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THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS BOOK
AND WHAT GREEK SCHOLARS
REALLY THINK OF IT !
Research by W. I CETNAR
Would you place your trust in a surgeon who was about to perform a major operation on you, if he refused to give you his name or credentials?
OR . . .Would you place your faith in an attorney, who was defending you against false accusations of felony charges, if he also refused to give you his name or credentials?
We can see how important it is that we rely on the names and credentials of those who serve us in the important aspects of our life. As in the case of the lawyer , it is essential to know these things, for without this knowledge, we would have no assurance that he would truly and honestly represent you. It is therefore of the utmost importance to know the men, the credentials and the qualifications of those to whom we entrust our spiritual lives!
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has failed the public at this most crucial point, as they refuse to give to their followers the names and credentials of the Translating Committee of their Bible, The New World Translation of The Holy Scriptures ( see pg. 258 of Jehovah' s Witnesses in the Divine Purpose) .
This is more important than the Watchtower Society will admit since the New World Translation Committee has deceived many in their translation of the Bible in the following ways:
We cite the appendix of another Watchtower publication The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, (page 1158) for their footnote concerning John 1:1. " The reason for their rendering the Greek word Divine and not God is that it is the Greek noun , Theos' without the definite article . . . .
May we call the Watchtower Society's attention to verses 6 , 12 and 13 ( also found in the first chapter of the Gospel of John) . Here the Greek noun Theos appears without the definite article (as in John 1:.1 ) and yet the Translating Committee has translated each verse as (Jehovah) God.
Another example of non-existent rules followed only when needed to support their theology is found in the forward of the afore mentioned Kingdom Interlinear Translation ( pg. 1 8) . Here we are taught how to restore the Divine name.
We are instructed that we can render the Greek words , "Kyrios",( Lord) and "Theos" , ( God) into the Divine name by determining if the Christian ( Greek) writers have quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). If so, we can render , " Kyrios" , ( Lord) and " Theos" , (God) as Jehovah God.
Once again, the Watchtower , "rule" , is avoided by the Translation Committee as they translated Philippians 2:11 The Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 45 :23 as he states that,
" every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Jehovah God (Kyrios) to the glory of God the Father.
2. The Translation Committee has made up a Greek tense that is non-existent. We cite the 1950 edition of their New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures rendering of John 8 :58 where they have translated " ego eimi" as " I have been" and state that it is " properly rendered in the "perfect indefinite tense", in the Greek language.
There is NO " perfect indefinite tense" in any language! After the Watchtower Society was informed of this fact, they made the change to the "perfect tense indicative" but as the Greek student knows, it is present tense and is correctly translated " I AM" ( see Exodus 3 :l 4).
3. They have added words to Scripture which changes the meaning of the texts to agree with their theology. Notice the Watchtower' s rendering of Colossians 1: 16, 17, where the word "other" , has been added four times to the text, completely changing its meaning. When Paul wrote those passages that the Son created all things, it is obvious that the Son was not himself-created. The Watchtower however, believes that the Son is also a created being and has therefore added, "other", not found in the Greek Biblical text at all -to make it appear that the Son is also a creature .
As mentioned before the Translation Committee has added the word " a", to John 1:1. to make the Son a creature rather than God Himself. Take note also of the same deceitfulness displayed in Philippians 2 :9 where the word " other" is again added, when it is not found or even suggested in the original. Greek.
4. The men who comprised the Translation Committee had no adequate schooling or background to function as critical Bible translators. The self-appointed "scholars" who made up this Translation Committee were:
N. H.Knorr , F.W. Franz, A.D. Schroeder, G.D. Gangas and M. Henschel. Aside from F.W. Franz (who later became the President,) none of the Translation Committee members knew Biblical Greek or Hebrew and Franz' s ability is open to serious question .
This came out in the Scottish Court Sessions in November, 1954 ( just four years after the release of the Watchtower Scriptures) . The following exchange of questions and answers between the attorney and Franz is taken from the trial transcript :
Q. Have you also made yourself familiar with Hebrew?
A. Yes . . .
Q. So that you have a substantial linguistic apparatus at your command?
A. Yes, for use in my Biblical work.
Q. I think you are able to read and follow the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German and French?
A. Y es . . . ( Pursuer' s Proof, Page 7)
Q. You, yourself, read and speak Hebrew, do you?
A. I do not speak Hebrew.
Q . Y ou do . not?
Q. Can you, yourself, translate that into Hebrew?
Q. That fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis.
A. You mean here?
A. No. I wouldn't attempt to do that.
( Pursuer' s Proof, Pages 102, 103).
