When one opens the 2013 edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, they will no doubt be pleased by the words found in the foreward portion of its pages where it states, "Our goal has been to produce a translation that is not only faithful to the original texts but also clear and easy to read." The foreward continues with these words, "Those who love Jehovah and worship him desire an accurate, understandable translation of God's Word." (Italics ours)
Based on the foregoing, we can thus conclude that if the translation is found to be inaccurate in any means, it would result in the reader being misinformed about the message, whether it be the message as a whole, the message of a parable, the message of a specific account, and so on. It would thus detract from the very thing that God's Word is designed to do . . . accurately convey the messages as they came from our heavenly Father. So the reader must have a desire to be well informed, about any translation for that matter, if what they are reading is being interpreted in a manner that brings glory to our heavenly Father, and as mentioned, brings the message as it was intended from our Father straight to us in an unadulterated manner.
So, who were the initial translator's of the New World Translation (NWT, for short)? In his book "Crisis of Conscience," Raymond Franz reveals, as a previous Governing Body member for some nine years, that the NWT was developed and translated by Nathan H. Knorr, Frederick W. Franz, Albert D. Schroeder, George D. Gangas, and Milton G. Henschel. According to Raymond Franz, these were the members of the NWT translation team. What were their credentials as it pertains to their understanding of Hebrew and Greek exegesis or translation? None of these men had a university education except Frederick Franz, who quit school after two years never achieving an undergraduate degree.(1)(2)
The uncontested foremost scholar of the organization can be attributed to Frederick Franz, even in light of his miniscule knowledge of Hebrew, Greek exegesis interpretation and translation. When called to testify in 1954 in Scotland, Frederick Franz early on followed the standard as set by his predecessor's in requiring all follower's of the religion to accept false doctrine, repeatedly if necessary to remain in unity - this is in light of being disfellowshipped if the individual follower, even after studying God's Word the bible in depth cannot bring oneself to agree on a doctrine. According the Frederick Franz, while testifying under oath, states it is an acceptable posture on the leadership to disfellowship on such grounds, in an attempt to maintain unity. The same holds true down till today. The mindset of the leadership responsible for biblical translation is absolutely critical in understanding their view of true doctrine(s) vs the act of unity. And we may thus draw a parallel to that mental framework and the creation of a translation of the bible that has been sworn by the most reputable and studied scholars on earth to be seriously flawed. Please click HERE to view entire transcript of Frederick Franz testimony.
Just how critical is it that translators of the holy bible possess graduate degree's in biblical exegesis and profound study in the translation of Hebrew and Greek scholarship? It is profoundly important. And the level of academia in doctoral studies of understanding in the sacred and ancient texts could never be overstated. The identification and translation of ancient biblical text is not only essential, but inherently critical to conveying the accurate Word of God as God intended. Such scholarship in this field of study includes the comprehensive understanding of such topics as textual emendation, textual criticism (or "eclectic text"), as well as a broad spectrum of study and understanding of ancient and biblical interpretation using such references as the Textus Receptus (or,"TR"), codex Vaticanus, codex Sinaiticanus, codex Alexandrinus among others. Their fellowship also includes a comprehensive study in the translations that the TR affected, for example, as found in translation-base for the original GermanLuther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, the SpanishReina-Valera translation, and most Reformation-era New Testament translations.
Considering the above, is it not prudent to be concerned about only a couple of semesters of Greek of only one member of the NWT translation committee? No further education whatsoever, by any of the members in the above mentioned fields of study and academia?
The NWT has been carefully examined by true biblical scholars, scholars that boast the highest levels of achievement in the exhaustive field of biblical study and exegesis. Their approach to translation as it pertains to accuracy is always of the highest order. Thus, they examine various translations with an absolute unbiased opinion, but rather base their findings on the true testament of accuracy, or the lack of it.
