What's wrong with the New World Translation?

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Paidion
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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by Paidion » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:23 pm

By the way, just to clarify what I have been doing on this thread: I am not in any way defending the teachings of "Jehovah's Witnesses", nor their organization. What I am doing is trying to show that the New World Translation, created by the organization is, in general (at least in the New Testament), a faithful rendering of the Greek, and that much of the negative criticism against it is invalid.
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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by steve7150 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:38 pm

and that much of the negative criticism against it is invalid.






Paidion,

I don't think you addressed my point which was in the original 1953 NWT bible there were no brackets in "all other things" in Col 1. They added the word "other" to include Jesus in the grouping of things.
Now if you believe Jesus is a created being from scripture that's one thing, but adding a word in to impact someone's evaluation of what they are reading is not honest.
Not that it has not been done in other places on occasion like the trinity verse in the KJV.

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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by Paidion » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:34 pm

My NWT is the 1970 revision and does contain the word "other" in brackets. But surely we can give the translation committee credit for adding the brackets. To say that by means of the Son of God all other things were created, may suggest that the Son was created and that the Son created everything other than himself. Yet, even though the Son was not created, the statement that he created all other things is nonetheless true.

You mentoned that the AV added "The Trinity verse". True. The AV translators also bowed to church authorites by rendering "εκκλησια" as "church" and most succeeding translations slavishly followed the AV by doing the same. However the word can't mean "church" or when the town clerk dismissed the crowd of worshippers of the goddess Artemis, Acts 19:41 would read that he dismissed the church. The word clearly means "assembly" and not "church". Here's a powerful example of a church system trying to make the New Testament teach its doctrines . Another example is the AV translating "επισκοπη" as "bishop" instead of "overseer". For bishops were part of the church system in the 16th century, but in the first and second centuries, the overseers were a far cry from the "bishops" of later centuries, and the heavily interpolated writings ascribed to Ignatius do not prove otherwise. But why did the NKJV continue to perpetuate this intentional falsification of the text? How many of its evangelical readers have "bishops" in their churches?

Also in preparing his Greek edition of the New Testament, Erasmus had only one manuscript of Revelation, and the last few verses were missing, and so he backtranslated from the Latin. Thus in the last chapter verse 19, he used the Latin "book of life" instead of "tree of life" as is written in ALL Greek manuscripts prior to Erasmus. So this is how the Greek phrase for "book of life" found its way into Textus Receptus. Erasmus can be excused because he did the best he could with what he had. But there was no excuse for translators and Greek text editions to continue to use the words of Textus Receptus after Greek mansuscripts of the last verse of Revelation were discovered. The NKJV, for example, still employs the phrase "book of life" in the verse. This is an example of translators trying to defend the Textus Receptus as being the original text of the New Testament, and therefore being the infallible word of God.

The first paragraph in the intoduction of the following work tells the story. There are also many other sources:

http://www.reltech.org/TC/v16/Krans2011.pdf

So let's not imagine that dishonesty in translation is limited to Jehovah's Witnesses.
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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by TheEditor » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:53 pm

Hi Paidon,

I agree that the NWT is not necessarily a corupted translation, but just that it chooses terms to fit within JW paradigms. The issue with Romans is that for the average JW, "publicy declare" is a term larded with meaning; ie. going door-to-door evangelizing, and this is equated to an act that "gains salvation".

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by jriccitelli » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:03 am

I have always called the NWT the 'Not well translated' version. I am not going to go line for line on this version, not because I don’t think it should be researched, and not because I think the NWT is a defensible translation, but because I don’t have time right now for arguing semantics within an obviously cultic publication. My argument is that it quickly becomes apparent that there is a deliberate manipulation of the English in order to divert, confuse (annoy and stifle) the reader. I think it would be more profitable and interesting to read your Greek Interlinear Bible than a NWT.

Still, it is more than manipulative to write '..and the Word was a god..', and 'Gods active force was moving…' (Gen 1:2), so with the deliberate manipulation and so poor a use of English equivalents page after page, I find the NWT a waste of time.

I still use it when witnessing to witnesses, because so much of it is usable, but you have to really have patience with the wording because it uses strange and unnecessary wording i.e. '…Behind me there comes a man…' rather than using a more appropriate word as '…after' me there comes a man…' (John 1:30).

Instead of using the word equivalent 'I delight' or 'well pleased' (Luke 3:22) the NWT says 'You are my son, the beloved; I have approved you'. (The Greek word is EudokEsa). I picked this verse out at random, as an example, but look at this verse, this verse has a direct correlation with the sacrifices that were 'not pleasing' to God in Malachi 1:10.

(Also; Amos 5:21-22, Jer.6:20, see Hebrews 10:6) (Note Psalm 51:19, on delight and pleased).

What is the deal with translating 'Auto' into 'it', concerning the 'little boy' Jesus in Luke 2:28, I know auto can be translated 'it', but why here? In verse 2:27 the NWT translates Autous into 'it', when it should be them (them, they).
And in Luke 2:17 they insert 'it' when no word or pronoun is in the text at all!

