Thursday, September 17, 2009


(Cut and pasted from The "Christian Debate" site, Debate board, in a post entitled "NOT Jehovah's Witnesses," msg #5.):

In the March 1st, 1991 issue of The Watchtower, pages 26-30, an article appeared entitled
The "New World Translation" Scholarly and Honest.

On page 30 we read:

"In fact, the New World Translation is a scholarly work. In 1989, Professor Benjamin Kedar of Israel said: `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. Giving evidence of a broad command of the original language, it renders the original words into a second language understandably without deviating unnecessarily from the specific structure of the Hebrew. . . . Every statement of language allows for a certain latitude in interpreting or translating. So the linguistic solution in any given case may be open to debate. But I have never discovered in the New World Translation any biased intent to read something into the text that it does not contain.'"

Following this quotation of Professor Kedar's comments in the above WT article, he received much mail from those who wanted to know if he had been quoted correctly and by those who had a different view point from his. He replied to some, but, from a certain time, sent out a statement instead. We possess a copy, which he had kindly sent to us in November, 1995, which we will print out in it's entirety - the Professor had signed it and in his own writing had written, "permission to be published is granted only if quoted in full!"

You will be able to see that this Professor has his own views on religion and religious groups, large or small, including Jehovah's Witnesses. The main point however should not be lost. This Professor is a scholar in his own right and has expressed an opinion in regard to a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures - The New World Translation. Judge for yourselves what that opinion is. Herewith is that statement. All we ask is that you read it carefully. Where you see square brackets those words therein are ours. They are only to aid the reader with the meaning of terms they might not be familiar with. We have also smaller-cased his statement after section 1) only to highlight that which is the pertinent section to the title of this page:

"Since several individuals and institutions have addressed me concerning the following matter, I make this statement; henceforth it will be sent instead of a personal letter to anyone appealing to me to clarify my position.

"1) Several years ago I quoted the so-called New World Translation among several Bible versions in articles that dealt with purely philological [pertaining to the study/science of languages] questions (such as the rendition of the causative hiphil, of the participle qotel). In the course of my comparative studies I found the NWT rather illuminating: it gives evidence of an acute awareness of the structural characteristics of Hebrew as well as an honest effort to faithfully render these in the target [English] language. A translation is bound to be a compromise, and as such its details are open to criticism; this applies to the NWT too. In the portion corresponding to the Hebrew Bible, however, I have never come upon an obviously erroneous rendition which would find it's explanation in a dogmatic bias. Repeatedly I have asked the antagonists of the Watchtower-Bible who turned to me for a clarification of my views, to name specific verses for a renewed scrutiny. This was either not done or else the verse submitted (e.g. Genesis 4:13, 6:3, 10:9, 15:5, 18:20 etc.) did not prove the point, namely a tendentious [with a purposed aim/biased] translation.

"2) I beg to make clear that I do not feel any sympathy for any sect and this includes Jehovah's Witnesses. Of course, my mistrust is not directed against the individual member of such sect but rather against the organisation that manipulates him and puts forward its dogmas and rules as the ultimate truth. It should be conceded, however, that the groups and organisations that fiercely oppose the Witnesses do not behave any better. On the whole, synagogue, church and mosque also tend to exhibit dogmatic arrogance coupled with intolerance of and enmity with other confessions.

"3) I cannot help expressing my deep conviction that the search for truth will never benefit by linguistic quibble. Whether the author using the word naephaesh denoted 'soul' as opposed to body (Lev 17:11) or meant something else, whether 'almah' means 'virgin' or 'young woman' (Is 7:14) is of great interest to philologists and historians of religion; an argument for or against blood transfusion or the virgin-birth of Jesus respectively, cannot be derived from it.

"4) Obviously, it is man's destiny to make the choice of his way a matter of conscience and to the best of his knowledge. There exists no simple set of rules such as could be learned from the mouth of a guru or the pages of an ancient venerable book. Those who pretend to act according to an infallible guide, more often than not interpret the texts in accordance with their preconceived wishes and notions.

"Benjamin Kedar

"Haifa 27.11.95"

Wow! A review by a truly objective expert. Hard to find.


"Jason BeDuhn received his Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. He received a PhD from the University of Indiana in Comparative Religious Studies. He believes the NWT and KIT [Kingdom Interlinear Translation] to be generally accurate, and uses the latter when teaching Greek at Northern Arizona University." – (which contains, among other things, the debates between Dr. BeDuhn and Robert Hommel on John 1:1.)

Also see:

The New World Translation
"Professor Benjamin Kedar of Israel said: "In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translation, I often refer to ... (pastorrussell)

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