Julius R. Mantey was known to be arguably the greatest Greek scholar of the 20th century. He was co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, a Greek grammar that was in use for half a century to teach Greek in prominent schools. After carefully examining the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, Dr. Mantey made this statement during an interview: "I have never found any so-called translation that goeth so far away from what the scripture actually teaches - as these books (NWT bibles - as he held a copy of the NWT in his hand). published by Jehovah's Witnesses. They are so far away from what there is in the original Hebrew and the original Greek." He went on to add, "You can't follow, there, because it's biased and it's deceptive because they deliberately changed words in the passage of scripture to make it fit into their doctrine. They distorted the scripture in many passages, scores and scores of passages."
Notice a complaint made by Dr. Julius R Mantey upon learning of the Watchtower's attempt to quote Dr. Mantey out of context to suit their own translation. Dr. Mantey was forced to write a strong rebuttal to the Watchtower demanding an apology, and a detraction in their publication(s). Click HERE for rebuttal.
James R. White is one of the world's most reputable scholars. Dr. White graduated with a BA from Grand Canyon University (formerly known as Grand Canyon College) and an MA from Fuller Theological Seminary. He earned ThM, ThD and DMin degrees from Columbia Evangelical Seminary (formerly Faraston Theological Seminary). Dr. White has been working on an accredited PhD at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa in the field of textual criticism. White often engages in public debate, having participated in more than 150 public moderated debates, covering topics such as Calvinism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, the King James Only movement, Jehovah's Witnesses, and atheism. After careful examination of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, what was his findings? Dr. White stated during a debate with Jack Moorman, an advocate for the King James version, "There are garbage modern translations. There are cultic modern translations, like the New World Translation. We all recognize that - it doesn't even really deserve the term "'translation'" at all. That's just a perversion of the bible."
The Watchtower has periodically attempted to quote various scholars who support either a particular biblical text found in the NWT, or other passages. It is not difficult to find those with similar biases in a world filled with "wannabe's" in a vast sum of fields. In fact, it is worth noting that the eclectic text (textual criticism) has been a very useful tool in assisting notable scholars in producing, editing translations that are as accurate as can be. Such a field of academia is very critical, since it has been acknowledged that more and more "bible mills" are popping up, producing their own versions that in many cases can hardly be called a translation. Therefore, what these various translation committee's attempt to do, is find a scholar or two that is willing to examine their translation and exalt it as something reliable, when more academic scholars refuse to hardly recognize a particular translation as worthy of reading. The Watchtower has quoted a number of scholars who appear to affirm the validity of a sound NWT translation. Click HERE for some examples.
Every Christian is entitled to read the holy bible without influence due to selfish ambition, biases of belief, or insertion of text that sways from the original meaning or wording. Has such been the case when examining the New World Translation? Again, from the voice of renowned reputable scholars, the reader of the NWT may not read without such biases and inaccuracies. Notice some of the examples below:
Hebrews 1:6 - The NWT reads as follows: "But when he again brings his Firstborn into the inhabited earth, he says: “And let all of God’s angels do obeisance to him.”* (italics ours. footnote reads, "or bow down to him"). Bias: Notice the word "obeisance." (Strong's Grk 4352): προσκυνήσουσιν. The vast majority of translations, including the Textus Receptus translated copies (Scrivner, Elzevir, Beza, Stephanus) uses the word "worship." Such copies include the English Majority Text, the Wycliffe, the Tyndale bible. But not the NWT! The only other was the Young's Literal Translation. It sways as does the NWT. The NWT Greek Interlinear says, "Proskuneo," yet they render the word "obeisance" instead of "worship." Variant: Notice another verse that uses the exact same use of "proskuneo," as it pertains to "worship." Again, the Grk word: προσκυνήσουσιν Notice Revelation 4:10: " . . . the 24 elders fall down before the One seated on the throne and worship the One who lives forever and ever, and they cast their crowns before the throne . . ." (Italics ours). Notice the word "worship," or "proskuneo." It is the exact same word, no variances than that of "proskuneo" found in Hebrews 1:6 above.
