Best Bible Translation?

by mywifeisaJW 34 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • mywifeisaJW

    My wife has been a JW for about 10 years (we have been married 15 years). Over the years I have tried various strategies to deal with this, which I won't go into here...except that I have agreed to "read the bible" with my wife...and I get to pick the translation.

    What translation would be best recommended to help highlight the errors of the NWT and JW thinking in general? I have seen here that Today's English Version has been recommended...anything else? I've been putting this off, but can't really delay it further, so I'm looking for recommendations.


  • Deputy Dog
    Deputy Dog

    I like the New American Standard Bible. It uses the same Hebrew and Greek texts (Westcott and Hort)

    The Lockman Foundation - New American Standard Bible nasbov.htm

    D Dog

  • Triple A
    Triple A

    Along with what ever you use, have the Kingdom Interlinear Translation (KIT) that you use side by side. It is revealing that the Greek to English translation does not fit the NWT English. The KIT is only the New Testiment and is their own publication. So seeing the errors side by side is quite revealing.

    Also make sure that you understand some Bible basics, like ( ) around a word or words is inserted. It was not there in the orginal text and is suppose to add to your understanding. But it is not suppose to change the meaning. Helpful when reading Colossians 1:15-17.

    It would help if you did some reading on how the WTS uses proof text to support their beliefs and how they twist the scriptures. Example of this would be Proverbs 8:22. They use this to prove that Jesus was created. This chapter is dealing with wisdom. If you do not know this going in and do not read the whole text, it is easy to be fooled.

    Above all to not use other WTS publications to study. Stay with the Bible, an authorized version and compare it to theres. Ask why the difference and look at the context in which they have change meanings. Pray on your own before and after.

    Good Luck

  • Triple A
    Triple A

    One other thing, if your wife says that the NWT is the most accurrate translation. Ask her for the reference that say that. Look at the whole reference. Most of the statements of accurace is for the Westcott Hort (used in the KIT), that they contribute to their own NWT erronously.

  • scholar


    Your wife is a very smart woman because she is already using the most brilliant translation of the Bible namely the NWT. Proof for this superlative comment is founded by the research into modern Bible translations by Jason BeDuhn in his Truth In Translation, 2003. I suggest that you read this book and notice the comparisons of different translations.


    BA MA Studies in Religion

  • Triple A
    Triple A

    Here is a link to a review of Bible translations by Jason BeDuhn in his Truth In Translation, 2003. Maybe Scholar can produce another.

  • ColdRedRain

    NIV. That's what helped me get out of the borg.

  • robhic

    On top of the actual hardcopy book, what about electronic media? The "eSword" software is indispensable as a great resource. You can go to and download free copies of as many and varied Bible translations as you want. Or you can send him a donation and get a CD with every bit of information contained on the site.

    There are probably 10 - 15 different Bibles available along with dictionaries, commentaries, etc. Pretty comprehensive and you can't beat the price!

    Also, add this little gem to your research:

    The Letter of Dr. Julius Mantey to the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society

    In Response to a Letter from the WTB&TS to CARIS

    On the Use of the Dana Mantey Greek Grammar (An excerpt from the letter to CARIS may be found here <caris.htm> ) July 11, 1974

    Dear Sirs:

