How accurate is the New World Translation Bible? My grandfather is a Jehovah's Witness and told me that the NWT bible that the Watchtower Society has produced is one of the most accurate translations of the Old and New Testaments in history. How true is this? To give examples of different translations in the New World Translation:

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

John 1:1

Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”

John 8:58

Because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him.

Colossians 1:16

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    "accuracy" depends on who's reading and what theology is expected. This is not a trinitarian based translation so you will see ideas presented that are not aligned with that philosophy of a 3in1 God. An example of a bible that strives to conform to the original text is the REV - a Unitarian version which has sought to remove the bias that has crept in to support a trinitarian view. Like 1John 5:7b for example and Heb 1:2 "through whom He made the universe" which is incorrect. Etc. Etc. revisedenglishversion.com
    – Steve
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 2:44
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    Related; related.
    – DLosc
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 18:42
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    Are those the only different examples from the mainstream? 8:58 is correct.
    – Michael16
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 14:03
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    @cj564. Was the "word" originally capitalized, or was it capitalized to support a doctrine that does not exist in the bible? Commented May 15, 2022 at 5:32
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    @steveowen "accuracy" depends on who's reading and what theology is expected. Is it hilarious that you don't think this applies to you? The translation of every cult has "sought to remove the bias" or introduced another text to restore the long-lost truth. Commented May 17, 2022 at 11:39

10 Answers 10


The NWT is contentious, not only for some of its "unique" translations, but also because it is one of the very few denominationally specific versions - used only by the JWs. However, let us be specific concerning the examples quoted by the OP.

John 1:1 - "a god"

The JW's defend this translation on the basis that the Greek has no article. (This is true.) However, they do not apply this ungrammatical argument to other texts in the NWT such as:

  • John 1:6 - There came a man who was sent as a representative of God; his name was John. [Note that "God" has no article but is not translated "a god" as the NWT demand in V1.]
  • Matt 12:28 - But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the Kingdom of God has really overtaken you. [Note that the first "God" has no article and so "should" be translated "a god" while the second "God" has one, but it is not translated "The God".]
  • Matt 14:33 - Then those in the boat did obeisance to him, saying: “You really are God’s Son.” [Again, "God" here has no article and so, to be consistent it should be translated "a god".]
  • Matt 15:4 - For example, God said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Let the one who speaks abusively of* his father or mother be put to death.’ [Again, "God" here has no article and so, to be consistent it should be translated "a god".]

Indeed, very few of the hundreds of time "God" occurs in the Greek without an article are translated "a god" - so why this exception in John 1:1c??

Further, the NWT translation of "a god" in John 1:1c conveniently ignores the many times Jesus is given the title, ὁ Θεός = "The God", such as Matt 1:23, John 20:28, Titus 2:13, Heb 1:8, 9, 2 Peter 1:1, etc.

Hundreds more examples of such inconsistencies could be cited but this is enough to show that, by its own standards, the NWT is inconsistent, preferring to translate according to its preconceived theology and NOT the Greek text.

Concerning John 1:1c, Daniel B Wallace, in his Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, page 269, says this:

The most likely candidate for Θεὸς is qualitative. This is true both grammatically (for the largest proportion of pre-verbal anarthrous predicate nominatives fall into this category) and theologically (both the theology of the Fourth Gospel and the NT as a whole). There is a balance between the Word's deity, which was already present in the beginning (Ἐν ἀρχῇ ... Θεὸς ἦν [1:1], and his humanity, which was added later (σὰρξ ἐγένετο [1:14]). The grammatical structure of these two statements mirrors each other; both emphasize the nature of the Word, rather than his identity. But Θεὸς was his nature from eternity (hence εἰμί is used), while σὰρξ was added at the incarnation (hence γίνομαι is used.)

That is, John 1:1c is a qualitative category statement.

The other difficulty with the NWT translation of "a god" is the charge that it opens the door to polytheism! How many gods are there? The NWT translators would answer "Only one!" So why introduce another god like this?

John 8:58 - "I have been"

The Greek of this text is abundantly clear:

... πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί. = before Abraham became, "I Am".

The tense of the last two words is simple present tense and CANNOT be translated (as per NWT) "I have been", which is a version of the past tense. It is simply bad translation.

Col 1:16 - "other things"

The Greek of the last part of this verse is:

τὰ πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν ἔκτισται· = all things through Him and unto Him have been created

Note the conspicuous absence of the adjective "other" before "things". This unwarranted insertion by the NWT is an attempt to make the text fit their theology. However, the Greek text clearly says that all things were made by Christ.

Now, it is elementary logic that if Christ created "all things" then Christ cannot be one of the created things. It is this problem that the NWT attempt to alter that betrays their bias in this case. The NWT of Col 1:16, 17 is:

because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,

No less than four times the NWT adds an unwarranted "other" to the text which is absent in the Greek.

There are many hundreds more such examples of NWT unwarranted alterations to the text of the NT, but this is not the place for such an extensive discussion. See thr appendix below for a brief sample.

APPENDIX - A Few More NWT "Problems"

The examples below are quoted directly from the NWT:

  • Gen 1:1 - Now the earth was formless and desolate,* and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep, and God’s active force was moving about over the surface of the waters. ["active force is their translation of the Hebrew word "ruach" = Spirit]
  • John 14:10 - Do you not believe that I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me? The things I say to you I do not speak of my own originality, but the Father who remains in union with me is doing his works. [The words "union with are absent from the Greek text.]
  • Acts 20:28 - Pay attention to yourselves+ and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son. ["Son was added here to avoid the obvious conclusion that Jesus is God. The Greek is quite clear. " ... the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."]
  • Phil 2:9 - For this very reason, God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name [The highlighted words are not in the Greek which simply reads: "Therefore, God highly exalted Him and granted to Him the name above every name".]
  • Col 2:9 - because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily. ["divine quality" is a distorted attempt to translate "divinity".]
  • Heb 12:9 - Furthermore, our human fathers* used to discipline us, and we gave them respect. Should we not more readily submit ourselves to the Father of our spiritual life and live? [The Greek of the highlighted text is simply "spirits", not our spiritual lives.]
  • Heb 12:23 - in general assembly,+ and the congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens, and God the Judge of all, and the spiritual lives of righteous ones who have been made perfect, [Again, the actual text of the Greek is just "spirits" not "spiritual lives".]