Why did the NWT translation committee decide to use "obeisance" in Hebrews 1:6 but "worship" in Revelation 4:10? They are both the exact same Grk word "προσκυνήσουσιν," or "worship." Explanation: The bias of the NWT translation committee, as sanctioned by strict doctrine as established by the Governing Body, is to marginalize Jesus. Though the NWT translation committee would likely refute this and insist that "obeisance" and "worship" mean the same thing, they would be equally unable to provide a clear explanation as to why the inclusion of "obeisance" in Heb 1:6 is reasonably necessary as opposed to "worship" as it was included in Revelation 4:10. The Governing Body has been marginalizing Jesus for many decades, and more so as time progresses forward. The reason they use "worship" in Revelation 4:10 is that it is referring to Yahweh, or "Jehovah." But when the same word in Greek is used for Jesus, they change it to "obeisance."
Such is also the case in Matthew 2:2. It reads in the NWT: "saying: “Where is the one born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when we were in the East, and we have come to do obeisance to him.” (Italics ours) The word is the exact same as above, "proskuneo" (Strong's Grk 4352). Once again, the NWT translation committee thought it okay to change the original text, as proven above, to the word "obeisance." The original ancient texts do not say "obeisance," but "worship." The motive of the NWT is to marginalize Jesus, and the worship his Father has allowed him to have. For many readers, the word "obeisance" does not convey the level of adoration and deep reverence as does "worship."
Bias Support: The NWT and their Governing Body, as mentioned above, work overtime to marginalize Jesus in many different ways. For example, in all of the 32 Caleb and Sophia videos, Jesus only receives a grand total of 8 mentions between only five of the videos! You will need to watch seven videos before you hear the name Jesus for the first time. Likewise, with the formation of the doctrine of the Mediatorship of Christ Jesus, that is, the official teaching that Jesus is the Mediator ONLY for those claiming to be anointed gives further evidence that the Governing Body has placed Jesus in the rear, while placing themselves between Jesus and the rest of mankind. This is the official teaching of the cult. Interesting to note is in the 2017 February Study Edition of the Watchtower under the article "Who Are Leading God's People Today?," the article mentions "Governing Body" fifty-three times. The use of "Christ," and "Jesus" almost half of that.
1) Micah 6:8 - NWT: "He has told you, O man, what is good.And what is Jehovah requiring of you?Only to exercise justice, to cherish loyalty,And to walk in modesty with your God!" (Bold/Italics ours). Previous translations of the NWT say, "loving-kindness," instead of "loyalty." This is a gross transition from the original Masoretic Text, which is rendered, "Chesed," (Heb לֶ֖כֶת ) when translated means "grace." There are a vast number of words synonymous with "grace." Therefore, being a contextual language, the entire verse must be considered as to what proper synonym of grace is most fitting. The top three most accurate renderings of "Chesed" (Strong's Heb 2617) is "mercy," "loving-kindness," and "compassion." Where does the replaced word "loyalty" fit in? Of two biblical Hebrew related words dictionaries, "loyalty" is labeled 32, at the earliest use, while the other places it 80. A number of other passages that are rendered as "Chesed," or "grace" have likewise been changed to "loyalty," or "loyal love" when a more accurate contextual synonym of "loving-kindness," and "mercy" are profoundly more accurate. a) Masoretic Text rendering: "Tell you, man, what is good, and what Jehovah demands of you, but if you do justice and love kindness, and be humble with your God." (Italics ours) b) Spanish Reina-Valera rendering: "Oh man, he has declared to you what is good, and what does Jehovah ask of you: only to make judgment, and to love mercy, and to humble yourself to walk with your God."
