John 1:1 - Good information

by Dansk 43 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Dansk

    I came across the following information at this site, where there's a lot more :

    Dr. Julius R. Mantey (who is even recognized by the Watchtower as a Greek scholar since they quote his book on page 1158 of their Kingdom Interlinear Translation): calls the Watchtower translation of John 1:1 "A grossly misleading translation. It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John l:1 'the Word was a god. 'But of all the scholars in the world, so far as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah's Witnesses have done." "I was disturbed because they (the Watchtower) had misquoted me in support of their translation. I called their attention to the fact that the whole body of the New Testament was against their view. Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is glorified and magnified--yet here they were denigrating Him and making Him into a little god of pagan concept . . .I believe it's a terrible thing for a person to be deceived and go into eternity lost, forever lost because somebody deliberately misled him by distorting the Scripture!. . . Ninety-nine percent of the scholars of the world who know Greek and who have helped translate the Bible are in disagreement with the Jehovah's Witnesses. People who are looking for the truth ought to know what the majority of the scholars really believe. They should not allow themselves to be misled by the Jehovah's Witnesses and end up in hell." (Ron Rhodes "Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses" p.103-105)


    Douay - "and the Word was God".

    Rotherham - "and the Word was God".

    King James Version - "the Word was God".

    Jerusalem Bible - "and the Word was God".

    The New Life Testament - "the Word was God".

    The Berkley Version - "and the Word was God".

    New Translation (Darby) - "the Word was God".

    Modern King James Version - "the Word was God".

    Revised Standard Version - "and the Word was God".

    American Standard Version - "and the Word was God".

    The New International Version - "the Word was God".

    Numeric English New Testament - "the Word was God".

    The New American Standard Bible - "and the Word was God".

    The New Testament in Basic English - "and the Word was God".

    Young's Literal Translation of the Bible - "and the Word was God".

    The New Testament in Modern Speech (Weymouth) - "and the Word was God".

    The New Testament in Modern English (Montgomer) - "and the Word was God".

    The New Testament in Modern English (Phillips "that word, was with God, and was God".

    The text of the Emphatic Diaglott (published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society)

    English Bible - "and what God was, the Word was". "and the Logos was God". Today's English Version - "and he was the same as God". New Translation of the Bible (Moffatt) - "the Logos was divine".

    Complete Bible---An American Translation (Smith & Goodspeed) - "the Word was divine".

    The NWT has deliberately distorted, changed, added to and taken away key Bible passages that do not agree with what they already believe.

    Jehovah's Witnesses in 1969 Kingdom published their interlinear translation of the Greek Scriptures. The Watchtower has literally painted themselves in a corner with its distortion in the New World Translation of John 1:1. In their "New Kingdom Interlinear Translation" of John 1:1, they render the Greek text on the left side of the page more accurately: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was toward the God and god was the Word." However across the page in the right column, the "New World Translation" has, "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God and the Word was A god." So they say the Greek states it this way, but we translate it another way. They subtly attempt to demote Christ to some kind of demigod, with a little g. (mighty and Jehovah the almighty). Isaiah 45:22, "For I am God and there is no other." The existing manuscripts of the New Testament were all written in capital letters (uncials) so there are no distinctions in this lettering and no reason to change to what they have in the NWT.

  • metatron

    I've always wondered what explanation they had for 1:18 - "the only begotten god"

    I have been puzzled by John - he seems mystical and almost Gnostic in his writings - but he condemns the Gnostics

    in his letters as 'antichrists'.

    I have always wondered if everyone missed the simple explanation of John1:1

    It's a metaphor - "my love is a rose" --- the Word is God - for most all intents and purposes.


  • Will Power
    Will Power
    They subtly attempt to demote Christ to some kind of demigod, with a little g. (mighty and Jehovah the almighty). Isaiah 45:22, "For I am God and there is no other."