Many, many examples could be quoted but this shows the general trend.

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    Another inconvenient reality that the JWs seem to overlook is in John 8:59. Right after Jesus said whatever he said, the crowd picked up stones to throw at him. Why would they do this if he merely said "I have been"? That has no blasphemous connotation. But if indeed Jesus said "I AM" that would be blasphemy.
    – jwh20
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 16:15
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    I think the difference is in the prepositions: "through Him and unto Him" in the text (δι’ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰς αὐτὸν), but then "by Christ" in the paraphrase. "Through" and "by" have rather different connotations in the context of this debate.
    – DLosc
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 18:17
  • Re your astute observation with regard to Colossians 1:16: "This unwarranted insertion by the NWT is an attempt to make the text fit their theology. However, the Greek text clearly says that all things were made by Christ." That is not the only place in the NWT where they have inserted "other", which is effectively adding to the word of God in order to support their anti-trinitarian bias.
    – Lesley
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 15:37
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    @oldhermit Your comment is likely to be deleted because of disrespect. It's only a matter of time before one of the other moderators sees it and deletes both your comment and, hopefully, mine along with it. Could you please rephrase so that you respectfully express your dissent, but don't use the word "prostitution" or similar, so that your dissenting comment might remain? We want honest discussion, but is must be respectful and focused on fact.
    – Jesse
    Commented Jun 26, 2022 at 18:37

It is atrociously inconsistent

So, "theos = a god and o theos = God" they say? Do they really?

So then, "logos = a word and o logos = Word"? Oh, but it doesn't.

Let's look further at John 1 in the New World Translation (NWT), the Jehovah's Witnesses' translation...

Other words in the same verse don't follow this rule

emphases added...

John 1:1


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


Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος.

...but based on JW grammar, it should read:

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

It translates other nouns inconsistently

John 1:4


by means of him was life, and the life was the light of men.


ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων ·

...but based on JW grammar, it should read:

by means of him was a life, and life was light of men.

It translates "God" inconsistently

John 1:6


There arose a man that was sent forth as a representative of God: his name was John.


Ἐγένετο ἄνθρωπος ἀπεσταλμένος παρὰ θεοῦ, ὄνομα αὐτῷ Ἰωάννης ·

...but based on JW grammar, it should read:

There arose a man that was sent forth as a representative of a god: his name was John.

John 1:12


However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become God's children, because they were exercising faith in his name;


ὅσοι δὲ ἔλαβον αὐτόν, ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν τέκνα θεοῦ γενέσθαι, τοῖς πιστεύουσιν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ,

...but based on JW grammar, it should read:

However, as many as did receive him, to them he gave authority to become a god's children, because they were exercising faith in his name;

John 1:13


and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man's will, but from God.


οἳ οὐκ ἐξ αἱμάτων οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος σαρκὸς οὐδὲ ἐκ θελήματος ἀνδρὸς ἀλλ’ ἐκ θεοῦ ἐγεννήθησαν.

...but based on JW grammar, it should read:

and they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man's will, but from a god.

The conclusion we're sold

...and that grammatical inconsistency is why they want people to believe the Bible teaches that John's God is actually just "a god".

Full of fallacies

Fallacy 1: There is an equivalent for articles

This false argument assumes that there is an always-ever equivalent from Greek to English with articles. There isn't.

The argument goes:

  • theos = a god
  • o theos = god
  • Because that's how Greek uses the definite article


English has two articles:

  • definite article (the)
  • indefinite article (a, an)

Greek has one article:

  • definite article (o)

FYI, the Greek article changes spelling to agree with the Noun Case of the noun. It's not always o. It can be tos, ton, a, as, an, et cetera. But, it's still the article with the same basic meaning.

English has an indefinite article; Greek doesn't have one! Greek has fewer options with articles. So, Greek often uses the definite article to express ideas that English expresses with: a definite article, an indefinite article, or no article at all.

So, good grammar can't argue "No article = a god, always, the end".

Fallacy 2: Grammar always-only means only one thing

There are no cookie-cutter solutions. But, this tries to be.

Language is an art. It doesn't have "constants" like Math does. Even English itself can express the same idea many ways, or one set of words could mean many different things. In translation, we still have to use our brains. Knowledge about the original language adds both 1. insight and 2. more questions; it doesn't objectively remove all doubt for all time for all people. The Early Church even argued about things, even though they knew Greek.

So again, good grammar can't argue "No article = a god, always, the end".

Fallacy 3: Biblical Theology hinges on one phrase in the whole Bible

The argument goes: "If it says a god here, then we need to uproot all our other beliefs from the Bible and believe polytheism."

No, we don't.

Fallacy 4: Grammar from theology

This very translation phrase in John 1:1 is not grammatical; it's theological. It's not just attempting to understand a passage; it's an attempt to start with a theological belief, then invent grammar rules—which are unavoidably inconsistent—in order to support that theology. It's the scientific method in reverse: start with a conclusion, then fudge the experiments and research to agree with it.

I'll back that up with a true story...

My professor's story

My Greek Professor, Dr. Ron Saur, invited the two JWs into his home discussing this very issue of "a god" in John 1:1. They had come to his door and even misquoted the Greek grammar books—which he happened to have in his study. He opened the books and proved that they were misquoting! He showed them—and their supervisor who had been watching from down the street until they were in his house too long. They looked at Greek and the inconsistencies in their NWT version. The JWs and their supervisor couldn't figure out why the NWT was so inconsistent.

Finally, Dr. Saur said, "Maybe it's because we are getting our grammar from our theology instead of getting our theology from our grammar."

The supervisor replied, "You believe what you believe and I'll believe what I believe." He put on his hat and they all walked out the door.

