Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Who wrote, or interpreted, the Jehovah's Witnesses Bible?

I was told by a friend, that the Jehovah's Witnesses Bible was written by a guy who didn't agree with what was written in the "original" version of the Bible, and decided to altar it so it suited him. I'm not sure if that's true - because I know that Jehovah's Witnesses interpret the Bible different from other Christians - but I just want to make sure. If not, can you tell me the difference between Jehovah's Witnesses and a Protestant Christian, please?

Just to let you know, I'm a Protestant.


11 Answers

  • grnlow
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is no Jehovah Witness Bible. There is only the Bible and many translations of it. Over 70 in fact. The New World Translation is only one of them.

    It is one of the best. First because it is in modern English so we can understand the words. Second because it had access to better manuscripts older than those used to translate the King James in 1611. Catholics released them from the Vatican basements after the King James was written. Third because the divine name of God was put back in where others had removed it substituting LORD or GOD in all caps.

    Those three things are the only difference in it and other translations. Some independent authorities say it is the best of the best translations. All translations have errors because no change from one language to another is exactly correct. It comes down to making a choice between 2 or 3 ways which are all correct. Greek has 4 words for love for instance as opposed to English having 1. Translating "love" into Greek, which Greek word does one use?

    Other words are not that clear. So using more than one translation helps to assure correctly knowing what a scripture means.

    The name Jehovah is not something we dreamed up as some like to suggest. The King James Version uses it 4 times as the proper name of God. Exodus 6:3; Psalms 83:18; Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4 all say it is Jehovah that is the name of the Most High God and author of the Bible.

    Does anyone care to savage the King James Version? Some people believe it to be "the only Bible". They think only all the prophets and Jesus too, spoke in :thees and thous". They did not. No thees and thous in Hebrew or Greek. It was a well meant translation by the translators although King James did so for his own reasons.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Jehovah's Witnesses used the King James and the American Standard Bible for many years and many people became witnesses using those translations, including my mom and some of my close friends. Our Bible is in modern English and it has restored the name of God in all the places where other Bibles have replaced the original text with "LORD" or "GOD" in all capital letters. Some of these translations, like my "The Bible,, an American Translation" are honest enough to tell you that they have done that and that you can read "Yahweh" or "Jehovah" when you come to those all capitalized places.

    The New World Translation which we received in its completed form in 1961 is an excellent translation of the Bible. It is clear, readable, understandable and accurate. We didn't "change" it because we didn't like how the Bible was written in other translations. Some other translations (such as the King James) contain some "spurious scriptures" this means that they weren't in the original manuscripts.

    Since the NWT was translated from the oldest available manuscripts it contains none of these spurious texts. This is in line with what John said at Revelation about not adding to or removing things from the Bible.

    Jehovah's Witnesses study with people all over the world and we use THEIR Bible to show them the important scriptures that prove or disprove doctrines. In some parts of the world we don't have the NWT translated into the common people's language yet and so they must use other translations.

    you are right, we very much DO respect the Bible and would never intentionally falsify anything. Sometimes we will read a text both from the Bible of the person being studied with and then from our translation. Often when you are dealing with the King James in particular this makes the meaning more clear since most of us don't still speak the "King's English".

    What is the difference between JW's and Protestants? Well we aren't protesting anything, we are just trying to understand the Bible as clearly as we can and we are trying to teach it as clearly as we can. That really is what the Protestant movement was all about originally wasn't it? People finding things in the Bible that didn't agree with what the Catholic Church taught?

    We've taken it a step farther I think, we have really dug deep to find out what the Bible teaches and haven't stopped digging when we found one or two things we thought were unscriptural, but kept on rooting out what we perceive to be falsehoods that have been taught by many of the churches for years, but that truly don't appear as true in the Bible.

    So although we don't consider ourselves to be either Catholic or Protestant, I suppose if you believe that the protestant movement was started to root out false teachings from Christianity then we have tried to take it to the utmost level.

    Who did the translating of the NWT? a Bible translation committee that doesn't seek glory for themselves and so remains anonymous.

    Oh and if you DO want to compare it to your translation you can find it online at

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  • 1 decade ago

    First and foremost, I went to school with a guy who was of your same faith. He never tried to talk to people about God's word. All he did was call people heathens and say that we are all going to hell. I have never ever seen one of Jehovah's witness Kids in school do that. As a matter of fact I also had a girl in my class who was one of Jehovah's witnesses. Her conduct and speech was unlike the other kids. She was respectful, she never used faul language. Now if the NWT was such a bad book to train people or live by, why is it that people who read other translations or even yet who belong to another faith act contrary to The things written in the bible?

