[editor’s note:  this is a follow-up question to one posted just a couple of days ago]


Thanks for taking the time to explain in detail the different translations and for copy pasting the relevant texts. They are helpful indeed.   I would appreciate if you can clarify one thing which was the reason behind my original question. You wrote “The New World Translation is an abomination as it is produced by the Jehovah Witness and is extremely biased.”. Suppose a skeptic quotes from “The New World Translation” or some other equally errant translation to try to prove their false view of Christianity, how do I show them that these translations are not to be relied on? On what basis I as a layman can come to the conclusion that these are bad translations other than the fact they do not match with other translations?  Thank you again for caring to help.


I am afraid the only way to do this is to get into the details.   What one must do is go down to the level of the specific translations in important relevant passages and compare to the Greek.   For example, for John 1:1 the New World Translation (NWT) changes   “the Word was with God and the Word was God”   to “the Word was with God and the word was a god.”     Bottom line, is the indefinite article “a” in the Greek? The answer is no, it is not.   Another example is in Colossians 1:16. Here the NWT has “By means of him all other things have been created.” Here they rather blatantly insert the word “other” when there is no Greek word being translated as other. This is a rather obvious attempt to support the doctrine that Jesus was created when this particular passage has the obvious interpretation that Jesus was not created.   This biased approach to translation is really quite blatant. The NWT is really more of an interpretation than a translation.

There are dozens of cases where the New World Translation differs quite radically from the “traditional” “orthodox” translations and the quality of the NWT should be judged on the Greek and on the viability of their translation. All scholars, liberal, conservative and everything in between are unanimous that the NWT is very biased and of very low quality.   Part of the problem is that this translation was made by a committee composed of unidentified individuals, all of whom come from the Jehovah Witness Watchtower Society. Any translation for which the translators are left anonymous should be rejected out-of-hand.   Also, any translation which is made by a committee, all of which are from the same denomination is also to be accepted with caution.   Anonymity and single-group authorship are not guarantees of a biased translation, but are reasons for us to be very skeptical.   In the end, it comes down to looking at the quality of the actual translation. The NWT fails on all possible measures of quality as a translation and therefore should be rejected by all believers, including Jehovah Witnesses.

Bottom line, if a layperson wants to judge one translation versus another they need to be willing to pull out a Greek interlinear Bible, which has the Greek and the corresponding English word directly below it, in order to judge for him or herself whether a particular translation is a good one. Like I have already said, the vast majority of translations out there are excellent and a student of the Bible who wants to understand the meaning should simply use a number of translations.   If you will avoid the NWT completely, use the KJV with caution and use paraphrases in general with some caution, you will do just fine.

John Oakes

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