New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures

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Encyclopedia
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT) is a translation of the Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 published by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a non-stock, not-for-profit organization headquartered in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, United States. It is the main legal entity used worldwide by Jehovah's Witnesses to direct, administer and develop doctrines for the religion...

 in 1961; it is used and distributed by Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

. Though it is not the first Bible to be published by the group, it is their first original translation of ancient Classical Hebrew, Koine Greek
Koine Greek
Koine Greek is the universal dialect of the Greek language spoken throughout post-Classical antiquity , developing from the Attic dialect, with admixture of elements especially from Ionic....

, and Old Aramaic biblical texts. As of 2011, the Watch Tower Society has published 171 million copies of the New World Translation in 103 languages.

History


Until the release of the NWT, Jehovah's Witnesses in English-speaking countries primarily used the King James Version. According to the publishers, one of the main reasons for producing a new translation was that most Bible versions in common use, including the Authorized Version (King James), employed archaic language. The stated intention was to produce a fresh translation, free of archaisms. Additionally, over the centuries since the King James Version was produced, more copies of earlier manuscripts of the original texts in the Hebrew and Greek languages have become available. The publishers claimed better manuscript evidence had made it possible to determine with greater accuracy what the original writers intended, particularly in more obscure passages. They said linguists better understood certain aspects of the original Hebrew and Greek languages than previously.

In October 1946, the president of the Watch Tower Society, Nathan H. Knorr, proposed a fresh translation of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, which Jehovah's Witnesses usually refer to as the Christian Greek Scriptures. Work began on December 2, 1947 when the "New World Bible Translation Committee" was formed, composed of Jehovah's Witnesses who claimed to be anointed. The Watch Tower Society is said to have "become aware" of the committee's existence a year later. The committee agreed to turn over its translation to the Society for publication and on September 3, 1949, Knorr convened a joint meeting of the board of directors of both the Watch Tower Society's New York and Pennsylvania corporations where he again announced to the directors the existence of the committee and that it was now able to print its new modern English translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. Several chapters of the translation were read to the directors, who then voted to accept it as a gift.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah's Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

, which Jehovah's Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions. Cross references
Cross-reference
A cross-reference is an instance within a document which refers to related or synonymous information elsewhere, usually within the same work. To cross-reference or to cross-refer is to make such connections. The term "cross-reference" is often abbreviated as x-ref, xref, or, in computer science,...

 which had appeared in the six separate volumes were updated and included in the complete volume in the 1984 revision.

In 1961 the Watch Tower Society began to translate the New World Translation into Dutch, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish; the New Testament in these languages were released simultaneously on July 1963 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By 1989 the New World Translation was translated into eleven languages, with more than 56,000,000 copies printed.

Translators


The New World Translation was produced by the anonymous New World Bible Translation Committee, formed in 1947. This committee is said to have comprised unnamed members of multinational background. The New World Bible Translation Committee requested that the Watch Tower Society not publish the names of its members, stating that they did not want to "advertise themselves but let all the glory go to the Author of the Scriptures, God," adding that the translation, "should direct the reader... to... Jehovah God". The publishers believe that "the particulars of [the New World Bible Translation Committee's members] university or other educational training are not the important thing" and that "the translation testifies to their qualification". Former high ranking Watch Tower staff have claimed knowledge of the translators' identities.

Translation Services Department


In 1989 a Translation Services Department was established at the world headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses, overseen by the Writing Committee of the Governing Body. The goal of the Translation Services Department was to accelerate Bible translation with the aid of computer technology. Previously, some Bible translation projects lasted twenty years or more. Under the direction of the Translation Services Department, translation of the Old Testament in a particular language may be completed in as little as two years. During the period from 1963 to 1989, the English version of the New World Translation became available in ten additional languages. Since the formation of the Translation Services Department in 1989, there has been a significant increase in the number of languages in which the New World Translation has been made available.

Translation


According to the Watch Tower Society, the New World Translation attempts to convey the intended sense of original-language words according to the context. The New World Translation employs nearly 16,000 English expressions to translate about 5,500 biblical Greek terms, and over 27,000 English expressions to translate about 8,500 Hebrew terms. Where possible in the target language, the New World Translation prefers literal renderings, and claims that it does not paraphrase the original text.

Textual basis


The master text used for translating the Old Testament into English was Kittel's Biblia Hebraica. The Hebrew text, Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia
The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, or ', is an edition of the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Bible as preserved in the Leningrad Codex, and supplemented by masoretic and text-critical notes...

 (1977), was used for updating the footnotes in the 1984 version of the New World Translation. Other works consulted in preparing the translation include Aramaic Targum
Targum
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art and the national sport of South Korea. In Korean, tae means "to strike or break with foot"; kwon means "to strike or break with fist"; and do means "way", "method", or "path"...

s, the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

, the Samaritan Torah, the Greek Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

, the Masoretic Text
Masoretic Text
The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and...

