Scholar's opinion about the New World Translation


About the New World translation : "...the Word was a god."

Dr. J. R. Mantey (who is quoted on pages 1158-1159) of the Witnesses own Kingdom interlinear Translation): "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" "reprehensible". "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 rendering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1:1 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 have agreed 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. 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 generally regarded as Great Britain's leading 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. Phillip B. Harner of Heidelberg College: "The verb preceding an anarthrous predicate, would probably mean that the LOGOS 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 places 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 28:6 where there is a statement in indirect discourse; John 1:1 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. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear 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 part - is used in the Emphatic Diaglott): "So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour 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."

Mr. Jehovah's Witness: Are we to simply ignore these eminent Greek scholars, and stubbornly cling to the Man-made teachings of the Watchtower, none of whom had any education to speak of in Greek Grammar?!

The following is taken from the book: "Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses: "who love the truth" 2 Thess.2:10"

In the beginning was the Word.

But WHY was the Word misquoted? JOHN 1:1

This text `THE WORD WAS GOD' has been a problem for four presidents of Jehovah's Witnesses. C.T. Russell thought he found relief when in 1876 N.H. Barbour, an Adventist, introduced him to Wilson's EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT. Mr. Wilson never studied Biblical Greek in a college. He was a follower of John Thomas, a `false prophet' and founder of the Christadelphians. Thomas nor Wilson believed "THE WORD WAS GOD." In the interlinear feature of his book which is no translation at all, Wilson placed `a god' under theos. In his translation, however, of theos, he wrote: "the LOGOS was God."

F.W. Franz. the then current President of Jehovah's Witnesses, realized the deficiency of the DIAGLOTT, decided to translate his own Bible called THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Mr. Franz never studied biblical or koine Greek. He did not graduate from any college nor did he receive a Rhodes Scholarship as he claims. He translates the phrase "the Word was a god." In his KINGDOM INTERLINEAR he interlineates "god was the Word." Such a translation creates another god. "To us there is one God."

F.W. Franz found a translation that agrees with his, THE NEW TESTAMENT by Johannes Greber. (SEE MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS p.489, 1965 revision.) Who was Johannes Greber? He is the author of another book: COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD OF GOD. In it Greber writes on page 300: "After I had convinced myself at the spiritistic meetings that God's spirits speak to men through mediums, as they had spoken to the early Christian communities, my first thought was to beg for full enlightment on these problems concerning Christ. Who was Christ? My request was granted, to the smallest details, and that knowledge thenceforth constituted the most precious possession of my soul. In what follows, I shall repeat the truths regarding Christ. His life, and his work of Redemption, as they were imparted to me by the spirit which taught them."The spirit said: "At that time you were told that Christ is the highest of the spirits created by God and the sole one to be created directly; Christ Himself was not God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world" 1 John 4:1.

Greber's translation is directly from the demon world. He is quoted in Watchtower publications. (See AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING p. 1134)

In the Watchtower publications ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED OF GOD & BENEFICIAL p. 327 it states: "Note what Hebrew and Greek scholar Alexander Thomson has to say in his review of the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION: "The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars," THE DIFFERENTIATOR, April 1952.

This sentence is another WATCHTOWER lie. The late Mr. Alexander Thomson was not a Greek or Hebrew Scholar. He in fact did not even formally study Greek or Hebrew in any school according to his co-editor Dr. Frank Neil Pohorlak of Inglewood, CA. Mr. Thomson was employed in a bank in Scotland and did not believe that Jesus was God.

WHAT DO GREEK SCHOLARS THINK ABOUT THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TRANSLATION OF JOHN 1:1?

Dr. Julius R. Mantey: Calls the Watchtower translation of John 1:1 "A GROSSLY MISLEADING TRANSLATION." It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 `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 April, 1953

Dr. J. J. Griesback: "So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favor of the true Diety 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 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 Greek."

Dr. William Barclay (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." - THE EXPOSITORY TIMES Nov. 1953

Dr. B. F. Westcott (Whose Greek text is used in JW KINGDOM INTERLINEAR): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in John 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 Diety of the Word...in the third clause `the Word' is declared to be `God' and so included in the unity of the Godhead."

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 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek Scholar."

Dr. Harry A. Sturz: (Dr. Sturz 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 tendential translation. A literal translation in English can be nothing other than: "the Word was God." - THE BIBLE COLLECTOR July-December, 1971 .p12

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Scholar's opinion about the New World Translation


About the New World translation : "...the Word was a god."

