Snake Handling in Worship....You Can't be too Careful
Heart of a Lion, Courage of a Warrior

Scholars, Bias, and the New World Translation

If reviews of a film all rot, that tells me the movie's a stinker. If reviews gush with praise, that tells me the film's great. But if some reviewers savage a film and others praise it - the same film - what that tells me is not so much about the movie. That tells me  about the reviewers.

So it is with the New World Translation, a Bible used primarily by Jehovah's Witnesses. Scholars give mixed reviews, with extremes at both ends.

Here's a nasty one:

Finally, a word should be said about the New World Translation by the Jehovah's Witnesses. Due to the sectarian bias of the group, as well as to the lack of genuine biblical scholarship, I believe that the New World Translation is by far the worst translation in English dress. It purports to be word-for-word, and in most cases is slavishly literal to the point of being terrible English. But, ironically, whenever a sacred cow is demolished by the biblical writers themselves, the Jehovah's Witnesses twist the text and resort to an interpretive type of translation. In short, it combines the cons of both worlds, with none of the pros.                      

On the other hand:

Original renderings of the Hebrew Scriptures into the English are extremely few. It therefore gives us much pleasure to welcome the publication of the first part of the New World Translation [of the Hebrew Scriptures], Genesis to Ruth. This version has evidently made a special effort to be thoroughly readable. No one could say it is deficient in its freshness and originality. Its terminology is by no means based on that of the previous versions.

Another sorehead:

Once it is perceived that Jehovah's Witnesses are only interested in what they can make the scriptures say, and not in what the Holy Spirit has already perfectly revealed, then the careful student will reject entirely Jehovah's Witnesses and the Watchtower translation.                      

Then, again:

Edgar J. Goodspeed, translator of the Greek New Testament in An American Translation. (in a letter dated Dec. 8, 1950): "I am interested in the mission work of your people, and in its world wide scope, and much pleased with the free, frank, and vigorous translation. It exhibits a vast array of sound serious learning, as I can testify."


"The translation of the New Testament is evidence of the presence in the movement of scholars qualified to deal intelligently with the many problems of Biblical translation."                    

What we learn here has little to do with the New World Translation and everything to do with scholars. They are not gods. They are humans, with the same mix of opinion, bias and pig-headedness suffered by all the rest of us. They put their pants on as we do. They are like psychiatrists in a murder trial, where both prosecution and defense searches for one compliant to their respective side. They are like Supreme Court nominees, where the liberal President appoints one with like-minded views, and a few years later the conservative President appoints his polar opposite. You don't tremble with fear when the other side produces a scholar who doesn't agree with you. You expect that to happen. Even sheer numbers of opposing scholars don't mean much. The view currently in vogue will always produce the greater number of scholars. Humans are like that. They run in herd mentality.

Line up all scholars with similar views and their writings indeed seem impressive. Line up the scholars with opposing views, and their writing also seems formidable. But combine the two, and one is sorely tempted to equate scholarship with so many rolls of toilet paper. They squabble no less than we lesser mortals. No one's saying to ignore them, but too many people employ them the way lawyers employ psychiatrists: they decide up front what they want to believe, then they search for scholars to buttress their case.

The other thing we learn about scholars is that the ones who can't stand the New World Translation are, with very few exceptions, Trinitarians. Believe that Jesus and God are synonymous and you will loathe the New World Translation. Believe otherwise, and you will be okay with it. You may critique it on this or that point, as with any translation. But you will rank it as a legitimate and intelligent translation, with both strengths and weaknesses.

There are few redder flags one can wave before the Trinitarian bull than John 1:1. It's easy to see why. The King James Version and most popular Bibles today render the verse:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Other than the insertion at 1 John 5:7, an insertion long recognized as spurious, John 1:1 most directly states the Trinity, or at least two of the three parties to it. But the New World Translation - unforgivably in Trinitarian eyes - renders that verse:

In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

It's not the only translation to do so, but there aren't many. However, there are any number of translations that straddle between the two poles - that is, while not translating the Word as "a god," they render it in terms of an adjective or quality. Such as:

"and the Word was divine" - The Bible—An American Translation, by J. M. P. Smith and E. J. Goodspeed, Chicago.

"so the Word was divine" - The Authentic New Testament, by Hugh J. Schonfield, Aberdeen.
"the Logos was divine - A New Testament: A New Translation (James Moffatt)
"was face to face with God" - The Centenary Translation (Helen Barrett Mongomery)
 "and godlike sort was the Logos" - Das Evangelium nach Johannes, by Johannes Schneider, Berlin.

Trinitarians grumble about these, but have evidently decided they can live with them. Not so with "a god" of the New World Translation.

Turning the tables on those who would charge the New World Translation of bias is a recent (2003) book by Jason Beduhn entitled Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. Dr Beduhn teaches at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Illinois, an M.T.S. in New Testament and Christian Origins form Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Study of Religions form Indiana University, Bloomington. He has a lot of letters trailing his name, I can tell you.

His book compares 9 popular English translations, viewing selected verses, and concludes that the New World Translation is the most accurate, the most free of bias! John 1:1 is among the verses he examines. He writes:

"Surprisingly, only one, the NW, adheres to the literal meaning of the Greek, and translates "a god." "Translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, NASB, AB, TEV and LB all approached the text at John 1:1 already believing certain things about the Word... and made sure that the translations came out in accordance with their beliefs." He also responds to those who charge the NWT translators with doctrinal bias: "It may very well be that the NW translators came to the task of translating John 1:1 with as much bias as the other translators did. It just so happens that their bias corresponds in this case to a more accurate translation of the Greek"

Search the internet and you will find furious discussion of Dr Beduhn, his book, John 1:1 and the other verses examined. Indeed, though I'm told he's active in the blogosphere, I can't find him anywhere. He is absolutely buried amidst attacks from Trinitarians, in near panic mode, desperate to undermine his credentials. Isn't his real language of expertise Pig Latin? Didn't he buy his degrees online? Doesn't he pick his nose a lot?

There is even some report that Jeopardy, the TV show, featured his book in asking what was the most accurate translation. The answer, of course, was the New World Translation. I'd be delighted to say the report's true, but I can't verify it. The mean Watchtower organization makes me go to meetings and knock on doors and read all their books and magazines, so I don't have enough time to sit at home and watch all the Jeopardy shows like I want. But frankly, I don't believe the report. Sounds too much like internet rumor to me.


Read ‘Tom Irregardless and Me.’    30% free preview

Starting with Prince, a fierce and frolicking defense of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A riotous romp through their way of life. “We have become a theatrical spectacle in the world, and to angels and to men,” the Bible verse says. That being the case, let’s give them some theater! Let’s skewer the liars who slander the Christ! Let’s pull down the house on the axis lords! Let the seed-pickers unite!


Defending Jehovah’s Witnesses with style from attacks... in Russia, with the book ‘I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why’ (free).... and in the West, with the book, 'In the Last of the Last Days: Faith in the Age of Dysfunction'



“They squabble no less than we lesser mortals. No one's saying to ignore them, but too many people employ them the way lawyers employ psychiatrists: they decide up front what they want to believe, then they search for scholars to buttress their case.”

I’m afraid you’ve hit the nail on the head there, this selective filtering is one of the most common threads of the human condition, and to my mind one of the most annoying. So few people are willing to actually listen to an argument, there just waiting the other person out so they can retort. Rational conversation, sitting down and trying to work things out is tragically rare, and has been for so long that even pointing the fact out seems trite.

I use to be very much this sort of person, but time and experience has lead me to be less dogmatic. I want to hear all sides, I watch Fox News and I read The Nation. The funniest thing is how often groups and people who feel so opposed to one another can actually agree on things. Recently I’ve been reading a book by Pat Robertson and one by Gore Vidal, and was shocked to learn they both largely agreed that big business and finance are playing the American people for fools and are trying to control far to much of their lives. Now if you could put a coalition as diverse as the likes of those two together, you could probably do something about it, but culture war to often wins out.

