Jehovah`s Witness/Scholars and the NWT
I am writing this, in order to post a response to the comments regarding what scholars think of the New World Translation. I noticed that all of the comments given, were those in favor of it. Some of the comments are accurate, and some are out of context. In addition,. Some of the quotes given, are from men who are NOT recognized scholars in Biblical languages, which was specifically asked for in the question.
I will present an excellent link, which deals with each of the “scholars” listed in the previously posted article, which not only puts the quotes in their proper context, but also brings to light some facts that the original quotes left out.
It will be seen that, in many cases….
1. The person quoted, is not a recognized scholar at all.
2. In the instances where the person IS a scholar, it will be seen in many cases, that they were not quite as positive in their remarks about the NWT, as the partial quotes would lead the unsuspecting reader to believe.
3. Some of the quotes only dealt with either the Old Testament portion of the NWT, and not the New Testament, or vice versa.
4. In one instance, the person quoted actually was referring to the “Kingom Interlinear Translation”
, and not the NWT at all. In fact, the KIT has been quite useful in refuting some of the NWT renderings.
I would highly encourage the readers to check out these facts, at the following link….
In the interest of being fair and honest to the readers, it should be noted that most Bible scholars repudiate the NWT, as being theologically biased.
By posting some quotes showing the negative reaction that the NWT has gotten by others in the field of Biblical “scholarship”, I believe the readers can come to a few conclusions….
1. Even among “scholars”, there are theological biases that exist, and there is not always a general consensus of what is accurate, or how a word or verse should be rendered.
2. It is best to gain all of the facts, both for and against, weigh them, and then prayerfully come to a conclusion, before simply deciding the matter based on nothing more than the positive comments alone. Sometimes, those are presented in a way to attempt to lead the readers to believe that the NWT translation is viewed favorably by Bible “scholars”, when in fact, this is only the case in some instances. Most Bible scholars do not agree with the NWT, and have pointed out its theological biases in many areas, most notably in the New Testament.
In the above link I provided, it can be seen that EVERY SINGLE one of the quotes given by the JW expert, are dealt with on that site….with the exception of 1.
As noted above, the link covers each and every “scholar” quoted, with the exception of 1. I want to take just a moment, to speak about that 1 quote.
I am referring to #14 in the list….Edgar Foster, of Lenoir-Rhyne College….actually, now referred to as Lenoir-Rhyne University.
I was scrolling the list, and that one just jumped out at me. Reason being, I know Edgar Foster. Though its been a number of years since I have seen him, I have personal knowledge of him. In fact, Lenoir-Rhyne University is a mere 15 minutes drive from my home. Mr. Foster is a very close friend of my mother, and a member of her congregation. In fact, Mr. Foster and myself sat in her living room a number of years ago, and went back and forth on Bible topics for a solid 3-4 hours.
Now, my purpose in posting this, is not to speak against Edgar Foster. He’s a nice guy. I have absolutely nothing personal against the man. And I can attest to the fact that he is very intelligent. He is well-studied. But “scholar”? Not so sure. I know he did study in Scotland for a time. What his credentials are as a result of those studies, I do not know. When I had my lengthy conversation with him, he knew his stuff, and was a very formidable opponent, but was certainly not a “scholar”. Perhaps that has changed.
I do know that his current position at Lenoir-Rhyne University, is “Adjunct Professor”. This is defined as:
“Adjunct professor, also known as adjunct lecturer or adjunct instructor (collectively, adjunct faculty), is a broad-concept type of professors and faculty in higher education, at an academic rank below the highest level of professorship.”
“An adjunct professor is a professor who does not hold a permanent or full-time position at that particular academic institution. Adjunct professors usually have no expectation of tenure. This may be someone with a job outside the academic institution teaching courses in a specialized field, or it may refer to persons hired to teach courses on a contractual basis (frequently renewable contracts). It is generally with a teaching load below the minimum required to earn benefits (health insurance, retirement benefits). In contrast with tenure-track professors, adjuncts do not usually have individual offices or a place to store possessions.
An adjunct is generally not required or even permitted to participate in the administrative responsibilities at the institution expected of tenure-track professors, nor do adjuncts typically have research responsibilities.
Adjuncts are not funded to maintain currency in their fields of expertise, nor to interact with students other than within the course(s) they are hired to teach.
My point in mentioning all of this, is that it pays to VERIFY anything that is thrown out there, or in this case, copied and pasted, as an “authoritative” answer to what scholars think about the NWT.
The fact is, Biblical scholars who are recognized in their fields as such, are generally in agreement that the NWT is theologically biased.
Now, one more thing worth mentioning about Mr. Foster….
In a question such as this, it would seem that an honest truth-seeker would want to know what unbiased scholars think about the NWT…In other words, not someone who is going into it with a pre-determined theological bias.
As I said, I have nothing against Mr. Foster as a person. But I do not believe his name should be included in a list of “scholars”, who are supposed to be giving an unbiased critique of the NWT.
Mr. Foster, is himself, a devout and practicing JW. Furthermore, he believes himself to be of the 144,000 “anointed” class, meaning that he believes he is one of the few living today, that will go to Heaven to rule and reign with Christ.
Now, I may not be a scholar, but I can read. And the Bible clearly states that the 144,000 are all JEWISH men. If one takes the Bible at all literally, then there is simply no way around that.
And I can tell you from personal knowledge, that Mr. Foster is no Jew. He is an African American, married man. The 144,000 are Jewish men, who are virgins. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with being African American, or married. It simply disqualifies him from being one of the 144,000, that he believes himself to be a part of. I am not qualified to be in the group, and neither is he. Its as simple as that.
Also, his comment about the RSV, was puzzling in and of itself. I would not be “comfortable” with a translation, that tampers with the virgin birth of Christ, in Isaiah 7:14.
Again, this writing is not for the purpose of discrediting Mr. Foster. That is not my intent. But he simply cannot be quoted as an unbiased “scholar”, on a translation that he has been using for years, and been told for years that it’s the one he should be using, and one that he already held to be the “best translation”, even prior to any subsequent studies that he may have done. A theological bias is almost guaranteed, under those circumstances. He did not come to his conclusions on the NWT by objective study, or with a clean slate in his mind, but with an already-held belief.
Unlike the list we saw in the other post, the quotes below in regards to the NWT, all come from recognized scholars.
Bruce Metzger- “"a frightful mistranslation," "Erroneous" and "pernicious" "reprehensible" "If the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists."
(Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Princeton University)
William Barclay- “"it is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
H.H. Rowley- “"From beginning to end this volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated."
Julius Mantey (author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament)- "Well, as a backdrop, I was disturbed because they (Watchtower) had misquoted me in support of their translation."
Mantey went on to say about the NWT…."Obsolete and incorrect." A shocking mistranslation“; "It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 'The Word was a god.'"
Mantey also stated to Dr. Walter Martin….”the translators of the NWT are "diabolical deceivers."
Furthermore, I myself do not hold B.F. Westcott in very high regard, but I am including a statement from him here, simply because it is his Greek text (Westcott/Hort) that is the basis for the NWT. Basically, the NWT took this text, already riddled with problems, and then proceeded to make addition changes, most notable in their translating John 1:1 as “the Word was a god”
Regarding such a rendering, Westcott said….“"The predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in iv. 24. It is necessarily without the article. . . . No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the form of expression, which simply affirms the true deity of the Word . . . . in the third clause "the Word" is declared to be "GOD." and so included in the unity of the Godhead."
I believe the factors listed above, should be taken into consideration, when deciding if the NWT is really a translation for the serious student of God's Word.