Friday, January 30, 2009

The New World Translation – Part II: The Translators

The Watchtower Society released The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures in August 1950. This translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was released in five volumes covering the years of 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. Finally, their complete translation of the Bible, The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961.

Jehovah’s Witnesses were told then, and still instructed to believe today, that this translation is the most accurate, unbiased translation available. The Watchtower Society claims that 'The New World Translation Committee’ was made up of individuals who did their best to “transmit his [God’s] thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible.”

However, when one endeavors to check into the credentials of these translators, one finds that the Watchtower Society is unwilling to release this information, stating that the Committee desires that all the glory for this translation go to Jehovah God and therefore the translators desire to remain anonymous.

The New World Translation Committee has always been extremely secretive, and, as a result, information about who was on it has only trickled out of the Brooklyn headquarters as various staff members have left and revealed what they knew. Scant information has been published, other information has leaked by word of mouth.

Nonetheless, the facts show that they were totally unqualified for the task of translation. The Watchtower Society’s Governing Body members who were on the Translation Committee had no formal training whatsoever in the Biblical languages. Here are the translators:

1. Frederick W. Franz: Main translator. He took liberal arts sequence at University of Cincinnati; 21 semester hours of classical Greek, some Latin. Partially completed a two-hour survey course in Biblical Greek in junior year; course titled "The New Testament--A course in grammar and translation." He left in spring of 1914 before completing junior year. Self-taught in Spanish, biblical Hebrew and Aramaic. He entered Brooklyn headquarters facility of Watchtower Society in 1920. It is probable he was the ghost writer for J. F. Rutherford (2nd President of Watchtower Society) from late 1920s through 1942. Franz was the Vice President of Watchtower Society from 1942 to 1977 and President from 1977 until his death in 1992 at age 99.

Franz writes in his autobiography contained in the Watchtower, May 1, 1987, page 24:

"What a blessing it was to study Bible Greek under Professor Arthur Kensella! Under Dr. Joseph Harry, an author of some Greek works, I also studied the classical Greek. I knew that if I wanted to become a Presbyterian clergyman, I had to have a command of Bible Greek. So I furiously applied myself and got passing grades"

Franz gives the impression that the bulk of his Greek studies were "Bible Greek" under "Professor Kensella" and that classical Greek was secondary under "Dr. Joseph Harry." The opposite is true. As mentioned above, Franz only took one 2-hour credit class of "Bible Greek" but 21 hours of classical Greek. According to the course catalog of 1911, Arthur Kensella was not a professor of Greek, as Franz wrote, but an "instructor in Greek." Kensella did not have a Ph.D. and he therefore taught entry-level courses.

2. Nathan H. Knorr: No training in biblical languages. Entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1923; 3rd president of Watchtower Bible and Track Society from 1942 to 1977. He died 1977 at age 72.

3. Milton G. Henschel: No training in biblical languages. He served as the private secretary and traveling companion to N. H. Knorr from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. He’s the 4th president of Watchtower Bible and Track Society from 1992 to 2000. After “stepping down”, he was followed by Don Adams as president.

4. Albert D. Schroeder: No training in biblical languages. He took 3 years of mechanical engineering, unspecified language courses in college, dropped out in 1932 and soon entered Brooklyn headquarters. He is a Registrar of "Gilead School" from 1942 to 1959.

5. Karl Klein: No training in biblical languages. Klein entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1925; member of Writing Dept. since 1950. He died 2001 at age 96.

6. George D. Gangas: No training in biblical languages. Greek-speaking Turkish national, he entered Brooklyn headquarters in 1928 as a Greek translator from English to modern Greek publications. He died 1994 at age 98.

Franz was the only man capable to perform any sort of translation work. Gangas was a native Greek speaker, but knew little of Koine Greek (Original Greek language used for the Christian Greek Scriptures), and apparently helped out with a variety of non-translation tasks including reviewing the English grammar for continuity of expression. From all information published about him personally, one readily concludes that Knorr was the business administrator for the Translation Committee. Henschel might have been on it to take care of legal/secretarial matters. Schroeder and Klein did the copious footnotes (which included textual sources) and cross references and marginal notes, which in the original six volumes of The New World Translation were more extensive than in the 1984 edition.