Anyway I digress (it’s been awhile since I’ve done some blog writing and I’m feeling a little verbose). I though I’d offer kind of the Mormon story on biblical translation. Of course the Church is best known for a translation other then the Bible, the Book of Mormon, but that’s another topic, though interestingly there are only two real English language translations, the original Joseph Smith version (with slight, mostly punctuation changes over time (the original manuscript contained next to no punctuation)) and a modern English version from the Community of Christ’s publishing house.

Latter-day Saints traditionally use the King James Version of the Bible, in large part because our edition of the Book of Mormon uses the King James language. However Joseph Smith reportedly preferred a certain German translation, feeling it to be more accurate. Joseph Smith also produced a Bible translation sometimes referred to as The Inspired Version or JST (Joseph Smith Translation). Essentially that consisted of what he reported to be divinely guided alterations made to correct and enhance a Bible text that had been corrupted over time. Ironically the LDS don’t often use this version (except in foot notes in LDS prints of the King James Bible). I believe this is mainly because use of the ever popular King James Version has a certain public relations value, especially when proselytizing among American protestants. I myself have used several other version in private reading (though not frequently), including both the NIV (America’s second most popular Bible) and the Recovery Version, which seems to have as its goal much the same as the Witnesses outlined for their New World Translation, an emphasis on recapturing the historic meanings of the words in the text.

I’ve not read from a New World Translation myself, but have of course heard the negative charges about the book before. I was unaware that the translation is considered a legitimate one by some scholars outside of the faith, though I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising. Interesting to know.


Thanks, Nate. Good to hear from you. It didn't take me long blogging to realize that no one has ever ever ever changed his or her mind on the internet.

Jason Chamberlain

As an unashamed Trinitarian, I of course take umbrage with the NWT rendering of John 1:1. While it is possible to translate it "a god," that does not best fit with Greek grammar. Nor is that consistent with the way the word theos is translated in other sections of the NWT.

However, in the end I realize that it comes down to which scholars you trust. I've had 4 semesters of New Testament Greek in seminary and have learned from the textbooks of Bill Mounce and Dan Wallace, which are considered pretty much standards in the conservative evangelical seminary world. However, I also realize that they learned their Greek from someone, etc.

Personally, I trust the traditional understanding of the church on this one. Obviously you don't. Again, the question is which authorities you trust, right?


It's a fair comment, Jason. Thank you for it.

Maybe the effect of all these scholars is that the verse is nuetralized, and that one must look elsewhere is scripture to support/rebuff the trinity belief.

Jason Chamberlain

I would also point to John 8:58-59 for Jesus' claim to divinity for two reasons. One is that translating "ego eimi" to "I have been" seems bizarre for the present active indicative. I know that it is done in John 14:9, but that is to smooth out the English (incidentally, I checked in French and it doesn't suffer from this problem with translating the present active indicative). The other is that I don't understand why else the Jews would want to stone him unless they thought he had just committed the heresy of claiming to be God. They were upset about the Greek, not our attempts to render this faithfully into English.

Another would be John 20:28 with Thomas' reaction to the holes in Jesus' body. I find it hard to buy the argument that a faithful Jew like Thomas would blaspheme out of surprise.

All translation has some degree of theological bias since there are going to be ambiguities in places where you go from Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic to English. You think that Arius was right and the councils were wrong, but the historic church and I take the other approach. Again, it comes down to who you trust. I see Jesus as divine based on my understanding of the Greek of these and other passages. Would citing them and my reasons matter?


Asserting one was God's son would make one of the same "stuff" as God, and seems sufficient to me to ignite a charge of blasphemy.

Thomas says "my Lord and my God." It is purely the readers' assumption that he is equating the two.

Re John 8:58-59, it would be good to see how other translations have put it. I don't have that information at my fingertips. Since the beginning of the 20th century, there has been about one new English translation per year.

"Would citing them and my reasons matter?" Probably not, Jason. Not to say I don't appreciate your comments. I do. But I have found a discussion on the Trinity can become endless, never producing agreement. Having both stated our positions, my motto is "let God sort it out."

Jason Chamberlain

Personally, I'm not too interested in how other translations put John 8:58-59 unless my Greek education is inadequate. That's one of the joys of learning the original languages, but you still end up with that question of authority again. You trust your folks and I trust mine.

Regarding the matter of the Trinity, I believe it is of utmost importance that we get Jesus right. However, in addition to being a Trinitarian I am also a Calvinist which means that I don't think anyone is ever rationally persuaded into the kingdom of heaven.

Soren Hovsepian

I do not know Greek or the Greek grammar. Have a tough time with English. But I know for sure the Gospels were written for the common man, since most of mankind on this beautiful earth are common and understand basic language. Imagine if God had abandoned us to the learned of Greek and Hebrew, why, we would be without hope to say the least, all 6 Billion of us poor things. But, I know better than that, that, NO, God did not abandon us like that. I let God's infallable and consistant Word lead me. I let simpler to understand thoughts and statements that do not need a masters degree or a PHD to understand lead me and help me decide how to understand other more difficult verses, for they have to be in agreement and not contradict each other. For instance after Jesus was resurrected he told Mary in John 20:17, that her God and his God were the same. Also many years after Jesus' ascension to heaven while Jesus was sitting on the right hand of GOD, the apostle Paul identifies the position of Jesus in relationship to his Father in Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be THE God .....of our Lord Jesus Christ". Now what Greek grammar could muddy that? Either God is Jesus's God as it is expressed here or not?
Allow me just one more... from Jesus' own mouth while sitting on God's right hand around the year 98-100 AD (long after his resurrection folks) is found in Rev. 3:12
where Jesus calls God "my God" three times. For an uneducated common man like me - and I hope my Lord Jesus is not attempting to confuse me here, because I love him - means only one thing and one thing only...yes you guessed it, that God is His God. If God is THE GOD of Jesus, the trinity has no chance. Therefore I have concluded that the trinity is just another artfully contrived teaching. My advice? Let simpler scriptures be your guide to explain other "conroversial" ones. Except, there are no controversial ones to us common people.


"Let simpler scriptures be your guide to explain other "conroversial" ones."

Sounds like a good approach.

Soren Hovsepian


tom sheepandgoats

Alas, Soren, you've regressed! At least insofar as grammar/grammer is concerned.

Oh, well. I always use spell check.......and one faithful brother from Virginia or somewhere who alerts me when I have nonetheless botched something.

Soren Hovsepian


tom sheepandgoats

Off the top of my head, I can't think of 4 more diverse languages than English, Norwegian, Armenian, and Arabic. You have my respect to tackle them all, all the more so because English really doesn't spell in any logically consistent way - any spelling "rules" are very loose and have no end of exceptions.

Jason Chamberlain


The Gospels were indeed written for the common man who spoke the language that they were written in. However, given that we are 2000 years removed from those languages someone needs to have some education in them if we are to understand what they mean.

Frankly, to me, you cannot get any simpler than His declaration in John 8:58 and the nagging question of why the Pharisees would want to stone Him unless He committed blasphemy. My Greek education further cements this for me.

As I wrote above, it all comes down to who you trust as your authority. It's nice to say that we trust "the Bible alone," but that's not entirely true. We trust those who have translated the Bible into a language that we can understand.


Jason hits the nail on the head with his last comment. The scriptural differences are clarified when you look at the reactions to the passages described. The one in John 8 eliminates the possibility of a non-Trinitarian interpretation, because the Pharisees' response makes no sense in that context.

Context in scripture is vital. It must be if one believes the Scriptures are the inspired Word of God. "a god" in John 1 makes no sense unless someone wants to argue that the apostle John was a polytheist, a position totally unsupported by the remainder of the Gospel or by his epistles.

What is specious is the assumption of accuracy of the non-Trinitarian translation given the predominace of "Trinitarian" translations. It's quite frivolous to presume that bias determinedly creeped in on all the other translations but not so much on the one with significant theological differences. Maybe the real difference is in the approach to Greek translation compared to Debuhn's.

