The Revised New World Translation: Will it stand the test of time?
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As Witnesses embrace the new bible we ask, "will it stand the test of time?"

As Witnesses embrace the new bible we ask, “will it stand the test of time?”

Many Jehovah’s Witnesses are overwhelmed with excitement following the release of the revised New World Translation at the 129th Annual Meeting over the weekend.

A number have taken to social media to express their joy and appreciation at what is being viewed by many as a gift straight from Jehovah. Geoffrey Jackson, who announced the release of the new Bible, even suggested that Jehovah had manipulated weather conditions to better facilitate its printing.

The new Bible has been available online since Monday, giving us the chance to see how it compares with the original. We also now have opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the various features of the book and ponder the question: “Will it stand the test of time?”

Improvements

More research tools

The new revision to the New World Translation boasts a number of research tools that were absent from the original. These include a glossary of Bible terms and two lengthy appendices. I am particularly impressed with the timeline of kings of Judah and Israel (A6), the chart showing biblical weights and measures (B14) and the much clearer Hebrew Calendar (B15). It is also nice to see footnotes on each page to show alternative terms, which (like the appendices) were previously only to be found in the Reference Bible.

The introductions to each Bible book with summaries of each chapter are also helpful, provided these are not used to mislead people (as I will touch on later).

Improved readability

The most obvious improvement to the New World Translation is that it is now written in English that most people will find easier to understand. This can only be a bonus for those who want to be able to read their Bibles more easily. The original edition, released in the 1950s, used language of the era that could at times be confusing. But with this revision it is much simpler to grasp the meaning of certain scriptures.

The English language has changed since the New World Translation was released in the 1950s

The English language has changed since the New World Translation was released in the 1950s

For example, expressions like “there proceeded to be” and “there came to be” are mostly gone, but not in such a way that the meaning is lost. And rather than being spelled out in words, numbers like 144,000 are simply expressed in digits. Because so many unnecessary words have been chopped from the text, this has resulted in a reduced total wordcount from approximately 907,000 words to 786,000 – a 13% reduction!

Another reason for the reduced wordcount has been the omission of a small number of bible verses now deemed spurious, namely the long and short conclusions to Mark, and John 7:53-8:11. As expected, this has not met with universal praise. One JWsurvey reader, author Robert Crompton, had this to say…

“I find it interesting that they have removed the alternative endings of Mark and the story about showing mercy in John 7:53 – 8:11. Usual translation practice is to include these with a note pointing out that they only appear in later (but nevertheless still early) manuscripts. That is, there is some, albeit limited, justification for referenced inclusion of these passages. And this limited justification is vastly greater than their justification for including the divine name which doesn’t appear in any NT manuscripts, only in late translations and other non-NT manuscripts.”

I would tend to agree with Robert on this. The fact that these texts were not in all of the earliest manuscripts does not necessarily mean that they shouldn’t have been. A more scholarly way of dealing with the problem would be to include the text with a clear indication of any reservations as to authenticity – as the original New World Translation did. To do otherwise is to risk omitting verses from the Bible that were intended to be in the original, and are therefore just as deserving to be considered as “inspired” scripture.

For those interested in researching this further, here are some interesting links on the omitted verses…

Better rendering of 1 Timothy 6:4

I must point out one significant improvement that has been made to one verse in particular that has caused considerable problems for thinking Witnesses – especially over the past two years. I refer to 1 Timothy 6:3-4, which used to read as follows (bold is mine)…

“If any man teaches other doctrine and does not assent to the healthful words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, nor to the teaching that accords with godly devotion, he is puffed up [with pride], not understanding anything, but being mentally diseased over questionings and debates about words. From these things spring envy, strife, abusive speeches, wicked suspicions.” – 1 Tim 6:3,4 New World Translation

This same verse now reads…

“If any man teaches another doctrine and does not agree with the wholesome instruction, which is from our Lord Jesus Christ, nor with the teaching that is in harmony with godly devotion, he is puffed up with pride and does not understand anything. He is obsessed with arguments and debates about words. These things give rise to envy, strife, slander, wicked suspicions.”- 1 Tim 6:3,4 Revised New World Translation

As you can see, the reference to apostates being “mentally diseased” has been removed and the verse translated more correctly to reflect the true intent of the writer. The footnote in the new Bible offers “an unhealthy fascination” as a further rendering, which is also notably different from how people today would consider the term “mentally diseased.”

Despite the obvious translation error in the original New World Translation, this did not stop Watchtower from recently using the term “mentally diseased” to berate those who disagree with organizational doctrine in the July 15, 2011 Watchtower. So loud was the uproar from the article that a journalist for the Independent wrote a piece on the “war of words” that the Society appeared to be waging against their dissenters. Seemingly unfazed by such exposure, the Governing Body had the phrase included recently in the outline for the “Human Apostates” talk at the 2013 District Convention.

The Independent newspaper reports on the July, 15 2011 Watchtower

The Independent’s article on the July, 15 2011 Watchtower (click to enlarge)

 

Though it is to be applauded that the erroneous and offensive “mentally diseased” expression has finally been extracted from the New World Translation, it can be argued that the damage has already been done. The term “mentally diseased” is now cemented in Witness jargon when it comes to describing any who disagree with the Governing Body.

It remains to be seen whether future writings on apostates will be softened following this change, but I am personally doubtful that there will be any significant toning-down of hateful rhetoric against former believers and free thinkers in the organization.

And can we expect a printed apology for the mischaracterization of so-called apostates based on a previous flawed bible translation? Again, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

And now the bad news…

Poor communication and limited availability

It would not be fair to repeat myself too much on the manner of the book’s release, but I feel a few things should be reiterated in this review. I have already commented on a previous article that there was absolutely no reason for the Governing Body to leave ordinary brothers in the dark as to why there was a shortage of Bibles. The fact that congregations were left guessing as their Bible stocks dwindled suggests strongly that the Governing Body was more interested in having their ticker-tape release than managing the expectations of the brothers.

There is frustration at the way some Witnesses were left out of the new Bible launch

There is frustration at the way some Witnesses were left out of the new Bible launch

I have also learned of a very uneven state of affairs in the way the new Bibles are being distributed in some congregations.

According to one report, Witnesses in England have been instructed to start using the new Bibles immediately, even though only a privileged few who attended the Annual Meeting event (mostly elders and their wives) have received their new Bibles. Until new Bibles are delivered for all, the rest of the congregation must make do with their old Bibles for some weeks.

This is causing frustration at the apparent elitist distinction as to who is more favored or “exemplary” in the congregation. Those not privileged to attend the Annual Meeting events and receive new Bibles are left feeling unworthy and overlooked. This problem could easily have been avoided by releasing the new Bibles simultaneously at the District Conventions once there were enough copies for all (as with any other release). But again, this would not have sufficiently satisfied the Governing Body’s apparent lust for acclaim and recognition.

“Governing body” inserted in chapter summary

Before seeing the new Bible for myself I was apprehensive over one matter in particular. I feared that Watchtower would attempt to spuriously insert the phrase “governing body” in the six instances in Acts chapters 15 and 16 where the phrase “apostles and older men” appears. These verses are often highlighted by Watchtower in an attempt to prove that there was a First Century “governing body” when there was no such thing.

You can imagine my relief when I saw that Watchtower had NOT stooped to such a low. The six instances of “the apostles and the older men” (5 in Acts 15, 1 in Acts 16) have been tweaked only slightly to read “the apostles and the elders.”

But my relief was short-lived.

Though the Bible verses themselves have been left un-touched, someone drew my attention to the fact that Watchtower has very cleverly inserted “governing body” in the chapter summary for Acts (pages 1459-1460) as follows…

new-bible-governing-body

As I said, there was no such thing as a “governing body” in the First Century. Yes, Jesus appointed his 12 apostles, but even Watchtower doesn’t like to compare the apostles directly with the Governing Body because they know how ridiculous this would sound. They therefore zero-in on a passage of scripture in Acts, chapters 15 and 16, and insist that “the apostles and the elders” served as a “governing body.”

There are two major problems with this, namely…

  1. You cannot take the circumcision issue of Acts 15 in isolation and use it to extrapolate the idea of the apostles AND elders meeting together from that point onward to decide each and every issue that arose in the Christian congregation thereafter. To do so would be to assume something that is not found in the text.
  2. Most crucially, by super-imposing the phrase “governing body” OVER the phrase “apostles and elders,” you are adding to the scriptures. You are effectively telling Jehovah, “You are incapable of explaining yourself because you didn’t describe the apostles and elders under a collective noun similar to ‘governing body’, so we will do that for you.”

By stamping the collective noun “governing body” over the term “apostles and elders,” whether in the bible text itself or in bible commentary, Watchtower is going against 1 Corinthians, which says…

“Now, brothers, these things I have applied to myself and Apollos for your good, that through us you may learn the rule: ‘Do not go beyond the things that are written,’ so that you may not be puffed up with pride, favoring one against the other.” - 1 Cor. 4:6 Revised New World Translation

Shackled to the 1914 teaching

I opened this article by asking whether this revised New World Translation will stand the test of time, and I will now give the main reason why I believe it won’t.

