New English NWT Bible released as Annual Meeting is leaked online
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Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson has announced a new NWT bible at this year's annual meeting

Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson has announced a new NWT bible at this year’s annual meeting

Watchtower’s much-anticipated 129th Annual Meeting was held today at the Stanley Theater, New Jersey. In an unprecedented move, the event was streamed live to 1,830 locations – a global audience of nearly 1.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Sadly I was among those without an invitation. The Governing Body does not tend to welcome with open arms those like me who are critical of some of their teachings and policies.

But thankfully I have not been left entirely in the dark, and neither has anyone else for that matter! One brave blogger going by the name of “DrJohnChrist” who attended one of the streaming locations has provided a running commentary via a thread on the Reddit social network.

Much of the hype leading up to the Annual Meeting surrounded the fact that there has been a far-reaching shortage of New World Translations over the last few months, with congregation stocks running dry. This led to rumors that a new version of the English New World Translation was in preparation – and it seems these whispers were not wide of the mark.

It fell to Governing Body member Geoffrey Jackson to announce the new release. Revised into 21st Century English with a grey cover and silver edges, a revision of the New World Translation bible has been released today with the PDF version available on Monday 7th (presumably on JW.org). This is what it looks like…

 

Nicknamed the “witnessing bible” (according to Stephen Lett), a large-print version will be available in 2014 followed by a pocket version. A large bible with wide margins for note-taking is also planned. The new bibles feature a “mini reasoning book,” an “extensive appendix,” a glossary, outlined summaries at the start of each book, maps and other references.

You can check the play-by-play thread yourself by clicking here.

A sexist faux pas?

Geoffrey Jackson pictured here with his wife - did he make a chauvinistic remark?

Geoffrey Jackson pictured here with his wife – did he make a chauvinistic remark?

In explaining the development of the new bible, Geoffrey Jackson is said to have commented extensively on the work that was done – which included designing a new font set for copyright reasons.

When commenting on the new bible’s appearance and durability, Jackson is reported to have joked that it is both “witness-proof” and “sister proof.” Quite what this means isn’t immediately obvious, but it could be that he was alluding to a stereotype of women as being overly fastidious as to how an item looks rather than its content and purpose.

While many Witnesses would likely shrug off such a remark, it was undoubtedly sexist assuming, of course, that these were Jackson’s words. You could imagine the uproar if a politician on camera described the appearance of any item as “woman proof.” It would also not be the first time a Governing Body member has made a chauvinistic remark from the platform, as certain videos featuring Stephen Lett and Samuel Herd will show.

A revised translation

It seems that, rather than being an entirely new translation (which would require a new name) this new bible is a revised translation – meaning that it is predominantly an updated and improved version of the original English New World Translation.

About two years ago I was informed by a translator in a non-English bethel that it was only a matter of time before the NWT English version would be revised, because it was originally written in 1950s English whereas subsequent translators in other languages have had the luxury of rendering bible verses in a more contemporary lexicon. This prediction was clearly accurate.

A number of terms have thus been changed as follows (according to the Reddit thread)…

  • “Long-suffering” is now “patience”
  • “Loose conduct” is now “brazen conduct”
  • “Fornication” is now “sexual immorality”
  • “Impaled” is now “nailed to a stake”
  • “Sheol and hades” is now “the grave”
  • “Revelries” is now “wild parties”
  • “Soul” is now a variety of words depending on context
  • “Kidney” now means “deepest emotions”
  • “In want of heart” is now “lacking good sense”
  • “Sons of Israel” is now “Israelites”
  • “Fatherless boy” is now “fatherless child”
  • “Alien” is now “foreigner”
  • “Ass” is now “donkey”
  • “Impale him” is now “to the stake with him” (a regression if you ask me!)
  • “Dumb demon” is now “speechless”
  • “Loving kindness” is now “loyal love”
  • “Jacob’s ladder” is now “Jacob’s stairway”
  • and Joseph’s “coat of many colors” is now his “special robe.”

Parts of the gospels that are disputed have been removed, namely the long and short conclusions to Mark, and John 7:53-8:11. You will be familiar with these passages as the parts that appear in small font in the original version. This adjustment will doubtless not meet with widespread approval.

