conclude that the scholarly Christian community has rendered its verdict on the NWT: such a translation must not be trusted to accurately convey God's Word because of its unrelenting biases in translation. Nor can Jehovah's Witnesses appeal to an alleged
    "trinitarian bias" on the part of these scholars for the issue is not personal theology but accuracy in translation. Even non-Christian scholars of NT Greek would agree that the NWT is not an accurate one, for rules of languages, grammar, and translation are true regardless of personal theological belief. We

    will now proceed to document several examples of mistranslation in the NWT, as confirmation of the above testimony and our thesis in general.


    The Watchtower Society tells us that "Jehovah is against such clergy prophets whom he did not send forth from his intimate group and who 'steal' words from his Bible in order to make a wrong application of them... He will rid himself of this 'burden' by abandoning Christendom to calamity.., .To such self-opinionated religionists, the Jeremiah class [Jehovah's Witnesses] say: 'You have changed the words of the living God...'" 15 The Witnesses also declare, "God does not deal with persons who ignore his Word and go according to their own independent ideas.""'

    But who is it that really "steals" or "ignores" God's words in order to bolster their own independent ideas?

    In the following section we have utilized the Watchtower Society's New World Translation and Kingdom Interlinear Translation if the Greek Scriptures (1969). It gives the Greek text, a word for word English translation below the Greek text, and, has a column containing the New World Translation to the right.

    In the following examples we have provided the New World Translation and the NewAmerican Standard translation so the
    reader may make a quick comparison prior to a brief discussion. The NWT mistranslation is supplied in capital letters for

    1. Matthew 25:46

    ["Punishment" is translated "cutting off to support their theology of annihilation of the wicked (or
    conditional immortality)].

    "And these will depart into everlasting cutting-off but the righteous ones

    into everlasting life." NWT

    "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." NAS

    The Greek kolasin is translated "cutting-off' in order to escape the text's teaching of eternal punishment. How do standard Greek lexicons define kolasin ?

    H. Moulton and G. Milligan in The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, Ml: Eerdmans, 1980, p. 352) give an illustration of the meaning of kolasin as "punishment and much torment."

    H. K. Moulton in The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1978, p. 235) defines it as
    "chastisement, punishment."

    New Thayer's Greek English Lexicon (

    Wilmington. DE: Associated Publishers and Authors, 1974, 1977, p. 353)
    defines it as ''correction, punishment. penalty."

    The Arndt and Gingrich Greek-English Lexicon (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1967, p. 441) states "1. punishment... 2. of divine retribution... Go away into eternal punishment. Matt.
    25:45 "

    Gerhard Kittle (ed) in the Theological Dictionary of New Testament (Grand Rapids, Ml: Eerdmans, 1978. Vol. 3, p. 816) defines it as "punishment."

    Over hundreds of years, words may evolve in meaning, hence kolasin at one time could be translated "cutting-off," meaning the removal of that which is evil. It could also have the meaning of punishment for the purposes of correction. 17 However, that this was not its intended meaning in biblical times is evident from the two quotations by Greek scholars, Mantey and Trench, given below (Greek words are transliterated by this author):

    In Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation and Kingdom Interlinear Translation (Matt. 25:46). the Greek word kolasin, which is regularly defined as "punishment" in Greek lexicons, is translated "cutting-off," in spite of the fact that there isn't a shred of lexical evidence anywhere for such a translation. We have found this word in first-century Greek writings in 107 different contexts and in every one of them, it has the meaning of "punishment," and never "cutting-off." But since their premise is that there can he no eternal punishment, they have translated the Scripture to make it somewhat compatible with their theology.,,. Kolasin is also mistranslated "restraint" in 1 John 4:!8. 18

    The kolasis aionios of Matt. xxv.46, as it is plain, is not merely corrective, and therefore temporary, discipline;... for in proof that kolasis with kolazesthai had acquired in Hellenistic Greek this severer sense, and was
    used simply as "punishment" or "torment," with no necessary underthought of the bettering through it of him who endured it, we have only to refer to such passages as the following: Josephus. Antt.xv. 2.2; Phil, De Agric. 9; Man. Polycarp. 2; 2 Mace iv 38; Wisd.xix.4; and indeed the words of St. Peter himself (2 Ep. 11.9). 19

    2. John

    8:58 ["I Am" is translated as "I have been" in order to circumvent Christ's deity],

    "Jesus said to them: "Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been." NWT

    "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I Am.'" NAS

    The proper translation of the Greek ego eimi is "I Am" not "I have been" (NWT). This is an attempt to deny Christ's statement of deity (cf. context) and to replace
    it with something compatible to the Witnesses' concept of Christ's limited preexistence. Dr, Mantey states:

    The translation of it as "I have been" by Jehovah's Witnesses is wrong. The footnote stating that it is in "the perfect indefinite tense" is also wrong. No Greek grammar,
    to my knowledge, has such a statement. In fact. there is no form eimi in the perfect tense in the Greek New Testament. 20

    It is also noteworthy that Michael Van Buskirk, author of The Scholastic Dishonesty of the Watchtower has two official Watchtower Society letters which he quotes showing they have assumed four different grammatical positions in regard to ego eimi:

    a) "present indicative first person singular" (the correct designation);

    b) "a historical present";

    c) the "perfect indefinite tense"but only "in a general sense," and d) "perfect tense indicative." 21 Again, there is
    no "perfect indefinite tense" as they claim (see 1950,1953 eds.). Dr. Mantey also states there is no "perfect indicative in this verse in Greek." 22 The correct answer, of course, is "present indicative, first person singular," but this
    translates as "I Am," not as "I have been." If the Watchtower Society had admitted (at least once) that the grammatical construction was a "present indicative, first person singular," why did they never translate it as such?

    In fact one can look at their own Kingdom Interlinear (p. 467) and directly beneath the Greek ego eimi we find "I Am"; but the translation column to the right reads "I have been."

    3. Hebrews

    9:27 [This verse has the insertion of "for all time" to justify their belief in conditional immortality.]

    "And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, [i.e., eternally] but after this a judgment." NWT

    "And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment." NAS

    Again looking at the Kingdom Interlinear (p. 988) we find the addition of the words "for all time" is without any
    Justification. There is no Greek correspondence. Mantey states:

    Heb. 9:27, which without any grounds for it in the Greek, is mistranslated in the J. W. Translation"And as it is reserved for men to die once for all time, but after this is a judgment...." note that the phrase "for all time" was inserted in the former versions without
    any basis in the original for it. No honest scholar would attempt to so pervert the Word of God!" 23

    4. Luke

    23:43 [This verse inserts a comma after "today," to support their belief in soul sleep.]

    "And he said to him: 'Truly I tell you today. You will [i.e., later] be with me in Paradise."' NWT

    "And he said to him, 'Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.'" NAS

    Their own Interlinear (p. 408) admits "in the original Greek no comma is found." The noted commentator Lenski explains why the NWT is incorrect here:

    It should no longer be necessary to explain that today cannot be construed with I say to thee. To be sure, Jesus is saying this today-- When else would he be saying it? The Adverb today is a necessary part of Jesus promise to the malefactor. In fact, it has the emphasis. It would usually take three to four days until a man would die on the cross, so lingering was death by crucifixion. But Jesus assures this malefactor that his sufferings will cease today. This is plain prophecy and at the same time blessed news to the sufferer. But Jesus says vastly more: Today in the company with me shalt though be in paradise! This is absolution. By this word Jesus acquits this criminal of sin and guilt. 24

    5. Matthew 27:50/Luke 23:46 [The term "spirit" is translated as "breath" and/or "spirit" in order to support conditional immortality.]