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    Very good answer. That experience you mentioned was one that JWs frequently undergo. I remember when I used to go preaching door to door that I would meet someone, they would invite me and my partner in, and try to reason with us and help us examine our beliefs, and sometimes we would find a problem or inconsistency. In the end though, we always disregarded it, having the same mindset, "you believe what you will, and I'll believe what I will". Somehow we have to deal with the cognitive dissonance though. For me, that was realizing we weren't the "one true religion" and leaving. :/
    – Rajesh
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 14:38
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    @AlexBalilo There is no "ton theos", it would be "ton theon", and it's only about Noun Case, such as Subject, Direct Object, etc. The Word is pretty much described well in most English translations: The Word was with God and the Word was God. It pretty much means the same thing in both languages. The key is the Greek understanding of how deeply a "word" connects us to one's inner mind by understanding through our words.
    – Jesse
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 14:42
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    @Rajesh the cognitive dissonance... Maybe we've been reading the same author. ;-) Anyhow, looks like you have a story and there is a lot more to you than you let on.
    – Jesse
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 14:43
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    @JesseSteeleיִשַׁי "Anyhow, looks like you have a story and there is a lot more to you than you let on." Thanks. Maybe I'll share it someday.
    – Rajesh
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 14:45
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    @AlexBalilo Both, one each way: ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος lit: the Word was with the God, and God was the Word... But, the means something different to them than us. It could mean "the aforementioned", "the one and only", "the well known-obvious", which is why John uses it the firs time, but not the second, because the difference is almost trivial. But, if we were to say "a god", we would need many more statements from John because he doesn't ever write as if this is "a god [among many]". with has deeper meaning, used with accusative.
    – Jesse
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 2:19

For a full analysis of how the NWT renders John 1:1 and Colossians 1:16, I refer you to Section IV in the following article: http://www.bible-researcher.com/metzger.jw.html Here is a partial quote from the article written by By Bruce M. Metzger in 1953:

  1. “… and the Word was God.” Some years ago Dr. Ernest Cadman Colwell of the University of Chicago pointed out in a study of the Greek definite article that, “A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb. … The opening verse of John’s Gospel contains one of the many passages where this rule suggests the translation of a predicate as a definite noun. The absence of the article [before θεος] does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb; it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it. The context makes no such demand in the Gospel of John, for this statement cannot be regarded as strange in the prologue of the gospel which reaches its climax in the confession of Thomas [John 20:28, ‘My Lord and my God’].” 19

In a lengthy Appendix in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ translation, which was added to support the mistranslation of John 1:1, there are quoted thirty-five other passages in John where the predicate noun has the definite article in Greek. 20 These are intended to prove that the absence of the article in John 1:1 requires that θεος must be translated “a god.” None of the thirty-five instances is parallel, however, for in every case the predicate noun stands after the verb, and so, according to Colwell’s rule, properly has the article. So far, therefore, from being evidence against the usual translation of John 1:1, these instances add confirmation to the full enunciation of the rule of the Greek definite article.

Furthermore, the additional references quoted in the New World Translation from the Greek of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament, 21 in order to give further support to the erroneous rendering in the opening verse of John, are exactly in conformity with Colwell’s rule, and therefore are added proof of the accuracy of the rule. The other passages adduced in the Appendix are, for one reason or another, not applicable to the question at issue. One must conclude, therefore, that no sound reason has been advanced for altering the traditional rendering of the opening verse of John’s Gospel, “… and the Word was God.”

  1. In Col. 1:15-17 the Jehovah’s Witnesses translation falsifies what Paul originally wrote, rendering it: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and upon the earth. … All other things have been created through him and for him. Also he is before all other things and by means of him all other things were made to exist.” Here the word “other” has been unwarrantably inserted four times. It is not present in the original Greek, and was obviously used by the translators in order to make the passage refer to Jesus as being on a par with other created things. As a matter of fact, the ancient Colossian heresy which Paul had to combat resembled the opinion of the modern Jehovah’s Witnesses, for some of the Colossians advocated the Gnostic notion that Jesus was the first of many other created intermediaries between God and men. For the true meaning of Paul’s exalted description of the Son of God, therefore, the above translation must be read without the fourfold addition of the word “other.”

Frequently Jehovah’s Witnesses make the assertion that this passage teaches that God created the Son. 22 Actually the verb “to create” in reference to the relation of the Son of God to the Father appears neither here nor anywhere else in the New Testament. Here he is spoken of as “the first begotten of all creation,” which is something quite different from saying that he was made or created. If Paul had wished to express the latter idea, he had available a Greek word to do so, the word πρωτοκτιστος, meaning “first created.” Actually, however, Paul uses the word πρωτοτοκος, meaning “first begotten,” which signifies something quite different, as the following explanation by a modern lay theologian makes clear.... To return now to Col. 1:15 where Paul speaks of Christ as “the first begotten of all creation,” it is important to observe that the adjective “first” refers both to rank as well as time. In other words, the Apostle alludes here not only to Christ’s priority to all creation, but also to his sovereignty over all creation.

  1. The New World Translation, in harmony with its bold twisting of Col. 1:15-17 (considered above), is also in error at Rev. 3:14, where it makes the exalted Christ refer to himself as “the beginning of the creation by God.” The Greek text of this verse (ἡ αρχη της κτισεως του θεου) is far from saying that Christ was created by God, for the genitive case, του θεου, means “of God” and not “by God” (which would require the preposition ὑπο). Actually the word αρχη, translated “beginning,” carries with it the Pauline idea expressed in Col. 1:15-18, and signifies that Christ is the origin, or primary source, of God’s creation (compare also John 1:3, “Apart from him not even one thing came into existence”).

It would be remiss not to point out that the members of the New World Translation committee had no scholastic qualifications in either Hebrew or Greek. With regard to the Christian Greek Scriptures, one of their sources was the work of Doctors Westcott and Hort.

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    @Lesley. Colossians 1:15 shows that Jesus is an agent of the Creator and that Jesus is not the Creator. Jesus himself unequivocally ascribed creation to God, not to himself. Mark 13 :19, Matthew 19 :4 and Mark 10 :6. The bible shows that Jesus is the beginning of the creation of God. Revelation 3:14. In contrast, God has no beginning, Psalm 90:2. The word "beginning" expresses a starting point in time. The bible shows that Jesus is a created being, Colossians 1:15. John 3:16 and Revelation 3:14. Jesus is not the Creator, his God is.The Bible does not teach that Jesus is the Creator /Almighty Commented May 24, 2022 at 8:10
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    @AlexBalilo - You are entitled to your personal opinions and translations of Scripture but I would remind you that comments are not for the purpose of either trying to dispute an answer or trying to convert someone to a different theological view. Your down-vote registers your disapproval with my post (as it does with Dottard’s post).
    – Lesley
    Commented May 24, 2022 at 8:27
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    @AlexBalilo How can Jesus be the agent of creation when God says at Isaiah 44:24, "Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb, I, the Lord am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens BY MYSELF, And spreading out the earth ALL ALONE." Why does God need an agent to help Him create when He says He did it all alone? And at Colossians 1:16 the NWT says, "By him/Jesus all (other) things have been created." Please be specific and tell us what are "all these other things" did God need help with" in creating?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 18:11
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    @Mr.Bond. Agreed. YHWH alone is the creator. So that means Jesus is not the Creator God. Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 21:04
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    @AlexBalilo Your contradicting yourself. Yes, YHWH alone is the creator, so please explain how Jesus is the agent of creation? What did this agent create in your view? You also stated, "So that means Jesus is not the Creator God." Well then, is Jesus the creator human or the creator angel also known as Michael? Please reconcile this glaring contradiction?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 13:42

