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View Full Version : DISCUSSION [DISCUSSION] Bible Teachings or Traditions of Men?



Apokalupsis
April 1st, 2013, 11:35 AM
Original Thread: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/25953-Bible-Teachings-or-Traditions-of-Men


The issue I'd like to discuss about this thread is that of "credibility."

It seems to me, that there exists a foundation from which all arguments are built. This foundation contains many "materials" (characteristics), some of which are understanding that certain presuppositions are to be expected and agreed upon when entering the discussion, the principles of reason or logic, objectivity (or as much as one can employ), etc... Another "material" that composes any such foundation, is that of "credibility" IMO. It's nice to agree on a presupposition for the sake of the argument, but if 1 of the participants lacks any credibility whatsoever...or even if one of the participants relies on a source that lacks any credibility whatsoever...it seems to me that the foundation has a crack in it, and before any arguments which are contingent upon a strong foundation can be evaluated, that crack (problem, challenge, obstacle, disagreement, etc...) must be addressed, else participants are just spinning their tires and moving nowhere.

The players

First, I believe that until proven otherwise, all participants are given the same amount of credibility. There is no need to doubt what another person says, argues, or believes until there is reason to do so. I think the principle of charity ought to be employed by all interlocutors (participants). Therefore, if we are to claim there is a lack or even absence of credibility, we must have reason(s) to do so (vs just not liking the opposing argument, view or its author).

The lack of credibility of course can result in a variety of consequences. (1) It could just be non-persuasiveness due to poor or weak argumentation (we refer to this lot as "bad debaters," of which, admittedly, there are too many in this community, although, not too many who are currently active atm). (2) Another consequence could be the community seeing the person primarily as a troll and thus, not taking any post seriously (such as someone who only posts disparaging or insulting threads and never posts anything of value leading to intelligent discourse). (3) Another consequence is one that results in frustration, annoyance, and ultimately no longer taking the author seriously because they refuse to actually address the primary points of their opposition, choosing instead, to focus on side arguments or that which was never argued in the first place (in order to hide or get around having to address the actual argument - red herring fallacy is often committed here). (4) Another consequence, and the one I'd like to discuss here, could be the audience not taking the offender seriously when they make any truth claim because they rely solely on faulty or non-credible sources for their position. When this occurs, why should the audience believe the claims of its author?

I think in this thread referenced above, Alter2Ego is guilty of #3 and #4. I'll explain #4 more thoroughly below

The source

Simply put, in order for an argument to have merit it must have 2 things: validity* (proper logical form that do not violate the rules of logic/reason) and truth (propositions that correspond to reality). These 2 are required for a sound argument. A sound argument is the only type of argument we ought to concern ourselves with. If it is the case that an argument lacks one or the other (validity or truth), then it is the case that we simply do not need to respond to the argument's claims and conclusion...period. Instead, we illustrate how the argument is unsound (by exposing its invalidity or it containing a proposition which is not true).

Now, aside from the fact that A2E refuses to acknowledge any rebuttal I've offered in her 2 threads (and I've graciously refrained from issuing an official challenge on those issues which would force her to respond or cease making the claims, else result in a trolling violation as per our community rules (http://www.onlinedebate.net/index.php?page=odnrules)), there is the issue of 'credible source.'

She uses, as her source of understanding of scripture, the New World Translation. It is the only consistent "instrument" she will use. She's referenced other Bible translations, but as I've pointed out (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/25953-Bible-Teachings-or-Traditions-of-Men?p=515103&viewfull=1#post515103), she picks and chooses certain verses from certain translations that support her bias and ignores these very translations which contains verses which contradict her biases.

Now, she will undoubtedly say about these translations that they contain errors, but not everything in these versions is in error, so it's fine to use the 'correct' parts of these translations. So it seems to me, that we ought to use either a translation that does not contain errors, or a translation that is the most accurate (that is, we ought to do so ourselves whenever we are providing support for a claim...as to provide a source which we believe to be less accurate, would be deceptive and intellectually dishonest). That means, we as reasonable beings, ought to use what we each believe to be the best sources we have available (whether or not it actually is, or if someone else has a better source, is irrelevant, we are talking about our own intellectual obligation here...to provide what we believe to be the best source possible).

That means, that for A2E, the New World Translation version is that source. According to her (and all Jehovah Witnesses), it is the most accurate translation of the original texts of the Bible. From this book, we can determine the meaning of many difficult passages. It is translated accurately and reliably and represents the original meaning of the Bible's authors (according to her).

The problem

The NWT is the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations. As explained in that very thread (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/25953-Bible-Teachings-or-Traditions-of-Men?p=515099&viewfull=1#post515099) (and of course, ignored by A2E, undoubtedly because she knows it to be true and there really is no rebuttal to it)...



The NWT is the only translation that was "translated" by people who did not know Biblical Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic. That being the case...why should we accept this understanding (translation) of the passage? Would you not agree, that the most trained, most experienced, most knowledgeable, would produce the most reliable or most accurate rending (of anything)? Especially when it is the case that we have on one hand...academia and experts...and on the other hand, laymen who had no idea how to read Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic.






Here's the NWT translator list:






Franz, Frederick - Franz was a liberal arts student at the University of Cincinnati but dropped out in the middle of his Junior year. He had 21 semester hours of classical Greek (not Biblical Greek), some Latin; dropped out of college after his sophomore year. He failed a simple Hebrew language test in a courtroom in Edinburgh, Scotland.






Gangas, George - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.






Henschel, Milton - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.






Knorr, Nathan - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.






Schroeder, Albert - No training in biblical languages. Schroeder majored in mechanical engineering for three years before dropping out.




Now...for what reason do we have to believe that the NWT is the most accurate translation available, considering that none of its translators are qualified as translators?




So how is it reasonable to believe a claim about what the original language meant, when this claim is based on the "knowledge" of those who had absolutely no knowledge of the language they are making claims about? It isn't.

If you took your auto to a repair shop, left it there to repair that recurring "clunky" sound...received a call from the shop from someone who said "Yeah, we know what the problem is. Our expert technician said you have too much turn signal fluid in your carburetor, we can fix that by flushing the brake lights and putting some tin foil around the rear window...it will be around $4,500"...would you actually believe him and have them do the repairs? Of course not. You do not need to inquire as to how the non-existent turn signal fluid, "flushing the brake lights", or putting tin foil on the rear window will fix engine noise. Instead, you merely point out "Your source, the expert technician doesn't know what he's talking about."

You would not allow them to do the work. You would not believe their technician. You would not recommend friends or family to have their auto served there. Why? Because there are actual credible sources (real technicians with real training, experience and knowledge) that actually know how an auto works and how to repair them.

Likewise, there are actual scholars who read, write, speak, study, and teach ancient languages such as Biblical Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. The NWT "translators" were high school educated followers of a specific church who used an existing English Bible and changed the words to fit their preconceived ideas and biases. Thus, whenever there is a claim made about how a verse ought to be properly rendered is made by someone who subscribes to the idea that the New World Translation is the most accurate source and authority on the matter, we need not attack the branch (the claim) itself, we need to attack the root (the source). Don't waste time debating meanings when it is the case that the source of the suspect meaning lacks any credibility whatsoever. It's a waste of time.

Now...do not confuse this to mean that because the NWT is so deeply flawed that it cannot contain any accurate renderings. Nor does it mean that whatever a Jehovah's Witness says is necessary wrong. That's not the case at all. What is the case, is that when a source that is in error or is not credible is required that it not be in error or that it be credible in order for the claim to have merit...we need not address the claim itself...and instead, we can directly challenge the source.

Alter2Ego, if you read this please understand that this is not an assault on you or your character. It is addressing 2 things...the first being your behavior (your decision to refuse to respond to primary arguments and be conveniently inconsistent with your translations) and your insistence that a particular meaning is to be derived from a passage when the source material (which is what we each have the best available of) is knowingly flawed. When you engage in this type of debate, it renders your arguments to be non-credible.

Sigfried
April 1st, 2013, 12:37 PM
Did Alter actually say she was Jehovah's Witness or that she uses the New World Translation? I know you surmised as much and it does seem to me fairly likely, but I don't recall any actual statement by Alter to that effect (nor a denial of it).

In my exchange on the worship definition, I felt like I was the one making a claim that the word meant worship and that I could not myself prove with certainty that it meant worship in a religious sense. So I conceded the point. I felt like Alter was simply casting doubt on the renditions/translations I offered rather than directly disproving them. Though I'm not sure Alter was couching it like that exactly, I sort of took it in the best light available. Still there does seem to be at least an implicit claim that it is not that kind of worship based on her(?) world view.

PS: No idea if Alter is male or female, but I'll go female based on avatar till I know otherwise.

Apokalupsis
April 1st, 2013, 12:48 PM
Did Alter actually say she was Jehovah's Witness or that she uses the New World Translation? I know you surmised as much and it does seem to me fairly likely, but I don't recall any actual statement by Alter to that effect (nor a denial of it).
Just as it is easy to tell that someone is a Trinitarian by the language they use, it is likewise easy to tell if someone is a JW or not. Her interpretations of scripture in some examples are unique to JW. Also, the use of the NWT as a supported or reliable Bible translation is rather unique to JW's.



PS: No idea if Alter is male or female, but I'll go female based on avatar till I know otherwise.
Her profile says female.

eye4magic
April 1st, 2013, 04:19 PM
Now...do not confuse this to mean that because the NWT is so deeply flawed that it cannot contain any accurate renderings. Nor does it mean that whatever a Jehovah's Witness says is necessary wrong. That's not the case at all. What is the case, is that when a source that is in error or is not credible when it is required that it not be in error or that it be credible in order for the claim to have merit...we need not address the claim itself...and instead, we can directly challenge the source.

Well, you present an interesting OP here. It reminds me of the idea of when we start buttoning a shirt from the bottom up matching the first button with the wrong first hole. As we move up the shirt, the initial mistake can be neglected for a while as 'we can make' the buttons fit a hole in the middle of the shirt. But eventually we will get to the top of the shirt and there's going to be a shortage, a missing link or links. We're going to have some extra buttons with no extra holes to fit then into. It's going to be awkward. So, we have the option of unbuttoning the shirt and starting over again or we can simply just deny there is a problem and a shortage and start a new fashion.

Religious doctrine is sometimes vulnerable to this circumstance.

As far as your point that the source of the NWT translation of the Bible should be challenged, I will assume that you mean it can be challenge by other Christians who do not agree with interpretations by members of JW.

Now, I'm not very familiar with the NWT translation of the Bible that is used by JW. However, I do have a few questions for you regarding your OP? From a Christian perspective, what would be the main purpose of challenging the source of the NWT translation? What or who is the source? Can the source defend itself?

Apokalupsis
April 1st, 2013, 06:06 PM
As far as your point that the source of the NWT translation of the Bible should be challenged, I will assume that you mean it can be challenge by other Christians who do not agree with interpretations by members of JW.
Not at all. It should be challenged by any rational being for reasons already explained. There is no rational justification for considering the NWT to be the most accurate rendering of the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic that composed the author's text.



From a Christian perspective, what would be the main purpose of challenging the source of the NWT translation?
It isn't just a "Christian perspective" that there is value in doing so. It's like saying "What is the value for a Mexican to go to that auto mechanic described above?" or "What is the value of a Chargers fan to go to that mechanic above?" You are necessarily and unreasonably limiting the group. It is the case that all people have value in not going to that mechanic, regardless of their religious affiliation, gender, age, favorite sports team, ethnicity, etc... It's like saying "What is the value of not killing a black baby?" when the question is actually "What is the value in killing a baby?" Race, has absolutely nothing to do with it. Likewise, from a reason perspective, religion has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is an issue of reason, of critical thinking, of logic, not of worldview.



What or who is the source? Can the source defend itself?
The source is whatever the author uses to defend or support their claim. In this case, it is the NWT, or more specifically, the 5 "translators" who cannot translate from the languages they said they did. In an even more specific answer, it is Frederick Franz, the leader of the group and the person with the most education (a couple years of college). He was actually called to defend himself and his translation in court. He was given passages in simple Hebrew that he had no idea what they meant. He could not read Hebrew in the slightest, and admitted this in court.

How then...can he or the others (who couldn't read Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic), be considered credible translators...let alone just translators in the loosest sense of the term? If you cannot read or speak a particular language, then obviously you cannot translate it.

Instead, what JW's did, was take an existing English translation, which if I recall was the ASV, and change the words to suit their already made up beliefs. This is called eisegesis...and is precisely how one is not to interpret scripture. They merely paraphrased their new Bible and worded in such a way that it suited their already created belief system (instead of taking their belief system straight from the scripture itself).

Joe Friday
April 1st, 2013, 08:06 PM
I would agree with your assessment of debate etiquette and go a step further to say that each post should be given the opportunity to show itself as reasonable and well written. We should never assume that because it is by a certain person that it not credible. That is not logical. Let each and every post speak for itself.

I am mostly in agreement with everything you said. Yet, I still have some questions I would like to pose just to see how you respond to them.




The problem

The NWT is the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations. As explained in that very thread (and of course, ignored by A2E, undoubtedly because she knows it to be true and there really is no rebuttal to it)...


The NWT is the only translation that was "translated" by people who did not know Biblical Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic. That being the case...why should we accept this understanding (translation) of the passage? Would you not agree, that the most trained, most experienced, most knowledgeable, would produce the most reliable or most accurate rending (of anything)? Especially when it is the case that we have on one hand...academia and experts...and on the other hand, laymen who had no idea how to read Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic.
Here's the NWT translator list:

Franz, Frederick - Franz was a liberal arts student at the University of Cincinnati but dropped out in the middle of his Junior year. He had 21 semester hours of classical Greek (not Biblical Greek), some Latin; dropped out of college after his sophomore year. He failed a simple Hebrew language test in a courtroom in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Gangas, George - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Henschel, Milton - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Knorr, Nathan - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Schroeder, Albert - No training in biblical languages. Schroeder majored in mechanical engineering for three years before dropping out.

Now...for what reason do we have to believe that the NWT is the most accurate translation available, considering that none of its translators are qualified as translators?


Being a translator is a very interesting job. I have German friends who say that Geothe cannot be translated because of his stunning command of the German language. No translator will understand his use of German, no less be able to accurately translate it into another language.

The Qu'ran specifically states you cannot be a good Muslim if you cannot read Arabic. Any translated version of the book cannot be trusted.

Then again, what if those who translate it are inspired by God to do so? To claim that this is an impossibility would be to elevate the views of the cynic over the views of true believers. It is a very difficult distinction you are making when logic, science and archaeology are the reasons for making religious determinations because the time will come when you yourself will choose divine inspiration over logic and facts. It seems to me it is just a game of placing the goalposts. The eventual argument of every theist is "God can move the goalposts whenever he wants to." It seems disingenuous to claim you know where the goalposts can be determined by logic and where they respond to divine intervention. For the record, I am not accusing you of that. It is a rhetorical statement.




So how is it reasonable to believe a claim about what the original language meant, when this claim is based on the "knowledge" of those who had absolutely no knowledge of the language they are making claims about? It isn't.