In any case, the somewhat approving tone of the post (I thought "near panic" was an nice example of written bias, FWIW) revelas about as much as anything discussed in the post, that the author is skeptical of Trinitarianism.

Soren's refrences to the use of "my God" don't pan out given similar references elsewhere (why hast thou forsaken me? for instance) that have untroubled Trinitarians for 2 millenia. The complexities of God's self-reference result not from Him presenting things in a way that make sense to us, but from our self-conscious analysis of the practice from the perspective of our own biases. Jesus praying to God doesn't invalidate the Trinity, it merely demonstrates the attitudes that God wants man to have towards Himself. The logical model for these attitudes and practices is the perfect Emmanuel.

And yes, the last word of the previous sentence was chosen deliberately! :)

tom sheepandgoats

The "complexities of God's self-reference" can be accounted for in ways much simpler than you have done by realizing God is not speaking/praying/referring to himself, but to another, to his Son, who is separate.

The way John 8:58 is usually translated is puzzling: "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" What does that mean? It's not grammatically correct. If it means my [Jesus'] existence is older than that of Abraham, then one may recall that the Son is described as the first born of all creation (col 1:15-17):

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

He is the first BORN. After creating his son, God creates all other things through him. As the Word of God, he is the one God speaks to at Genesis 1:26: "Let us make man in our image."

He is the one personified as wisdom at Prov 8:22-31.

All of these verses would make Jesus older than Abraham. They would also account for the Pharisee's reaction, since they viewed Jesus as no more than an ordinary man.

"A god" in John 1:1 need not be taken in the way you insist. Even powerful humans are referred to in scripture as gods: "I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High." (psalm 82:6; a verse cited by Jesus at John 10:34)

Even Satan is referred to as a "god" at 2 Cor 4:4: "The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."

(All scriptural citations taken from the New International Version)

Mikael Stenhammar

Hi Tom,

I found my way to your blog at last.

Having myself done post-graduate research in Bible translation of problematic verses in John I have a few thoughts:

1. Since JW are often charged with the criticism of having pseudo-scholarship, why is it that the Watchtower does not have its own set of acknowledged scholars? Instead of always trying to find some scholar here or there who would support the NWT (and often they do not, I have found that the quotations are sometimes taken out of context) it would be more credible to have a JW write an academic thesis that holds water and then base your arguments on such.

2. Also, I find it remarkable that of all the JW I have been interacting with, everyone at some point goes back to the Greek texts in our discussions but so far no one I have met knows Greek. Why is this? How can you place your eternal trust on various renderings of a language you do not know? Further, I doubt you will be able to evaluate accurately what others say about the Greek texts unless you have plunged headlong into them yourself. It is like listening to what various people say about a certain food dish – of its tastes and ingredients – but never eat it yourself but then go out and offer changes in the recipe. Would not the sheer fact that the absolute majority (I would say over 99%) of acknowledged koine Greek "knowers" refuse the NWT somehow send a signal that NWT is off?

3. JW, as with LDS (sorry for coupling you so directly!) and with many other groups opposing Christianity all work on a conspiracy view of society and especially the church. Since this is so, it does not really matter if the absolute majority says something, because there is some kind of dark and evil conspiracy behind; the church is manipulating Scripture for her own will to power. Anyone who comes with such preunderstanding to the discussion of Bible translation will be bound to see devils lurking behind every corner and the majority argument will never have any impact – well, apart from making the conspiracy minded people go the totally opposite direction, of course – exactly as the JW do.

Would be interested to hear your thoughts!


tom sheepandgoats

Mikael: Thanks for taking the time to get back to me.

This is the blog excerpt that most applies in your case, IMO:

“Believe that Jesus and God are synonymous and you will loathe the New World Translation. Believe otherwise, and you will be okay with it. You may critique it on this or that point, as with any translation. But you will rank it as a legitimate and intelligent translation, with both strengths and weaknesses.”

