Jehovah`s Witness/col: 1:16, 17 and the word 'other '
QUESTION: Hello again Brenton. As I mentioned before I work with two baptized jws and with one in particular I am able to ask very specific questions about scripture.
One topic was about the word 'other' as it appears in colossians chapter one in the NWT. I read about this and asked him why they added words to the bible. He said it was only meant to clarify that Jesus was created,since he didn't create himself. I at first read that the NWT used brackets for the 'other' , but saw my coworkers bible and was surprised to see that there was no brackets to let the readers know the this word is not in the original Greek. I asked him why several times before he finally answered that it was so obvious that they didn't need to use brackets. Whaaaaatttt??. Is this a typical answer I should expect from jws.
One day my coworker was showing me a verse in his bible and I noticed it had brackets. I also noticed the addition of that word didn't change the meaning of that verse at all. I asked why that word in the NWT had brackets? He said be a use it was not in the original Greek. Hmmmm.i asked him to show me col. Chapter one again and explain why no brackets were used? He stamered quite a bit,then showed me his reference bible that had brackets for the word 'other'. Why is that I said. Are the translators trying to mislead the readers?
He has yet to answer this contraction. I'd like to hear your explanation.
ANSWER: Hello Kevin,
Thank you for this question.
The older NWT used [ ] around words added to complete the sense in English. Personally I feel the new edition of the NWT should not have removed the [ ].
I do not know what Bible version you use but many people have at least the KJV in their homes. The KJV uses a different technique to show added words. This is one feature of the KJV that I like. It uses italics
. I want to demonstrates that with a four verses from John 1:6-9
I will present the Greek text but use the English alphabet, as well as the direct translation into English. Then I will give you the KJV rendering showing the words that the KJV puts in italics
6 Egeneto = there-was; anthrōpos = man; apestalmenos = having-been-sent; para = from; Theou = God; onoma = name; auto = him; Iōannēs= John:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was
7 houtos = he; ēlthen = came; eis = as; martyrian = witness; hina = that; martyrēsē = he-might- testify; peri= concerning; tou = the; phōtos =light; hina = that;pantes = all; pisteusōsin = might-belive; di’= through; autou =him
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men
through him might believe.
8 ouk = not; ēn = was; ekeinos = he; to = the; phōs = light, all’ = but, hina = that, martyrēsē = he-might-witness, peri = concerning; tou = the; phōtos = light
8 He was not that Light, but was sent
to bear witness of that Light.
9 Ēn = was; to = the; phōs = light, to = the; alēthinon = true; ho = that; phōtizei = enlightens; panta = every; anthrōpon = man; erchomenon = coming; eis = into; ton = the; Kosmon = world
was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
The words in each verse that the KJV shows in italics thus are added, are
8 was sent
As you can see from the above, the Greek grammar is very different to English, so make make sense in English, at times, words are added. When you read the KJV look carefully for the words in Italics. These are ALL added words by the translators in order to make the Bible more readable to our English ears. The added words clarify the meaning for us, heps is tpo make sense of the text.
As a side note here did you notice that the KJV added the indefinite article "a" in verses 6 and 7. This too is done to complete the sense in English. The Greek has no indefinite article "a" but many times this word has to be added.
The same goes with the word other in Colossians 1. The addition of this word does not change the mangling of the chapter by clarifies the relationship between Jesus, God and creation.
Now I am going to take an educated quess here and I am going to assume that you are wondering how the addition of the word other in Collossians 1 clarifies the text and not changes the meaning?
So in anticipation of you asking a follow up question on that, may I please ask you a question first?
Again I am going to assume that you believe in the traditional view of the trinity, and, that is, that Jesus and the Father are two separate and distinct individuals. Am I correct? IF that is you view, then the main part of the answer to your question on how the word [other] clarifies the meaning of the chapter, is found in verse 16.
PS. May I please request that you not follow up just yet. I have been trying to answer another persons question on a subject that that I have never studied very much on before to do with a Christadelphian belief that the devil does not exist. I would really like to get that finished.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Brenton.
Let me clarify my question,it's not so much about how the word 'other' changes the meaning of the said verses,but about the removal of the brackets in the NWT and how they remain in the jw reference bible. It might seem to some people that this was a deliberate attempt to mislead people about God's word. My jw coworker states that they don't use brackets at all in the NWT, but I seem to recall that they do. Is this
Thank you in advance. Kevin.
Yes the older NWT used [ ] around added words to show that they were not in the older manuscripts and that at times these words were used to complete the sense in English. The new 2013 NWT has removed them. I do not recall anything being said as to why, nor have I found, as yet, an explanation as to why this has been done. Personally, I feel the use of [ ] in the older NWT was a very useful feature, and that the new edition of the NWT would be a better Bible by retaining that feature.
Another feature that the new NWT has also stopped using was the word "YOU" in all capitals when it is a reference to more that one person.
The only thing I do seem to remember being said was, that the NWT was designed for ease of reading, and we were encouraged, or, it was recommended, that we still use the 1984 Reference Bible for study.