Likewise, there are actual scholars who read, write, speak, study, and teach ancient languages such as Biblical Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. The NWT "translators" were high school educated followers of a specific church who used an existing English Bible and changed the words to fit their preconceived ideas and biases. Thus, whenever there is a claim made about how a verse ought to be properly rendered is made by someone who subscribes to the idea that the New World Translation is the most accurate source and authority on the matter, we need not attack the branch (the claim) itself, we need to attack the root (the source). Don't waste time debating meanings when it is the case that the source of the suspect meaning lacks any credibility whatsoever. It's a waste of time.

There is translating and then there is interpreting. A great translator of scientific texts could be horrible for literature or religious texts because their inability to understand the nuances of interpretation in the original language and lack of imagination of how to incorporate it in the new text. I am not disagreeing with you. I am only saying that your arguments are not the only reasonable ones. Which arguments are more or less reasonable, I am not claiming to know. I am simply stating that reasonable inspired people could compare several previously translated texts and come to a consensus of which versions make sense in their interpretations. From there they can manipulate the wording to perhaps say more in their own language than the original translators knew how to do.


Now...do not confuse this to mean that because the NWT is so deeply flawed that it cannot contain any accurate renderings. Nor does it mean that whatever a Jehovah's Witness says is necessary wrong. That's not the case at all. What is the case, is that when a source that is in error or is not credible is required that it not be in error or that it be credible in order for the claim to have merit...we need not address the claim itself...and instead, we can directly challenge the source.

The problem I see here is that there are credibility issues everywhere in the Bible. According to the best known facts, the names of who wrote the Gospels was added long after they were written. Yet people still believe that the names on the Gospels are accurate and written by those they are ascribed to. You are acting like there is an inherent credibility to the Bible that I do not see exists. There are so many gaps in time between when events took place and when writings emerged. There is no direct lineage or corroboration (of who copied what from whom). Then there are the Apocrypha which are viewed very differently by pure archaeological researchers than they are by believers. There are many who think the religious researchers have credibility issues and, of course, the other way around.

My point is, how do you set the goalposts once and for all in such a discussion? Where will logic and probability rule and where will the hand of God intervene? Are you or I the one to make that determination? Can such a determination be made? If so, who will make it and how? If it is every man for himself, then this thread is more or less useless. Yet, I fail to see how you or anyone will ever be able to create a consensus on where the goalposts should be.

I think in this case we are all destined to decide for ourselves and that it is best to tread lightly.

eye4magic
April 1st, 2013, 09:25 PM
This is an issue of reason, of critical thinking, of logic, not of worldview.

Well, I thought you might say that and if that is your purpose, good fortune with the OP, though the discussion could go in other directions also.

I've had some interesting person to person discussion (debates) with JW followers when they've come to our door over the years. I've learned a few things through this process. In that they are a very kind and compassion people and share many Christians views, when it comes to their doctrine, the moment you bring in reason and critical thinking, they see red flags and the discussion goes downhill. I've tried different approaches with different visits, but reason doesn't work. That doesn't mean other approaches can't and won't work.

Apokalupsis
April 2nd, 2013, 07:29 AM
To be clear about what this thread is about...

This thread is in the "Debates Discussion" forum. This forum's purpose is to discuss the existing debate threads, how people are doing, the strengths of the arguments, advise how one could do better, flaws that are found...all w/o actually getting into the debate of the topic itself. That is, it is not an evaluation of the topic being debated, it is an evaluation of the debate itself. Please keep that in mind when reading and responding.



I would agree with your assessment of debate etiquette and go a step further to say that each post should be given the opportunity to show itself as reasonable and well written. We should never assume that because it is by a certain person that it not credible. That is not logical. Let each and every post speak for itself.
I absolutely agree and believe I stated as such in different terms. I did not suggest that because X person posted, the post must be flawed, I explained that when someone's argument relies on X source for support, yet X source is not credible, the argument is suspect, and we ought to address that head on instead of ignoring it.



Then again, what if those who translate it are inspired by God to do so? To claim that this is an impossibility would be to elevate the views of the cynic over the views of true believers.
We are not dealing in possible/impossible, but rather what is most reasonable, what is most likely. We are dealing with strong and weak arguments here and what makes them so. When an argument is contingent upon a source, and it is a credible source, we have a stronger argument, it's more compelling. When an argument is contingent upon a source, but said source is not credible, the argument is weak, or flawed, it is not compelling.



It is a very difficult distinction you are making when logic, science and archaeology are the reasons for making religious determinations because the time will come when you yourself will choose divine inspiration over logic and facts.
Not only is this false, it is also irrelevant. We are discussing the discussion in the other thread, not God or logic. If you would like to discuss this topic, then a new thread ought to be created.



There is translating and then there is interpreting. A great translator of scientific texts could be horrible for literature or religious texts because their inability to understand the nuances of interpretation in the original language and lack of imagination of how to incorporate it in the new text.
True, but again, irrelevant. To summarize the difference between a translator and interpreter:



Translation revolves around the written word: if you have a document such as an international contract, marketing brochure, book, manual, or survey that needs to be communicated in another language, you need a translator.

Interpretation involves oral communication. If you have an investor visiting from Japan, a diplomat from Brazil, or a Korean immigrant in a court trial, you need an interpreter to interpret the spoken word.
http://info.cetra.com/blog/bid/50998/What-is-the-difference-between-translation-and-interpretation


and


On the surface, the difference between interpreting and translation is only the difference in the medium: the interpreter translates orally, while a translator interprets written text. Both interpreting and translation presuppose a certain love of language and deep knowledge of more than one language.

The differences in skills are arguably greater than their similarities. The key skills of the translator are the ability to understand the source language and the culture of the country where the text originated, then using a good library of dictionaries and reference materials, to render that material clearly and accurately into the target language. In other words, while linguistic and cultural skills are still critical, the most important mark of a good translator is the ability to write well in the target language.

An interpreter, on the other hand, must be able to translate in both directions on the spot, without using dictionaries or other supplemental reference materials. Interpreters must have extraordinary listening abilities, especially for simultaneous interpreting. Simultaneous interpreters need to process and memorize the words that the source-language speaker is saying now, while simultaneously outputting in the target language the translation of words the speaker said 5-10 seconds ago. Interpreters must also posess excellent public speaking skills and the intellectual capacity to instantly transform idioms, colloquialisms and other culturally-specific references into analogous statements the target audience will understand.
http://www.languagescientific.com/translation-services/multilingual-interpreting-services/interpreting-vs-translation-services.html


Regardless, the 5 who translated the NWT, were neither actual translators nor interpreters.



I am not disagreeing with you. I am only saying that your arguments are not the only reasonable ones. Which arguments are more or less reasonable, I am not claiming to know.
Then how can you say they are not the only reasonable ones? You are suggesting that there are other reasonable arguments that exist...yet say you don't know what they are.

My argument is simple: If an argument relies on source X...but it is proven that source X is not credible, then there is no reason to accept the argument.

That's simple, that's reasonable.

You are saying it's not the only reasonable argument however. So...what other reasonable argument is there that results in us considering to accept the argument? In other words, for what reason should we accept the auto mechanic's assessment and recommendation in our scenario above? I disagree that we ought to take our car to him, you are saying (through your argumentation here) that we should take our car to him. So for what reason would you do so?


I am simply stating that reasonable inspired people could compare several previously translated texts and come to a consensus of which versions make sense in their interpretations. From there they can manipulate the wording to perhaps say more in their own language than the original translators knew how to do.
I don't necessarily agree with this, but again, this is irrelevant. This is not what is being done. A2E made several claims about the original languages having particular meanings. She also used the NWT to support her positions. She tried to argue that specific passages are properly translated to meaning X. Her evidence is the translation that was written by people who did not know what the original language meant. Scholars who actually do read, write, and speak, study and teach these original languages, disagreed. And of the NWT itself, not only do they say it is incorrect, but a horrible translation that indicates that those who created it, had no working knowledge of the original languages.



The problem I see here is that there are credibility issues everywhere in the Bible. According to the best known facts, the names of who wrote the Gospels was added long after they were written. Yet people still believe that the names on the Gospels are accurate and written by those they are ascribed to. You are acting like there is an inherent credibility to the Bible that I do not see exists. There are so many gaps in time between when events took place and when writings emerged. There is no direct lineage or corroboration (of who copied what from whom). Then there are the Apocrypha which are viewed very differently by pure archaeological researchers than they are by believers. There are many who think the religious researchers have credibility issues and, of course, the other way around.

My point is, how do you set the goalposts once and for all in such a discussion? Where will logic and probability rule and where will the hand of God intervene? Are you or I the one to make that determination? Can such a determination be made? If so, who will make it and how? If it is every man for himself, then this thread is more or less useless. Yet, I fail to see how you or anyone will ever be able to create a consensus on where the goalposts should be.

I think in this case we are all destined to decide for ourselves and that it is best to tread lightly.
None of this is relevant to the evaluation of that debate. We are not here to discuss the validity of the Bible, but rather to evaluate how the debate is going.

Joe Friday
April 2nd, 2013, 10:34 AM
OK. My bad.

Apokalupsis
April 3rd, 2013, 06:41 AM
lol well that's an unexpected response. I hope you don't think I was chastising you. That certainly wasn't the intent. It's just important that a) this thread keeps focused on its purpose/function and b) separating out what is relevant to the evaluation of the other thread from what ideas/issues that may come up that could be discussed independently of it.

Rodriguez
April 4th, 2013, 08:46 AM
The NWT is the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations.

Is that just your opinion or do recognized authorities on the various translations of the bible say this?

For instance, on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures#cite_ ref-56 we read:

"The New Catholic Encyclopedia says of the NWT reference edition: '[Jehovah's Witnesses'] translation of the Bible [has] an impressive critical apparatus. The work is excellent except when scientific knowledge comes into conflict with the accepted doctrines of the movement.' It criticizes the NWT's rendering of Kyrios as 'Jehovah' in 237 instances in the New Testament."

and . . .

"Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in 1989: 'In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work [the NWT Old Testament] reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.'"

and . . .

"A 2003 study by Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States, of nine of 'the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world,' including the New American Bible, The King James Bible and The New International Version, examined several New Testament passages in which 'bias is most likely to interfere with translation.' For each passage, he compared the Greek text with the renderings of each English translation, and looked for biased attempts to change the meaning. BeDuhn reported that the New World Translation was 'not bias free', but emerged 'as the most accurate of the translations compared', and thus a 'remarkably good translation', adding that 'most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation.'"

There are other critical reviews of this work, both pro and con, on the same wiki site.

What strikes me most forcefully in my, granted, brief investigation of the credibility of the NWT is that it's not at all obvious that the NWT is "the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations," as you claim it to be.

Lukecash12
April 4th, 2013, 09:52 AM
Is that just your opinion or do recognized authorities on the various translations of the bible say this?

For instance, on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures#cite_ ref-56 we read:

"The New Catholic Encyclopedia says of the NWT reference edition: '[Jehovah's Witnesses'] translation of the Bible [has] an impressive critical apparatus. The work is excellent except when scientific knowledge comes into conflict with the accepted doctrines of the movement.' It criticizes the NWT's rendering of Kyrios as 'Jehovah' in 237 instances in the New Testament."

and . . .

"Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in 1989: 'In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work [the NWT Old Testament] reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.'"

and . . .

"A 2003 study by Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States, of nine of 'the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world,' including the New American Bible, The King James Bible and The New International Version, examined several New Testament passages in which 'bias is most likely to interfere with translation.' For each passage, he compared the Greek text with the renderings of each English translation, and looked for biased attempts to change the meaning. BeDuhn reported that the New World Translation was 'not bias free', but emerged 'as the most accurate of the translations compared', and thus a 'remarkably good translation', adding that 'most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation.'"

There are other critical reviews of this work, both pro and con, on the same wiki site.

What strikes me most forcefully in my, granted, brief investigation of the credibility of the NWT is that it's not at all obvious that the NWT is "the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations," as you claim it to be.

Ummmm, let's see: 1. The "translators" had no knowledge of the languages necessary to translate. 2. A majority had no more than a high school education. Sooooooo.... given 1 & 2, why on earth would anyone find this translation credible? Are you going to trust some wiki references over the basic fact that they could not have been able to come up with an accurate translation except through sheer and incredible luck?

Apokalupsis
April 4th, 2013, 10:26 AM
Is that just your opinion or do recognized authorities on the various translations of the bible say this?

For instance, on Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures#cite_ ref-56 we read:

"The New Catholic Encyclopedia says of the NWT reference edition: '[Jehovah's Witnesses'] translation of the Bible [has] an impressive critical apparatus. The work is excellent except when scientific knowledge comes into conflict with the accepted doctrines of the movement.' It criticizes the NWT's rendering of Kyrios as 'Jehovah' in 237 instances in the New Testament."

and . . .

"Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in 1989: 'In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work [the NWT Old Testament] reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.'"

and . . .

"A 2003 study by Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University in the United States, of nine of 'the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world,' including the New American Bible, The King James Bible and The New International Version, examined several New Testament passages in which 'bias is most likely to interfere with translation.' For each passage, he compared the Greek text with the renderings of each English translation, and looked for biased attempts to change the meaning. BeDuhn reported that the New World Translation was 'not bias free', but emerged 'as the most accurate of the translations compared', and thus a 'remarkably good translation', adding that 'most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation.'"

There are other critical reviews of this work, both pro and con, on the same wiki site.

What strikes me most forcefully in my, granted, brief investigation of the credibility of the NWT is that it's not at all obvious that the NWT is "the single least credible Bible translation out of all existing translations," as you claim it to be.
The NWT is the only translation that was "translated" by people who did not know Biblical Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic. That being the case...why should we accept this understanding (translation) of the passage? Would you not agree, that the most trained, most experienced, most knowledgeable, would produce the most reliable or most accurate rending (of anything)? Especially when it is the case that we have on one hand...academia and experts...and on the other hand, laymen who had no idea how to read Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic.
Here's the NWT translator list:

Franz, Frederick - Franz was a liberal arts student at the University of Cincinnati but dropped out in the middle of his Junior year. He had 21 semester hours of classical Greek (not Biblical Greek), some Latin; dropped out of college after his sophomore year. He failed a simple Hebrew language test in a courtroom in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Gangas, George - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Henschel, Milton - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Knorr, Nathan - No training in biblical languages. Only a high school education.
Schroeder, Albert - No training in biblical languages. Schroeder majored in mechanical engineering for three years before dropping out.

Now...for what reason do we have to believe that the NWT is the most accurate translation available, considering that none of its translators are qualified as translators?


So how is it reasonable to believe a claim about what the original language meant, when this claim is based on the "knowledge" of those who had absolutely no knowledge of the language they are making claims about? It isn't.

If you took your auto to a repair shop, left it there to repair that recurring "clunky" sound...received a call from the shop from someone who said "Yeah, we know what the problem is. Our expert technician said you have too much turn signal fluid in your carburetor, we can fix that by flushing the brake lights and putting some tin foil around the rear window...it will be around $4,500"...would you actually believe him and have them do the repairs? Of course not. You do not need to inquire as to how the non-existent turn signal fluid, "flushing the brake lights", or putting tin foil on the rear window will fix engine noise. Instead, you merely point out "Your source, the expert technician doesn't know what he's talking about."

You would not allow them to do the work. You would not believe their technician. You would not recommend friends or family to have their auto served there. Why? Because there are actual credible sources (real technicians with real training, experience and knowledge) that actually know how an auto works and how to repair them.

