Jehovah's Witnesses prefer their own version but would not go so far as to say it's the only true version. They feel it is superior because it harmonizes more closely with their beliefs than any other Bible. They would tell you that they conform their translation and beliefs to the Bible text, whereas most other people believe they translated the Bible to conform to their own beliefs.
I believe it is some of both.
The following are some excerpts and summations from a review of the NWT of the Greek Scriptures, by Steven T Byington, a man who was regarded as a fine translator, even by the Watchtower.
On "cross" and "torture stake".
Mr. Byington says that "something can be said for" translating stauros as "torture stake." I agree, I think it's much better than "cross". It is unfortunate, though, that JW's do not realize that a stauros referred to a stake with or without a cross piece, all of which were instruments of torture. Mr. Byington disagrees with the translating of the word "impale"because in English the word impale has "the settled meaning of thrusting the stake through the vitals, not of fastening the body to a stake outside the body."
He also says: "The specialty which the book itself most emphasizes is the use of the name Jehovah instead of "the lord" in 237 places, besides 72 more in the margin. Fifteen pages of the preface present the arguments to justify this. I think the justification insufficient" End of quotation.
I'd like to know how anyone can justify changing the word kyrios which is Greek for "lord", to "Jehovah". If there had been even ONE old Greek manuscript that said Jehovah in a certain verse, then that would provide at least a little justification. But when all the thousands of manuscripts agree that the word is kyrios (Lord), it is mind boggling to change it to Jehovah, and then insist you did it for "accuracy". If there is a JW in the world who cannot see that these men translated these verses to fit in with their own belief rather than "accuracy", then they are truly blinded. Of course there is ample justification for translating "Jehovah" in the Hebrew Scriptures because the Tetragrammaton appears in those verses. But there is simply no justification whatsoever for altering the verses in the Greek and I challenge any JW on here to prove otherwise.
It's also mind-boggling to me that they then have the nerve to criticize the translators of other Bibles who translate YHWH in the Hebrew as "Lord", when they are guilty of the very same kind of alteration, in reverse, in the Greek .
As for the reason the translators remain anonymous, my guess is that
(1) most of them have little, if any, training in Biblical languages and would almost certainly be roundly criticized for their lack of expertise, and
(2) They don't want the translation to be seen as man-made, but as if it came from Jehovah. If people knew the names of these men, they would tend to see the New World Translation as a product of these men and be more aware of the fact that the translating is subject to human opinion and even error.
· 1 decade ago