, the Cairo Codex
Cairo Codex
The Cairo Codex is a manuscript discovered in 1907 that contained the first significant fragments of plays by the ancient Greek playwright Menander....

, the Codex Petropolitanus
Codex Petropolitanus
Codex Petropolitanus is the Latin for Saint Petersburg Codex and may refer to one of the following manuscripts preserved in the Russian National Library, St. Petersburg:...

, the Aleppo Codex
Aleppo Codex
The Aleppo Codex is a medieval bound manuscript of the Hebrew Bible. The codex was written in the 10th century A.D.The codex has long been considered to be the most authoritative document in the masorah , the tradition by which the Hebrew Scriptures have been preserved from generation to generation...

, Christian David Ginsburg
Christian David Ginsburg
Christian David Ginsburg was a Polish-born, British Bible scholar and student of the masoretic tradition in Judaism....

's Hebrew Text, and the Leningrad Codex
Leningrad Codex
The Leningrad Codex is the oldest complete manuscript of the Hebrew Bible in Hebrew, using the masoretic text and Tiberian vocalization. It is dated AD 1008 according to its colophon...

.

The Greek master text by the Cambridge University
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 scholars B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort
Fenton John Anthony Hort
Fenton John Anthony Hort was an Irish theologian and editor, with Brooke Westcott of a critical edition of The New Testament in the Original Greek.-Life:...

 (1881) was used as the basis for translating the New Testament into English. The committee also referred to the Novum Testamentum Graece
Novum Testamentum Graece
Novum Testamentum Graece is the Latin name editions of the original Greek-language version of the New Testament.The first printed edition was the Complutensian Polyglot Bible by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, printed in 1514, but not published until 1520...

 (18th edition, 1948) and to works by Catholic Jesuit scholars José M. Bover (1943) and Augustinus Merk (1948). The United Bible Societies
United Bible Societies
The United Bible Societies is a worldwide association of Bible societies. In 1946 delegates from 13 countries formed the UBS, as an effort to coordinate the activities of the bible societies. The first headquarters were London and in Geneva...

' text (1975) and the Nestle
Erwin Nestle
Erwin Nestle , son of Eberhard Nestle, was a German scholar who continued editing his fathers "Nestle Edition" of the New Testament in Greek, adding a full critical apparatus in the thirteenth edition....

-Aland
Kurt Aland
Kurt Aland was a German Theologian and Professor of New Testament Research and Church History. He founded the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster and served as its first director for many years...

 text (1979) were used to update the footnotes in the 1984 version. Additional works consulted in preparing the New World Translation include the Armenian Version
Armenian Bible translation
The Armenian Bible is due to Saint Mesrob's early 5th century translation. The first monument of Armenian literature is the version of the Holy Scriptures. Isaac, says Moses of Chorene, made a translation of the Bible from the Syriac text about 411...

, Coptic Versions
Coptic versions of the Bible
There have been many Coptic versions of the Bible, including some of the earliest translations into any language. Several different versions were made in the ancient world, with different editions of the Old and New Testament in all four of the major dialects of Coptic: Bohairic , Fayyumic, Sahidic...

, the Latin Vulgate, Sixtine and Clementine Revised Latin Texts
Sixto-Clementine Vulgate
Vulgata Sixto-Clementina, is the edition of Latin Vulgate from 1592, prepared by Pope Clement VIII. It was the second edition of the Vulgate authorised by this Pope, and it was used until the 20th century.- Clementine edition :...

, Textus Receptus
Textus Receptus
Textus Receptus is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the King James Version, and for most other...

, the Johann Jakob Griesbach
Johann Jakob Griesbach
Johann Jakob Griesbach , German biblical textual critic, was born at Butzbach, a small town in the state of Hesse, where his father, Konrad Kaspar , was pastor...

's Greek text, the Emphatic Diaglott
Emphatic Diaglott
The Emphatic Diaglott is a diaglot, or two-language polyglot translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson, first published in 1864. It is an interlinear translation with the original Greek text and a word-for-word English translation in the left column, and a full English translation in the...

, and various papyri.

Other languages


Translation into other languages is based on the English text, supplemented by comparison with the Hebrew and Greek. As of 2011, the New World Translation has been published in 103 languages.

Translators are given a list of words and expressions commonly used in the English New World Translation with related English words grouped together (e.g. atone, atonement or propitiation); these are intended to alert the translators to various shades of meaning. A list of vernacular equivalents is then composed. If a translator has difficulty rendering a verse, the computer research system can provide information on Greek and Hebrew terms and provides access to supplemental publications. Using a search-and-replace tool, vernacular terms in the target language are then automatically inserted into the Bible text. Further editing and translation is then performed to produce a final version.

The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures is available in 60 languages as of November 2011: Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

, Albanian
Albanian language
Albanian is an Indo-European language spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, primarily in Albania and Kosovo but also in other areas of the Balkans in which there is an Albanian population, including western Macedonia, southern Montenegro, southern Serbia and northwestern Greece...

, Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

, Armenian
Armenian language
The Armenian language is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian people. It is the official language of the Republic of Armenia as well as in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The language is also widely spoken by Armenian communities in the Armenian diaspora...

, Bulgarian
Bulgarian language
Bulgarian is an Indo-European language, a member of the Slavic linguistic group.Bulgarian, along with the closely related Macedonian language, demonstrates several linguistic characteristics that set it apart from all other Slavic languages such as the elimination of case declension, the...

, Cebuano
Cebuano language
Cebuano, referred to by most of its speakers as Bisaya , is an Austronesian language spoken in the Philippines by about 20 million people mostly in the Central Visayas. It is the most widely spoken of the languages within the so-named Bisayan subgroup and is closely related to other Filipino...

, Chichewa, Chinese
Chinese language
The Chinese language is a language or language family consisting of varieties which are mutually intelligible to varying degrees. Originally the indigenous languages spoken by the Han Chinese in China, it forms one of the branches of Sino-Tibetan family of languages...

 (Standard
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

, Simplified, Pinyin
Pinyin
Pinyin is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into the Roman alphabet in China, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan. It is also often used to teach Mandarin Chinese and spell Chinese names in foreign publications and used as an input method to enter Chinese characters into...

), Cibemba
Bemba language
The Bemba language, ChiBemba , is a major Bantu language spoken primarily in north-eastern Zambia by the Bemba people and as a lingua franca by about 18 related ethnic groups, including the Bisa people of Mpika and Lake Bangweulu, and to a lesser extent in Katanga in the Democratic Republic of the...

, Croatian
Croatian language
Croatian is the collective name for the standard language and dialects spoken by Croats, principally in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian province of Vojvodina and other neighbouring countries...

, Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

, Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, Efik
Efik language
Efik , also known as Riverain Ibibio, is the native language of the Efik people of Nigeria, where it is a national language. It is the official language of the Cross River State in Nigeria.The name Efik is also used for Ibibio-Efik....

, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 (also Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

), Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, Georgian
Georgian language
Georgian is the native language of the Georgians and the official language of Georgia, a country in the Caucasus.Georgian is the primary language of about 4 million people in Georgia itself, and of another 500,000 abroad...

, German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

, Hungarian
Hungarian language
Hungarian is a Uralic language, part of the Ugric group. With some 14 million speakers, it is one of the most widely spoken non-Indo-European languages in Europe....

, Igbo
Igbo language
Igbo , or Igbo proper, is a native language of the Igbo people, an ethnic group primarily located in southeastern Nigeria. There are approximately 20 million speakers that are mostly in Nigeria and are primarily of Igbo descent. Igbo is a national language of Nigeria. It is written in the Latin...

, Iloko
Ilokano language
Ilokano or Ilocano is the third most-spoken language of the Republic of the Philippines....

, Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

, Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

, Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

, Kinyarwanda, Kirghiz
Kyrgyz language
Kyrgyz or Kirgiz, also Kirghiz, Kyrghiz, Qyrghiz is a Turkic language and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan...

, Kirundi
Kirundi
Kirundi, also known as Rundi, is a dialect of the Rwanda-Rundi language spoken by some 8.7 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. It is the official language of Burundi...

, Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

, Lingala
Lingala language
Lingala, or Ngala, is a Bantu language spoken throughout the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a large part of the Republic of the Congo , as well as to some degree in Angola and the Central African Republic. It has over 10 million speakers...

, Macedonian
Macedonian language
Macedonian is a South Slavic language spoken as a first language by approximately 2–3 million people principally in the region of Macedonia but also in the Macedonian diaspora...

, Malagasy
Malagasy language
Malagasy is the national language of Madagascar, a member of the Austronesian family of languages. Most people in Madagascar speak it as a first language as do some people of Malagasy descent elsewhere.-History:...

, Maltese
Maltese language
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English,while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic...

, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, Ossetian
Ossetic language
Ossetian , also sometimes called Ossete, is an East Iranian language spoken in Ossetia, a region on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains....

, Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 (also Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

), Romanian
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

, Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

, Samoan
Samoan language
Samoan Samoan Samoan (Gagana Sāmoa, is the language of the Samoan Islands, comprising the independent country of Samoa and the United States territory of American Samoa. It is an official language—alongside English—in both jurisdictions. Samoan, a Polynesian language, is the first language for most...

, Sepedi
Northern Sotho language
Northern Sotho , also inaccurately known by the name of a major dialect, Pedi or sePedi, is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is spoken by 4,208,980 people — in the South African provinces of Gauteng,...

, Serbian
Serbian language
Serbian is a form of Serbo-Croatian, a South Slavic language, spoken by Serbs in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and neighbouring countries....

 (Cyrillic and Latin scripts), Sesotho, Shona
Shona language
Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia; the term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore...

, Sinhala, Slovak
Slovak language
Slovak , is an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages .Slovak is the official language of Slovakia, where it is spoken by 5 million people...

, Slovenian, Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 (also Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

), Sranantongo
Sranan Tongo
Sranan is a creole language spoken as a lingua franca by approximately 300,000 people in Suriname...