Likewise, there are actual scholars who read, write, speak, study, and teach ancient languages such as Biblical Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. The NWT "translators" were high school educated followers of a specific church who used an existing English Bible and changed the words to fit their preconceived ideas and biases. Thus, whenever there is a claim made about how a verse ought to be properly rendered is made by someone who subscribes to the idea that the New World Translation is the most accurate source and authority on the matter, we need not attack the branch (the claim) itself, we need to attack the root (the source). Don't waste time debating meanings when it is the case that the source of the suspect meaning lacks any credibility whatsoever. It's a waste of time.


--------


JW's love to cite others to support their translation. But they also love to misquote scholars or use non-scholars to their favor (much like Young Earth Creationists do when citing scientists). This is a comparison to what the Watchtower claimed what was said by their source to what the scholars actually said: http://www.forananswer.org/Top_JW/Scholars%20and%20NWT.htm or the exposure of the source to not be a scholar at all. Tactics: Show incomplete quotes, take the quote out of context, use misleading language to explain what the quote means, quote someone who isn't a scholar or has no background in Biblical languages.


Finally, a word should be said about the New World Translation by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Due to the sectarian bias of the group, as well as to the lack of genuine biblical scholarship, I believe that the New World Translation is by far the worst translation in English dress. It purports to be word-for-word, and in most cases is slavishly literal to the point of being terrible English. But, ironically, whenever a sacred cow is demolished by the biblical writers themselves, the Jehovah's Witnesses twist the text and resort to an interpretive type of translation. In short, it combines the cons of both worlds, with none of the pros.




Why So Many Versions? (http://www.bible.org/docs/soapbox/versions.htm)http://www.apologeticsindex.org/graphics/out4.gif and which translation is best? by Daniel B. Wallace, Ph.D. Associate Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary





What actual Greek scholars think of the NWT:

Dr. J. R. Mantey (who is quoted on pages 1158-1159) of the Witnesses own Kingdom interlinear Translation):
"A shocking mistranslation." "Obsolete and incorrect." "It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 'The Word was a god.'"
Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton (Professor of New Testament Language and Literature):
"A frightful mistranslation." "Erroneous" and "pernicious" "reprehensible" "If the Jehovah's Witnesses take this translation seriously, they are polytheists."
Dr. Samuel J. Mikolaski of Zurich, Switzerland:
"This anarthrous (used without the article) construction does not mean what the indefinite article 'a' means in English. It is monstrous to translate the phrase 'the Word was a god.'"
Dr. Paul L. Kaufman of Portland, Oregon:
"The Jehovah's Witnesses people evidence an abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar in their mistranslation of John 1:1."
Dr. Charles L. Feinberg of La Mirada, California:
"I can assure you that the rendering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek scholar."
Dr. James L. Boyer of Winona Lake, Indiana:
"I have never heard of, or read of any Greek Scholar who would have agreed to the interpretation of this verse insisted upon by the Jehovah's Witnesses...I have never encountered one of them who had any knowledge of the Greek language."
Dr. Walter R. Martin (who did not teach Greek but has studied the language):
"The translation...'a god' instead of 'God' is erroneous and unsupported by any good Greek scholarship, ancient or contemporary and is a translation rejected by all recognized scholars of the Greek language may of whom are not even Christians, and cannot fairly be said to be biased in favor of the orthodox contention."
Dr. William Barclay of the 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."
Dr. F. F. Bruce of the 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 predicative construction...'a god' would be totally indefensible."
[B]Dr. Ernest C. Colwell of the 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. Phillip B. Harner of Heidelberg College:
"The verb preceding an anarthrous predicate, would probably mean that the LOGOS was 'a god' or a divine being of some kind, belonging to the general category of THEOS but as a distinct being from HO THEOS. In the form that John actually uses, the word "THEOS" is places at the beginning for emphasis."
Dr. J. Johnson of California State University, Long Beach:
"No justification whatsoever for translating THEOS EN HO LOGOS as 'the Word was a god.' There is no syntactical parallel to Acts 28:6 where there is a statement in indirect discourse; John 1:1 is direct....I am neither a Christian nor a trinitarian."
Dr. Eugene A. Nida, head of Translations Department, American Bible Society:
"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 Greek." [Responsible for the Good News Bible - The committee worked under him.]
Dr. B. F. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation):
"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."
Dr. J. J. Griesbach (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Emphatic Diaglott):
"So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour of the true Deity 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 1:1-3, 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."



Now...to be clear here...to this day..."no reputable Greek or Hebrew scholar has given an endorsement of the New World Translation. The Society has at times used both out-of-context quotations from scholars and antiqued statements to make it appear that there are those who give credence to this translation, but this version is only used by Jehovah's Witnesses to promulgate their doctrines."


The translation committee is guilty of inventing non-existent Greek grammar (and then follows these made up rules only when necessary to support the theology of the Watchtower) and inserting words into Scripture that change the meaning of God's Word.

The 1985 edition of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures states for its readers the guidelines and goals endorsed by the translation committee. The Society claims that, "We offer no paraphrase of Scripture. Our endeavor throughout has been to as literal a translation as possible where the modern English idiom allows for it or where the thought content is not hidden due to awkwardness in the literal rendition" and that" To each major word we have assigned one meaning and have held to that meaning as far as context permitted" (pp. 9-10, 1985 ed.; pg. 10, 1969 ed.).

However, based on these claims for its translation of the Bible, the committee has failed miserably.

http://ittsy.com/focusonthefaulty/Pages/jehovahs.html




Also
It is only the Watchtower's pre-conceived heretical beliefs that are behind the dishonest and inconsistent translation that is the New World Translation. The New World Translation is most definitely not a valid version of Godís Word. There are minor differences among all the major English translations of the Bible. No English translation is perfect. However, while other Bible translators make minor mistakes in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek text into English, the NWT intentionally changes the rendering of the text to conform to Jehovahís Witness theology. The New World Translation is a perversion, not a version, of the Bible.

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/New-World-Translation.html#ixzz2PWHKuOBB





Finally, let's get to your (their) offered sources in your post. I won't do this for additional sources, you should be doing this yourself. But for the 3 you offered...I'll address...



Catholic Encyclopedia

1) What does the original article say about the NWT?
2) Who wrote that article/entry and what were their credentials?
3) This is also what the Catholic Encyclopedia (via the Advent) has to say about the NWT and it is much more recent (1992+):

regarding visiting the JW's Kingdom Hall out of curiosity...


If you did know enough, if your grasp of the Catholic faith were solid and if you knew from your studies that nothing the Witnesses could say could undermine your faith, then you wouldn't suspect that they might have some good doctrinal or historical insights. They have none.

That may sound closedminded, and it would be if we were talking about a legitimate Christian group, but the Witnesses are not Christian, and their doctrines are not well thought out--as shown by the fact that their translation of the Bible, the New World Translation, includes many deliberate mistranslations intended to support their peculiar beliefs. (Bibles issued by Catholics and Protestants don't lend support to ideas such as the non-existence of hell or that Jesus was not divine but was really Michael the Archangel.)

http://www.newadvent.org/library/almanac_thisrock92.htm

The quote you reference is nowhere to be found. It may have existed somewhere at one time, and the Watchtower Society loves to continue to keep that outdated, unqualified quote alive by repeating it over and over again all the while ignoring what the Catholic Church says about it now or has clarified about it.

Here is the current Cath. Ency: http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/ Nowhere, will you find such a favorable review. It does not exist.

Catholic.com, says:


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.

http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/what-can-you-tell-me-about-the-new-world-translation



and...
The New World Translation (NWT), the JWsí own Bible version, was created between 1950-61 in several parts, beginning with New Testament (NT). The translation was made by an "anonymous" committee, which transliterated and altered passages that were problematic for earlier JWs. Nathan Knorr, Fred Franz, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, and Milton Henschel were later identified as the men that created the text, which is used by no other sect. Franz studied non-biblical Greek for two years, and taught himself Hebrew. The rest had no formal training in any biblical language. The text of the NWT is more of a transliteration to fit theological presumptions than it is a true translation. This can be seen in key verses that the WTS changed in order to fit its doctrines.

To undermine the divinity of Christ in John 1:1, the NWT reads, " . . . the word was a god." Non-JW Greek scholars call this "a shocking mistranslation," "incorrect," "monstrous," and "evidence of abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar." Furthermore, Col. 1:15-17 has been changed to "... by means of him all [other] things were created." If the text were left as the original Greek reads, it would clearly state that Jesus created all things. However, the WTS cannot afford to say that anyone but Jehovah created all things, so it inserted the word "other" four times into the text.

The 1950, 1961, and 1970 editions of the NWT said that Jesus was to be worshipped (Heb. 1:6), but the WTS changed the NWT so that later editions would support its doctrines. The translators now decided to render the Greek word for "worship" (proskuneo) as "do obeisance" every time it is applied to Jesus, but as "worship" when modifying Jehovah. If the translators were consistent, then Jesus would be given the worship due to God in Matthew. 14:33, 28:9, 28:17, Luke 24:52, John 9:38, and Hebrews 1:6*.

At the time of the Last Supper, there were over three dozen Aramaic words to say "this means," "represents," or "signifies," but Jesus used none of them in his statement, "This is my body." Since the WTS denies the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist, they have taken the liberty to change our Lordís words to "This means my body" in Matthew 26:26.

The NWT also translates the Greek word kurios ("Lord") as "Jehovah" dozens of times in the NT, despite the fact that the word "Jehovah" is never used by any NT author. It should also be asked why the NWT does not translate kurios as "Jehovah" in Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:1, and Revelation 22:21. If it did translate kyrios consistently, then Jesus would be Jehovah!
http://www.catholic.com/tracts/stumpers-for-the-jehovahs-witnesses


* That issue is what we've been discussing in the thread w/ A2E. JW's used to render the Greek word correctly. As it became more revised, it changed according to their beliefs...vs their beliefs according to the original language. The favorable reviews you offered...what are their dates? Which versions are they referring to? Well...this quote you use is nowhere to be found in any actual Catholic Encyclopedia...it is only to be found by a Watchtower publication dated 1950 (the year that the NT of the NWT was published for the first time). So how inconsistent have they applied their rendering? Extremely: http://carm.org/religious-movements/jehovahs-witnesses/new-world-translation-and-proskuneo-worship

"New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures", The Watchtower, September 15, 1950, page 315.



Prof Benjamin Kedar

Dr. Benjamin Kedar is a professor at Hebrew University in Israel, but he does not possess credentials in ancient Biblical languages. His stated quote is only in reference to the Old Testament portion of the New World Translation, completely disregarding the New Testament. This is important because it is actually the Greek Scriptures portion that spawns the major issues of doctrine, not the Hebrew portion. Therefore, this quote is useless when trying to validate theentire work of the New World Translation.

http://www.witness-outreach.com/NWT.html


Jason David BeDuhn

Again, not a linguist (even though the Society claimed he was). BeDuhn clarifies that point himself in a letter he sent to someone in response to them asking for clarification on his statement. He is not recognized as a Bible language expert even though he is an expert in other theological studies. His area of expertise is Christian History.

http://www.witness-outreach.com/NWT.html


--------------

I think more importantly (than posting scholarly reviews...of which there are more who disagree w/ the NWT being an accurate rendering than those who do), it ought to be shown that a translation which was crafted by people who could not translate ought to be considered to be a reliable translation.

Sigfried
April 4th, 2013, 10:32 AM
Ummmm, let's see: 1. The "translators" had no knowledge of the languages necessary to translate. 2. A majority had no more than a high school education. Sooooooo.... given 1 & 2, why on earth would anyone find this translation credible? Are you going to trust some wiki references over the basic fact that they could not have been able to come up with an accurate translation except through sheer and incredible luck?

Credentials aren't everything. Bill Gates dropped out of school. Hardly any of our founding fathers had degrees of any kind. It is quite possible to not know a language yet still be able to read about it using tools created by those who have or to employ the services of those who can. Its certainly a reason to be suspicious, but it does not logically preclude their ability to create a reasonable translation.

According to the Wiki the actual translators were kept secret, I wonder how the list Apok provided was put together. My own research turns up a lot of sites with just as bias an approach as the JWs themselves. Again, doesn't mean they are wrong, but it cast doubt.

I actually find the bits they argue over pretty silly, attempts to parse the metaphysical "reality" of supernatural beings as if you could use any human language to accurately do such a thing with precision. The bitterness of the division over such trivialities (from a humanist perspective) only affirms for me how absurd the whole enterprise of religion can be at times.

Apokalupsis
April 4th, 2013, 10:39 AM
Credentials aren't everything. Bill Gates dropped out of school. Hardly any of our founding fathers had degrees of any kind. It is quite possible to not know a language yet still be able to read about it using tools created by those who have or to employ the services of those who can. Its certainly a reason to be suspicious, but it does not logically preclude their ability to create a reasonable translation.
True. However they claimed it is based on the original languages.

Sig...how is it possible for me to translate War and Peace which is written in Russian...to English...when I do not read, write, or speak a spit of Russian?

Let's say I take a high school class in Russian, 1 or 2 semesters. I then "translate" the novel into English. I tell you that my translation is the single most accurate translation possible...that my understanding of the Russian language is the most accurate you will find, and thus, my rendition of this book into English has no equal.

That...vs someone whose native tongue is Russian...teaches and studies it, and they are fluent in English as their 2nd language. They can render text of either back and forth and is agreed upon by both Russian and English linguists to be accurate.

What you are saying here...is that "It's reasonable that Apok's translation is more accurate and everyone else is wrong."

It's a silly, nonsensical claim that bears an incredible burden of support...but, since you enjoy these types of challenges.....have it at it. Support your case please.



According to the Wiki the actual translators were kept secret, I wonder how the list Apok provided was put together.
They've been known for quite some time now Sig. You should know better than to trust a Wiki article as your authority.

Regardless, the only one even remotely qualified was Franz. So for what reason would we have to believe that Franz...who knew very little Greek and Hebrew, but NO Biblical Greek and Hebrew, rendered the original texts more accurately than every accredited Biblical language scholar?

Your argument is akin to arguing that a grade schooler with an IQ of 80 ought to be trusted more than a quantum physicist with an IQ of 135 who is degreed, published, and peer reviewed, when it comes to matters of quantum mechanics. This has been a long standing issue between you and I for some reason. To my knowledge, you are the only person here at ODN, and definitely the only person I've met who believes it is reasonable that those who have little to no training, experience, or education...are more credible than those who are. I've never understood that position and I've never seen you defend it.

In other words, when there are 2 competing views (such as the use of the Greek word above for "worship"), and the evidence for each is an expert (or experts) in Biblical Greek language explaining how the word is most accurately used in this particular context...and on one hand we have someone who has little to know knowledge of the Greek...and the other we have someone who has spent their life studying it, teaching it, writing about it, researching it, etc... YOUR POSITION is that "Yeah...it's reasonable that the former has it right and the latter wrong."