    Then Jeremiah says that all these other gods will perish. ch 10 I think

  • SpannerintheWorks

    Hey, Dansk,

    1:1, 14 These verses imply that Jesus is God, but this is denied elsewhere in the bible. It's also denied by the JWs, of course. But how could Jesus be with God in the beginning, as this verse says, if, as the GB teaches, Jesus was created by God? And how could Jesus be "a god" and yet be with God during the creation if God was speaking truthfully in Dt.32:39 when he said, "there are no gods with me"?


  • Mary

    I for one, have never been able to really understand the Trinity and this is probably one of the few points that I actually agree with the Borg can God go from being "One" in the Old Testament, to being three in the New Testament? The Israelites/Jews never believed in a Trinity; they believed in one God, Yahweh.

    I personally believe (although I have no evidence), that certain scriptures may have been altered when the bible was being cannonized around the 3 or 4th century, or whenever that was, to make it appear that the Son was equal to the Father. It's a well established fact that the Church back then, were letting all kinds of pagans join, and alot of their beliefs and practices were allowed in.

    I read a book a few years ago called The Church of the First Three Centuries and it says that, after much debate, the Trinity was accepted for a variety of reasons; one of them being that the Christians of the day knew that the Jews worshipped a monothesis God; and that if Christians did the same thing, it would reduce Christianity to Judaism.

    I could be wrong, but the Trinity is just a really strange doctrine...............

  • amac

    This is very interesting. I have not spent much time on the Trinity (although it doesn't make any sense to me) because it doesn't seem very important. The fact that this guy ends his comments with "They should not allow themselves to be misled by the Jehovah's Witnesses and end up in hell," tells me that he is as quacky as the JWs. Why would God torment people over not correctly understanding something as convoluted as the trinity? It is heavily argued both ways. What if you are just plain dumb and don't have the ability to decipher which argument is correct (that's where I most likely fit in)? God is going to torment you? It's ridiculous.

  • Sara Annie
    Sara Annie
    I for one, have never been able to really understand the Trinity and this is probably one of the few points that I actually agree with the Borg can God go from being "One" in the Old Testament, to being three in the New Testament?

    It always amazes me when religious debates delve into the intricacies one how fantastic thing can/should be interpreted as yet another fantastic thing, and the validity of each viewpoint. Debating these issues and coming to an 'educated understanding' of what is and isn't possible where God is concerned is highly amusing to me. I mean, if we buy the whole "God is the almighty and all-knowing entity in the Universe" shtick, then why are we always seeking to limit his powers to those that are 'reasonable' or 'possible' in the human realm? This is GOD, for heaven's sake. If he, tomorrow, wanted to split himself into 4 entities, two of which were lop eared bunny rabbits, he could. If he wanted to appear to his followers in the form of a dancing banana, he could. The biggest problem I have with fundamental Christianity (read: The Bible is inspired, God exists only within it's constructs) is that they seek, on a daily basis, to LIMIT the very deity they turn around and exalt as the infinitely powerful creator of the universe.

    It's stupid. There's not a 'nicer' way to put it. Just stupid.

