Two Jehovah’s Witnesses recently came to my door and discussed some Scripture verses with me from the New World Translation of the Bible. I’ve never heard of that version before. What can you tell me about it?
The New World Translation (NWT) is produced by the Watch Tower Society, the parent organization of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs). The New Testament (or “Christian Greek Scriptures,” as they call it) was first produced in 1950, followed by the Old Testament (“Hebrew Scriptures”), produced progressively in five volumes from 1953-1960. Modern versions of the NWT contain the entire Bible in one volume.
The NWT is a travesty of the Scriptures for two main reasons:
First, of the five men who comprised the translation committee–Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, and Milton Henschel–Franz is the only one who had any knowledge at all of the biblical languages. Franz studied Greek for only two years (not biblical Greek, though), and he was allegedly self-taught in Hebrew. The other four men completely lack any credentials that would qualify them as competent biblical scholars.
Second, the text of the NWT is distorted and twisted in a manner to suit the erroneous beliefs of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Numerous examples could be cited. For instance, John 1:1, in the NWT, reads that the Word was ” a god” (rather than “God”) because JWs deny the divinity of Christ. Similarly, in Colossians 1:15-20, the NWT inserts the word “other” into the text four times because JWs believe that Christ was created. Also, in Matthew 26:26, the NWT reads “this means my body” (rather than “this is my body”) because JWs deny the Real Presence.
Reputable Catholic and Protestant biblical scholars alike reject the NWT as being biased, unreliable, and unscholarly. People who open their doors to the JWs ought to be warned that the NWT is not a safe or reliable translation of God’s Word.