Defend that please. If you say it is NOT your argument, then you have misunderstood the dialog about this particular issue. It DOES come down to an academic view, and as such it DOES come down to the more qualified source. But in this case, which is why it is so astounding to me...we have someone who is NOT a scholar (Franz) in contrast WITH actual scholars (the entire academic community!). So if you did not understand this, then you need to go bak and reread the dialog or just bow out of the exchange (since you are talking about something that no one else is here...that is, you aren't a part of our dialog it would seem). If you did understand that this is what is happening, then as I mentioned above...your defense of this is going to be incredible...and I thoroughly look forward to seeing it.

Sigfried
April 4th, 2013, 11:05 AM
Jason David BeDuhn

Again, not a linguist (even though the Society claimed he was). BeDuhn clarifies that point himself in a letter he sent to someone in response to them asking for clarification on his statement. He is not recognized as a Bible language expert even though he is an expert in other theological studies. His area of expertise is Christian History.
http://www.witness-outreach.com/NWT.html

Thing of it is, he is still extremely well qualified to comment on the accuracy of bible translations in Greek. While the source you offer points out he is a very educated man, it takes pains to tell you he is not a Linguist. They even have a letter from him where he says. "Linguist would not be the best way designation for how I work with language." To which they say "He is not a Lingust"

But what does he actually say he is? a "Phillologist" http://www.witness-outreach.com/Gmail%20-%20Three%20questions%20for%20my%20research2.jpg
Something they don't bother to mention...

And what is a Phillologist?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philology
"Philology is the study of language in written historical sources; it is a combination of literary studies, history, and linguistics.[1] It is also more commonly defined as the study of literary texts and written records, the establishment of their authenticity and their original form, and the determination of their meaning."

That sounds an awful lot to me like someone incredibly well qualified to speak to the accuracy of a biblical translation. In the wiki entry for linguist you will find this explination

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguist
"Before the 20th century, the term philology, first attested in 1716,[7] was commonly used to refer to the science of language, which was then predominantly historical in focus.[8] Since Ferdinand de Saussure's insistence on the importance of synchronic analysis, however, this focus has shifted[9] and the term "philology" is now generally used for the "study of a language's grammar, history, and literary tradition", especially in the United States,[10] where it was never as popular as it was elsewhere (in the sense of the "science of language").[7]"

Did the people who wrote that apologetic piece simply not bother to find out what Philology was, or were they intentionally omitting that information from their readers in order to cast the best light on their critique? Either way they do the reader a disservice by themselves offering a very poor representation of the authors own statement. It would seem both religious camps take the same tactics to try and play up what they want the critics to say and what those critics qualifications are.

The actual work in question
http://books.google.com/books/about/Truth_in_Translation.html?id=EgnIp2Bzdi8C

It speaks to the manipulation of more "traditional" versions of the bible to make the translations fit their own christological views. He points out that in many cases the original intent cannot be known with certainty and thus its reasonable for different translators to take a side that best fits their religious views without practicing any actual deception or factual error.

In a review from one of my favorite bible scholars of the work...
http://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com/reviews/beduhn_truth.htm

"I am making it sound as if the author has definitively settled these issues, which are surely still going to be debated till Doomsday. But I don’t mind leaving such an impression, for BeDuhn’s arguments seem refreshingly cogent, clear, and comprehensive. He puts out to pasture various bogus grammatical rules that almost seem, like the grammar of Koranic Arabic, to have been fashioned to protect the text from heresy. He is forthright in expressing the obvious but ecumenically correct explanation: most Protestant translators work under the gun, pressured to make the alleged source of their doctrines reflect those (post-biblical) doctrines after the fact. The two most neutral, Greek-faithful translations turn out to be the Roman Catholic New American Bible and the Jehovah’s Witnesses New World Translation, a reworking of the American Standard Bible. BeDuhn speculates that Catholics can be freer with the details of the text because they don’t have to pretend to find their theology in it in full-blown form. He suspects that the Witnesses had similar freedom because they had cast off the baggage of orthodoxy and approached the text with fresh eyes. That certainly seems to be true of Charles Taze Russell, their founder. On the other hand, BeDuhn turns right around and shows the arbitrariness of the New World Translation’s importation of the name Jehovah into the New Testament, and the theological bias implied in their refusing to do so in the case of Old Testament quotes where using “Jehovah” in a passage applied to Jesus would imply a higher Christology than they accept. BeDuhn confesses that he, too, has a bias, and that is to try to let the ancient texts speak for themselves, stripping away biased theological mistranslations. Bravo! May we all be so “biased”!"


I think more importantly (than posting scholarly reviews...of which there are more who disagree w/ the NWT being an accurate rendering than those who do), it ought to be shown that a translation which was crafted by people who could not translate ought to be considered to be a reliable translation.

While it doesn't prove them false it calls them into question. But I truly wonder where that list of authors comes from. Officially the translators of the NWT were kept Anonymous. I've seen the same lists you have, but they don't cite where that list of authors comes from in any instance I could find. I worry it could be a cherry picked list based on suspicion rather than fact.

Apokalupsis
April 4th, 2013, 12:31 PM
Sig, you are responding like Alter2Ego now. Nowhere did you address any primary point of the post. How do we know? Let's say that we DO grant that DeBuhn is a qualified translator (I don't agree that he is btw). Great. Now what? There's a mountain of evidence calling into question the reliability and accuracy of the NWT. For every 1 academic that in a round-about-way may be slightly qualified to speak about the NWT's accuracy, there are 10+ who actually are do it full-time, not as a side hobby or as an enthusiast.

And again, re: translators of the NWT. You missed the point entirely. "Regardless, the only one even remotely qualified was Franz. So for what reason would we have to believe that Franz...who knew very little Greek and Hebrew, but NO Biblical Greek and Hebrew, rendered the original texts more accurately than every accredited Biblical language scholar?"

Franz is the primary translator according to all available sources, including the Society itself. That means we need only to examine his credentials. So, what about his credentials convinces you that he is more capable than every other actual scholar who can read Biblical languages? He dropped out of college, taking only a couple courses in Classical Greek (not Biblical), self-taught himself, and couldn't translate a simple verse to Hebrew when tested. Yet...this guy...apparently, is more credible or at least just as credible as those who have actual knowledge and expertise. How so?

You write code for a living don't you? So let's take this to an easier scenario. A 15 yr old read a book on C+. After the book, he thought of himself as a programmer, and claimed he was more qualified than all those other programmers who went to university for programming and obtained a degree (some of whom have masters and doctorates), have been programming for 15+ years, have written books on programming, etc... What about this 15 yr old tells you that it is more reasonable to trust this kid when it comes to whether or not a particular set of lines of code are "proper" (efficient, applicable, working, secure, etc...) when all the other credential programmers disagree. Why side with the kid? What is it, that you feel about inexperience, lack of knowledge, lack of education...equates to being more credible that those who more experience, more knowledge, more education, etc....? I'm just not seeing it. And seeing as how you are the only one at ODN (in its history) who has promoted such a view, it would seem that no one else sees it either. Help us understand here. How does ignorance (inexperience/lack of knowledge/lack of education) equate to higher credibility?

---------- Post added at 01:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:43 PM ----------

Also, this is bad reasoning, it's the hasty generalization or even biased sample fallacy:

Sig: Did the people who wrote that apologetic piece simply not bother to find out what Philology was, or were they intentionally omitting that information from their readers in order to cast the best light on their critique? Either way they do the reader a disservice by themselves offering a very poor representation of the authors own statement. It would seem both religious camps take the same tactics to try and play up what they want the critics to say and what those critics qualifications are.


1) The Watchtower Society is the ORGANIZATION that represents the entire religion/sect. It and its leaders are the one who misquote or use faulty sources. In this particular case, it claimed someone was a linguist, when he wasn't. Was it an honest mistake? Don't know. But we do have a track record of the Society doing this consistently. In addition to this one instance, there are numerous others of it taking quotes out of context or using quotes from non-qualified people and representing them as scholars. I provided a link above.

2) This particular website does not represent any organization's view. In fact, it's a personal website just like ODN is my personal website. It's like me saying "Atheists roll their poo into balls and eat crayons" then you proclaiming that Christianity holds as a position, that atheists roll their poo into little balls and eat crayons. That would be absurd. A single person does not represent a world philosophy. In addition, in their FAQ:

Q: Is JWOP affiliated with any particular church or denomination?
A: No. Although it is founded on the Christian principles outlined in the Bible, JWOP is not officially connected to any congregation, denomination, sect or preacher. It is simply a non-profit group operating on its own merit.

3) That website did not abuse or misuse the word "linguist." Nor did the the WatchTower society. How so? Both understand that linguistics is a science that contains many sub-fields...and if one is a professional translator, one is a linguist. However, just because one is a linguist, does not mean that one is a translator.

Career Opportunities as a Linguist:
Work as a translator or interpreter

http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/programs/undergraduate/why-major-linguistics.pdf

For some reason, I can't copy the text of the linguist (it appears it is encrypted). Go to page 3, middle of the page on the right.


Lastly, you have mistakenly equated an opposing view with an identity of an organization. An atheist can make the exact same statements as made on that website about this issue. You jumped to conclusions there and did so, without using reason.

----

In addition, your understanding as stated in your post about linguistics and philology is incorrect as well as the entire issue, irrelevant. Linguistics, in layman's terms, is simply the study of language and there are numerous studies and careers that one may engage in under this umbrella...including translation. Philology is a sub-field of linguistics, and it focuses on historical growth of a language and/or how a language adapts and evolves. It's purpose is to understand and research the culture who used that language. And it makes sense that DeBuhn is a philologist, because his area of expertise is HISTORY, Christianity history.

Today, philology is no longer concerned with literary interpretation. Rather, it is concerned with deciphering texts and with understanding language through texts — not understanding literary texts through language.
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-philologist.htm

They do not translate!


So, again...what experience and knowledge did Franz have of Koine Greek that leads you to believe that a) he is qualified to translate the language into English and b) he is more qualified than every reputable Greek Scholar (all of whom consequently, disagrees with his translation)?

Sigfried
April 4th, 2013, 01:49 PM
True. However they claimed it is based on the original languages.

Sig...how is it possible for me to translate War and Peace which is written in Russian...to English...when I do not read, write, or speak a spit of Russian?

By using dictionaries. It won't be a good translation, but it can be done. Of course the quality of the dictionary matters.

But regardless the people in question did know Greek to some extent so its not really a relevant question. Just because someone didn't take college classes for a language doesn't mean they don't know the language. Some people are self educated you know. And nearly all people have access to libraries where they can learn all manner of things.

The real test, to truly know if it is a good translation or not is to examine the work and compare it to the original. When you have the two factual elements you can use for testing, musing on the circumstantial evidence isn't all that useful. They produced a bible that for the most part is very similar to every other translation of the bible. It differs in points of language that are relative minutia. I'm not saying it is accurate to the ultimate degree, but I am saying that if the bible translation were a dart board, they are at least in the scoring area so they can't be utterly incompetent.


Let's say I take a high school class in Russian, 1 or 2 semesters. I then "translate" the novel into English. I tell you that my translation is the single most accurate translation possible...that my understanding of the Russian language is the most accurate you will find, and thus, my rendition of this book into English has no equal.

I'd doubt you but I'd have to look and see for myself, perhaps consult others who had more qualified opinions. though how many semesters of Russian you had doesn't indicate how good you are with the language. Nor for that matter does it being your native tongue. We've all encountered folks who hardly have a grasp of what they have spoken since childhood.


What you are saying here...is that "It's reasonable that Apok's translation is more accurate and everyone else is wrong."

Nope, I'm saying its possible only. There may be additional information outside of what has been presented that changes that to reasonable.


They've been known for quite some time now Sig. You should know better than to trust a Wiki article as your authority.

How are they known Apok? Why should I trust that this list is accurate? "It is known" is not much to go on.

Frederick W. Franz is probably a given, so I'm not doubting he is involved but I take appologist websites known facts with a grain of salt when they don't bother to say where those facts came from. Same as I would do with any source.

The fact is they made a bible that for the most part reads a lot like most bibles do with some variation, and all of them have some variation. The fact that those with religious differences see it as inaccurate is no great shocker to me. King James has unicorns in it. Its still pretty well respected none the less. Franz had two years of biblical greek in school and was a life long student of the bible. I imagine he was not limited in his learning to those two years in school. He reportedly knew quite a few languages.

You don't actually have any evidence that he didn't know the version of Greek involved. You only surmise that because you don't have evidence that he did beyond the circumstance of producing a translation.


Regardless, the only one even remotely qualified was Franz. So for what reason would we have to believe that Franz...who knew very little Greek and Hebrew, but NO Biblical Greek and Hebrew, rendered the original texts more accurately than every accredited Biblical language scholar?

How do you know he knew no Biblical Greek? What are you basing that on?


Your argument is akin to arguing that a grade schooler with an IQ of 80 ought to be trusted more than a quantum physicist with an IQ of 135 who is degreed, published, and peer reviewed, when it comes to matters of quantum mechanics.

Not even remotely. A grade schooler with no IQ would have no opportunity to learn such things. A grown man with an unknown IQ however could have learned all manner of things in his life including quantum physics. You grossly exaggerate the situation in this example.

What we have is unknownlevels of expertise vs some known levels of expertise. Not a known level of incompetence vs a known level of competence.


This has been a long standing issue between you and I for some reason. To my knowledge, you are the only person here at ODN, and definitely the only person I've met who believes it is reasonable that those who have little to no training, experience, or education...are more credible than those who are. I've never understood that position and I've never seen you defend it.

You continually exaggerate my claims. Why I have no clue. Perhaps it helps you be confident I am wrong. I never claimed I put Franz above anyone else. I am only saying that you don't know what level of expertise he had, and not everyone with credentials is always correct. Every day someone with great credentials discovers they have made a mistake.

There is always some question of credibility, and it matters, but you would take that weight and turn it into a black and white truth. A truth that happens fits your beliefs. On topics outside of religion you are far more reasonable.


In other words, when there are 2 competing views (such as the use of the Greek word above for "worship"), and the evidence for each is an expert (or experts) in Biblical Greek language explaining how the word is most accurately used in this particular context...and on one hand we have someone who has little to know knowledge of the Greek...and the other we have someone who has spent their life studying it, teaching it, writing about it, researching it, etc... YOUR POSITION is that "Yeah...it's reasonable that the former has it right and the latter wrong."

No. Because learned people call it both ways and the word truly has both meanings and the context does not tell us definitively which is meant. Those are simply the facts of the matter. We don't know if they bowed to Jesus as a god or as a holy leader. Language wise, either could be true. Experts agree that the same word can be used for both meanings. when translating, you need to pick one. That a less expert person chooses one of them, has no baring on which one is true. Other more leaned men made the same choice. There is no definitive best translation.

---------- Post added at 02:49 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:10 PM ----------


Sig, you are responding like Alter2Ego now.

No need to be insulting now. :P


Nowhere did you address any primary point of the post. How do we know? Let's say that we DO grant that DeBuhn is a qualified translator (I don't agree that he is btw). Great. Now what? There's a mountain of evidence calling into question the reliability and accuracy of the NWT. For every 1 academic that in a round-about-way may be slightly qualified to speak about the NWT's accuracy, there are 10+ who actually are do it full-time, not as a side hobby or as an enthusiast.

Why don't you slow down and do some research? Debuhn is not a hobbiest.
-Jason David BeDuhn, Ph.D. is an historian of religion and culture, currently Professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University.

