THE WORLDS MOST DANGEROUS BOOK: The New World Translation Bible

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? Would you place your faith in an attorney who was defending you against felony criminal charges if he refused to give you his name or credentials?

We rely on the names and credentials of those who serve us in the most important aspects of our life. So too, it is of the utmost importance to know the men --including their credentials and qualifications -- to whom we entrust our spiritual lives!

The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has failed the public in this most crucial point, since they refuse to release the names and credentials of the Translation Committee of their Bible sersion, "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures" (see "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose", p258).

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:

They have invented non-existent rules of Greek grammar, and then proceeded to follow those madeup rules only when necessary to support their peculiar theology. A clear example of this is John 1:1, where the Translation Committee rendered the Greek as: "and the Word was a god".  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 translated each verse as "Jehovah".

Another example of non-existent rules followed only when needed to support their theology is found in the foreword of the aforementioned "Kingdom Interlinear Translation", pg. 18. 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 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 translate 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."

The Translation Committee even 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 sense" 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 3:14).

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 in 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.

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 the current President Fred Franz, none of the Translation Committee members knew Biblical Greek or Hebrew, and Fred 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 question and answers between the attorney and Fred Franz is taken from the trial transcript:

OPPOSING ATTORNEY: Have you also made yourself familiar with Hebrew?


OPPOSING ATTORNEY: So that you have substantial linguistic apparatus at your command?

FRANZ: Yes, for use in my biblical work.

OPPOSING ATTORNEY: I think you are able to read and follow the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German and French?

OPPOSING ATTORNEY: FRANZ: Yes. (Pursuer's Proof, pg. 7)

OPPOSING ATTORNEY: You, yourself, read and speak Hebrew, do you?

FRANZ: I do not speak speak Hebrew.



OPPOSING ATTORNEY: Can you, yourself, translate that into Hebrew?

FRANZ: Which?

OPPOSING ATTORNEY: That fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis.

FRANZ: You mean here?


FRANZ: No, I wouldn't attempt to do that. (Pursuer's Proof, pgs. 102,103).

What Frederic Franz failed to do was a simple exercise which any average first or second year Hebrew student in any seminary would have no difficulty (see further, "We left Jehovah's Witnesses -- A non-Prophet Organization" -- Edmond C. Gruss, pg. 59-101). 

It is also interesting to note that no Greek scholar with any credentials will endorse the New World Translation. Bill Centnar, 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 one 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 WatchTower 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. Let us help you discover more.



The Occult Connection

By Leonard Cretien


Here We Go Again

With the admission that [Johannes] Greber's [translation] work was directed by "spirits," the Watch Tower [Society] had to find another authority for some of their unorthodox teachings. A classic example concerns their rendering of John 1:1. The New American Standard Bible renders the verse 

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

This verse is one of the strong statements in the Bible concerning the deity of Jesus Christ, and all legitimate, recognized translations have a similar rendering. However, the Watch Tower renders the last phrase "and the Word was a god." In other words, he is a lesser god -- one of many. This effectively denigrates Christ's deity. {Johannes] Greber's New Testament translation of John 1:1 supported the "a god" teaching. 

In the 1985 edition of "The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures", the WatchTower [Society] has provided an elaborate appendix at the back. On pages 1139-40, they tender new support for their "a god" translation of John 1:1. 

They use as an authority John S. Thompson of Baltimore, who wrote "The Monotessaron, or The Gospel History, According to the Four Evangelists", in 1829. 

The American Quarterly Review of September 1830, volume 8, pages 227-245, provides us with some interesting facts concerning John S. Thompson. He apparently was not a modest man, for in his autobiographic statement in The Review, he states, 

"I shall rejoice in having been the happy instrument, in the hand of God, of having done fourfold as much for mankind, as all the professed commentators of the last fifteen centuries!" 