A foundation teaching of Jehovah’s Witnesses is the 1914 doctrine – the belief that Christ arrived in kingly power invisibly in 1914 and banished Satan to the earth for a “short period of time.” (Rev. 12:12) Well, that “short period of time” before Satan is abyssed and the Kingdom is established on the Earth is now 99 years and counting – certainly not a “short period of time” in any human context. And with each passing decade, it is becoming increasingly obvious that despite marking the beginning of World War I, 1914 held no significance in bible prophecy at all.

But with this new Bible, Watchtower is chaining itself to the 1914 teaching for decades to come – perhaps indefinitely. How so? Take a look at a detail from a page in Appendix B of the new Bible…

Taken from page 1767, revised New World Translation

Taken from page 1767, revised New World Translation

 

The above chart has clearly been produced by Watchtower with the firm belief that Armageddon is imminent. I can think of no other reason why Watchtower would marry itself to the idea of Armageddon and a cleansed Earth being only a “short time” from 1914. They must really be THAT deluded.

The trouble is, as previously stated, it is already obvious to many that 1914 was nothing more than a coincidence of history and a year with no prophetic meaning. As further decades tick by, the above chart will become more and more painful for Witnesses to open their Bibles and look at.

But that’s not the only time the 1914 teaching is referenced in this new Bible. I will now show a chart on page 1780 depicting Daniel’s immense image (to the right of the picture below). The new Bible shows the image with a caption at the bottom saying that the feet of iron mixed with molded clay began in 1914. Notice how similar Watchtower’s picture is to a detail from another chart (to the left), produced more than 170 years earlier.

Left - chart produced by Second Adventists predicting Christ's return in 1843; right - chart on page 1780 of the revised New World Translation

Left – detail from chart produced by Second Adventists predicting Christ’s return in 1843; right – chart on page 1780 of the revised New World Translation attributing 1914 as the start of the iron mixed with clay

 

The detail on the left is taken from a famous chart that was used by Second Adventist followers of William Miller to pronounce the year 1843 as heralding the second coming of Christ. When nothing happened in that year, Miller’s followers went back to the drawing board and decided that Christ was actually due on October 22, 1844.

That date went down in history as the “Great Disappointment,” because so many had sold their homes and property in expectation of a rapture that would never happen. It was likely this event that made Charles Taze Russell skeptical of Second Adventists, even though he eventually started to mimic the same fascination with date-setting after meeting Nelson H. Barbour.

It is easy to look back on the Adventist chart now, especially the part at the bottom (not shown above) where the date “1843″ is inscribed in big bold letters, and smirk at how naive and misguided Miller’s followers were.

1914 is already distant history

1914 is already distant history

So just imagine how future generations of Witnesses will cringe with the same embarrassment when they dust off and open their old 2013 revised New World Translations and are reminded of the certainty with which 1914 was put forth as holding prophetic significance – and in a book that was printed sufficiently far from that date as to make it obvious that the prediction had already failed.

Of course there are bound to be Witnesses reading this who will be thinking: “Ah, you’re saying that now, but just you wait and see! Armageddon will arrive any moment and fully vindicate the 1914 teaching, and then you’ll be sorry!”

Well obviously you are welcome to think that way if it brings you comfort. But the simple fact is the 1914 teaching was already proved false some time ago when the generation that witnessed the events of that year fell asleep in death. With their passing, no longer could it be said by any reasonable stretch of the imagination that 1914 was a “short period of time” in the past. Instead, 1914 is now sliding ever deeper into the annals of history.

What fascinates me is that rather than recognizing their mistake, or acknowledging that they COULD be in error by keeping their options open, Watchtower is tying itself to the 1914 teaching for as long as this new Bible will be in use. And you can imagine it will be in use for many more decades. This is arguably the biggest problem with the new Bible, and one that will become increasingly obvious as the decades roll by. The sell-by date is simply too short.

 

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104 Responses to The Revised New World Translation: Will it stand the test of time?

  1. John says:

    ■Article on the “adultery pericope” – John 7:53-8:11

    Link isnt working

  2. JBob says:

    Russell didn’t trust Second Adventists? Kidding me? He sold everything because Nathan Barbour convinced him that the real date would be 1874 AD. 1914 AD–hah! that’s the revised date when 1874 failed. Today, Second Day Adventists still cling to 1844 AD date with “props” to holdup the date prediction. “Investigative Judgement” being the prime support as Jesus coming to “prep the sanctuary”. Likewise, the JW’s keep milking “this generation” deriving various vague connotations as well as spinning the notion that 1914-1919 AD was Jesus prepping sanctuary. However, this year we noticed they dropped the idea that Jesus appointed a FDS in 1919 which means they will now adopt the same “prepping the sanctuary” strategy as their older sibling, the SDA’s.

    • Cedars says:

      Correct, Russell didn’t trust Second Adventists – at least not to begin with. When Barbour’s “Herald of the Morning” paper dropped through the letterbox in 1876, Russell’s reaction was (quote, from a 1906 Watchtower): “When I opened it I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its cover, and examined it with some curiosity to see what time they would next set for the burning of the world.”

      You can almost taste the cynicism and incredulity. It was only Barbour’s belief in an invisible return and willingness to merge his date-setting with Russell’s ideas of conditionalism that won Russell over.

  3. WT Critic says:

    Watchtower has frequently made modifications to its literature while past its initial print date. They would do the same thing if they sensed the teaching was causing enough to start using their brain.

    • Cedars says:

      Agreed, the only difference is Watchtower knows websites like this will jump on their backs quicker than they can say “the light gets brighter” if they dare change a word in their divinely provided new bibles!

  4. JBob says:

    Cedars, I have to trust that 1906 Wt was an exaggeration because the date 1876 was still a period of collaborative writing between Russell and (NELSON) Barbour. They soon parted ways based on the issue of Ransom Sacrifice and Atonement not “end-time” dates around 1878, and Russell began his own journal in 1879.

    • Cedars says:

      Correct, but I think the 1906 quote regarding that first encounter demonstrates that Russell’s feelings toward Adventism itself were not those of capitulation. He had reservations based on Adventism’s well-earned reputation for failed predictions. But I grant you that once Barbour and Russell combined to form a unique Pseudo-Adventism the ball started rolling.

  5. Fred says:

    Hi Cedars, not sure how relevant this is to English speakers, but on page 1743 of this new revised Bible the Portuguese name for Jehovah has been grossly mistranslated. It reads Iáhve whereas it should read Jeová; the latter is by far the most widespread usage and is the standard spelling amongst JWs. NO WT publication in Portuguese refers to God as Iáhve. Anyone using the ‘incorrect’ spelling inside a KH would immediately be advised not to do so; someone using it during a speech would probably be called upon. Iáhve is RARELY seen and when it is seen, is usually in association with a Christendom church.

    This has been a really severe error in revision.
    Portuguese speakers account for 800.000+ publishers!
    A major slip IMO.

    Apparently this revised Bible is already in need of a revision…

    Cheers.

    • Cedars says:

      Thanks so much for bringing that to our attention Fred. Not being a Portuguese speaker there is no chance I would have spotted it!

      It is remarkable that they let that one slip.

    • David says:

      Fred,

      It was not a major slip at all. Pages 1742-1743 include a list of foreign NT translations that include a form of the divine name. The Portuguese NT translation that includes the Divine Name, spells the name as Iahve, not Jeova. Jeova only appears in a some texts of the OT of the João Ferreira de Almeida version, the most widely distributed version in Portuguese next to the NWT; Jeova is also found over 200 placers in the OT of the popular O Livro, a modern Portuguese translation.

  6. Oubliette says:

    If Jesus didn’t want the account of the adulteress in the Bible, why did he wait nearly 2,000 years to have it removed, and then ONLY from the nNWT?

    Certainly, he could have told “the brothers” back in 1919, or at least in the ’50s when they were working on the old NWT.

    Maybe Jesus doesn’t have anything to do with this at all!

  7. Galmozzi says:

    The brackets around the word “other” in the first chapter of Collosians are now gone. Insertion of the word “other” completely changes the meaning of course.

  8. LMC says:

    So rather than the Watch Tower org being a “true” religion it is an offshoot of 2nd Day Adventist….a religion that I myself would want nothing to do with! At any rate since JWs cling to the 2nd Day Adventist teachings how can they claim to have gotten out of Babylon the Great the Mother of False Religion? Wouldn’t 2nd Day Adventist be part of BTG since they don’t come under the WT and the WT is suppose to be the TRUE religion? Wouldn’t that make the 2nd Day Adventist also a true religion? When it come tos JWs I have more question’s than answer’s!

