(Originally posted in 2015, updated with a few quotes for clarity) This is posted here in the hopes that Edwin, a Jehovah’s Witness I bumped into at Starbucks, will look at the following information that I promised I would reference for him. It backs up a bit more what cannot be explained fully in general conversation.
Pictured above (click to enlarge) is the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ (J-Dubs) of 1975. The circled names are the people of the New World Translation Committee, which, more information is below. The New World Translation is the Bible “version” that the J-Dubs use.
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society has failed both the public and its own followers at this most crucial point, as they refuse to give the names and credentials of the translators of The New World Translation. The Watchtower’s Bible subject index handbook, Reasoning from the Scripture, states: “When presenting as a gift the publishing rights to their translation, the New World Bible Translation Committee requested that its members remain anonymous. The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania has honored their request” (pg. 277).
The reason cited is because the “translators were not seeking prominence for themselves.” However, the fact is that the men who comprised this committee had no adequate schooling or background to function as skilled critical Bible translators.
The translation committee was headed by (then vice -president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses), Frederick W.Franz. Other members included Nathan H. Knorr (then president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses), Albert D. Schroeder, Ceorge D. Gangas and Milton Henschel.
The information as to the identity of the translation committee was made known by former Jehovah’s Witness William Cetnar. (See further, We Left lehovah’s Witnesses, A Non-Profit Organization; Edmond C. Gruss.) Cetnar was able to supply this information as he worked at the International Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the time the translation was being prepared.
In addition, former member of the Watchtower’s Governing Body, Raymond V. Franz, in his book, Crisis of Conscience, 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).
Yet, Frederick Franz’s translation ability is open to serious question.
During a court trial held in Scotland in 1954 (during the same period that the New World Translation was being made) Franz was asked if he had made himself familiar with Hebrew. His reply was “Yes.” He also acknowledged under oath that he could read and follow the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German and French. The following day, during the same court trial, his linguistic abilities were put to the test.
He was asked to translate Genesis 2:4 into Hebrew. He failed the test as he was unable to do so. In fact he did not even try, but rather stated “No, I wouldn’t attempt to do that.”
(See, Court of Session, Scotland – Douglas Walsh vs. The Right Honourable James Latham Clyde – November 1954.)
When I open up my ESV Study Bible, I see the contributing editors, their education and titles/names — as well as everyone involved in the study notes — their education and titles/names, as well as (and most importantly), the Translators. This is not the case as you can see from the front page of the New World Translation, to the right (click to enlarge). And when we did find out who these translators were, none knew Greek or Hebrew at all!
The main problem is that the Watchtower gives ALL truth that is to be believed by the Jehovah’s Witness. I will show an example, and I quote the founder, Charles Taze Russell:
Even if you’ve read the Scripture Studies for ten years, and you lay them aside and read the Bible for two years alone, you enter into darkness?!
THAT was a revealing quote.
It shows how brainwashed Jehovah’s Witnesses are to the fact that the ruling council and president of the Watchtower Society dispense nothing but truth and reality while the rest of humanity who points out the misquotes and misrepresentations are shunned as devils (almost literally).
You might say however, “yeah… but that was alll the way back in 1910.” I agree, let’s update that idea a bit. The Watchtower (August 15, 1981) condemns those who:
- say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home…. Through such “Bible reading,” they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom’s clergy were teaching 100 years ago…
In a court case where the the third president of the Watchtower Organization, Nathan Knorr (president from 1942-1977, who, at the age 16 left the Reformed Church to be baptized as a Jehovah’s Witness), gave testimony about “what” the watchtower Magazine really was:
One ex-Jehovah’s Witness said he was clearly told that to gain eternal life, certain things were necessary. One was to “study the Bible diligently, and only through Watchtower publications” (Edmond C. Gruss, We Left Jehovah’s Witnesses: Personal Testimonies [Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 1974], 41).
I will go out on a limb here and say, “if the devil were to create a religious group that undermines the true message in the Bible, would the devil require someone to read the Bible by itself… or would the devil want to add something to it that would interpret everything within?”
Who are the real followers of whom?
Nor were the leaders/translators honest men. In this first example, Charles T. Russell sued J. J. Ross for “defamatory libel” on March 1913. Ross in his booklet, Some Facts About The Self-Styled Pastor C. T. Russell wrote, “Russell does not know the dead languages.” Unfortunately for Russell, he proved himself wrong in the court room:
This next example comes from the Scottish Court and is the dialogue between Frederick Franz and the court attorney: