Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 2 years ago

Christians, do any Bibles other than the JW bible translate John 1:1 as "a god"?


truth is within you: answering questions is your friend too.

Update 2:

Chi girl, i would think you could accomplish the task after a bit of research given the history and the acidity of your comments. if you're too short for the "tall" order, I understand. But are you saying lots of bible translate it like the JW bible? Too many to read?

Update 3:

Ernest, does that mean you don't know?

Update 4:

Thanks, Juli. You gave me good quotes from those who tear down the jw bible. That's good but that aint what I asked, is it. Do any other bibles translate it like the jw's do? That's the question.

Update 5:

Chi girl, what is a snowflake? I'm talking about your past comments. I read your comments always because they are insightful but they are also acidic. Again, what is a snowflake?

Update 6:

"Blasphemous rag." Thanks Juli. Just wanted an answer to the question and not proof that "scholars know the NWT is a blasphemous rag." That proof is for another question on another day. You are tirelessly nasty. And you don't even believe in God according to your answers past. Thanks again.

Update 7:

I just wanted to know how other bibles translate it. If they said "a god." Thanks for giving me so many different translations.

17 Answers

  • Brian
    Lv 5
    2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    14th century - Wycliffe's Bible (from the 4th-century Latin Vulgate) reads: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word.

    1808 “and the Word was a god” - Thomas Belsham The New Testament, in An Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text , London.

    1822 "and the Word was a god." - The New Testament in Greek and English (A. Kneeland, 1822.);

    1829 "and the Word was a god." - The Monotessaron; or, The Gospel History According to the Four Evangelists (J. S. Thompson, 1829);

    1863 "and the Word was a god." - A Literal Translation Of The New Testament (Herman Heinfetter [Pseudonym of Frederick Parker], 1863);

    1864 “the LOGOS was God, This was in the Beginning with God” A New Emphatic Version (right hand column)

    1864 “and a god was the Word” (left hand column interlinear reading) The Emphatic Diaglott by Benjamin Wilson, New York and London.

    1867 “In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God” - The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

    1879 "and the Word was a god." - Das Evangelium nach Johannes (J. Becker, 1979);

    1885 "and the Word was a god." - Concise Commentary On The Holy Bible (R. Young, 1885);

    1911 "and the Word was a god." - The Coptic Version of the N.T. (G. W. Horner, 1911);

    1935 “and the Word was divine” - The Bible — An American Translation, by John M. P. Smith and Edgar J. Goodspeed, Chicago.

    1955 “so the Word was divine” - The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield, Aberdeen.

    1956 The Wuest Expanded Translation reads: “In the beginning the Word was existing. And the Word was in fellowship with God the Father. And the Word was as to His essence absolute deity”[13]

    1958 "and the Word was a god." - The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Anointed" (J. L. Tomanec, 1958);

    1962, 1979 "'the word was God.' Or, more literally, 'God was the word.'" The Four Gospels and the Revelation (R. Lattimore, 1979)

    1966, 2001 The Good News Bible reads: "...and he was the same as God."

    1970, 1989 The Revised English Bible reads: "...and what God was, the Word was."

    1975 "and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word" Das Evangelium nach Johnnes, by Siegfried Schulz, Göttingen, Germany

    1975 "and the Word was a god." - Das Evangelium nach Johannes (S. Schulz, 1975);

    1978 “and godlike sort was the Logos” - Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin.

    1993 The Word was first, the Word present to God, God present to the Word. The Word was God, in readiness for God from day one. - The Message, by Eugene H. Peterson.

  • 2 years ago

    That Jehovah was truly the Father or Life-Giver to this firstborn Son and, hence, that this Son was actually a creature of God is evident from Jesus’ own statements. He pointed to God as the Source of his life, saying, “I live because of the Father.” According to the context, this meant that his life resulted from or was caused by his Father, even as the gaining of life by dying men would result from their faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice.​—Joh 6:56, 57.

    If the estimates of modern-day scientists as to the age of the physical universe are anywhere near correct, Jesus’ existence as a spirit creature began thousands of millions of years prior to the creation of the first human. This firstborn spirit Son was used by his Father in the creation of all other things. This would include the millions of other spirit sons of Jehovah God’s heavenly family, as well as the physical universe and the creatures originally produced within it. Logically, it was to this firstborn Son that Jehovah said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” All these other created things were not only created “through him” but also “for him,” as God’s Firstborn and the “heir of all things.”

  • TeeM
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    Please notice:

    “As for the 2nd/3rd century Sahidic Coptic version of John 1:1, it is NOT a Gnostic work. Rather, it is the earliest known translation of this verse of the Canonical Gospel of St. John in a language that has both an indefinite article ("a") and a definite article ("the"). Coptic John 1:1c says *auw ne.u.noute pe p.Saje*.