When translating from Greek to English (or between any two languages), we must understand that the understanding of, and implications present in, any given text in one language, are separate to the matter of simple translation into another language. That is to say, one must be able to serve as a translator, and also be agnostic to the beliefs subscribed to either by the speaker in the original language, or the target language. As such, the question of whether a translation is accurate or not has very little if not nothing to do with theology or worldview. Therefore, those who understand the ancient languages are equipped and able to judge whether a given translation accurately renders the source language into the target one. To that end, let's review the NWT of the passages provided.

John 1:1

εν αρχη ην ο λογος και ο λογος ην προς τον θεον και θεος ην ο λογος

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

The translation I've provided is accurate, since it respects the rule of Greek that when an anarthrous noun (no 'the') precedes a to be verb (here, "was"), followed by an arthrous noun (having a 'the'), such is an identification of the arthrous noun with the anarthrous one fundamentally speaking, and not an identification to the point of making the two nouns identical.

Let me illustrate by an English example:

The Word dwelt with man: and the Word was man.

Here, the second instance of man does not imply or mean that the Word is identical with "man" in general, but that He is of the same nature as they. Similarly, here, the Word was "with God" and "was God" without being identical to whoever the first instance of "God" refers to, namely, the Father: "The only-begotten of the Father."

The article ('the') in Greek simply does not work as it does in English. When is the last time you heard anyone in English refer to Jesus as "the Jesus," for example? Or for that matter, when is the last time you heard someone in English refer to "God" as "the God," even when they were not distinguishing Him from any false god? Such is the usage of the article in Greek, for just two examples.

To write anything else in Greek is to identify the Word as the Father.

Even the Latin Vulgate (translated by someone with more than simply an apt familiarity with both Greek and Latin) uses the Latin:

In princípio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.

John 8:58

ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι εγω ειμι

And Jesus said to them: Amen, amen, I say to you: Before Abraham was, I am.

The Greek is straightfoward, and the deliberate contrast between was and am is absolutely intentional—it's as clear in Greek as it is in English. Now while "I have been" is true of someone who simply "is" without respect to time (i.e. so that Abraham's being born before Him doesn't matter), it is not what the Greek actually says. What something says, and what it implies, are two separate things. What something implies should be left to the reader to discern, not hoarded by the translator, and left for the reader to only discover later, as something hidden or concealed and thought of no import by the translator.

Colossians 1:16

οτι εν αυτω εκτισθη τα παντα τα εν εν τοις ουρανοις και τα επι της γης τα ορατα και τα αορατα ειτε θρονοι ειτε κυριοτητες ειτε αρχαι ειτε εξουσιαι τα παντα δι αυτου και εις αυτον εκτισται

For by him all things were made, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, be it thrones, lordships, principalities, powers: all things were made by him, and for him.

As if it wasn't obvious, the point of this passage was to exhaust everything in existence — "all things, whether in heaven or on earth." The translation of "all things" by "all OTHER things" is not a translation, but is patently theological and absurd (not to mention novel and unheard of before the cult itself) and unwarranted by any passage in the entire Bible.

The New World Translation is not only not the "most accurate," but it is one of the least accurate I've ever come across. It reads like a translation by someone who knows neither Hebrew nor Greek, but has gotten their hands on an interlinear, and is interested in the Greek and Hebrew languages, and is 'living their best life' by convincing others they do know them.

If one word were to be used to describe the NWT translation, it would be "inconsistent" — I dare anyone to find a translation which translates the same Greek in more ways (depending on who is being spoken of—which violates the most basic rules of translation) than the NWT.

What the NWT implies is that to say Jesus created all things, or that all things were created by Jesus, or that Jesus is God as the Father is God also, is different in Greek than in English, and that in Greek, it's more ambiguous, whereas in both Greek and English, there is no ambiguity present whatsoever; they rely on the ignorance of the reader to get away with how they 'translate' what is present in the Greek.

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    "It reads like a translation by someone who knows neither Hebrew nor Greek, but has gotten their hands on an interlinear, and is interested in the Greek and Hebrew languages, and is 'living their best life' by convincing others they do know them". is an opinion. Commented May 15, 2022 at 4:43
  • 1
    Naturally, yes... Commented May 15, 2022 at 15:25
  • 4
    @AlexBalilo It is reported the NWT translators were Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, George Gangas, Fred Franz, and M. Henschel. None of these had formal training in Hebrew and only Franz had studied Greek (2 years at University of Cincinnati). So "It reads like a translation by someone who knows neither Hebrew nor Greek, but has gotten their hands on an interlinear, and is interested in the Greek and Hebrew languages, and is 'living their best life' by convincing others they do know them" is not an opinion but an accurate assessment of the translators. Commented May 24, 2022 at 5:22
  • 2
    @@RevelationLad. Your comment "is not an opinion but an accurate assessment of the translators" does not make it accurate. You attack the NWT because it is not a Trinitarian translation. The trinity is not even in the bible. Agarza's answer cited scholars who disagrees with your opinion. Do you regard these scholars as not having any knowledge of Greek and Hebrew as well? Commented May 24, 2022 at 7:53
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    @AlexBalilo Most people who condemn the NWT as a translation do so for reasons other than the doctrine of the Trinity, you know that, right? Also, even if the New Testament said nothing about the Trinity ('that Father, Son and Spirit are God, and there is only one God'), it wouldn't mean it's not true... the Bible contains a subset of all the beliefs and teachings of the Apostles and Judaism. Commented May 24, 2022 at 15:34

I'd like to weigh in on this with my humble opinion: yes, the NWT is accurate. So are the NIV, KJV, ASV, and many others (insert your favorite here). However, given the nature of the original question, it would appear that the concern isn't so much accuracy as it is bias.