Franz gave this testimony under oath in the Douglas Walsh Trial in Scotland…

Tuesday, 23rd November, 1954: Frederick William Franz, Examined:
Q. Have you also made yourself familiar with Hebrew?
A. Yes....
Q. So that you have a substantial linguistic apparatus at your command?
A. Yes, for use in my biblical work.
Q. I think you are able to read and follow the Bible in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and French?
A. Yes.
Q. It is the case, is it not, that in 1950 there was prepared and issued what is called the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures?
A. Yes....
Q. I think that it was your duty, was it not, before the issue of that New World Translation by your Society to check that translation for accuracy?
A. That is true.
Q. In light of your studies and in light of your knowledge?
A. That is true.
Q. And did you do so?
A. I did so....
Q. And was it your duty on behalf of the Society to check the translation into English from the original Hebrew of that first volume of the Old Testament Scriptures?
A. Yes....
Q. In so far as translation of the Bible itself is undertaken, are you responsible for that?
A. I have been authorized to examine a translation and determine its accuracy and recommend its acceptance in the form in which it is submitted.
Q. Are the translators members of the Editorial Committee?
A. That is a question which I, as a member of the Board of Directors, am not authorized to disclose....
Q. When did you go to the University?....Did you graduate?
A. No, I did not....
Q. Had you done any Hebrew in the course of your University work?
A. No, I had not, but in the course of my editorial work, my special research work for the president of the Society, I found it was very necessary to have knowledge of Hebrew, and so I undertook a personal study of that.

Wednesday, 24th November, 1954: Frederick William Franz, Cross Continued:
Q. You, yourself, read and speak Hebrew, do you?
A. I do not speak Hebrew.
Q. You do not?
A. No.
Q. Can you, yourself, translate that into Hebrew?
A. Which?
Q. That fourth verse of the Second Chapter of Genesis?
A. You mean here?
Q. Yes?
A. No, I won’t attempt to do that.
— From Douglas Walsh Trial, Pursuer’s Proof, 1954, pages 7-9, 88, 91-92, 102-103.

This exercise which Franz was unable to do is something which the average first or second year Hebrew student could have accomplished without any difficulty. Is it any wonder the Watchtower Society refuses to publicly reveal the people who were involved in the translation of their Bible? Would you put your trust in a doctor who refused to give his credentials? Yet, this is similar to what many Jehovah’s Witnesses are doing when it comes to their trust of the Watchtower Society's The New World Translation of the Bible.

Uncover the history, understand the facts, examine the details and know "The Truth".

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Wizard of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Many have heard of and probably seen the Wizard of Oz. The movie version from 1939 stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow, Bert Lahr was the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Man was played by Jack Haley. Of course there are a slew of other characters in the movie, from those other characters there are two I want to focus on.

The first is the part played by Frank Morgan. Granted he played Professor Marvel, the Gatekeeper, the Crying Guard, as well as being the Carriage Driver of Emerald City. But most importantly, he was the Wizard.

All of those happy, sincere, kind, and good natured Munchkins believed in the Wizard. The one who could help people and who could provide answers seemed to point right to the Wizard. Even Billie Burke's role as Glinda [The good witch who helps Dorothy] - was convinced of who and what the Wizard of Oz was and what he could do for individuals. Or at least that seemed to be the case.

For me, it used to be hard to pick my favorite character in the story. I did lean towards Ray Bolger as the Scarecrow. Then again, Bert was great as the Lion. Jack's role as the Tin Man really clicked with me too. It was a tough call.

However, after leaving the Watchtower Society, my favorite character has become the part played by Terry. Furthermore, Terry's character is the one that I want to focus on second. Terry does not have a last name, and is the real life name of Toto. Toto played one of the most important roles in the entire movie. Toto revealed what the Wizard really was to Dorothy and her companions. Toto pulled the curtain back to reveal that the Wizard was a ordinary man and not the great, powerful, and magnificent Wizard.

The inhabitants of Oz represent Jehovah's Witnesses as a whole collective group. The Faithful and Discreet Slave Class - specifically, those few men in Brooklyn who set the doctrine and teachings for Jehovah's Witnesses who call themselves the Governing Body - is the Wizard. The Watchtower Society is like the Wizard's Emerald City, a strong and powerful testimony to who and what the Wizard is for the individuals of the Land of Oz. Glinda can be District Overseers, Circuit Overseers and even perhaps Elders and Ministerial Servants. The Munchkins can be played by many of the individual Jehovah’s Witnesses that exist within the organization. Not to leave out the fact there are bad people perhaps even several bad people who can play the role of the Wicked Witch within the organization. There are bad people found within all organizations. Pedophiles, greedy people, and others exist among Jehovah's Witnesses as they do everywhere else. Nevertheless, that is not the focus of this topic.