    This translates literally as "and a god was the Word." Some people would argue for other meanings, but "and a god was the Word" is what the Coptic says literally.”

    “This would indicate that the ancient Coptic translators, who had behind them a 500-year-old history of Greek in Egypt, and who did their work when the Koine Greek of the New Testament was still a living language, did not understand John 1:1c to say "the Word was God," but something else. Possibly, "the Word was like God," or "the Word was a divine being," or "the Word was divine."”

    “A Contemporary English Translation of the Coptic Text” by George W. Horner and J. Warren Wells

    The Gospel of John Chapter One

    1 In the beginning the Word existed. The Word existed in the presence of God, and the Word was a divine being. 2 This one existed in the beginning with God.

    Even Vines Bible Dictionary (page 158) for John 1:1 makes the statement, and I quote.

    “To translate it literally ‘a god is the Word’ is entirely misleading”

    Why is the literal translation “a god” and not “God”? Vines tells us:

    “as when the absence of the article serves to lay stress upon, . . ., the character or nature of what is expressed in the noun.” (page 157)

    Please understand: ‘A god’ is only misleading if you like Vine’s you believe the trinity.

    1864: “and a god was the word.” The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson.

    1958: “and the Word was a God.” The New Testament, by James L.Tomanek.

    NAB See footnote to John 1:1 at

    “Was God: lack of a definite article with "God" in Greek signifies predication rather than identification.

    Merriam-Webster: predication

    a: the expression of action, state, OR QUALITY; ASSIGNMENT OF SOMETHING TO A CLASS

    Predication is another word for ‘quality’ or ‘type of’ and NOT ‘identification’.

    Which is proper English?

    a. the Spokesman was Mighty One.

    b. the Spokesman was a mighty one. (Type of / class)

    c. the Spokesman was mighty. (Quality)

    Only b & c are correct English: “The Word was God” uses improper English making it a bad translation, to teach a non biblical doctrine.

    Thus the Word is NOT being identified ‘as God’ but John is telling us that the Word has the qualities of God or the Word was godly (divine), and NOT that he is God.

    John even explains his understanding of Jesus’ relationship with Jehovah.

    (Revelation 1:5, 6) 5 and from Jesus Christ, “the Faithful Witness,” “the firstborn from the dead,” and “the Ruler of the kings of the earth.” To him who loves us and who set us free from our sins by means of his own blood— 6 and he made us to be a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—yes, to him be the glory and the might forever. Amen.

    (Revelation 1:1) 1 A revelation by Jesus Christ, which God gave him, to show his slaves the things that must shortly take place. And he sent his angel and presented it in signs through him to his slave John,

    The NWT didn’t ‘add’ anything to the text. It is the better and accurate translation because it uses proper English to translate what John actually wrote in the Greek.

    Harwood, 1768, "and was himself a divine person"

    Goodspeed, 1939, "the Word was divine"

    J.N. Jannaris, 1901, [A]nd was a god"

    Maximilian Zerwich SJ./Mary Grosvenor, 1974, "The Word was divine"

    Siegfried Schulz, 1975, "And a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word"

    Schneider, 1978, "and godlike sort was the Logos

    Schonfield, 1985, "the Word was divine

    William Temple, Archbishop of York, 1933, "And the Word was divine."

    Robert Harvey, D.D., 1931 "and the Logos was divine (a divine being)

    What is interesting is these translators changed 'god' a common noun, with the adjective 'divine' meaning 'godlike' or 'from God' and not that the Word 'is/was' God.

    How do we know this? Because they did not say 'Divine' but wrote 'divine'.


  • BJ
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    1808: “and the word was a god.” The New Testament in an Improved Version, Upon the Basis of Archbishop Newcome’s New Translation: With a Corrected Text.

    1864: “and a god was the word.” The Emphatic Diaglott, interlinear reading, by Benjamin Wilson.

    1928: “and the Word was a divine being.” La Bible du Centenaire, L’Evangile selon Jean, by Maurice Goguel.

    1935: “and the Word was divine.” The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed.

    1946: “and of a divine kind was the Word.” Das Neue Testament, by Ludwig Thimme.

    1950: “and the Word was a god.” New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures.

    1958: “and the Word was a God.” The New Testament, by James L. Tomanek.

    1975: “and a god (or, of a divine kind) was the Word.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Siegfried Schulz.

    1978: “and godlike kind was the Logos.” Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider.

    DOES saying that Jesus Christ is a god conflict with the Bible’s teaching that there is only one God?

