Jesus Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, and the J-Documents (split 2 for 1)

by NWT@Cutlip.Org 51 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • NWT@Cutlip.Org
    NWT@Cutlip.Org

    Earnest wrote:

    For example, the J7 to which you refer only supports 39 of the 52 occurrences of 'Jehovah' in NWT of Acts.

    NWT@Cutlip.Org replied:

    Is that the original count or the revised count? Undoubtedly, you know that a major rework of the footnotes was done in 1984. 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.

    Interestingly:

    Thus, out of the 237 times that we have rendered the divine name in the body of our version, there are only two instances where we have no support or agreement from any of the Hebrew versions. But in these two instances, namely Ephesians 6:8 and Colossians 3:13, we feel strongly supported by the context and by related texts in rendering the divine name. -- 1969 Kingdom Interlinear Translation, p.19.
    Thus, out of the 237 times that we have restored Jehovah's name in the body of our translation, there is only one instance where we have no support or agreement from any of the Hebrew versions. But in this one instance, namely at 1 Corinthians 7:17, the context and related texts strongly support restoring the divine name. -- 1985 Kingdom Interlinear Translation, p.12.

    Too bad they misplaced the support they used to have for 1 Corinthians 7:17!

    --

  • Yerusalyim
    Yerusalyim

    There is no credible source for the earliest text of the NT containing the Tetragrammaton...expecially as much as the NWT uses it.

  • zen nudist
    zen nudist

    JWs make big deal out of discovering that early versions of the greek septuigent contained the YHWH name for God in hebrew characters...and indicate this is proof that it was removed from the NT...but one thing they overlook... were it not for superstitions already making the name too holy to pronounce and commonly use, it would have been found in greek letters not hebrew.

    that they kept it in hebrew letters already indicated that the jews felt the name too sacred for common usage by the time the sep was made.

    so the likelihood of the NT writers using it is much less than JWs would wish...indicating that the inventors of the Jesus myth were truly not concerned with the divine name as the hebrew authors apparently were... which of course fits with the theory that the Jesus myth was just a rework of many older pagan myths put together by gnostic greek/jews of the time...not inspired by the OT god as advertized.

  • Earnest
    Earnest
    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
    NWT@Cutlip.Org : 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.

    Earnest

  • Earnest
  • NWT@Cutlip.Org
    NWT@Cutlip.Org
    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
    NWT@Cutlip.Org : Is that the original count or the revised count? - 08-Jul-04 21:53 GMT

    Earnest: 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.

    NWT@Cutlip.Org :

    Does it matter? Yes, it does. At least, the WTS and average JW thinks it does. "These [307 distincnt occurrences of the tetragrammaton in the Hebrew versions] have thus restored the divine name to the inspired Christian Scriptures." KIT 69 p. 19. This WT argument is one of the links in their chain of evidence. A broken link.

    You said, "J7 ... supports 39 of the 52 occurrences of 'Jehovah' in NWT of Acts." You did not give a list as Firpo Carr does on p.92 of The Divine Name Controversy. But his list has 49 of 52 supported. Did someone chance the text of J7 between 1949 and 1984? Or, is it just that the WT can't get it's story straight? First they say one thing; then they say another. What's the name for that? Bearing false Witness?

    Shall we start a pool on the number of "Jehovahs" the next revision of NWT will claim for Acts? How is Joe Average to know? Obviously, we can't take the Watchtower's word for it.

    Tell us straight out. Are you saying that these J-Documents are worthless as proof that the divine name should be in the NT?

    --

  • NWT@Cutlip.Org
    NWT@Cutlip.Org
    NWT@Cutlip.Org : 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.

    Earnest: 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.

    NWT@Cutlip.Org :

    I am surprised how you can totally miss a point in discussion. J19 is the Gospel of John -- only the Gospel of John -- Luke is no part of it. Because Luke is no part of it, J19 could not offer support for four passages in Luke. Yet the footnotes say it does. Can't you see this? If every word in J19 (the Gospel of John) was a tetragrammaton, it would not prove Luke used the tetragrammaton.

    About the kindest thing that can be said about the WT use of the J-Documents is to call it "slipshod." That would only apply if one assumes (as I do not) they were not intentionally deceptive but merely incompetent researchers. Which is it?

    --

  • peacefulpete
    peacefulpete

    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.

    That's quite a statement considering there is not any evidence whatsoever that suggests that the NT ever contained the name Yahweh.

    You would probably enjoy Bart Erhman's, "Orthodox Corruption of Scripture". He deals extensively with textual variation and the then current debates that motivated the adjustments.

  • NWT@Cutlip.Org
    NWT@Cutlip.Org

    Dear Earnest,

    I found the following statement by you very, very interesting. You said:

    Anyway, the NWT translators consider that the context and related texts support replacing ho kyrios with 'Jehovah', while J7,8 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 .

    As it turns out 1 Corinthians (like Acts) was a book I did run through somewhat quickly in J7 while in NYC on the aforementioned research trip. I didn't read every word (my Hebrew skill was far too poor for that), but I did skim through looking for extra tetrragrammaton. As you know the NWT located 15 (or 17 counting those religated to footnotes) instances of the tetragrammaton. Me, well, I located 16 more than they did. But I was working alone -- under time restraints. So I may have missed some. They had a hugh research staff working on a major project (NWT Bible translation) and wanted to be as accurate and careful as possible, so, no doubt they checked and double checked and rechecked their findings!

    As I'm sure you can guess many of the 16 extra tetragrammaton I found refer to Jehovah Jesus. I'm also sure you don't want me to list them. So I won't. I will say that my research notes (now 27+ years old) tell me that I checked 1 Corinthians 7:17 and it did contain a tetragrammaton in place of kurios (at the beginning) and did not contain a tetragrammaton in place of theos (at the end) as you asserted. So, according to my notes, the WT got it right the first time. Maybe I "slipped up" as you claim they did. I can't recall that detail now. I can only rely on my notes. However, I hope to have a microfiche copy of J7 in the next month. So, I can check it again.

    Which brings me around to why I found your explanation very, very interesting. My guess is that you have never seen a J-Docuement. So, someone else fed you that paragraph. What was your source? I want to know this very, very much.

    I'm far from perfect, but when I am hunting for the WT to mess up (as I was in 1 Corinthians of J7), I usually look pretty close. So, if my notes say they got that one right, they probably did. I was expecting to finds mistakes, and I did not spot that one (if you are right). So please inform me of your source. I'm going to learn something (I hope).

    Praying you remain Earnest, NWT@Cutlip.Org

  • Earnest
    Earnest

    NWTetc :

    You said, "J7 ... supports 39 of the 52 occurrences of 'Jehovah' in NWT of Acts." You did not give a list as Firpo Carr does on p.92 of The Divine Name Controversy. But his list has 49 of 52 supported. Did someone chance the text of J7 between 1949 and 1984?

    It is quite irrelevant how many occurrences of 'Jehovah' in NWT of Acts are supported by J 7 or any other J-Document. These are just translations of the Bible and some (cited in NWT 1984 Reference Edition) were only printed in the second half of the 20th century. The fact that they were translated into Hebrew doesn't give them anymore authority than a translation into English. Their only significance (with the possible exception of J 2 ) is that the translation principles that they followed allowed them to use the tetragrammaton in the NT, and that the NWT translators concurred in some cases.

    But let me indulge you. I counted 39 occurrences listed in the appendix A ('J' Reference Sources) to The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures by Lynn Lundquist. This is online so you can check his list yourself. The only difference in the references to J 7 between 1949 and 1984 is that in the earlier editions it was not cited in support of Acts 14:23, so where Firpo Carr got an extra ten occurrences I have no idea. As you seem to have access to his publication you may care to enlighten us.

    Tell us straight out. Are you saying that these J-Documents are worthless as proof that the divine name should be in the NT?

    What do you not understand about my previous post where I wrote:

    ...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.

    In your post of 09-Jul-04 04:34 GMT you said :

    I am surprised how you can totally miss a point in discussion. J19 is the Gospel of John -- only the Gospel of John -- Luke is no part of it. Because Luke is no part of it, J19 could not offer support for four passages in Luke. Yet the footnotes say it does.

    I have sufficient confidence that the translators of the NWT would know the difference between the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John to accept that they would not mistake the two. Unfortunately I have had some difficulty in obtaining a copy of this rather obscure translation (published by the British Jews Society of Haifa in 1930) but have contacted the American Bible Society as they may still have it in their library. I will certainly relay their observations if they do, but it is not unusual for translations of the Gospels to show the parallel readings in the other Gospels. Unless you have examined this translation yourself, and your knowledge of Hebrew allowed you to form a judgement, I think it is a bit premature to describe the footnote as slipshod and incompetent.

    Earnest

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