A religious eclectic, [John S.] Thompson changed from Calvinism to Arminianism, becoming a Methodist preacher. Then The Review goes on to state that he became a Restorationist, then an Arian Restorationist, and finally, by the time he wrote his volume in 1829, he had become a Unitarian Universalist! [John S.] Thompson, like [Johannes] Greber and Greber's "spirit messengers," held the clergy in low regard:

"The meanest being on earth stands higher, in my approbation, than a deceitful, whining preacher! And I verily believe, I and God are of one opinion on this subject." 

Perhaps the most interesting similarity between Thompson and Greber is the source of their inspiration and direction -- the spirit world. Thompson describes a visit by one of these spirits: 

"... on retiring to rest, I enjoyed a return of the same happy and celestial influence. Whether in a dream or vision I was unable to determine; but I thought a seraph entered my room, filling it with a luminous effulgence, exceeding tenfold that of the sun: whilst I distinctly perceived. . . the apparition, I heard a voice, saying read 1 Kings 3: 10, 11, and the room became gradually dark, as the light withdrew at one of the windows." 

The spirits had instructions for Thompson, which he reveals in his account: 

"I awoke, one night, and heard a considerable noise in my room. I listened carefully for some time, and the sound was that of a thousand pens, writing in great haste what was dictated. 

"I heard a voice very distinctly, saying, 'In all your writings, be careful to represent Jesus as only the instrument of God in all he does.' I immediately interrupted, by exclaiming, 'Silence! I'll not believe one of you.' The noise immediately stopped; and I was often afterward sorry that I had interrupted the dictation." 

Though initially disturbed by the spirits' messages, Thompson finally comes under their power, for the above account continues, 

"Not long after, sleeping in the same room, I awoke by pressure, which removed immediately on awaking. I began to reflect, whether it was a dream, or an external force applied to my body. Whilst I doubted, some being took hold of my hands, and pressed them with violence, which excited in me great surprise. My hands were let loose, but, in one minute, they were again seized, with renewed violence. I then cried, 'Let me loose! I believe! Do not injure me! I am entirely satisfied of your existence!'"

Apparently, John S. Thompson took the advice of the "voice" which commanded him to "represent Jesus as only the instrument of God in all he does," for in the Watch Tower Society's Kingdom Interlinear Translation, 1985, on page 1139, Thompson's rendering of John 1: 1 "and the Logos was a god" is quoted as an authority for their own "a god" teaching. 

So in spite of the fact that the Watch Tower organization was caught red-handed in their use of a spirit medium's translation -- Johannes Greber -- and had to attempt a cover-up of the matter, we now find them once again using the translation of yet a second "spirit" directed authority. 

The words of the apostle Paul in his first letter to Timothy are appropriate in closing: 

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons ..." (1 Timothy 4: 1).

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About "John 1:1" in the WatchTower Society's "New World Translation" Bible

"the Word was a god."

Dr. Julius R. Mantey, co-author of "Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament", who is quoted on pages 1158-59 of the WatchTower Society's own "Kingdom Interlinear Translation" has called their translation of John 1:1: "A shocking mistranslation." ... "Obsolete and incorrect." ... "... the translators of the NWT are 'diabolical deceivers.'" ... "Since Colwell's and Harner's article in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1, 'The Word was a god.' Word-order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering... .'" ... "I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of The Greek Scriptures." ... "... it is a distortion of the New Testament. The translators used what J.B. Rotherham had translated in 1893, in modern speech, and changed the readings in scores of passages to state what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach. That is a distortion not a translation." -- Julius Mantey, Depth Exploration in The New Testament (N.Y.: Vantage Pres, 1980), pp.136-37.

Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature) says: "Erroneous and pernicious" ... "reprehensible" ... "It must be stated quite frankly that, if the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists ... . ... As a matter of solid fact, however, such a rendering is a frightful mistranslation." "The Jehovah's Witnesses and Jesus Christ," Theology Today (April 1953), p. 75.

Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski of Zurich, Switzerland: "This anarthrous (used without the article) construction does not mean what the indefinite article 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. Walter R. Martin, a Christian Cult expert: "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 recongnized scholars of the Greek language -- many of whom are not even Christians, 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."