    "Again Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and yielded up (his) breath." NWT

    And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spir-
    it." NAS

    "And Jesus called with a loud voice and said 'Father into your hands I entrust my spirit.' When he had said this he expired." NWT

    "And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into thy hands I
    commit my spirit.' And having said this, He breathed His last." NAS

    In Matthew 27:50 pneuma (spirit) is translated "breath" rather than spirit, to support their belief that no immortal spirit exists to be "yielded up." Yet Luke 23:46. the parallel account of this same event which includes the actual cry of Jesus, shows that the translation "breath"
    is an impossible rendering as it would have Jesus crying out, "Father into thy hands I commit my breath"

    The question is thisIf in the New World Translation pneuma is translated "spirit'' in Luke why is it translated breath in Matthew unless it is an attempt to deny that Jesus spirit continued after His physical death? Clearly the Witnesses have distorted Matthew
    27:50 although nothing could really be done with the passage in Luke. 25 Again, their interlinear directly beneath the Greek translates "pneuma' as "spirit" in both places (pp. 168.409). Why then
    not in both translations?

    6. Acts 20:28 [The phrase "with his own blood" is translated as "the blood of his own (Son)," to circumvent Christ's deity.]

    "Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with THE BLOOD OF HIS OWN (SON).NWT

    "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood." NAS

    The NWT interlinear appendix justifying this translation (pp1160-61) refers to a few manuscripts using "Lord" (i.e., supposedly Jesus) instead of God and mentions "troublesome Greek words." It can offer this translation only by unnaturally translating the Greek andconcludes, "The entire expression could therefore be translated "with the blood his own.'' 26

    Nigel Turner, an authority who wrote the volume on Greek syntax in Moultons three volume Grammar of New Testament Greek, explains why the Witnesses are wrong at this point:
    The dying proto-.martyr. St. Stephen, addressed Jesus as if he were God.. A pious Hellenistic Jew would not pray at one less than God. It may not be so generally appreciated that St. Paul slipped naturally and casually into the affirmation that he who shed his blood on the cross was God. The reference is to Acts 20:28, where St. Paul at Miletus spoke to the Christian elders about "the church of God which he bought for him-
    self by his own blood." The blood of God!

    Some aberrant manuscripts have the inoffensive reading, 'the church of the Lord"implying the Lord Jesus. But they must be rejected on the ground that the more startling or difficult reading is the one likely to be
    correct: scribes would not invent a conception of such unexpected originality as "the blood of God." We are left with the original and plain statement of St. Paul that Jesus is God, and it worries those scholars who think that it represents a Christology grammatical expedient whereby "his own" is understood as a noun ("his own One"), rather than a possessive adjective, in consequence, standing as it does in the genetive case, one may place before it the word "of ie: 'of his Own." The expedient lowers the Christology drastically and reduces St. Pauls affirmation to something like this: The church of God which he bought for
    himself by the blood of his own-as in the margin of the NEB.

    It is a theological expedient foisting imaginary distinctions into a spontaneous affirmation, and is not the natural way to take the Greek. It is unlikely to have been the meaning envisaged either by St Paul or the writer of the narrative. The easy thing would be for them to add the word "Son, if that was intended."

    Even the Kingdom Interlinear appendix itself admits: Grammatically, this passage could be translated, as in the King James Version and Douay Version, "with his own blood. " In such case the verse would be saying that God purchased his congregation with his
    own blood. That has been a difficult thought with many... the ordinary translation would mean to say "God's blood." 28

    Nevertheless, the more accurate and natural translation is rejected since it cannot be true according to Watchtower theology which denies the deity of Jesus Christ.

    7. Hebrews 1:8 ["Thy throne 0 God" is
    translated "God is your throne" in order
    to circumvent Christ's deity,]

    "But with the reference to the Son:

    GOD IS YOUR THRONE forever, and (the) scepter of your kingdom is the scepter of uprightness.'" NWT

    "But of the Son He says, 'Thy throne, 0 God, is forever and ever, and the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom.'" NAS

    Nigel Turner again comments:
    Happily in Heb. 1:8 the NEB (New English Bible) no longer hesitates to accept in its text the statement that Jesus is God, "'thy throne, Oh God. is for ever and ever " it consigns to the margin the grotesque interpretation which obscures the godhead of Jesus ("God is thy
    throne for ever and ever"). 29

    Thomas Hewitt states:
    Some commentators have taken "0 God to be nominative, either subject or predicate. If subject, the translation would he "God is thy throne for ever and ever. If Predicate 'Thy throne is God." or ''The foundation of thy throne is God' Such translations sound very strange and have no parallel elsewhere. The AV, RV and RSV rightly support the vocative and translate "Thy throne. 0 God".... The Son, on the contrary, is addressed by the Father not as a messenger but as God, Who occupies an eternal throne, and as Sovereign, who rules his kingdom with righteousness . 30

    Ryland's Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, F.F. Bruce, declares that here the '"Messiah can be addressed not merely as God's Son (verse 5) but actually as God... '' 31 Verse 10 corroborates this.

    8. Col.1:15-20 [This verse inserts the word other in parenthesis in order to deny the eternal existence of Christ.]

    " He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all (other) things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All (other) things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all (other) things and by means of him all (other) things were made to exists, and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is firstborn from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things; Because (God) saw good and fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile again himself all (other) things by making peace through the blood (he shed) on the torture stake, no matter whether they are things on earth or things in heaven NWT

    "And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation. For by him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-- all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that
    He Himself might come to have
    first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness dwell in Him, and through him to reconcile all things to himself, Having made peace through the blood of his cross; Through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven. NAS

    In this passage the NWT adds five words NOT present in the greek text, again, in order to deny Christs deity. In Col. 1:16,17,20 the term other is inserted in brackets five times. This is done in order to imply the meaning of the passage is that Christ himself is not the Creator.

    We grant that a translator may insert a word in italics or brackets if it is necessary to accurately express the thought of the original. But even a cursor reading of the context will show
    that Christ is the Creator. Their own interlinear is again embarrassing (p. 896) for it proves the word "other" is not in the Greek. Yet this did not prevent earlier editions of the New World Translation from using "other" without brackets, implying it was part of the Greek (see the 1950.1953 editions.). And even the 1965 edition of Make Sure of All things Hold Fast to What is Fine quotes Col l:15-18 as if "other" were part of the original greek. No parenthesis or brackets are present: "because by means of him all other things were created.All other things have been created through him
    and for him. '' 32

    In addition, modern versions of the NWT insert the word "other" in Phil.2:9 again changing., the meaning (i.e.; The name above every OTHER name) and once again without brackets or italics, implying that it is in the original when, in fact, it is not, as their own interlinear once again demonstrates.