Note the strange translation of Luke 2:19; 'but Mary began to preserve all these sayings, drawing conclusions in her heart' (NWT), turning the memorable and meaningful word usually translated as 'pondered' (symballousa) into 'drawing conclusions'? What the heck is that?

(Sure some of the words could be used in their alternative and equivalent nature, but you may as well write in John 1:1;
'In the original was the saying…' , they don't, but I am saying they may as well. What is the point in being so weird in a literal translation)

There is no 'great' scholarly work here, I get the feeling the NWT goes for the archaic English words in an attempt to 'seem' they are more literal, more definitive, whatever, but what they are doing is creating unnecessary stumbling through Gods word in a version produced and given out to millions and millions (it would be different if this was a word study bible, or something, but it is not even that).

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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by Paidion » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:26 pm

JR, I don't agree that the NWT is "not well translated", though I cannot comment on the OT as I don't know Hebrew. But in the NT it is usually well-translated. Also I am not going to address your strong emotional statements against the translation, but I am going to address the verses you brought forth which you consider badly translated. Of course, as I have already stated in my original post, John 1:1 is INCORRECTLY translated in the NWT.
I still use it when witnessing to witnesses, because so much of it is usable, but you have to really have patience with the wording because it uses strange and unnecessary wording i.e. '…Behind me there comes a man…' rather than using a more appropriate word as '…after' me there comes a man…' (John 1:30).
I really see no problem here. During a race, the one who came in second place may be said to have arrived at the goal AFTER the winner, or to have arrived there BEHIND the winner. There's not much difference. Though it does seem more natural to say that Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom AFTER John did, rather than coming BEHIND John. But the Greek word definitely means "behind".For example, in Matthew 16:23, Jesus said to Peter, "Get BEHIND me, Adversary" not "Get AFTER me, Adversary". Also in Luke 7:38, Philippians 3:13, and Revelation 1:10, "behind" is the translation. "After" would not make much sense in those verses.
Instead of using the word equivalent 'I delight' or 'well pleased' (Luke 3:22) the NWT says 'You are my son, the beloved; I have approved you'.
"ευδοκεω" literally means "it seems good to me". So "I have approved" would be a close equivalent.
What is the deal with translating 'Auto' into 'it', concerning the 'little boy' Jesus in Luke 2:28, I know auto can be translated 'it', but why here?
The Greek word "αυτο" is neuter, and is not a masculine form. But that's because it refers to the neuter noun παιδιον (paidion). It would be appropriate to translate it as "it" if we didn't know the sex of the child. But we do, and so it ought to be translated as "him". Possible the NWT translators thought "αυτο" ought to be translated as "it" because it is neuter.
In verse 2:27 the NWT translates Autous into 'it', when it should be them (them, they).
No it doesn't. The NWT translates "αυτου", the last word in the sentence as "it" (though it would be better translated as "him" as all other translations do). The word "αυτους" refers to the parents and it is used as the object of an infinitive "to do". The NWT translates the phrase (which contains "αυτους") as "in order to do". The ESV translates it as "that they might do". The King James and the NKJV render it simply as "to do".
And in Luke 2:17 they insert 'it' when no word or pronoun is in the text at all!
So does the King James Version, the ESV, RVS, ASV, and Websters translations. The NKJV inserts "him" at this place. Phillips inserts "this sight." Do you condemn all of these translations as well?
Note the strange translation of Luke 2:19; 'but Mary began to preserve all these sayings, drawing conclusions in her heart' (NWT), turning the memorable and meaningful word usually translated as 'pondered' (symballousa) into 'drawing conclusions'? What the heck is that?
If you like the "memorable and meaningful word" translated as "pondered" keep it that way. The Greek word literally means "throw together". The Online Bible lexicon defines the word as "to bring together in one's mind". Rotherham translated it as "putting them together in her heart". Usually when we put things together in our mind (or "heart") we come to some conclusions. So I don't think the NWT is that far out — though I wouldn't translate it that way myself.
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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by jriccitelli » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:38 am

I got busy with work, school, and watching the World Series, but this still is very interesting to me since I run into a lot of JW's around my neighborhood (especially on Saturday morning).

I wrote; The NWT translates John 1:30 as '…Behind me there comes a man…' rather than using a more appropriate word as '…after' me there comes a man…'

'This is the one about whom I said, behind me there comes a man who has advanced in front of me because he existed before me' (John 1:30 NWT)

The NASB translates this as follows;
'This is He on behalf of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.' (John 1:30 NASB)

Paidion wrote; I really see no problem here. During a race, the one who came in second place may be said to have arrived at the goal AFTER the winner, or to have arrived there BEHIND the winner. There's not much difference. Though it does seem more natural to say that Jesus came proclaiming the Kingdom AFTER John did, rather than coming BEHIND John. But the Greek word definitely means "behind".For example, in Matthew 16:23, Jesus said to Peter, "Get BEHIND me, Adversary" not "Get AFTER me, Adversary". Also in Luke 7:38, Philippians 3:13, and Revelation 1:10, "behind" is the translation. "After" would not make much sense in those verses'

The Greek word definitely means behind or after.
If a word can be translated as either behind, after or pumpkin pie, and you use the word pumpkin pie when another word might be a better translation of the meaning then you have not done a good job of translating.
And the word opismo (in both 1:15 and 1:30) corresponds to the word proto (or before) at the end of the sentence. It certainly seems like a reference to time or order, since I do not think John is in a foot race with Jesus. (And remember nobody knew who Jesus was up until this time, but John was well known)

The NASB Translates the word (opiso) as follows;
after (18), around (1), back (2), back (3), behind (5), follow (2), follow (2), withdrew (1).