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. Ernest C. Colwell: "... predicate nouns preceding the verb cannot be regarded as indefinite or qualitative simply because they lack the article; it could be regarded as indefinite or qualitative only if this is demanded by the context and in the case of John 1:1c this is not so." "A Definite Rule for the Use of the Article in the Greek New Testament," Journal of Biblical Literature, 52 (1933), p. 20.

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 placed at the beginning for emphasis."

Dr. Philip B. Harner: "Perhaps the clause could be translated, 'the Word had the same nature as God." This would be one way of representing John's thought, which is, as I understand it, that ho logos, no less than ho theos, had the nature of theos." "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1," Journal of Biblical Literature, 92, 1 (March 1973, p. 87.

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 is duplicated in the WatchTower Society's own "Kingdom Interlinear Translation"): "The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in v.24. It is necessarily without the article (theos not ho theos) inasmuch as it describes the nature of the Word and does not identify His Person ... . 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." The Gospel According to St. John (Eerdmans, 1958 reprint), p. 3.

Dr. J. J. Griesbach (whose Greek text is duplicated in the WatchTower owned "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."

A. T. Robertson: "So in Jo. 1:1 ... theos en ho logos ... the meaning has to be the Logos was God, not God was the Logos." A New Short Grammar of the Greek Testament, by A. T. Robertson and W. Hersey Davis (Baker Book House, 1977), p. 279.

E. M. Sidebottom: "... the tendency to write 'the Word was divine' for theos en ho logos springs from a reticence to attribute the full Christian position to John." The Christ of the Fourth Gospel (S. P. C. K., 1961), p. 461.

C. K. Barrett: "The absence of the article indicates that the Word is God, but is not the only being of whom this is true; if ho theos had been written it would have implied that no divine being existed outside the second person of the Trinity." The Gospel According to St. John (S.P.C.K., 1955), p.76.

C. H. Dodd: "On this analogy, the meaning of theos en ho logos will be that the ousia of ho logos, that which it truly is, is rightly denominated theos...That this is the ousia of ho theos (the personal God of Abraham, the Father) goes without saying. In fact, the Nicene homoousios to patri is a perfect paraphrase. "New Testament Translation Problems II," The Bible Translator, 28, 1 (Jan. 1977), p. 104.

Randolph O. Yeager: "Only sophomores in Greek grammar are going to translate '...and the Word was a God.' The article with logos, shows that logos is the subject of the verb en and the fact that theos is without the article designates it as the predicate nominative. The emphatic position of theos demands that we translate '...and the Word was God.' John is not saying as Jehovah's Witnesses are fond of teaching that Jesus was only one of many Gods. He is saying precisely the opposite." The Renaissance New Testament, Vol. 4 (Renaissance Press, 1980), p.4.

James Moffatt: "'The Word was God...And the Word became flesh,' simply means "The word was divine...And the Word became human.' The Nicene faith, in the Chalcedon definition, was intended to conserve both of these truths against theories that failed to present Jesus as truly God and truly man..." Jesus Christ the Same (Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1945), p.61.

Henry Alford: "Theos must then be taken as implying God, in substance and essence,--not ho theos, 'the Father,' in person. It does not = theios, nor is it to be rendered a God -- but, as in sarx egeneto, sarx expresses that state into which the Divine Word entered by a definite act, so in theos en, theos expresses that essence which was His en arche: -- that He was very God. So that this first verse might be connected thus: the Logos was from eternity,--was with God (the Father), -- and was Himself God." Alford's Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary, Vol. I, Part II (Guardian Press, 1975; originally published 1871), p. 681.

Donald Guthrie: "The absence of the article with Theos has misled some into thinking that the correct understanding of the statement would be that 'the word was a God' (or divine), but this is grammatically indefensible since Theos is a predicate." New Testament Theology (InterVarsity Press, 1981), p. 327.