So, is it biased? Well, is any translation not biased? Remember that the pendulum swings both ways and if you dig you likely will find bias even in your beloved favorite translation. Here is an example of (pro-trinitarian) bias in a popular translation:

NIV - John 20:22

I think this sort of thing is very difficult to completely avoid and all we can ask for is some kind of explanation, like a footnote, when the main text differs from other versions. In the case of John 1:1, there is such a footnote in the NWT.

Here's an example of a pro-trinitarian rendering of John 1:1c that I found on Bible Gateway: "and the Word was fully God." (NET). Of course, that's quite a liberty to take. However, there's a long footnote with an explanation accompanying this verse and that helps to know the mindset behind the rendering.

Now let's get back to the accuracy part of the equation. Given the Greek alone, is a rendering of John 1:1c like the one we find in the NWT possible? I'll let John Wenham answer:

In ancient manuscripts which did not differentiate between capital and small letters, there would be no way of distinguishing between Θεος (‘God’) and θεος (‘god). Therefore as far as grammar alone is concerned, such a sentence could be printed: θεος ἐστιν ὁ Λογος, which would mean either, ‘The Word is a god’, or, ‘The Word is the god’. The interpretation of John I. I will depend upon whether or not the writer is held to believe in only one God or in more than one god. It will be noticed that the above rules for the special uses of the definite article are none of them rigid and without exceptions. It is wiser not to use them as a basis for theological argument until the student has reached an advanced stage in the knowledge of the language. For a full treatment, see Blass-Debrunner-Funk, A Greek Grammar of the New Testament, Part III, 8, especially para. 273; Moulton-Turner, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, III, 182 ff.

This is a footnote from lesson 6 (page 35) of Wehnam's The Elements of New Testament Greek. I did follow the rabbit hole down one of those two references he gives and it gets into Colwell and how we must use context to determine whether or not to include indefinite articles on anarthrous nouns such as the ones we encounter in John 1:1.

I also think there's enough context in John's gospel alone to support this alternative rendering of John 1:1c or even another such as "and the Word was divine." (quotations given are from the KJV):

John 1:18 - "No man hath seen God at any time;"

John 14:28 - "my Father is greater than I."

John 20:17 - "I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God."

These are just a few of many examples. And, yes, this is just one line of reasoning - there are other verses in John's gospel that could be connected to support a trinitarian viewpoint and that's another line of reasoning.

But that this former is a valid line of reasoning is well established by people who knew Greek much better than (probably?) anyone alive today, like Tertullian and Origen of Alexandria. They also were born less than 100 years after John penned his gospel and we gather from both of their writings that they believed in a sort of subordinationism. Yes, Tertullian coined the word trinitas but here's what he said about the Father and the Son:

"Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son,” ...“Inasmuch as He who begets is one, and He who is begotten is another; He, too, who sends is one, and He who is sent is another; and He, again, who makes is one, and He through whom the thing is made is another."

And here's a quick bit on Origen (taken from Wikipedia):

Nonetheless, Origen was a subordinationist,[202][201][203][204] meaning he believed that the Father was superior to the Son and the Son was superior to the Holy Spirit,[202][201][204] a model based on Platonic proportions.[201] Jerome records that Origen had written that God the Father is invisible to all beings, including even the Son and the Holy Spirit,[211] and that the Son is invisible to the Holy Spirit as well.[211] At one point Origen suggests that the Son was created by the Father and that the Holy Spirit was created by the Son,[212] but, at another point, he writes that "Up to the present I have been able to find no passage in the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit is a created being."[201][213] At the time when Origen was alive, orthodox views on the Trinity had not yet been formulated[211][214] and subordinationism was not yet considered heretical.[211][214] In fact, virtually all orthodox theologians prior to the Arian controversy in the latter half of the fourth century were subordinationists to some extent.[214] Origen's subordinationism may have developed out of his efforts to defend the unity of God against the Gnostics.[203]

Two other verses were given in the original question and we can certainly explore those as well. Or we can explore this John 1:1 controversy more. Much has been said about it through the years and it continues to be a point of discussion today. I think there's enough controversy regarding it that we shouldn't establish our Christology on this verse alone. It would appear that most scholars today at least agree that the anarthrous θεος in John 1:1c is qualitative in meaning..

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    With bias comes inaccuracy. Altering the text because of poor or inadequate research, or to support a theology leads to inaccuracy. The kjb is particularly riddled with error.
    – Steve
    Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 6:07
  • 1
    Yes, of course I agree with you to an extent. And I know you didn't say this but just want to clarify that bias doesn't always lead to inaccuracy and all inaccuracies are not due to bias. In other words, it's not a one to one relationship. Commented Jun 25, 2022 at 17:07
  • I completely agree that theology should not be formed from what we think the writer didn't write. I also think (as I stated earlier) that we shouldn't established Christology on one verse alone (especially a controversial one like Jn 1:1). In my opinion, however, the non-Trinitarian take on Jn 1:1 is not simply that the Logos was not God. Had John written such statement it would have left room for doubt. E.g. "The Logos was with God and was not God" begs the question: then what was it/he? Many things can be classified as "not God" but that's not exactly an identification, is it? Commented Jul 10, 2022 at 1:17

My answer regarding John 1:1 is taken from Examining the Trinity.

John 1:1c - English translation: "The Word was a god." John 1:1c - English translation: "The Word was a god." - NT Greek:- θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος -"god was the word."

A. In NT (New Testament) Greek the word used for "God" and "a god" is theos (θεὸς).

B. The Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) always used the article "the" (o with a tiny "c" above it in NT Greek: ὁ ) with theos when they intended "God." That is, when they meant to say "God" they would always write ho theos (ὁ θεὸς). [This does not always hold true for other Greek forms of "God" e.g. theou or theon or theo.]

C. The only exceptions in these inspired writings (Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts, John, 1 Jn, 2 Jn, 3 Jn, and Revelation) are those things which can (and do) cause ambiguous or erratic use (or non-use) of the article ("the"). These things, as noted by most NT grammarians, include added phrases (usually prepositional in meaning, like "god of israel," "the god of me," or "god to you"), numerals ("one God"), appositives, abstract nouns, personal names, etc. But, fortunately, John 1:1c has none of these exception-causing things.

D. Therefore, if we restrict our examples to those used by John only and which are closest in construction to John 1:1c, we should thereby avoid any and all honest dissension concerning definite article use (and non-use) and different grammatical constructions, etc.

