Fred Franz Former Training in Ancient Greek

by Wild_Thing 53 Replies latest jw friends

  • Wonderment

    vienne: I did not suggest that Franz couldn't translate; I suggested his English language word choices were not best grammar.

    I agree with you.

  • recovering

    Franz was in no way qualified to translate the bible.

    Here is an example of the qualifications of a biblical translator are....


    • Bachelor degree.
    • Previous cross-cultural experience is beneficial.


    • Successful completion of courses substantially similar to the following SIL standard courses:
      • Biblical Background Studies
      • Greek or Hebrew grammar and exegesis (12 semester hours minimum)
      • Articulatory Phonetics
      • Computer Data Management
      • Cultural Anthropology
      • Language and Culture Learning
      • Language and Society
      • Linguistic Field Methods
      • Morphology and Syntax
      • Phonology
      • Semantics and Pragmatics
      • Translation Principles, Theory and Practice
    • Intercultural Communication Course for select overseas assignments.
    • Language school or self-directed language study program as required by field of assignment.
    • Cross-cultural living internship or its equivalent as required.
    • Additional courses may be required before undertaking significant work in translation, project management, or training.
  • Diogenesister

    Let's be honest. They didn't translate anything. They used the translation that most accorded with their BELIEFS then went one step further, by ADDING words that simply were not there in the oldest available manuscripts, for example the word " other" a total of 4 times in Colossians.

    It takes a large team of experienced translators years and years to translate the bible from the ground up. Its a mammoth task that is way beyond the capabilities of one self-taught guy and a bunch of sixth form grade assistants. As wonderful as Ray Franz was I'm afraid we all love our family legends, as we bathe in the reflected glory, and I'm afraid his was that uncle Fred was this great scholar.

  • TD

    The Greek Franz studied had a different grammar system than that of biblical Greek

    The differences between the Attic and Koine dialects are minor enough that the two are usually taught together today.

    Between the two, Koine is actually much easier because the vocabulary of the NT is surprisingly small and much of the text is already familiar to the student.

    I'm not saying this either to defend Franz or because I think the NWT is a good translation. (It's not.)

    Some of the criticism on these threads is not terribly fair though.

  • Wonderment

    Why the obsession to prove the NWT is horrible? What do we get from this?

    Hate can make us go blind, and not see the good or bad from other sources. Many in the WT can´t see the many wrongs the corporation have done through the decades. It´s like "Jehovah" is behind every human action in the borg. Nonsense! WT critics fare no better. They distort facts no less, and actually go one step further than the WT in misconstruing facts.

    Whoever believes that a human who doesn´t have an academic degree is unable to translate the Bible needs to have their head checked. Yes, I know... scholars have an edge over those who don´t have degrees. No doubt. However, an accreditation of itself does not make a good translator. Doctrinal beliefs, intelligence, common sense, honesty, financial status, and other factors all play a role. Dishonesty is found throughout the religious world, not just by JWs.

    Centuries ago, the Catholic Church made it look that unless you learned Latin, you were not able to translate, read the Bible and understand it. To a certain degree they succeeded. But not completely. They were those who individually proved them wrong. Eventually, the Catholics lost that battle, and now we have many versions of the Bible. The thing is that now Protestants are claiming, like the Catholics of long ago, that unless you go to their schools, you are stupid. They make it sound like you need a long list of requirements to translate the Bible. Only they can do it. They too make the original languages appear unattainable to common people. Only they are smart enough. Nonsense.

    The fact is that many individuals through the ages have translated the Bible without university accreditation. What? You think all those translators used by United Bible Society were all accredited? Some of those translations in other countries were done by pastors or diligent students with UBS financial support.

    Also, the NWT is despised by the masses, but quite a few have been impressed by it, like Alan Duthie. Goodspeed once made favorable comments about the NWT. Christian churches sent their dogs to have Goodspeed recant his statements. All they got from him was a criticism of the un-English renderings of the Old Testament, like in Judges 14.3. The critics were just hoping Goodspeed would condemn the NWT NT translation. It didn´t happen. The same thing happened with Benjamin Kedar. Kedar spoke well of the NWT, and he got tired of responding to NWT critics to the point that he ended up writing a general statement for future inquiries. Kedar never recanted his favorable comments on the NWT. He criticized both the traditional Western Christian religions and the WTS for its restrictive policies. But he kept his view on the NWT Hebrew translation.

    In all, if the NWT is horrible in your view, why not focus on the translation flavor of your choice, and share your experiences from that with us. I will be delighted to hear those.

  • Wonderment

    Diogenesister: As wonderful as Ray Franz was I'm afraid we all love our family legends, as we bathe in the reflected glory, and I'm afraid his was that uncle Fred was this great scholar.

    Ray Franz and Fred his uncle didn´t get along. They were no close buddies, though having family ties. Ray Franz never said his uncle was "a great scholar."

    Ray was though convinced that his uncle had the intellectual capacity to learn languages in a disciplined manner. He stated that he felt confident that Fred was able to produce "a creditable translation." When he went to Israel with Fred, he mentioned that this native woman from the country who was the Societyś English-Hebrew translator had a long chat with Fred on Hebrew's idiosyncracies and difficulties. She came away impressed with his knowledge of the language.

    Ray was not in agreement with many of the NWT renderings, particularly those involving organizational beliefs. And he did not approve of some of Fred´s tactics within the governing body. I think this is a fair assessment of Ray´s views on the matter.

  • recovering

    I do not think that the main issue being presented here is how bad a translation it is( even though it is suboptimal) . The main issue is the WTBS misrepresentation of the expertise of the translator. It demonstrates how dishonest they are.

  • slimboyfat

    Yeah people conflate the two. Fred Franz lacked the qualifications, but apparently had the ability to perform translation from Hebrew and Greek. It’s notable that scholars who wrote hostile reviews of the NWT tended to criticise Franz’s translation judgements and English grammar, rather than his apparent understanding of the source languages at a basic level.

  • Earnest

    And do not forget Jason Beduhn's book, Truth in Translation, which rated the NWT as the most accurate of the translations compared (NAB, NW, NASB, NIV, NRSV, TEV, AB, LB, KJV).

    He says he had considered why the NWT (and the NAB) turned out to be the least biased. He says that one common element is their freedom from the Protestant's Burden. What he means by that is that when the Protestant Reformation occurred they carried over many of the doctrines that had developed within Catholicism. As these inherited doctrines were already considered true, there has been pressure to read those truths back into the Bible when translating, whether or not they were actually there. This does not apply to the NWT because their approach to translation was without the presumption that the Bible taught these inherited doctrines.

  • recovering

    Please do not forget that even though the Wbts uses excerpts from Bedhuems book to validate the accuracy of the nwt he is not an expert in biblical translation. Here again the WBTS is misleading. Look at the following information.

    This book was written by Jason David BeDuhn, a professor who has his Ph.D. in “Comparative Study of Religions.” Once again, the JWs make the mistake of appealing to a non-expert to validate the accuracy of their Bible (aka false attribution). If you’re going to buy a house, do you seek advice from a realtor or a chef? If you want to prepare a good meal, do you seek advice from a chef or a realtor? If you want to know which translation of the Bible is the most accurate, do you seek the opinion of an expert in Koine Greek or do you ask a game show host and someone who got their degree in comparative religion

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