You have done “post-graduate research in Bible translation of problematic verses in John.” Which verses are these and why are they considered “problematic?” Aren't they the ones where some translators have seen fit to render in a manner that doesn't overtly express Trinitarian ideas?

“why is it that the Watchtower does not have its own set of acknowledged scholars?” Acknowledged by whom? We go back to the above point. Beduhn is an “acknowledged scholar,” but since his view doesn't square with the Trinity, he has detractors working tirelessly to undermine his qualifications. Apparently it's possible to have even more letters trailing a name than he does. So he's made out to be a know-nothing by those who don't like his research. But he pinpoints the real problem: “Translators of the KJV, NRSV, NIV, NAB, NASB, AB, TEV and LB all approached the text at John 1:1 already believing certain things about the Word... and made sure that the translations came out in accordance with their beliefs.” It should be the other way around.

“Instead of always trying to find some scholar here or there who would support the NWT....” What in the world is wrong with finding support “here and there?” Where else is one going to find it?

“ would be more credible to have a JW write an academic thesis that holds water......” It will not be found to hold water by any Trinitarian scholar, since their beliefs dictate their scholarship. (see above point with Beduhn) Moreover, such material is to be found in various Watchtower publications.

With regard to your second paragraph, I don't want to oversimplify translating another language. I don't. It's very complex. But I don't want to overcomplicate it either. Suppose a young child is raised in a household in which two or even three diverse languages are spoken....say English, Chinese, and Swahili The child will flawlessly speak each one. How is that possible, without advanced university degrees? Frankly, when it comes to translating, nobody comes remotely close to the Watchtower organization in rendering materials into different languages. The magazine alone is translated into 182 languages. It's almost enough to make you think language colleges ought to come to us rather than the other way around.

Language, even ancient language, is merely communication, and humans have been doing that for a long time. I don't think it is such that only the most prestigious universities on the planet can hope to convey a knowledge of it. Moreover, do not translators generally work from master texts, which have extensive notes on various verses. At any rate, get ahold of the NWT Large Print with References. I've never seen a Bible so stocked with references explaining this or that translating decision.

additional thoughts on translator qualifications are found here:

I would not say that we have a “conspiratorial” view of society. However, we do hold that today's world is fundamentally out of harmony with God's will. Not merely on the surface, fixable by a bit of tweaking. But fundamentally. How would YOU explain such verses as:

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph 6:12 NIV


“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 Jn 5:19 NIV

Or, rather, do you think the Christian role is to pray for God to bless world leaders? Why have such prayers not been answered to date?


Enjoyed the post, thanks and it really brought the REAL picture in the matter, scholars are only humans too, with their own bias. As I've said before, all Bibles should stand on their OWN merit, not who translated them only.


Regarding Jehovah's Witnesses' "New World Translation" Bible and its rendering of John 1:1, it may interest you to know that, in support and explanation of their wording of this verse (especially within the third clause with "a god"), there is soon to be published a 19+ year study (as of 5/2011), a thoroughly researched reference work - an historical analysis & exhaustive annotated bibliography - it will be entitled, "What About John 1:1?"

To learn more of its design and expected release date, you are invited to visit:

When finally published, apart from discussing many of the other topics and scriptures often related to the man-made Trinity doctrine, you will also discover that we have collected information on about 430+ scholarly reference works (mostly Trinitarian) which, throughout the centuries, had opted to say something other than, "and the Word was God," and that, included among them are over 120 which had chosen to use "a god" within the third clause of their renderings.

As you might expect, we are very excited at the opportunity to share our findings with others.

Agape, JohnOneOne.


I thought this comment was of interest:

Rolf Furuli: "I read the English text of the NWT against the Hebrew text, word for word...the translators of the NWT have been extremely faithful both to their own translation principles and to the Hebrew text."
-Lecturer in Semitic Languages at Oslo University

Benjamin Kedar: "I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that [the OT] reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible....Giving evidence of a broad command of the original language...I have never discovered in the New World Translation any biased intent to read something into the text that it does not contain."
-Professor of Jewish, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

tom sheepandgoats

Thanks, Simon. I think these Hebrew scholars would also approve of our handling of Ps 22:16

Jest JJ

"What is specious is the assumption of accuracy of the non-Trinitarian translation given the predominace of "Trinitarian" translations."

