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New World Translation

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Summary: 

One of my favorite study bibles, despite the obvious religious bias.

This version is by Jehovah’s Witnesses for Jehovah’s Witnesses.  This leads to its primary failing – sectarian bias.  Every effort is made to translate the text in a manner which agrees with the teachings of the Jehovah’s Witnesses (Example), though I can find few specific instances of mistranslation.  The result is to intentionally sidestep any possible scriptural support for Trinity, the deity of Jesus, or the Holy Spirit as a person.  In addition, every possible excuse is used to force the name “Jehovah” into the text at every possible location (though admirably well-documented).  Example  Also there are no deutero-canonical additions, and no book introductions.

Although these are serious deficiencies, the good points outweigh the bad.  The footnotes are plentiful and address the translation directly in a manner rarely seen, though too frequently referring to the original (foreign) words.  The Tetragrammaton is translated as Jehovah, though you have to check the footnote to make certain that it really is the Tetragrammaton that is being translated.  It attempts a word-for-word literalism and succeeds quite well.  All word “additions” (such as the frequent use of “[true] Lord”) are clearly marked with brackets. 

The bottom line:  if you can be aware of the sectarian bias without being offended by it, then the extensive footnotes make this an excellent version for use in a comparative study. — JEP

 

 Examples 

 

Example 1 - John 1:1

In [the] beginning the Word* was, and the Word was with God,# and the Word was a god.Δ

1:1* Or, “the Logos.”  Gr., ho lo' gos; Lat., Ver' bum; J17, 18, 22(Heb.), had•Da•var'1# Lit. “was toward the God.”  Gr., en pros ton The•on; J17, 18(Heb.), ha•yah' ’eth ha•’Elo•him'1Δ “A god.”  Gr., the•os', in contrast with ton The•on', “the God,” in the same sentence; J17, 18(Heb.), we’•lo•him', “and god.”  For a discussion of “a god,” see App 6A[Appendix 6A goes into depth about this translation of “a god”, complete with corroborating examples from little-known versions.]

Example 2 - Matthew 1:20

But after he had thought these things over, look!  Jehovah’s* angel appeared to him in a dream, saying:  “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife home, for that which has been begotten in her is by holy spirit.

20* “Jehovah’s.”  J3,4,7-14,16-18,22-24(Heb.), יהוה (Yeho•wah'); Gr. Κυριου (Ky•ri'ou), without the definite article, “Lord’s.”  The Holy Scriptures, by J. N. Darby, 1920 (corresponding to the German “Elberfelder Bibel,” 1891), says in a ftn on Mt 1:20:  “‘Lord’ without the article, signifying as very often, ‘Jehovah.’”  This is the first of 237 places in the Christian Greek Scriptures where the divine name “Jehovah” occurs in the main text of this translation.  In addition it occurs 72 times in the ftns but not in the main text.  See App 1D.

 

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This on-line edition does not include the valuable footnotes.

 

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Recommendation: 

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures - With References.  Other editions do not contain the excellent footnotes.  All editions of the NWT are only available from the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) and are not available for sale. Contact a local Kingdom Hall to obtain a copy, or search EBay for “New World Translation”.  Make sure the EBay description includes the term “With References”.
Edition Binding Color Font Size Thumb Index Edging Concordance Price
“With References” HC Burgundy 10 no no yes Not for sale

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