There is a definite difference in identifying this as either after or behind, behind refers (generally) to a 'place' and after generally refers to following, order, or a reference to time.
When referring to time, 'after' is the best choice.
For example; Jesus told the devil to get behind Him, as in place, Jesus was not telling the devil to go back in time.

I also just noticed how bad the 'whole' verse here is translated in the NWT. What is with all the brackets and parentheses? And note the addition of the phrase; 'yes, he actually cried out', and also; 'this was the one who said [it]'. This translation makes it really hard to figure out who said 'it', Jesus or John? And I cannot see how any of this added text has anything to do with the actual Greek, note how closely the ESV, NASB, KJV and all the other translations stick to the Greek and are much 'more' clear than whatever (?) the NWT is trying to do (http://interlinearbible.org/john/1-15.htm );

'(John bore witness about him, yes, he actually cried out - this was the one who said [it] - saying; 'The one coming behind me has advanced in front of me, because he existed before me') (John 1:15 NWT)

'John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me' (John 1:15 ESV)

'John testified about Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me' (John 1:15 NASB)

'John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me' (John 1:15 KJV, Cambridge)

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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by Paidion » Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:14 pm

I am just going to address two of your comments:
If a word can be translated as either behind, after or pumpkin pie, and you use the word pumpkin pie when another word might be a better translation of the meaning then you have not done a good job of translating.
Most Greek words have one basic meaning, and none other should be used unless absolutely necessary. Unfortunately many translators deliberately choose a more obscure meaning in order to fit their theology. And this practice may apply to JWs in some cases, but it also applies to many other translators who are driven by their theology.
For example; Jesus told the devil to get behind Him, as in place, Jesus was not telling the devil to go back in time.
What makes you think Jesus was talking to the devil when He said that? Clearly He was talking to Peter.

And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.”

In saying this, Peter was an adversary for he was opposing what the Lord Jesus intended to do by dying and setting people free from their sin>

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Adversary! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (Matthew 16:22,23)

The whole sentence is addressed to Peter, because he wasn't setting his mind on the things of God. The Greek word "σατανας" (satanas) means "adversary" and in this context, Jesus is simply addressing Peter as an adversary.

The word is also used of the devil, and it is transliterated as "satan", so that this has become an English word. But this is not the devil's name. It is simply a noun which describes his adversarial character.
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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by jriccitelli » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:07 am

(Side note; I understand this as the adversary (spelled satana / satanas) putting this in Peters heart. Jesus uses a very similar admonition in Luke 4:10, addressed to Satan. Why did Jesus use this word then? I think Jesus knew what He was saying. Jesus (in Revelations) and Paul use the word regularly to speak of Satan - 'The Adversary'- himself. But, you are free to believe Peter said this all on his own)

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Re: What's wrong with the New World Translation?

Post by jriccitelli » Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:14 am

I wrote; Instead of using the word equivalent 'I delight' or 'well pleased' (Luke 3:22) the NWT says 'You are my son, the beloved; I have approved you'.

Paidion said; "ευδοκεω" literally means "it seems good to me". So "I have approved" would be a close equivalent'

Close equivalent? You really can't be serious. Check out; http://biblos.com/luke/3-22.htm and http://biblelexicon.org/luke/3-22.htm . What kind of a dictionary are you using??
(I often use my set edited by Colin Brown, Colin has 3 pages on eudokeo! Everything here reads 'pleasing')

Strongs Exhaustive; think good, be well pleased, be willing. From eu and dokeo; to think well of, i.e. Approve (an act); specially, to approbate (a person or thing) -- think good, (be well) please(-d), be the good (have, take) pleasure, be willing.
NAS Concordance; to think well of, i.e. to be well-pleased.
Thayers Lexicon; it seems good to one, is one's good pleasure; to think it good, choose, determine, decide… to be well pleased with, take pleasure in, a person or thing.

All 18 translations I see here translate this also as "In you I am well pleased" or delighted.
"You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased" (NASB)
"You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased" (NIV)
"Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (KJV)

This verse correlates with many others that speak of 'pleasing'. How was the word eudokeo used in classic literature? - It was used to express 'pleased', nothing pleasing about approved.
The word relates to the word agapētos (beloved), identifying the affection involved.
If I tell someone that I am pleased with my wife, grandchildren, or with someone's cooking and someone translates my words as 'I approve', It would be wrong and… not to mention my wife's feeling's about it.

This reminds me of the word gustar in Spanish, I often say 'me gusta' meaning it pleased me, usually referring to Mexican food, I never mean 'I have approved' of the meal.
I wonder if God is pleased with this translation of Luke 3:22?

It is also prophetically related to Isaiah 42; "Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. (Isaiah 42:1)

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