Who are these scholars? Many of them are world-renowned Greek scholars whose works the Jehovah's Witnesses themselves have quoted in their publications, notably Robertson, Harner, and Mantey, in defense of their "a god" translation of John 1:1. Westcott is the Greek scholar who with Hort edited the Greek text of the New Testament used by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Yeager is a professor of Greek and the star pupil of Julius Mantey. Metzger is the world's leading scholar on the textual criticism of the Greek New Testament. Barclay and Bruce are generally regarded as Great Britain's leading Greek scholars. Both have New Testament translations in print! It is scholars of this caliber who insist that the words of John 1:1 cannot be taken to mean anything less than that the Word is the one true Almighty God.


Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses Who Love the Truth


F[rederic] W. Franz, the current President of Jehovah's Witnesses, who realized the deficiency of the [EMPHATIC] 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. [Franz] translates [John1:1] "the Word was a god." In his KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION, he interlineates "god was the Word." Such a translation creates another 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, [Johannes] 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. 

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

In the Watchtower publication, ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED OF GOD, 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. 

[Alexander Thompson's endorsement] is another WATCHTOWER lie. ... 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.

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The Bracket Game

Col. 1:16,17 and Uninspired Word Insertions

BRACKETS: In the English readings (interlinear and main) brackets occur. These denote that the word or words enclosed have been inserted by the translator to make some application that is shown by the Greek word, or to show something that is understood along with the Greek word because of its grammatical form.

One feature of the NWT is the usage of brackets: Their use of brackets is especially apparent at Col. 1:16,17 where the word "other" is inserted into those two verses four times. The NWT renders those verses as follows:

"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."

The reader should be aware that neither of the reasons cited -- why the NWT translating committee used brackets -- are applicable in Col. 1:16,17. Those two reasons, as previously stated are: (1) to make some application that is shown by the Greek word or (2) to show something that is understood along with the Greek word because of its grammatical form.

By inserting the word "other" in that passage, the NWT has distorted its meaning. Since they teach that Jesus is a created being, and Col. 1:16 opposes this -- by stating that Jesus created all things -- then basic logic would declare that Jesus can't be part of his own creation. By inserting the non-inspired word "other", which does not appear in the Greek in verses 16 and 17, the meaning is changed -- allowing for their erroneous interpretation. Again, the reader should note: The word "other" does not appear in the Greek text in those two verses! 

If the Holy Spirit had wanted the inspired writer of that Scripture to use the word "other", he easily could have done so as in Gal 1:8,9,19; 2:13; 4:22; 5:17; etc. To insert this word "other" in Col. 1:16,17 doesn't clarify Scripture, but instead changes the meaning to a distortion that God never intended.

Phil. 2:9 and No Brackets!

When we come to Phil. 2:9, the NWT does not have brackets around the inserted word "other", in violation to their own guidelines, even though it is clearly not in the Greek text, and was added by the translators. That verse as rendered in the NWT as found in the KIT (1969 edition) is:

"For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name."

In contrast, the Greek in the KIT says: "... the name the over every name."

Why did the Watchtower Society unjustly insert the word "other" in that verse? For anyone who knows the doctrines of the Jehovah's Witnesses, the answer is obvious. In their minds, apart from Scripture to back it up, they think Jesus is Michael the archangel and not deity. Hence, a created being could never have a name above the eternal God, especially when Psa. 83:18 and 148:13 declare:

"That people may know that you, whose name is Jehovah, You alone are the Most High over all the earth." (NWT).

"Let them praise the name of Jehovah, for his name alone is unreachably high." (NWT).

Consequently, the word "other" is inserted in Phil. 2:9, which distorts the meaning of that verse, taking glory away from the Lord Jesus, as was done in Col. 1:16,17.

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Here is the letter written by Julius R. Mantey, whose "Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament" has been quoted multiple times by various Watchtower publications in their discussions of John 1:1-2:

July 11 , 1974

Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

117 Adams St., 

Brooklyn, New York 11201

Dear Sirs,

I have a copy of your letter addressed to Caris in Santa Ana, California, and I am writing to express my disagreement with statements made in that letter, as well as in quotations you have made from the Dana-Mantey Greek Grammar.