  • Inkie

    Are there others that have used "a god" at John 1:1c?
    Yes, take note:
    In a beginning was the Word, and the Word was with the God, and a god was the Word.
    (Interlineary Word for Word English Translation-Emphatic Diaglott)
    Harwood, 1768, "and was himself a divine person"
    Thompson, 1829, "the Logos was a god
    Reijnier Rooleeuw, 1694, "and the Word was a god"
    Hermann Heinfetter, 1863, [A]s a god the Command was"
    Abner Kneeland, 1822, "The Word was a God"
    Robert Young, 1885, (Concise Commentary) "[A]nd a God (i.e. a Divine Being) was the
    "In a beginning was the [Marshal] [Word] and the [Marshal] [Word] was with the God and
    the [Marshal] [Word] was a god." John 1:1 21st Century NT Literal
    Belsham N.T. 1809 “the Word was a god”
    1928: “and the Word was a divine being.” La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel.
    Leicester Ambrose, 1879, "And the logos was a god"
    J.N. Jannaris, 1901, [A]nd was a god"
    George William Horner, 1911, [A]nd (a) God was the word"
    James L. Tomanec, 1958, [T]he Word was a God"
    Siegfried Schulz, Das Evangelium nach Johannes, 1975, "And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"
    Madsen, 1994, "the Word was <EM>a divine Being"
    Becker, 1979, "a God/god was the Logos/logos"
    Stage, 1907, The Word/word was itself a divine Being/being.
    Holzmann, 1926, "a God/god was the Thought/thought"
    Rittenlmeyer, 1938, "selbst ein Gott war das Wort" [itself a God/god was the Word/word]
    Smit, 1960, the word of the world was a divine being
    Schultz, 1987, a God/god (or: God/god of Kind/kind) was the Word/word].
    John Crellius, Latin form of German, 1631, "The Word of Speech was a God"
    Greek Orthodox /Arabic translation, 1983, "the word was with Allah[God] and the word
    was a god"
    Robert Harvey, D.D., 1931 "and the Logos was divine (a divine being)"
    Jesuit John L. McKenzie, 1965, wrote in his Dictionary of the Bible: "Jn 1:1 should
    rigorously be translated . . . 'the word was a divine being.'
    Others, like Vine's and Harris have recognized that the rendering "a god" is grammatically possible. So we can see that the New World Translation does indeed have support for its rendering and does not need to rely on Johannes Greber and his New Testament.

  • herk

    If ordinary readers had never heard of the Trinity or of JWs, I really doubt they would see a hint of Jesus Christ in John 1:1. If they were familiar with the Bible, they probably would feel that it's simply a confirmation of verses like the following:

    • "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host." (Ps 33:6)
    • "For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast." (Ps 33:9)
    • "Praise the LORD ... from the heavens; ... in the heights! ... all His angels; ... all His hosts! ... sun and moon; ... all stars of light! ... highest heavens, ... waters that are above the heavens! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created." (Ps 148:1-5)
    • "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ... Then God said, 'Let there be ...' God made ... and it was so." (Gen 1:1, 6, 7)
    • "The worlds were prepared by the word of God." (Heb 11:3)
    • "By the word of God the heavens existed long ago." (2 Pe 3:5)

    Trinitarians and JWs will argue about this, but the fact remains that John 1:1 does not say, "In the beginning was Christ, and Christ was with God and Christ was God [or, a god]."

    The Greek word logos occurs 36 times in John's Gospel, and it's capitalized by English translators only in chapter 1. And yet, the term "word" in John 1 was not capitalized in any language until the time of the King James Version which was translated by trinitarians. (The original Douay rendering is difficult to determine since the one currently in circulation is the revised edition of 1899.) Jesus doesn't enter the picture until verse 14 which was rendered in the following way before the KJV: "And the word became flesh, and dwelt among us."

    As shown by the above texts, God brings things into existence by his "word." Just as God's "word" became angels, stars, sun, moon, etc., it also became a flesh and blood human being in the person of Jesus. And just as the Bible, due to its teachings, has become known as "the Word of God," Jesus for the same reason became known as such. (Rev 19:13) What we find in the Bible was in the mind of God long before the Bible came into existence. And the man who became known as Jesus Christ was similarly in the mind of God from the very beginning.

  • RunningMan

    Regardless of your personal belief regarding the nature of God, this example is a damning expose of the Watchtower's underhanded method of deceiving people. I found a copy of a letter from Julius Mantey to the Society at:

    It is a fascinating read. He basically reads the riot act to the society for lying, misleading, misquoting, and deceiving people. He clearly denounces them for misusing his opinion and name and he demands an apology.

    If there was ever any doubt regarding the Society's reporting tactics, this should take care of it.

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