If the Wizard is the Governing Body, then who is Toto? That's the interesting part. Toto can be many different things even for just one person. Perhaps your Toto is a combination of research you've done and careful investigation of the lies, deceit, and flip-flopping of the "Wizard's" doctrines. Perhaps it's the "Wizard's" blood-guilt over their prior stance on vaccinations and organ transplants or the "Wizard's" decades long stance of a woman not crying out when being rape results in her being guilty of fornication and worthy of everlasting destruction. Maybe your Toto was a concerned family member or friend who showed you the truth respecting the Watchtower Society's history and their false prophecies. Or maybe for you Toto was the fact of the Watchtower's Society approximate decade long stance as a charter member of the United Nations.

Whatever or whomever Toto may be is not as important as the action of Toto pulling the curtain back to reveal to you that the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses are just made up of men who are not special or blessed in any way and most certainly are not as they claim, the sole channel of communication God is using to direct and organize people.

Could you imagine in the movie after Toto pulled back the curtain, Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and/or the Lion punishing or shunning Toto and still believing in the Wizard? Can you imagine, Dorothy and her companions ignoring all they saw and witnessed respecting the Wizard and just went along following his next set of orders and or commands for them to obey and follow? That course of action would have been a bit ridiculous, unreasonable and leave Dorothy and her companions in a very sad state of being. Remember, the Wizard wants you to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Even after the revealing of who the Wizard is to Dorothy and her companions, in the closing scenes of leaving Oz, Glinda who may have known what the Wizard was all about, didn't seem upset about it. Perhaps she thought it was the best thing for the congregations of Munchkins. They still were happy and nice people too. After all, the Wizard appeared to have done many wonderful things for the Munchkins, and the Munchkins still loved and cheered for him, even after seeing he was not who he really was suppose to be or perhaps those Munchkins were not in the know of who that man represented. Maybe the Munchkins were still in denial.

Will you be a Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow or Cowardly Lion? Either one of those characters will suffice in the event you react as they did once the curtain was pulled back. And how about being Toto? Maybe you're not Toto today, but maybe you will be for someone. Just be brave enough to pull back the curtain. Toto knew something was wrong, did the right thing and revealed the truth about the Wizard.

Who or what is your Toto?

Just think, the next time you see Jehovah's Witnesses going to a Pubic Talk, Watchtower Study, District Convention, Circuit Assembly or any other Watchtower Society instruction and indoctrination program, remember they are really off...

Off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Keep on the Watch

A few years back, the Watchtower Society had a campaign with a tract entitled Keep on the Watch! which was published in 2004. Another campaign was supposed to take place in January 2008 with the same tract. The months leading up to January 2008 in Our Kingdom Ministry stressed and highlighted in its usual announcement area the literature placement indeed would be the Keep On The Watch! tract.

However, in a very brief Letter to the Body of Elders, dated November 14, 2007 it states:

"Please inform the congregation of the following adjustment to the January 2008 literature offer. Instead of the brochure Keep on the Watch!, the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? should be offered. If householders already have the book, publishers may offer any 192-page book printed on paper that discolors or any book published prior to 1992 with the exception of Creation, Mankind's Search for God, and Young People Ask."

This was a sudden and very surprising change of events for the Watchtower Society. Why cancel the campaign? Congregations already had their ample supply of tracts to distribute. Could there be something wrong with the tract itself?

On Page 3 under the section 'The Religious Scene', it states:

"Priest sexually exploit young people; church cover-up. Decline in attendance; church buildings sold."

Could the above possibly describe the Watchtower Society?

For instance, sixteen sexual abuse victims settled nine lawsuits in which individuals were sexually abused as children by Jehovah's Witnesses members and leaders. Settlements were reached in late February and early March 2007 for millions of dollars as a result of those lawsuits alone.

Additionally, the Watchtower Society's policy would protect the predator of a sexually abused child by stating two witnesses would need to be present to the offence before the congregation could take action against an individual. Of course, the chance that there are two witnesses to the sexual abuse of a child is extremely unlikely. Many of times, accused abusive elders would never be known and moved to different congregations over time.

Even in our present time - January 2009 - The most wanted child predator in the United States is Frederick McLean a former Jehovah's Witnesses elder with an abuse record spanning some 20 years against young children.