    Jehovah's Witnesses objectivity cannot become more questionable than through examples of this type, where one adds to the divine text what is simply not present in order to deny what is clearly taught. Nevertheless, the Witnesses have somehow overlooked John 1:3 (which the NWT translates correctly) and which clearly declares the doctrine of Christ's deity which they spuriously removed from Colossians: that if Christ is the Creator of all things, He Himself must be uncreated.

    All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence. NWT

    While on the subject of Christ as Creator. Jehovah's Witnesses refer to the word prototokos ("firstborn" in Col. 1:15) as alleged evidence of Christ being "created." However, the word means priority and sovereignty over creation, as the context reveals. Metzger observes:

    Here he is spoken of as "the first begotten of all creation." which is something quite different from saying that he was made or created. If Paul had wished to express the
    later idea. he had available a Greek word to do so, the word protokistos, meaning first created. Actually, however, Paul uses the prototokes, meaning first begotten, which signifies something different, as the following explanation by a modern day theologian makes clear:

    "One of the creeds says Christ is the Son of God begotten, not created and it adds begotten by his Father before all worlds. Will you please get it quite clear that this has nothing to do with the fact that when Jesus was born on earth as a man, that man was the son of a virgin? We are not now thinking about the virgin birth. Were thinking about something that happened before Nature was created at all, before tie began. Before all Worlds Christ is Begotten, Not Created. What does this mean?

    We do not use the words begetting or begotten much in modern English, but everyone still knows what they mean. To beget is to become the Father of: to create is to make. And the difference is just this: When you Beget, you beget something of the same kind as yourself. A man begets human babies, a beaver begets little beavers, and a bird begets eggs which turn into little birds. But when you make, you make something of a different kind from yourself. A bird makes a nest, a beaver builds a dam, a man makes a wireless set. Now thats the first thing to get clear.

    What God begets is God; Just as what a Man begets is man. What God creates is NOT God; Just as what man makes is not man.

    To return now to Col.1:15 where Paul speaks of Christ as the first begotten of all creation it is important to observe that the adjective first refers to rank as well as time. In other words, the Apostle alludes here not only to Christs priority to all creation, but also to his sovereignty over all creation. 33

    One can also mention other Scriptures. In Psalms 89:27 "firstborn" clearly means preeminence. In Jeremiah 31:9 Ephraim is the "first-born" although Manasseh was literally born first, hence "first born'' must refer to rank or preeminence.

    9. Col. 2:9 (In this verse "deity" is translated as "divine quality" in order to circumvent Christ's deity.)

    "...because it is in him that all the fullness of DIVINE QUALITY dwells bodily." NWT

    For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form NAS

    The great grammarian, A.T. Robertson, author of A Grammar of the Greek New Testament, declares:
    In this sentencePaul states the heart of his message about the person of Christ. There dwells (at home) in Christ not one or more aspects of the Godhead (the very essence of God, from Theos, Deitas) and not to be confused with theiotes in Romans 1:20 (from theios, the quality of God,
    divinities), here only in the NT as theiotes only in Rom.1:20. The distinction is observed in Lucian and Plutarch. Theiotes occurs in the papyri and inscriptions. Paul here asserts that all the pleroma(fullness) of the Godhead, not just certain aspects, dwells in Christ and in bodily form.dwells now in Christ in his glorified humanityHe asserts plainly the deity and the humanity of Jesus Christ in corporeal form. 34

    Metzger asserts :
    Nothing could be clearer or more emphatic than this declaration. It means that everything without exception which goes to make the Godhead, or divine quality, dwells or resides in Jesus Christ Bodily, that is, is invested with a body in Jesus Christ. It is to be noticed also that Paul uses the present tense verb, dwells. He does not say that the fullness of divine quality has dwelt in Jesus Christ, but that it dwellsthere.

    Gruss States :

    The word theotes is here translated divine quality which is not a literal or correct rendering. Grimm-Thayer gave as the meaning of the word, deity, I.e., the state of being God, Godhead:Col.ii9. The word for divinity or divine character is found in Romans 1:20 and is theiotes which is rendered by Grimm-Thayer as divinity, divine nature. Cremer gives the Godhead as the meaning of theotes and then says that the two words are to be distinguished: theotes- that which God is, & theiotes-that which is of God. In discussion of these two words Trench writes concerning Colossians 2:9:

    St.Paul is declaring that in the Son there dwells all the fullness of absolute godhead: they were no mere rays of divine glory which gilded him lighting up his person for a season and with splendor not his own; But he was and is absolute and perfect God 36

    10. Titus 2:13,2 Peter 1:1

    [Cf,, Eph. 5:5,2 Thess.1:1 2 our "great God and Savior' is
    translated as "the great God and the Savior
    in order to deny Christs deity)

    "...while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of (the) Savior of us.
    Christ Jesus." NWT (Titus 2:13)

    "...looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." NAS(Titus 2:13)

    The Greek of these first two verses (in 2 Peter 1:1 and Titus 2:13) is very similar (megalou being absent in 2 Peter):


    (of our) great God and

    SOTEROS HEMON CHRISTOU IESOU savior of us Christ Jesus

    The New World Translation changes the proper translation to separate Jesus Christ from the term God, thereby denying His deity. In the NWT the verse is translated as if two persons are being spoken of. God and Jesus, rather than one person only, i.e., Jesus Christ.

    This violates a rule of Greek grammar called the Granville Sharp rule. In simplified form it states that. when two singular personal nouns (a personal noun is distinguished from a proper noun in this rule) of the same case ending (God and Savior above, genitive case) are connected by "and" {"kai"} and only the first noun has the modifying article the {tou} (the second noun does not), it always means both nouns uniformly refer to the same person.* When defined properly, the rule has no exceptions in the New Testament. (See appendix). In an exhaustive study of the Granville Sharp rule. including its critics. C. Kuehne in the. Journal of Theology- Church of the Lutheran Confession (September 1973 to Dec. 1974. Vols. 13, nos. 3,4; Vol. 14. nos. 1-4), found the Sharp rule to be without demonstrable exception in the entire New Testament. 37

    Thus "God" and "Savior" (underlined above) must both refer to one person, i.e., to Jesus in Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:2. In fact, in ancient times the same phraseology (god & savior)
    was used of a ruling King so that it is obvious only one person was meant. These verses must read our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Bruce Metzger observes:
    in support of this translation there ay be quoted such eminent grammarians of the Greek New Testament as P.W. Scmiedel, J.H.Moulton, A.T. Robertson, and Blass-Debrunner. All of these scholars concur in the judgement that only one person is referred to in Titus 2:13 and that therefore it must be rendered, our Great God and Savior Jesus ChristAll that has been written in the preceding section, including the judgment of the grammatical authorities cited there, applies with equal appropriateness to the correct rendering of 2 Peter 1:1. Accordingly, in this verse also there is an express declaration of the deity of Jesus Christ, of our God and savior Jesus Christ. 38

    The Kingdom interlinear explanation of their translation on p. 1163 is typically biased in its own defense--- sounding scholarly but misquoting Moulton's Grammar, as we will later document.
    Dana and Mantey in A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament state:
    "The following rule by Granville Sharp of a century back still proves to be
    true.... 2 Pt. 1:1. . means that Jesus is our God and Savior. After the same manner
    Tit. 2:13.. -asserts that Jesus is the great God and Savior-" 39

    One may also note the Greek scholar A. T. Robertson in his Word Pictures Vol.6, p.147 ("One Person not two") and Winer-Schmiedel's Grammatik 8 th ed. Leipzeig,. Germany. p. 158 ("Grammar demands that one person be met.)

