Is the New World Translation a valid version of the Bible?

Reason I ask is there are several verses in this bible that contradict other Bibles. One such verse is John 1:1, most Bible render it "and the Word was God" While the NWT renders it and the Word was a god. This is a big difference, so you can see why I ask.

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  • 1 decade ago
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    The New World Translation is unique in one thing – it is the first intentional systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society realized that their beliefs contradicted Scripture. So, rather than conforming their beliefs to Scripture, they altered Scripture to agree with their beliefs. The “New World Bible Translation Committee” went through the Bible and changed any Scripture that did not agree with Jehovah’s Witness’ theology. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that as new editions to the New World Translation were published, additional changes were made to the biblical text. As biblical Christians continued to point out, Scriptures that clearly argue for the deity of Christ (for example), the Watchtower Society would publish a new edition of the New World Translation with those Scriptures changed. Following are some of the more prominent examples of intentional revisions.

    The New World Translation renders the Greek term word "staurós" ("cross") as "torture stake" because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus was crucified on a cross. The New World Translation does not translate the Greek words “sheol,” "hades,” "gehenna," and "tartarus," as "hell” because Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in hell. The NWT gives the translation "presence" instead of “coming” for the Greek word “parousia” because JW’s believe that Christ has already returned in the early 1900’s. In Colossians 1:16, the NWT inserts the word “other” despite it being completely absent from the original Greek text. It does this to give the view that “all other things” were created by Christ, instead of what the text says, “all things were created by Christ.” This is to go along with their belief that Christ is a created being, which they believe because they deny the Trinity.

    The most well known of all the New World Translation perversions is John 1:1. The original Greek text reads, “the Word was God.” The NWT renders it has “the word was a god.” This is not a matter of correct translation, but of reading one's preconceived theology into the text, rather than allowing the text to speak for itself. There is no indefinite article in Greek (in English - "a" or "an"). So any use of an indefinite article in the English translation must be added in by the translator. This is grammatically acceptable in English, so long as it does not change the meaning of the text.

    There is a perfectly good explanation for why "theos" has no definite article in John 1:1 that does denies the New World Translation rendering. There are three general rules we need to understand to see why.

    1. In Greek, word order does not determine word usage like it does in English. In English, a sentence is structured according to word order: Subject - Verb - Predicate. Thus, "Harry called the dog" is not equivalent to, "The dog called Harry." But in Greek, a word's function is determined by the case ending found attached to the word's root. In this verse, there are two case endings for the root "theo" . . . one is "s" (theos), the other is "n" (theon). The "s" ending normally identifies a noun as being the subject of a sentence, while the "n" ending normally identifies a noun as the direct object.

    2. When a noun is functioning as a predicate nominative (in English a noun that follows a "being" verb such as "is") its case ending must match the noun's case that it modifies, so that the reader will know which noun it is describing. Therefore, "theo" must take the "s" ending because it is modifying "logos." Therefore, John 1:1 transliterates to: "kai theos en ho logos." Is "theos" the subject or is "logos"? Both have the "s" ending. The answer is found in the next rule.

    3. In cases where two nouns appear, and both take the same case endings, the author will often add the definite article to the word that is the subject in order to avoid confusion. John put the definite article on "logos" (the Word) instead of "theos." So "logos" is the subject, and "theos" is the predicate nominative. In English, this results in John 1:1 being read as: "and the Word was God," (instead of "and God was the word").

    The most revealing evidence of the Watchtower's bias is their inconsistent translation technique. Throughout the Gospel of John, the Greek word “theon” occurs without a definite article. The New World Translation renders none of these as “a god.” Just 3 verses after John 1:1, the New World Translation translates another case of "theos" without the indefinite article as "God." Even more inconsistent, in John 1:18, the NWT translates the same term as both "God" and "god" in the very same sentence.

    The Watchtower, therefore, has no hard textual grounds for their translation—only their own theological bias. While New World Translation defenders might succeed in showing that John 1:1 can be translated as they have done, they cannot show that it is the proper translation. Nor can they explain the fact that that the NWT does not translate the exact same Greek phrases elsewhere in the Gospel of John the same way. It is only the pre-conceived heretical rejection of the deity of Christ that forces the Watchtower Society to inconsistently translate the Greek text, thus allowing their error to gain some semblance of legitimacy to those ignorant of the facts.

    It is only the Watchtower's pre-conceived heretical beliefs that are behind the dishonest and inconsistent translation that is the New World Translation. The New World Translation is most definitely not a valid version of God’s Word. There are minor differences between all the major English translations of the Bible. No English translation is perfect. However, while other Bible translators make minor mistakes in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek text into English; the NWT intentionally changes the rendering of the text to conform to Jehovah’s Witness’ theology. The New World Translation is a perversion, not a version, of the Bible.