  9. Jeannette says:

    Thank you, Cedars.

  10. Dodge says:

    Cedars,

    As one of the lesser worthy great crowd in the UK that has yet to get a new bible I can’t yet comment on this :) was soo nice at the meeting tonight…very much a sense of them and us. Seems to have been handled very badly over here.

  11. JBob says:

    In totalitarian regimes, the loyalists are kept loyal through rewards, and those who are deemed less than loyal receive lesser rewards down to punishments for those in revolt.

  12. JBob says:

    1 part Adventism, 1 part Christadelphian – the George Storrs influence, and maybe some George Rapp in there. Storrs as I wrote in a lengthy blog comment was among those from Albany Conference (‘What Really Happened in 1844?’) to found 3 branches of Adventism apart from EGWhite-influenced SDA. SDA’s also picked up some Christadelphian influences on soul-sleep, and nature of divinity.

  13. Becky E. says:

    Interesting, I was never taught about the 1914 thing. But my brother, who is 7 years older than me, was. I didn’t even know about it until I was an adult and already had my own kids. Then I found out we were raised completely different when came to the religion.

  14. JBob says:

    @BeckyE doesn’t surprise me if you were raised JW between 1980 through about mid-1990′s. Around that time HQ was preoccupied–distracted, even–with battles with the likes of Watters, Sanchez, and others, plus the decline of morality in the ranks where divorces and other issues such as substance abuse were rising. Most Watchtowers were devoid of heavy prophetic and dual-fulfillment texts you would have seen leading into 1975. During this period, there was not many of the Major and Minor prophet books or articles, and releases were very “light”–tracts, a revamp of the “blue book” and Revelation/Climax with a skimming of the heavy duty topics in previous “Bablylon the Great”. Daniel was revisited in the late 1990′s, because of obvious failure of the King of the North = USSR matters. Vague references to 1914 were veiled, or masked, by references to “this generation” and “the last days”.

  15. FutureMan says:

    I’ve been wondering why my posts will not materialize it may have been a cookies problem so I will try again.
    Anyway it is interesting days in view of the Watchtower Society’s new Bible and all that.
    Well not so new, but you know what I mean.

    Here is what the “Anointed witnesses site” had to say about this subject.
    [link to evangelical site removed, please see posting guidelines]

  16. FutureMan says:

    I’ll provide another link to this site as some might not have a PDF reader to view this file.
    [link to evangelical site removed, please see posting guidelines]

  17. Darrin Hart says:

    Cedars,

    You do outstanding work and research. Thank you for the overview on the new Bible. It seems Jehovah didn’t get it right the first time… I’m so glad he is open to improvement :)

    Heal from Jehovah’s Witnesses: [link to evangelical site removed, please see posting guidelines]

  18. Reader says:

    Another issue with the governing body story is its lack of reference by Paul. In Galatians, Paul rails against circumcision. Yet, despite all his arguments, he never once mentions the earlier meeting by the ‘governing body.’

    That is why many scholars (notably Bart Ehrman) believe that the story in Acts was not a real occurrence.

  19. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    They have removed “[strong] testicles” from Jeremiah 5:8

    The verse, referring to JWs, used to read:
    “Horses seized with sexual heat, having [strong] testicles, they have become. They neigh each one to the wife of his companion.”

    Now it reads:
    “They are like eager, lustful horses, Each neighing after another man’s wife.”

    “[strong] testicles” have gone!!! Why? Where had they come from? Removing them from the Bible does not mean removing them in the mind of “sisters”!!!

  20. William Benson says:

    Isn’t the revised Bible only in English at the moment?

    • Cedars says:

      Yes, but due to the number of new reference tools etc Watchtower will need to release versions in other languages eventually. They are just non-commital on how quickly this will be.

  21. FutureMan says:

    Excuse me Cedars, this link does fall within the guidelines as far as I’m concerned as this site has now a large influence on many of Jehovah’s witnesses and the two who operate this site are actually two active Jehovah’s Witnesses. So why are you forbidding this link?

  22. FutureMan says:

    Acts 5
    34 But one standing up in the sanhedrin, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law honored by all the people, commanded the apostles to be put outside a little while.
    35 And he said to them, Men, Israelites, take heed to yourselves what you intend to do on these men.
    36 For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming himself to be somebody, to whom was joined a number of men, about four hundred, who was done away, and all, as many as obeyed him, were dispersed and came to nothing.
    37 After this, Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the Registration. And he drew considerable people after him. Yet that one perished, and all were scattered, as many as obeyed him.
    38 And now I say to you, draw away from these men and permit them; because if this counsel is of men, or this work, it will be destroyed.
    39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to destroy it, and you be found even fighters against God.[LITV]

  23. FutureMan says:

    I have just read through your guideline for posting again.
    You have a link section at the top which I have now become aware of, but no link to the anointed witnesses site so perhaps this now presents you an opportunity to provide one now.
    Of course it is your site and you can do whatever you want with it, but in the interest of fairness and in the interest of truth should you not provide a link to this site as well?

    • Cedars says:

      Hello FutureMan

      As you point out, I reserve the right to decide what content gets posted on JWsurvey, and this includes links that are posted either in the comments section or on our links page.

      I have decided not to promote anointedjw.org due to reservations I have about that website. Firstly I believe it purports to be something it can never be, namely a mouthpiece for anointed christians. For example, look at one of the boasts made on the home page…

      “This call to the adventure of building up the spiritual brotherhood of Christ has spread to over 140 countries yielding significant and positive change in the lives of millions of individuals, both Jehovah’s Witnesses and non-Witnesses…”

      Just because two professed anointed Witnesses have a website that “millions of individuals” have access to does not make their views representative of anointed Witnesses as a whole any more than, say, the eight anointed witnesses on the Governing Body. Though I don’t think they necessarily set out to mislead people into thinking they speak for all anointed ones, that is certainly the impression that is given to visitors to their site. And in my view it is a false impression, demonstrably so. We have had 13 professed anointed take part in the 2013 global survey so far, and even they can’t agree on everything – so how can there be such thing as a consensus among anointed ones – and why are two unknown anointed Witnesses somehow qualified to determine and publish this consensus?

      I also consider anointedjw.org to fall within an unpleasant category of website I tend to think of as “Pseudo-Watchtower.” Robert King’s “ewatchman” website also falls into this category. Unfortunately there is a strange number of so-called apostates (I have met some personally) who think the Watch Tower Society still has some role to play in God’s purpose and think they have the answers as to why it has erred and what must be done to bring it back under God’s favor. Such an approach is neither productive nor healthy and I feel a certain responsibility to protect readers of JWsurvey from getting trapped in a sort of mental purgatory between leaving the Watchtower’s influence and not leaving it. Of course if people want to visit these sorts of websites they are welcome to, but I won’t promote them on this website or allow others to promote them. They are on their own.

      I was rather hoping to avoid any unpleasantness or hurt feelings, particularly on the part of the owners of anointedjw.org, but hopefully if nothing else I have been clear and transparent as to why your links were removed.

  24. Hakizimana Jean de Dieu says:

    FutureMan, and what did Gamaliel say about the work from Satan? Your thinking is 2000 years behind today’s standards!! Did you see that “Gamaliel”! Was he a prophet of God? why did not Jehovah use his prophets to say that? IF YOU THINK THIS THINKING APPLIES TO GOD’S ORGANIZATION, IT APPLIES TO HIS “SATAN’S (HIS SON) ORGANIZATION”, TOO.

    The words are not selective, apply them now to HIV/AIDS, Cancer diseases, poverty, ignorance, child molestation in JWs community, lies …. and tell me if the works are from God as we cannot destroy them?

    This Work comes from Charles Taze Russell. If you opened his grave you would not find it “EMPTY” but “. . .full of dead men’s bones and of every sort of uncleanness. . .”(Matthew 23:27)!!
    The resurrection of the “anointed 144,000″ that is NOW HAPPENING comes from WHO? Satan of God. Deny its happening now you will be called APOSTATE “Mentally Diseased”!!!

  25. BeenMislead says:

    Yes … the brackets that were around the inserted words have all been removed. But this is nothing new. In the 2006 printing of the NWT they were also removed.

  26. ATS says:

    You see, the really interesting thing about Acts 15:22 from the ‘outline of contents’ in the New New World Translation is it says;

    “Then the apostles and the elders, together with the whole congregation, decided to send the chosen men…”

    Why does the outline of contents even say that this was from the governing body when the verse clearly says that a decision was made by the “whole congregation”? Does that, by their terminology, make all those in the congregation a member of this governing body? The verse effectively cancels out the idea of a body of men who make all the decisions of the congregation.

  27. 70wksofyrs says:

    Dodge,
    So glad you are here. I am in the UK too. I am at the stage now where I actually found it funny at the pomp of all the elite ones. But it has got to hurt you right now.