    The reason why The KJV, the American Standard Version and a few additional earlier versions incorrectly translate such passages as Titus 2:13, 2 Peter 1:1, etc. is, in part, according to Robertson, due to the influence of the grammatical work of George B. Winer. For over 100 years his work was
    considered the best available andscholars were not inclined to disagree with him. However, Winer himself, being an anti-Trinitarian, admitted that it was not grammatical grounds that led him to reject the correct rendering of itus 2:13, but theological ones. In Winer-Moulton Grammar (as cited by Robertson), Page 162, Winer said, Considerations derived from Pauls system of doctrine lead me to believe that soteros is not a second predicate, so-ordinate with theou, Christ being first called megas theous, and then sotar. 'However, Robertson put it well when he said, Sharp stands vindicated
    after all the dust has settled. We must let these passages mean what they want to mean regardless of our theories about the theology of the writers. (For a discussion of
    why Sharp's rule is valid 100 percent of the
    tune. see the appendix after the footnotes.)

    11. John 1 :1 [''God" as "a god" in order to
    deny Chris's deity.]

    "In (the) beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." NWT

    "In the beginning was the Word andthe Word was with God. and the Word was God." NAS

    The transliterated Greek of this verse
    looks like this:

    En arche en ho logos kai ho logos

    In Beginning was the Word and the Word

    En pros ton theon kai theos en ho logos

    Was with the God and God was the Word

    In essence, the Watchtower Society claims it can translate Theos as "a god" because there is no definite article before this usage of theos (God) in the last clause of John 1:1.

    Note that the first use of the term God ("pros ton theon")
    has the article ("ton." the). The second use simply states "kai theos" (and "God." not and "the God"). Because it does not
    say "and the God" Jehovah's Witnesses argue they are free to interpret this second usage of God as figuratively meaning a lesser deity, "a god"--signifying Christ's exalted status, even though he is still only a creature. Their main concern here is to escape the clear meaning of this passage. Christ is here called theos, God.

    The difficulty is that had the apostle
    John used the article. he would have declared that "the God was the Word.'' Had he done so, he would have confused the persons of the Trinity and supported modalism (in the early church known as the heresy of Sabellianism). In other words, to declare that "the God was the word (Jesus')" would have stated that all of God, i.e.. the whole trinity, was Jesus. This would have supported modalistic
    belief that there is only one Person in the Godhead (i.e.. Jesus) and that the terms Father, Son and Spirit in Scripture only refer to modes or offices of the one God who exists as one person.

    The apostle John had to make a finer distinction and, on the one hand, clearly declare that the person of Jesus was deity, but, on the other, not make it seem as if all three persons in the Godhead were to be considered the same as the
    person of Jesus. To make this fine distinction he had to use the exact wording he used.

    We should also note that The Kingdom Interlinear (p. 1158-59) utilizes both Mantey and Robertson's Grammar in defense of their John 1:1 translation. However, Mantey observes:

    Since my name is used and our Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament is quoted on page 744 to seek to justify their translation, I am making this statement. of
    all the scholars in the world, as far as we know none have translated this verse as Jehovah's Witnesses have done. If the Greek article occurred with both Word and God in John 1:1
    the implication would be that they are one and
    the same person, absolutely identical. But John
    affirmed that "the Word was with (the) God" the definite article preceding each noun), and in so writing, he indicated his belief that they are distinct and separate personalities. Then
    John next stated that the Word was God, i.e.,
    of the same family or essence that characterizes the Creator. Or. in other words, that both are of the same nature, and that nature is the highest in existence, namely divine....The apostle John in the context of the introduction to his Gospel, is pulling all the stops out of language to portray not only the deity of Christ but also his equality with the Father. He states that the Word was in the beginning, that He was with God- that He was God and that all creation came into existence through him and that not even one thing exists that was not created by Christ. What else could be said that John did not say? 40

    As for Dr. Robertson, they misstate his own position by selectively quoting him. As they observe, Robertson does say
    that, "the absence of the article here is on purpose." But Jehovah's Witnesses do not explain why he says this. He does
    so to indicate that to include the article "would have been Sabellianism. 41 In his Word Pictures, Robertson provides a
    succinct analysis:
    By exact and careful language John denied Sabellianism by not saying ho theos en ho logos. (The God was the Word). That would mean that all of God was expressed in ho logos (the Word) and the terms would be interchangeable, each having the article. The subject is made plain by the article (ho logos) and the predicate without it (Theos) just as in John
    4:24 pneuma ho theos can only mean "God is spirit." not "spirit is God." So in 1 John 4:16 ho theos agape estin can only mean "God is love," not "love is God" as a so-called Christian scientist would confusedly say. For the article with the predicate see Robertson. Grammar. pp. 767f. So in John 1:14 ho Logos sarx egeneto. "the W'ord became flesh." not "the flesh became Word." 42

    The Watchtower Society appendix defending the "a god" rendering (Kingdom Interlinear, p. 1158-60) again, appears
    scholarly but is not. For example, they misquote Dana and Mantey's Grammar. In a letter dated July 11, 1974 to the
    WBTS. Mantey even demanded a public apology for these repeated misquotingsas well as requested their discontinuance of the use of his grammar: After citing numerous examples of mistranslations, Mantey writes:
    In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context. I herewith request you not to quote the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. Also that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on. Also that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance to the absence of the article before theos in John 1: S.... On the page before the Preface in the grammar are these words' "All rights reservedno part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher." If you have such permission, please send me a photocopy of it. If you do not heed these requests you will suffer the consequences.
    Regretfully yours, Julius R. Mantey

    (Taken from our The Facts On Jehovah'sWitnesses, p. 48)

    Van Buskirk has also documented Watchtower deception in detail in his Scholastic Dishonesty of the Watchtower noting they also misquote A. T. Robertson's Grammar and other sources as well. They further claim, "At Acts 28:6 we have a case paralleling that of John 1:1 with exactly the same predicate construction. namely, with an anarthrous
    [i.e.. no definite article] OEOS [theos] (The Kingdom interlinear, p. 1160). This at first seems to be true for there is no definite article in Acts 28:6- What the Witnesses fail to mention is that in John1:1 the predicate nominative (theos) precedes the verb: here in Acts it follows
    the verb and thus is not applicable. Colwell's rule (which is at issue here) states that a definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb and lacks the article when it precedes it:

    It must be stated quite frankly that, if the
    Jehovahs Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are Polytheists. In view of the additional light which is available during this age of Grace, such representation is even more reprehensible than were the heathenish, polytheistic errors into which ancient Israel was so prone to fall. As a matter of solid fact, however, such rendering is a frightful mistranslation. It overlooks entirely an established rule of Greek grammar which necessitates the rendering, and the Word was God. Some years ago Dr. Ernest Cadman Colwell of the University of Chicago pointed out a study of the Greek definite article that, "A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb,... In a lengthy Appendix in the Jehovah's Witnesses' translation, which was added to support the mistranslation of John 1:1, there are quoted thirty-five other passages in John where the predicate noun has the definite article in Greek. These are intended to prove that the absence of the article in John 1:1 requires that OEOS must be translated "a god." None of the thirty-five instances is parallel, however, for in every case the predicate noun stands after the verb, and so, according to Colwell's rule, properly has the article. So far, therefore, from being evidence against inthe usual translation of John 1:1, these instances add confirmation to the full enunciation of the rule of the Greek definite article. Furthermore, the additional references quoted in the New World Translation from the Greek of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, in order to give further support to the erroneous rendering in the opening verse of John, are exactly in conformity with Colwell's rule, and therefore are added proof of the accuracy of the rule.
    The other passages adduced in the Appendix are. for one reason or another, not applicable to the question at issue. (Particularly inappropriate is the reference to Acts 28:6, for no one has ever maintained that the pagan natives of Malta regarded Paul as anything other than "a god.") 43

    Van Buskirk points out that the Witnesses have attempted to deny Colwell's Rule by quoting Phillip B. Harrier's article in Journal of Biblical Literature, "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1" (Vol. 92, 1973, p. 87). However, a full year earlier Dr. Mantey's own letter to the Watchtower Society demanding they stop misquoting him pointed out that not only had they misquoted Colwell's rule
    but that it is impossible to quote Hamer in denial of Colwell since Harner himself supports the rule and denies the possibility of an "a god" translation. Van Buskirk observes:
    One's mind staggers at the depths to which someone will sink to prove his point. In the Watchtower's case both Colwell and Hamer show that in John 1:1 "a god" is not a permissible translation. Yet without blinking an eye they will quote, out of context, the man who refutes them. Hamer's article in no way concludes what the Watchtower makes it conclude in their letter. 44

    Van Buskirk goes on to discuss exactly what Hamer concluded and how his research is complementary to Colwell's; it simply brings out new information.

    Nevertheless, even if we were to assume the truth of what the Watchtower Society claims in their appendix, they have violated their own "rule" in John 1:1 94 per cent of the time. Robert H.
    Countess, writing in The Jehovah's Witnesses ' New Testament, documents this in detail. 45 In John 1 alone they violate their principle at least five times. Checking their interlinear (pp. 417-19) we see the following:

    John 1:6 para theou - no definite article
    John 1:12 tekna theou - no definite article
    John 1:13 ek theou - no definite article
    John 1:18 Theon - no definite article
    John 1:23 odon Kuriou - no definite article

    If the absence of the article demands the "a god" rendering, why is it not so rendered here? In fact, where is it in 94 per cent of the instances of such construction in the NWT? Clearly translating John 1:1 "a god" is not only a violation of Greek grammar, it is unjustified even in light of the vast
    majority of their own translation. Obviously then, in the above passages in John 1:1 (NWT), the translation should be "God," not "a god."

    (As an aside, the NWT at John 1:23 translates the Greek kurios (Lord) as "Jehovah," since it is a clear reference to Jehovah God from Isaiah. Yet, according to their John 1:1 rendering, with no definite article it should be "a Jehovah." If "a god" must be different from God, "a Jehovah" must then be different from Jehovah. At this point we would have three Gods: "Jehovah," ''a god" and "a Jehovah.")

    12. Philippians 1:23 [The word "depart" is translated as "releasing" to support a belief in soul sleep.]

    "I am under pressure from these two things; but what I do desire is the releasing and the being with

    "But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very
    much better.'" NAS

    Walter Martin states:
    The rendering, "but what I do desire is the releasing," particularly the last word, is a gross imposition upon the principles of Greek exegesis because the untutored Russellites have rendered the first aorist active infinitive of the verb analuoo (analusai) as a substantive (the releasing), which in this context is unscholarlv and atrocious Greek. In order to translate it "the releasing" the form would have to be the participle construction (analusas). 46

    (Martin also shows that in 2 Timothy 4:6 the Witnesses accept the similar form of the same word as meaning
    death, but they cannot do so in Phil. 1:23 for reasons of theological bias.)

    13. Matthew 24:3 [The word "coming" as "presence" to justify the "invisible presence" of Jesus theory.]

    "....Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and of the conclusion of the
    system of these things?" NWT

    "....Tell us, when will these things be,
    and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" NAS

    The Greek word parousia according to its context should be translated coming. (It can be translated "presence" but
    context must determine which is correct.) Martin states:
    Jehovah's Witnesses claim scholarship for this blanket translation of parousia, yet not one great scholar in the history of Greek exegesis and translation has ever held this view. Since 1871. when Pastor Russell produced this concept, upon examination, it has been denounced by every competent scholar. The reason this Russellite rendering is so dangerous is that it attempts to prove that parousia, in regard to Christ's second advent, really means that His return or "presence" was to be invisible and unknown to all but "the faithful" (Russellites, of course).... To conclude that presence necessarily implies invisibility is also another flaw in the Watchtower's argument, for in numerous places where they render parousia "presence", the persons spoken of were hardly invisible. (See 1 Co. 16:! 7. 2
    Co. 7:6: and 10:10) 47
    Thus, in the New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon under the word parousia we find these comments: "In the N.T., esp. of the advent, i.e., the future, visible, return from heaven of Jesus, the Messiah, to raise the dead. hold the last judgment, and set up formally and gloriously the kingdom of God: Mt. 24:3. 48

    14. [The Translation of the YHWH as Jehovah.] We can see biased translations in other areas as well, even in the Witnesses' own term Jehovah which is so important to them as allegedly signifying the "true" name of God. The NWT adds Jehovah to the NT text over 200 times, in
    spite of the fact that "Jehovah" is not found anywhere in the Bible, New or Old Testament. Yet they claim the NT originals were "tampered with" and that the tetragrammaton (YHWH) was surreptitiously removed, substituting kurios (Lord) and theos (God). The fact is that YHWH never occurs in any NT Greek mss. and in only one Septuagint copy. 49 There is simply no evidence of tampering. 50

    The truth is that YHWH can be translated different ways since the insertion of vowels is arbitrary. YHWH could have been Jehovah or JiHiViH or JaHiVeH, etc. In other words, the translation of kurios and theos as JEHOVAH in the New World Translation (237 times) is a completely unjustified translation. We simply do not know the "true" name of God. Metzger observes:
    "The introduction of the word 'Jehovah' into the New Testament text, in spite of much ingenuity in an argument filled with a considerable amount of irrelevant material (p. 10-25), is a plain piece of special pleading." 51

    There is another obvious reason for using "Jehovah" in place of "Lord"; it thereby denies the deity of Christ where the term "Lord" (applied to Jesus) connotes the meaning of Jehovah in the Old Testament. Often, when the New Testament refers to Christ as "Lord," it is associating Him with Jehovah in the Old Testament. The Watchtower Society has even had to be inconsistent in its translation, translating kurios variously as "Jehovah" or "Lord" to suit their own theology.

    For example, if we look at the Kingdom Interlinear (p. 723) for Romans 10:11, kurios is translated Lord, but in v. 13 the same word, kurios, (which here clearly refers to Jesus) is now translated "Jehovah" rather than "Lord" or "Jesus." In both places the term Lord refers to Jesus and connotes His deity but the New World Translation hides this by the translation of "Lord" in v. 11 and "Jehovah" in v.13 implying the entire section refers to Jehovahbut not to Jesus.