That makes him a professional in the subject. Far more leaned in the subject than either you or I. Certainly as technically qualified as anyone you could care to name. He's a Guggenheim grant winner and still pretty early in his career. He is not slightly qualified, he is very qualified.

So you are questioning him as an outlier. I can understand that, and its a reasonable challenge. But none the less you are attacking a credentialed person just as I sometimes do, because both you and I know credentials don't guarantee you are right. But it does show that a very learned and well educated person who's professional work is understanding the bible and christian history thinks its a pretty good translation with less dogmatic re-jiggering than many other versions of the bible.

I can certainly cite other scholars who also share his opinion if you really want to play the experts game in that way. We could postulate about just how qualified they all are and otherwise waste our time.


Franz is the primary translator according to all available sources, including the Society itself. That means we need only to examine his credentials. So, what about his credentials convinces you that he is more capable than every other actual scholar who can read Biblical languages? He dropped out of college, taking only a couple courses in Classical Greek (not Biblical), self-taught himself, and couldn't translate a simple verse to Hebrew when tested. Yet...this guy...apparently, is more credible or at least just as credible as those who have actual knowledge and expertise. How so?

What made us thing the Wright brothers could fly the first plane? What made us think Bill Gates would be the richest man in the world (for a time)? The proof is in the pudding. There simply may be a great deal you don't know about the man, what he studied, or how he came to his knowledge. I don't trust him based on his credentials, but the work itself speaks to at least a competent level of skill. The NWT is not an error filled hack job. It has some subtle differences favoring the JH world view, but the other translations by persistent groups also favor their world view. And in many cases both directions are "reasonable" translations. No translation is ever exact and perfect, there is a margin for interpretation that will always be present.


You write code for a living don't you? So let's take this to an easier scenario. A 15 yr old read a book on C+. After the book, he thought of himself as a programmer, and claimed he was more qualified than all those other programmers who went to university for programming and obtained a degree (some of whom have masters and doctorates), have been programming for 15+ years, have written books on programming, etc... What about this 15 yr old tells you that it is more reasonable to trust this kid when it comes to whether or not a particular set of lines of code are "proper" (efficient, applicable, working, secure, etc...) when all the other credential programmers disagree. Why side with the kid? What is it, that you feel about inexperience, lack of knowledge, lack of education...equates to being more credible that those who more experience, more knowledge, more education, etc....? I'm just not seeing it. And seeing as how you are the only one at ODN (in its history) who has promoted such a view, it would seem that no one else sees it either. Help us understand here. How does ignorance (inexperience/lack of knowledge/lack of education) equate to higher credibility?

Its not a great example. Code is as much art as science in many cases. Many a hacker kid has turned out to be the next genius of silicon valley. Dinosaurs of coding like me get shamed daily by young upstarts. I have about as much schooling in coding as Franz did in Greek, but I'm a senior developer and well respected by my peers. While such credentials are an indicator of skill and knowledge, they don't even come close to telling you the whole story.

In the end, the best way to judge is to look at their work directly.



---------- Post added at 01:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:43 PM ----------



Sig: Did the people who wrote that apologetic piece simply not bother to find out what Philology was, or were they intentionally omitting that information from their readers in order to cast the best light on their critique? Either way they do the reader a disservice by themselves offering a very poor representation of the authors own statement. It would seem both religious camps take the same tactics to try and play up what they want the critics to say and what those critics qualifications are.

1) The Watchtower Society is the ORGANIZATION that represents the entire religion/sect. It and its leaders are the one who misquote or use faulty sources. In this particular case, it claimed someone was a linguist, when he wasn't. Was it an honest mistake? Don't know. But we do have a track record of the Society doing this consistently. In addition to this one instance, there are numerous others of it taking quotes out of context or using quotes from non-qualified people and representing them as scholars. I provided a link above.

Perhaps, but in truth a Philologist is indeed very similar to a linguist. The difference is mostly that a Philologist studies historical language and in addition does so with cultural context. This makes them far more qualified to translate ancient works than a someone who only studies a given language and its structure. So at least in this case, their description of him is not really misleading in terms of him being qualified to comment on biblical translations. And the source you cite is in fact misleading on the matter.


2) This particular website does not represent any organization's view. In fact, it's a personal website just like ODN is my personal website. It's like me saying "Atheists roll their poo into balls and eat crayons" then you proclaiming that Christianity holds as a position, that atheists roll their poo into little balls and eat crayons. That would be absurd. A single person does not represent a world philosophy. In addition, in their FAQ:

It represents its authors views, and that author is deceptive in his attempt to say that Debuhn is not qualified to judge the quality of biblical translations.


Q: Is JWOP affiliated with any particular church or denomination?
A: No. Although it is founded on the Christian principles outlined in the Bible, JWOP is not officially connected to any congregation, denomination, sect or preacher. It is simply a non-profit group operating on its own merit.


APOK, they are a group dedicated to discrediting the Jehovah's Witness Church. They have a dedicated agenda and present only information that will further that agenda. In this case I caught them in misleading information due to telling half the truth.


3) That website did not abuse or misuse the word "linguist." Nor did the the WatchTower society. How so? Both understand that linguistics is a science that contains many sub-fields...and if one is a professional translator, one is a linguist. However, just because one is a linguist, does not mean that one is a translator.

The question is whether the man was qualified to judge the accuracy of translations or not. The fact of the matter is that he is.

----


In addition, your understanding as stated in your post about linguistics and philology is incorrect as well as the entire issue, irrelevant. Linguistics, in layman's terms, is simply the study of language and there are numerous studies and careers that one may engage in under this umbrella...including translation. Philology is a sub-field of linguistics, and it focuses on historical growth of a language and/or how a language adapts and evolves. It's purpose is to understand and research the culture who used that language. And it makes sense that DeBuhn is a philologist, because his area of expertise is HISTORY, Christianity history.

Today, philology is no longer concerned with literary interpretation. Rather, it is concerned with deciphering texts and with understanding language through texts — not understanding literary texts through language.
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-philologist.htm

They do not translate!

Correct, that is not their job, but they are however very well qualified to look at translations and judge how true they are to the original meaning of the text. They understand both the language itself and the culture of the people that wrote it. Debhun did not create a translation, he examined an array of translations, compared them to one another, and to the original Greek and judged which ones were taking the greater liberties in meaning.


So, again...what experience and knowledge did Franz have of Koine Greek that leads you to believe that a) he is qualified to translate the language into English and b) he is more qualified than every reputable Greek Scholar (all of whom consequently, disagrees with his translation)?[/QUOTE]

Please actually read this this time (its formatted such I can't copy past and would have to re-type it)
http://www.witness-outreach.com/Gmail%20-%20Three%20questions%20for%20my%20research2.jpg

He states he has studied Koine Greek from the time period the document was written.

Apokalupsis
April 4th, 2013, 03:22 PM
Sig, it doesn't seem you are supporting many of your arguments and instead, just offering opinions. As such, I'm challenging the hell out of your claims. There is simply no truth to your position whatsoever, and as such, I'm taking you to task on them.


By using dictionaries. It won't be a good translation, but it can be done. Of course the quality of the dictionary matters.
This is equivocated. Am I arguing that it is possible to render any kind of translation, even if it is a horrible one? Or am I arguing for an accurate, representative, reliable translation that is recognized as such by academia?



But regardless the people in question did know Greek to some extent so its not really a relevant question.
Support this or retract it please.




The ONLY one known to have any any semblance of a remotely relevant language, was Franz.



Just because someone didn't take college classes for a language doesn't mean they don't know the language. Some people are self educated you know. And nearly all people have access to libraries where they can learn all manner of things.
Great. Now support that someone in 1950 without a college education can reliably and accurately translate an ancient language into Modern English and do it with more accuracy that those who have doctorates, are experts in the field and have been for decades, are peer reviewed and acknowledged, etc...

The issue is NOT whether someone can create a horrible translation with little to no knowledge but with some resources...the issue is whether or not that translation ought to be considered to be more reliable than others, all of which have been translated with particular methodology and by those who are acknowledged to be qualified to do so. That's been my entire point in this thread Sig. It's all about credibility, not possibility. Surely you know this, so...



Why we should accept someone who is self-taught and we have ABSOLUTELY NO REASON WHATSOEVER to believe they are qualified (when universally in the field, every translation committee provides the names and qualifications of those who render the translation) to provide not only a very accurate rendering, but one that is more qualified than most others?

This issue IS about the NWT being claimed to be the MOST accurate according to JW's. They use it to justify their interpretations, and then try to support that by talking about the Greek (see above).



The real test, to truly know if it is a good translation or not is to examine the work and compare it to the original.
...rofl!? Since when?

Support this. Please provide scholarly support, not your opinion.





When you have the two factual elements you can use for testing, musing on the circumstantial evidence isn't all that useful. They produced a bible that for the most part is very similar to every other translation of the bible. It differs in points of language that are relative minutia.
This is incorrect. It is language that is grossly different than any other belief system. It is what separates JW from the rest of Christianity and is why they are universally recognized as an alternative sect or a cult.


I'm not saying it is accurate to the ultimate degree, but I am saying that if the bible translation were a dart board, they are at least in the scoring area so they can't be utterly incompetent.
Support this. There have been plenty of verses given in a few threads that A2E were in, where there was a difference in interpretation. Since you believe that the NWT is accurate enough to reflect Christian doctrine, an easy way for you to this would simply be to defend against the posts I've made in response to A2E.



I'd doubt you but I'd have to look and see for myself, perhaps consult others who had more qualified opinions. though how many semesters of Russian you had doesn't indicate how good you are with the language. Nor for that matter does it being your native tongue. We've all encountered folks who hardly have a grasp of what they have spoken since childhood.
I disagree...and I think it is not only irresponsible but a very ignorant philosophy. Remember, my point is not nor has ever been "Experts do not make mistakes" but rather:

When we have 2 competing views, and the only difference is that of an authority, it is more reasonable to side with the more credible authority.





Nope, I'm saying its possible only. There may be additional information outside of what has been presented that changes that to reasonable.
This is why I said you need to reread the argument or simply bow out of the conversation. You are not talking about the same thing everyone else is. This is NOT about what is possible, but rather what is reasonable. It's possible that we live in a Matrix...but it is not reasonable. It is possible that someone with little to no education or expertise writes a paper on a technical level that is more accurate than 100 people who do have said experience and knowledge and have had it for 20+ years...but it is not reasonable.

So...if you are arguing for what is possible as a counter claim to mine...then you are committing a strawman. If you are arguing that it is more reasonable to side w/ the 1 vs 100, then you need to support your argument as to why we should.


How are they known Apok? Why should I trust that this list is accurate? "It is known" is not much to go on.
It came from Fred's nephew who is a former member of the Watchtower's Governing Body, Raymond V. Franz,. in his book, Crisis of Conscience, he lists the translators' names as Franz, Knorr, Schroeder and Cangas. His list omits Henschel. Franz further acknowledges his uncle Frederick Franz as the "principal translator of the Society's New World Translation" (Crisis, pg. 50). To this day the Society has never denied these were the names. Some JW apologists have tried to argue however that the rest of the 4 were publishers, not necessarily translators, and it was only Franz who was the translator. Since then, there have been other members who have spoken out and corroborated Franz's claims.

From your own Wiki source:



^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures#cite_ ref-25) Walter Martin, Kingdom of the Cults, Expanded Anniversary Edition, October 1997, Bethany House Publishers, p. 123. "While the members of the [NWT] committee have never been identified officially by the Watchtower, many Witnesses who worked at the headquarters during the translation period were fully aware of who the members were. They included Nathan H. Knorr (president of the Society at the time), Frederick W. Franz (who later succeeded Knorr as president), Albert D. Schroeder, George Gangas, and Milton Henschel."
^ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_World_Translation_of_the_Holy_Scriptures#cite_ ref-26) Tony Wills, M.A., A People For His Name - A History of Jehovah's Witnesses and An Evaluation, Lulu, 2006. Originally published in 1967 by Vantage Press. "[Frederick] Franz is a language scholar of no mean ability-he supervised the translation of the Bible from the original languages into the New World Translation, completed in 1961." (p. 253) Of author Tony Wills, the Preface reads "The Author has been intimately associated with Jehovah's Witnesses for many years, close enough to be able to think as one, but never, at the same time, losing his objectivity."




Frederick W. Franz is probably a given, so I'm not doubting he is involved but I take appologist websites known facts with a grain of salt when they don't bother to say where those facts came from. Same as I would do with any source.
I have a feeling that ANY source that provides a view that is counter to your own, you don't trust. The source in this case, was a 42 yr long JW member.
3) it's more credible to



The fact is they made a bible that for the most part reads a lot like most bibles do with some variation, and all of them have some variation.
NONE of them have this sort of "variation." This is not mere "variation" Sig...it is alone in many of the doctrines it espouses.


The fact that those with religious differences see it as inaccurate is no great shocker to me. King James has unicorns in it.
How does this change doctrine?


Its still pretty well respected none the less. Franz had two years of biblical greek in school and was a life long student of the bible. I imagine he was not limited in his learning to those two years in school. He reportedly knew quite a few languages.
Great. Now support that he was qualified in Koine Greek and is more reliable as a credential scholar (which is what my entire point has been re: credibility).





You don't actually have any evidence that he didn't know the version of Greek involved. You only surmise that because you don't have evidence that he did beyond the circumstance of producing a translation.
We have NO evidence that he was qualified in any way, shape or form to translate Biblical Greek. Without exception, 100% of all Biblical translators offer their credentials. Why? For peer review. You are arguing like a Young Earth Creationist here Sig.



How do you know he knew no Biblical Greek? What are you basing that on?
It is possible he did. But we have no reason to believe he did. And the fact that 100% of all Greek scholars review his translation as been absolutely horrible, is evidence that he most likely did not.

You are siding with the guy that 100% of all academics in the relevant field say got it wrong. You need to defend your position and explain why 100% of all academics (Greek Scholars) are incorrect and why someone who has no college education, no formal training, no credentials, nothing to evaluate...is better qualified than those who do.





Not even remotely. A grade schooler with no IQ would have no opportunity to learn such things. A grown man with an unknown IQ however could have learned all manner of things in his life including quantum physics. You grossly exaggerate the situation in this example.

What we have is unknownlevels of expertise vs some known levels of expertise. Not a known level of incompetence vs a known level of competence.
It isn't exaggerated at all. You are for some reason, operating on the premise of "possibility" when a) that's a strawman, and b) 100% of all academics (Greek Scholars) disagree with him.



I never claimed I put Franz above anyone else.
THAT IS THE ENTIRE POINT OF THIS THREAD! It's about credibility. On the one hand we have Franz....little education, not credentialed, 100% of all his peers (actual Greek translators) disagree with him, on the other hand we have numerous scholars in the relevant field who do have this training, are peer reviewed, and all disagree with Franz.

So...as I said...either you are committing a strawman or you need to defend that Franz is either on par w/ all these scholars or better than.





I am only saying that you don't know what level of expertise he had,
1) You do not know what he did have.
2) We do know what he did not have (that of any formal education)
3) We also know that his "peers"...who are actual scholars and thus, not his real peers since he is no scholar, all disagree with him.