    No, for at times the Bible employs that term to refer to mighty creatures. Psalm 8:5 reads: “You also proceeded to make him [man] a little less than godlike ones,” that is, angels.

    In Jesus’ defense against the charge of the Jews, that he claimed to be God, he noted that “the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed,” that is, human judges. John 10:34, 35

    Even Satan is called “the god of this system of things” at 2 Corinthians 4:4.

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  • 2 years ago

    The JW Bible, so called, does not translate but substitutes its own blasphemous heresies.

    None on the translating committee could understand the original languages so it is a criminal misrepresentation to call it a translation.

    JWs are all about preaching themselves, as you can easily see on here.

  • 2 years ago

    Nearly 20 years ago I had a list that detailed 19 translations of the Bible that clearly stated the Word "was God".

    Five more emphatically stated the full deity of Christ without using that exact expression.

    Nine other versions did not clearly teach Christ's full deity.

    Only one other (apart from the NWT) agreed totally with the JW rendition of "a god".

    That one other version was written by ex-Catholic priest Johannes Greber (de-frocked for spiritism and heresy). It is called, The New Testament translated by Johannes Greber (copyrighted in 1937) and also says "a god".

    In 1956 the Society was fully aware of Greber's New Testament. They warned JWs back then, "Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believed helped him in his translation (Watchtower 15 Feb 1956 p.111).

    Yet the 1962 booklet "The Word - Who Is He? According To John" eagerly used Greber's translation of John 1:1 to back up their own rendition (page 5). Also, the 1965 book 'Make Sure Of All Things' cited Greber approvingly on page 489.

    In December 1980, the Society sent a letter from Brooklyn to the Johannes Greber Memorial Foundation. They said, "Gentlemen: This is to acknowledge receipt of the two books you recently sent to us, The New Testament translated by Johannes Greber, and his book 'Communication With The Spirit World of God'. We appreciate your sending these volumes to us. For some years we have been aware of the translation by Johannes Greber and have on occasion even quoted it." (Photocopies of this letter are available.)

    However, the Society deceitfully tried to give the impression that it was only in 1980 that they discovered the spiritistic background to Greber's translation. A reader of The Watchtower asked, "Why, in recent years, has The Watchtower not made use of the translation by the former Catholic priest, Johannes Greber?" The answer was, "This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52,53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of the New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on 'God's Spirit World' to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: 'His wife, a medium of God's Spiritworld, was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God's Messengers to Pastor Greber.' The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism." (Watchtower 1 April 1983 p 31) Yet they made no reference to their article in the 15 February 1956 Watchtower magazine! Why not? And why did their Spanish “Aid” book still quote him years after 1980?

    This spiritist has more in common with JWs than 'just' that Jesus is not God - he also believed Jesus Christ is a created being; Christ's body was not resurrected; The body of Jesus was dematerialised; There is no eternal hell; The Christian Church today is not preaching the gospel. Greber & the Wt. Soc. are almost bed-fellows (spiritually speaking).

  • Jeremy
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    Most I've seen follow the format of the "Word was with God, and the Word was God." A few say "was fully God." CEV uses "truly God." AMP uses "was God Himself."

    TPT is a bit unusual.

    John1:1 (TPT) In the very beginning[a] the Living Expression[b] was already there.

    And the Living Expression was with God, yet fully God.

    The Message version is a bit out there.

    1-2 The Word was first,

    the Word present to God,

    God present to the Word.

    The Word was God,

    in readiness for God from day one.

    As is The Living Bible:

    1 1-2 Before anything else existed,[a] there was Christ,* with God. He has always been alive and is himself God.

  • 2 years ago

    I haven't heard of any because every true Christian knows that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh (John 1:14). At Jesus Christ's birth, His Name was called "Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6) and obviously if He is "Everlasting Father" He has to also be God because God is Everlasting Father.

    Jesus made it very clear that Jesus is IN THE FATHER and the Father IS IN JESUS CHRIST (John 17: 21 & 23)

    There are THREE which bear witness from heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit and THESE THREE ARE ONE (1 John 5:7) Jesus and His Father are ONE (John 10:30)

  • Bill B
    Lv 6
    2 years ago

    To my knowledge, that is the case.

    Link to more that 60 translations of that verse on comment below my answer and all say "...was God."

  • 2 years ago

    That's a tall order. Who's read all those Bibles?

    @ Anon -- Only a snowflake would refer to my comment as "acidic."

    There are many translations of the Bible. How did my answer morph into my saying "lots of bible [sic] translate it like the JW bible"? You're reaching.

    And if all it takes is "a bit of research" why didn't you do it yourself?

    Source(s): Greek Orthodox Christian
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