    Likewise, Phil 2:10-11 clearly refers to Jesus and is based on Isaiah 45:22-25, referring to Jehovah (see Rom. 14:9-11). Yet if kurios were translated Jehovah in Philippians 2 it would mean Jesus is identified with Jehovah, and the Watchtower Society could not permit such a translation. Hence, kurios is here translated "Lord." Thus, it is only where kurios can be translated Jesus and not simultaneously imply His deity, that it is so translated.

    15. [Additional Examples]

    In addition to the above examples, we may note that Professor Gruss observes a number of other errors in translation. 52 In Matt. 24:6,14;1 Pet. 4:7; 2 Cor. 11:15; Rev. 19:20 and elsewhere words are added that are not in the Greek. And despite the claim to not engage in paraphrasing, the New World Translation repeatedly paraphrases when Scripture refers to believers being "in Christ." All believers everywhere can be in Christ only if Jesus is God. But in the NWT the term "in Christ" (Greek en) is often mistranslated, e.g., as "in union with" (Christ) or something similar. The Witnesses then interpret this to mean a union of purpose
    rather than an "organic" spiritual union.

    Gruss comments:

    With the same Greek word being translated properly in every case except when it refers to the believer's personal relationship with Christ, it must be concluded that the
    translator's paraphrasing is nothing less than interpretation. One loses confidence in a translation which professes to be literal when it is replete with biased paraphrases. 53

    In Phil. 3:11 the Greek exanastasis (resurrection) is erroneously translated "earlier resurrection." And, in John 13:18,17:12, 19:24 and 19:36 the exact same Greek words are translated four different ways. Robert H. Countess refers to additional mistranslations. 54

    Our only conclusion is that the WBTS can hardly be concerned with accurately translating the New Testament in light of such examples.

    So far we have referred to the New Testament portion of the New World Translation. What of the Old Testament?
    Although space does not permit illustrations, according to reviewers it is not much improved. In his discussion. British scholar H. H. Rowley asserts,
    "From beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated...." and he calls it "an insult to the Word of God." 55 Gruss points out that their translation of the Old Testament has the same basic purpose as that of the New, to justify preconceived Watchtower theology. 56

    We should emphasize again that our analysis of the New World Translation here is not a result of "biased trinitarian theology" as Witnesses are fond of claiming. If those quoted above are biased it is toward a respect for rules of grammar and divine revelation. A Christian should feel free to challenge a Witness by appealing to non-Christian authorities at this point. Any university Greek professor could be consulted for his view of the New World Translation at John 1:1, Matthew 25:46, etc.

    In conclusion, the above examples represent only a small percentage of them is translations and biases of the New World Translation. We must now ask, "Has the Watchtower Society passed or failed the test of accurately translating the Bible?"

    If it has failed, as it has, it cannot claim either adherence to or a respect for divine revelation. And if it has no respect for God's Word, can it possibly be the sole channel through which God has chosen to operate on earth?


    1 Note all Jehovah's Witness texts are published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (WBTS. 25 Columbia Heights. Brooklyn, NY 11021). Standard works include Edmond Gruss. Apostles of Denial (Grand Rapids. MI Baker, 1976) (unless noted otherwise, all references to Gruss are from this text). Walter Martin, Jehovah of the Wali'hlower (Chicago. IL Moody. 1974). Anthony Hoekema, Jehovahs Witnesses (Gland Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. 1981) (Also published in The Four Major Cults)

    2 See our The facts On the Jehovah's Witness (Eugene. OR Harvest House), also Gruss, discusses each of these, cf. his The Jehovah's Witness and Prophetic Speculation (Nutley. NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1972)

    3 Benjamin Wilson. The Emphatic Diaglot New Testament (Interlinear Edition. Brooklyn, NY Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1942), pp 106,372

    4 Gruss. pp 194-96

    5 Wilson, p 3 "Preface "
    5a Gruss pp. 32-33. 219. See also The Watchtower. September 1, 1932. p 263; Light Vol 1. 1930 pp 106,120,218: Vol 2, 1930, pp 12,20,Vindication Vol. 3. 1932, p 250. Preparation. 1933.pp.36,67
    5b. For documentation see William and Jean Cetnar, Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses (Kunkletown, PA 1983). pp 48-55

    6 The Kingdom interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (Brooklyn. NY WBTS. 1969).p 5

    7 The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Brooklyn. NY. WBTS. 1961). P. 5

    8 All Scripture is Inspired by God and Beneficial (Brooklyn. NY WBTS. 1963)pp 226-30

    9 Robert Countess. The Jehovah's Witness (New Testament (Philipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed. 1983). pp 91, 93

    10 Gruss. pp 236-37

    11 Anthony Hoekema- The Four Major Cults (Grand Rapids. MI Eerdmans, 1960) pp. 238-39

    12 Martin, pp 129. 175-78. cf. Gruss. p 198

    13 Bruce Metzger, "The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ." rpt, of April 1953 Theology Today {Princeton. NJ Theological Book Agency, 1953), p 74.

    14 Julius Mantey. Depth Exploration In the New Testament (NY Vantage Press l980),pp. 136-37

    15 'The Royal Shepherd of Bible Prophecy " The Watchtower, Vol. 100 no.17 Sept 1. 1979(Brooklyn.NY:WBTS),p.30

    16 The Wotchtower, March 15, 1972 p 189

    17 Colin Brown, The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids. Ml Zondervan. 1973). Vol. 3, "Punishment". R C Trench, Synonyms of The New Testament (Grand Rapids, Ml Eerdmans. 1978), pp 24-25

    18 Mantey. Depth Exploration p. 142

    19 Trench pp. 25-26

    20 Mantey, p 137

    21 Michael Van Buskirk The Scholastic Dishonesty of the Watchtower (San la Ana,CA: Christian Apologetics and Research Information Service 1976)

    22 Ibid

    23 Mantey, Depth of Exploration, pp 142-43

    24 R C H Lenski. The interpretations of St Lukes Gospel (Minneapolis. MN Augsburg Publisher; House. 1961), pp 1145-16

    25 Martin, p 135

    26 The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, p.1160

    27Nigel Turner, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (Edinburgh:T. and T. Clarke, 1965),pp.14-15

    28 The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, p.1160

    29 Turner, p. 15

    30 Thomas Hewitt, in the Tyndale's New Testament Commentary Series. The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids. Ml: Eerdmans. 1973) pp 56-57

    31 F F Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews in The New international Commentary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI Eerdmans, 1973). p 20

    32 Make Sure of All Things Hold Fast to That Which is firm (Broolyn. NY WBTS.1965) p 364

    33 Metzger, p 77, also Kenneth Wuest, Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Vol 2. "Hebrews'' (Grand Rapids. MI Eerdmans, 1971), p 46

    34 A T Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament. Vol 4 (Nashville, TN: Broadman, 1930). p 491

    35 Metzger, pp. 77-78.

    36 Gruss, pp. 204-205.

    37 From a condensation of Kuehne's article published in the CARIS newsletter May 1978. Vol. 2, no 2. stated to be accurate by Kuehne in Vol 2. no 3, "letters"

    38 Metzger, p 79

    39 Dana and Mantey, A Mannal Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto, Canada: MacMillian. 1957), p 147

    39a James White. The King James Only Controversey (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany 1995)p270

    40. Mantey, Depth Exploration, pp 138-39

    41 AT Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville, TN

    Broadman Press, 1934). pp. 767-68

    42 A, T Robertson, Word Pictures, Vol. 5, pp. 4-5,

    43 Metzger. pp 75-76

    44 VanBuskirk, p. 16.

    45. Countess, Chapter4, pp. 54-55. Appendix Table 5

    46 Martin, p 136.

    47 Ibid., p. 141.

    48 J H, Thayer, New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon (Wilmington, DE: Associated Publishers and Authors. 1977), p 490

    49 Countess, p 23, Gruss, pp. 198-99

    50 Gruss, pp. 198-200; Martin, pp. 129-31

    51 Brace Metzger, The Bible Translator, July 1964, p 152, cited in Gruss, p 200

    52Cross, pp. 200-205.