No. Because learned people call it both ways and the word truly has both meanings and the context does not tell us definitively which is meant. Those are simply the facts of the matter. We don't know if they bowed to Jesus as a god or as a holy leader. Language wise, either could be true. Experts agree that the same word can be used for both meanings. when translating, you need to pick one. That a less expert person chooses one of them, has no baring on which one is true. Other more leaned men made the same choice. There is no definitive best translation.
Sure there is. And I provided how the JW's abuse that Greek word for "worship" in my post to him.



Why don't you slow down and do some research? Debuhn is not a hobbiest.
-Jason David BeDuhn, Ph.D. is an historian of religion and culture, currently Professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University.

That makes him a professional in the subject. Far more leaned in the subject than either you or I. Certainly as technically qualified as anyone you could care to name. He's a Guggenheim grant winner and still pretty early in his career. He is not slightly qualified, he is very qualified.
He is not qualified as a Koine Greek translator. This was explained in my previous post re: distinction between linguist vs philologist. If you believe he is, then you need to support it instead of claim it.



1) What are the necessary qualifications to be a Koine Greek Translator?
2) What are DeBuhn's qualifications as a Koine Greek translator?



I can certainly cite other scholars who also share his opinion if you really want to play the experts game in that way.
That's the thing. You cannot. There are NO Biblical Greek Scholars who agree with him. 100% of all "scholars" that agree w/ the NWT, are not qualified to translate or actually did not agree and were taken out of context (see my post to Rod).



What made us thing the Wright brothers could fly the first plane? What made us think Bill Gates would be the richest man in the world (for a time)? The proof is in the pudding. There simply may be a great deal you don't know about the man, what he studied, or how he came to his knowledge. I don't trust him based on his credentials, but the work itself speaks to at least a competent level of skill.
Again, you are simply not paying attention to the argument. When we have 2 competing views, and it comes down to the authority, whoever has the most credibility w/ their sources is the one most reasonable to side with. Such is the case w/ the argument A2E provided w/ Greek word for "worship."



Its not a great example. Code is as much art as science in many cases. Many a hacker kid has turned out to be the next genius of silicon valley. Dinosaurs of coding like me get shamed daily by young upstarts. I have about as much schooling in coding as Franz did in Greek, but I'm a senior developer and well respected by my peers. While such credentials are an indicator of skill and knowledge, they don't even come close to telling you the whole story.
Again, this is in error. As any good coder knows, much of it has to do with experience and research. A simple book will never make anyone a coder.



In the end, the best way to judge is to look at their work directly.
I agree! But when it comes to an ancient language being rendered a certain way to English, and you have know direct knowledge of that language and must rely on experts...what is it do you think, that you are looking at in order to evaluate whether they got it right or not?



Perhaps, but in truth a Philologist is indeed very similar to a linguist.
As is a bowling ball to a golfball. That doesn't mean you can drive a 10lb bowling ball 200 yrds with a golfclub (which is essentially, what you are saying).


The difference is mostly that a Philologist studies historical language and in addition does so with cultural context. This makes them far more qualified to translate ancient works than a someone who only studies a given language and its structure.
No...it does not. I've already explained how this is incorrect, so address the proper part of my post please.


So at least in this case, their description of him is not really misleading in terms of him being qualified to comment on biblical translations. And the source you cite is in fact misleading on the matter.
This is a ridiculous claim. I've provided you direct sources that explain what a philologist does and doesn't do...and what a linguist is and what they did. Did you not read that part or something? You are gravely mistaken here.



It represents its authors views, and that author is deceptive in his attempt to say that Debuhn is not qualified to judge the quality of biblical translations.
See above. You are mistaken about what a philologist does. It is more accurate to refer to someone who studies the meaning of language as a linguist instead of a philologist.



APOK, they are a group dedicated to discrediting the Jehovah's Witness Church. They have a dedicated agenda and present only information that will further that agenda. In this case I caught them in misleading information due to telling half the truth.
Of course. Aren't they allowed to? They disagree w/ the claims made by JW. So what? Heaven forbid someone offers a countering view there Sig. Just because someone has an opposing view in no way means that they are identified as a particular group or organization...which is exactly what you did and now caught...for some reason, you can't fess up to it. It's not a very honorable tactic there Sig IMO.


The question is whether the man was qualified to judge the accuracy of translations or not. The fact of the matter is that he is.
According ONLY to Sig. Not anyone who actually knows anything about translation. Therefore, you need to support your claim.




Correct, that is not their job, but they are however very well qualified to look at translations and judge how true they are to the original meaning of the text.
NOT as qualified as actual translators. Translation is not their area of expertise.


Please actually read this this time (its formatted such I can't copy past and would have to re-type it)
http://www.witness-outreach.com/Gmail%20-%20Three%20questions%20for%20my%20research2.jpg
Actually...it is YOU who is not reading carefully.

1) I'm aware of DeBuhn's letter. I found it and linked it, remember?
2) The question was being asked about Franz...not DeBuhn.

So...please actually read this time:

Apok: What experience and knowledge did Franz have of Koine Greek that leads you to believe that a) he is qualified to translate the language into English and b) he is more qualified than every reputable Greek Scholar (all of whom consequently, disagrees with his translation)?


He states he has studied Koine Greek from the time period the document was written.
See above. You aren't reading carefully.

Lastly...so WHAT if you have 1 or 2 guys saying the NWT is fine. For every 1, there are 10+ actual Greek Scholars who say it isn't. Therefore, you are insisting it is more reasonable to accept the views of the less qualified minority. This is the same frustration that is experienced by evolutionists when they debate Young Earthers...for some reasons, YEC's and yourself, simply detest qualified, scholarly sources.

---------- Post added at 04:22 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:14 PM ----------

Here Sig....since you believe the NWT to be sufficiently accurate...then you surely can defend/explain their rendering of John 1:1.

I've already done so in a previous post (in a different thread), but for good measure:

The most well-known of all the New World Translation perversions is John 1:1. The original Greek text reads, “the Word was God.” The NWT renders it as “the word was a god.” This is not a matter of correct translation, but of reading one's preconceived theology into the text, rather than allowing the text to speak for itself. There is no indefinite article in Greek (in English, "a" or "an"), so any use of an indefinite article in English must be added by the translator. This is grammatically acceptable, so long as it does not change the meaning of the text.

There is a good reason why theos has no definite article in John 1:1 and why the New World Translation rendering is in error. There are three general rules we need to understand to see why.

1. In Greek, word order does not determine word usage like it does in English. In English, a sentence is structured according to word order: Subject - Verb - Object. Thus, "Harry called the dog" is not equivalent to "the dog called Harry." But in Greek, a word's function is determined by the case ending found attached to the word's root. There are two case endings for the root theo: one is -s (theos), the other is -n (theon). The -s ending normally identifies a noun as being the subject of a sentence, while the -n ending normally identifies a noun as the direct object.

2. When a noun functions as a predicate nominative (in English, a noun that follows a being verb such as "is"), its case ending must match the noun's case that it renames, so that the reader will know which noun it is defining. Therefore, theo must take the -s ending because it is renaming logos. Therefore, John 1:1 transliterates to "kai theos en ho logos." Is theos the subject, or is logos? Both have the -s ending. The answer is found in the next rule.

3. In cases where two nouns appear, and both take the same case ending, the author will often add the definite article to the word that is the subject in order to avoid confusion. John put the definite article on logos (“the Word”) instead of on theos. So, logos is the subject, and theos is the predicate nominative. In English, this results in John 1:1 being read as "and the Word was God" (instead of "and God was the word").

The most revealing evidence of the Watchtower's bias is their inconsistent translation technique. Throughout the Gospel of John, the Greek word theon occurs without a definite article. The New World Translation renders none of these as “a god.” Just three verses after John 1:1, the New World Translation translates another case of theos without the indefinite article as "God." Even more inconsistent, in John 1:18, the NWT translates the same term as both "God" and "god" in the very same sentence.

The Watchtower, therefore, has no hard textual grounds for their translation—only their own theological bias. While New World Translation defenders might succeed in showing that John 1:1 can be translated as they have done, they cannot show that it is the proper translation. Nor can they explain the fact that that the NWT does not translate the same Greek phrases elsewhere in the Gospel of John the same way. It is only the pre-conceived heretical rejection of the deity of Christ that forces the Watchtower Society to inconsistently translate the Greek text, thus allowing their error to gain some semblance of legitimacy in the minds of those ignorant of the facts.

It is only the Watchtower's pre-conceived heretical beliefs that are behind the dishonest and inconsistent translation that is the New World Translation. The New World Translation is most definitely not a valid version of God’s Word. There are minor differences among all the major English translations of the Bible. No English translation is perfect. However, while other Bible translators make minor mistakes in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek text into English, the NWT intentionally changes the rendering of the text to conform to Jehovah’s Witness theology. The New World Translation is a perversion, not a version, of the Bible.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/New-World-Translation.html#ixzz2PXWsG3YO

Sigfried
April 4th, 2013, 03:27 PM
Sig, it doesn't seem you are supporting many of your arguments and instead, just offering opinions. As such, I'm challenging the hell out of your claims. There is simply no truth to your position whatsoever, and as such, I'm taking you to task on them.

OK my friend but in return I will use the button to challenge you back. Hold my feet to the fire and I'm taking you along for the barb-q. :)

Apokalupsis
April 4th, 2013, 04:13 PM
OK my friend but in return I will use the button to challenge you back. Hold my feet to the fire and I'm taking you along for the barb-q. :)
Fair enough. I'll bring mesquite.

---------- Post added at 05:13 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:49 PM ----------

You know what is most interesting to me...is that according to JW's, the NWT is based on the Greek manuscripts by Dr. B. F. Wescott and Dr. J. J. Griesbach (see your wiki).

Wouldn't it be interesting to see what those 2 scholars said about the English translation of the NWT considering their own works were used as primary sources? Of course it would! And in fact, I provided those earlier, apparently you missed it.

Dr. B. F. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation):

"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."


Dr. J. J. Griesbach (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Emphatic Diaglott):

"So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour of the true Deity 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 1:1-3, 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."

Yikes.

Sigfried
April 5th, 2013, 09:26 AM
A quick Preface before I get into the meat of this....

In your early posts in the actual thread, I was all on board with the NWT being some abomination of translation by a group that is notorious for cultish behavior. But the more I honestly researched the topic (due to this thread) the more it seemed to me like the primary detractors all had a strong ideological bend of their own. All the passages cited were all to do with trinity or similar dogmas, not with the basic quality of translation. Every time I found a critic, their primary concern was trinity doctrine. Every time I found a supporter (outside of JW), it was someone with pretty much no theological axe to grind. That kind of thing always sets of my BS detector and makes me think the truth lies somewhere between the two extremes. In looking into how JW does their work, I saw nothing all that strange or sinister, in fact they have a pretty respectable publishing organization (as I'll get into eventually).

All I ask is that while reading my arguments, you try to set down for a moment what you have been told about it and try to start as if you knew nothing, then pull in both sides arguments and weight them without consideration to either side's doctrine.

Also that my position is not the exact opposite of yours. I am not arguing their translation is the best possible, or the most true. I only seek to claim it is about as reasonable as the many other commonly used translations, all of which have strengths and weaknesses but remain mostly true to the intent of a faithful translation. I'm not qualified nor equipped to study the minute nuances and judge them for myself. But my original impression from your posts was the NWT was some horror show hack job and nothing I have read so far actually leads me to think that is true. I'll be trying to persuade you of the same, though not convinced I will succeed.

And I will be sure to address the gents you quote above while doing so.

Sigfried
April 5th, 2013, 11:48 AM
On a discovery mission I though I'd address this first.


You know what is most interesting to me...is that according to JW's, the NWT is based on the Greek manuscripts by Dr. B. F. Wescott and Dr. J. J. Griesbach (see your wiki).

Wouldn't it be interesting to see what those 2 scholars said about the English translation of the NWT considering their own works were used as primary sources? Of course it would! And in fact, I provided those earlier, apparently you missed it.

Lets get this out up front. Those 2 scholars had nothing to say about the NWT because they were both dead long before it was published. The NWT first made its appearance in 1950 (Greek NT only). Wescott died in 1901 and Holt died in 1892. So while it would be interesting to see what they had to say about it, it is impossible to do so. If one of your sources was claiming they did, that source was deceiving you.

But lets say that is not what they really meant (despite the language used). Lets say they just meant to illustrate those authors comments on how the Greek should be translated with how the NWT was much later translated and so imagine that if they were alive this century, this is a comment they might offer.


Dr. B. F. Wescott (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation):
"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 imagine this is the "word was god" vs "word was a god" business. Wescott makes a theological argument about Eminence and deity, not one based on language or translation. He lets his theological view guide his translation. Which I don't entirely fault, but if you fault others for not doing so, or for doing the same but with a different view, then you have overstepped reason.

The fact is that "a god" from a purely literal perspective is a reasonable interpretation, but not the only reasonable interpretation.

"Dr. Jason BeDuhn (of Northern Arizona University) in regard to the Kingdom Interlinear's appendix that gives the reason why the NWT favoured a translation of John 1:1 as saying the Word was not "God" but "a god" said: "In fact the KIT [Appendix 2A, p.1139] explanation is perfectly correct according to the best scholarship done on this subject.."

"Murray J. Harris has written: "Accordingly, from the point of view of grammar alone, [QEOS HN hO LOGOS] could be rendered "the Word was a god,...." -Jesus As God, 1992, p. 60."

"C. H. Dodd says: "If a translation were a matter of substituting words, a possible translation of [QEOS EN hO LOGOS]; would be, "The Word was a god". As a word-for-word translation it cannot be faulted."

None of these guys are JWs, and all are published authors with credentials in the field of Greek and biblical texts. There are certainly other experts who disagree, but how many use theological rather than simply textual arguments to make their case? Even some of these authors don't agree it is the proper translation, Dodd for instance is a trinitarian so far as I can tell, but he separates the textual question from the theological one and recognizes that textually, it is well within reason, but theologically he disagrees with it.


Dr. J. J. Griesbach (whose Greek text - not the English part - is used in the Emphatic Diaglott):
"So numerous and clear are the arguments and testimonies of Scriptures in favour of the true Deity 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 1:1-3, 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."

This is an entirely theological argument, not one based in the work of translation but in the work of belief and doctrine.


Yikes.

Not really. It is just an example that some translators have a different theological view than others and it colors which direction they take a translation when there are multiple rational directions to take it.

Apokalupsis
April 5th, 2013, 06:12 PM
For this discussion, I'd probably split it from here. Either start afresh or tie it together eventually.

To be clear, instead of continuing on in this thread (which is about a discussion of another topic - "Bible Teachings vs Traditions of Man"), you should probably start a new thread with the issue "Is the New World Translation sufficiently accurate/reliable?" I do not care about "Is the NWT a possibly sufficient translation?" What I mean by "Is it sufficient" is that if it actually is reliable and accurate based on the evidence and knowledge we have available to us today. JW's adamantly claim that the NWT is the single most accurate and reliable translation possible. All other translations have grave errors in their translations. That there are no other comparisons, and that because of this, the NWT alone is sufficient for any Bible study. For them, it's a black and white issue. The NWT stands alone, out from the pack.

So if all you want to do is argue about whether or not it is possible that verses ought to be translated in a particular way, I'm not your guy. There is more to reasoning and proper translation that simple "possibility." If you wish to debate which is more reasonable? What has more support? What is more likely? Well, then I'm all in.