This statement above is a foolish one. It has been said that all churches will fall away from God. They will have debated and preached heavily over the words of a "false" God. I would take this as meaning that anything "popular" isn't that of God. If you see translations being persecuted by man, there is a good chance they are the true words of God. People tend to believe what they want, especially those who indulge in this evil world. The life of a follower of God is an inconspicuous one and I would say the word of God will be the same way. Be humble.


First of all, wow. Ive been checking this and your other entries and im impressed at your honesty and non bias. You have got to be the smartest JW out there. Ive spoken to many and while they mean well, they arent too knowledgable when it comes to the nitty gritty. I was raised a JW but i could never take it seriously because whenever i asked tough questions, i was told that there are things we as imperfect humans cant understand, andwell as a pretty logical p
erson, this explanation was never enough. Its nice to know there are dudes like you out there. If possible, im subscribing. Oh and sorry for the spelling errors. Im excited as i type this.

tom sheepandgoats


Thanks for the kind words. Non bias and honesty are things I strive for. Smartness too, I guess, but I think smarts are overrated. I mean, there's no great honor in being dumb, but the world, generally speaking, is run by brilliant people. Yet it is a disaster.

Jehovah's Witnesses are for the most part average people, not especially brilliant. Yet they have accomplishments unmatched outside of their community.

Not unlike the first century Christians. You know the verses: 'unlettered and ordinary', 'God has hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones'. Who were they, anyway? Fisherman, work-a-day people, ordinary joes.

Again, nothing wrong with being smart. Go for it. But other qualities are more important.


Thanks for the prompt reply. Its funny how you can know things but not really think of their relevance until someone else says it. Im referring to the apostles being simple blue collar men. I have had faith issues for years but if im to be totally honest, part of the problem has been that sometimes i would like to believe that i wont be held accountable for my sins. The heart truly is treacherous. However some doubts i truly consider legitimate. One of them was the reliability of the nwt. Thanks to this post, thats no longer a stumbling stone for me. Youve made a believer of me tom and a subscriber. Now if only i could just stop sinning!

tom sheepandgoats

"However some doubts i truly consider legitimate."

Yeah, I do too. Or rather, some charges are raised so often by opposers, it seems that someone ought to take them on. Now, if you do it on their blogs, you just keep arguments going forever. But if you do it on your own blog, over time you can cover all bases.

I'm really just indulging a hobby here, rather than being on a mission of some sort.....I like to write. But to the extent I am a JW, & it's my life, that comes through on most of my writing.

"Now if only I could stop sinning" :) Well....if you're serious about it all, expose yourself to the program and see where things go. You know, meetings, study, prayer & so forth. You aren't really held accountable to shape up until you dedicate your life through baptism.


For the " Greek Education " stated person .

Would you please explain The John 1:1 reference that you hold so dearly .

When in the first part of the verse it used the MASCULINe form of the word Theos ( God )
then in the second part , it used the FEMININE form "theos"( Non capitilized , different formage in the greek letters as well . and different MEANING )
theos= Lesser form = " a God "

I have a little Greek going as well , and have a Copy of the Greek manuscripts to browse as my own possession

I believe as well the gentleman who Speaks reads writes Aramaic might have a better time than you , as that a good majority of the original manuscripts were not in Greek but were in fact in Aramaic ...................

1+1+1 ≠ 1

in fact one of those ones isnt even a person !!!!

God isnt supposed to be a Mystery , otherwise Jesus' words then would simply not apply

" My Father who is in Heaven "
" No Man can SEE God and yet Live " ( ummm that one really puts a crimp in the Trinity logic )

The Trinity only seeks to mystify God , which in turn Diminishes him . But instead Jesus always , ALWAYS sought to Glorify him . " again in John as that you wish to bring everything into context

" Father , I have Glorified your name among those you have given me ( Given ??? ) so now Father Glorify ME , with the Glory I had , ALONGSIDE YOU , before the world was "

some paraphrasing of course but Jeeez , if you cant get that ,........then you cannot read not matter WHAT language it is in .