    Take comfort, stay on this site. Cedars is great and he will help you through this. Try and read all his blogs, take your time and deprogram from this experience.

    We are all thinking of you at this time Dodge
    Take care 70wks of yrs

  28. 70wksofyrs says:

    Cedars,
    Fantastic article, well researched. You certainly have an insurmountable amount of energy, I cant keep up to date with all your articles you post so frequently. Well done, keep up the good work.

    The reply to Dodge didn’t work. It just went to the end of the page. May be I am doing it wrong.

    70wks…

  29. serious data u’ve got there. keep me up-to-date. thanks

  30. 70wksofyrs says:

    Anytime Cedars

  31. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    It is interesting to see the GB claiming claiming that they revised the translation because “the English language has changed” over the last 50 years. Clearly they want to avoid any suggestion that the original translators made unfortunate choices. It is just “outer circumstances” that have changed. Right.

    The most important revisions have little to do with any linguistic changes. The style of the original NWT was always deplorable, for instance the endlessly repeated “proceeded to”-phrases that were based on a highly dubious interpretation of Hebrew grammar to begin with.

    Other changes seem to have more to do with modern sensibilities. In Genesis 20:3, Abimelech used to be told regarding Sarah: “She is owned by another owner as his wife.” In 2013, this becomes the rather more politically correct “she is married and belongs to another man”.

    Exactly how much one should read into the Hebrew phrase _be’ulath ba’al_ (“female ownee of an owner”, OR just “wife of a husband”) can surely be debated, but please don’t tell us that the phrasing has been altered just because the English language has changed! Political correctness may have changed, though — or at least the Governing Body has decided to pay a little more attention to it! Back in the day, Watchtower literature described and demanded female submissiveness far more bluntly than nowadays.

  32. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Even from a brief survey, it is obvious that the 2013 revision represents an enormous improvement in style. The original translation (believed to be overwhelmingly the brainchild of Freddie Franz) was often completely tonedeaf as regards stylistic matters.

    Take for instance the Hebrew word _me’il_, which technically refers to some kind of robe or shirt, apparently without sleaves. Freddie pedantically translated this as “sleaveless coat”, but in a symbolic context, such a rendering just doesn’t work. Consider Isaiah 61:10: “With the _me’il_ of righteousness he has enwrapped me.” Bizarrely, the original NWT here wrote about the “sleaveless coat of righteousness”! Honestly, Freddie — what is that?!

    By 2013, sanity luckily prevailed, and the new translation reads “he has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness”. The “sleaveless coat” has happily migrated to a footnote.

    Yet the impovements are something of a hit-and-miss affair. The ludicrous (pseudo-)”scientific” rendering “dynamic energy” still occurs in Isaiah 40:26. “Because of his vast dynamic energy … not one of them [the stars] is missing.” The Hebrew word hardly means anything more than power or strength, but Watchtower literature has been known to make connections with Einstein’s formula E = mc2 in an overwrought attempt to demonstrate that Isaiah by divine inspiration realized the relationship between energy and matter! The orginal scripture only says that the deity has created the stars with his great might. Trying to smuggle a modern scientific concept of “energy” into the text is bizarre.

    Also uncorrected is the pretty obvious mistranslation of Luke 1:37, Gabriel telling Mary that “with God no _declaration_ will be an impossibility”. The exact wording has now changed to “no declaration will be impossible for God”, but the “declaration” remains. How could the translators miss the fact that _rhema_ is here used in the sense of “matter” or “thing”? Mary is being told that “no thing” or “no matter” is impossible for God (including miraculous pregnancies). In fact, the footnotes in the (now “old”) reference Bible as well as in the new translation indicate this “alternative” rendering. Why not put it in the actual text, where it so obviously belongs? The point really is not that God is able to make “declarations” about anything he wants; we can all do that! Actually delivering on the “declaration” is another thing altogether.

    • JBob says:

      @HKF well, someone knows their Hebrew, but have you considered Romans 1:13 (11-13) where Paul hints that he longs to go shopping for “fruitage”, or picking fruit, with the Roman congregation? Modern translators concisely deliver it as Paul’s desire to see the Romans with his focus on his mission to “harvest” more to the Lord.

  33. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    The new translation capital-G “Grave” instead of Sheol/Hades reflects Watchtower interpreation rather than philological fact. Since the Watchtower insists that there is no immediate afterlife, there can be no “realm of the dead”, and Sheol/Hades is reduced to a wholly symbolic “mass grave” for all who are dead. This understanding is retroactively imposed on the ancient Hebrews as well.

    Luke 16:23, from the story of the rich man and Lazarus, becomes really peculiar now: “And in the Grave, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment …” It should be obvious that Hades is here conceived as an actual place of torment, and even if the Watchtower insists that this story is “just symbolic”, the rendering “Grave” hardly works even on a narrative level.

  34. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Even from a brief survey, it is obvious that the 2013 revision represents an enormous improvement in style. The original translation (believed to be overwhelmingly the brainchild of Freddie Franz) was often completely tonedeaf as regards stylistic matters.

    Take for instance the Hebrew word _me’il_, which technically refers to some kind of robe or shirt, apparently without sleaves. Freddie pedantically translated this as “sleaveless coat”, but in a symbolic context, such a rendering just doesn’t work. Consider Isaiah 61:10: “With the _me’il_ of righteousness he has enwrapped me.” Bizarrely, the original NWT here wrote about the “sleaveless coat of righteousness”! Honestly, Freddie — what is that?!

    By 2013, sanity has luckily prevailed, and the new translation reads “he has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness”. The “sleaveless coat” has happily migrated to a footnote.

    Yet the impovements are something of a hit-and-miss affair. The ludicrous (pseudo-)”scientific” rendering “dynamic energy” still occurs in Isaiah 40:26. “Because of his vast dynamic energy … not one of them [the stars] is missing.” The Hebrew word hardly means anything more than power or strength, but Watchtower literature has been known to make connections with Einstein’s formula E = mc2 in an overwrought attempt to demonstrate that Isaiah by divine inspiration realized the relationship between energy and matter! The orginal scripture only says that the deity has created the stars with his great might. Trying to smuggle a modern scientific concept of “energy” into the text is bizarre.

  35. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Just like to say bravo, Cedars! As a confirmed agnostic but really an atheist, I applaud you removing links to sites that are simply a rehash of the JWs.

    I agree that people need to get out altogether. I have great respect for those who still believe, and I will not deliberately insult them. However, this site is not a place for proselytising, and that is why, in my opinion, your site goes from strength to strength.

  36. Mike says:

    “However, this year we noticed they dropped the idea that Jesus appointed a FDS in 1919″

    This is a common misconception I hear many saying. Jehovah’s Witnesses have NOT dropped the idea that Jesus appointed a FDS in 1919.

    What was dropped is the idea that he appointed the FDS over ALL his belongings in 1919. They now teach that appointment over all his belongings refers to them receiving their future heavenly reward, when as kings in heaven, they will be over all Christ’s belongs – both heavenly and earthly.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses now teach that Christ’s INITIAL appointment of the FDS to feed the domestics occurred in 1919.

  37. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Even from a brief survey, it is obvious that the 2013 revision represents an enormous improvement in style. The original translation was often completely tonedeaf as regards stylistic matters.

    Take for instance the Hebrew word _me’il_, which technically refers to some kind of robe or shirt, apparently without sleaves. In the original NWT, this was pendantically translated “sleaveless coat”, but in a symbolic context, such a rendering just doesn’t work. Consider Isaiah 61:10: “With the _me’il_ of righteousness he has enwrapped me.” Bizarrely, the original NWT here wrote about the “sleaveless coat of righteousness”! Honestly, folks — what is that?!

    By 2013, sanity luckily prevailed, and the new translation reads “he has wrapped me with the robe of righteousness”. The “sleaveless coat” has happily migrated to a footnote.

    Yet the impovements are something of a hit-and-miss affair. The ludicrous (pseudo-)”scientific” rendering “dynamic energy” still occurs in Isaiah 40:26. “Because of his vast dynamic energy … not one of them [the stars] is missing.” The Hebrew word hardly means anything more than power or strength, but Watchtower literature has been known to make connections with Einstein’s formula E = mc2 in an overwrought attempt to demonstrate that Isaiah by divine inspiration realized the relationship between energy and matter! The orginal scripture only says that the deity has created the stars with his great might. Trying to smuggle a modern scientific concept of “energy” into the text is bizarre.

    • JBob says:

      sleeveless coat relegated to ‘robe’. I would say this represents an overall lack of study of the Hebrew tradition and culture that shines throughout the OT/HS and is characteristic of JW’s in general. How does a “sleeveless coat” compare to a ‘robe’ (bathrobe? choir robe? judicial robe?) a symbol of intimacy, closeness?

      Even though we may have access to Strong’s or other dictionaries to define a term, it doesn’t guide one to understand how the author evoked meaning to that culture through the use of a term.