Dr. J. R. Mantey (who is quoted on pages 1158-1159) of the Witnesses own Kingdom interlinear Translation): "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" "reprehensible". "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 rendering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1:1 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 have agreed 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. 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 generally regarded as Great Britain's leading 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. Phillip B. Harner of Heidelberg College: "The verb preceding an anarthrous predicate, would probably mean that the LOGOS 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 places 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 28:6 where there is a statement in indirect discourse; John 1:1 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. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear 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 part - is used in the Emphatic Diaglott): "So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour 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."

Mr. Jehovah's Witness: Are we to simply ignore these eminent Greek scholars, and stubbornly cling to the Man-made teachings of the Watchtower, none of whom had any education to speak of in Greek Grammar?!

The following is taken from the book: "Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses: "who love the truth" 2 Thess.2:10"

In the beginning was the Word.

But WHY was the Word misquoted? JOHN 1:1

This text `THE WORD WAS GOD' has been a problem for four presidents of Jehovah's Witnesses. C.T. Russell thought he found relief when in 1876 N.H. Barbour, an Adventist, introduced him to Wilson's EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT. Mr. Wilson never studied Biblical Greek in a college. He was a follower of John Thomas, a `false prophet' and founder of the Christadelphians. Thomas nor Wilson believed "THE WORD WAS GOD." In the interlinear feature of his book which is no translation at all, Wilson placed `a god' under theos. In his translation, however, of theos, he wrote: "the LOGOS was God."

F.W. Franz. the then current President of Jehovah's Witnesses, realized the deficiency of the DIAGLOTT, decided to translate his own Bible called THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Mr. Franz never studied biblical or koine Greek. He did not graduate from any college nor did he receive a Rhodes Scholarship as he claims. He translates the phrase "the Word was a god." In his KINGDOM INTERLINEAR he interlineates "god was the Word." Such a translation creates another god. "To us there is one God."

F.W. Franz found a translation that agrees with his, THE NEW TESTAMENT by Johannes Greber. (SEE MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS p.489, 1965 revision.) Who was Johannes Greber? He is the author of another book: COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD OF GOD. In it Greber writes on page 300: "After I had convinced myself at the spiritistic meetings that God's spirits speak to men through mediums, as they had spoken to the early Christian communities, my first thought was to beg for full enlightment on these problems concerning Christ. Who was Christ? My request was granted, to the smallest details, and that knowledge thenceforth constituted the most precious possession of my soul. In what follows, I shall repeat the truths regarding Christ. His life, and his work of Redemption, as they were imparted to me by the spirit which taught them."The spirit said: "At that time you were told that Christ is the highest of the spirits created by God and the sole one to be created directly; Christ Himself was not God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world" 1 John 4:1.

Greber's translation is directly from the demon world. He is quoted in Watchtower publications. (See AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING p. 1134)

In the Watchtower publications ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED OF GOD & BENEFICIAL p. 327 it states: "Note what Hebrew and Greek scholar Alexander Thomson has to say in his review of the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION: "The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars," THE DIFFERENTIATOR, April 1952.

This sentence is another WATCHTOWER lie. The late Mr. Alexander Thomson was not a Greek or Hebrew Scholar. He in fact did not even formally study Greek or Hebrew in any school according to his co-editor Dr. Frank Neil Pohorlak of Inglewood, CA. Mr. Thomson was employed in a bank in Scotland and did not believe that Jesus was God.

WHAT DO GREEK SCHOLARS THINK ABOUT THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TRANSLATION OF JOHN 1:1?

Dr. Julius R. Mantey: Calls the Watchtower translation of John 1:1 "A GROSSLY MISLEADING TRANSLATION." It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 `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 April, 1953

Dr. J. J. Griesback: "So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favor of the true Diety 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 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 Greek."

Dr. William Barclay (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." - THE EXPOSITORY TIMES Nov. 1953

Dr. B. F. Westcott (Whose Greek text is used in JW KINGDOM INTERLINEAR): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in John 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 Diety of the Word...in the third clause `the Word' is declared to be `God' and so included in the unity of the Godhead."

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 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek Scholar."

Dr. Harry A. Sturz: (Dr. Sturz 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 tendential translation. A literal translation in English can be nothing other than: "the Word was God." - THE BIBLE COLLECTOR July-December, 1971 .p12

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