Earnest : For example, the J 7 to which you refer only supports 39 of the 52 occurrences of 'Jehovah' in NWT of Acts. - 08-Jul-04 03:42 GMT
[email protected] : Is that the original count or the revised count? - 08-Jul-04 21:53 GMT
Does it matter ? It was just an example to show that the J-Documents are not always in agreement. There are some differences in the list of J-Documents in various NWT editions but J 7 consistently refers to the Polyglott New Testament, 1599, by Elias Hutter, and so there is no "revised count" in my example.
For example, for forty years (one generation) the Hebrew translation of the Gospel of John (listed as J19) was in the footnotes as support for "Jehovah" in Luke 4:8, Luke 4:12, Luke 4:18 and Luke 4:19.
That is because for "forty years" J 19 referred to John in Hebrew (1930, British Jews Society of Haifa) arranged by T.C. Horton. In the NWT revised edition of 1984, which included "a complete updating and revision of the footnote apparatus", J 19 referred to John in Hebrew (1957, Denver, Colorado) by Moshe I. Ben Maeir. I am surprised it did not occur to you to simply check the references in the front of the Bible.
Too bad they misplaced the support they used to have for 1 Corinthians 7:17!
This was an easy mistake to make. Prior to the 1984 revision the footnote cited J 7,8 as support for using 'Jehovah' in this verse. In fact, J 7,8 do support the use of 'Jehovah' in this verse but not in the instance considered warranted by the NWT translators. Here is the verse in question :
Only, as ho kyrios has given each one a portion, let each one so walk as ho theos has called him. And thus I ordain in all the congregations.
Although there is strong textual support for this, the textual tradition is not unanimous. The Majority text (primarily the Byzantine manuscripts) and the Syriac Harclean version have ho theos in the first instance and ho kyrios in the second. This is reflected in the KJV and other translations prior to the Greek text of Westcott & Hort. A few Latin Vulgate mss have theos in both cases. Anyway, the NWT translators consider that the context and related texts support replacing ho kyrios with 'Jehovah', while J 7,8 replace ho theos with the tetragrammaton. As a guess I expect those responsible for the footnotes simply checked which J-Documents used the tetragrammaton in this verse and slipped up in this case.
Whether or not it was a mistake, in my opinion it is quite unimportant whether or not some Hebrew translations concur with the use of God's name in the NT. Just as it is unimportant that translations in other languages use God's name. It is a matter of interest, no more.
Incidentally, do you think there is any significance in the fact that there are many instances where the textual tradition is quite undecided whether theos or kyrios is the correct reading ? George Howard referred to this (but not this particular verse) in an article The Tetragram and the New Testament ( Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 96, #1, March 1977, pp. 63-83) :
The removal of the Tetragram in the NT of the Gentile church obviously affected the appearance of the NT text and no doubt influenced the theological outlook of second century Gentile Christianity; just how much we may never know. But if we permit our mind's eye to compare the original OT quotations in the NT with the way they appeared after the Tetragram was removed, we can imagine that the theological change was significant. In many passages where the persons of God and Christ were clearly distinguishable, the removal of the Tetragram must have created considerable ambiguity .
It is interesting to note that the confusion that emerged from such passages in the second century is reflected in the MS [manuscript] tradition of the NT. A large number of variants in the NT MS tradition involve the word theos [God], kyrios [Lord], Iesous [Jesus], Christos [Christ], uios [son] and combinations of them. The theory we suggest to explain the origin of many of these variants (though, of course, not all) is that the removal of the Tetragram from the OT quotations in the NT created a confusion in the minds of scribes as to which person was referred to in the discussion surrounding the quotation. Once the confusion was caused by the change in the divine name in the quotations, the same confusion spread to other parts of the NT where quotations were not involved at all. In other words once the names of God and Christ were confused in the vicinity of quotations, the names were generally confused elsewhere.