Jehovah's Witnesses have
substantially altered scripture to fit their theology rather than visa versa. Any Greek
student could give examples of how they have misuded the Greek language. This section
gives some examples of this.
Bible translations always supply details of the scholars who worked on the translation
so that confidence can be placed on the accuracy of the translation. The New World
Translation has not / will not supply the names of those who were responsible for their
translation. However the court cases of two leaders (Russell and
Franz) show clearly that their self claimed scholarly expertise was less than minimal.
Scripture clearly shows in John 1:1 that the 'Word
was God' but Jehovah's Witnesses have altered this to read the 'Word was
a god'. The following are comments on this translation from world
renowned Greek scholars.
Dr. Judas R. Manley: calls the Watchtower
translation of John 1:1 "A GROSSLY MISLEADING TRANSLATION. " It is neither
scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1: I 'the Word was a god.' But of all the
scholars in the world, so far as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah's
Witnesses have done."
Bruce M. Metzger, Professor of New Testament Language and
literature at Princeton Theological Seminary said: "Far more
pernicious in this same verse is the rendering, . . . 'and the Word was a god,' with the
following footnotes: " 'A god,' In contrast with 'the God' ". It must be stated
quite frankly that, if the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are
polytheists. In view of the additional light which is available during this age of Grace,
such a representation is even-more reprehensible than were the heathenish, polytheistic
errors into which ancient Israel was so prone to fall. As a matter of solid fact, however,
such a rendering is a frightful mistranslation." THEOLOGY TODAY
Dr. J. J. Griesback: "So numerous and
clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour of the true Deity
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: I 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."
Dr. Eugene A. Nida (Head of the Translation Department of
the American Bible Society Translators of the GOOD NEWS BIBLE): "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
Dr. William Bjtrclay (University of Glasgow, Scotland):
"The deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New Testament
translations. John 1: I 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." THE
EXPOSITORY TIMES Nov. 1953
Dr. B. F. Wesscott (Whose Greek text is used in
J W KINGDOM
INTERLINEAR): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in
4:24. 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
Dr. Ernest C. Colwell (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. F. F. Bruce (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
predicate construction. 'a god' would be totally indefensible. "
Dr. Paul L. Kaufman (Portland OR.):
"The Jehovah's Witness people evidence an abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of
Greek grammar in their mistranslation of John 1: 1. "
Dr. Charles L. Feinberg (La Mirada CA.):
"I can assure you that the rendering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1: I
is-not held by any reputable Greek scholar."
Dr. Harry A. Sturz: (Dr. Stutz is Chairman of the Language
Department and Professor of Greek at Biola College) "Therefore, the
NWT rendering: "the Word was a god" is not a "literal" but an
ungrammatical and tangential translation. A literal translation in English can be nothing
other than: "the word was God." THE BIBLE COLLECTOR July-December, 1971 p. 12
A footnote in the New World translation on 1st Corinthians 11:23 informs us that John
Christian Reichardt's 1846 version of the New testament in Hebrew uses the tetragrammaton
YHWH in place of LORD. What Fred. Franz (who wrote the footnote) does not tell
readers is that Reichardt also uses the tetragrammaton in place of LORD at 1st Corinthians
12:3 Therefore by Franz'a own admission 1st Corinthians 12:3 should translate
"And nobody can say 'Jesus is Yahweh!' except by Holy Spirit'
They do not translate this scripture this way of course but that would be contrary to
In Colossians 1:16 &17 the Apostle Paul states clearly that ALL things were created
by Jesus Christ, through Him and for Him. It states clearly that He is before ALL things.
As this passage of scripture runs contrary to their doctrine they alter scripture
by puting the word 'other' in brackets every time Paul emphasises the word 'ALL'
Their New world translation therefore reads ..
"because by means of him all (other) things were created in the heavens and upon
the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones
or lordships or governments or authorities. All (other) things have been created through
him and for him. Also he is before all (other) things and by means of him all (other)
things were made to exist'
If they took out their bracketed add-ons they would be staring at the truth.
The New World translators translate the Greek word 'kurios' (Lord) as
'Jehovah. So in Romans 10 verse 13 their New world translation reads 'Everyone who
calls on the name of Jehovah (kurios) will be saved. Yet in the very same
chapter, in verse 9, they translate 'For if you publicly declare that word in your mouth,
that Jesus is Lord (kurios) you will be saved'
In the passage of scripture John 4:20 - 24 the use of the Greek word 'proskuneo'
(worship) is used ten times and each time in the Authorised Version and the New world
translation it is translated as worship. For example 'The Father seeketh such to
worship (proskuneo) Him (verse 23) However when you turn to passages
relating to the Person of Jesus Christ in the New World translation you find that the very
same word is changed to 'obeisance' For example in Luke 24:52 we read 'they
did obeisance (proskuneo) to Him'