It is more than just a little known fact that attendance in Jehovah's Witnesses congregations across the United States is down. The little growth seen overall within Jehovah's Witnesses congregations is at the level or even less than population growth of the country. Population growth in the US over the last couple of years has been ~2-3%. The 2007 Service Year report for Jehovah's Witnesses shows an increase of 3%. While the 2008 Service Year report shows an increase of 2.1%.

Most lands outside the United States which have seen more than population growth are in generally less educated or/and wealthy lands - especially those where the internet is not as readily available for individuals to research and investigate the Watchtower Society organization.

And what about the selling of "church buildings"?

In 2007 as well as years prior and after, the Watchtower Society has sold and will continue to sell buildings, obtaining tens of millions of dollars for each sale.

Could it be that the finger the Watchtower Society has Jehovah's Witnesses pointing at other religions should be directed right back at them? Is it that individuals have come forward realizing the hypocrisy and the problems the Watchtower Society highlights concerning other religions can be found right in their own?

Since the tract's published year of 2004, the internet continues to grow and people continue to educate themselves. This includes the knowledge of the Watchtower Society and its past and current problems. Do the research and investigate. Selling buildings, decline in attendance, pedophilia and cover-up all describes the Watchtower Society. The way the Watchtower Society attacks other religions is the same attack that is valid against them.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twisted Teachings

Terminology and concepts for a Jehovah's Witness can vary greatly then that of someone who is familiar with traditional Christianity and/or the Bible. The Watchtower Society has provided a vocabulary to Jehovah's Witnesses which consist of ideas and concepts from their own interpretation and at times their own unique rendering of scriptural verses. Some of these twisted teachings are as follows:


Watchtower Society = A state of non-existence, sleep, deny an immaterial soul and/or spirit.
Christianity = Soul and spirit remain conscious after physical death.

Reference: Matthew 10:28; Luke 23:43; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Revelation 6:9.


Watchtower Society = Jehovah.
Christianity = The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Reference: Matthew 28:19.


Watchtower Society = The common grave of mankind, no conscious existence and/or punishment.
Christianity = Eternal separation from God, conscious everlasting punishment.

Reference: Matthew 25:41, 46.

Holy Spirit

Watchtower Society = God’s active force, impersonal.
Christianity = Third member of Trinity, fully God, personal.

Reference: Acts 5:3-4, 8:29, 13:2; 1 Corinthians 2:10-11; Ephesians 4:30.

Jesus Christ

Watchtower Society = First created being by Jehovah, a god, Michael the Archangel.
Christianity = Fully God and fully man, equal to the Father in nature, eternal, omnipotent Creator.

Reference: John 1:1*, 5:18, 20:28.

*The Watchtower Society’s New World Translation renders this verse "a god". However, obtain their ‘The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures’ from 1969 and lookup the passage.

Resurrection of Christ

Watchtower Society = Rose as a spirit being.
Christianity = Rose in physical body.

Reference: John 2:19-21; Luke 24:36-39.


Watchtower Society = Living forever on a restored earth, or Paradise.
Christianity = Eternal life in heaven in the presence of God.

Reference: Philippians 3:20.

Second Coming of Christ

Watchtower Society = Occurred invisibly in 1914.
Christianity = A future event that will be plainly visible.

Reference: Matthew 24:27, 30; Revelation 1:7.

The Watchtower Society's twisted teachings are presented as absolute fact and "the truth" to Jehovah's Witnesses and others. By reading the scriptural passages without the influence of the Watchtower Society, does one reach the same conclusions as taught by them?

According to the Watchtower, August 15, 1981 issue, page 29, paragraph 14:

"They say that it is sufficient to read the Bible exclusively, either alone or in small groups at home. But, strangely, through such ‘Bible reading,' they have reverted right back to the apostate doctrines that commentaries by Christendom's clergy were teaching 100 years ago..."

Within their own literature, the Watchtower Society states if you read the Bible exclusively or in small groups at your home, you will come to the doctrines taught by "Christendom". Why is that the case? If you read the Bible exclusively, should you not come to the teachings taught by the Watchtower Society? The truth is the Watchtower Society's teachings are twisted, and the Watchtower quote above is their own admission to the facts.

Is it any wonder then, that the Watchtower Society also instructs Jehovah's Witnesses in the following way?

From Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, page 3, Question Box:

"Does the "faithful and discreet slave" endorse independent groups of Witnesses who meet together to engage in Scriptural research or debate?

No, it does not."

Read the Bible for yourself without the influence of the Watchtower Society. A few scriptures are referenced above for some teachings. Do the readings, do the research, and prove it to you.