It will be interesting to see how certain key texts often used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to support Watchtower teachings have now been rendered, but without having seen the bible I am personally willing to trust that no attempt has been made to alter the meaning of verses or distort scripture. I will know more once I have seen the bible for myself.

Though this bible revision first-and-foremost represents a straightforward improvement to the original English, the extent of changes (i.e. removal of disputed gospel passages and addition of extra reference material) should necessitate new versions of bibles in other languages. Otherwise you would have an English bible that differs significantly in content from its non-English counterparts. The question of how and when other language versions will be introduced apparently wasn’t addressed at the annual meeting, so we will have to wait and see what transpires. [Edit: this question WAS in fact raised during the meeting, and Guy Pierce indicated that other language editions WOULD be released, but not in the immediate future.]

Replacement for Watchtower Library?

A new application is also said to have been announced at the annual meeting by Guy Pierce, with the insinuation that it will replace Watchtower Library.

“JW Library” is reported to include five other bible translations, and will be available for download from Monday 7th onwards from Google Play, the Apple Store, the Windows Store, and Amazon.

It remains to be seen whether a price will be attached to this new software. If there is, this could prove to be a very clever and unprecedented way of guaranteeing extra cash flow. However, I would rather give the organization the benefit of the doubt and assume it is a free download until I am able to check on Monday!

[Edit: I am pleased to confirm that this app is free to download. Furthermore, having listened to the announcement, I personally doubt JW Library is an immediate replacement for Watchtower Library, since it is only really designed for touch-screen devices. That said, it would not surprise me if there are long term plans for JW Library to be the successor to Watchtower Library.]

Anti-climax

In the build-up to this meeting, rumors were rife on the internet that there would be another major new scriptural understanding, or “new light,” unveiled. These rumors were understandable given the magnitude of the doctrinal changes at last year’s event, in which the Governing Body announced itself to be the faithful slave.

In opening this year’s annual meeting, Guy Pierce could be said to have somewhat goaded his audience and raised expectations unnecessarily.

This is what he reportedly said, according to DrJohnChrist…

“Will important bible questions be answered? Yes. Proverbs 4:18. There will be new light. The righteous ones (Jehovah’s people) will get the light. Will bible truths be refined at this meeting? Absolutely.”

Did Guy Pierce goad his audience with unfulfilled expectations of new light?

Did Guy Pierce goad his audience with unfulfilled expectations of new light?

You can arguably excuse the “bible questions” remark as a joking acknowledgment of the number of enquiries doubtless received at headquarters as to the lack of availability of bibles.

Even so, if Guy Pierce truly said the above, then he was leading his audience up a blind alley. “Bible truths” were not “refined” at this meeting, certainly not in the sense that people would understand that statement. There was no “new light.”

Again, it remains to be seen what Pierce’s exact words were, but if this is a fair representation of what he said to introduce the meeting, then in my view his words were misleading.

Question marks can also be raised over the words of another Governing Body member. In his Watchtower summary, Gerrit Lösch is reported to have said the following…

“It’s good for us not to have association with relatives who love worldly pursuits. Are our children acting worldly? Using worldly slang? Actively STEER children toward baptism. What are your children’s conversations like? Can they sing worldly songs by heart but not kingdom songs? Do I permit my children to play with worldly children? Do they talk only about kingdom interests?”

Gerrit Lösch - did he urge that children be "steered" into baptism?

Gerrit Lösch – did he urge that children be “steered” into baptism?

Firstly, surely children should not be “steered” or coerced into making a lifelong commitment that they cannot fully appreciate until they have matured? Is this not a main reason why so many youths get disfellowshipped and end up being shunned by their parents?

As to the remarks about “worldly” relatives, inactive “faded” Witnesses including me will once more let out a collective sigh of disappointment at the “us versus them” mentality encouraged by the Governing Body – if this is truly what Lösch said. Deprivation of normal family contact and association is yet again used as a tool for control and punishment, as with the recent convention reminders on shunning (which all but admitted that shunning is a form of emotional blackmail).

The future is bright

But despite the disappointments, I take great encouragement from this meeting. If the above information turns out to be verified, as I hope it will be over the next few days, it will represent the THIRD major leak over the past 12 months. First we had the leak of the October 2012 elder’s letter regarding child abuse. Then in March the so-called “new light” July 15th Watchtower was leaked on this website weeks in advance of its normal release.

