Problems With the New World Translation

The New World Translation (NWT) of the Scriptures is a product of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the publishing arm of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The New Testament portion of this translation appeared in 1950. The Old Testament was completed by 1960. A revised version of it came out in 1961.

The NWT is a dangerous translation. It is not recommended as a study Bible. It was done by a sect that has mistranslated the Scriptures in order to insert their false doctrines into the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19). It is dangerous because all its translators came from the same religious background. Therefore, there was not the safeguard that comes from checking one another when translators are from different churches.

The Watchtower Society will not reveal the names of the translators. If they are recognized scholars who are qualified to make a translation, why will they not reveal their names? Is it because they are not qualified scholars in the original languages of the Bible?

There are many wrong translations in the NWT. Perhaps the worst one is their mistranslation of John 1:1. In the American Standard Version (as in all standard versions), the passage says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This verse clearly teaches that before He was born into this world, Jesus existed as “the Word.” He is One of the Godhead along with the Father and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:16-17; 28:19; Acts 17:29; 2 Corinthians 13:14). As the Word, He was present at creation and brought all things into being (Colossians 1:15-17). The Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that Jesus was the Creator of all things. They teach He was simply a created being. Therefore, they wrongly translate John 1:1 in order to rob Jesus of His place with the Father and the Spirit in the Godhead.

The NWT mistranslates John 1:1 as, “In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” From this it appears the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in two Gods—a big God and a little god. The Bible teaches there is only one God (James 2:19). The ignorance of the translators of the NWT is shown by their claim that, since there is no definite article in Greek before God, the translation should be “a god.”

However, according to a standard grammar of the Greek language, this is wrong: “Certain nouns, referring to persons or things which instead of being only one of a class are quite unique, are treated as proper nouns, the article being either inserted or omitted. So θεός or ὁ θεός, God; πνεῦμα or τὸ πνεῦμα, the Spirit; κόσμος or ὁ κόσμος, the world; νόμος or ὁ νόμος, the law” (J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners, p. 141).

The NWT also adds the word “other” four times to Colossians 1:15-17. This implies that Jesus was first created and then He created other things. There is no word in the Greek text for “other.” The NWT translators added it in order to put their false doctrine into the text. It is a serious thing to add to the Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19).

There are many, many other errors in The NWT, and it is one of the poorest translations of the Scriptures in English today. It is dangerous! If one follows its false teaching, he will lose his soul (which Jehovah’s Witnesses deny one has) and spend eternity in Hell (which Jehovah’s Witnesses also deny).

The New World Translation cannot be recommended as a good translation. One should not use it as his study Bible, because it is a perversion of God’s word!

The New World Translation, Copyright © 1961, 1981, 1984 Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania.