Here's another example of how the Society uses selective quotations. (See the thread Blood, the Watchtower and Deceit for two other examples, carefully documented.)
Under the title "Is It Wrong to Pronounce God’s Name?" the March 8, 1999, issue of Awake! observes that many scholars in Christendom 'follow the spirit of Jewish tradition' when translating the Bible:
"The New Oxford Annotated Bible comments in its preface: ‘The use of any proper name for the one and only God, as though there were other gods from whom the true God had to be distinguished, began to be discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.’
"Therefore," continues Awake!, "in that translation the word ‘LORD’ [cap and small caps] is substituted for the divine name." The article asks the question, Do these views "reflect God’s thinking?"
The quotation is accurate. But it is quite misleading. By seeing just one sentence from the preface, the reader is led to believe that these translators are shallow in their reasoning. They don't reflect "God's thinking." Godless scholars, tainted by Christendom, right?
Something is missing--purposefully omitted. The writers have utilized only a partial quotation, as we have seen them do time and again. Read on if you want to understand the issue fully.
The sentence they quote actually begins with "(2)." They ignored (1) entirely!
The preceding explanatory material (1) is completely omitted and reasons, implications and conclusions totally ignored.
See for yourself. Take a look at the full discussion in "To the Reader" of this translation, the NRSV, New Revised Standard Version, New Oxford Annotated Bible (p. xiii). They don't even tell you the NOAB is the NRSV translation.
Among other items, the omitted material notes that LORD represents the traditional manner of rendering the Tetragrammaton, "following the precedent of the ancient Greek and Latin translators and the long established practice in the reading of the Hebrew Scriptures in the synagogue. While it is almost if not quite certain that the Name was originally pronounced ‘Yahweh,’ this pronunciation was not indicated when the Masoretes added vowel sounds to the consonantal text."
They note that, because the name was 'too sacred to be pronounced,' vowel points--small markings--were added that would indicate the use of Adonai (Lord) when reading aloud. Comments are made on the Greek and Latin use of Kyrios and Dominus, respectively.
Awake! omits that material too.
Would you like to read the flat facts they omitted?
"The form ‘Jehovah’ is of late medieval origin; it is a combination of the consonants of the Divine Name and the vowels attached to it by the Masoretes but belonging to an entirely different word.
"Although the American Standard Version (1901) had used ‘Jehovah’ to render the Tetragrammaton, ... for two [note: two] reasons the Committees that produced the RSV and the NRSV returned to the more familiar usage of the King James Version.
"(1) THE WORD 'JEHOVAH' DOES NOT ACCURATELY REPRESENT ANY FORM OF THE NAME EVER USED IN HEBREW." [emphasis mine]
Could that be more clear? That's their prime reason for not using Jehovah.
To drive home the point: This second reason the NRSV doesn't use the word Jehovah is stated only after reason or fact (1). Awake! omits the above statement, omits the (2) and lifts only a single sentence for its purpose. Is that how "God thinks"?
And who are "such translators," as Awake! almost casually refers to them? Please look at the signatory name appearing under "For the Committee." It's the name of the highly acclaimed Biblical Greek scholar who is also one of the two editors. (See p. xiv.)
Guess who it is?
Bruce M. Metzger. Professor emeritus at Princeton. The dean of Biblical Greek scholars today. Not a godless or arrogant man, as anyone will tell you who has met him. His printed works are monuments to sound scholarship recognized globally, standards of excellence. (See Amazon.com to check him out.)
Recognize that name?
Students of the Watchtower Society’s publications will immediately recognize this prestigious name as having been used many times to support a stand they wanted to make. The old 'quotation out of context' game.
Isn't it hypocrisy to cite him as an authority when you want to paint him as agreeing with you, but to disavow the heart of his informative scholarship?
"The word 'Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form ever used in Hebrew."
The next time a JW loftily says, "No one else knows and uses the name Jehovah," you have some ammunition: Truth.
How do you feel about such misleading quotations?
Hey, AlanF. Didn't you once tell me that Metzger threatened legal action should the Society ever use even an accurate quotation out of context?