, Swahili
Swahili language
Swahili or Kiswahili is a Bantu language spoken by various ethnic groups that inhabit several large stretches of the Mozambique Channel coastline from northern Kenya to northern Mozambique, including the Comoro Islands. It is also spoken by ethnic minority groups in Somalia...

, Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

, Tagalog
Tagalog language
Tagalog is an Austronesian language spoken as a first language by a third of the population of the Philippines and as a second language by most of the rest. It is the first language of the Philippine region IV and of Metro Manila...

, Tsonga
Tsonga language
The Tsonga or Xitsonga language is spoken in southern Africa by the Tsonga people, also known as the Shangaan.- Classification :Tsonga belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger–Congo languages...

, Tswana
Tswana language
Tswana or Setswana is a language spoken in Southern Africa by about 4.5 million people. It is a Bantu language belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho languages branch of Zone S , and is closely related to the Northern- and Southern Sotho languages, as well as the Kgalagadi...

, Turkish
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

, Twi (Akuapem and Asante)
Akan language
Akan, also known as Twi and Fante, is an Akan language that is the principal native language of Ghana, spoken over much of the southern half of that country, by about 52% of the population, and to a lesser extent across the border in eastern Côte d'Ivoire...

, Xhosa
Xhosa language
Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language, that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said...

, Yoruba
Yoruba language
Yorùbá is a Niger–Congo language spoken in West Africa by approximately 20 million speakers. The native tongue of the Yoruba people, it is spoken, among other languages, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo and in communities in other parts of Africa, Europe and the Americas...

, and Zulu
Zulu language
Zulu is the language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority of whom live in South Africa. Zulu is the most widely spoken home language in South Africa as well as being understood by over 50% of the population...

.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures is available in an additional 43 languages as of November 2011: American Sign Language
American Sign Language
American Sign Language, or ASL, for a time also called Ameslan, is the dominant sign language of Deaf Americans, including deaf communities in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in some regions of Mexico...

 (DVD), Amharic
Amharic language
Amharic is a Semitic language spoken in Ethiopia. It is the second most-spoken Semitic language in the world, after Arabic, and the official working language of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, it has official status and is used nationwide. Amharic is also the official or working...

, Azerbaijani
Azerbaijani language
Azerbaijani or Azeri or Torki is a language belonging to the Turkic language family, spoken in southwestern Asia by the Azerbaijani people, primarily in Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran...

 (Cyrillic and Latin scripts), Brazilian Sign Language
Brazilian Sign Language
Brazilian Sign Language, also known as "Libras" and previously known as LSB, LGB or LSCB , is the language of the Deaf communities of urban Brazil....

 (DVD), Cambodian
Khmer language
Khmer , or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language , with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious...

, Chitonga
Tonga language (Zambia)
The Tonga language of Zambia and Zimbabwe is a Bantu Language primarily spoken by the Tonga people in those countries who live mainly in the Southern and Western provinces of Zambia, and in northern Zimbabwe, with a few in Mozambique. The language is also spoken by the Tonga, Ila, Iwe, Toka and...

, Colombian Sign Language
Colombian Sign Language
-Description:The development of the signs have influences of Spanish sign language and American Sign Language. Also similarities with El Salvador signs have been noticed.-Teaching:...

 (DVD), Estonian
Estonian language
Estonian is the official language of Estonia, spoken by about 1.1 million people in Estonia and tens of thousands in various émigré communities...

, Ewe
Ewe language
Ewe is a Niger–Congo language spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin by approximately six million people. Ewe is part of a cluster of related languages commonly called Gbe, spoken in southeastern Ghana, Togo, and parts of Benin. Other Gbe languages include Fon, Gen, Phla Phera, and Aja...

, Fijian
Fijian language
Fijian is an Austronesian language of the Malayo-Polynesian family spoken in Fiji. It has 450,000 first-language speakers, which is less than half the population of Fiji, but another 200,000 speak it as a second language...

, Gun
Fon language
Fon is part of the Gbe language cluster and belongs to the Volta–Niger branch of the Niger–Congo languages. Fon is spoken mainly in Benin by approximately 1.7 million speakers, by the Fon people...

, Haitian Creole
Haitian Creole language
Haitian Creole language , often called simply Creole or Kreyòl, is a language spoken in Haiti by about twelve million people, which includes all Haitians in Haiti and via emigration, by about two to three million speakers residing in the Bahamas, Cuba, Canada, France, Cayman Islands, French...

, Hiligaynon
Hiligaynon language
Hiligaynon, often referred to as Ilonggo, is an Austronesian language spoken in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.Hiligaynon is concentrated in the provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Capiz but is also spoken in the other provinces of the Panay Island group, including Antique,...

, Hindi, Hiri Motu
Hiri Motu language
Hiri Motu, is an official language of Papua New Guinea. It is a simplified version of Motu and although it is strictly neither a pidgin nor a creole it possesses some features of both language types...