      And, nephesh/psykhe will still be problematic for JW’s, even as they sing “fear not those who kill the body, but Him that can kill the soul”. Soul is not the body? Soul is in the blood–that’s why we don’t eat it and pour it out? Life is in the blood, and life=soul? Has that been clarified?

  38. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Also uncorrected is the pretty obvious mistranslation of Luke 1:37, Gabriel telling Mary that “with God no _declaration_ will be an impossibility”. The exact wording has now changed to “no declaration will be impossible for God”, but the “declaration” remains. How could the translators miss the fact that _rhema_ is here used in the sense of “matter” or “thing”? Mary is being told that “no thing” or “no matter” is impossible for God (including miraculous pregnancies). In fact, the footnotes in the (now “old”) reference Bible as well as in the new translation indicate this “alternative” rendering. Why not put it in the actual text, where it so obviously belongs? The point really is not that God is able to make “declarations” about anything he wants; we can all do that! Actually delivering on the “declaration” is another thing altogether.

  39. Mike says:

    “However, this year we noticed they dropped the idea that Jesus appointed a FDS in 1919″

    This is not true. You have evidently misunderstood the recent change in doctrine regarding the appointment of the FDS.

    What was changed is the date of initial appointment of the FDS and the date of final appointment over ALL Christ’s belongings.

    It used to be taught that Christ initially appointed them to feed his sheep when the first century anointed congregation was formed, and that his final appointment over all his belongings took place in 1919.

    Now they teach that the initial appointment of the FDS started in 1919, and the final appointment over all his belongings comes only at the very end when they receive their heavenly reward as kings and priests.

    So instead of the 1919 appointment being the final appointment over ALL his belongings, it is now regarded as the initial formation/appointment of the FDS to feed the domestics.

    The utterly ridiculous implication of this adjustment is that Peter and the first century apostles who were appointed by christ to ‘feed his little sheep’ and who had a hand in preparing the most important spiritual food for christians – the New Testament – were not part of the Faithful and Discreet Slave. The thinking of the men in New York is ridiculously unreal!

    • Johnny B. Goode says:

      In 1919 WT leadership had no idea they were appointed to be the FDS. They were still teaching C. T. Russel was the FDS. In 1926 Rutherford decided Christ and his body (144,000) was the FDS. So 7 years after the appointment, WT leadership still did not know they were appointed. It took them until 2013 to figure it out.

      See “6 interpretations of the Faithful and Discreet Slave of the Watchtower” by TheScrewedGeneration on youtube.

      Also see “Jehovah’s Witnesses(The huge lie of the first nomination of the Faithful Slave in 1919-Part 1)” by Fuerzalavasoriana on youtube.

      Those two videos give a big picture of WT’s changes to the FDS doctrine from 1881 to 2013. When you step back and look at it, their teaching starts to look ridiculous.

      But the GB says we love it!

  40. JBob says:

    @Mike – yes, that’s much better.. appointed in 1919 when they still had Christmas trees, birthday parties and went off to War?

  41. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    The original New World Translation is believed to be overwhelmingly the brainchild of one man, Freddie Franz. Irrespective of his presumed ascension in the early 1990s, I suspect he is rotating in his grave now that very many of the most defining traits of his translation have been dropped (such as the stubborn insistence that nephesh/psykhe should ALWAYS be translated “soul”, no matter how gratingly unidiomatic the result sounds in English).

  42. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    In Genesis 27:4, Isaac used to be telling Esau: “Bring me some game and make me a tasty dish such as I am fond of and, ah, let me eat.”

    Don’t you clearly sense how Isaac’s mouth is already watering at the thought of the “tasty dish”, since he spontaneously exclaims “AH …!” before saying “let me eat”?

    Problem is, there is no such interjection in the Hebrew (we’okhela = and let me eat). I always wondered where Freddie Franz took the “ah!” from.

    Never mind, it is gone in 2013: “Make me the kind of tasty dish that I am fond of and bring it to me. Then I will eat.”

    Ah, the freshness of the revision!

  43. H.K. Fauskanger says:

    Isaac used to be telling Esau in Genesis 27:4: “Bring me some game and make me a tasty dish such as I am fond of and, ah, let me eat.”

    Don’t you clearly sense how Isaac’s mouth is already watering at the thought of the “tasty dish”, since he spontaneously exclaims “AH …!” before saying “let me eat”?

    Problem is, there is no such interjection in the Hebrew (we’okhela = and let me eat). I always wondered where Freddie Franz took the “ah!” from.

    Never mind, it is gone in 2013: “Make me the kind of tasty dish that I am fond of and bring it to me. Then I will eat.”

    Ah, the freshness of the revision!

  44. WT Critic says:

    Here’s an interesting article that may impact the entire relevancy of the Christian faith:

    http://news.yahoo.com/self-professed-bible-scholar-makes-explosive-allegation-jesus-133026476.html

  45. L Smith says:

    Not a WT fan… But maybe in XVIII centrury Portuguese “Jehovah” was written as “Iáhve”…

  46. dino m says:

    Svi mi koji komentarisemo na ovoj stranici imamo svoja uvjerenja , svoje stavove , svoje strahove , svoje sumnje , ali ipak ih mozemo izraziti . I to je potrebno covjeku jer je drustveno bice . A dali to dozvoljava drustvo kula strazara na svojoj stranici . Odgovor je ne . Jos jedan dokaz da nisu Bozija organizacija . Oni ne daju svojim clanovima da se izraze . Daju im kroz studijske clanke samo da izraze stavove drustva kula strazara kroz spremljene precizne i kratke komentare . Pa gdje je tu ljudski kreacionizam , i ljudska sloboda misljenja i izrazavanja ako vam je sve servirano . WTS mi lici na film Si Fi .

  47. dino m says:

    Jos jedna istina za balkansko govorno podrucje . Zar treba cekati novi studijski clanak Americke sekte dabi prosirili svoje duhovne oci . Samo pogledajte cinjenicu da su gotovo svi clanovi Vodeceg Tijele JW Amerikanci . I da se vecinom Amerikanci i Englezi izjasnjavaju da imaju nebesku nadu . Barbara Andersen isto tako koz istrazivanja dokazuje da je JW Americka Religija a ona je Glavni urednik knjige Jehovini Svjedoci-Organizacija iza Imena . Zasto je spominjem , zato sto je se prva usprotivila odnosu WTS prema pedofilima , da pedofilima jer su na zapadu pod aferom kao i katolicka crkva . Na zalost mnogi ne smijete ni da pomislite da se to desava medju JW. Zasto , jer ne smijete ni da pomislite takvo nesto . Nauceni ste tome da vam je to ugradjeno kao sto Biblija kaze u Bubrege. A stvarno se desava i desilo se .

  48. dino m says:

    Zivim u Bosnia . Radim u Sarajevu . Iz Sarajeva se zakuho Prvi svjetski rat svi vec znamo kako . Zajednica nas je desetljecima ucila da generacija1914 nece umrijeti a da ce kraj doci . I gdje je taj kraj . Dali je Isus govorio o generacijama ili generaciji molim vas istrazite sami . Zar je otpadnik osoba koja zeli razmisljati . Pavle je rekao za ljude iz svijeta da im savjest svjedoci o ispravnom i neispravnom molim vas pocnite tako razmisljati .

    • JBob says:

      @dino, yes you really do need to think on these things and let conscience and morality compass guide you. I know there are some JW’s who believe they can remain progressively thinking as “standard Christians” with focus on the Grace and Love of Jesus, but generally these thinkers are overridden by the mandate to “obey” the “anointed ones” and the “older men (elders)” and those men’s many twists and turns through Oz.

  49. FutureMan says:

    Cedars I do know where you are coming from and I do understand your concern and position on this.

    However in the interest of truth you cannot just shrug away information just because you do not like the way they present certain things.

    As far as I know they do not claim to represent all the anointed ones, at least those who claim to be of the 144,000, as the Watchtower Society understands it, because they believe that we all can be “Gods sons” and that we all can be part of “God’s Kingdom”.
    It is really our choice.

    They are different to mainstream Christianity, including the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    If you took the time to read their material you would see why.

    There is new information that will soon be visiting this world and I do not believe that any earthly agents will be able to stop it from coming forth.

    Also I do believe that at this moment the prophecy in Zechariah about the “Flying Scroll” is in full swing today and your site is part of it.

    Zechariah 5
    1 ¶ And I again lifted up my eyes and looked, and, behold, a flying scroll!
    2 And he said to me, What do you see? And I answered, I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its width ten cubits.
    3 And he said to me, This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole earth. For from now on everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it; and everyone who swears from now on shall be cut off according to it.
    4 And I will bring it forth, says Jehovah of Hosts. And it shall go into the house of the thief, and into the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. And it shall remain within his house and shall finish it, and its timber, and its stones.[LITV]

    Now going back to the anointed witness site, I necessarily do not agree with all they say and indeed I have even sent an email to say that I disagreed with one statement they had made.

