Sunday, January 31, 2010

Should God's name “Jehovah" appear in the New Testament?

The Hebrew Scriptures ("Old Testament") contain God's name more often than any other name - nearly 7,000 times. In the Christian Greek Scriptures ("New Testament"), manuscripts of the book of Revelation have God's name in its abbreviated form, "Jah," (in the word "Hallelujah"). But apart from that, no ancient Greek manuscript that we possess today of the books from Matthew to Revelation contain God's name in full.

God's name originally was in the Greek Scriptures because it would be inconceivable that the Bible writers did not use God's name, especially when quoting from parts of the "Old Testament" that contained the name. If God's name did not belong in the New Testament, then why did Jesus tell us to pray for its sanctification? (Mt. 6:9)

The manuscripts we have today were copies of copies, written hundreds of years after the originals, and may well have been changed when the name became a hated “Jewish” name to “Christians” around 135 A.D.

Scholars know for a fact that words and whole phrases have been added or removed from various ancient copies of the New Testament, but that doesn't make the New Testament unreliable, since many or most of the additions or subtractions can be recognized or restored.

It should not be considered terribly wrong to restore, for the sake of clarity if nothing else, the name we know belongs there. Many other respected Bibles add personal names to their translations for clarity when they weren’t actually in the New Testament text to begin with. There are many examples of this, but to examine just one:

John 12:41 says in the available manuscripts: “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and he spoke about him.”

Some respected Bibles replace “he” or “him” with “Jesus”. See, for example, NIV; NJB; and NAB (’70).

Some condemn the New World Translation Bible for restoring God's Name some 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures where it was likely there originally. Places where the Christian Greek Scripture writers quote the earlier Hebrew Scriptures containing God's name. Many translators have done this. Really, shouldn't the condemnation be directed toward the English Bibles' removal of God's Name nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scripture (when the Name is clearly there)?

For much more, see:

"Jehovah" in The New Testament (SFBT)

NWT - Criticism by Zondervan's So Many Versions? - "Jehovah" in the New Testament (DNWT)

God's Name (SFBT)

Defending The New World Translation - Archive (DNWT)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Why are some verses missing in the New World Translation Bible?

Some verses, such as Matthew 18:11; 23:14; Luke 17:36 are missing in the New World Translation used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, these verses are ALSO not in the Common Bible (an ecumenical edition for Catholics and Protestants), The New English Bible, and the Catholic Jerusalem Bible, to name a few.

The reason is because these verses actually do not belong in the Bible even though many older translations included them. The original manuscripts of the “New Testament” books (the Christian Greek Scriptures) are not available today for use by translators. No one has discovered a Bible book “autographed,” as it were, by the apostles Paul, John, or others. Yet it is evident that soon after the originals were written, copies began to be made for use by the early Christians. The later copies, those farthest from the originals, tended to have more mistakes.

For more, see:

BOWNWT (See listing #3 in this post)

'Missing' texts from the NWT (JWQ&A)

Bible Translation and Study