Neither writers nor translators believe Scriptures are inspired of God

by iconoclastic 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • iconoclastic

    In most of the scriptures, the Supreme Father figure is originally presented as upholder of the Law that every action has equal and opposite reaction. Later writers would come presenting a son of God who would exhibit a soft approach towards consequences of action. One of the best examples is John 7:53 to 8:11 which is now accepted as one of the most famous forgeries in the Bible.

    Matthew 17:21 (“This kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting”) is a duplicate of Mark 9:29 ( "This kind can come out only by prayer.). It was apparently added by a copyist in order to make Matthew agree with Mark. Interestingly, the whole account in Mark 9:14-29 itself is a forgery [Because Jesus is presented as a simpleton as he calls the demon as “deaf and mute” yet commands him “to come out of him and never enter him again.” (Mark 9:25)]; this makes Matthew 17:21 a type of double-layered forgery!

    Translators too are no exception:

    1) Isaiah 66:3:

    “Whoever slaughters an ox is just like one who kills a human being” (International Standard Version)

    “When such people sacrifice a bull, it is no more acceptable than a human sacrifice” (New Living Translation)

    2) Mathew 16:18 is the best example of how churches try to modify translation to support their favored doctrines.

    On what basis do believers put trust in scriptures?

  • Vidiot

    iconoclastic - "Neither writers nor translators believe Scriptures are inspired of God..."

    That's because, as writers and translators, they actually have to read it. :smirk:
  • John Aquila
    John Aquila

    I know the Watchtower has never believed that the Bible was inspired and have said so many times in their publications.

    *** watchtower 1996 4/15 p. 19 Why True Worship Receives God’s Blessing ***

    Bible translations themselves are not inspired by God. Translations, by their very nature, may reflect variations of the understanding of the original tongues in which the Bible was recorded.

  • umbertoecho

    John 7:53 to 8:11 which is now accepted as one of the most famous forgeries in the Bible.

    Truly? Excuse my ignorance but can you lead me to the evidence for this. I do believe you, so don't get me wrong. It's just that sometimes I don't know where to research all the things I am made aware of.

    I really would like to know this. I am beginning to really wonder about the accuracy of the bible these days.

  • umbertoecho


    john 7:53 to 8:11 which is now accepted as one of the most famous forgeries in the Bible.

    I have just looked those scriptures up in one of the older NW Translations of the WT Bible

    Revised in 1971. Those scriptures are not in it. Interesting that they may have had a better bible back then, than now. Got it open right infront of me right now.

    The scriptures in this old bible go from John 7:52 with no 53rd verse and recomences at John 8:12. There is a footnote at the bottom explaining those scriptures you mentioned being omitted by some manuscripts and with some variations in Greek texts. Ummm interesting.

    Which bible/s do have those scriptures, do you know? Interesting comment. Now I have to look up my other bibles......Thanks

  • CalebInFloroda

    First of all, the idea that the Scriptures are “inspired” are a post-Biblical thought (after the Hebrew Scriptures were composed) and mean different things to different groups.

    First off, the Jews don’t believe in “inspiration” along the lines that Christians do. And while they currently refer to their collections of writings as “canon,” the truth is that Jews don’t have such a thing in the Christian sense of the word. For Christians, “inspiration” is a requisite to canonicity whereas among Jews it is their religion that has been inspired of G-d. As a product of inspired religion, the Scriptures have been accepted among the Jews.

    “Inspiration” among groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Fundamentalist Christians clashes with what the word means among mainstream Christianity. For groups like Orthodox Christians, Protestants, and Roman Catholics “inspiration” refers to the entire process that went into creating the Scripture texts, including redactions and editorial changes. The “inspiration” process ended when the books were chosen for official canonization, not when they were first composed. Thus the several different endings to Mark’s gospel are considered canonical as are additions to John’s gospel such as the beginning to chapter 8.

    But for Jehovah’s Witnesses and groups like them, “inspiration” is more like a dictation process usually between G-d and one writer at a time. The author of the written work is often described as little more than a conduit. “Inspiration” is also limited to the earliest or original writings only, none of which exist.

    While it is true that the writers obviously didn’t see their works as “inspired” in the JW sense, this is not true about some of the Jewish texts as well as the redactors and their work that later went into the finalization of the Tanakh. The Mosaic Law was definitely considered to have divine origins by its composer(s), and the redaction/editorial process that came as late to these writings as the time of Ezra demonstrates that the redactors definitely believed they were handling a holy work from G-d. But this cannot be surmised from an immediate reading of New Testament texts.

    Modern Bible translations are the result of ecumenical bodies which can include people who fully embrace one or several of the ideas of inspiration listed above and those who do not. A group of varied approaches allows for a more honest and critically produced text. The NRSV was created using a group of Protestant, Orthodox, Catholic and Jewish scholars as was the CEB. Currently the Holy See recommends that all official Catholic versions be composed by ecumenical translation committees only in order that Catholic translations can be placed at the service of all Christians. And the recent NJPS translation of the Tanakh has been embraced as the standard for rendering the Hebrew Scriptures into by practically all Christian scholars, as well as laypersons.

    The reasons for the differences is due to the fact that English is a difficult target language. Unlike other languages which easily lend themselves to capturing Hebrew and Greek nuances, English makes literal demands that cannot be yielded from these tongues. Another reason for differences in renderings occurs because of attempts at creating “word-for-word” translations, a method which never exists in real language translating. But this type of formal equivalence is still considered popular in English, crippling the ability of Bible versions to accurately convey linguistic logic which defies English idiom in its most rudimentary elements. This causes stark differences in word choices, especially when made from Hebrew which due to being extremely terse has layers of meanings which are almost impossible to capture with simple English.

  • iconoclastic
    Wonderful insight into the subject of inspiration. Thanks for that.
  • Vidiot

    I'd read once before that Jewish theologians had no ethical problems with revising scripture as time went on.

    Caleb's fine post explains why.

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