Hello, i was wondering why Jehovah witnesses have their own bible? Also, who were the translators that composed it? What were their credentials and/or expertise? Thank you.
Thanks for your question, but I see that you have asked my dear Brother Brenton Hepburn this question as well and he has given the answer already, quite well and better then I ever could, which explains why certain words are used to convey an accurate rendering in our language.
But I would like to just clear up when you said "why Jehovah witnesses have their own bible?"
Jehovah's Witnesses translated the Bible from the old manuscripts (listed by Bro Brenton H) just like many other Bible translators have done. One major difference is that when the older manuscripts have the divine name YHWH (or JHVH) in it's manuscripts, Jehovah's Witnesses refused to remove God's name and change that name to LORD or God. And since the Greek Scriptures (or NT) quote from the Hebrew Scriptures (or OT), they keep the quote as it is, a quote, rather then changing that quote by taking out God's name and replacing it with LORD, Lord, or God, which in fact are mere titles.
Here are a few examples:
Psalms 83:18 KJV "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, art the most high over all the earth."
Psalms 83:18 NKJV "That they may know that You, whose name alone is the Lord, Are the Most High over all the earth."
Here we can see how God's name was used in the King James Version, but then it was removed and replaced with Lord in the New King James Version. We also see that God has a name, and Lord is a mere title, and it takes away from who God is and what His name Jehovah entails and means.
Exodus 6:3 KJV "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them."
Exodus 6:3 NKJV " I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name Lord[a] I was not known to them"
footnote [a]Exodus 6:3 Hebrew YHWH, traditionally Jehovah.
Here again we see that God Almighty said his name is Jehovah as translated in the King James Version, but in the New King James Version we see the name is replaced with Lord, and a footnote is added that Lord should be YHWH, traditionally Jehovah. We also see that the KJV added "by the name of" next to God Almighty, because God Almighty is not a name, it's a title, and in fact the Hebrew does not have that in there.
So why put "Lord" when it should be Jehovah. Why take that name away at all? Why try to make people think God's name is Lord, God or God Almighty. There are only a few places where God Almighty's name is mentioned in the KJV Bible, but all the other places where YHWH originally appeared it has been removed. Stolen away so that people will not know God's name, and be confused. God is not of confusion...he is not of disorder (1 Cor 14:33) But Satan is and he is called the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4 KJV)
Let's look in that same book of Exodus, where in Ex 6:3 we read that God Almighty whose name is Jehovah appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Now we read:
Exodus 3:15 KJV "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
We see that "Lord" is put there where it should say Jehovah. How deceiving, now this is leading people to believe that God's name is Lord! But it's not! Why and who would want to deceive people like this?
How do we know that it should say Jehovah, from the original manuscripts that have YHWH (or JHVH יהוה) there.
So Exodus 3:15 should say (ASV) "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations."
Exodus 3:15 NWT "Then God said once more to Moses: This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, ‘Jehovah the God of YOUR forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to YOU.’ This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation."
Now take for example the book of Isaiah, we can see that the prophet Isaiah used God's name Jehovah.
Isaiah 12:2 KJV "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."
Isaiah 26:4 KJV "Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength:"
But in other places in many Bible translations today, including the KJV, God's name is either completely removed from the Bible or the translators pick and choose where they will use it, if at all.
As we saw God's name Jehovah is used by the KJV in two instances there in Isaiah, but in other places it was removed and replaced with a title, lord. Let's read:
Isaiah 61:1 KJV "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;"
It should really read:
Isaiah 61:1 ASV "The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;"
Here is the same scripture according to Strong's Hebrew Bible: (Hebrew is read right to left, not sure if the Hebrew characters will show up, I hope they do)
61:1 Hebrew Bible
רוח אדני יהוה עלי יען משח יהוה אתי לבשר ענוים שלחני לחבש לנשברי לב לקרא לשבוים דרור ולאסורים פקח קוח׃
As we can see the divine name ( יהוה ) should be used twice in this verse, but in the KJV it's replaced with God and Lord.
Now moving on to the Greek Scriptures, as we see that Jesus himself read from the Hebrew Scriptures and quoted scriptures and said many times, it is written. As the Greek Scriptures (or NT) had not been written yet when Jesus was walking the earth. (Luke 4:17,18; Luke 4:4, Luke 4:8)
Let's read where Jesus read from the book of Isaiah, since he was quoting what Isaiah said, then it would stand to reason that Jesus would use God's name Jehovah, but look how that is changed.
Luke 4:17-18 ASV "And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Now why isn't Jehovah there in that quote? Kyrios is used from the Greek word meaning Lord, God, Master, but it's not God's name, as we can see was used in the original Bible verse of Isaiah 61:1. So the NWT quoted the scripture as it originally was. As we can see from the Hebrew.
So it's not a question of why does JW's have their own Bible, it's a question of why does all these other Bible translators refuse to use God's name by removing it and/or replacing it with a mere title such as God and Lord! Who gave anyone the right to take away God's name from the Bible and add a mere title in its place!
Then one needs to ask this question. Who doesn't want people to know God's name or to know the truth about Jehovah God and his son Jesus? It's his adversary Satan the Devil. He is behind the fact that God's name has been removed in most Bible translations today.
Satan quotes scriptures and as he tried to twist the use them in his attempt to tempt Jesus helps us to see that Satan does the same thing with people today. He twists the true meaning of scriptures, let's see:
Luke 4:9-11 NWT "Now he led him into Jerusalem and stationed him upon the battlement of the temple and said to him: “If you are a son of God, hurl yourself down from here; 10 for it is written,
‘He will give his angels a charge concerning you, to preserve you,’ 11 and, ‘They will carry you on their hands, that you may at no time strike your foot against a stone.’" (bold mine)
We can see that Satan quoted two scripture verses, trying to get Jesus to worship him and be on his side:
Psalms 91:11 NWT "For he will give his own angels a command concerning you,To guard you in all your ways"
Psalms 91:12 NWT "Upon their hands they will carry you, That you may not strike your foot against any stone"
Satan continues to twist scriptures and trick people into believing lies, as he deceived Eve into believing a lie. (Gen 3:4,5; 1 Tim 4:1)
Also, please ask yourself this thought provoking question, if we had our own Bible as you say, then how is it that when we quote scriptures on this site from the NWT Bible, a person can go look up that same scripture in their copy of the Bible and read it for themselves? So that right there tells you that we don't have our OWN Bible.
But what we do have is a more correct translation of the original manuscripts which most importantly includes the name of the Almighty God, Jehovah, not as a mere impersonal title, but as it rightly is, a name, with real meaning. And since Almighty God whose name is Jehovah is the author of the Bible, then why would anyone want to remove it his name? Whoever takes out that name is deceiving people. And why would anyone want to do such a thing?
Romans 10:13,14 NWT "For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.” 14 However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?"
This is a quote from Joel 2:32 ASV " And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be delivered;..."
Joel 2:32 KJV "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered:..."
So as Romans helps us to see when Bible translators remove God's name, Jehovah, then how can a person call on that name? How can a person call on a name they do not know, because someone took it upon themselves to remove it, how can a person put faith in Jehovah whom they have not heard because someone took it upon themselves to remove it. And because someone took it upon themselves to remove God's name Jehovah from most Bible translations today, people today do not know the true God Jehovah? And they think we have our own Bible.
That's why we as Witnesses of Jehovah God, help people to see and learn the truth about God, and what the Bible really teaches. As Roman's goes on to say How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach?"
We are at your doors to preach, answer and learn the truth about Jehovah God, who is a loving God, a God who has a name Jehovah, that will be his name forever, he has no other name, he has many titles, but just one name and He alone is the most high!