Now we have a thinking Witness providing a live blog feed from inside a tightly controlled and confidential meeting where use of social media was expressly banned. The bravery that DrJohnChrist has shown in getting the word out is highly commendable, and I am excited to think of what other significant leaks of information we can look forward to in the near future as yet more thinking Witnesses inside the organization decide to push the boundaries and make a difference.

 

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UPDATE: To read my follow-up article, click here. I am now in receipt of audio files for the annual meeting which correspond with the above notes, and I can confirm the accuracy of what was written in this article based on those notes. I would, however, like to clarify two aspects of DrJohnChrist’s notes that seem to be causing some confusion: (1) when Gerrit Lösch said that God’s will is to be completed by the end of the millennium, this has given some the impression that Lösch was referring to the end of this century, when in fact he was referring to the end of Christ’s millennial rule, and (2) the phrase “bum witnesses” was never used in Lösch’s talk. The word “bum” was used once in Anthony Morris’ talk, but only in an illustration.

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345 Responses to New English NWT Bible released as Annual Meeting is leaked online

  1. Shun-amite Maiden says:

    “I believe it’s the truth but its the people I don’t trust at all in the hall.”

    Agreed! Agreed! Agreed!

    I left 2 years ago I guess I am active.

    I believe the Truth is somewhere in there but can’t trust the brothers esp. the elders that were in my hall.

  2. Shun-amite Maiden says:

    Typo! I guess I am “inactive” or DF’d ?

    Shunned of course by all of my family, former so called friends etc.

    After years of being a good witness doing what I was supposed to do and when, having duties in the congregation and also being a good spouse.

    The day I just walked away from it all, I became NONEXISTENT to my family and everyone else that I knew… and even suicidal.

    When I reached out to my family for help my father told me I was getting what I deserved for leaving Jeh Org.

    So to the active witnesses (shockingly) reading and posting at this site you know better than to visit “Apostate” sites, but you just can’t help it.

    You are curious like everyone else and need to keep justifying some of your doubts.

    Spec : Jannet, Justin, Bill and others

  3. jannapr says:

    Ha ha wow it was interesting to see some defend the “”truth”” in an ungodly way.. Hypocrisy just gets brighter and brighter 😉 (Matt 23:25,26)

  4. StillHaveFaith says:

    Re: “And YOU will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name;”

    Clearly this scripture refers to the name of “JESUS”, who has been consistantly downplayed in comparison to his father’s name “Jehovah”, although it is also clear that “when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground— and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” [Phillipians 2: 8-11] NWT
    I can no longer support a religion that elevates human leaders (via the governing body) over the Son of God….”For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all —this is what is to be witnessed to in its own due time.” [1 Timothy 2: 5-6] NWT

  5. StillHaveFaith says:

    Re: “And YOU will be objects of hatred by all people on account of my name;”

    Clearly this scripture refers to the name of “JESUS”, who has been consistantly downplayed in comparison to his father’s name “Jehovah”, although it is also clear that “when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend—of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground— and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” [Phillipians 2: 8-11] NWT
    I can no longer support a religion that elevates human leaders (via the governing body) over the Son of God….”For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a corresponding ransom for all —this is what is to be witnessed to in its own due time.” [1 Timothy 2: 5-6] NWT

  6. Anon says:

    Actually, the “sister-proof” comment that Jackson said was taken as a friendly dig, and even a compliment. The meaning being that it will be used the most by sisters, since sisters make up the majority of pioneers.
    I was at this event, and sure enough, no new light like he said, haha. Empty promises, like a politicans.

  7. kappa says:

    you shouldn’t even be here……
    omg your right hypocrisy is getting brighter lol

  8. Excelsior says:

    Stillhavefaith,

    The GB have decided that they are the mediator! Jesus has been sacked, because he is only the mediator between the 144,000!!!!

    There is no bible verse to support this usurping of Jesus’ position. On the contrary, the bible could not be clearer. However, if one was to politely point out this sacrilege, then one would be disfellowshipped for apostasy.

    If the GB can deny the fact that Jesus is the mediator for ALL PEOPLE, then what else have they discarded in their march to absolute power?