    I have a copy of your letter addressed to Caris in Santa Ana, California, and I am writing to express my disagreement with statements made in that letter, as well as in quotations you have made from the Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar. (1) Your statement: "their work allows for the rendering found in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures at John 1:1." There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply that "a god" was a permissible translation in John 1:1. A. We had no "rule" to argue in support of the trinity. B. Neither did we state that we did have such intention. We were simply delineating the facts inherent in Biblical language. C. Your quotation from p. 148 (3) was a paragraph under the heading: "With the subject in a Copulative Sentence." Two examples occur here to illustrate that "the article points out the subject in these examples." But we made no statement in this paragraph about the predicate except that, "as it stands the other persons of the trinity may be implied ;in theos." And isn't that the opposite of what your translation "a god" infers? You quoted me out of context. On pages 139 and 140 (VI) in our grammar we stated: "without the article, theos signifies divine essence...'theos en ho logos' emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature." Our interpretation is in agreement with that in NEB and TED: "What God was, the Word was"; and with that of Barclay: "The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God," which you quoted in your letter to Caris. (2) Since Colwell's and Harner's article in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 "The Word was a god." Word-order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering. (3) Your quotation of Colwell's rule is inadequate because it quotes only a part of his findings. You did not quote this strong assertion: "A predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or a 'qualitative' noun solely because of the absence of the article." (4) Prof. Harner, Vol 92:1 in JBL, has gone beyond Colwell's research and has discovered that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb function primarily to express the nature or character of the subject. He found this true in 53 passages in the Gospel of John and 8 in the Gospel of Mark. Both scholars wrote that when indefiniteness was intended that gospel writers regularly placed the predicate noun after the verb, and both Colwell and Harner have stated that theos in John 1:1 is not indefinite and should not be translated "a god." Watchtower writers appear to be the only ones advocating such a translation now. The evidence appears to be 99% against them. (5) Your statement in your letter that the sacred text itself should guide one and "not just someone's rule book." We agree with you. But our study proves that Jehovah's Witnesses do the opposite of that whenever the "sacred text" differs with their heretical beliefs. For example the translation of kolasis as cutting off when punishment is the only meaning cited in the lexicons for it. The mistranslation of ego eimi as "I have been" in John 8:58, the addition of "for all time" in Heb. 9:27 when nothing in the Greek New Testament support is. The attempt to belittle Christ by mistranslating arche tes kriseos "beginning of the creation" when he is magnified as the "creator of all things" (John 1:2) and as "equal with God" (Phil. 2:6) before he humbled himself and lived a human body on earth. Your quotation of "The father is greater than I am, (John 14:28) to prove that Jesus was not equal to God overlooks the fact stated in Phil 2:6-8. When Jesus said that he was still in his voluntary state of humiliation. That state ended when he ascended to heaven. Why the attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after "today" in Luke 23:43 when in the Greek, Latin, German and all English translations except yours, even in the Greek in your KIT, the comma occurs after lego (I say) - "Today you will be with me in Paradise." 2 Cor 5:8, "to be out of the body and at home with the Lord." These passages teach that the redeemed go immediately to heaven after death, which does not agree with your teachings that death ends all life until the resurrection. (Ps. 23:6 and Heb 1:10) The above are only a few examples of Watchtower mistranslations and perversions of God's Word. In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context, I herewith request you not to quote the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. Also that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on. Also that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance to the absence of the article before theos in John 1:1. And please write to Caris and state that you misused and misquoted my "rule." On the page before the Preface in the grammar are these words: "All rights reserved - no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher." If you have such permission, please send me a photo-copy of it. If you do not heed these requests you will suffer the consequences. Regretfully yours, Julius R. Mantey
  • Justin

    Unfortunately, simply reading another translation with a JW is not going to convince them that there is anything wrong with the NWT because, when there is a discrepancy between the NWT and any other translation which is used, the JW will simply assume that the NWT translators are better scholars than the translators of the other version. You would do better to pick a translation that would appeal to you for your own use if there were no JW involved.

    Basically, there are two types of translations on the market today - literal translations and "dynamic equivalent" translations. The literal translations attempt word-for-word renderings (taking into consideration the grammatical differences between the Bible languages and English), while dynamic equivalency involves translating ideas and thoughts to be intelligible in English and is more like a paraphrase. The NWT and the King James are literal translations (taking into consideration any "inaccuracies" that may be present).

    In view of the fact that we are dealing with battles between competing "scholars" when it comes to JW issues, it would probably be best for a JW to learn the original Bible languages - starting with Greek. This, of course, can take years - but there are sources available on the internet which can get them started and it won't be long before they start learning the basics. Of course, a JW will think this will help them defend the "truth," but be patient.

  • BlackSwan of Memphis
    BlackSwan of Memphis

    all the suggestions have made great points, personally, my questions were best answered by simply reading the interlinear.

    Surprisingly, while I'm sure many will disagree with me, I found that though some verses in the NWT seemed off, when I compared other translations such as the King James, the New King James and the NIV, I found several verses to be "off" as well. Many references to the Holy Spirit seemed to be all over the board in their translations. This led me to have little faith in man's ability to produce an unbiased HolyBible.

    You could try suggesting a look at the NWT, but using the interlinear. My husband had made me the same offer and I looked and looked for another bible, non nwt, and I settled on the Amplified Bible. However, later I found a copy of The New Jerusalem Bible and that was very interesting.

    Oddly enough, the Catholic Living Bible is very interesting. It's a thought for thought, but I found it to be very helpful.

    As Justin brought out, it would be extrememly helpful to learn Greek. Learning another language takes time, but it is well worth the effort. In fact....

    Justin, do you have any suggestions for doing this?

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