    People dislike how the witnesses use the bible so skillfully. And it is becasue of God's Holy Spirit that they are able to do this. They do not recieve recognition for the translation of the NWT because it was not with their power or wisdom, but that of God. So only God can get the credit for that. The King James Version! Why does his name have to be on the cover?He's taking the glory for himself. Very Arogant if you ask me. People claim that Jehovah's witness change scriptures from the original bible. Ha! What is the original bible? There was none. The bible is a form of book that has the scriptures in it. It was not called a bible back then. The men who wrote the bible were inspired by God to write whatever they wrote. So the Bible has God as its author not man. And these men wrote on paparus.(sp) mashed up leaves and stuff dried and rolled out to form writing material. Some even wrote on stone and leather skins. And get this, they didnt speak English. The original word of God was written in Hebrew and Greek. And in those original copies every where God was mention there was a name he was called-Jehovah. For decades only Jehovah's Witnesses used the name Jehovah. Nowadays people are just starting to use it. And still they dont refer to the Almighty GOd. They use that name to refer to his son Jesus. But Jesus is not Jehovah. Jehovah is the Almighty God and Jesus is his only begotten son. King James Decided to remove Gods name completely from his translation and only use references at the botton of his bible to show people that when they see "LORD" that refers to God Almighty and when they see "Lord" that refers to the son. Furthter in John 1:1 he renders that scripture as, "In the beging was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. Buzzzzzzzzzz! Thats a wrong rendition of that scripture. Those are two perfect examples why the NWT is the best "bible" besides the original scrolls.

    If you would really like a clearer understanding of why there are so many bible translations and why people say those things about the NWT you should ask a true Jehovah's witness not an apostate or someone who does not know much or anything about them.

    Source(s): Study of History and of the bible and experience.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Here is what you do...Get a copy of the New world Translation of the bible published by the JW's (Preferably the reference one) and if you don't have a bible go on line. has the New World translation and or both have about a dozen versions or so. Compare it for yourself!! Particularly the original American Standard version! That was the bible used for years until they removed the name of God.

    You know why we published the bible? So many modern day translations of the bible refused to put in the Name of God (Yahweh or Jehovah) and most of them said the reason why was they weren't sure of the pronouncement. (Which is a lie)

    There are hundreds of names written only once in the bible and they have no issue putting those in. The name Abraham was written less then 200 times yet there is no problem putting that in. The actual name of God almost appeared 7,000 times yet they weren't sure how to pronounce it.

    At best that is intellectual laziness in incompetency at it's peak. At worst you are deliberately with holding information, a conspiracy to keep the people unaware of the name of God.

    So for the translators of the bible who remove the name of God...they are either incompetent or evil or both. You decide

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  • 4 years ago

    Yep -- but the apostle Paul liked to put a finer point on things. He classified Jesus Christ as a lesser kind of divine being, one of the lords. All Semitic religions originally had a father god, father of spirits and father of the gods, and a dying and resurrecting god, one of the sons of the former. That's why Jesus insisted that he was Jehovah, the son of Elohim -- YHWH, the son of El. He wasn't a heretic. He was a fundamentalist. All Jews prior to the Babylonian Exile were monolatrists, not monotheists. Note in Genesis 1 we have an account of creation that differs from Genesis 2 -- and yet there was not a man to till the ground. Genesis 1: Elohim's design. Genesis 2: Jehovah's implementation of the design, possibly with Elohim's assistance. There is also an unclear passage in the New Testament that seems to say that the burning desire of all creation was to await the advent of the son of God. YHWH was a created being.

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  • NMB
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Why not compare it yourself?

    I have, by the way and found that there really isn't any major differences. The New World Translation is written in modern language, therefore there are no "Thees or Thous" making it easier to read.

    I also read the King James Version, the American Standard Version, the Bible in Basic English and Young's Literal Translation.

    There wasn't a single individual involved with the TRANSLATING of the NWT by the way.

    How would you know the "original" Bible anyway?

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  • 1 decade ago

    Oh boy.

    The "JW Bible" (NWT) is no more an alteration of the Bible as is ANY Bible translation. You want the "original" Bible- you're out of luck (pardon the expression) because the original scrolls are worm food now.

    Ask for a copy of the NWT, do a random comparison of verses in your own preferred version and decide for yourself whether there are enough differences between the two (and as many others as you can find) to state it is an "altered" Bible.

    Just to add on what the brothers have said, anyone claiming to know who the members of the NWT Translation Committee

    are is a liar. The most they can do is SPECULATE. they asked to be kept anonymous so as not to draw attention to themselves. The Society has honoured their request. No one's telling =))

    It is also not true that we are not allowed to read or use other translations. Vot is yet to meet a JW who owns ONLY the NWT. If you know one, you've got to introduce them to me.

    Source(s): JW
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Below are links to 2 articles about the NWT:)

    "Advantages of the New World Translation Bible"

    "It Is The Best Interlinear New Testament Available",

    by Dr. Jason BeDuhn, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Chair Department of Humanities, Arts, and Religion at Northern Arizona University

    (The Interlinear NT is what the NWT's New Testament is based on.)