, Italian Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

, Italian Sign Language
Italian Sign Language
Italian Sign Language or ISL is the visual language employed by deaf people in Italy. Deep analysis of it began in the 1980s, along the lines of William Stokoe's research on American Sign Language in the 1960s. Until recently, most of the studies about Italian Sign Language have dealt with its...

 (DVD), Kannada, Kaonde
Kaonde language
Kaonde, also known as Chikaonde and Kawonde, is a Bantu language that is spoken primarily in Zambia but also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kaonde and its dialects are spoken and understood by perhaps 350,000 people or more. It is estimated that approximately 3% of Zambians are native...

, Kazakh
Kazakh language
Kazakh is a Turkic language which belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages, closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak....

, Kiribati (Gilbertese)
Gilbertese language
-External links:**** with Gilbertese – English Translations from – The Rosetta Edition**...

, Latvian
Latvian language
Latvian is the official state language of Latvia. It is also sometimes referred to as Lettish. There are about 1.4 million native Latvian speakers in Latvia and about 150,000 abroad. The Latvian language has a relatively large number of non-native speakers, atypical for a small language...

, Lithuanian
Lithuanian language
Lithuanian is the official state language of Lithuania and is recognized as one of the official languages of the European Union. There are about 2.96 million native Lithuanian speakers in Lithuania and about 170,000 abroad. Lithuanian is a Baltic language, closely related to Latvian, although they...

, Luganda, Luvale
Luvale language
Luvale is a Bantu language spoken by the Lovale people of Angola and Zambia. It is recognized as a regional language for educational and administrative purposes in Zambia, where about 168,000 people speak it.Luvale is closely related to Chokwe.-External links:**...

, Malayalam, Mexican Sign Language
Mexican Sign Language
Mexican Sign Language , is the language of the Deaf community in the urban regions of Mexico. It is the language of 87,000 to 100,000 signers Mexican Sign Language (“lengua de señas mexicana” or LSM, also known by several other names), is the language of the Deaf community in the urban regions of...

 (DVD), Myanmar
Burmese language
The Burmese language is the official language of Burma. Although the constitution officially recognizes it as the Myanmar language, most English speakers continue to refer to the language as Burmese. Burmese is the native language of the Bamar and related sub-ethnic groups of the Bamar, as well as...

, Nepali
Nepali language
Nepali or Nepalese is a language in the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan, parts of India and parts of Myanmar...

, Pangasinan
Pangasinan language
The Pangasinan language or Pangasinense is one of the twelve major languages in the Philippines....

, Papiamento (Curaçao), Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, Russian Sign Language
Russian Sign Language
Russian Sign Language is the sign language of the deaf community in Russia. It has a grammar unlike the Russian language, with much stricter word order and word formation rules. Russian sign language belongs to a family of French sign language and is similar to American sign language...

 (DVD), Sango
Sango language
Sango is the primary language spoken in the Central African Republic: it has approximately 1,600,000 second-language speakers, but only about 404,000 native speakers, mainly in the towns.- Classification :...

, Silozi, Tamil
Tamil language
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...

, Thai
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

, Tok Pisin
Tok Pisin
Tok Pisin is a creole spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in that country...

, Tongan
Tongan language
Tongan is an Austronesian language spoken in Tonga. It has around 200,000 speakers and is a national language of Tonga. It is a VSO language.-Related languages:...

, Tumbuka
Tumbuka language
The Tumbuka language is a Bantu language which is spoken in parts of Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.The language of the Tumbuka people is called chiTumbuka — the chi- marker in front of Tumbuka means “thing”, “concept”, and is understood in this case “the language of ”...

, Tuvaluan
Tuvaluan language
Tuvaluan is a Polynesian language of or closely related to the Ellicean group spoken in Tuvalu. It is more or less distantly related to all other Polynesian languages, such as Hawaiian, Maori, Tahitian, Samoan, and Tongan, and most closely related to the languages spoken on the Polynesian Outliers...

, Ukrainian
Ukrainian language
Ukrainian is a language of the East Slavic subgroup of the Slavic languages. It is the official state language of Ukraine. Written Ukrainian uses a variant of the Cyrillic alphabet....

, Uzbek
Uzbek language
Uzbek is a Turkic language and the official language of Uzbekistan. It has about 25.5 million native speakers, and it is spoken by the Uzbeks in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia...

, and Vietnamese
Vietnamese language
Vietnamese is the national and official language of Vietnam. It is the mother tongue of 86% of Vietnam's population, and of about three million overseas Vietnamese. It is also spoken as a second language by many ethnic minorities of Vietnam...

.

When the Writing Committee approves the translation of the Bible into a new language, it appoints a group of baptized Jehovah's Witnesses to serve as a translation team. Team members generally have experience in translating the Watch Tower Society's publications, and receive additional training in the principles of Bible translation and in the use of computer programs developed specifically for the task. These systems do not perform actual translation, but assist the translators by keeping track of their translation decisions.