    Now that I have written this, not one JW will read it or understand it. Once they read far enough to see that it disagrees with them, they quit reading and then some give it thumbs down. But they will not research it like the bible tells them to do. They will shun it like the watchtower tells them to do!

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Is the New World Translation a valid version of the Bible?

    Reason I ask is there are several verses in this bible that contradict other Bibles. One such verse is John 1:1, most Bible render it "and the Word was God" While the NWT renders it and the Word was a god. This is a big difference, so you can see why I ask.

    Source(s): world translation valid version bible: https://shortly.im/Wp0Cw
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  • 4 years ago

    Depends on what you mean by valid. I give it thumbs up for being a lot easier to read than most. However, they have made some obvious "mistranslations" in trying to cover up some of the problems in the original, like the fact that the people who wrote it thought the earth was flat, and that heaven was in fact in the sky. So in a few places it becomes a bit of a dishonest work. But overall it is more or less accurate. Depends on what you are trying to use it for. EDIT: OOPS, Sorry, I was thinking of the "New International Version". I'm not familiar with the "New World Translation." So what I said may or may not be accurate...

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  • 1 decade ago

    The Jehovah's Witness "Bible" isn't really a Bible but a propaganda tool. This translation does not meet up with the Greek translation, or other translation. The biggest change being John 1:1 Changing Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ Λόγος, καὶ ὁ Λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, καὶ Θεὸς ἦν ὁ Λόγος "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." To "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god". Taking out all things that made Jesus a Deity and and making Him an Angel. The NWTS is not a real translation, it's like saying that "No, I don't want to go to the house" is the correct translation of "Yes, I would love to go to the house". If that makes sense. Things were flip flopped to match the Watchtower Society's beliefs of Jesus and God (who are the same). The people who wrote it claimed that they had the knowledge to translate the Greek to the English. None had any background in Greek or Hebrew, so they on purposely and knowingly mistranslated it.

    Source(s): Many sources to list, I did a research paper on this topics. Try reading "Misguiding Lights?" and that may help.
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  • 4 years ago

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yeah, this is a valid question. Many people will argue that the New World Translation is not a valid version of the Bible.

    However, I like it and I find it to be a true translation of the original languages. It isn't like most other Bibles. Other Bibles are often translated from each other, but the translators of the NWT strove to use the oldest available manuscripts in the original language.

    Referring to John 1:1, you might find it interesting that the NWT isn't the only Bible that renders it "a god" or "a divine being" or "the Word was divine." There are others too.

    Here is an interesting article on John 1:1:

    "One example of a Bible verse that is often misused is John 1:1. In the King James Version, that verse reads: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God [Greek, ton the‧on′], and the Word was God [the‧os′].” This verse contains two forms of the Greek noun the‧os′ (god). The first is preceded by ton (the), a form of the Greek definite article, and in this case the word the‧on′ refers to Almighty God. In the second instance, however, the‧os′ has no definite article. Was the article mistakenly left out?

    The Gospel of John was written in Koine, or common Greek, which has specific rules regarding the use of the definite article. Bible scholar A. T. Robertson recognizes that if both subject and predicate have articles, “both are definite, treated as identical, one and the same, and interchangeable.”

    Robertson considers as an example Matthew 13:38, which reads: “The field [Greek, ho a‧gros′] is the world [Greek, ho ko′smos].” The grammar enables us to understand that the world is also the field.

    What, though, if the subject has a definite article but the predicate does not, as in John 1:1? Citing that verse as an example, scholar James Allen Hewett emphasizes: “In such a construction the subject and predicate are not the same, equal, identical, or anything of the sort.”

    To illustrate, Hewett uses 1 John 1:5, which says: “God is light.” In Greek, “God” is ho the‧os′ and therefore has a definite article. But phos for “light” is not preceded by any article. Hewett points out: “One can always . . . say of God He is characterized by light; one cannot always say of light that it is God.” Similar examples are found at John 4:24, “God is a Spirit,” and at 1 John 4:16, “God is love.” In both of these verses, the subjects have definite articles but the predicates, “Spirit” and “love,” do not. So the subjects and predicates are not interchangeable. These verses cannot mean that “Spirit is God” or “love is God.'"

    Source(s): w09 4/1
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Before anyone can say it is a legitimate translation...they need to look at the life history of the translators.

    If you google "translators of the NWT" you will come up with a lot of sites. But the main, common thread through these sites is the fact that the translators have no credible qualifications as being translators. All these sites also say that the NWT has been revised many times to meet the needs of the WTBTS.

    Here are some quotes from legitimate sites:

    The NWT translators were: Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, Fred Franz, M. Henschel

    "Fred Franz however, was the only one with sufficient knowledge of the Bible languages to attempt translation of this kind. He had studied Greek for two years in the University of Cincinnati but was only self-taught in Hebrew." ["Crisis of Conscience"; by Raymond Franz; Commentary Press, Atlanta;

    1983 edition; footnote 15; page 50.]

