Jehovah`s Witness/The Cross


To Mr. Murphy,

Not sure what happened but somehow, your post went into the Rejection Bin when I went looking for it in the Answered Questions today.

In any case - I was able to recover it but unfortunately your original post was somehow got truncated. If you want to please re-forward your original post.

I will however published what I was able to recover.

Here's part of your question:

Hello Eddie G: I have been following with great interest the conversation concerning the cross. What I found most interesting, that in all that you provided, you never provided the other side of things. Example: You:1. The cross is connected to the symbol of male and female genital organs. 2. That it is connected with sex worship. 3. That it is connected with sun-worship. 4. That it already existed way before the advent of Christianity. What then is to be made of it? Simple. If you're a true follower of Christ and consider yourself a Christian, avoid it at all cost, no matter what the so called experts say. Let us look at it this way...Baptism was practiced by other cultures long before Christianity. It was in use in Judaism long before the Christian Baptism. Since this is true, should we then stay away from the type Baptisms we now give and opt for some other form that was not used by other cultures? I know, the Bible gives and example of how baptism is do

Here's the reply that I sent:

My apologies for the late reply Mr. Murphy been very busy lately. And thank you for writing back and for joining the conversation. Hopefully we can discuss one topic at time not like Mr. Holland who keeps opening one topic after another making the subject hard to follow. Which is exactly the reason why I did not as you say "provided the other side of things". Like baptism or Judaism or the fish is a symbol of early Christianity, etc. They we're not part of the topic from the very beginning about the Pagan Cross. But maybe if time permits we can include them the discussion.

In the meantime - the topic is still the:

1. Pagan Cross

which evolved into (thank to Mr. Holland)

2. Stake vs Cross

which prompted the comparison of Bibles

3. NWT vs KJV

which prompted a closer look of the words

4. stauros, xylon and ets

which will now include your statement about

5. inaccuracies of the NWT.

Now since items 1 - 4 has been dealt with already and will deal with it further in the coming days in another post, what I'd like to do is address item #5 in which you said:

Now as you pointed out inaccuracies in the KJV which I would most certainly agree with, have you considered the inaccuracies of the NWT? I will give you a very simple one to figure out? NWT GEN 3:1 Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. This is one of the most inaccurate renderings available. Do you know why? Which word makes it inaccurate and why?

I believe the word your looking for if I'm correct is "cautious" because that what's the critics of the NWT like to point out. In fact the very subject was raised way back in 1959 where a questioner ask:

"At Genesis 3:1 the American Standard Version and other translations say that the serpent was “more subtle” than any beast of the field. Why does the New World Translation say the serpent proved to be “the most cautious”?—S. R., U.S.A."

The explanation given are as follows:

*** w59 7/15 p. 447 Questions From Readers ***

The New World Translation is in harmony with the facts as well as in harmony with Jesus’ statement at Matthew 10:16 in which he advises his disciples to be not only innocent as doves but also cautious as serpents. The Greek word that Jesus used was phrónimos. On this scripture the book published in German in Zurich, Switzerland, and entitled “Kleine Lichter,” meaning, “Little Lights,” by Ludwig Koehler, the Hebrew lexicographer, has the following to say on pages 78 and 79 under the subheading ‘Cautious Serpents’: “On what peculiarity of serpents does Jesus think? What is the characteristic of serpents? To all serpents it is peculiar that they are cautious. Anyone, himself, can observe this when he encounters a serpent and every description of serpents verifies this. As soon as the serpent perceives the step of an approaching man he glides away. The serpent is cautious. In Greek this can quite well be expressed with the word ‘phronimos’ for in this cautiousness, watchfulness, the serpent reveals the possession and use of its phrenes. So, also, a person understands the instruction of Jesus. The disciples must work like sheep among wolves. In addition to that they use the artlessness of doves, but also the caution and watchfulness of serpents.” In harmony with Jesus’ instruction to his disciples, the description of the serpent or snake in Genesis 3:1 must be rendered. Certainly Dr. Koehler, who is the co-author of the Lexicon on the Books of the Old Testament in Hebrew and Aramaic, should know what he is talking about. In harmony with his suggestions, the New World Bible Translation renders the appropriate Hebrew words at Genesis 3:1 as “cautious,” to agree with Jesus. In Genesis 3:1 the Bible was not referring to Satan the Devil, who is indeed subtle and crafty. It was referring to the literal snake on the ground, which was merely the creature instrumentality used by the invisible Satan the Devil to deceive Eve. The serpent’s shyness and cautiousness led Eve to believe that the animal would be careful about making a mistake or running into trouble. So if the serpent said that the forbidden fruit was good to eat, without penalties attached, Eve felt that she could well believe the creature. The creature’s carefulness, cautiousness, shyness, helped to make an impression upon Eve and make her imagine that the Serpent was right. In referring to the cautiousness of the serpent, which it had from its beginning there in the garden of Eden, the Lord Jesus Christ was instructing his disciples to exercise a proper trait in the carrying on of the Christian ministry. He was not instructing them to act in a subtle manner like Satan the Devil to cover up their tracks and intentions and stratagems for the purpose of working injury irreparably to an innocent victim. The serpent became a symbol of Satan the Devil only when God cursed it because of the use that the adversary had made of this shy, cautious animal to bring about the fall of mankind into disobedience and sin toward man’s Creator, Jehovah God." -end quote

