The Watchtower organisation claims in its publications that Dr BeDuhn is a leading,
independent academic, a specialist in biblical languages. It is therefore necessary for us to
check these claims.
Dr Jason BeDuhn describes his post as “Associate Professor of Religious Studies.”
United States terminology for what I believe we in the U.K. would call an assistant college
or university lecturer – a post well deserving of respect, while not being that of a leading
He further explains that he works in the Department of Humanities, Arts, and Religion of
Northern Arizona University. I note that he does not refer to having any formal
qualifications in linguistics and that there is no reference to Koiné Greek in his university
degrees, although of course it may have been a component of his undergraduate or
postgraduate studies. He also does not make any reference to any qualifications in the
other biblical languages, Hebrew and Aramaic.10
He thus presents no evidence of being an expert in the field of Biblical languages.
I further note that his speciality is not Christianity nor even Judaism but comparative
cultures. The North Arizona University (“NAU”) website heads its page on him11 with the
title “Comparative Cultural Studies” and states that “His areas of research include Biblical
Studies, Ancient Christianities12, Manichaeism, Religions of West Asia in Late Antiquity,
ritual and and [sic] self-forming practices, and method and theory in the study of religion
and history” – again with no reference to linguistics or languages studies or qualifications
in these areas. I assume that this description of Dr BeDuhn for publication by his
university must at least have been approved by him, and may even have been drafted by
Neither he nor NAU makes any reference to him having been involved in any Bible
translation project, whether into English or into any other language. At the time of writing
“Truth in Translation” (which was published in 2003) he had also not been involved in the
translation of any other texts – whether ancient or modern – into English nor into any
So all the evidence indicates that he is not a translator of Biblical texts.
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