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Some facts for Mr. Berry to consider carefully


Fri, Apr 13. 2012

Editor: Mr. Alan Berry spoke against the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION in the Searchlight newspaper of March 30, 2012, claiming that it is the worst translation that he has known.

What have reputable Bible scholars said about the “New World Translation”? 1. Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies in Northern Arizona, points out that the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation are due to religious bias on the part of its translators.{{more}} However, BeDuhn states: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the New World Translation as a literal, conservative translation.” Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation “is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available” and “the most accurate of the translations compared.”—Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament. 2. Dr. Benjamin Kedar, a Hebrew Bible scholar in Israel, made a positive comment concerning the “New World Translation”.

In 1989 he said: “This work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible. I have never discovered in the “New World Translation” any biased intent to read something into the text that it does not contain.” 3. Greek Commentator Alexander Thomson stated regarding the New Testament of the “New World Translation”: “The translation is evidently the work of skilled and clever scholars, who have sought to bring out as much of the true sense of the Greek text as the English language is capable of expressing.”

In relation to the Old Testament, Thomson said: “The New World Version is well worth acquiring. It is not the work of Higher Critics, but of scholars who honour God and His Word.” None of the scholars quoted above belong to the religious group that primarily uses the “New World Translation”. Another point: The “New World Translation” rightfully has God’s Name, Jehovah, in the New Testament.

We must keep in mind that the majority of the Greek manuscripts available today are NOT the originals. However, some very old fragments of the Septuagint Version that existed in Jesus’ day have survived down to our day, and it is noteworthy that God’s personal name appeared in them in the form of the tetragrammaton (i.e. Hebrew letters for the name, Jehovah). The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology- Vol.2, page 512 supports this fact, stating: “The oldest manuscripts now available to us have the tetragrammaton written in Hebrew characters in the Greek text.”

So Mr Berry is mistaken in saying that no Greek manuscript contains the Divine Name. Mr Berry probably knows about the Jewish superstition that led to God’s Name being removed from the New Testament and from most places in the Old Testament of some Translations. Worthy of note is this: Jesus’ statement at John 17:6, 26 clearly proves that he used God’s personal name and made it known to others.

Regarding the Holy Spirit, Mr Berry and Mr Kirby provided examples of personification without recognizing it, just as Romans 8:16 speaks of the Holy Spirit bearing witness, similar to Jesus saying that his works “bear witness” at John 10:25. “Works” are not persons. Also of interest: Romans 8:16, 26 mentions: “The Spirit ITSELF…” The term “ITSELF” refers to the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is God, would that term “itself” be fitting to refer to God. Neither the Father or the Son is called “Itself”. John16:27 says of the Father: “For the Father HIMSELF…” (also John 5:37) 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says of the Son: “The Lord HIMSELF…” (See also John 5:19, 26) It is no wonder then that while the Father and the Son have personal names, (Jehovah, the Father- Psalms 83:18; Jesus, the Son- Luke 1:31, 32) the Holy Spirit does NOT have a personal name, thus testifying to the impersonal nature of the Holy Spirit.

Simeon James