2) Zechariah 7:9 - NWT changed to "loyal love." NWT: “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘Judge with true justice, and deal with one another in loyal love and mercy." (Bold/Italics ours) Original text: וְחֶ֣סֶד (wə·ḥe·seḏ) (Strong's 2617) "goodness," "kindness," "compassion." "Loyal love" is a strong deviation from the original text! a) The Masoretic Text redering: "Thus saith the LORD of hosts, saying, Verily, the judgments of the truth, that his judgments, and mercy and mercy, made his brother his brother.(Italics ours) b) The Spanish Reina-Valera rendering: "Thus spoke the LORD of hosts, saying, Judge true judgment, and show mercy and compassion to each one with his brother" (Italics ours)
3) Hosea 6:6 - NWT changed to "loyal love." NWT: "For in loyal loveI delight, not in sacrifice,And in the knowledge of God, rather than in whole burnt offerings." (Bold/Italics ours) Original text: חֶ֥סֶד(ḥe·seḏ) (Strong's 2617) "goodness," "kindness," "faithfulness." "Loyal love" is a strong deviation from the original text! a) Masoretic rendering: "For I have desired kindness, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God is high." (Italics ours) b) Spanish Reina Valera rendering: "Because I wanted mercy, and not sacrifice; and knowledge of God more than holocausts." (Italics ours)
4) Ephesians 4:8 - "For it says: “When he ascended on high he carried away captives; he gave gifts in men.” When one consults the Kingdom Interlinear (published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society and based on the Westcott and Hort Interlinear), it becomes evident that the “in” has been inserted to replace the preposition “to”. Without exception, they all use the preposition “to” or “unto” to render this verse. Why did the NWT translation committee choose this rendering? What motivated them to deviate (apparently) from the original text? Does replacing “to” with “in” really alter the meaning of the text in some significant way? So why doesn’t the NWT use the more accurate rendering? It could have translated Hebrews 13:17 as “Be persuaded by those taking the lead among you…” or “Allow yourselves to be convinced by those taking the lead among you…” or some such rendering that imposes the responsibility on the elders to be reasonable and convincing rather that authoritarian and dictatorial. Strong's (444) A man, one of the human race. From aner and ops; man-faced, i.e. A human being. This may include women. The Reina Valera (of the Textus Receptus) says, "unto men," or "to men" (as rendered).
Bias: The rendering “gifts in men” actually conflicts with the context. Consider how much better things fit when we accept what the text actually says by “he gave gifts to men”. (In those days—as is the case often today—saying “men” includes women as well. Woman actually means ‘man with a womb’. The angels appearing to the shepherds were not excluding women from the peace of God by their word choice. [See Luke 2:14]) “And he gave some as apostles, some as prophets, some as evangelizers, some as shepherds and teachers,” (Eph 4:11) “Some as apostles”: Apostle means “one sent forth”, or missionary. It appears there were women apostles or missionaries in the early congregation as there are today. Romans 16:7 refers to a Christian couple. “Some as prophets”: The prophet Joel foretold that there would be women prophets in the Christian congregation (Acts 2:16, 17) and there were. (Acts 21:9) “Some as evangelizers…and teachers”: We know that women are very effective evangelizers and to be a good evangelizer, one must be able to teach. (Ps 68:11; Titus 2:3)
The Greek word, peithó, rendered “Be obedient” in Hebrews 13:17 actually means “to be persuaded”. It doesn’t mean “obey without question”. The Greeks had another word for that kind of obedience and it is found at Acts 5:29. Peitharcheó carries the English meaning for the word “to obey” and essentially means “to obey one in authority”. One would obey a Lord this way, or a king. But Jesus did not set up some in the congregation as lords or kings or governors. He said we were all brothers. He said we were not to lord it over one another. He said that only he is our leader. (Mt 23:3-12) Should We Peithó or Peitharcheó Men? So giving unquestioning obedience to men goes against the instructions of our one true lord. We can cooperate, yes, but only after we have been treated with respect. Elders treat the congregation with respect when they openly explain their reasons for some decision and when they willingly accept counsel and advice from others. (Pr 11:14) (3)
Notice these changes to the NWT to insert "apostate" in place of a more accurate rendering as shown below (bold ours).