    The crowning turd in the water pipe was the revolting implication that God controlled the weather so that these bibles could be printed! What? God will fix the summer in the US, but he won’t step in to save souls in the Phillipines?

    That is a disgusting slur against God, and a damning indictment against this unholiest of religious leaders.

    Peace be with you

    Excelsior!

  9. D. Charles Pyle says:

    Actually, there was new light given. It was the new light that John 7:53-8:11 (along with both short and long endings of Mark, and a few other unnamed passages) were so spurious, and so not original, that they were completely removed, even from the footnotes this revision around.

    Also, it became clear that one need not be verbose to catch each and every nuance of the original text to get the point across, or that it is necessary to produce translations so literally-leaning that they sound wooden and hollow to the hearer.

    It all just wasn’t the kind of new light that many apparently expected. Personally, I have to admit that I like this new revision better than the last ones for reading purposes (and I have been around long enough to see a number of them), in spite of its issues here and there. Of course, this does not mean I am parting with any of the others I have. And, no, I am not a Witness.

  10. Kevin says:

    The NWT is an abomination of lies. Its used by apostate Anointed within the GB to keep their power and keep Anointed within JWs blind and asleep. Here’s a few examples. Its a work in progress,but has enough there to prove the NWT is not “revised” at all since its first printing in 1950.
    thekingdomwasnotbornin1914.blogspot.com.au/
    “pangs of distress” is lie that backs 1914. Its not the correct greek rendering at all and teaches the opposite of the Greek meaning.

    • D. Charles Pyle says:

      While the GB interpretation is off, the NWT rendering itself here isn’t really all that far off. The same word also describes things that are metaphorical as well as pangs of death and great distresses, not always addressing a specific time frame or order. The very same word is used to speak of Jesus’ suffering on the cross (“agony of death”) at Acts 2:24. “Pangs of distress” is a more neutral way of rendering, and can be a representative translation indicating a great deal of suffering, but hardly supports the idea of the kingdom being born in 1914. With at least that last part I can agree.

      That said, the NWT has had significant improvement, particularly in the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures portion, but the Christian Greek Scriptures portion still needs significant work. In some places in that portion, bad translation became horrid translation by removing the brackets, and they have thereby returned to the way some of these horrid translations were in the first edition of 1950.

      Some of the translations ignore the cases of prepositions and prepositional phrases, and even substitute a wrong preposition, which is something you learn not to do in the first year of Greek. In other places, they render predicates as identifying or assigning to a class, when Greek predicates do neither. Rather, Greek predicates make assertions regarding the nature of the subject but neither assign to class nor identify, and also do not describe composition. In such cases that remain even in the latest revision, however, the term ‘abomination’ is quite fitting.

  11. john newsome says:

    The watchtower has a new publication out about returning back to Jehovah. It tells how you will be received and welcomed. It tells how members stray from the flock of God but Jehovah wants them back. Well I see nothing wrong with that but for one thing.Will the governing body also admit that they themselves strayed from Jehovah by aligning themselves with the United Nations?And ask me to forgive them? Will they ask me for forgivness for lieing about 1975? Will they ask me to forgive them for not giving each kingdom hall a deed to their property?Forgivness works 2 ways. Not just one way. I am willing to forgive if they will forgive.

  12. I tend not to leave a response, however after browsing some of the comments here New English NWT Bible released as Annual Meeting
    is leaked online | JWsurvey. I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s
    allright. Is it simply me or do a few of these comments appear as if they are coming from brain dead folks?
    😛 And, if you are writing on other sites, I’d like to
    follow anything new you have to post. Would you post a list of
    the complete urls of your social networking sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    • D. Charles Pyle says:

      Tried to post a moment ago and the post disappeared into cyberspace. Browser crashed the last time. Trying again…

      Please do be specific. 🙂

      Favorite topics of mine are problems with the NWT and translations, as well as places where the translation is unfaithful to the eclectic Greek text that is their darling (Westcott and Hort), J references (including such that directly say that Jesus is Jehovah but which get no mention in Watchtower publications and actually get denials in print), and related subjects.

      As to social media I just cannot be bothered, so I have no links for you.