    Why not compare the NWT with any other Bible,

    online or in your possesion? :

    Read the NWT Online


    As for differences from Protestantism, in a nutshell (I went to Protestant Sunday School & church from 4-13yo), according to the Bible they gave me, they were teaching several unscriptural doctrines. So, I asked other religions about their teachings, & found that JWs teach only what is taught in the Bible itself. You seem to already know what Protestants teach, so here is a brochure that explains what JWs teach:

    Jehovah's Witnesses--Who Are They? What Do They Believe?

    ...along with some articles that will answer many of your questions:

    "Does It Matter Which Religion You Choose?"

    - How Do Religions Get Started...?

    - Whom Do Religions Want to Please...?

    "The Truth Will Set You Free"

    - Worshipping God With Truth

    - - Knowledge of the Truth Dispels Fear

    - - - Some BasicTruths ...

    "What Does God Require of Us?"

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  • 1 decade ago

    this is a double edged question my friend. some witnesses tell you that the men who sabotaged (i mean translated ) the New world translation was not asking to conceal their names to bring honor to themselves......its because those who read it for the mistranslation that it is....will have nobody to blame.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    From the Foreword of "The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures"

    *** Rbi8 p. 5 Foreword ***

    IT IS a very responsible thing to translate the Holy Scriptures from their original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into modern speech. Translating the Holy Scriptures means rendering into another language the thoughts and sayings of Jehovah God, the heavenly Author of this sacred library of sixty-six books that holy men of long ago were inspired to write down for our benefit today.

    That is a very sobering thought. The translators of this work, who fear and love the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, feel toward Him a special responsibility to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible. They also feel a responsibility toward the searching readers who depend upon a translation of the inspired Word of the Most High God for their everlasting salvation.

    It was with such a sense of solemn responsibility that over the course of many years this committee of dedicated men have produced the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. The entire work was originally released in six volumes, from 1950 to 1960. From the start it was the desire of the translators to have all these volumes brought together into one book, inasmuch as the Holy Scriptures are in actuality one book by the One Author. While the original volumes contained marginal references and footnotes, the revised one-volume edition, released in 1961, contained neither footnotes nor marginal references. A second revision was released in 1970 and a third revision with footnotes followed in 1971. In 1969 the committee released The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, which presented under the Greek text revised by Westcott and Hort (1948 Reprint) a literal word-for-word translation into English. During the past 34 years the New World Translation has been translated in part or in its entirety into ten other languages, with a total printing and distribution surpassing 39 million.

    This new edition is not just a refinement of the translated text beyond its already previous revisions, but it offers a complete updating and revision of the footnote apparatus and marginal (cross) references that were initially presented in English, from 1950 to 1960.

    For information as to the features of this revised edition and the service it can render to the users, we refer you to the Introduction. This 1984 revision has been released by us to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania for printing, translation into other leading languages and distribution. We thus make it available with a deep sense of gratitude to the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, who has so privileged us and in whose spirit we have trusted in producing this revision. We pray for his blessing upon those who use this translation for spiritual advancement.

    January 1, 1984, New York, N.Y.

    And from the introduction:

    *** Rbi8 pp. 6-7 Introduction ***


    METHOD: Since the Bible sets forth the sacred will of the Sovereign Lord of the universe, it would be a great indignity, indeed an affront to his majesty and authority, to omit or hide his unique divine name, which plainly occurs in the Hebrew text nearly 7,000 times as( יהוה YHWH). Therefore, the foremost feature of this translation is the restoration of the divine name to its rightful place in the English text. It has been done, using the commonly accepted English form “Jehovah” 6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. For a detailed study of this matter, see App 1A-1D.

    In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English.

    This translation is presented in modern English, using current speech forms, and does not use archaic English even in the various prayers and addresses to God. Thus we have not used the now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

    Paraphrases of the Scriptures are not offered. Rather, an effort has been made to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought. In that way the desire of those who are scrupulous for getting an almost word-for-word statement of the original is met. It is realized that even such a seemingly insignificant matter as the use or omission of a comma or of a definite or an indefinite article may at times alter the correct sense of the original passage.

    Taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, has been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

    Special care was taken in translating Hebrew and Greek verbs in order to capture the simplicity, warmth, character and forcefulness of the original expressions. An effort was made to preserve the flavor of the ancient Hebrew and Greek times, the people’s way of thinking, reasoning and talking, their social dealings, etc. This has prevented any indulgence in translating as one may think the original speaker or writer should have said it. So, care has been taken not to modernize the verbal renderings to such an extent as to alter their ancient background beyond recognition. This means the reader will encounter many Hebrew and Greek idioms. In many cases the footnotes show the literalness of certain expressions.

    The original Hebrew is terse, since its linguistic structure allows for briefness of expression. However, in rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding color in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action. For a discussion of Hebrew verb translations, see App 3C.

    Note that some original-language words have been carried over into English, for example, “Sheol,” “Hades,” “Gehenna,” “Amen,” “manna” and “Messiah.”

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