Father = oops , separate being , of Higher position , and more power ( unless old and frail like HUMANS get )

Given = c'mon wrap your head around this one , Jesus acknowledges that God GAVE him this group of men as Disciples , as support as well as tools in order to spread his words .

He didnt CHOOSE THEM HIMSELF ....if Jesus were in Fact God , dont ya think he coulda figured that out all by his lonesome ?

Secondly , I will throw just a Little Science at you . (he he he, the maniacal laughter as the smile spreads across my face )

IF ..... IF Jesus were God , and all Existence is Based on God's Support and His Existence ,......the When Jesus DIED , Yes Dead , Non living .

Why didnt we ? Why didnt every tangible thing come crashing to the singularity that it all supposedly came from to begin with .

Because simply put , If God who created and supports all things , were to DIE , then so would everything he created because HIS support and energy which holds it all together would in fact no longer exist .

Next Jesus asks his Father ( God ) to Glorify him ........Ummm why would he have to ask ??? and further more self Glorification is somewhat looked down upon in the Bible isnt it ?

Glorify me Father , alongside you with the glory I HAD .... oopps another one , God never changes right ??? and Just imagine God having lost his glory as you would lose your car keys ??? OMG that would soooooo funnny ,

Oh wait ..... if God lost his Glory ? ummmmm then again his Power would be affected , and we ........... would not exist .

Not funny

Glorify me Father with the Glory I had alongside you before the World was ......

Hmmmm Jesus existed before this world did , wow what a deeeep thought and a direct allusion to the Michael issue .

There is that Collosians scripture , yep , First BORN of all creation .........

Born .....

I was in the Hospital , in the delivery room , holding my Wife's hands ( That hurt like ...(insert favorite word here) as my child ( A MALE child ) was BORN .

with his eyes Open in fact , all the nurses were amazed . and instantly attracted to the Daddy(He he he he , yep twas a good day )( Rosie that will tell you why I would have to wait till the New System)

But Trinitarian logic has always entertained me , and I attack it voraciously with BOTH language and Logic .

Your OWN scriptures stand against you .


After extensive reseach (read: a quick google) I can confirm that the Jeopardy question is indeed urban legend - just as well really, because otherwise the internet would be full of venomous pages trashing Jeopardy.

I got into a fight and got myself banned on WikiAnswers (twice) because of my insistance that positive reviews of the NWT ALSO appear so I know that people feel very strongly and the enemy lines are drawn, on this issu. I still have the scars.

@ Alec

Don't worry, Tom has a similar effect on most of his readers, it's a wonder I can type at all given his smartness leaves me just about incoherent with excitement and general wonder... Still faith and loyalty and of course LOVE are qualities that FAR outweigh smartness in my books ...

(I have a theory that Judas was probably the smartest of the 12, as the only one that came from the "sophisticated south" he probably shone like a diamond amongst the Galilean yokels...)

Still, you're right, another good post from Tom. My fingers are trembling but I think I can just about manage to hit.... "SEND"

tom sheepandgoats


I don't have any experience with WikiAnswers, let alone to be banned once, let alone to be banned twice. I suspect you do a lot of good there.

Katurah Britto

Thank you so much Tom for your candid and unbiased comments. I would just like to say to all those who say that the Jeopardy episode can't possibly exist simply because you haven't been able to locate it by "googleing" it; obviously not everything on the internet is true, likewise, everything not on the internet is not necessarily untrue. I have never been able to locate a clip of that episode but I just so happen to be one who actually saw it when it aired. @ Rosie It is not an urban legend. Just because you don't agree with Jehovah's Witnesses interpretation of the Bible does not mean that the translastion they use is inaccurate. Shame on all of you who use this as a platform to bash them. If you aren't literate in ancient Greek and Hebrew maybe you should shut up and educate yourself first.

The comments to this entry are closed.