  13. Joshua Leib says:

    They can’t even figure out God’s name in Exodus 3:14. It has been greatly altered in the first editions and now GOD’S NAME has been completely changed. In verse thirteen Moses asked God what His name was, and in verse 14 God gave his name. “I am that I am”. Please read your own versions and stop deliberately changing the text to disassociate Jesus from his deity as found in John 8:58. Jesus is the I AM! So is Jehovah. This is a mystery according to 1 Timothy 3:16. Maybe you ought to accept the clear meaning of the text.

    • D. Charles Pyle says:

      The oldest readings in the Greek New Testament also clearly provide evidence that Jesus also is Jehovah. It would make sense considering that early Christian writer, Justin the Martyr, clearly believed that Jesus was the God who made his appearances in the Old Testament. His Greek text actually would have made that implication, too.

  14. Joshua Leib says:

    The NWT added the name Jehovah to the New Testament when the name “Jehovah” is not found in any Greek manuscript anywhere in the entire world. They do this to dictate to the reader that Jesus is not Jehovah nor an Almighty God. He is simply another god that was created (Isaiah 43:10 is against that idea) to help the “Big God” create some things. This is why in Revelation 1:8 they have added the name Jehovah to the text without one piece of textual evidence. This way they can show you that the Alpha and Omega who is called “ALMIGHTY” is not Jesus but Jehovah. This shows their abuse of the text and authority to translate; and robbery of the Holy Spirits position to lead and guide us into all truth. If we read the text, it is clear that the Alpha and Omega is a direct reference to Jesus Christ. Read Revelation 1:8, 10-18. The Alpha and Omega is someone who was dead and is alive forever more! This alpha and Omega is Jesus Christ who is not only a Mighty God, but the Almighty God. See Revelation 22:13-16.
    streetpreacherjosh@yahoo.com

    • D. Charles Pyle says:

      It’s actually much worse than that. There are passages in even the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures that have zero support for inserting the name Jehovah, such as Psalms 14:1 and 53:1. And, there are passages in the Psalms that have manuscript support for having the divine name in them but which have the name omitted.

      They also did not follow their own guidelines for inserting the name Jehovah into the Christian Greek Scriptures. Those guidelines say that if the divine name is found in a passage in the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures quoted in the Christian Greek Scriptures, it gets set in the quotation in said quoted text. They also used Hebrew versions of the New Testament to help them decide where to put the divine name in other cases.

      The trouble is, there are several passages (listed in J20) that actually are quotations from the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures that are also found in the Christian Greek Scriptures, and these quotations contain the tetragrammaton but the Watchtower translators refused to put them in their proper locations.

      And, a number of passages that contain the tetragrammaton in the Hebrew versions, or J references, and they left those out of their resultant translation. For example, Acts 9:5 in J7 reads: “And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And Jehovah said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting…'”

      Not a word can be found about this in even the footnotes of their older Bible publications. Instead, they lied to the public in the May 15, 1960 Watchtower and claimed that such passages that say that Jesus is Jehovah don’t exist in any Hebrew version. Yet, 1 Corinthians 12:3 in J14 most certainly does say, “And no man is able to say that ‘Jesus is Jehovah’ except by the Holy Spirit.”

      And, then they also provided falsified title information for several of these J references to make it harder for readers to find them to see this information for themselves.

      They also say that they have consulted the latest research on the text and have adopted some of the newer readings in the English translation. They seem to have done so but in every case where that new research suggests that Jesus is Jehovah they have omitted it from the text of their new translation. These passages are Jude 5 and 1 Corinthians 10:9. They still retain the outdated Westcott and Hort readings in those passages and insert the name Jehovah there instead. Jude 5 in the newest editions of the Greek New Testament now say that Jesus destroyed those among the Israelites that did not believe. We know from the Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures that this was Jehovah who did that. 1 Corinthians 10:9 in current editions (and in the vast majority of all Greek manuscripts, as well) of the Greek New Testament, based on extensive research and textual analysis, states that the Christ was put to the test and that those do did so were destroyed by serpents. Numbers 21:4-7, of course, states that it was Jehovah who was put to the test and who sent the serpents. And, there are a number of other examples of the same things going on in Watchtower publications such as their New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.

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