There are no flaws in the Bible’s original text. The other translations are those with problems.
I wrote a post about the King James Version due to claims this is the best English translation.
Now, let us tackle the version used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have no comment about the determination and hard work done by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Here is what I told to the three preachers of Jehovah’s Witnesses who came to our home 4 months ago. I told them it is a great waste if you use Bible versions with many errors and does not conform to the original text. It is not right to use wrong translations if we base our teachings on the Bible.
“Active Force” instead of “Spirit of God” or “Wind from God” in Genesis 1:2
One of oldest known copies of Genesis is the fragment of the Scroll shown here. It describes the first three days of the world’s creation.
Here is the oldest manuscript of Genesis 1:1-2 where we see the word, Veruach Elohim.
Let us look at Genesis 1:1-2 of the New World Translation:
“In [the] beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth proved to be formless and waste and there was darkness upon the surface of [the] watery deep; and God’s active force was moving to and fro over the surface of the waters.”(Genesis 1:1-2, New World Translation)
Ruach means “breath, wind, spirit,” etc. Elohim can be “god” or, in construct pair “divine, mighty.”
Ve = Conjuction “and”
Ruach = “Spirit”, “Wind” or “Breathe”
Elohim = “God”
The original Hebrew shows “wind from GOD” and that is the meaning of the Veruach Elohim in Genesis 1:2 and not “God’s Active Force”.
The Wrong Translation of Proverbs 8:22
The Old Testament passage that appeals most to Jehovah’s Witnesses is Proverbs 8:22. This is the translation or something similar to it: “Jehovah made me [Wisdom is interpreted as the Son] in the beginning, before his works of old.” This depiction understands the verb “Kana” used here with the meaning “to create.” The true translation of this passage according to a scholarly learning by the distinguished Semitic Scholar , must be, “The Lord begets me as the start of his way …”
The birth of Wisdom is described in verses 24 and 25. Hence, the verb “Kana” in verse 22 means “got” or “begot.”
“And the word was a god” instead of “And the Word was God”.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.“(John 1:1, New World Translation)
The Greek definite article that is definite predicate nominative article follows the verb. it does not have the article when it comes before the verb.
The opening verse of John’s Gospel contains one of various passages where this rule implies the translation of predicate as definite noun. The absence of the article [before theos] does not make the predicate indefinite when it comes before the verb. It is indefinite only when the circumstance demands it. It does not make this demand in the Gospel of John.
Remember there is no indefinite article in Greek so this cannot be, “and the word was a god”.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses insists the small letter “g” was used in “god” since there is small “theos” and big “Theos”.
Is there a difference?
Capital vs. small letter is an ignorant (i.e., they don’t know [Greek]) argument There is nothing correct about that argument. There are, however, Greek uncials (capitals) and minuscules (lower case), but any manuscript would be written totally in uncials (in the early centuries) or totally in minuscules (after about the ninth century), but never mixed. So the argument is ignorant.
There is no indefinite article in Greek, but nor were “God” and “god” distinguished by use/non-use of a capital letter. The only way to distinguish in Greek between “the Word was God” and “God was the Word” was to write God without an article if the meaning were “the Word was God.”
Julius Mantey, a noted New Testament scholar wrote to the Jehovah’s Witnesses since they quoted his book, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament to justify their translation of John 1:1.
Here is the screenshot of this letter.
It is worthy of note Greber’s translation also describes the Word as “a god” in John 1:1.
Johannes Greber was a Catholic priest who turned to Spiritism and translated the New Testament allegedly with the help of God’s “spirits.”
He used his wife, a spirit-medium, to direct spirits in translating difficult Bible verses. His experiences with spirits and their communications are contained in his book, Communication with the Spirit World. It was published in 1932. Let’s take a look at each reference to Greber in Watchtower publications.
Why do Watchtower and spirit mediums have common interest in calling Jesus “a god” and not “God”, as do all versions translated by acclaimed Greek scholars? Why did Watchtower use this demonic translation since Deuteronomy 18:10-12 is clear in prohibiting contact with the occult?
“When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you must not learn to imitate the abhorrent practices of those nations. No one shall be found among you who makes a son or daughter pass through fire, or who practices divination, or is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or one who casts spells, or who consults ghosts or spirits, or who seeks oracles from the dead. For whoever does these things is abhorrent to the Lord; it is because of such abhorrent practices that the Lord your God is driving them out before you.”(Deuteronomy 18:9-12, NRSV)
They should have used a recognized authority for support? It is clear spirits that helped Greber cannot be trusted.
The Wrong Translation of Colossians 1:15-17
In Colossians 1:15-17, the Jehovah’s Witnesses translation misrepresents the original text of Apostle Paul.
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,”(Colossians 1:15-17, New World Translation)
The word “other” was unjustifiably inserted four times. This is not in the original Greek. It was used by translators so the passage refers to Jesus as equal with other created things.
The real meaning of St. Paul’s lofty description of Son of God implies the above translation is read without the fourfold addition of the word “other.” Jehovah’s Witnesses often assert this passage states God created the Son. The verb “to create” in reference to the relation of the Son of God to the Father does not appear anywhere in the New Testament. He was mentioned as “the first begotten of all creation,” which is different from saying he was made or created. If Paul wished to express this, he used a Greek word to do so. The word πρωτοκτιστος means “first created.” However, Paul uses the word πρωτοτοκος, “first begotten,” which is quite different.
We see this in the Septuagint (LXX) where the word prototokos (πρωτότοκος) occurs 130 different times. In the LXX, it did carry the idea of a literal firstborn son. As time passed however, it began to “express a special relationship, one of privilege.
The Wrong Translation of Titus 2:13
In another important verse, the New World Translation distorted the original text to avoid referring to Jesus Christ as God.
“while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.“(Titus 2:13, New World Translation)
In Titus 2:13, “We hope for the manifestation of the great God and Savior Christ Jesus.” By separating “the great God” from “our Savior Christ Jesus,” we miss a principle of Greek grammar seen and formulated by Granville Sharp in 1798.
Listen to what the renowned bible scholar, Dr. Bruce Metzger says about the New World Translation.