Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions?
Zondervan, the respected trinitarian publishing, company prints a book which examines most twentieth century English versions of the Bible: So Many Versions? (SMV), by trinitarian Bible scholars Dr. S. Kubo and Dr. W. Albrecht. They have published this book since 1975. I purchased my copy new in 1991 from a "Christian" book store. So, for over 15 years this popular trinitarian publishing company has been printing the following criticisms of the NWT. We will examine them in the order they appear in my copy of this book (1983 revised edition.).
A short paragraph on p. 110 concludes SMV's review of the NWT:
"Dr. Bruce M. Metzger's evaluation is that `on the whole one gains a tolerably good impression of the scholarly equipment of the translators.'"
This is a surprisingly good evaluation by a very respected (and very trinitarian) Bible scholar who dislikes the teachings of the Watchtower Society intensely.
"The translation at times," SMV continues, "is also good. However, the theological bias and the inconsistent quality of the translation neutralize the good elements within it."
In the conclusion for its review of the highly-praised NASB we are told by SMV how this translation "seeks to give an accurate literal rendering of the Hebrew and Greek." However, it adds, "its stilted and nonidiomatic English will never give it a wide popular appeal. It does, however, have great value as a study Bible, and this is perhaps its significant place as a translation." - p. 230 (Cf. pp. 338, 339.)
Notice how its literalness and "accuracy" have reduced the popularity of this highly-respected Bible, but, nevertheless, its "accurate literal rendering" is seen as of great value for a study Bible! The NWT is used primarily as a study Bible by many millions around the world, but SMV never acknowledges its "great value" in that respect at all. Nevertheless, the NWT is far more accurate than the NASB, even in bringing out major, essential scriptural truths. (E.g. God's Name; John 1:1; Phil. 2:6; etc.)
I submit that the authors of SMV have as great a "theological bias" as does the NWT, and, moreover, their bias is provably wrong! A thorough, honest-hearted comparison between the doctrines of the Trinity-biased, God-Name-removing, tradition-bound scholars promoted by SMV and the teachings of the scholars of the Watchtower Society will reveal whose bias is distorting the essential truths and whose is not. Such a study can prove life-saving. (John 17:3; 2 Thess. 1:8, 9)