New light!, says JW-Archive. The inspired word can have mistranslations, says Dec 2015 WT

by StarTrekAngel 27 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • StarTrekAngel

    Sorry, I know I posted this earlier but I believe the title did not gather enough attention. I think is a topic worth discussing.

  • Aroq

    "It is noteworthy that when writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures, they usually did so from the Septuagint"

    Is this a factual statement? or is this one of the "obviously, or evidently's"

    All this WT article states is that the Septuagint is the faulty text not the Hebrew scriptures. It is the reliance on the Septuagint that is the fault. My understanding was not that the Septuagint was written for its upstanding translation of the Hebrew scriptures, but rather for the Greek readers to be able to read the Hebrew scriptures.

  • StarTrekAngel
    Yes. I just picked this up at JW-Archive and it was shocking that some JWs themselves are understanding that is ok for the bible to have been mistranslated and still be the inspired word. Is such was the intention of the article, then it opens the door to further indoctrination.
  • TimDrake1914

    You have to love how WT always finds a way to spin things. These articles are pretty much the WT version of "Textual Criticism for Dummies (i.e. JWs)". However, there are many evangelicals who would probably agree with the WT treatment of this subject, since they spout many of the same arguments that WT seems to provide in these articles. But reading through these articles myself, I caught a few things that would make a real bible scholar probably want to pull their hair out over.

    I don't know if I'll still be attending meetings when this article is studied. But I know for sure that I would have a hard time sitting through the meeting without wanting to make more than a few comments that would get me funny looks. Coincidentally, it was reading books from Bart Ehrman (Misquoting Jesus, Jesus Interrupted, Forged, etc.) related to textual criticism of the New Testament that pretty much changed my view about the bible being the "inspired word of god". But Richard Friedman's Who Wrote The Bible is also another great book on the Hebrew Scriptures that, to me, just reinforced the idea about how the Bible is nothing more than the word of man, not God.

    I would love to hear Terry's opinion on these articles, since I'm sure he probably caught more stuff than I did. I would tag him, but don't really know how to do it. Maybe someone who is more knowledgable about these things can summon him for me. :)

  • Crazyguy
    There's older watchtowers that say the same thing that the translaters were not inspired. This religion is such a joke.
  • StarTrekAngel

    Crazyguy, do you happen to have any references to other magazines?

  • Crazyguy
    I'm not sure but I have read quotes from it and seen people discuss it. It was probably printed in 1976 to help with the missed prophecy of 1975
  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason

    Any translation, such as the Septuagint (LXX), introduces the translators' biases, and the situation was very fluid, since there were several Greek translations produced by redactors and commentators over time. And the NT writers quoted from the range available to them, including some we do not have access to.

    Even though Jesus (Yeshua) would have spoken in Aramaic, the Gospel writers have him citing the text from the LXX - often using Pesher interpretation (that is, a commentary, rather than a literal citation). Not that any of the NT writers ever saw Jesus or heard him speak.

    The early Christians, indeed, seemed to settle on the translation by Theodotian (especially of Daniel - part of which was written in Aramaic and part in Greek - as is attested by the DSS).

    The variants in the DSS provide one testimony to the fluidity of the texts.

    The manner in which the Watchtower amends the text to suit its biases replicates in a small way the manner in which the Hebrews were prepared to amend the text over time.

    The Hebrew text that is available today (I possess two English translations of the Tanakh) is about 1000 years old (plus and minus a century or three). It was produced by Jews known as Masoretes and they took the variant Hebrew texts, producing the current single Hebrew version. In doing so, they set previous errors in concrete - and we lost the earlier Hebrew versions.

    The text of the LXX is based on a Hebrew text that was about 1500 years earlier than the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT) - the earlier text was written in palaeo Hebrew characters - see the use of those characters with "YHWH" in the Greek DSS.

    It is impossible to know what the original writers wrote (the autographs).

    For an analysis of the manner in which the NT writers used the Scriptures (our "Old Testament") read: "Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period" by Richard Longenecker.


  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot

    Aroq: "All this WT article states is that the Septuagint is the faulty text not the Hebrew scriptures."

    But if the New Testament writers are supposed to be writing "inspired" literature why should God allow them to get something wrong?

  • Doug Mason
    Doug Mason
    “Prior to the discovery of the [Dead Sea] scrolls, there was an assumption that the text of the Hebrew Bible was simply equated with the Masoretic Text. The Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint were generally delegated to the sidelines and used primarily to "fix" the MT when there was a problem; the Targums and Peshitta also added overwhelming witness to the form of text as in the MT. But the scrolls have illuminated an unsuspected stage in the history of the biblical text: a period in which the text of the books of scripture was pluriform and still creatively developing, prior to the period of a single text for each book. The composition and compilation of each book was a lengthy, diachronic development, from its earliest sources up through its latest literary editions. The process usually involved more than one major author (cf. J, E, D, P for the Pentateuch; the Deuteronomists and their sources for Deuteronomy to Kings; First, Second, and Third Isaiah; the many composers of Psalms and Proverbs; and so forth) in addition to a series of minor authors, redactors, and contributing scribes. Qumran demonstrates that the textual form of most books was still in that state of creative development until at least 70 C.E. and possibly as late as 132. Now, when considering the books of scripture in the period of the late Second Temple and the origins of Christianity and rabbinic Judaism, we must distinguish between the book or literary opus and the particular wording or literary edition of that opus which may still have been in the stage of creative development.” (“The Canon Debate”, pages 31-32, McDonald and Sanders, editors.)

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