NWT from Greek/Hebrew into other languages?

by Counter-Watchtower 23 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • shepherdless

    A question for Caminante, or anyone else who might know.

    I understood that the Greek Orthodox use the Septuagint as their equivalent to the “Hebrew Scriptures” (Old Testament). The equivalent section of the NWT is based on the Masoretic. Surely a person who grew up in the Greek Orthodox Church would find that portion of the Greek version of the NWT a bit odd, or lacking credibility?

  • David_Jay

    The Septuagint is in a form of Greek known as "Septuagint Greek," between Attic and Koine.

    The New Testament was written in Koine, except for the first two chapters of Luke after the first verse of two, which appear to most scholars to purposefully mimic Septuagint Greek.

    Except for Hebrews (and the works of Luke) the Koine Greek of the New Testament can be difficult to read. The Pauline epistles are sloppy and Johannine works are repetitive, though one can find a beauty out of the Johannine works. Hebrews is excellent, and Luke writes very well, albeit like a skilled fictional writer more than an historian (for instance his claim that Jesus ascended on Easter Sunday at the end of his gospel but then his beautiful reinterpretation of it as a forty-day later event that takes place from the Mount of Olives in a Moses-like event as a prologue to Acts as one of many irreconcilable examples). Matthew may have once been a translation from Aramaic, but there is little evidence of this in its present form.

    The Greek of both the Septuagint and the New Testament do not match, neither are they modern Greek. There is no need for a modern Greek NWT for the general Greek public that grows up going to Greek school learn ancient forms of Greek in order to follow along with Greek liturgy (written in Koine) in churches. The Watchtower wastes their time making things like this because they are ignorant of Liturgy and the importance of it in religions.

  • Diogenesister
    Scratchme1010 Why do you keep asking so many questions about the JW teachings here? They have their own website, they have their own literature and they are more than happy to answer any question about their teachings that you ask.
    Just sayin'

    You know as well as I that they would never admit to not being able to scrape up so much as ONE Hebrew or koine Greek scholar among themselves.


    So yes, OP, from original to English to yet a third language.Plenty of room for confusion and mistakes.

    And that's been going on for thousands of years!!!!

  • shepherdless

    Thanks for the detailed answer, David Jay.

  • BluesBrother

    Strange how the memory recalls things thought forgotten. . I heard this from the Freeminds site many years ago. Cris Sanchez, one of the people purged from Brooklyn in the 1980's said this about the original Spanish translation NWT. He said the foreward comments about being translated from original languages in that Spanish Bible were untrue , nobody knew Greek.

  • David_Jay

    You're welcome, shepherdless.

    One might wish to ask a Witness why there is no NWT Tanakh in Hebrew. That would be superfluous, even though there is a significant difference between modern and Biblical Hebrew.

    Jews pray and worship in Biblical Hebrew, as well as read Scripture in Biblical Hebrew. A "modern" Hebrew Bible created by the Watchtower Society would never be correct, never be accurate, and be totally unnecessary. Jews swing between the two, and sometimes between them and Aramaic, Yiddish, Ladino, English and even another native language smoothly. Watchtower translation attempts and tools are clumsy and naive by comparison.

    The same can be said for their modern Greek attempts.

  • kepler

    David Jay,

    Thank you as well for the background and analysis.

    Where I live, beside the issues raised by JW teachings or practices, there are considerable number of discussions that arise due to Christian evangelical interpretations of things originating in Hebrew scripture or Judaic practices. Some of these things are obviously pursued with great enthusiasm, but through something of a prism. To illustrate, I have heard that the World Wide Church of God used to celebrate the Beginning of the Year ( Rosh Hashanah) as the Feast of Trumpets. My point is not so much as to whether it is observed correctly or not but that Christians involved in drawing inspiration from the OT would probably be surprised at or unaware of how the observance is understood, as it were, down the street.

  • Wonderment

    Do most of you get your panties wet from debasing the NWT? Oh, boy! I don´t know who has more hate toward the Watchtower Society between the Evangelicals and ex-JWs.

    For those interested: As someone mentioned before, the NWT does have a modern Greek edition. The modern Greek New Testament appeared in 1993 printed in Italy, while the complete Bible came out in 1997 (I have both the NT and the complete edition εκτύπωση 2008 - Printing made in USA) .

    Also, the NWT has a Hebrew edition of the New Testament, first published in S e l t e r s / T a u n u s (Germany) in 2012. They are presumably working on the Old Testament counterpart.

  • Wonderment

    BluesBrother: I heard this from the Freeminds site many years ago. Cris Sanchez, one of the people purged from Brooklyn in the 1980's said this about the original Spanish translation NWT. He said the foreward comments about being translated from original languages in that Spanish Bible were untrue , nobody knew Greek.

    That may have been true of those working with Chris Sánchez. However, the Spanish translation reveals someone had command of the Spanish language and correspondingly enough knowledge of some critical differences between both languages. We may not be getting the full story.

    I suspect, there was an editor somewhere who made those occasional critical decisions needed to overcome the translations difficulties. Fred Franz knew Spanish very well, and Greek George Gangas had a working knowledge of Spanish as well, because he also translated between those languages for the WT. Who knows if Fred Franz added his input to the Spanish edition without Chris Sánchez´ determinations.

  • David_Jay


    I have no hate towards the Watchtower as much as for its teaching and for people who are cruel in their ways and speech.

    As mentioned, I acknowledged the modern Greek version of the NWT.

    I also mentioned there was no NWT version of the Tanakh in Biblical Hebrew.

    Jews don't need a translation of the Tanakh into Biblical Hebrew. We already read, pray, speak, write, sing, and have Bibles in Biblical Hebrew. Jews have no use for an NWT Tanakh.

    I also don't require a translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. I read, write, pray, etc. in Koine Greek. So I do not require the use of the NWT or any translation.

    I gather you are not a supporter of the NWT, Jehovah God or the Christian Congregation by your uncomely "panties" comment that one never hears from one who never lets unclean comments come from their mouths. Jehovah's Witnesses and their supporters would never say such things, nor visit a site such as this.

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