    53 Gruss, p. 201.

    54 Countess, ch 6.

    55 Rowley, "How not to Translate the Bible." The Expository Times. Nov 1953, pp. 41-42, cf, )an 1956, p 107; cited by Gruss, Apostles of Denial, pp 212-13.

    56 Gruss, p. 213.


    1 Brown, Colin (ed ), The New International Dictionary of The New Testament (Grand Rapids, Ml: Zondcrvan, 1973)

    2 Caris Newsletter, May 1978, Vol. 2, no. 2 & 3 (Santa Ana, CA: CARIS, 1978)

    3 Countess, Robert, The Jehovah's Witnesses New Testament (Phillipsburg, NJ Presbyterian and Reformed, 1983).

    4 Dana.H. E and Mantey, Julius, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto, Canada: MacMiliian, 1957).

    5 Gruss Edmond, Apostles of Denial (Grand Rapids. Ml: Baiter, 1976).

    6. Hockema, Anthony, The Four Major Cults (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960)

    7 Mantey, Julius, Depth Exploration in the New Testament (NY: Vantage Press, 1980).

    8. Martin, Walter, Jehovah of the Walchtower (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1974)

    9 Robertson. Archibald T.. Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman, 1930),

    10. Turner, Nigel, Grammatical Insights into the New Testament (Edinburg: T and T.Clark, 1965)

    11 Thayer, J. H., New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon (Wilmington, DE Associated Publishers and Authors. 1977)

    12. Trench, R C , Synonyms of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1978).

    13 Van Buskirk, Michael, The Scholastic Dishonesty of the Watchtower (Santa Ana. CA: CARIS, 1976).

    14 Walchtower Bible and Tract Society, The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1969)

    15 The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Brooklyn, NY Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1961).

    16. - All Scripture Is Inspired by God and Beneficial (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1963).

    17.- Make Sure of All Things Hold Fast to That Which is Fine (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1965).

    18. Wilson, Benjamin, The Emphatic Diaglott New Testament, Interlinear Edition (Brooklyn, NY: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1942).

    19. Wuest, Kenneth, Word Studies in Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1971).


    In The King James Only Controversy, James White points out that, "Most attacks upon Granville Sharp's Rule happened based upon less-than-full or accurate definitions of it. A review of the current literature shows that most modem grammars do not give full definitions when presenting
    Granville Sharp's work." (The King James Only Controversy, p. 268) White cites Kenneth West, Curtis Vaughan and Vitrus Gideon as examples. In their grammar, Dana and Mantey "give probably the most accurate definition" but even here the definition is not an accurate rendering of what Granville Sharp actually stated. "It has been due to
    these less-than-accurate definitions that Sharp's Rule has become the target of much criticism." (Ibid., p. 269) White cites A. T. Robertson's, The Minister and His Greek New Testament pages 61-68 as having one
    of the best discussions on the subject under the title, "The Greek Article and the Deity of Christ." Robertson provided an accurate rendering of Sharp's Rule and much relevant discussion. White also tracked down
    an 1807 edition of Sharp's work entitled "Remarks on the Uses of the Definitive Article in the Greek Text of the New Testament: Containing Many New Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, from Passages which are Wrongly Translated in the Common English Version [i.e., the KJV]." (Philadelphia: B.B. Hopkins&Co., 1807).

    Sharp's Rule, according to Sharp, is given as follows in this work (p. 3):

    When the copulative kai connects two nouns of the same case [viz. nouns (either substantive or adjective, or participles) of personal description, respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connexion, and attributes, properties, or qualities, good or ill] if the article ho, or any of its cases, precedes the first of the set nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to
    the same person that is expressed or described by the first noun or participle: i.e., it denotes a farther [i.e., further] description of the first named person, (emphasis added)

    White proceeds to point out that the key issue here is that Sharp's rule is valid only for singulars, not plurals, and is not intended to be applied to proper names. In other words, the rule applies to persons, not things. This
    means that Sharp's Rule is significantly more limited in scope than many modem definitions indicate. This also explains the controversy over this rule:

    Does this more accurate and definite definition make a big difference? Indeed it does! There are seventy-nine occurrences of "Granville Sharp" constructions in the writings of Paul, using Vaughan and Gideon's definition. Hence, here we have constructions that mix singulars and plurals, descriptions of places and things, and constructions that reflect both nouns as having the article. A quick glance over the list reveals a maximum of fifteen exceptions, and a minimum of five. Even this ratio would be considered very good for a general rule of grammar. However,
    Sharp claimed that the rule always held true. Obviously, if the modern versions of his rule are accurate. Sharp was not. (Ibid., p. 270)

    White goes on to point out that when the rule is properly defined, it is without exception in the entire New Testament:

    But when the constructions in the New Testament that truly follow Granville Sharp's Rule are examined, a very unusual thing happens: it is
    found to be entirely without exception! As Robertson quotes from Sharp's work, "But, though Sharp's principle was attacked, he held to it and affirms (p. 115) that though he had examined several thousand examples of this type, ...he had never found an exception." (citing Robertson, The Minister and His Greek New Testament, p. 62) From my own research, I concur with Sharp. (White, Ibid., p. 270)

    Edited by - Adonai438 on 12 August 2002 22:16:7

    Edited by - Simon on 12 August 2002 22:27:47

  • Simon

    Sorry Adonai438 ... I edited it to change the font size which was very hard to read but may have undone your editing.

  • onacruse

    Adonai, thanks for this informative post. Just more evidence of the theological bias of the NWT that the WTS so vigorously denies, eh?

    One thing that gets me: while the WTS expresses some regard for other Bible translations, it is really a token gesture. They consistently ignore or attempt to debunk the scholarship of these other works, even when the evidence against the NWT is almost unanimous.

    "A fact is like a sack-it won't stand up if it's empty. To make it stand up, first you have to put in it all the reasons and feelings that caused it in the first place."
    Luigi Pirandello

  • wokeup

    Angie, thanks for the post, I remember reading many of these things a couple years ago when I first went online and have enjoyed reading these again, despite the small font size. I wondered about the NWT of Rom.14:7-9 for years because it defied common sense.