It is also interesting to note that no Greek scholar with any credentials will endorse the New World Translation. The late Bill Cetnar, in 1954 (while still a Jehovah's Witness working at Bethel) , was assigned to interview a well known Bible translator, Dr . Edgar J . Goodspeed , asking him for his evaluation and recommendation of the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Dr. Goodspeed replied :
No, I'm afraid that I could not do that. The grammar is regrettable . . . .
We agree with Dr. Goodspeed and go a step further and state that the theology brought forth in this translation is a fatal distortion of Biblical truth.
We ask you not to put your trust in such a bias translation of Holy Scripture or in the Society that has deceived many in the writing of it ; we ask that your faith and trust be placed in the Lord Jesus Christ who said that unless you believe that HE IS THE ETERNAL GOD ( Ego Eimi - I AM ) you will die in your sins (John 8 :24) .
It is because of the danger of the perversion of the New World Translation of Holy Scriptures that this warning has been written. Our concern is for you to come to know the TRUE LORD Jesus Christ. . .
What do the real scholars think of the Watchtower Society's Translation ?
Following are comments by some of the experts in the field of Biblical languages:
Dr. J. R. Mantey (who is quoted on pages 1158-1159) of the Witnesses own Kingdom Interlinear TransIation): "A shocking mistranslation. "Obsolete and incorrect." It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1 :1 "The Word was a god.'
Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature): "A frightful mistranslation." "Erroneous" and "pernicious" "Irepre-hensible" , " If the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists."
Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski of Zurich, Switzerland: "This anarthrous (used without the article) construction does not mean what the indefinite article "a'" means in English. It is monstrous to translate the phrase "the Word was a god."
Dr. Paul L. Kaufman of Portland, Oregon: "The Jehovah's Witnesses people evidence an abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar In their mistranslation of John 1 :1 "
Dr. Charles L. Feinberg of La Mirada, California: "I can assure you that the rend-ering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1 :l is not held by any reputable Greek scholar" .
Dr. James L. Boyer of Winona Lake, Indiana: "I have never heard of , or read of any Greek Scholar who would agree to the interpretation of this verse insisted upon by the Jehovah's Witnesses . . . I have never encountered one of them who had any knowledge of the Greek language."
Dr. Walter Martin (late) (who did not teach Greek but had studied the language): "The translation "a god" instead of "GOD' is erroneous and unsupported by any good Greek scholarship, ancient or contemporary and is a translation rejected by all recognized scholars of the Greek language many of whom are not even Christ-ians, and cannot fairly be said to be biased in favor of the orthodox contention." ..
Dr. William Barclay of the University of Glasgow , Scotland: "The deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New testament translations John 1:1 is translated: ". . the Word was a god," a translation which is grammatically impossible. . . . It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
Dr. F. F. Bruce of the University of Manchester, England: "Much is made by Arian amateur grammarians of the omission of the definite article with "God" in the phrase "And the Word was God." Such an omission is common with nouns in a predicative construction. . . . "a god" would be totally indefensible".
(Barclay and Bruce are generaIIy regarded as Great Britain's Ieading Greek scholars. Both have New Testament translations in print!)
Dr . Ernest C. Colwell of the University of Chicago; "A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb. . . this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas. "My Lord and my God."-John 20; 28.".
Dr. Philip B. Harner of Heidelberg College: "The verb preceding an anarthrous predicate, would probably mean that the Iogos was "a god" or a divine being of some kind, belonging to the general category of theos but as a distinct being from ho theos. In the form that John actually uses, the word "theos" is placed at the beginning for emphasis."
Dr. J. Johnson of California State University, Long Beach: "No Justification whatsoever for translating theos en ho logos as "the Word was a god." There is no syntactical parallel to Acts 23:6 where there is a statement in indirect discourse; John 1: l is direct. . . I am neither a Christian nor a trinitarian."
Dr. Eugene A. Nida, head of Translations Department, American Bible Society: "With regard to John. 1 .1 , there is of course a complication simply because the New World Translation was apparently done by persons who did not take seriously the syntax of the Greek." (Responsible for the Good News Bible- The committee worked under him.)
Dr. B. F. Westcott (whose Greek text not the English part is used in the Kingdom InterIinear Translation): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in iv. 24. It is necessarily without the article. . . . No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the form of expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word. . . . in the third clause "the Word" is declared to be "GOD." and so included in the unity of the Godhead."
Dr. J. J. Griesbach (whose Greek text, not the English parts used in the Emphatic Diaglott ):
"So numerous, and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favor of the true Deity of Christ, that I can hardly imagine how, upon the admission of the Divine authority of Scripture, and with regard to fair rules of interpretation, this doctrine can by any man be called in doubt. Especially the passage, John 1: 1-3, is so clear and so superior to all exception, that by no daring efforts of either commentators or critics can it be snatched out of the hands of the defenders of the truth".