Isaiah 10:6 I will send him against an apostate(ḥā·nêp̄ - "Godless", NOT "apostate"), Against the people who infuriated me; I will command him to take much spoil and much plunder And to trample them like mud in the streets. The closest synonym in Hebrew is the word "Chaneph," when translated means "defiled," or "polluted." These are the appropriate words to use as meant in its original language and meaning. For the NWT translation committee to approve and insert "apostate" is a deviation from the original texts/manuscripts. It is a violation of the primary purpose for all scholars/exegete's to uphold to the true meaning and value of the original text as capable. "Apostate" is vastly inappropriate, as in the other examples below.
Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are in dread; Trembling has seized the apostates: ‘Who of us can live where there is a consuming fire? Who of us can live with unquenchable flames?"
Isaiah 9:17 That is why Jehovah will not rejoice over their young men, And he will have no mercy on their fatherless children and their widows Because all of them are apostates and evildoers And every mouth is speaking senselessness. In view of all this, his anger has not turned back, But his hand is still stretched out to strike.
The following is a perfect example of how the original text was deliberately changed to alter the meaning, and to fit the doctrine of the Governing Body. The NWT translation committee make it appear sensible to change the original text by this statement in the Watchtower 2015 December 15 p. 14-15: ""impaled” was changed to “executed on a stake” or “nailed to the stake” to avoid giving a wrong impression about how Jesus was executed. Please Note: The Greek word translated σταυρῶσαι(staurōsai) Strong's Greek 4717 is literally translated
"Crucified": 6) NWT Matthew 20:19: "and hand him over to men of the nations to be mocked and scourged and executed on a stake; and on the third day he will be raised up.” (Bold/Italics ours) NWT Matthew 27:31: "Finally, after they had mocked him, they stripped him of the cloak and put his outer garments on him and led him off to be nailed to the stake." (Bold/Italics ours)
Spanish Reina-Valera Matthew 20: "And they shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock him, and to whip him, and to crucify him; but on the third day he will be resurrected." (Bold ours) Spanish Reina-Valera Matthew 27: "And when they had mocked him, they took off his robe, and put on his garments, and led him away to crucify him."
Greek Interlinear renderings of Matthew 20 and 27: 1) Textus Receptus (Scrivner 1894): Matthew 20: "crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 2) Textus Receptus (Elzevir 1624): Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 3) Textus Receptus (Beza 1598): Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 4) Textus Receptus (Stephanus 1550): Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 5) Byzantine Majority Text 2000: Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 6) Byzantine Majority Text (Family 35): Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes" 7) Textus Receptus New Testament Variants (TR, VM,AX): Matthew 20: "Crucify" / Matthew 27: "Crucifixes"
The NWT translation department, as ordered by the Governing Body never should have changed the words as noted above. Why? It deviates from the original text and promotes their own teaching, as also illustrated by the examples above. We must remain with the received text as copied. To deviate demonstrates a selfish motive, and a desire to promote teachings that may have no scriptural backing. Thus we are warned by God throughout his inspired Word:
1) Revelation 22:18-19 "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
2) Proverbs 30:5-6 "Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar. Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him."
3) Mark 7:13 "thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that."
7) Matthew 24:24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect."
The above are only a few examples of hundreds.
. . . . . "They distorted the scripture in many passages, scores and scores of passages." - Julius R Mantey -
(1) Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults—Expanded Anniversary Edition, October 1997, Bethany House Publishers, p. 123-124. "the New World Bible translation committee had no known translators with recognized degrees in Greek or Hebrew exegesis or translation. While the members of the [NWT] committee have never been identified officially by the Watchtower, many Witnesses who worked at the headquarters during the translation period were fully aware of who the members were. (2) Penton, M. James (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses (2nd ed.). University of Toronto Press. p. 174 (3) Credit for the research on Ephesians 4:8 goes to Meleti Vivlon of Beroean Pickets ; beroeans.net