  • Navigator

    Very informative post! However, it is well to remember that even if we could recover the original greek (sans copying errors over the centuries, additions, margin notes that crept into the original text, outright editing, etc.) we might not have the truth. Greek was certainly not the original language of the apostles and the writers were likely working from a lost aramaic text that itself may have been passed down with errors. Certain aramaic idioms got literal translations that lost the original meaning. To complicate matters, the aramaic spoken in northern Palestine (where Jesus grew up) was not the same as aramaic spoken in the area of Jerusalem. This problem is highlighted when Jesus is speaking with a learned member of the Sanhedrin and used the term "You must be born again". It wasn't understood and had to be explained. If you've ever tried to use your "Texmex" spanish in Madrid, Spain, you know what I mean. In numerous cases, it appears that the greek authors translated passages without very much knowledge of aramaic customs and culture. George Lamsa, whose native lanuage was aramaic and who was raised in the aramaic culture, has been helpful in pointing out those flaws and shedding light on statements made by Jesus that have been misunderstood. A classic example is the account of the wedding at Cana which the new testament author has used to signal the beginning of Jesus's ministry. Lamsa points out that middle eastern weddings were drunken brawls that went on for days. It was not the host's responsibility to provide the wine, but the guest's. The first wine (and the best)was provided by the best friend and so on. It would have been a social "gaffe" to go out of turn in providing the wine. When Mary, embarrassed for the couple, said to Jesus, "They have no wine", she was, in effect, saying, "it is your turn". His response was simply, "No, it is not". It would have been scandalous for Jesus, a rabbi, to provide more wine to an already "wasted" group. It was customary for the rabbi to serve water when his turn came and to encourage the guests to sober up. Having sampled some of the lower grade middle-eastern wines, I would certainly prefer water. My point is that the practice of "Bibliolotry", the uncritical worship of a book often practiced by the more fundamentalist groups, is no better and no more logical than the practice of idolotry. The manipulation of the greek text by Fred Franz to promote society tenets and teachings was probably not the first time that has happened.

  • TheOldHippie

    Far too short and over-simplified, the Adonai message or pamphlet. You don't make away with a translation of a verse in a couple of lines or a couple of pages. One could cite authorities who go the other way, one could cite BeDuhn and Stafford and lots of others, and then we could have the usual merry-go-roung with hitting each other in the head. Many of the critics are theologiand, and as such have their pre-determined opinions as to how a verse should be translated, what is appropriate etc. Boiling the comments down to what the Greek scholars say and leaving out the theological aspects, gives quite another picture.

  • Adonai438

    Thanks for your input everyone.

    I think the most interesting thing I read in it was the quotes from the very scholars the WT cites in their support. The scholars being quoted out of context *like this is new to the WT* and used as false support and the fact that they were literally disgusted that their words were manipulated by them.

    Actually, with all the many thousands of ancient manuscripts from all over that the world has of the bible it is pretty impossible to actually change anything it says- although the WT would like us to think it's impossible to know. All the manuscripts match and there is no difference in any of them aside from just a few phrasing things. For someone to change anything- back then or even now, is quite difficult/impossible because there would be thousands of copies elsewhere that said the original-- they would in effect have to go and destroy all the current copies in conflict with them and not to mention the people that had read, believed in and memorized these scriptures that wouldn't let change happen without a fight. Also not to mention that the hebrew and christian scribes took copying the scriptures VERY seriously-- to the death. They counted the letters when they were done, read and re-read everything so error was just not allowed. Errored or imperfect manuscripts were immediately destroyed and purposely changing them was punishable by death. With all the manuscripts spaning the ancient history that all match, including all the archeological evidence that suports the events of the Bible and the secular scholars writing about many of the same things including the claim that Jesus was God there is still no actual physical evidence that the bible was ever changed or ever could have been-- In theory it makes sense that a religious 'book' could possibly change over time but to make that very serious claim one has to produce evidence---otherwise people can just say anything they want without proof and people will follow it-- irony of the WT ;) ---

    In fact there is actual proof that virtually every other religious book has changed over time--ie: NWT, Book of Mormon, Cult books, etc.... but absolutely non that the Bible has changed ever.

    My 2cents and then some ;)

    No problem fixing the font Simon--Thanks-- I cut and pasted and noticed afterwards that the font size had changed in the process.

    Have a great day! <>< Angie

  • metatron

    I do have trouble believing that the Trinity is that cut and dried in the Bible. I think the

    doctrine evolved over time with lots of people arguing and quoting all the way down

    to the Council of Nicea.

    That said, the insertion of 'Jehovah' into the New Testament is utterly without foundation.

    The Watchtower admits that Bible writers did not always quote from the Septuagint

    nor do we know if the particular copy with the Tetragrammaton was even in their possession.

    Most important of all is the fact that Jesus and Paul avoided using the Tetragrammaton

    as in the 'Lord's Prayer ("Our Father...) and "there is actually to us one God, the Father

    and one Lord, Jesus Christ".

    Their purpose was to advertise God as everyone's Father, not create a narrow cult

    centered around 'Yahweh'.


  • Navigator

    You are very much mistaken if you think the Bible has not changed over the centuries. There is substantial evidence of editing even before Jesus was born. The old testament is especially rife with examples. Consider the story of Abraham passing off Sarah as his sister which is told at least three times with varying characters and circumstances. Your argument that changes would have been detected by others doesn't hold water since there were few copies around before printing was invented. Those that were around were generally printed in Latin which was not the language of the masses. Moreover, the Catholic church did not encourage the distribution of bibles to the masses and the first few that tried it were burned at the stake for their efforts. The church was not above creating forgeries of "ancient texts" when it suited their purpose. The source of the Trinity doctrine (1st John) in the King James Version was a carefully forged manuscript from a monestary in Spain created for a cocky greek scholar by the name of Erasmus who had a contract with a Swiss printer to publish a greek version of the Bible. Unfortunately, the KJV translaters used this corrupted edition as their main source document. More recent editions are definitely more accurate than some of the earlier texts, but they all go back to greek which was not the language of Jesus and the apostles. Moreover, there are numerous examples of margin notes by the scribes creeping into the text and then being copied over and over. Some changes were blatent editing. The original language describing the crucifiction described Jesus as being crucified with two other criminals. The scribe was offended by the term other and simply edited it out. There was considerable debate in the eary church about what books should be included. As you no doubt know, the Catholic versions have a few extra books.

  • Disillusioned JW
    Disillusioned JW

    I own a copy of "The Twentieth Century New Testament: A Translation into Modern English, made from the original Greek (Westcott & Hort's text) by a company of about twenty scholars representing the various sections of the Christian Church - Revised Edition". It is copyright "1900-1901-1902-1903-1904". It uses the expression "in union with" in a number of places including in John 14:10 where it says "Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father, and the Father with me?" See https://www.bibliatodo.com/en/the-bible/twentieth-century-1904/john-14 for an online edition of that NT translation. That NT translation is one of my favorites, due to its very understandable modern English (other than using thy, thou, and similar type words in prayers) and because to me it appears to be highly accurate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twentieth_Century_New_Testament says The Twentieth Century New Testament's "... translators were not professional scholars ..." but it also says "Because of the translators' meticulous attention to the best scholarship of their day, Bruce Metzger concluded that their version still holds up remarkably well today, despite the lapse of over 100 years." The web page at http://newworldtranslation.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-new-world-translation-bible-and.html (a JW pro NWT web page?) quotes a number of other respected NT/Bible translations which use the words "in union with".

    John 8:58 in the 1973 NASB had an alternate rendering of "have been" in the margin, though the main text said "I AM".

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