    I am also cautious of the teachings of men, but who do you think God is going to use to teach us about the “Kingdom of God”, the real Kingdom that is?
    Not the counterfeit Kingdom of the Watchtower Society.

    Is he going to send Angels down to teach us the real truth?
    Is Jesus going to come back down to teach us?
    I think not.
    As was in the past, God used certain men who were classified as the prophets of God to enlighten and warn those who would call themselves his people.
    Today will be no different I believe.

    God will use certain individuals who are willing to do his will, just as Jesus committed himself all those years ago to the doing of his Father’s will.

    Anyway in the interest of peace and harmony I will bend to your wish and guideline and not present anymore “evangelical links” on this site.

    It is after all as you say your site to do what you will with whatever comment is made, even if it may be contributing to the truth.

    • Cedars says:

      “However in the interest of truth you cannot just shrug away information just because you do not like the way they present certain things.”

      On the contrary, that’s precisely what I can do. If I don’t like the way information is presented of course I will “shrug” it away – and I do so IN the interest of truth, not against it. Especially where the benefit of my readers is concerned, many of whom are clawing their way out of a cult not knowing which way to turn.

      The two individuals who run anointedjw.org may not explicitly claim to represent the anointed globally, but I would argue that they make this suggestion through the website’s name itself. They know full well that if they were to call their website “twoanointedchristians.org” very few people would visit or take interest in their opinions. But call it “anointedjw.org” and instantly they attract a readership from a guaranteed pool of credulity made up of gullible Witnesses who are only too eager to hear what “the anointed” have to say.

      anointedjw.org are exploiting and trading on the fascination and reverence that most Witnesses have for the anointed, and using it as a soapbox from which to expound the views of two individuals as though these represent the consensus of many. When I last checked their “about us” page there was no mention of the fact that there are only two people running the site. Instead the implication is made that a much larger group of anointed is running it, which simply isn’t true.

      Then there are the grandious and sensationalist claims on their home page… “This call to the adventure of building up the spiritual brotherhood of Christ has spread to over 140 countries yielding significant and positive change in the lives of millions of individuals…” If I want to read that sort of gratuitous self-praise I will open a Watchtower.

      If anointedjw.org want to pull the wool over people’s eyes and milk the gullibility of Jehovah’s Witnesses by exploiting the reverence they have for the “anointed” this is their choice – but I consider it a sham, and I will have no part of it. I make no apologies.

      I hope that’s made things clear.

  50. FutureMan says:

    Hakizimana Jean de Dieu, Yes I follow you on this.
    And he was not a prophet of God that is for certain but a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin who was very cautious as we all should be.
    However the reason I used this character in my comment was to show that one part of his statement,
    “And now I say to you, draw away from these men and permit them; because if this counsel is of men, or this work, it will be destroyed.
    39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to destroy it, and you be found even fighters against God.”
    This statement is still very valid for us all today.

  51. JBob says:

    Well, I’m just quietly waiting for someone to stitch this together, but who really is the F&DS–tsk, tsk.. The GB. And, was there a GB in 1919? It was crystallized formally in 1970′s. So, as someone else noted, the concept of a “governing body” hadn’t been yanked out of the nether regions until 50+ years after 1919. And, we know it was forged as a governing tool and a scripture or verse here and there used to justify it to the masses. The problem then became who was the top, and/or bottom in the relationship between GB and FDS. Initially, the GB seemed to be a subset of FDS, but this year the change clearly equates FDS to GB.

    And, therefore, if there wasn’t a GB in 1919, there could not have been an FDS, logically. But, if your Watchtower says the sky is red, let’s go with that.

  52. FutureMan says:

    JBob,
    Well so am I, perhaps not so quietly as you but I am patiently waiting for the Spirit to manifest the truth at least in part anyway and as I had mentioned and provided a link to a site that has been removed from my comments, I am hopeful that this could be a beginning for real truth to come forth and to manifest itself into a true brotherhood that is united by the truth of God’s Kingdom as Jesus taught and not by the enforced unity that is the hallmark of the Watchtower Society and it’s organization.

    But men being imperfect, could hinder the progress of the coming of God’s Kingdom, but not for long I do believe.

    I believe that the stone (earthly part of God’s Kingdom beginning with Jesus) that was cut out of “God’s universal Kingdom” is well on it’s way to smash the feet of that Image.
    Of course it is all very symbolic, a concept. A David versus Goliath situation where a small stone (truth of Kingdom message) could bring down a giant “image” (representing the control of this system of things through it’s religions, its governments, it’s commercial corporations and it’s other secular religions) all that king Nebuchadnezzar’s, image represented, the earthly one that he had built on the earth for all his administration to bow down to.

  53. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Future man, thanks for taking Cedar’s decision with good grace.

    I don’t see any evidence for a God or Gods at all. Nothing at all. Everything can be explained through natural processes, and until I see a flying scroll, or a massive angel in the sky, or some other unmistakable sign that there is a God, I will take all of the religious stuff with a ton of salt!

    I am more than happy to be proved wrong. I don’t go so far as to say there can’t be a God or Gods, but it’s pretty unlikely. If they do exist, then they came about through the process of evolution and are not separate from the universe.

    Here’s something to ponder. The worldwide flood. The bible says it covered the whole earth, but it never happened. There is no evidence for a world wide flood.

    If one pivotal event in the bible can be shown to be a myth, then how much more of it is?

    I applaud your sincere faith and I hope to read more interesting comments from you in the future.

    • Johnny B. Goode says:

      When I was a child I didn’t believe Noah’s flood either. I thought water could not cover mount Everest. But later in life I read Psalms 104:6-8. Earth’s mountains were not as tall, and the seabeds were not as deep, prior to Noah’s flood.

      Look at a globe. 70% is still covered with water; the floodwaters are right in front of our eyes. God pushed the seabeds deeper and the mountains higher, producing dry land. I don’t reject miracles because I haven’t seen any during my lifetime. I accept the written eyewitness testimony from the Bible.

      To me the idea that matter in the universe exists without cause is absurd. If there is no God, there should be no universe. Explain why there is “something” rather than “nothing.” Why does anything at all exist?

      Did God somehow bootstrap his existence out of nothingness? I don’t know. But I believe He created the material universe by converting his energy to matter, in the manner of E=mc2, as Einstein discovered. Any entity with that much energy gets my repsect and awe.

      Einstein also understood that time is a property of the universe. If God created the universe, he also created time as we perceive it. We can’t step outside the universe and unbind ourselves from time. But as the creator, God does not have that limitation. He can do what he wants with energy, matter, and time.

  54. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Johnny B Goode, I would direct you to the excellent articles in Jw facts, which can be accessed via the links on this site, for a breakdown of why I state the things I do. There is a section devoted to the flood.

    Mountains move by millimetres and very slowly. I can assure you that Everest was much the same height it is now at the time of the flood.

    I won’t go into an exhaustive reply. Check out the link and you will be enlightened by good old fashioned common sense and dear old peer reviewed scientific fact. These are two companions that accompany my life post religion.

    Science isn’t perfect. We don’t know everything. But we know enough to convince me that a lot of what I read in the bible is myth, not fact. To present myths as facts is a slippery slope to confusion and superstition.

    It’s fine of you don’t come to the same conclusions as I do. That’s your right, hard won by a civil society, and I’ll defend your right to hold it.

    Have yourself a pleasant day.

    • Johnny B. Goode says:

      “I can assure you that Everest was much the same height it is now at the time of the flood”

      No you can’t. There’s a difference between science and pseudo science B.S.

  55. Excelsior, formerly known as George says:

    Johnny B Goode, ah here we go. BS? Really? You can’t prove that and I will not respond to any more of your comments.

    You do not know anything about geology. You do not understand plate tectonics and you have revealed that you are not really interested in a debate.

    As I have said before, you have the right to believe what you will.

    I am sure that if you contacted a geology department at any university, they would confirm my statement.

    I’ve had it with you now. You have shown that you don’t really want to debate, so I shall just wish you well.

  56. dudley cook says:

    John…
    Did you leave some pictures out following your reference to pg 1780 in RNWT, comparing 2nd Adventist views with early Wt claims??

    I admire the quality of your reporting and the refined way your site operates–mostly (I can only scroll up and down using the scroll wheel in mouse, in this article anyway).

    May your good reporting continue! — dudley

  57. John Baptist says:

    Great article and nice way of pointing out the short comings of their translations that seem ever so prevalent. When someone asks me what is the one true Religion i always respond ” The true religion is your own personal relationship with God” So how do we have that relationship? I’ts based on our reading of his word the Bible. So in the end we do well to choose one that is most accurate without being tampered with by a organization of men. And as you have considered that point in this article then it would definitely be on my list of a bible not to read.

  58. Fred says:

    I’m not sure on that, but I can tell you that at least since 1950 the term has been Jeová.

