NWT support of John 1:1. Punching holes in it

by LevelThePlayingField 23 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • LevelThePlayingField

    This is what they have in the New World Translation Index 6A to support their version of John 1:1. They are not honest even to their own people. They list the year of the Bible, rendering, and source. But there's only two sources that actually lend any type of support to their argument. The first one’s actually from a Bible. The second one, The Emphatic Diaglott, The Watchtower had copyrights to it for decades and is a horrible translation. The the 4th one down 1950, "New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, Brooklyn". That's the part they are being deceptive about. After each Bible, they list who the author is. They put, "Brooklyn". They don't even put, "by, Brooklyn". Because then you would think it was a person named Brooklyn. It’s the Watchtower’s OWN Bible and they are citing it here saying, “look at these other Bibles that support us”. Then to be more deceptive, the last 3 are simply reference works, NOT Bibles.

    The New Testament, in An Improved Version,1808

    1. The translators think there’s seven books of the New Testament that aren’t authentic.

    2. They think that the miraculous conception of Jesus is fiction.

    3. They don’t believe the Lamb is real.

    4. They think that “everlasting cutting-off” of the wicked means restoring them to happiness.

    5. They believe that Satan is a symbolic being.

      Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson 1902

      1. Wilson’s translation makes it hard to know if Jesus is a god or Jehovah.

      2. He admits to allowing suggestions and opinions from friends to change the translation.

      3. He says demons are not real.

      4. The Watchtower says his translation is biased and has faults.

      5. The Watchtower says they think that Wilson doesn’t believe in in the Devil, Jesus’ prehuman existence and that Jesus is in heaven with his fleshly body.

        (So they are both horrible translations and the translators were very biased)


    “and the word was a god”

    The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text, London.


    “and a god was the Word”

    The Emphatic Diaglott (J21, interlinear reading), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.


    “and the Word was divine”

    The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed, Chicago.


    “and the Word was a god”

    New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, Brooklyn.


    “and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word”*

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz, Göttingen, Germany.


    “and godlike sort was the Logos”*

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin.


    “and a god was the Logos”*

    Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Jürgen Becker, Würzburg, Germany.

  • cofty

    I think Moffatt's 'the Word was Divine...' is a reasonable translation.

    The Trinity is a post biblical development that appears nowhere in the NT. There is an evolution of doctrine regarding the divinity of Jesus in the NT but it doesn't reach an unqualified level of deity until later.

  • jhine

    You also need to look at the Bible as a whole , and there is some non Biblical evidence that the Jews of the time understood Jesus to be claiming to be God .


  • cofty
    You also need to look at the Bible as a whole

    That is a mistake that JWs and other bible-believing christians make. There is no such thing as 'the bible as a whole'. It is a collection of books which each reveal the different beliefs, biases and purposes of their authors.

    The 'bible' has no coherent Christology.

    How the author of Mark (whoever he was he wasn't Mark) understood Jesus in a very different way from the anonymous author of John, which again was different again from the OT prophets.

  • Diogenesister
    and a god was the Word”
    The Emphatic Diaglott (J21, interlinear reading), by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.

    I haven't read it, but that particulAr way around - "and a God was the word" - sounds as if it could be talking about the God, just a different aspect. In other words it doesn't necessarily disprove the trinity.

    Leveltheplayingfield Are the last 3 just editions of the same book?

  • TD

    At the end of the day, nobody knows why the wording is ambiguous at John 1:1

    If the author meant to say, "And the word was a god" (Arianism) he would have said:

    καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν θεὸς

    Only he didn't.

    If the author meant to say, "And the word was the God" (Sabellianism) he would have said:

    καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν ὁ θεὸς

    Only he didn't

    What he said was: καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος

    I'm paraphrasing a bit here, (going from memory) but I find Mounce's explanation to be persuasive:

    The lack of a definite article keeps us from identifying the person of the Word (Jesus Christ) with the person of 'God' (the Father). That is to say, the word order tells us that Jesus Christ has all the divine attributes that the Father has; lack of the article tells us that Jesus Christ is not the Father. John's wording here is in fact, one of the most elegantly terse theological statements one could ever find. As Martin Luther said, the lack of an article is against Sabellianism; the word order is against Arianism.

    Moffat therefore (IMHO) comes much closer than the NWT does.

  • jhine

    l cheated and asked my vicar for his thoughts on this , he puts it much better than l could .

    "Saying there isn't a 'Bible as a whole' is like saying 'The Daily Mail' doesn't exist, or that it doesn't have a broadly consistent political message, simply because it's a collection of different writings by different authors.

    The variety in the Bible is a good thing, and to me makes it more authentic. Take 10 people on a walk in the Lake District and then ask them to describe what they did, how they felt, what it was like. They will each write something different, with some similarities but also some differences.

    Saying that because their accounts are different, the experience must be made up, is not a good argument. The differences give us a richness that we would not have otherwise.

    Substitute 'the Lake District' for 'the history of God, his people and creation' - should we be surprised that human beings struggle to find the words to describe God, what he is like, and how he acts? Should we not expect different people to encounter and describe God in different ways, exactly like people have different experiences on the same walk?

    I say, yes we should expect, and celebrate that. It doesn't mean they are false, it means God is infinitely faceted, and we cannot pin him down with thoughts, ideas or words, in the same way that we cannot describe a mountain walk with perfect completeness.

    God has chosen to reveal some of himself for us to know and understand something of what he is like. But he has also chosen to remain hidden - that is the miracle and the mystery of God's revelation."


  • Earnest

    I also quite like the New English Bible rendition of John 1:1c which says:

    What God was, the Word was.

  • cofty

    'Mystery' is god-talk for blatant contradiction.

    It is impossible to describe the trinity succinctly in your own words without self-contradiction or heresy.

    It is not a mystery, it's gibberish.

  • Vanderhoven7

    The definite article is found in John 20;28 and in Hebrews 1:8

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