(1) Your statement: "their work allows for the rendering found in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures at John 1:1," There is no statement in our grammar that was ever meant to imply that "a god" was a permissible translation in John 1:1.

A. We had no "rule" to argue in support of the trinity.

B. Neither did we state that we did have such intention. We were simply delineating the facts inherent in Biblical language.

C. You quotation from p. 148 (3) was a paragraph under the heading: "With the subject in a Copulative Sentence." Two examples occur here to illustrate that "the article points out the subject in these examples." But we made no statement in this paragraph about the predicate except that, "as it stands the other persons of the trinity may be implied; in theos." And isn't that the opposite of what your translation "a god" infers? You quoted me out of context. On pages 139 and 140 (VI) in our grammar we stated: "without the article, theos signifies divine essence ...'theos en ho logos' emphasizes Christ's participation in the essence of the divine nature." Our interpretation is in agreement with that in NEB and TED: "What God was, the Word was"; and with that of Barclay: "The nature of the Word was the same as the nature of God," which you quoted in you letter to Caris.

(2) Since Colwell's and Harner's article in JBL, especially that of Harner, it is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 "The Word was a god." Word-order has made obsolete and incorrect such a rendering.

(3) Your quotation of Colwell's rule is inadequate because it quotes only a part of his findings. You did not quote this strong assertion: "A predicate nominative which precedes the verb cannot be translated as an indefinite or a 'qualitative' noun solely because of the absence of the article."

(4) Prof. Harner, Vol 92:1 in JBL, has gone beyond Colwell's research and has discovered that anarthrous predicate nouns preceding the verb function primarily to express the nature or character of the subject. He found this true in 53 passages in the Gospel of John and 8 in the Gospel of Mark. Both scholars wrote that when indefiniteness was intended that gospel writers regularly placed the predicate noun after the verb, and both Colwell and Harner have stated that theos in John 1:1 is not indefinite and should not be translated "a god." Watchtower writers appear to be the only ones advocating such a translation now. The evidence appears to be 99% against them.

(5) Your statement in your letter that the sacred text itself should guide one and "not just someone's rule book." We agree with you. But our study proves that Jehovah's Witnesses do the opposite of that whenever the "sacred text" differs with their heretical beliefs. For example the translation of kolasis as cutting off when punishment is the only meaning cited in the lexicons for it. The mistranslation of ego eimi as "I have been" in John 8:58, the addition of "for all time" in Heb. 9:27 when nothing in the Greek New Testament support is. The attempt to belittle Christ by mistranslating arche tes kriseos "beginning of the creation" when he is magnified as the "creator of all things" (John 1:2) and as "equal with God" (Phil. 2:6) before he humbled himself and lived a human body on earth. Your quotation of "The father is greater than I am, (John 14:28) to prove that Jesus was not equal to God overlooks the fact stated in Phil 2:6-8. When Jesus said that he was still in his voluntary state of humiliation. That state ended when he ascended to heaven. Why the attempt to deliberately deceive people by mispunctuation by placing a comma after "today" in Luke 23:43 when in the Greek, Latin, German and all English translations except yours, even in the Greek in you KIT, the comma occurs after lego (I say) - "Today you will be with me in Paradise." 2 Cor 5:8, "to be out of the body and at home with the Lord."

These passages teach that the redeemed go immediately to heaven after death, which does not agree with your teachings that death ends all life until the resurrection. (Ps. 23:6 and Heb 1:10)

The aforementioned are only a few examples of Watchtower mistranslations and perversions of Gods Word.

In view of the preceding facts, especially because you have been quoting me out of context, I herewith request you not to quote the Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament again, which you have been doing for 24 years. Also that you not quote it or me in any of your publications from this time on. Also that you publicly and immediately apologize in the Watchtower magazine, since my words had no relevance to the absence of the article before theos in John 1:1. And please write to Caris and state that you misused and misquoted my "rule."

On the page before the preface in the grammar are these words: "All rights reserved - no part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher."

If you have such permission, please send me a photo-copy of it. If you do not heed these requests you will suffer the consequences.

