The new World Translation
The following text was taken from the Christian Research Newsletter,
Vol. 3, Issue 3, page 5.
Dr. Julius R. Mantey was a first-rate scholar who studied Greek for more
that 65 years. He was well known for “A Manual Grammar of the Greek New
Testament,” which he coauthored with Dr. H. E. Dana. The following is a
discussion that took place between Dr. martin and Dr. mantey on the
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New World Translation.
Dr. Martin: In John 1:1, the New World Translation (NWT) says that “the
Word was a god,” referring to Jesus Christ. how would you
respond to that?
Dr. Mantey: The Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) have forgotten entirely what
the order ot the sentence indicates – that the “Logos” has
the same substance, nature, or essence as the Father. To
indicate that Jesus was just “a god,” the JWs would have to
use a completely different construction in the Greek.
Dr. Martin: You once had a little difference of opinion with the
Watchtower about this and wrote them a letter. What was
their response to your letter?
Dr. Mantey: Well, as a backdrop, I was disturbed because they had
misquoted me in support of their translation. I called
their attention to the fact that the whole body of the New
Testament was against their view. Throughout the New
Testament, Jesus is glorified and magnified – yet here
they were denigrating him and making him into a little god
of a pagan concept.
Dr. Martin: What was their response to what you said?
Dr. Mantey: They said I could have my opinion and they would retain
theirs. What I wrote didn’t phase them a bit.
Dr. Martin: I don’t know whether you’re aware of it, but there is not a
single Greek scholar in the Watchtower Bible and Tract
Society. I did everything I could to find out the names of
the translating committee of the NWT, and the Watchtower
wouldn’t tell me a thing. Finally, and ex-JW who knew the
committee members personally told me who they were, and the
men on that committee could not read New Testament Greek;
nor could they read Hebrew; nor did they have any knowledge
of systematic theology – except what they had learned
from the Watchtower. Only one of them had been to college,
and he had dropped out after a year. He briefly studied
the biblical languages while there.
Dr. Mantey: He was born in Greece, wasn’t he?
Dr. Martin: Yes, he read modern Greek, and I met him when I visited
the Watchtower. I asked him to read John 1:1 in the Greek
and then said, “How would you translate it?” He said:
“Well, `the word was a god.'” I said: “what is the subject
of the sentence?” He just looked at me. So I repeated,
“What is the subject of the sentence?” He didn’t know. This
was the only person in the Watchtower to read Greek and he
didn’t know the subject of the sentence in John 1:1. And
these were the people who wrote back to you and said their
opinion was as good as yours.
Dr. Mantey: That’s right.
Dr. Martin: Often we find JW publications quoting scholars. Do they
quote these people in context?
Dr. Mantey: No. They use this device to fool people into thinking that
scholars agree with the JWs. out of all the Greek
professors, grammarians, and commentators they have quoted,
only one (a Unitarian) agreed that “the word was a god.”
Dr. Martin: You have been quoted as saying that the translators of the
NWT are “diabolical deceivers.”
Dr. Mantey: Yes. The translation is deceptive, and I believe it’s a
terrible thing for a person to be deceived and go into
eternity lost, forever lost because somebody deliberately
misled him by distorting the Scripture!
Dr. Martin: What would you say to a JW who was looking for the truth?
Dr. Mantey: I would advise him to get a translation other than the NWT,
because ninety-nine percent of the scholars of the world
who know Greek and who have helped translate the Bible are
in disagreement with the JWs. People who are looking for
the truth ought to know what the majority of the scholars
really believe. They should not allow themselves to be
misled by the JWs and end up in hell.
These words were excerpted from the tape, “Martin and Mantey on the New
World Translation” (catalogue number C-118). It is available from CRI
You can receive more information about the many cults in our society by
Christian Research Institute
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San Juan Capistrano, CA. 92693-0500
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