Here's another article:

*** w90 10/15 p. 30 Questions From Readers *** Questions From Readers

▪ Why does the New World Translation render the Hebrew word ʽa·rum′ at Genesis 3:1 as “cautious” since other Bible translations say “cunning” or “clever”?

That scripture reads: “Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it began to say to the woman: ‘Is it really so that God said you must not eat from every tree of the garden?’” At Proverbs 12:23 and other places, the New World Translation renders the Hebrew word ʽa·rum′ as “shrewd,” which is one basic meaning of the word when applied to humans. But as is the case with so many words, ʽa·rum′ has various shades of meaning. For instance, Benjamin Davidson defines ʽa·rum′ as follows: “I. crafty, cunning, subtle.—II. prudent, cautious.”—The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. Why, then, does the New World Translation select the secondary meaning of “cautious” at Genesis 3:1? That choice is in harmony with other translations. For instance, when Genesis 3:1 was translated into Greek in the Septuagint version of the third century B.C.E., the word phro′ni·mos was used—the same word later used at Matthew 10:16: “You must be as cautious as snakes and as gentle as doves.”—Today’s English Version. Hebrew scholar Ludwig Koehler commented back in 1945: “The serpent is shy. This can be very well expressed in Greek with phronimos, for by this shyness or caution the serpent manifests possession and practice of phrenes.” Phre′nes here means a kind of instinctive wisdom that other animals also manifest.—Compare Proverbs 30:24. There is, however, a more important reason for the use of the word “cautious” instead of “shrewd” or “clever” at Genesis 3:1. To call the serpent clever here, right before it is described as seducing Eve into sin, might lead many readers to conclude that the Bible depicts a mere snake as working out this scheme by dint of its own unusual cleverness. Such an interpretation would reduce the account to the status of myth—and a rather silly myth at that. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that there was much more than some clever snake at work there in the garden of Eden. Revelation 12:9 clearly identifies Satan the Devil with that “original serpent.” He was the unseen, superhuman power manipulating the simple reptile the way a master ventriloquist works his dummy. The natural caution of the serpent made it an ideal choice for the ruse. When it did not shy away cautiously as was its nature but instead boldly opened its mouth and began to speak to Eve, it caught Eve’s attention all the more effectively. God’s inspired Word is free of myths, and by accurate rendering, the New World Translation helps us to appreciate this fact.—2 Timothy 3:16." -- end quote Here's how the KJV renders Gen 3:1 "[Gen 3:1 KJV] 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" Comparing it again with the NWT: “. . .Now the serpent proved to be the most cautious of all the wild beasts of the field that Jehovah God had made. So it began to say to the woman: “Is it really so that God said YOU must not eat from every tree of the garden?”” (Genesis 3:1)

So is there any doubt that a serpent is "cautions" rather the "clever"?

Note: the recovery not only truncated the post but bunched up all of the reply.  

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