Regretfully yours,

Julius R. Mantey

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A Grossly misleading translation (New World Translation)

By Julius Robert Mantey, A.B., Thd.D., PH.D., D.D.

John 1:1, which reads, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God," is shockingly mistranslated, "Originally the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god," in a New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published under the auspices of Jehovah's Witnesses. Since my name is used and our Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament is quoted on page 744 to seek to justify their translation. I am making this statement.

The translation suggested in our Grammar for the disputed passage is, "the Word was deity." Moffatt's rendering is "the Word was divine." William's translation is, "the Word was God Himself." Each translation reflects the dominant idea in the Greek. For, whenever an article does not precede a noun in Greek, that noun can either be considered as emphasizing the character, nature, essence or quality of a person or thing, as theos (God) does in John 1:1, or it can be translated in certain contexts as indefinite, as they have done. But of all the scholars in the world, as far as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah's Witnesses have.

If the Greek article occurred with both Word and God in John 1:1, the implication would be that they are one and the same person, absolutely identical. But John affirmed that "the Word was with (the) God" (the definite article preceding each noun), and in so writing he indicated his belief that they are distinct and separate personalities. Then, John next stated that the Word was God, i.e., of the same family or essence that characterizes the Creator. Or, in other words, that both are of the same nature, and the nature is the highest in existence, namely divine. Examples where the noun in the predicate does not have an article, as in the above verse, are: John 4:24, "God is spirit," (not a spirit); I John 4:16, "God is love," (not a love); I John 1:5, "God is light," (not a light); and Matthew 13:39, "the reapers are angels," i.e. they are the type of beings known as angels. 

In each instance the noun in the predicate was used to describe some quality or characteristics of the subject, whether as to nature or type. The apostle John in the context of the introduction to his gospel is pulling all the stops out of language to portray not only the deity of Christ but also His equality with the Father. He states that the Word was in the beginning, that He was with God, that He was God and that all creation came into existence through Him and that not even one thing exists which was not created by Christ. What else could be said that John did not say? In John 1:18 he explained that Christ had been so intimate with the Father that He was in His bosom and that He came to earth to exhibit or portray God. But if we had no other statement from John except that which is found in John 14:9, "He that has seen me has seen the Father," that would be enough to satisfy the seeking soul that Christ and God are the same in essence and that both are divine and equal in nature.

Besides, the whole tenor of New Testament revelation points in this direction. Compare Paul's declaration in Colossians 1:19, for instance: "that all the divine fullness should dwell in Him," or the statement in Hebrews 1:3, "He is the reflection of God's glory and the perfect representation of His being, and continues to uphold the universe by His mighty word." (Williams translation). And note the sweeping, cosmic claim recorded in Matthew 28:19, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and earth."

And, if we contrast with that the belittling implication that Christ was only a god, do we not at once detect the discord? Does not such a conception conflict with the New Testament message both in whole and in part? Why, if John, in the midst of the idolatry of his day, had made such a statement would not the first century hearers and readers have gotten a totally inadequate picture of Christ, who we believe, is the Creator of the universe and the only Redeemer of humanity?


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Examining Translations with Jehovah's Witnesses

By Rachel D. Ramer


Would you trust a medical doctor, who in the name of "humility", refused to reveal where he or she went to medical school? Of course not. So why do Jehovah's Witnesses trust the "translators" of the New World Translation (NWT), who are so "humble" that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society won't reveal their names or credentials? In technical fields such as medicine, engineering, and translating, lack of training can cause physical -- or spiritual -- death. Displaying credentials is not pride, but accountability.

Nevertheless, Jehovah's Witnesses read in the foreword of NWT (1984 edition) these seemingly comforting words: "It is a very responsible thing to translate the Holy Scriptures from their original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into modern speech. ...The translators of this work, who fear and love the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, feel toward Him a special responsibility to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible."

With such a statement, why should Jehovah's Witnesses question their translation? Yet, observant Christians can help them do just that.

