Who Jehovah's Witnesses Think Jesus Is
The following is taken from the book: "Questions for Jehovah's Witnesses: "who
love the truth" 2 Thess.2:10"
In the beginning was the Word.
But WHY was the Word misquoted? JOHN 1:1
This text `THE WORD WAS GOD' has been a problem for four presidents of
Jehovah's Witnesses. C.T. Russell thought he found relief when in 1876 N.H.
Barbour, an Adventist, introduced him to Wilson's EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT. Mr.
Wilson never studied Biblical Greek in a college. He was a follower of John
Thomas, a `false prophet' and founder of the Christadelphians. Thomas nor
Wilson believed "THE WORD WAS GOD." In the interlinear feature of his book
which is no translation at all, Wilson placed `a god' under theos. In his
translation, however, of theos, he wrote: "the LOGOS was God."
F.W. Franz. the current President of Jehovah's Witnesses, realized the
deficiency of the DIAGLOTT, decided to translate his own Bible called THE NEW
WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Mr. Franz never studied biblical or
koine Greek. He did not graduate from any college nor did he receive a Rhodes
Scholarship as he claims. He translates the phrase "the Word was a god." In
his KINGDOM INTERLINEAR he interlineates "god was the Word." Such a
translation creates another god. "To us there is one God."
F.W. Franz found a translation that agrees with his, THE NEW TESTAMENT by
Johannes Greber. (SEE MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS p.489, 1965 revision.) Who was
Johannes Greber? He is the author of another book: COMMUNICATION WITH THE
SPIRIT WORLD OF GOD. In it Greber writes on page 300: "After I had convinced
myself at the spiritistic meetings that God's spirits speak to men through
mediums, as they had spoken to the early Christian communities, my first
thought was to beg for full enlightment on these problems concerning Christ.
Who was Christ? My request was granted, to the smallest details, and that
knowledge thenceforth constituted the most precious possession of my soul. In
what follows, I shall repeat the truths regarding Christ. His life, and his
work of Redemption, as they were imparted to me by the spirit which taught
them." The spirit said: "At that time you were told that Christ is the
highest of the spirits created by God and the sole one to be created directly;
Christ Himself was not God; for many false prophets have gone out into the
world" 1 John 4:1. Greber's translation is directly from the demon world. He
is quoted in Watchtower publications. (See AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING p.
In the Watchtower publications ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED OF GOD &
BENEFICIAL p. 327 it states: "Note what Hebrew and Greek scholar Alexander
Thomson has to say in his review of the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION: "The
translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars," THE
DIFFERENTIATOR, April 1952. This sentence is another WATCHTOWER lie. The
late Mr. Alexander Thomson was not a Greek or Hebrew Scholar. He in fact did
not even formally study Greek or Hebrew in any school according to his co-
editor Dr. Frank Neil Pohorlak of Inglewood, CA. Mr. Thomson was employed in
a bank in Scotland and did not believe that Jesus was God.
WHAT DO GREEK SCHOLARS THINK ABOUT THE JEHOVAH'S WITNESS TRANSLATION OF JOHN 1:1?
Dr. Julius R. Mantey: Calls the Watchtower translation of John 1:1 "A GROSSLY
MISLEADING TRANSLATION." It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate
John 1:1 `the Word was a god." But of all the scholars in the world, so far
as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah's Witnesses have done."
Bruce M. Metzger, Professor of New Testament Language and literature at
Princeton Theological Seminary said: "Far more pernicious in this same verse
is the rendering,... `and the Word was a god,' with the following
footnotes:"`A god,' In contrast with `the God'." It must be stated quite
frankly that, if the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they
are polytheists. In view of the additional light which is available during
this age of Grace, such a representation is even more reprehensible than were
the heathenish, polytheistic errors into which ancient Israel was so prone to
fall. As a matter of solid fact, however, such a rendering is a frightful
- THEOLOGY TODAY April, 1953
Dr. J. J. Griesback: "So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies
of Scriptures in favor of the true Diety of Christ, that I can hardly imagine
how, upon the admission of the Divine authority of Scripture, and with regard
to fair rules of interpretation, this doctrine can by any man be called in
doubt. Especially the passage John 1:1 is so clear and so superior to all
exception, that by no daring efforts of either commentators or critics can it
be snatched out of the hands of the defenders of the truth."
Dr. Eugene A. Nida (Head of the Translation Department of the American Bible
Society Translators of the GOOD NEWS BIBLE): "With regard to John 1:1 there
is, of course, a complication simply because the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION was
apparently done by persons who did not take seriously the syntax of the
Dr. William Barclay (University of Glasgow, Scotland): "The deliberate
distortion of truth by this sect is seen in their New Testament translations.
John 1:1 is translated: `...the Word was a god', a translation which is
GRAMMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE. It is abundantly clear that a sect which can
translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."
- THE EXPOSITORY TIMES Nov. 1953
Dr. B. F. Westcott (Whose Greek text is used in JW KINGDOM INTERLINEAR): "The
predicate (God) stands emphatically first, as in John 4:24. It is necessarily
without the article...No idea of inferiority of nature is suggested by the
form of expression, which simply affirms the true Diety of the Word...in the
third clause `the Word' is declared to be `God' and so included in the unity
of the Godhead."
Dr. Ernest C. Colwell (University of Chicago): "A definite predicate
nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the
article when it precedes the verb;...this statement cannot be regarded as
strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the
confession of Thomas. `My Lord and my God.'" John 20:28
Dr. F. F. Bruce (University of Manchester, England): "Much is made by Arian
amateur grammarians of the omission of the definite article with `God' in the
phrase `And the Word was God.' Such an omission is common with nouns in a
predicate construction. `a god' would be totally indefensible."
Dr. Paul L. Kaufman (Portland, OR.): "The Jehovah's Witness people evidence
an abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar in their
mistranslation of John 1:1."
Dr. Charles L. Feinberg (La Mirada CA.): "I can assure you that the rendering
which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek
Dr. Harry A. Sturz: (Dr. Sturz is Chairman of the Language Department and
Professor of Greek at Biola College) "Therefore, the NWT rendering: "the Word
was a god" is not a "literal" but an ungrammatical and tendential translation.
A literal translation in English can be nothing other than: "the Word was
- THE BIBLE COLLECTOR July-December, 1971 p.12
End of Text
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