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Jehovah's Witnesses

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

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» God's Only Organization?
» Tight Control
» Doctrinal Beliefs
» New World Translation

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New World Translation of the Bible
What's an organization to do when its teachings and practices are contradicted by the Bible? Why, you publish your very own version of the Bible. That is precisely what the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society did. In 1961, it published The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT).

The NWT is defined by the Watchtower in their Reasoning from the Scriptures as "a translation of the Holy Scriptures made directly from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into modern day English by a committee of anointed witnesses of Jehovah" (p.276).

Some Christians may ask, "Why the New World Translation?" Evidence bears out the fact that the Watchtower Society thought that all the other translations (KJV, ASV, etc.) had been corrupted where the Bible tranlators actually let their religious bias show through their renderings (The Watchtower, 10/15/85, p.21, Insight on the News).

David Reed, an ex-Witness, says in his book, Jehovah's Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse that basically the New World Translation came into being for the sole purpose of supporting Watchtower doctrines showing their own bias (pp.17-18). Reed says, "So, during the 1950's, Watchtower leaders went beyond interpretation by producing their own version of the Bible, with hundreds of verses changed to fit Watchtower doctrine. And, their New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures continues to be rewritten every few years, with additional changse made to bring God's Word into closer agreement with what the organization teaches."

The New World Translation systematically sets out to eliminate evidence for the deity of Christ. Instead of falling at Jesus' feet to worship Him, people did "obeisouce" to Him. John 1:1 no longer says "the Word was God" but "the Word was a God." Jesus did not say, "Before Abraham was, I am" but rather to avoid association with the "I AM" of Exodus 3:14, Jesus's statement becomes, "Before Abraham came into existence, I have been."

The most widespread change in the Watchtower Bible is the insertion of the name JEHOVAH 237 times in the New Testament. Of course, it is appropriate for a translator to choose to use the divine name JEHOVAH or YAHWEH in the Old Testament where the Tetragrammator YHWH actually appears in the Hebrew text. However, the Watchtower has gone beyond this by inserting the name JEHOVAH in the New Testament, where it does not appear in Greek manuscripts. One need only look at the word-by-word English that appears under the Greek text in the Society's own Kingdom Interlinear Translation to see that the name JEHOVAH is not there in the Greek.

Why the bias concerning Christ? Because the Watchtower teaches that Jesus is a mighty god, but not the almighty God, a creature rather than the Creator.

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was completed in 1961. Dr. Hoekema agrees with what many others have said concerning this version:

"Their New World Translation is by no means an objective rendering of the sacred text into modern English, but is a biased translation in which many of the peculiar teachings of the Watchtower Society are smuggled into the text of the Bible itself" (Anthony Hoekema, The Four Major Cults, pp. 238,239). Greek scholar, Dr. Robert Countess wrote a well documented and thorough critical analysis of their New World Translation in which he concluded, "(It) must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work. At some points it is actually dishonest. At others it is neither modern nor scholarly" (The Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament, p. 93).

The Witnesses also have two Greek interliner New Testament texts. The older work is The Emphatic Diaglott, translated by Benjamin Wilson, a Christadelphian with no credentials in Greek.

The other is The Kingdom Interliner Translation of the Greek Scriptures, published in 1969, combines the Westcott and Hort Greek text with the Society's translation and an improved text of the New World Translation.

Both works clearly reveal a doctrinal bias.

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About This Page:

• Subject: Jehovah's Witnesses : The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
• First posted: Oct. 2, 1996
• Last Updated: Jul. 8, 2004
• Editor: Anton Hein
• Copyright: Apologetics Index

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