E. Here, then, are all the constructions which are most closely parallel to John 1:1c (a single non-abstract, unmodified, singular predicate noun without a definite article coming before the verb and a single non-abstract, unmodified noun (or pronoun) used as a subject coming after the verb) found in all the writings of John: 1. John 4:19 - indefinite ("a prophet") - all Bibles. 2. John 8:48 - indefinite ("a Samaritan") - all Bibles. 3. John 18:37 (a) - indefinite ("a king") - all Bibles. [4. John 18:37 (b) - indefinite ("a king") - in Received Text and in 1991 Byzantine Text.]

F. NT Greek experts Dana and Mantey specifically give us an example of "a parallel case to what we have in John 1:1"! Yes, these prominent scholars have translated "market was the place" in the literal ancient Greek as "and the place was a market." They even described this example as a parallel to John 1:1! - p. 148, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, Macmillan Publ.

G. We are dealing exclusively with nouns as found in John 1:1c. That is, a singular noun which is a person, place, or thing and which can be used with both an indefinite article ("a" or "an" - in English only: Greek has no indefinite article) and a definite article ("the") and which can be properly changed into a recognizably plural form: e.g., "WORD": "a word"/"the word"/"words;" - "GOD": "a god"/"the god"/"gods;" - "HOUSE": "a house"/"the house"/"houses;" etc.

H. So we can see that words like "pretty," "holy," or "true," for example, cannot normally be made plural ("trues") and do not use articles by themselves alone ("a pretty," "a true") and are, therefore, not nouns as found at John 1:1c and cannot be used as proper examples in an attempt to interpret John 1:1c.

I. Also, this singular, concrete noun, to be a proper example (equivalent to John 1:1c), must be without additional phrases joined to it: "a man of the world," "a house of bricks," etc. (pp. 780, 781, A.T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, Broadman Press; p. 175, C. F. D. Moule, A Grammar of New Testament Greek, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press; p. 137, Dana and Mantey Grammar) and, possibly, not even modified by any adjectives (Robertson, p. 763).

J. To be most certain, we need such proper examples to have a subject (a single noun or pronoun "doing" the verb) coming after the verb and the predicate noun (a singular noun as described above and which is the same thing as the subject) coming before the verb in the NT Greek exactly as found in John 1:1c. "god was the word."

K. To find such examples we need a Greek-English New Testament Interlinear Bible (available in any "Christian" book store or from any Jehovah's Witness). Then we search through all of John's writings to find all the predicate nouns (also called predicate nominatives) which come before the verb (and meet the above requirements) in the NT Greek. Since we are concerned about John's use (or non-use) of grammatical rules in order to determine the intended meaning of John 1:1c, we must use only examples from John's writings as proper evidence.

L. The easiest way to do this is to carefully read through all the full-English portion of the writings of the Gospel writers in an interlinear Bible and find all the verbs which could take a predicate noun ("is," "are," "am," "was," "were," "be," "become," "became"). Then determine if a noun (as described in our requirements above) comes after that verb in the English. If it does, and if it is "equal to" the subject, we have found a predicate noun, e.g., "the bird was an eagle." In English, then, the noun "bird" comes before and is "doing" the verb "was" and is therefore the subject. The noun "eagle," in English, comes after the verb "was" and is the same thing as the subject and is therefore a predicate noun (p.n.).

M. Then, after finding a proper predicate noun (p.n.), we must look at the NT Greek text (which has the equivalent English word written above each Greek word in the interlinear Bible) and see if the predicate noun we found in the English translation on the other page ("eagle" in the example above) actually comes before the verb in the Greek. If it comes before the verb, and if it is anarthrous (that is, without the article, "the") and meets the other requirements above, then we may have found a proper example to compare with John 1:1c.

N. So when all the proper examples (those most closely equivalent to the actual grammatical usage found at John 1:1c) found in John's writings are examined in the most-respected trinitarian Bibles (KJV, RSV, NASB, NIV, etc.), we find they are always translated with indefinite concrete nouns such as "you are a prophet" (Jn 4:19) which perfectly corresponds with a rendering of John 1:1c as "The Word was a god"! (Compare `the Prophet' at Jn 1:21 and Robertson, p. 768: article used when noun is only one of its kind.)

O. Such a rendering is not such a surprising concept as many modern members of Christendom might think. Other righteous persons and faithful angels have been called "gods" or "a god" by the inspired Bible writers. This understanding was also found in most of the writings of the Christians of the first three centuries after the death of Christ and, in fact was even taught by famed trinitarians Athanasius (4th century) and St. Augustine (5th century A.D.)

P. Even the most knowledgeable of the early Christian Greek-speaking scholars, Origen (died 254 A.D.), tells us that John 1:1c actually means "the Word was a god"! - "Origen's Commentary on John," Book I, ch. 42 - Bk II, ch.3.

Q. In fact, even certain scholars have correctly admitted that those very first readers for whom John wrote his Gospel were already aware of the `Logos' concept even before John wrote to them. This was the concept of famed Jewish scholar and writer, Philo. In this best-known Jewish concept of the Logos of that time, the Word ("Logos") was "the Son of God" and "with God" and "a god" in his own right, but he was certainly not God nor equal to the one true God!

R. The fact that John provided no further explanation of the Word (`Logos') proves that he intended the Logos concept that his readers were already familiar with: "The Word (Logos) was a god."!

S. And, of course, John himself recorded the following prayer by Jesus: "Father,.... This is eternal life: to know thee who ALONE art truly God..." - John 17:1, 3, NEB.

If we examine every place in John's (and the other Gospel writers) writings where he has used theos (the form which is used for subjects and predicate nouns and ends with an s') to mean "God," we find he always uses the article (ho, the') with it, unless it is accompanied by a "prepositional" modifier: "of you"; "to us"; with him"; "for all"; etc.

In other words, when a proper example (comparable to John 1:1c) is used (as it very often is), theos will have the article "the" (ho or ὁ in the NT Greek) with it to mean "God" (ὁ θεὸς, `the god'). For example:

Jn 3:2; Jn 3:16; Jn 3:17; Jn 3:33; Jn 3:34; Jn 4:24; Jn 6:27; Jn 8:42; Jn 9:29; Jn 9:31; Jn 11:22; Jn 13:31; Jn 13:32; etc.