I never once said that the NWT is not an English version of the original language...I simply said it was insufficient, or a very bad translation. And by "bad translation" I mean that renderings other than what it claims, are more reasonable and more likely.

Now, we'll need to know which version of the NWT and KIT (Kingdom Interlinear Translation) that is said to be accurate and reliable by the scholars who have read them. There have been revisions over the years that have changed relevant verses (particularly the KIT). The reason for knowing this ought to be obvious, but in case it isn't to you, earlier translations were closer to the actual Greek. Over time, they changed to reflect the teachings of the Society (the original KIT versions are a good example). So is the scholar referring to an earlier version? Or is the scholar referring to the latest? The Watchtower Society to this day, continues to use quotes from credential Greek Scholars that reviewed the NWT, but when later asked, these scholars adamantly denied supporting the NWT and that either their quote was taken out of context or it was referring to a previous translation. One such example (so we are on the same page and I can offer some legitimacy to this claim, would be that of the instance with Dr. Julius R. Mantey (I'll let you research it for your thread). I simply do not trust the Watchtower Society due to their proven track record of deceit, inconsistency, misleading, and being dishonest with their claims. I've provided a list of examples of numerous scholars who the WS claimed said one thing, when in fact, they did not (and we can verify each and every one of those claims). So if you intend to show that the WTS is legit, you have an uphill battle here with me* as it is not something I can simply "wipe away and forget."

Also, in order to nail down the issues, I'd probably pick about 3-5 verses that many Greek scholars call to question in the NWT. If you agree w/ me, then I think we need to discuss which verses we are to examine. We can then compare that to the original languages and see what scholars say about those renderings. If we were to only find scholarly review about the NWT in general, I don't think it would be very productive...and frankly, I believe there would be 10 saying it is a bad translation for every 1 you found saying it was fine. I'd rather not have it be a numbers issue, but rather as close to an actual evaluation as we can get.

Does that sound like a good idea? If so, we can forgo the challenges above unless those claims are brought into the new discussion. But if we use the above formula, many (if not all) of those challenges need not even be addressed as we can probably evaluate the NWT via a different means, directly examining key verses that separate the sects.

----------------

* Now I realize you suggested let's start off on a clean track. We can as long as you can verify what is being reviewed. When we have 10 different possibilities, and 1 of which may be fine on one part of scripture, and that particular scripture is what is being evaluated, it's a no brainer that it is not an honest evaluation, and it's a waste of both of our time.

If you wish to go back a step and discuss whether or not the WTS HAS actually deceived, manipulated, mislead others, etc... I can do that too and it, like our new topic above, ought to be a new discussion. But to insist that we simply wipe the slate clean and start from scratch...I simply cannot do as I'm far beyond that in my investigation. JW's were my first cult research years ago (12+). I know more about them than perhaps anyone on this board, and I would even wager more than most of the JW's who have registered on this board! So to simply ask that I forget all that, just isn't going to happen. If you wish for me to make a case against the WTS, its history, false prophecies (which are incredibly important to the WTS mind you), that's fine, we can start there to build a foundation. But they get no clean slate. So either foundation...or I insist you provide the version of the text that was favorably reviewed BECAUSE of the WTS's known and proven public record of deception.

Apokalupsis
April 5th, 2013, 08:50 PM
On another note, I wonder how many people would be interested in learning Koine Greek? It's always an ongoing process IMO, but a basic understanding of its language can be learned in a year (2 semesters) with the right program(s). I would guess that it would be more interesting to the Christian group than non-Christian, but for those interested, we may be able to setup a group study (I've studied in the past, and have recently picked it back up again with a solid and credentialed program - teaches the whole gamut, eg. transliteration values, marking methods, agency, means, aorist verbs (inc formation), declensions, semantic diagramming, etc...).

Rodriguez
April 6th, 2013, 12:23 AM
Ummmm, let's see: 1. The "translators" had no knowledge of the languages necessary to translate. 2. A majority had no more than a high school education. Sooooooo.... given 1 & 2, why on earth would anyone find this translation credible? Are you going to trust some wiki references over the basic fact that they could not have been able to come up with an accurate translation except through sheer and incredible luck?

You've given no one any reason to believe that your unsupported claim here, which you desperately hope is true, is actually true, but just for grins let's suppose that it is actually true.

Does your claim here then mean that you are not among the vast majority of believers who believe that your god has the power to inspire uneducated men to perform great intellectual feats?

Luke 1:37 "For nothing is impossible with God."

If this is true then wouldn't the work itself rather than the qualifications of its authors be key in evaluating its quality?


Would you not agree, that the most trained, most experienced, most knowledgeable, would produce the most reliable or most accurate rending (of anything)?

Yes, I would agree to that but I would apply those criteria consistently. For example, I would never say something like "God inspired these relatively uneducated men to write his words in ways that seem wholly inconsistent with their qualifications to do so."

Also, I should point out, again, that it is NOT my claim that the New World Translation is the most accurate rending of the Bible available. My claim is that your claim that the NWT is the least accurate rending of the bible available appears somewhat dubious.

Apokalupsis
April 6th, 2013, 05:39 AM
You are not being consistent. In a case where 1 has deviated from the many, we then evaluate the credibility of those responsible for the deviation. If God inspired these unqualified men, it means that God did not inspire all the qualified men since they all came up with a different translation. You are saying here either God only inspired JWs, or logical contradictions are fine. Both, obviously, are troublesome.

Also, I've already addressed your sources.

FYI, it is not a majority position of Christians or a belief of Christianity that God does inspire anyone to properly render the ancient languages into a target language. You are confusing what God CAN do, with what God DOES do. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that in this instance, God DID inspire the uneducated to be able to read a language they did not know, then translate it accurately into their target language. If you believe otherwise, you need to support that claim.

Apokalupsis
April 6th, 2013, 11:27 AM
Lets get this out up front. Those 2 scholars had nothing to say about the NWT because they were both dead long before it was published.
Yes, I misstated. It should read more accurate as "Wouldn't it be interesting to see what those 2 scholars interpreted their own Greek text? Of course it would! And in fact, I provided those earlier, apparently you missed it."

More importantly, Westcott actually did provide what this actually means in the Greek in his commentary of the book of John. He is in agreement with all the other scholars as to what it means and therefore, how it is most accurately translated.

The reason why he, nor any reputable scholar, would agree or agrees w/ the NWT is because on one hand the NWT claims not to paraphrase and apply a literal meaning...yet...it does not. In fact, a few verses later it changes its own rule on indefinite particles.

The reason why this is relevant is because the NWT denies the deity of Christ, and is why it is on the outskirts of Orthodox Christianity (and btw, it is considered a cult not because of its translation, but because of its behavior).

To keep it simple:

JW's deny the divinity of Christ. They base that on the NWT. They say "In the Greek, this means {x}." But it doesn't! They are not simply giving word for word translation, they are claiming an exegetical translation, and that is where the problem is. So when scholars say that the NWT is a very bad translation, it is because 1) it is inconsistent in being both a literal and a paraphrasing, 2) it inserts and removes words that do not exist in the original Greek (Westcot/Hort), 3) JW claim that X is the case and we can be confident that X is the case because the the NWT is most reliable and what it says in English, is what the Greek meant. Yet...all of this is false on the part of the JW's claims.

Let's take John 1:1 for example. JW's say "a god." Some scholars say "Well...if we are going to take a literal word for word and ignore contextual criticism, then it is possible." But to render it "a god" then claim that because it says "a god" this means that Jesus is not God (based on a rule that does not exist in the Greek and one that the JW's are not consistent with) is one in which all reputable Greek scholars take issue with.


Westcott said himself of Christ's divinity his commentary on John:

341834193420

Rodriguez
April 6th, 2013, 11:45 AM
You are not being consistent. In a case where 1 has deviated from the many, we then evaluate the credibility of those responsible for the deviation. If God inspired these unqualified men, it means that God did not inspire all the qualified men since they all came up with a different translation.

So what if God were to inspire unqualified men and none of the qualified men working on the same project? There is nothing inconsistent in someone's making that claim.

Why would highly qualified men need God's inspiration to do something they're entirely capable of doing without God's inspiration?

For instance, Steven Weinberg didn't need God's inspiration to do the work in physics that won Weinberg the Nobel prize -- but I sure as shootin' would have.



FYI, it is not a majority position of Christians or a belief of Christianity that God does inspire anyone to properly render the ancient languages into a target language.

That's obvious since all the various translations differ in some way and all seem to contain errors. FYI, most American Christians don't believe that even the original bible should be taken literally.


You are confusing what God CAN do, with what God DOES do.

No, Apok, that's not what I'm saying.

You criticized the NWT translation based on the inadequate education ["inadequate education" in terms of the education necessary to translate the bible] of those who you believe were involved in the translation. I merely pointed out that IF those responsible for the NWT translation were inspired by God then their educational level wouldn't matter. What would matter would be the quality of the work they produced.


There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to believe that in this instance, God DID inspire the uneducated to be able to read a language they did not know, then translate it accurately into their target language. If you believe otherwise, you need to support that claim.

There's a couple a problems with your comment here. First, I never said that God inspired any uneducated man to be able to read a language he does not know. YOU, not I, have explicitly stated or implied that the men responsible for the NWT translation were unqualified to do the work that they did.

I said only that IF those men truly were unqualified to do the work that they did then there is nothing unreasonable, from a Christian point-of-view, in believing that the men were inspired by God to do the work that they did.

Second, I have supported the claim that the men responsible for the NWT translation did a reasonable job. I've given you quotes (and I can give you more if you like) from impartial and even hostile sources indicating that the NWT is, at least, a reasonable translation of the bible. Since this is the case and since YOU say that the men responsible for this work were unqualified to produce it, it would seem a credible inference FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE to believe that God inspired these unqualifed men to produce the translation that they produced.

How else might a Christian explain it?

The NWT has its flaws, sure. It is biased toward a Jehovah's Witness perspective, sure. But all in all, impartial bible scholars on the whole don't seem to believe that it's the grossly inaccurate and wildly erroneous translation that you seem to believe it is. That's all I'm saying.

Apokalupsis
April 6th, 2013, 01:10 PM
So what if God were to inspire unqualified men and none of the qualified men working on the same project? There is nothing inconsistent in someone's making that claim.
That is not what you are being inconsistent about. We can apply your same reasoning to qualified men (that God inspires those who would share and spread His word). So the only way out of the inconsistency is as I said...you need to make the claim that only the most uneducated are inspired or that logical contradictions are just fine because that is the outcome of saying "The unqualified translators of the NWT were inspired by God."

You need to actually support your position here Rod.



Why would highly qualified men need God's inspiration to do something they're entirely capable of doing without God's inspiration?
Because we don't deal in mere possibilities, but rather what is reasonable...

1) You have not demonstrated that it is the case that God inspires 100% of all men.
2) You have not demonstrated that it is the case that God does inspire unqualified men.
3) You have not demonstrated that it is the case that those who have translated the texts were not inspired.
4) You have not demonstrated that God inspired men to take up an education and their study, in order to properly render a translation.

The "why" is entirely irrelevant. It doesn't change the fact that there is no reason to doubt academia and there are reasons to doubt high school educated people translating languages they have no idea about.



For instance, Steven Weinberg didn't need God's inspiration to do the work in physics that won Weinberg the Nobel prize -- but I sure as shootin' would have.
This is a misunderstanding of divine inspiration. It is not the case that unqualified people ARE divinely enhanced "just because." And I've never claimed that Bible translators were inspired. You claimed that unqualified men can be. That's great, but as I already explained, it isn't about what is possible, but what is reasonable. It's possible that all non-Christians roll their poo into balls and eat crayons. So what? This doesn't make for an argument nor does it pose any challenge to any position.

We have the vast majority of translations rendering the Greek as X. In all cases, the translators were open w/ their credentials for verification. In all cases, the translators were highly qualified. On the other hand, we have a single instance where a translation was made be a committee that refused to disclose the qualifications. As it so happens, we now know who the translators were, and we know they were unqualified. It is also the case that this particular translation is at odds with all the translations by qualified academics as it claims Y.

What does this ultimately result in?

Rod's position (the same as a Young Earthers'): The unqualified, uneducated, fringe example is the most reputable and should be accepted over academia.

Apok's + 100% of all reputable Greek Scholars: The above is utter nonsense and lacks any rational thought whatsoever.



That's obvious since all the various translations differ in some way and all seem to contain errors. FYI, most American Christians don't believe that even the original bible should be taken literally.
Good. Then you understand the difference between potentiality and actuality. Moving on...



No, Apok, that's not what I'm saying.

You criticized the NWT translation based on the inadequate education ["inadequate education" in terms of the education necessary to translate the bible] of those who you believe were involved in the translation.
I criticized it, but I did not claim that that is why it is a bad translation. This is exactly why I told Sig that he needs to be sure of what he is reading BEFORE he wastes time creating a strawman. Both you and he are not reading carefully the argument here. The NWT is not bad because its translators were unqualified. It's bad because it renders the incorrect meaning of the verse. That its translators were unqualified is an argument to support why a particular rendering (theirs) is less reasonable...thus, making the NWT less credible.

It is the case that there is a singe instance of a modern translation that greatly differs from historical and modern translations from the actual Greek. It is the case that JW's claim that the NWT is the most accurate, and that huge docturnal issues exist because all other Bibles get it wrong. One such example is the divinity of Christ...another His how He is worshiped (or not). It is the case that the JW in question (A2E) claimed that based on the Greek, X is the case. It so happens, that X is contrary to almost every single Greek scholar in existence as to its appropriate meaning. So how to rectify? We have a claim of the meaning of the Greek (the radical minority) vs a different claim of the meaning of the Greek (the vast majority).

We can either dig up all the scholars who weigh in on the issue and pit them against one another (and if done so, JW's lose hands down, it isn't' even a contest), or we can evaluate the source and methods of the translation in question. The source and methodology of the JW's is not only highly suspect, it's unbelievable. It was translated by people who did not know the original languages they were translating from.

Given that, is it possible that the NWT is correct and all others incorrect by way of miracle, or divine intervention? Absolutely! But is it reasonable and should we act as if the NWT is most reliable and all others false? Absolutely not! It would be intellectually bankrupt to do such a thing.

What you are saying there, would be to abandon all scientific progress in the way we understand the world, and instead, believe the 1 guy who says that the world was created 7 days ago by a magic noodle. Why? Because it is "possible." That's just insane Rod. We do not operate on what is merely possible...but what is reasonable.

Until you can demonstrate that it is reasonable that we ought to abandon academia and instead, go with an organization that has a public track record of constantly changing what it means, contradicting its own NWT in its publications, provable false prophecies, etc... we have no reason to accept your premise.



There's a couple a problems with your comment here. First, I never said that God inspired any uneducated man to be able to read a language he does not know. YOU, not I, have explicitly stated or implied that the men responsible for the NWT translation were unqualified to do the work that they did.
I have shown that they were unqualified. You have yet to show why you believe they got it right and all of academia got it wrong.



I said only that IF those men truly were unqualified to do the work that they did then there is nothing unreasonable, from a Christian point-of-view, in believing that the men were inspired by God to do the work that they did.
Yes there is. As already explained...it would mean that we must be inconsistent and not apply inspiration to any other group. It's an arbitrary selection, and one without reason.