    Four out of the five men on the committee had no Hebrew or Greek training at all. They had only a high school education. Franz studied Greek for two years at the University of Cincinnati, but dropped out after his sophomore year. When asked in a Scotland courtroom if he could translate Genesis 2:4 into Hebrew, Franz replied that he could not. The truth is that Franz was unable to translate Hebrew or Greek.

    What we are left with is a very inexperienced translating committee that twisted Scripture to make it fit the Society's doctrine."

    In fact, the translators wanted to remain anonymous. This alone brings into question the validity of the translation. Why would they want to remain anonymous??? they claim they wanted the "glory" given to god and not to themselves.

    This tactic was a diversion because, in reality, they had no qualifications to take on a momumental task of translating the Bible. They themselves have admitted they have no qualifications...

    "The New World Translation was produced by the anonymous New World Bible Translation Committee, formed about 1947. This committee is said to have comprised unnamed members of multinational background....The publishers believe that "the particulars of [the New World Bible Translation Committee's members] university or other educational training are not the important thing" and that "the translation testifies to their qualification".

    OK...so JW's blindly follow a bible that is translated by the men that have no qualifications. Why would they be doing this unless they were brainwashed??? Something as critically important as a Bible translation should not be made by unqualified people.

    You can compare this senerio to a family doctor. Would you trust or put your faith in a doctor that self-proclaimed that he/she was good smart enough to be a doctor?? Would you continue to go to that doctor if you found out that they did not go to medical school??

    The NWT not having qualified translators is much more serious than my doctor example because blindly following that org and its Bible has destroyed millions of lives through ot the years.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The translators had no knowledge of Greek language and one when asked in court to read Greek couldnt.

    It is a selling tool, to go hand in hand with their very own product, the Mighty watchtower magazine.

    The Watchtower Witnesses are sales people for a profitable organisation, their distorted version of "Gods word" has to be altered to sell the magazines.

    They are false prophets, Matthew 24:11 speaks of them!!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In John 1:1, the definite article (the) appears before the first occurrence of theos (God) but not before the second. When the article appears (the articular construction of the noun), the word "theos" refers to an identity, a personality. When it does not (the singular anarthrous predicate noun before the verb), it points to a quality about someone. So the New World Translation's rendering is more accurate than the others.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Bad Translations of the Jehovah's Witness Bible, the New World Translation (NWT).

    1. Gen. 1:1-2 - "In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters," (New World Translation, emphasis added).

    1. The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society denies that the Holy Spirit is alive, the third person of the Trinity. Therefore, they have changed the correct translation of "...the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters," to say "...and God's active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters."

    2. Zech. 12:10 - In this verse God is speaking and says, "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son" (Zech. 12:10, NASB).

    1. The Jehovah's Witnesses change the word "me" to "the one" so that it says in their Bible, "...they will look upon the one whom they have pierced..."

    Since the Jehovah's Witnesses deny that Jesus is God in flesh, then Zech. 12:10 would present obvious problems--so they changed it.

    3. John 1:1 - They mistranslate the verse as "a god." Again it is because they deny who Jesus is and must change the Bible to make it agree with their theology. The Jehovah's Witness version is this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."

    4. Col. 1:15-17 - The word "other" is inserted 4 times. It is not in the original Greek, nor is it implied. This is a section where Jesus is described as being the creator of all things. Since the Jehovah's Witness organization believes that Jesus is created, they have inserted the word "other" to show that Jesus was before all "other" things, implying that He is created.

    1. There are two Greek words for "other": heteros, and allos. The first means another of a different kind, and the second means another of the same kind. Neither is used at all in this section of scripture. The Jehovah's Witness have changed the Bible to make it fit their aberrant theology.

    5. Heb. 1:6 - In this verse they translate the Greek word for worship, proskuneo, as "obeisance." Obeisance is a word that means to honor, show respect, even bow down before someone. Since Jesus, to them, is created, then he cannot be worshiped. They have also done this in other verses concerning Jesus, i.e., Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33; 28:9.

    6. Heb. 1:8 - This is a verse where God the Father is calling Jesus God: "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.'" Since the Jehovah's Witnesses don't agree with that they have changed the Bible, yet again, to agree with their theology. They have translated the verse as "...God is your throne..." The problem with the Jehovah's Witness translation is that this verse is a quote from Psalm 45:6 which, from the Hebrew, can only be translated as "...Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom." To justify their New Testament translation they actually changed the OT verse to agree with their theology, too!

    The NWT translation is not a good translation. It has changed the text to suit its own theological bias in many places.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The NWT is a valid translation. Most biblical Greek scholars acknowledge that 'god' of John 1:1c is qualitative in nature, not definite. This would make the tradition translation - 'the Word was God' - inaccurate and misleading.

    Every answerer on this question so far that criticizes the NWT doesn't know what they're talking about.

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