Features


The layout resembles the 1901 edition of the American Standard Version. The translators use the terms "Hebrew-Aramaic Scriptures" and "Christian Greek Scriptures" rather than "Old Testament" and "New Testament", stating that the use of "testament" was based on a misunderstanding of 2 Corinthians 3:14. When referring to dates in the supplemental material, the abbreviations "B.C.E." (Before the Common Era) and "C.E." (Common Era
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

) are used rather than BC and AD
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

.

The pronoun "you" is printed in small capitals (i.e., YOU) to indicate plurality, as are some verbs when plurality may be unclear. Square brackets [ ] are added around words that were inserted editorially, but were removed from the 2006 revision. Double brackets are used to indicate sources considered doubtful. Running headings are included at the top of each page to assist in locating texts and there is an index listing scriptures by subject.

The Old Testament of the New World Translation uses various circumlocutions intended to indicate progressive rather than completed actions, such as "proceeded to rest" rather than "rested" in Genesis 2:2. Greek verbs suggesting progressive action are treated in a similar way, for instance "keep on asking" rather than "ask" at Matthew 7:7.

Use of Jehovah



The name Jehovah is a translation of the Tetragrammaton
Tetragrammaton
The term Tetragrammaton refers to the name of the God of Israel YHWH used in the Hebrew Bible.-Hebrew Bible:...

 . According to Jewish tradition, the name of God was not spoken and the original pronunciation is unknown. The New World Translation uses the name Jehovah
Jehovah
Jehovah is an anglicized representation of Hebrew , a vocalization of the Tetragrammaton , the proper name of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible....

 6,973 times in the Old Testament, and also uses the name 237 times in the New Testament where the extant texts use terms for 'Lord' or 'God'. The translators believed that scribes substituted either Lord or God for Jehovah as they did to the Hebrew texts. They conclude that the lack of references to Jehovah in those quotations were the result of paraphrasing
Paraphrase
Paraphrase is restatement of a text or passages, using other words. The term "paraphrase" derives via the Latin "paraphrasis" from the Greek , meaning "additional manner of expression". The act of paraphrasing is also called "paraphrasis."...

 on the part of later copyists, as with the removal of God's name from the Old Testament.

Editions


The New World Translation is distributed in print editions commonly referred to as "Large Print" (four volumes), "Reference", "Regular (or Standard) Hard Cover", "Regular (or Standard) Soft Cover", and "Pocket". (As of 2011 the "Pocket" and "Soft Cover" editions are no longer being produced.) The regular editions incorporate the booklet, Bible Topics for Discussion (previously published separately in 1977 but updated for the 1981, 1984 and 2006 editions), which provides references to scriptures relating to various topics; several appendices containing arguments for various translation decisions, maps, diagrams and other information; and over 125,000 cross references. The reference edition contains the cross references and adds footnotes about translation decisions and additional appendices that provide further detail relating to certain translation decisions. Many of the non-English translations lack footnotes and some add language-specific footnotes.

Kingdom Interlinear


The New World Bible Translation Committee included the English text from the NWT in its 1969 and 1985 editions of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. It also incorporates the Greek text published by Westcott
Brooke Foss Westcott
Brooke Foss Westcott was a British bishop, Biblical scholar and theologian, serving as Bishop of Durham from 1890 until his death.-Early life and education:...

 and Hort
Fenton John Anthony Hort
Fenton John Anthony Hort was an Irish theologian and editor, with Brooke Westcott of a critical edition of The New Testament in the Original Greek.-Life:...

 in The New Testament in the Original Greek
The New Testament in the Original Greek
The New Testament in the Original Greek is the name of a Greek language version of the New Testament published in 1881. It is also known as the Westcott and Hort text, after its editors Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort...

 and a literal word-for-word translation.

Non-print editions


In 1978, the Watch Tower Society began producing recordings of the NWT on audio cassette
Compact Cassette
The Compact Cassette, often referred to as audio cassette, cassette tape, cassette, or simply tape, is a magnetic tape sound recording format. It was designed originally for dictation, but improvements in fidelity led the Compact Cassette to supplant the Stereo 8-track cartridge and reel-to-reel...

, with the New Testament released by 1981 and the Old Testament in three albums released by 1990. In 2004, the NWT was released on compact disc in MP3
MP3
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

 format in major languages. Since 2008, audio downloads of the NWT have been made available in 18 languages from the Worldwide Association of Jehovah's Witnesses website in MP3 and AAC
Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Audio Coding is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates....

 formats, including support for Podcast
Podcast
A podcast is a series of digital media files that are released episodically and often downloaded through web syndication...

s.


In 1983, the English Braille
Braille
The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write, and was the first digital form of writing.Braille was devised in 1825 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character, or cell, is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two...

 edition of the NWT's New Testament was released; the complete English Braille edition was released by 1988. NWT editions have since become available in several additional Braille scripts. Production of the NWT in American Sign Language
American Sign Language
American Sign Language, or ASL, for a time also called Ameslan, is the dominant sign language of Deaf Americans, including deaf communities in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in some regions of Mexico...

 began in 2006, with the complete New Testament made available by 2010; sign language editions are available for download from Jehovah's Witnesses' publication download website.

