Jeremiah 10:16, Jeremiah 51:19

by Aaron Combs 3 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Aaron Combs
    Aaron Combs

    I was curious regarding Jeremiah 10:16 and Jeremiah 51:19. It reads as follows (roughly, including the portion of Jacob) in in over 12 different translations (I will be using the NKJV):
    "The Portion of Jacob is not like them,
    For He is the Maker of all things;
    And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance.
    The Lord of hosts is His name."

    And now I will read it in the rough, Hebrew translation found in any interlinear Bible:

    "Not (adv) like them (pro), the Portion (noun) of Jacob (noun), for (conj) [is] the former (verb), of all (noun), he (pro) [things] and Israel [is] the staff (noun) of his inheritance (noun) The LORD (noun - The Hebrew word used is Yahweh/Jehovah) of hosts (noun) [is] his name (noun)."

    Now, the NET Bible reads more closely to the NLV:

    "The LORD, who is the portion of the descendants of Jacob, is not like them. For he is the one who created everything, including the people of Israel whom he claims as his own. He is known as the LORD who rules over all." (I use a lot of copy and paste!)"

    Yet, I have found in the NLV:

    " But the God of Israel is no idol! He is the Creator of everything that exists, including Israel, his own special possession. The Lord of Heaven's Armies is his name!"

    My concern was, although the NET included essentially, "The portion of Jacob", the NLV has completely removed it and replaced it with "God" who I can only assume from this text is, "Jehovah/Yahweh - the Father". I could not understand that, in the literal Hebrew, "portion of Jacob" is used but the NLV translation has removed it. JW believes NLV to be the most sound translation/interpretation, yet majority does not rule in its favor. After having conducted more research, I received a response from a Jewish brother of mine from Israel who was raised on Hebrew language. He explains:

    "I have the scriptures in front of me (Hebrew Bible), I couldn't really understand your question, so I will just say what verse 16 says, it means in Hebrew, 'The portion of Jacob' It's there and then it says, 'because the maker of everything' like, because he is the maker of everything, 'and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance, Jehovah, is his name,' and then it says, 'Lord of hosts". That is what it says, I hope that is clear for you."

    If the NLV has entirely removed "the portion of Jacob", who is believed to be Jesus, can we consider the NLV a sound translation/interpretation if they are willing to remove pieces of scripture entirely to replace it with an interpretation so that people are not confused with Jesus being called Jehovah? The NET Bible at least included the portion of Jacob, although it does not consider the portion of Jacob to be Jesus. What makes the NLV different from "the Message" Bible if this is an interpretation? I am not arguing that Jesus is God, but I am simply concerned of the possibility that the NLV may not be reliable if it is willing to remove things entirely from the scriptures. Should I trust the translation of a person who is not a native speaker of the Hebrew language over a man born and raised in Judaism, being raised in the Hebrew tongue? I am not arguing that other translations are better, I am primarily asking, "Can we consider the NLV to be a sound translation if it has blatantly removed things from scripture in favor of interpretation?"

    Thank you!God Bless!
  • megaboy

    You can do some historical research on this to find out how accurate it is.

    As a refrence it was understood during and around the first century that each nation had some sort of spirit governing or ruling over it, evil or otherwise. The Creator being the one who was over Israel. First century gentiles believers, especially major head figures went to Hebrews for clarification on scriptures even after the Church was formed so they still had authority.

    I'm assuming this verse presents two problems for WT. It interferes with their teaching that the Son is not a God, and it also can be said that Israelites of blood decendants are his portion, so it would destroy their "JWs are the new chosen" doctrine. It simply has to go, though they have other verses they left in (probably being too stupid to understand them) that illustrate the points I brought up better.

  • Earnest
    Aaron Combs : JW believes NLV to be the most sound translation/interpretation ...

    JW have published a translation known as the New World Translation (NWT) which they consider an accurate translation. They do use other translations but certainly don't consider the NLV to be the most sound translation and as its purpose is to simplify the Bible it does take some liberties with the text. Details of the NLV can be found here.

    The New Life Version (NLV) is a translation of the Bible that uses a limited vocabulary of about 850 words, not including proper names, in order to better accommodate readers for whom English is a second language. It was specifically made to meet the needs of Canada’s First Nations population by Gleason and Kathryn Ledyard, who were missionaries to the Artic.
  • Wonderment


    The biblical expression "the portion of Jacob," being not clear to the modern reader, has moved some Bible versions to simplify it. The allusion is to the God of Jacob in contrast to vain idols of the nations. It is used as a descriptive title for God Almighty. This is no reference of Jesus Christ. The verse itself ends with this: "Jehovah of Armies is his name." Below a sample of other versions concurring with this conclusion:

    NEB: God, Jacob’s creator, is not like these...

    GNT: The God of Jacob is not like them...

    ERV: But Jacob’s God is not like the idols.

    GW: Jacob’s God isn’t like them.

    ICB: But God, who is Jacob’s Portion...

    LB: But the God of Jacob is not like these foolish idols.

    NCV: But God, who is Jacob’s Portion...

    NRSV: Not like these is the Lord, the portion of Jacob...

    VOICE: The portion of Jacob, the Eternal One...

    NIRV: The God of Jacob is not like them.

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