The New World Translation Versus The Greek Text

I. Apparent Translation Distortions

A. Adding words into the text that do not appear in the Greek, nor are demanded by the grammar.

1. Colossians 1:16-20 -- "other" is added which causes Christ to be among the category of created things.

The Watchtower states that this is the same as adding "other" into Luke 11:41-42. It is true that for the sake of creating a smooth translation words may be added by the translator for easier reading. However, in no instance should words ever be added that change the meaning of the Greek text. This is exactly what has been done. Greek has a specific word for "other." If "other" is what the Apostle Paul intended he could have very easily said that.

2. John 1:1 -- The word "a" is inserted into the text making Jesus a god rather than the God, Jehovah.

This is a violation of normal Greek grammar rules. In verses 6, 12 and 13 the noun, God, also appears without the definite article ("the") yet is consistently translated by the NWT as God.

3. John 8:58 -- Translating "I Am" as "I have been."

There is no justification for this. The 1950 version of the NWT the Watchtower even invented a particular verb tense that does not exist in order to justify their translation. This was dropped in later versions. See "John 8:58-Ego Eimi" for a more detailed discussion with scanned images of this point of the NWT.

B. Omitting words from the text.

1. Romans 8:1 -- The word "now" that appears in the Greek text is omitted from the NWT.

Is this because the Watchtower does not believe that anyone can NOW be free from condemnation? That this will only be known at the final judgement before Jehovah?

C. Changing the meaning of words in the text.

1. I John 5:20 -- Within the same verse the Greek preposition, "in," is first translated "in union with" and then "by means of" a few words later.

This certainly appears to change the clear meaning of the text to fit Watchtower doctrine, obscuring the true meaning. This is completely unwarranted. John's point in the Greek is that union with Christ is union with God.

2. Hebrews 12:9 -- "Father of spirits" is changed to "Father of our spiritual life."

This seems to be done because otherwise the text implies that the spirit within a man (his personality) has a reality apart from the body, contrary to Watchtower doctrine. It is hard to understand why this is done rather than just allowing the text to speak for itself.

3. I John 3:24-4:6 -- "Inspired expression" is used five times as the translation for a specific word when that same word is translated "spirit" in 3:24.

This again seems to be done because "spirit" in Watchtower theology is impersonal. The clear implication of the text is that these "spirits" are personal. This text would also imply that God's Holy Spirit is also personal.

4. I Peter 1:11 -- The clear Greek reading, "the spirit of Christ in them," is changed to, "the spirit in them was indicating concerning Christ."

This is profoundly disturbing in its implications. It would appear that the Greek text is just ignored in deference to a particular doctrinal stand because it indicates that the supernatural presence of Jesus is in the believer. The intent would seem to be to make Jesus more limited.

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