When proper examples do not have the article, "a god" is intended! Here's one way to look for all the uses of theos in John's and also note whether o (the) is used with it. Half way down the following page are the instructions for finding theos in the NT:

For comparison, look at the examples of "man" (anthropos in NT Greek). John uses the article "the" (ὁ) with anthropos (ἄνθρωπος) to indicate a certain, definite "man." But when he uses it alone (and, again, without "prepositional" additions such as "of the world" "in the house"; "with the Lord"; etc.), it simply means "a man." For example:

John 1:6; Jn 3:4; Jn 3:27; Jn 7:23; Jn 7:46; Jn 9:16; Jn 10:33; Jn 16:21; etc.

Trinitarian scholars, in desperation, have invented "grammar rules" in the last century or two in order to "make" John 1:1c say "and the Word was God [ho theos]."

One, which initially makes the most sense, but is completely false, nevertheless, is "Colwell's Rule." It says that when the predicate noun comes before its verb (theos coming before `was' in John 1:1c) in the original NT Greek, the definite article may be "understood" to be with it! This is provably false as I have shown in my article on John 1:1c

The other "rule" is that when the predicate noun comes before its verb (as in John 1:1c, of course), the predicate noun (theos in John 1:1c) is understood to be qualitative, and, therefore, for some reason, that makes the Word equal to God! This is also provably wrong.

The trinitarian scholars who want to believe "Colwell's Rule" say that the qualitative' rule is false. And those trinitarian scholars who believe the qualitative' rule say that "Colwell's Rule" applied to John 1:1c is heresy!

But it matters little since both made up `rules' are completely false when proper examples (comparable to the actual usage at John 1:1c) are used!

For example, look at John 10:33. The predicate noun "man" (anthropos) comes before its verb "being," and yet we do not find it consistently translated, even by trinitarian scholars and translators as: "you, being human" (qualitative) or "you being the man" (Colwell's Rule").

If they truly believed the "qualitative" rule or "Colwell's Rule," they would not have rendered it "you, being a man," as they so often do!

My answer regarding Colossians 1:16 was taken from jw.org.

all other things: A literal rendering of the Greek text would be “all things.” (Compare Kingdom Interlinear.) However, such a rendering could give the impression that Jesus was not created but was the Creator himself. And that idea would not agree with the rest of the Bible, including the preceding verse, which calls Jesus “the firstborn of all creation.” (Col 1:15; compare Re 3:14, where Jesus is called “the beginning of the creation by God.”) Also, the Greek word for “all” can in some contexts have the meaning “all other,” as for example at Lu 13:2 (“all other”); Lu 21:29 (“all the other”); Php 2:21 (“all the others”). This agrees with Paul’s inspired teaching found at 1Co 15:27: “God ‘subjected all things under his [Christ’s] feet.’ But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that this does not include the One who subjected all things to him.” So both the Bible’s teachings as a whole and the probable meaning of the Greek word used here support the rendering “all other things.”​

  • 2
    Does the official Jehovah's Witness explanation (above) confirm they altered the wording of Colossians 1:16 because of their belief that Jehovah God created the mighty spirit known in heaven as Michael the Archangel who was then born as Jesus, and that through him everything else was created? Jesus was a created angel?
    – Lesley
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 7:24
  • 2
    @Lesley. Jesus was a created being. John 6:57,John 3 :16, Revelation 3:14.. Commented May 15, 2022 at 8:04
  • 3
    To which of the angels did God ever say "You are my Son; today I have become your Father" or "Sit at my right hand..." (Hebrews 1:1-14). My saviour is no created angel. You should see how the NWT has altered the original words in Hebrews chapter 1 to support their belief that Jesus is a created angel.
    – Lesley
    Commented May 15, 2022 at 11:46
  • 2
    @Lesley. Jesus pointed to his God as the source of his life. John 6:57..John 3:16 says Jesus is begotten. Revelation 3 :14 says Jesus was created. Colossians 1:15 says he is the firstborn of God's creation. Jesus' God is the Creator. Jesus himself ascribed creation to his God, Mark 13:19. I believe the plain statements of Jesus and his God. If Jesus is not the Creator, he is not the only true God, His God is the only true God. John 17 :3. Commented May 15, 2022 at 12:14
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    You say "The Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) always used the article "the" (o with a tiny "c" above it in NT Greek: ὁ ) with theos when they intended "God." That is, when they meant to say "God" they would always write ho theos (ὁ θεὸς)." Then what is the meaning of John 20:28: ἀπεκρίθη Θωμᾶς καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὁ κύριός μου καὶ ὁ θεός μου? Commented May 25, 2022 at 15:26

A very similar question is asked in an article on the jw.org website. In the article "Is the New World Translation Accurate?", are listed the following comments from non-Witness scholars:

  • In a letter dated December 8, 1950, noted Bible translator and scholar Edgar J. Goodspeed wrote regarding the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures: “I am interested in the mission work of your people, and 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.”

  • Professor Allen Wikgren of the University of Chicago cited the New World Translation as an example of a modern speech version that rather than being derived from other translations, often has “independent readings of merit.”​—The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume I, page 99.

  • Commenting on the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, British Bible critic Alexander Thomson wrote: “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.”​—The Differentiator, April 1952, page 52.

  • Despite noting what he felt were a few unusual renderings, author Charles Francis Potter said: “The anonymous translators have certainly rendered the best manuscript texts, both Greek and Hebrew, with scholarly ability and acumen.”​—The Faiths Men Live By, page 300.

  • Although he felt that the New World Translation had both peculiarities and excellences, Robert M. McCoy concluded his review of it by stating: “The translation of the New Testament is evidence of the presence in the movement [Jehovah’s Witnesses] of scholars qualified to deal intelligently with the many problems of Biblical translation.”​—Andover Newton Quarterly, January 1963, page 31.

  • Professor S. MacLean Gilmour, while not agreeing with some renderings in the New World Translation, still acknowledged that its translators “possessed an unusual competence in Greek.”​—Andover Newton Quarterly, September 1966, page 26.

  • In his review of the New World Translation that forms part of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, Associate Professor Thomas N. Winter wrote: “The translation by the anonymous committee is thoroughly up-to-date and consistently accurate.”​—The Classical Journal, April-May 1974, page 376.