    Also, what justification would there be for using an outdated rendering of the name? Is this Bible based on XVIII beliefs and practices? Does that mean Portuguese speaking JWs will have to change their 100 yr old already established (and WT promoted) pronunciation because of this revision/error?

    Cheers! Tchau =)

  59. Fred says:

    That was in response to:
    L Smith’s comment October 11, 2013 at 1:16 pm

  60. JBob says:

    Finally decided to download a copy of the PDF file version, and I must say I’m not impressed. While this translation mimics the style of the preceding NKJV and NIV study bibles by adding and inserting various “Christian” “topics of interest” in the front pages. Fluff, which the text purist will want to pull out and set aside. Additionally, the topic outline turns the baby formula and foundational books for learning to walk as a Christian into a one-sentence summary dehydrated delivery: “LETTERS (21 BOOKS):
    Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians,
    Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians
    Letters to various Christian congregations”.

    Romans is the foundation and fundamentals of understanding what it means to be Christian. Ephesians explains how and what it means to become “adopted” and claimed as a newborn “child of God”. Corinthians – which JW’s use ad nauseum in laying down morality codes – is also clumped together as “just some letters”.

    As many have noted, more weight is given to Acts of Apostles and the missionary activities especially because this contains the albatross of a verse used to explain the centralized ‘governing body’ administrative concept, although this verse only says, “the apostles and elders” convened in Judea, and in context the Council is actually used to counter a group of men coming from Judea and imposing a doctrine onto Gentile converts. Many such councils were convened in subsequent years to settle disputes of canon, doctrine and so forth. However, it is not clear that this was a “standing” body having constant administrative control, especially since missions were dispatched from Antioch and Damascus.

  61. Fred says:

    Hi folks!

    The 2013 bible has been made available for online reading (not just the PDF). The website has been updated.
    AFAIK the errors found have not been corrected.

    Cheers.

  62. disconcerted says:

    Unbelievable that they still cling to their crazy calculations.
    In the map on page 1768 of this new ‘gem’ we are given a timeline that tells us the exact year of Adam’s creation – 4026 B.C.E. How embarrasing to have swallowed all this nonsense….. but you know, I was only 12 when I got baptized. These guys are shameless!

  63. JBob says:

    Grave or Sheol to the ancient Hebrews was a realm of the dead. It was a waiting place–no activity, etc, but a place of awaiting resurrection with the coming of Messiah. But, stickier yet, I urge you to examine the various contexts of the term nephesh (“soul”).

  64. Rachel says:

    What I am finding interesting is the picture from Appendix B. “About 1914″ Satan was cast from heaven. Is there really no mention of Christ’s “invisible enthronement as King” in that year? If that’s the case, that’s truly astounding! Maybe 1914 will become the year when the “last days” began only. In the future could they say, Jesus didn’t begin ruling invisibly in that year, but “something” did happen? I don’t know…just a thought.

  65. JBob says:

    I can’t post a link here, but there’s an interesting article on an another Adventist influence on Charles Russell’s mentor, George Storrs–Charles Fitch. This supplies the “why” for the obsession with “Babylon the Great” and so long for the Bible Students to become coalesced as an organized group.

  66. Pre-GBJW says:

    Just to add a couple of changes I noticed in the revised NWT.
    Firstly, wherever the number twelve is used to refer to the apostles as a group the words “the Twelve” are used. Acts 6:2 (which was used to justify the Governing Body’s position in the July WT) is one notable example.
    Secondly, the “entire multitude” that became silent in Acts 15:12 is now described as the “entire group”, presumably to prevent us from being misled into thinking that there were many people present at this meeting of the so-called first century governing body.

    The “Proclaimers” book chap. 31 p. 706 (How Chosen and Led by God) says:
    “The one true Christian congregation would have to be an organization that holds to the Bible as its foremost authority, not one that quotes scattered verses but rejects the rest when these do not conform to its contemporary theology.”

    So what would we conclude about an organization that not only rejects the evidence of the rest of the Bible in favour of a few verses in Acts 15 but also changes the translation of those words to conform to its contemporary theology? The same Greek word appears in 30 places and in the previous NWT was translated consistently as “multitude”. The revision uses “multitude” “crowd” and in two places, (Acts 15:12, 30) “group”. A translation should tell me what the words say, not what the translator decides they mean.

    • JBob says:

      the infallible, unflappable Molly Silver Sword

      Something that occurred to me over weekend is how the Watchtower decides to handle its gaff with translating Dog’s Word. For years, it has been their opinion that Yahuweh was able to preserve and protect, if not serve and protect, over the sacred scriptures, thus errors if any, were eliminated by the multiple witnesses retained over the centuries.

      If the Watchtower is not completely destroying its corrupted editions, how are we now to believe that previous flawed editions were not saved and handed down over the thousands of years as collectors items? How do we know that the preserved editions are not flawed copies? that manuscripts peppered with the incorrect Latin translate of Yahweh and Yeshua are not the flawed versions?

      Perhaps there will be a bonfire of the vanities as this flawed edition is eradicated, so that a thousand years in the future we will be sure that the Word of Dog is a pristine edition.

  67. B_Low says:

    they HAVE made changes. but why is it that we don’t hear about other denominations making changes? I guess all 40,000 of the denominations of Christianity were %100 sure they had got it right the 1st time, & therefore didn’t have to make any changes. sounds fishy. even scientist revised info & they are the some of the smartest people on the planet. I guess since school textbooks have been revised so much, we should just discredit everything in them AND future textbooks & take all our kids out of the schools…js

  68. JBob says:

    @BL-quite a few more than 40,000 denominations of Christianity. More like 90,000+ including autonomous churches–non-denom’s. And, on the charge that any changes are overlooked, what changes do you feel have been overlooked?

    As to the scientific method, science doesn’t claim to have divine inspiration or a direct channel/link to Adonai. And, science depends on discovering facts and physical evidence then constructing a logical proposal based on evidence. Thus, science also doesn’t claim to have a divine revelation from an unchanging deity as spiritual denominations. Thus, if a divine revelation from a deity which allegedly can not contradict self and is consistent, immutable, in righteousness and judgement, we expect consistency and static doctrinal viewpoints while communal laws of organization and structure by men can change.

  69. JBob says:

    Pseudo-Adventism? Although Bible Students and JW’s typically like to distance themselves from their 2nd Day roots, especially with little quirks they identify as differing, the basic doctrines are the same on hellfire, soul, trinity, redeeming death of Christ, and views of other denominations. However, how do you explain Russell’s eventual capitulation of projecting the end of the world himself in 1914 AD? This was based on re-examining the failed expectations of 1874, 1844 and the beginning of the last days (1799) given by Adventists, so he may have rolled his eyes as an atheist, but when he got religion, he fell right into step with the end-time projections and forecasters. The evidence is that he sold his for-profit business and leaped into the ministry for Adventist Herald of the Morning?

    “When I opened it I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its cover, and examined it with some curiosity to see what time they would next set for the burning of the world.”

    To me this sentence doesn’t wreak of cynicism and credulity, but rather someone who was an avid believer and interested in the “correction” of expectations, especially when you put it into context with Russell’s own projection of 1914 based on the Pyramid numerology [long since abandoned by JW's, but still--/_\ and the headstone?] and heavy use of the Ages of the Church charts found populating various Adventist roots, shoots and cahoots.

  70. Johno says:

    I listened as David Splane of the GB stated how inadequate the KJ is,yet it seemed to slip past him as he stated that the change made at Joh17:3 in the new “silver sword” now reads the same as the KJ that was done 400 yrs ago,I guess they need better translators lol

  71. kuffer philosopher says:

    At the moment a window shopper. Some great commentaries being posted. My interest is in the NWT of ’84 versus ’13 version while benchmarking the KJV.

  72. Ben1957 says:

    I want to make a comment on the video review of John 17:3

    John 17:3 in most Bibles says
    that they know thee Douay; Geneva; English Majority text; KJV; RSV;
    that they know you NJKV
    they should know thee ASV 1901
    to have knowledge of you, Bible in Basic English
    life means knowing you, Good news Bible

    None of these renderings fully describe what the writer was saying. The Old NWT is by far a more LITERAL and correct rendering of that “Taking in knowledge”. The Revised NWT rendering of “coming to know you” is not as literal but is more personal.

    The Greek verb (ginoskosin) used in this expression is built on the base word “ginosko “ which according to Strongs Greek Lexicon means “a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absol.), in a great variety of applications and with many impl. (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed):—allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know (-ledge), perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand” So the basic meaning is simply to know or perceive, and that is how most Bibles seem to render it as per the above examples. However that is not what this verb is to conveying to the audience. It is conveying an action in progress . The Greek verb used here (ginoskosin) is in the present tense, active voice; and subjective mood.

    The present tense basically is a statement of fact of something happening in the actual time and, being the active mood, means it is happening now (and may continue). The other Bibles DO NOT convey that information. Those renderings show a very passive idea of knowing God.

    Thayers Greek lexicon of the word says it “ is employed in the N. T. of the KNOWLEDGE of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them” – (Capitals mine) So when Jesus was praying and use the word “ginoskosin” he is saying that life depends on his disciples having an active roll in gaining knowledge of God and of himself. The rendering “taking in knowledge” was acceptable rendering in 1950 although it sounds may sound wooden today. The ACTION of knowing God is shown by the word “taking in” in the old NWT and by the word “coming to”. That ACTION is what is missing in other translations

  73. Ben1957 says:

    I want to make a comment on 1 Timothy 6:4 Most people do not like the 1984 NWT rendering “but being mentally diseased over questionings and debates about words   but the truth is that was a literral rendering of what the Bible writer wrote. The Revised NWT wateres the expression down to with these words “ He is obsessed with arguments and debates about words

    Strongs Greek Lexicon says the word means “be sick, i.e. by implication of a diseased appetite..”

    Note Thayer’s meaning of that Greek word used here “
    to be sick; metaphorically, of any ailment of the mind .. to be taken with such an interest in a thing as amounts to a disease, to have a morbid fondness for, 1 Tim. 6:4 “

  74. Ben1957 says:

    I want to make a comment on the video review of John 17:3

    John 17:3 in most Bibles says
    that they know thee Douay; Geneva; English Majority text; KJV; RSV;
    that they know you NJKV
    they should know thee ASV 1901
    to have knowledge of you, Bible in Basic English
    life means knowing you, Good news Bible

    The Bible in Basic English at least gets the word knowledge correct

    None of these renderings fully describe what the writer was saying. The Old NWT is by far a more LITERAL and correct rendering of that “Taking in knowledge”. The Revised NWT rendering of “coming to know you” is not as literal, but is more personal.

    The Greek verb (ginoskosin) used in this expression is built on the base word “ginosko “ which according to Strongs means “a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absol.), in a great variety of applications and with many impl. (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed):—allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know (-ledge), perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand” So the basic meaning is simply to know or perceive, and that is how most Bibles seem to render it as per the above examples. However that is not what this verb is to conveying to the audience. It is conveying an action in progress . The Greek verb use here (ginoskosin) is in the present tense, active voice; and subjective mood.

    The present tense basically is a statement of fact of something happening in the actual time and, being the active mood, means it is happening now. The other Bibles DO NOT convey that information. Those renderings show a very passive idea of knowing God.

    Thayers Greek lexicon of the word says it “ is employed in the N. T. of the KNOWLEDGE of God and Christ, and of the things relating to them or proceeding from them” – (Capitals mine) It is not just saying know but, to have knowledge. So, when Jesus was praying and use the word “ginoskosin” he is saying that life depends on his disciples having an active roll in gaining knowledge of God and of himself. The rendering “taking in knowledge” was acceptable rendering in 1950 although it may sound wooden today. The ACTION of knowing God, is shown by the words “taking in” in the old NWT and by the words “coming to”. That ACTION is what is missing in other translations. They give the impression all one has to do is know.

    By the way as a JW I agree with you that the account in Acts 15 is not showing a a Governing Body. I agree on the need for any organisation to have some form of Governing Body to run day to day activities, but there is no Biblical precedent for a “religious” Governing body. I believe those men have given themselves to much power and they will be answerable to God for the problems they cause.

    However the basic doctrines of JWs and the need for a world wide preaching work that we do can not be faulted.

  75. Gary Kurtz says:

    “….even though only a privileged few who attended the Annual Meeting event (mostly elders and their wives) have received their new Bibles. ”

    You do realize that this is entirely inaccurate right? All baptized witnesses and their minor children (which is the overwhelming majority of JWs) were invited to attend.

    More twisting of facts to try to prove something that isn’t true.

    • Cedars says:

      Not in the UK. In the UK the Annual Meeting was for a select few, as stated. Please read the text in question properly before you make accusations of lying.

  76. ourbothy says:

    Hello,

    July, everyone should have a copy!
    Look at this screenshot of periodic w14 15/05 p.5
    https://imageshack.com/i/nq6192p
    LOL

  77. jannapr says:

    I was stunned to see in the new revised bible that in some scriptures they are not for sure the truth when defining in the reference(*,#) For example in Daniel 1:5 the bible verse says ” They were to be TRAINED*” Then you go down to the reference when you see the star* and it says “Or POSSIBLY, “nourished” So as you see they put what it maybe might mean as well, but they are not sure because they say POSSIBLY. This really shuts down the fact that God made clear do not add or take away from what he says yet they’re now okay with “”maybes”" in Gods holy word the bible. The governing body always belittles others for their lack of accuracy yet they now have maybes in Gods word the bible!!

  78. Judah Maccabee says:

    I appreciate the more readable format of this revision. However, I have observed that the appearance of literal-ness of the older revision is just that, an appearance.

    The NWT has some things that badly need revision, or else it should be regarded as being void of Scriptural authority. Anyone who wants to read the NWT should have another translation handy for comparison, or better yet, a Greek text or interlinear.

    I’m not talking about just whether it says “ass” or “donkey”.

    If you don’t believe me, fine. I’m just a man, as are the members of the governing body. But do believe scripture. Believe the original text.

    –Things which badly need revision (specifically in the Christian Greek scriptures):

    –”Jehovah” does not appear in the original text of the Christian Greek Scriptures, i.e, the New Testament. (Maybe, possibly, there might be a textual basis for “Jehovah” appearing in some of the Gospels. Maybe.)

    At Acts 1:24, the apostles did not say Jehovah. The original text says they prayed, “You, Lord, heart-knower of all…”

    At Acts 7:59-60, Stephen (my namesake) did not say Jehovah. He said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And, “Lord (Kurie), do not make this sin stand to them.”

    Colossians 3:13 tells us not that “Jehovah freely forgave”, but that “Christ (Christos) freely forgave”.

    At 2 Thessalonians 2:2, Paul tells us, not about the day of Jehovah, but about “the day of Christ (Christou)”.

    In all, there are over 200 times, in the Christian Greek Scriptures, where the NWT says “Jehovah”, without direct texual basis. That is, the original Greek text does not say it. You don’t have to be much of a scholar to catch this.

    Why does this matter? It matters hugely because this will give the reader an incorrect view of what the Bible actually says about the person and character of Jehovah, of God, and/or of Jesus.

    –”In connection with” Christ or “in union with” Christ should be revised to say “in Christ”. This occurs probably hundreds of times, and the original text says “en (ane)”, which means “in”.

    Why does this matter? Because the Bible, in its original text, tells the individual believer that he or she is “in” Jesus Christ. “In Christ”. Not “in connection” with Christ, as through one’s connection with an organization.

    Colossians 1:14 tells us, referring to Christ, “in whom we have our release”. “In (en) whom”, not “by means of whom”, as the NWT improperly renders it.

    Colossians 1:27 teaches us that the “sacred secret” (or “mysterion” – mystery) is “Christ in you”! (“Christos en umeon”). Not “Christ in union with you”.

    It is really not possible to find “accurate knowledge” if you use an inaccurate translation, excluding all others.

    –It appears to me that many passages have been altered to support a particular doctrine. They should be rendered according to the original Greek text, even if it is uncomfortable. Remember, we should be being changed by the Bible. Not the other way around.

    In Colossians 1:16-20, the NWT inserts “other” five times, improperly rendering the passage such that
    “all OTHER things were created”,
    “all OTHER things have been created through him and for him”,
    “he is before all OTHER things”,
    “all OTHER things were made to exist”,
    and “to reconcile all OTHER things”.

    There is no textual basis for this. It is simply an accommodation for a certain doctrine. This will lead the reader to believe something that the original Greek text does not say.

    There are other things beyond these. Saving ‘em for another time. :-)

  79. Judah Maccabee says:

    Also, Cedars, thanks for your effort.

    Judah

  80. Pav says:

    Comments presented in this article are made by person biased totally to nwt.
    May I know what translation is the best according to the author ???? Is there such???

  81. cheryl says:

    I am not an elder’s wife nor were those of my friends that I drove with to the annual meeting and we all got the new Bible. Our whole congregation was invited to the annual meeting and for those who did attend……they all got a new Bible. WE all were told to start using them immediately……and those who didn’t attend the meeting still had to use the old Bibles. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to reason on that. It was within that very month that the shipment of new Bibles was delivered to our Kingdom Hall and then EVERYONE had a new Bible. What’s so horribly wrong with having to wait a couple weeks for your Bible?????

    • Cedars says:

      I notice you’re posting from America, so it looks like you need to scroll back up and re-read my comments on Bible distribution. They were based on experiences in the UK, not the States. Hopefully you can appreciate that just because Bibles were quick to arrive in your American congregation, does not necessarily mean the same was true the world over.

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