Second, I have supported the claim that the men responsible for the NWT translation did a reasonable job. I've given you quotes (and I can give you more if you like) from impartial and even hostile sources indicating that the NWT is, at least, a reasonable translation of the bible.
I've already refuted them. And I've explained this to you once already. I've also shown how the Watchtower Society takes quotes out of context, implies meaning of those quotes that do not exist, misapply a quote to a particular issue, and have its quoted scholars actually coming back and responding "foul" because their statements were manipulated into being something they were not. Read carefully before posting please.

But...if you wish to get into an academic quote war...let's do it. I'm game. There is no way you'll come even close to winning that one. For one, most of the scholars the WS uses:

1) has little to no experience in the field they are being quoted about (by the WS)
2) have publicly denounced the WS for quote mining or taking their quote out of context
3) there are 10+ actual credentialed, more qualified scholars in disagreement.

I don't have to bait and switch here, and I don't have to bluff. This is a case where you and the NWT has no room to stand on academically. You are in the same position as a Young Earth Creationist on the issue of Creation vs Evolution. The abundance of experts and reason sides with a particular view for a reason. All evidence points to the claims of the passages in the NWT's meaning, to be in error. See below re: distinction between transliteration and meaning. The few scholars who do speak favorably of the NWT, do so on the basis of the former...not the latter. It's a distinction that for some reason, you and Sig are either not aware of or just don't make. And it is a reason why your position favoring the NWT is weakened.



Since this is the case and since YOU say that the men responsible for this work were unqualified to produce it, it would seem a credible inference FROM A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE to believe that God inspired these unqualifed men to produce the translation that they produced.

How else might a Christian explain it?
You have not demonstrated that the NWT is a reliable translation. And as I explained to Sig, you are equivocating. There's a difference between how a text is rendered and what it means. It is possible that in many of the controversial passages that the verses CAN be rendered that way technically. The problem is, the committee was not consistent with doing so, they intentionally rendered a verse one way, defending it through a particular rule, but then refused to render other passages where the rule should have also been applied if the rule was going to be used consistently. In addition, the NWT and Kingdom Linear Translation have undergone relevant revisions. In some cases, scholars commented on an earlier rendering, the text then gets revised, and the scholar's original quote is still used, even though it was taken out of context as it was applying to a pre-revision. This means that for every review you offer in favor, you need to know which version in particular was being evaluated.



The NWT has its flaws, sure. It is biased toward a Jehovah's Witness perspective, sure. But all in all, impartial bible scholars on the whole don't seem to believe that it's the grossly inaccurate and wildly erroneous translation that you seem to believe it is. That's all I'm saying.
There's a difference between quantity and quality. It could have 90% accuracy of all verses w/ the exception of all those that in the Greek claimed divinity of Christ. THAT...would make it a horrible translation. Why? Because it completely changes an essential doctrine. There's a whopping difference between a non-essential and an essential doctrine (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php/25410-Christianity-United-in-Essentials). An essential doctrine changes the religion in a significant way. A non-essential, does not.

And if you think that all the actual Greek scholars got it wrong because they are biased, then you need to actually support that point. They believe the way they do precisely because they understand the language. It's like saying "Well, all evolutionary scientists are biased so we cannot take any word of any scientists that leans toward evolution." That's just bad reasoning Rod. You need to demonstrate that result does not jive with the original Greek. I've done that when it comes to the NWT. I'm still waiting for you and Sig to catch up. I'm not interested in your own biases that everyone who disagrees with you philosophically is biased and only you are not...I'm interested in what you can actually demonstrate. And making grand assertions...is not the same as demonstrating something through the use of logic and evidence, is the case.

Lastly...re: this bit...

don't seem to believe that it's the grossly inaccurate and wildly erroneous translation that you seem to believe it is.

You have presented a strawman argument. I never once claimed that it was 'grossly inaccurate and wildly erroneous.' I merely claimed that it was one of the least accurate translations available, and it is! I've explained this already (much like many of the points I am making in this post), just because something is faulty doesn't mean that it gets EVERYTHING or even MOST things wrong.

The claim that the NWT is the least credible means that of all those that are credible, it lacks the most credibility. That is, if we have 5 of something, and each a value based on their quality, a range from 1-10...such as the scores rendered were:

A: 9
B: 6
C: 7
D: 5
E: 8

It is a true statement to say that "D has the least amount of quality." It's also a true statement to say "D and B are of the lessor quality" or even "...have the least amount of quality."

So your position that the NWT cannot be the least credible because it has some support behind it...is a fallacious one. Not only is it a strawman, but it is bad reasoning by way of equating "least" with "none."

eye4magic
April 6th, 2013, 01:17 PM
JW's deny the divinity of Christ.
Well, technically speaking, I don't think that's accurate. In my discussions with them over the years when they've come to our door, they don't deny the Divinity of Jesus. They deny that he is the Almighty Creator, i.e the Alpha/Omega, God, Father of all. I think they believe Jesus was Archangel Michael who they recognize as a 'divine' being. It's not clear to me though on how they connect (as in equal) Archangel Michael (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_(archangel)) with Jesus.


In truth, Jehovah’s Witnesses (http://e-watchman.com/jehovahs-witnesses/jehovahs-witnesses-deny-the-deity-of-christ.html) do not deny the divinity of Christ. As already stated above, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus had a prehuman existence and in that state he was divine. Although not Almighty God, the Word, as he was/is called, was a god. He existed as the very image and likeness of the only true God.

Apokalupsis
April 6th, 2013, 01:34 PM
You are right. It's a misstatement...it should be "deity" not "divinity." I'll correct.

And by deity in this sense, I mean to say that they believe that Jesus is just as much of a god as Satan is a god (in fact, they believe that Jesus is Satan's brother...and is one and the same as Michael, the Archangel who later became man). They believe that Jesus is not God, but a creation of God. That is, it is the nature of the deity of Christ that is at odds. They do not worship Jesus (for Jesus, according to them, is not God) any more*.

These are serious doctrinal differences than Orthodox Christianity. JW's claim that the NWT is the most accurate translation available, and from the NWT (and the holy periodicals that the Watchtower Society publicizes through the guidance of Jehovah), we can know such things.

The 'such things' however...are not supported by the Greek. And that's the problem I have w/ the NWT. They abuse and manipulate the Greek to defend what they claim the meaning of the passages in the NWT mean.

There are 3 types of translations:

1) word for word (most consistently in line w/ the Greek and Hebrew; KJV is an example)
2) meaning for meaning (takes into account the context and phrasing; NIV is an example)
3) paraphrasing (making it easier to read but to the extent of sacrificing the original meaning of the text; Living Bible is an example)

The NWT claims to be #1 (read its preface). And that is where the problem comes in. Instead, it's #3 as it does not apply the word for word method consistently. It picks and chooses to reflect the beliefs that are mandated and declared from the Watchtower Society.

------

* "any more" because they stopped doing so in 1954. Yes, they used to render the Greek word for worship properly...and that is most likely when they received more praise for their translation. Russell, Rutherford, Knorr...all worshiped and taught to worship Christ. In fact, it was in the 1945 WT Charter to do so! It wasn't until 1954 that this doctrine changed, and it wasn't until 1999 that it was removed from the charter itself! The Watchtower Society has more flip flops on key issues than Kerry, Bush, and Romney combined. And each time they flip flop...they argue that the NWT actually means X (where X is their current mandated theology as dictated by the WT leadership). They do not get their doctrine from scripture, but from the man. If it were from scripture, and the NWT was truly accurate and God breathed as they claim it is and was from its beginning, then there would be consistency in their beliefs.


No other sect creates their own translation, then keeps their committee members secret, then has so few on that committee that has even an inkling of Hebrew/Greek/Aramic yet has none of the Biblical variance, changes their doctrines on a whim, has so many Greek scholars in disagreement, nor has any member it seems, ever been awarded a post-graduate degree in Biblical Hebrew or Greek. It stands alone...unique. Even other versions use committees made up of various sects (NIV for example) and have multiple post-graduates performing the translation. That this does not give pause to those who consider themselves to be rational thinkers is disturbing...but that it does not give pause to those with an agenda (those of a militant anti-religionist view), is no surprise.


---

Another point...

Facts...information...this is the enemy of cults (or alternative sects). For a very long time the Watchtower Society has relied upon the inability of people to verify sources. People just did not have easy access or access at all to the sources used by the WTS to support its findings. But in the information age, this barrier begins to crumble. Perhaps no better example exists than the WTS's "Should you believe in the Trinity?" booklet. It was published (irc) first in 1986. Over the years, as people had more and more access to information and sources, this booklet became the poster child for how cults lie, deceive, manipulate, etc... Not only did the WTS make it difficult to validate the sources by giving only the name (vs page number, author, date, etc...), they ripped the source material from surrounding text that completely changed the meaning. When all the sources were uncovered and this became more well known and the WTS was exposed for what it did, the WTS pulled all available copies from print and .pdf format. The article is a textbook example of how NOT to source material. I happen to have that actual booklet and plan on using it as an example of the WTS practices that universally endorsed and practiced throughout all its publications including the NWT. It's a ridiculously inaccurate and falsely sourced publication. But this is not an isolated instance! This is the status quo. So I ask you...given their history, given the exposure to such fallacious and unethical tactics...what about them tells you that this is just another "ordinary" Christian sect that has a few simple variances in how they interpret scripture? If we were to apply your (whoever endorses this behavior) standard of acceptability to the creation vs evolution debate, would you object? Or be consistent and defend it? Somehow...I'm guessing you'd have to admit to being inconsistent with your application.

eye4magic
April 6th, 2013, 04:07 PM
The 'such things' however...are not supported by the Greek. And that's the problem I have w/ the NWT.

Personally, for me the translation issue is not as big of an issue as their doctrinal approach toward the Bible. If people are allowed to think freely, I believe the Holy Spirit can work through our sense of reason.


"All who want to understand the Bible should appreciate that the "greatly diversified wisdom of God" can become known only through Jehovah's channel of communication, the faithful and discreet slave," (Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1994).

Ouch.... So in essence their doctrine strongly embraces the idea that the only way to understand God's word (The Bible) is through an earthly Watchtower organization and thus it seems they have placed their organization as the "Comforter."


John 6:114
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

Apokalupsis
April 7th, 2013, 10:29 AM
To Sig and Rod:

I've re-read this thread. And after doing so I've come to a realization about a few things...

1) I've gone off on a few wild tangents that distract from the key points discussed early on.
2) I've also found myself treating this more like a "journal" of random thoughts, which resulted in #1.
3) I've also found myself getting baited into debating again, something I really don't have time for tbh.
4) In addition, I've seen my posts start to escalate to a more abrasive tone (towards Sig and Rod), which is a reason I decided to slow down in my debate participation recently.
5) Lastly, I've noticed that my primary purpose for posting in this thread over the last couple days has not been to lead others to the truth, but to win irrelevant and meaningless "points" in a debate (something that ought not be done IMO, particularly in a discussion forum where this thread resides).

As such, I've decided not to post further on this particular topic in this thread*. I apologize in advance if that leaves others wanting or frustrated, it isn't my intent. But because I approached the subject in a more hostile manner than one which is exploratory, and I see myself probably continuing to do so if I continue, I don't think it wise to carry on.

I will however encourage you (Sig and Rod) to offer a response and I will read and consider your position. If there is 1 or 2 (at most) salient points that you wish for me to respond to or are curious as to what I think, I will do my best to offer a response to those 1 or 2 issues. But the subject as a whole, I shouldn't continue as I just think I'm doing it from a place of ego and hostility instead of one from charity and love, thus, not setting a good example. Perhaps it is this morning's church service that has influenced this decision, but it is one that I think is for the best.

You may respond to any or all points, and you may be as abrasive in tone as I have been without concern of reprise on my part.

I do believe that what I have stated is truthful, objective, and applicable. But the manner in which it was said and the reasons for which it was said were for me, not where I wanted to go with this discussion. With that being said, I humbly concede the argument.





* I am open to exploratory discussions [in a new thread] about how translation committees are organized or how the translation process is done, but this admittedly, just isn't as "sexy" as tying it to a particular sect or version of what is being translated.

Sigfried
April 8th, 2013, 08:58 AM
NP Apok, I was kind of dragging my feet on the time that it would take to give you a robust response anyhow :) And really I don't care much about the JW, and certainly find defending them more an exercise in instinctual neutrality than one of a personal passion.

I think this topic is as you noted a bit close to home. The reason I was drawn to it is some of your claims just have the ring of exaggeration, such as that JWs always use the NWT, when they guy you were arguing with hardly used it at all. And the JWs existed for many years before the NWT was ever written, and that they still use other versions of the bible for study (but tend to use the NWT for worship). The idea they knew no Greek of an substance clashes with the fact they publish in Greek regularly and that they produced what is a pretty functional translation, even if it appears somewhat influenced by doctrine.

They are a cult for the most part, but the effort to attack them smacks of witch hunts and exaggerated claims common in religious rivalry. And I, being me, like to challenge anyone who seems too eager to claim the truth. The more certain they are, the more I want to knock the chip off their shoulder. :)

Lets leave off this one til the next JW wanders into our world. Hopefully they will be less finicky and more honest than the last, but I kind of doubt it. Theirs is a faith of the ultra certain and I think anyone believing strongly in it is either brainwashed from youth or hides a deep insecurity that such a certain faith helps shore up.

I'll leave you with an article I was going to mine very heavily in my response. It seems to be not from someone who apologizes for the JW, he attacks their practices multiple times in the article, but he also takes a notch out of the critics as well and offers a lot of information about their history and organization. Its interesting reading if you want to get a sort of rebuttal without the need to debate on it.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/48234022/Did-the-New-World-Translation-Committee-know-Greek

Apokalupsis
April 8th, 2013, 11:39 AM
Just a quick correction...


The reason I was drawn to it is some of your claims just have the ring of exaggeration, such as that JWs always use the NWT, when they guy you were arguing with hardly used it at all.
I never once claimed that JW's only use the NWT. I said that JW's consider the NWT to be the most accurate and reliable.

Sigfried
April 8th, 2013, 12:29 PM
I never once claimed that JW's only use the NWT. I said that JW's consider the NWT to be the most accurate and reliable.

Fair enough, I think I was basing that off the part where you said their christology was based on the NWT in post 28, but of course they were around for a while before they worked on the NWT so that can't be true.

I still think the core case for the NWT is that it takes the least liberties in translating the text. (with the exception of using Jehovah which near everyone thinks is BS) And the reason it scores high with some who have done comparisons, is that so many other versions of the bible also play fast and loose with the translation here and there as well. It reminds me of the King James Only debates where there is the battle cry that any translation which de-emphasizes the divinity of Jesus is Satan's attempt to turn Christians away from the true path. It shows how much pressure and desire there is out there to manipulate texts to meet established dogma.

It leads me to wonder what the most secular translation of the bible is... I'm not sure. I tend to use the NIV when I can as a standard. It always seems to me a pretty fair rendition when compared to other versions yet doesn't go for the so literal it hurts to read approach.

Apokalupsis
April 8th, 2013, 12:59 PM
I like the NIV. And I like the fact that it was translated by a large number of scholars from a wide variety of sects. It lends to its credibility when a committee uses a checks and balances system like that.