  • Professor Benjamin Kedar-Kopfstein, a Hebrew scholar in Israel, said in 1989: “In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translations, I often refer to the English edition of what is known as the New World Translation. In so doing, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible.”

  • Based on his analysis of nine major English translations, Jason David BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies, wrote: “The NW [New World Translation] emerges as the most accurate of the translations compared.” Although the general public and many Bible scholars assume that the differences in the New World Translation are the result of religious bias on the part of its translators, BeDuhn stated: “Most of the differences are due to the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”​—Truth in Translation, pages 163, 165.

  • 4
    I note the conspicuous absence of such comments in the last 30 years since the major revision of the NWT!!
    – Dottard
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 6:49
  • 2
    To the downvoter(s), please explain what is wrong with my answer. If it is because you disagree with what I posted, that is your prerogative but I provided quotes from non-JWs that answer the original question.
    – agarza
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 16:59
  • 4
    I'm not your down-voter, but it strikes me that you quote from a selection made by the Jehovah's Witness official website. As such I'd expect the sentiment expressed by such non-Witness comments to be attenuated in their criticism.
    – hardmath
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 20:43
  • 1
    There's enough people who would have encountered NWT that handpicked testimonials of non JWs could easily present that it's much better than it is by random chance alone. Why do you trust it so much?
    – Joshua
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 2:47
  • Another good contribution, although almost entirely comprised of other peoples writings, but nonetheless appreciated. It's another belated upvote from me, to add to the one now given to Alex. Commented May 5 at 2:24

Consider John 1:1

Greek English equivalent
Ἐν in
ἀρχῇ beginning
ἦν was
λόγος word
καὶ and
λόγος word
ἦν was
πρὸς with
τὸν the
θεόν god
καὶ and
θεὸς god
ἦν was
λόγος word

Notice the two uses of the word "god":

  • The first is "the god", corresponding to the proper name "God".
  • The second has no "the" article, corresponding to the indefinite "a god".

Which is the better translation of the second instance, the NWT's "a god" or the more common "God"?

  • 1
    Which is the better translation? it depends on what all the other NT texts say.
    – Steve
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 3:03
  • 6
    I notice that this policy is NOT followed elsewhere in the NT by the NWT. See my answer here for specific examples.
    – Dottard
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 5:50
  • 3
    Leaving aside the specific issues around θεὸς, I would point out that ἀρχῇ in this sentence doesn't have an article, yet it is translated as "the beginning," not "a beginning." The usage of the article in Greek is complex and doesn't map directly onto the English articles. An exegesis of John 1:1 needs to go beyond its mere absence or presence.
    – DLosc
    Commented May 13, 2022 at 18:27
  • 3
    This same logic doesn’t work well when applied to other words we commonly prefix with a definite article. That doesn’t negate your argument, either. It’s just that we seem to be asking a theological question but trying to answer with a linguistic / grammatical response. They are separate modes of discourse. Our preconceived ideas about the underlying theology necessarily influence how we translate this. But it’s also a poor argument linguistically as well haha
    – Dan
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 5:06
  • 1
    But whole books and many articles have been written on this, so I won’t waste my time rehashing haha
    – Dan
    Commented May 14, 2022 at 5:07

The NWT is an atrocious translation of the scriptures. It adds in words and letters that are simply not there, in order to fit their theological preferences. They read their beliefs into the scriptures and add words and change words wherever those words don't fit with their pre-determined theology. It is a fearful thing that the authors of the NWT have done, for they will have to stand before God and give an account for the countless souls they have led astray from the true gospel and true translation of the scriptures.

Their perversion of the scriptures is quite obvious and should not take us long time to recognize and reject.

Two of the examples you have given (John 1, Colossians 1:16) are prime examples of this. Also, numerous examples where they change the word "worship" where it applies to Christ, to "pay obeisance."

My dear friend, as one who deeply cares for you, I would urge that you reject the dishonest translation that the NWT is, and look to the true scriptures that the church throughout 2000 years of church history has recognized as the faithful translation of God's Word.

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    – Jason_
    Commented May 5 at 3:56

Okay, there is a problem with your justifications. First, koine Greek (the New Testament Greek used in the best critical editions) does not translate into modern English. The two languages are completely incompatible. Your assertion that theos (that which is divine) must always be translated "God" show a deep misunderstanding of language and context. An accurate translation must capture the meaning of the original Greek/Aramaic (remember that none of the disciples could either read or write) and reproduce the same implied meaning in English. You are imposing your Christianized Sunday school lessons into a manuscript that has nothing to do with modern Sunday school. Greek words are translated differently based on the context in which they are found. a great example is the word translated "Death," "the Grave, "the Pit" and "hell." They are all from the same Greek word "hades" and the Hebrew word "sheol." Though the manuscript always uses the same word, it is translated differently based on how it is used in context. The same is true of the word "theos" which is translated "Father," "Son," or "God." I think you were just a little lazy in your study. Obviously, every translation has problems but the NWT is correct here. You cannot make up grammar rules that fit your beliefs. Keep studying! I think you are very close to the truth. Keep trying and never give up on God.

  • 3
    Bruce, to whom is your comment "there is a problem with your justifications" addressed? The OP cj564 made no "justifications". Where is your evidence to support your claim that Koine Greek does not translate into modern English, that the two languages are completely incompatible? Who is being "a little lazy" and is making up rules of grammar to fit a theological bias? Please read our guidelines to understand how we are different to other sites and what we look for in well-researched answers: hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/tour
    – Lesley
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 10:19
  • 1
    This article about Koine Greek and New Testament Greek is most helpful: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koine_Greek#New_Testament_Greek
    – Lesley
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 13:03
  • 3
    "remember that none of the disciples could either read or write" what evidence to you have to support this claim? Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 6:22
  • 2
    Matthew was a tax collector, an employee of the Roman Empire. He was educated, numerate and literate. Mark was an associate of Paul and he came from a wealthy family. Luke, a physician and a close companion of the Apostle Paul, wrote both his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles (Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11). Luke was the only Gentile to pen any books of Scripture. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, not only wrote his gospel but also the Revelation of Jesus Christ. It is true that many of Jesus' disciples were unlettered, but these apostles most certainly could read and write.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 9:14
  • Hi @Bruce Gomez, please only post answers to the original question, rather than using the answer feature to engage in a discussion with other answers. Once you have enough reputation, you will be able to post comments on other people's answers.
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 13, 2022 at 21:24

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