In 1992 a digital edition, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—With References, was released, as a set of seven 3½-inch 720 KB diskettes
Floppy disk
A floppy disk is a disk storage medium composed of a disk of thin and flexible magnetic storage medium, sealed in a rectangular plastic carrier lined with fabric that removes dust particles...

 or four 5¼-inch 1.2 MB diskettes, using Folio View software. In 1993, New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures—With References/Insight on the Scriptures was released in English, as a set of 5¼-inch 1.2 MB or 3½-inch 1.44 MB diskettes, containing the New World Translation and Insight on the Scriptures. Since 1994, the NWT has been included in the digital research tool, Watchtower Library on CD-ROM, available only to baptized Jehovah's Witnesses. The NWT is available online at the Watch Tower Society's official website in 41 languages. It is available for download in dozens of languages in PDF format; the English version is also available in EPUB
EPUB
EPUB is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum...

 format.

Overall review


In its review of Bible translations released from 1955 to 1985, The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary listed the New World Translation as one of the major modern translations.

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
Kyrios (biblical term)
The Greek word Kyrios may mean God, lord or master. It is used in both the Old Testament and the New Testament.Kyrios appears about 740 times in the New Testament, usually referring to Jesus. The use of Kyrios in the New Testament has been the subject of debate among modern scholars, and three...

 as "Jehovah" in 237 instances in the New Testament.

Old Testament


Samuel Haas, in his 1955 review of the 1953 first volume of the New World Translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, in the Journal of Biblical Literature, stated that although "this work indicates a great deal of effort and thought as well as considerable scholarship, it is to be regretted that religious bias was allowed to colour many passages."

Professor Benjamin Kedar, a Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem ; ; abbreviated HUJI) is Israel's second-oldest university, after the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The Hebrew University has three campuses in Jerusalem and one in Rehovot. The world's largest Jewish studies library is located on its Edmond J...

, 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 reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible."

Regarding the NWT's use of English in the 1953 first volume of the NWT (Genesis to Ruth), Dr. Harold H. Rowley (1890–1969) was critical of what he called "wooden literalism" and "harsh construction." He characterized these as "an insult to the Word of God", citing various verses of Genesis as examples. Rowley concluded, "From beginning to end this [first] volume is a shining example of how the Bible should not be translated." Rowley's published review is dated January 1953, six months before the volume was actually released; Rowley did not update his review following the July 1953 release or the 1961 revision, and he died before the release of later revisions in 1970, 1971, and 1984.

New Testament


A 2003 study by Jason BeDuhn
Jason BeDuhn
Jason David BeDuhn, Ph.D. is an historian of religion and culture, currently Professor of Religious Studies at Northern Arizona University.Debuhn holds a B.A. in Religious studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana, an M.T.S. in New Testament and Christian Origins from Harvard Divinity School,...

, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University
Northern Arizona University is a public university located in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. It is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and has 39 satellite campuses in the state of Arizona. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.As of...

 in the United States, of nine of "the Bibles most widely in use in the English-speaking world," including the New American Bible
New American Bible
The New American Bible is a Catholic Bible translation first published in 1970. It had its beginnings in the Confraternity Bible, which began to be translated from the original languages in 1948....

, The King James Bible and The New International Version
New International Version
The New International Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible. Published by Zondervan in the United States and by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, it has become one of the most popular modern translations in history.-History:...

, 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". BeDuhn said the introduction of the name "Jehovah" into the New Testament 237 times was "not accurate translation by the most basic principle of accuracy", and that it "violate[s] accuracy in favor of denominationally preferred expressions for God", adding that for the NWT to gain wider acceptance and prove its worth its translators might have to abandon the use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament.

Theologian and televangelist John Ankerberg
John Ankerberg
John Ankerberg is an American Christian evangelist and TV presenter. He is an ordained minister and published author, having written 91 books focusing on religious subjects....

 accused the NWT's translators of renderings that conform "to their own preconceived and unbiblical theology." Dr. John Weldon and Ankerberg cite several examples wherein they consider the NWT to support theological views overriding appropriate translation. Ankerberg and Weldon cite Dr. Julius R. Mantey, co-author of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament and A Hellenistic Greek Reader, who also criticized the NWT, calling it "a shocking mistranslation."

Dr. William Barclay
William Barclay (theologian)
William Barclay was an author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister, and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.-Life:...

, Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism, Glasgow
The Professorship of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow was founded in 1861. The patron was formally the Crown...

, concluded that "the deliberate distortion of truth by this sect is seen in the New Testament translation. ... It is abundantly clear that a sect which can translate the New Testament like that is intellectually dishonest."

