Jehovah, and Watchtower Dishonesty

by Maximus 21 Replies latest jw friends

  • Maximus

    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.


    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 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?


  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    Hello Maximus:

    How do I feel about this? Outraged doesn't even cover it!

    I was one who, time and time again, said those words: "No one else knows and uses the name Jehovah".

    And why? Because that's what we were told to over and over, and why wouldn't we believe these quotes taken out of context and misapplied to misrepresent the truth? I was taught to trust the org. right from my birth on so why would I even think of questioning their "knowledge and spirit direction"?

    I get so angry and frustrated when I read the exposure of their misrepresented quotes like this one, and in the Creation book and...just how many more are there?

    Yes I'm outraged at them for fooling me and making a fool of me, and for the hooks they have in my family who would turn a deaf ear to this info just like they've been taught to....and also for all the others who's lives are being wasted being controlled by these twisted men.

    However I am and will be eternally thankful to all of you out there who have found these proofs of their deceitfulness out and had enough love for us to bring this to our knowledge and to continue to stay here to help the "newly departed" from the org. You present facts to us that we can check out and see for ourselves so that no one can say that we are being mislead by lies.

    Thank you

    Had Enough

    ps: as for Bruce Metzgar...I wish he would sue the WTS for misapplying his quotes and make a big public stink about it too!

  • Copernicus


    Excellent material!

    Reading the information in your post actually “hurt” me. The pain stems from the fact that I still have many close friends who are going door to door in good faith – the good faith stemming from their instilled belief that the WTS would never send them forth as sheep to the slaughter bearing material polluted by distortions of truth, if not outright lies. I present my comment in this way as it recalls the many times that I was personally confronted by those I encountered in field service who had a knowledge of the WT’s misleading tactics. The embarrassment and hurt I felt at those times was palpable.

    How could an organization which claims to “love” its adherents, subject them to this sort “guilt by association” - so to speak?

    I was reminded of the society’s regular referencing of the following scripture:

    Isaiah 52:11 Turn away, turn away, get out of there, touch nothing unclean; get out from the midst of her, keep yourselves clean, YOU who are carrying the utensils of Jehovah.

    Often with the implication that the “utensils” being carried today were packaged as the material prepared by the WTS for “holy” service. And the near constant harangues that as those “carrying” the utensils we HAD to keep ourselves morally clean to qualify as ministers in God’s eyes. It appears that those injunctions don’t apply to the org itself with equal force.

    The following articles came to mind:

    w87 11/1 16 Are You Remaining Clean in Every Respect?

    3 Jehovah’s Witnesses today must similarly be clean as bearers of Jehovah’s “utensils.” The apostle Paul quoted Isaiah’s words and applied them to Christians of his day. . . Some deceive themselves and others into believing that their lives are clean and acceptable to God, when in reality such is not the case. They practice a form of hypocrisy.

    Well, now we all can see the form of hypocrisy practiced by the WTS in their misrepresentations of fact.

    w87 11/1 20 Are You Remaining Clean in Every Respect? ***
    16 Interestingly, a circuit overseer in France observes: “Some brothers are deceived because they lack accurate knowledge. . . Having this accurate knowledge, who would become so curious as to pay any attention to apostate mouthings? May no man “delude you with persuasive arguments”! False religious propaganda from any source should be avoided like poison! Really, since our Lord has used “the faithful and discreet slave” to convey to us “sayings of everlasting life,” why should we ever want to look anywhere else?—John 6:68.

    I do agree that “false religious propaganda from any source” is poison. The WT and AWAKE being no exception. The self-aggrandizement evident in the direct statement that THEY are being used by a supposed God of truth to disseminate anything, is sickening.

    Will we ever see the day when these men will be held accountable for their own words?

  • Thirdson

    Thanks Maximus,

    An excellent piece, I will save it for future reference. When you see the dishonesty in these quotes it makes you wonder about everything the WTS quotes. The Creator book is crammed full of unidentified quotes, many of which, I would guess knowing the expertise of the authors quoted, are taken out of context. If wish I had the time to find the source of the quotes.


    'To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing'

  • VM44

    Good article Maximus.

    I do not know if Bruce Metzger wrote the Watchtower, but the noted Greek scholar Dr. Julius R. Mantey did.

    Dr. Mantey, along with H.E. Dana, had written the book, "A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament", which the Watchtower Society had been using in order to justify the correctness of their Greek translations of key Bible scriptures.

    Dr Mantey objected to the WT misquoting him, and wrote a letter to the Watchtower, dated July 11, 1974. Towards the end of the letter he wrote:

    "In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context I here with request you not to quote the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. "

    The full text of Dr Mantey's Letter to the WTS may be found at this web address:

    I do not know if Dr Mantey ever received a reply to his letter, but I believe an edict must have been issued in Brooklyn not to use Dr Mantey's name in any WT publication.

    For instance, in the March 22, 1987 issue of the Awake! magazine, Nicholas Kip told his story about "How Knowing Greek Led Me to Know God" In a footnote to this article, the Grammar Manual is given as a reference, but only the author Dana is listed!!


  • qwerty

    Thanks Maximus.

    Another one for my growing study CDROM.


  • TR

    Check this link out. It's a tribute to Bruce M. Metzger.


    "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
    form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson*

  • TR


    Is Dr. Mantey the same scholar that was on the "Witnesses Of Jehovah" video denouncing the NWT? He looks familiar.


    "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
    form of tyranny over the mind of man." --Thomas Jefferson*

  • Eusebius Hieronymus
  • VM44

    Hi TR,

    Yes, Dr Mantey does appear briefly in the "Witnesses of Jehovah" movie.


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