Take the case of Rolf Furuli. I don't think there has been a specific thread on the Hebrew verbs u-turn in the NWT, and how the society has responded to the work of perhaps their brightest and ablest defender in their history. So here goes.
Rolf Furuli has defended JWs on multiple fronts in many different settings, on issues ranging from chronology, mental health, doctrines, Bible translation and the blood issue. But here I'm going to focus of Furuli's defence of the NWT and its handling of Hebrew verbs.
Obviously a very intelligent guy with a talent for linguistic study, Furuli applied himself to learning a whole range of languages of the ancient near east. So much so that he secured a teaching position at the university of Oslo in his chosen field. Furuli used this success as an opportunity to defend and promote aspects of his faith. Noting that the NWT was often criticised for being stilted and clumsy (OT scholar Harold Rowley attacked the NWT's "wooden literalism" and "harsh construction", even calling it "an insult to the word of God"), Furuli undertook a huge investigation of the Hebrew verbal system to see if it supported the NWT's habitual use of auxiliary verbs and generally clumsy language. This formed the core of his doctoral thesis in 1995. On the basis of this research he argued that the NWT had shown tremendous insight into the Hebrew verbal system and translated it into English with unusual care.
He later popularised these findings, along with a more general defence of the NWT, in his book The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation with a Special Look at the New World Translation of Jehovah's Witnesses (1999). Undoubtedly the most scholarly defence of the NWT ever attempted, it has never been referenced in any Watchtower publications. In 2004 Furuli was invited to contribute an article on the NWT's rendering of Hebrew verbs to a book edited by fellow JW defenders Anthony Byatt and Hal Felmings called "Your Word is Truth": Essays in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the New a World Translation of the holy Scriptures. In this essay he praised the NWT "translators" for being ahead of their time and remarked that their "remarkable grasp of the Hebrew verbal system evidently was based on their own meticulous study of the Hebrew text".
Rather than being wooden and clumsy Furuli insisted:
"In order to convey something of the different angles in Hebrew, renditions such as "she started to...", "she proceeded to...", "she continued to...", "she kept on..."... are used by the NWT. Some of these renditions may seem to have unnecessarily many words, but in a study edition they represent the best way to convey the Hebrew verbal force into English."
Skip forward nine years to the release of the revised NWT in 2013 and thousands of "proceededs" and other auxiliary verbs and wooden language were finally dropped from the NWT. This included many of the examples Furuli had trumpetted as demonstrating the NWT's careful accuracy. In the appendix the Watchtower writer explains the change:
"Enhanced Readability. In previous editions of the English New World Translation, auxiliary expressions were used to indicate whether the Hebrew verb is in the imperfect or the perfect state. For example, the continuous action often expressed by imperfect verbs was indicated by means of the expressions “proceeded to,” “went on to,” “came to be,” and so forth. The emphasis often conveyed by the Hebrew perfect verb was denoted by the added expressions “certainly,” “must,” “actually,” and similar ones. As a result, these terms were used thousands of times in the text. In this revision, auxiliary terms were retained in certain contexts by using such expressions as “kept,” “keep on,” and “used to” when there was a valid reason to express continuous action. However, they were omitted to enhance readability when the auxiliary expressions were not critical for conveying the original meaning." (emphases mine)
The "study edition" of the NWT being released on the website also uses the updated 2013 version of the text with the wooden auxiliary verbs removed.
So don't expect a word of thanks for your efforts to defend the NWT professor Furuli, or even a mention in the literature. You may have spent decades of your life, and the bulk of you academic endeavour defending the NWT's handling of Hebrew verbs, but we've decided the critics were right after all, it was clumsy and we've changed it. So long and thanks for all the fish.