Edgar J. Goodspeed
Edgar J. Goodspeed
Edgar Johnson Goodspeed was an American liberal theologian and scholar of Greek and the New Testament. He taught for many years at the University of Chicago, whose collection of New Testament manuscripts he enriched by his searches...

, translator of the New Testament in An American Translation, wrote in a letter to the Watch Tower Society: "I am interested in the mission work of your people, and its world wide scope, and much pleased with the free, frank and vigorous translation. It exhibits a vast array of sound serious learning, as I can testify."

Robert McCoy stated "One could question why the translators have not stayed closer to the original meaning, as do most translators ... In not a few instances the New World Translation contains passages which must be considered as 'theological translations.' This fact is particularly evident in those passages which express or imply the deity of Jesus Christ."

Former American Bible Society
American Bible Society
The American Bible Society is an interconfessional, non-denominational, nonprofit organization, founded in 1816 in New York City, which publishes, distributes and translates the Bible and provides study aids and other tools to help people engage with the Bible.It is probably best known for its...

 board member Dr. Bruce M. Metzger concluded that "on the whole, one gains a tolerably good impression of the scholarly equipment of the translators," but identified instances where the translation has been written to support doctrine, with "several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek." Metzger noted a number of "indefensible" characteristics of the translation, including its use of "Jehovah" in the New Testament.

Unitarian
Unitarianism
Unitarianism is a Christian theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one in being....

 theologian Charles Francis Potter
Charles Francis Potter
Dr Charles Francis Potter was an American Unitarian minister, theologian and author.In 1923 and 1924, he became nationally known through a series of debates with Dr. John Roach Straton, a fundamentalist Christian. The subjects, which Dr...

 stated about the NWT: "Apart from a few semantic peculiarities like translating the Greek word stauros
Stauros
Stauros is the Greek word, usually translated cross, that in the Bible is used in reference to the device on which Jesus was executed...

, as "stake" instead of "cross", and the often startling use of the colloquial and the vernacular, the anonymous translators have certainly rendered the best manuscript texts, both Greek and Hebrew, with scholarly ability and acumen."

Religion writer and editor Alexander Thomson
Alexander Thomson (writer)
Alexander Thomson, , born in Corstorphine, Scotland, was a religious writer involved in the work of the Concordant Publishing Concern , publishers of the Concordant Literal Version of the Bible....

 said of the NWT: "The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars, who have sought to bring out as much of the true sense of the Greek text as the English language is capable of expressing. ... We heartily recommend the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, published in 1950 by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society."

Thomas Winter, an instructor of Greek at the University of Nebraska, considered the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures to be a "highly useful aid toward the mastery of koine (and classical) Greek," adding that the translation "is thoroughly up-to-date and consistently accurate."

Rendering of John 1:1



The New World Translation has been criticized for its rendering of John 1:1. Most English translations render this verse: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." By contrast, the NWT renders the verse: "In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." Controversy regarding the translation of John 1:1 is not unique to the NWT, but involves similar rendering of John 1:1 in such translations as Wilson
Benjamin Wilson (Biblical scholar)
Benjamin Wilson was an autodidact Biblical scholar and writer of the Emphatic Diaglott translation of the Bible...

's Emphatic Diaglott
Emphatic Diaglott
The Emphatic Diaglott is a diaglot, or two-language polyglot translation, of the New Testament by Benjamin Wilson, first published in 1864. It is an interlinear translation with the original Greek text and a word-for-word English translation in the left column, and a full English translation in the...

 and Goodspeed's An American Translation
An American Translation
The Bible, An American Translation consists of The Old Testament translated by a group of scholars under the editorship of J.M. Powis Smith, and The New Testament translated by Edgar J...

.

See also

  • Bible translations by language
    Bible translations by language
    Bible translations have been made into 2,572+ languages, one of the two Testaments in 1,668 languages, and the full Protestant Canon of the Bible in 457 languages as of May 2011....

  • Jehovah's Witnesses publications
    Jehovah's Witnesses publications
    The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society produces a large amount of literature for use by Jehovah's Witnesses; their best known publications are the magazines, The Watchtower and Awake!. The Watchtower was first published by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Bible Student movement, in 1879,...

  • List of Watch Tower Society publications

Online edition


Supportive

  • Stafford, Greg: Jehovah's Witnesses Defended. [ISBN 0-9659814-7-9]
  • Furuli, Rolf
    Rolf Furuli
    Rolf Johan Furuli is a lecturer in Semitic languages at the University of Oslo. He became a magister artium in 1995.He is currently involved in translation of non-Christian religious texts, and is considered an expert in ancient languages. In 2005, he finished a doctoral thesis suggesting a new...

    : The Role of Theology and Bias in Bible Translation: With a special look at the New World Translation of Jehovah's Witnesses, 1999. [ISBN 0-9659814-9-5]
  • Byatt, Anthony and Flemings, Hal (editors): Your Word is Truth', Essays in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1950, 1953), 2004. [ISBN 0-9506212-6-9]
  • The Coptic Evidence
  • In Defense of the New World Translation

Neutral


Critical