Although it is essential for translators to know the languages they are translating, this doesn't mean we have to know Greek or Hebrew to catch the differences in translations. Simple observation can be powerful.

Observing the Difference

Jehovah's Witnesses will often refer to NWT's John 17:3, "This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ" (emphasis added). 

In response, say to the Jehovah's Witnesses, "That sounds different to me." Then read the verse in a credible translation such as the King James Version (KJV), the New International Version (NIV), or the New American Standard Bible (NASB), all with a close variation of "that they may know You." Read all three if the Witnesses doubt the consistency. Mere agreement among translations bears weight.

Discuss the difference between knowing a friend or taking in knowledge of someone, like studying Abraham Lincoln. Then read Jesus' words in John 5:39-40: "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life" (NIV).

In NWT's Matthew 10:32-33, Jesus says, "Everyone, then, that confesses union with me before men, I will also confess union with him before my Father," instead of "confesses me before men." This takes the emphasis off of Jesus and puts it on something Jesus represents. Jehovah's Witnesses will insist there is no difference. Ask them what it means to confess Jesus - what is its purpose? It is primarily to acknowledge who He is - not what He stands for - the very issue the Watchtower wishes to cloud!

Only the Context Knows for Sure

When two visiting Jehovah's Witnesses emphasized the importance of the name Jehovah, they brought to my attention the verse: "Everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved" (Rom. 10:13, NWT). I responded, "I've read that the Old Testament word for Yahweh or Jehovah is never used in the New Testament [1] Why would your translation say 'Jehovah'?"

"It's only common sense," one answered, "to use the name Jehovah, since this is a quote from the Old Testament referring to Jehovah" (see Joel 2:32).

"Except," I countered, "in Romans, Paul was just referring to the 'Lord Jesus' specifically. When he used the term 'Lord' in verse 13, he meant Jesus. He knew he was quoting the Old Testament. He was equating Jesus with Jehovah."

Most Jehovah's Witnesses are fooled by their organization's use of Greek lexicons or expository dictionaries. William Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words was appealed to 52 times in their encyclopedia, "Insight on the Scriptures", even though Vine strongly disagreed with their teachings. [2] From sources such as these the Watchtower can sometimes obtain an altered wording for a critical passage and feel justified.

It is advisable to point out to Jehovah's Witnesses the critical importance of context in Bible translation. The context may show that the wording the NWT chose, though technically possible, is senseless. Hebrews 1:8 reads, "But about the Son he [the Father] says `Your throne, 0 God, will last forever and ever...'" (NIV). Yet NWT says, "But with reference to the Son: `God is your throne forever and ever....'"

Dr. Ron Rhodes explains, "We must acknowledge that the Watchtower translation `God is your throne' is grammatically possible from Greek text. But - as scholars unanimously agree - it is entirely foreign to the context." [3]

The word "but" at the beginning of verse 8 indicates a contrast to the previous verse, where angels are discussed, and implies that the Son is distinct from angels. If the correct translation is "God is your throne," how is that distinct from angels?

This repeated conflict between other translations and the New World Translation should eventually become disturbing for the Witnesses. You can then ask them about their translators. They will not be able to obtain names or credentials. (This information has been published through the writings of former Witnesses who once worked at the Watchtower headquarters. Discussing former Witnesses - or any source that opposes their theology - with your visitors might usher them to the door since they are warned to steer clear of this information. The longer they stay, the more influence you may have.)

What about Those Scholars?

While they may never learn the names of their translators, they may be given the names of scholars with quotes favorable toward NWT. Edgar J. Goodspeed, who contributed to the Revised Standard Version, stated in a letter to the Watchtower, dated 8 December 1950, "I am ... much pleased with the free, frank, and vigorous translation [NWT]. It exhibits a vast array of sound, serious learning...." [4]

Yet, when Bill Cetnar from the Watchtower headquarters visited Dr. Goodspeed in 1954 to elicit his full endorsement, Dr. Goodspeed had other comments. Cetnar writes, "Dr. Goodspeed was asked if he would recommend the translation for the general public. He answered, 'No, I'm afraid I could not do that. The grammar is regrettable. Be careful on the grammar." [5] Nevertheless, the Watchtower still uses Dr. Goodspeed's letter as an endorsement.

Robert M. McCoy and Dr. S MacLean Gilmour from the Andover Newton Quarterly are quoted with what sounds like enthusiastic reviews until the context and entirety of their words are read. [6]

Similarly, Thomas N. Winter from the University of Nebraska gave a glowing endorsement in 1974, [7] but on 3 October 1980, he wrote, "I am not happy with the use now being made of the review," and he went on to note a few problems, such as Jesus' words in John 8:58 (which NWT translates as "I have been"). Winter commented, "No way to go here but 'I am.'" [8] 

A more recent endorser is Dr. Jason D. BeDuhn, who used the interlinear version of NWT in his course, "The Development of the Jesus Tradition," at Indiana University. In a letter to the Watchtower Society, dated 12 May 1997, he stated that "it is the best interlinear New Testament available," and "it gets past traditional renderings that harmonize, gloss, and over-interpret passages in light of later dogma." [9] 

In other words, NWT appeals to scholars who consider the deity of Christ a later, inserted doctrine.

Yet Dr. BeDuhn makes note, "I am sure you are aware of historical objections to the (re)insertion of 'Jehovah' into the translation. Of course, no Greek Gospel manuscripts support this, but I will not quibble with you about that." [10] (emphasis added).

Dr. Benjamin Kedar also endorses the NWT. He made it clear to the Watchtower, however, that he no longer wishes to answer questions concerning his stance. [11] His comments are limited to the Old Testament, and are not influential concerning the identity of Jesus. Other names produced by the Watchtower are not names of scholars.

Perhaps BeDuhn and Kedar are unaware of the lack of credentials that plague this organization's translators. Bill Cetnar explained that of the supposed translators, only F. W. Franz, fourth president of the Watchtower, had any schooling in this area, and his abilities to translate were proven inadequate in a Scottish Court in November 1954. [12]

Each Encounter Is Fragile

Recently, when two more Jehovah's Witnesses came to my door, I told them I would love to study the Bible with them. Yet I had told them I had discovered, through other visitors, that the New World Translation was very different from the translations I already had. Could they check on the credentials of the translators? If not, could we have a Bible study without that translation?

They insisted it was not different, so I gave examples. This provided a dilemma for them. Essentially, they had an assignment: find out about the translators. The burden of proof is with the Watchtower Society.    

How we relate to Jehovah's Witnesses can quickly scare them away or can invite further discussion. Notice, I did not say NWT is inaccurate, but "different". Since I am not a scholar, I don't claim to decipher the Greek and Hebrew, but I can read. I can tell that the NWT is unlike the other translations. This gives them a second assignment -- read other translations. Jehovah's Witnesses, most likely, are not going to change their minds in our living rooms. Yet if they become uneasy about their "translation" -- if they open the pages of accurate translations out of curiosity -- truth gains a foothold.


1 See Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Jehovah's Witnesses (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1993), 49.

2 Gary Busselmen, "New Light from Old Books and Dead Opposers," Free Minds Journal, March-April 1996.

3 Rhodes, 93.

4 Edgar J. Goodspeed, in a letter to a member of the Watchtower Society's headquarters staff, dated 8 December 1950.

5 Bill Cetnar, Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses Who Love the Truth (Kunkletown, PA: W. I. Cetnar, 1983), 69.

6 Detailed quotes are included in Ian Croft's article, "The New World Translation and Its Critics," Bethel Ministries Newsletter, September-October 1988, 2, 8.

7 Thomas N. Winter, The Classical Journal (April-May 1974): 376.

8 Thomas N. Winter, in a letter to M. Kurt Goedelman of Personal Freedom Outreach, dated 3 October 1980.

9 Jason D. BeDuhn, in a letter to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 12 May 1997.

10 Ibid.

11 Benjamin Kedar in a letter dated 16 February 1996; addressee is blacked out.

12 Cetnar, 68-69.