More scullduggery in the New World Translation?

by NikL 14 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • NikL

    I was reading in Jude last night in the ESV bible.

    I came across this little gem as I was falling asleep and woke right up.

    Jude 1:5

    5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

    Jesus who saved a people out of Egypt? I had never seen that before.

    So I looked it up in other translations and they all say "Lord" instead of "Jesus".

    The NWT says "Jehovah" instead of Jesus.

    5 Although you are fully aware of all of this, I want to remind you that Jehovah, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those not showing faith.

    I wanted to understand why the ESV used Christ in that verse.

    So on further investigation on the the ESV website I found some interesting cross reference scriptures...

    1 Corinthians 10:4-5

    4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

    Okay. Christ was the spiritual rock. Got it.

    But wait! The NWT says it "meant" the Christ...

    4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they used to drink from the spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock meant the Christ.

    That's not quite the same thing is it?

    The other scripture the ESV uses to back up their use of Christ in this verse in Jude is 1 Cor. 10:9

    9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

    Of course every JW worth his salt is familiar with the NWT wording of that verse...

    Neither let us put Jehovah* to the test, as some of them put him to the test, only to perish by the serpents

    Most other translations I've looked at use Christ in the place where NWT uses Jehovah. Some use Lord but they are in the minority.

    This is a HUGE deal to me. The meaning of These scriptures is COMPLETELY changed by the insertion of Jehovah in these scriptures.

    I realize most here aren't interested in bible research but I though I'd share anyway.

  • Londo111

    NWT is very biased, especially on the verses that touch of the divinity of Jesus.

    But then again, on this verse, I think the ESV is biased here. In the Greek, the word is "Kyrios", that is Lord, not Jesus. Of course, this might be what the writer of Jude had in mind as by the time of this writing, Jesus being fully divine was a widespread teaching.

    Unfortunately, it is not a very literal translation of this verse.

  • sir82

    Yes, in numerous places, they jump the gap from strict translation to eisegesis.

    Some are far more egregious than others, but yeah, it's all throughout the NWT.

    To be fair, it's nearly impossible to avoid it - you either end up with a Bible that contradicts itself in hundreds of places, or a Bible that has mistranslations in an effort to keep the message consistent.

  • Finally Left
    Finally Left

    Thanks for sharing. I left not long ago and I am trying to relearn the Bible. I do not read the NWT - that is for sure. Thanks again.

  • NikL
    Finally Left
    I am trying to relearn the Bible. I do not read the NWT - that is for sure.

    Same here. I am not ready to go the whole atheist route like so many on here.

    I still consider myself a Christian and am trying to re-imagine what that means and learn as much as possible

  • steve2

    These sorts of complexities of translating the Bible drive home to me how very much it is not the inspired "Word of God" - but a collection of writings from centuries ago subject to the same headaches that accompany all old writing, including in particular, What did they actually mean when they wrote specified passages?

    Would an all-knowing, all powerful God ever have allowed His word to have been so subject to the vagaries of alleged "correct" translations? If Biblical claims are correct, people's very lives depend on which translation of the Bible they use! That seems like utter madness that even the "Word" of God may not be "His" actual word.

    There is an overall impression that, whilst some translators take greater liberties than others, it all boils down to argument. Imagine that: To determine the "truth" you don't just go to "God's Word" but you need to go armed with the learning of scholars of ancient languages.

  • slimboyfat

    From memory this is the situation:

    There are both issues of textual variation and interpretation involved here.

    The reason some translations have "Lord" and others have "Jesus" is because of differences among the early manuscripts and disagreement about which reading is original.

    The NWT was originally based on the text of Westcott and Hort, which presumably had the reading "Lord".

    The NWT replaces the word "Lord" with "Jehovah" 1) in those instances where it appears in a quotation from the OT that contains the divine name, 2) where there is an allusion to an OT passage that speaks about Jehovah, or 3) where the word is used in a phrase that includes the divine name in the OT. (Such as "angel of Jehovah" or "word of Jehovah")

    This verse appears to fall into the second category, an allusion to an OT passage referring to Jehovah.

    Many other versions have "Lord" in this verse, Since most Bible interpreters believe "Lord" can refer to either God or Jesus in the NT, there are differences of opinion over whether it is here talking about the "Lord God' or the "Lord Jesus". For many commentators the verses from Corinthians mentioned swing it in favour of Jesus.

    Now the reason the ESV uses "Jesus" instead of "Lord" is because (if memory serves me right) the latest version of the Greet Text Nestle-Aland 28th edition changed the previous decision for "Lord" in favour of the reading "Jesus".

    Nevertheless opinion remains divided about which reading is most likely original. Bible scholar Bruce Metzger ranked the verse D (on a scale A to D) as most difficult to determine the original reading, or where the reading carries the greatest uncertainty.

    The 2013 edition of the NWT said it referred to the latest edition of the Greek text when preparing the revision. Apparently they did not follow the new edition in its reading of this text but stuck with the previous consensus "Lord" and changed it to "Jehovah" according to their practice, and in line with their argument that the original NT text contained the divine name in such passages.

    Bible scholar George Howard also argued that the original NT used the divine name. The high number of textual variants involving "Lord", "God", "Jesus" and "Christ" was part of his argument. I think he cited Jude 5 as an example to make his point.

    So Jehovah's Witnesses are not alone in believing that Jude 5 refers to Jehovah, or even that the divine name may have stood in the original text.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill


    Add to what you have just said the observation David_Jay has made on other posts that the religion did not come as a result of the scriptures, but rather the other way around. That is, the religion was already well established before the writings were completed.

  • Londo111

    I stand corrected. I didn't know about the textual variants.

    I confirmed what slimboyfat said here:

  • Steel

    The visible touchable manifestations of God in old testament are generally thought to be Jesus Christ. He either appears as the angel of the Lord or word of the Lord. It's says no one has ever seen God only the son in the book of John.

    Essentially you have invisible ever present God and Devine manifestion yet they are basically the same thing. It's the whole reason why it makes more sense to use the general title lord than the personal identification of jehovah.

    Once you understand what new testament writers are referencing what statements like " he is the visible image of the invisible god" or " Jesus is the perfect representation of the father"'s just makes it kind of hard to take the watchtower very serious.

    Once I started to understand the idea of Jesus in the old testament, I had to stop attending. This very subject woke me up to how stupid wts theology.

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