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.).
"Baptism for Dead" and "Virginity"
1 Cor. 15:29 1 Cor. 7:36
Although it is obvious that most translators have struggled to find an appropriate interpretation for these two grammatically difficult scriptures (see various commentaries) and that they are often debated today by NT scholars, it is apparently "wrong" for the NWT to make its own interpretation here (pp. 102-103).
SMV admits, "no matter what translation one takes up, it will surely be an interpretation. It is almost impossible to translate this passage without interpreting it." (p. 103). And yet, after making this admission, it criticizes the NWT's use of the word "virginity" at 1 Cor. 7:36. That this is unfair is shown by the use of this very word in this verse by J. B. Rotherham; J. N. Darby; and Jay P. Green (MKJV and KJIIV) in their respective translations. - Compare the Emphatic Diaglott (and notes).
We also find an endorsement for using "virginity" at this verse in the respected Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible, 1976, Vol. 3, p. 1036.
And in Adam Clarke's Commentaries we also see:
"3. `The apostle by parqenoV [parthenos, "virgin"], does not mean a virgin, but the state of virginity or celibacy, whether in man or woman.' Both Mr. Locke and Dr. Whitby are of this opinion. .... [Clarke agrees and says:] parqenoV here should be considered as implying not a virgin, but the state of virginity or celibacy. ....
".... The whole of the 37th verse relates to the purpose that the man has formed; and the strength that he has to keep his purpose of perpetual celibacy, being under no necessity to change that purpose. ....
".... He then who marrieth, though previously intending perpetual virginity, doeth well; as this is agreeable to laws both Divine and human: and he who marrieth not, doeth better, because of the present distress. See 1 Corinthians 7:26." - pp. 515, 516., Vol. 6A, Sage Software, 1996.
It becomes clear that the authors of SMV are determined to deride and condemn the NWT in any way they can, whether honest or not.