Can a Bible not be Scripture?


#1

I would like to throw out a question that I’ve been asking myself for some time.

Can a “Bible” not be the Word of God? If yes, when does this happen? If no, why?

I’m thinking particularly of the Jehovah’s Witness New World Translation. My personal conclusion is that this is NOT scripture. It appears to me that enough of it has been altered to warrent it no longer being called the Word of God.

So just because someone decides to place the words “Holy Scripture” or “Bible” on the front cover, does it mean that it actually is?


#2

Well, only the original autographs would be exactly what the authors wrote. Translations based on multiple generation copies are bound to contain things that weren’t in the original autographs.

Of course, things like the NWT contain writings that are contrary to our best ancient textual sources, and thus take the discussion to another level entirely.


#3

Of course not. I can put those words on the cover of a phone book and it would not make them inspired.

An interesting side-note is the common fundamentalist accusation that in the middle ages the Catholic Church burned “bibles,” supposedly so people could not read it for themselves. What these accusers fail to mention is that these “bibles” were faulty translations and contained heretical and slanderous footnotes that were against orthodox Christian teachings. Even today’s anti-Catholic fundamentalists would never use them (how many Wycliffe bibles have you seen around lately?).

Catholic convert and apologist Steve Ray often prefaces his talks on this subject with a graphic demonstration. He’ll take out what appears to be a Bible and set it on fire or tear it up in front of the audience. After the gasping has subsided, he’ll reveal that it was a copy of the JW NWT, and thus not the Bible at all, but a deceptive counterfiet. He ends by saying that no parent would knowingly allow their child to be exposed to material that is bad for them. The Church has always had the same solicitude toward her spiritual children.


#4

I’m sure there are parts of the NWT that are translated properly. But it is indeed dangerous. It is very deceitful.


#5

“I’m sure there are parts of the NWT that are translated properly. But it is indeed dangerous. It is very deceitful.”

Jayson,

You bring up an interesting point. Yes, some parts are probably translated properly, but when is the “line crossed”?


#6

From what I understand it’s a word here or there that makes the difference in that translation.

Are JW’s allowed to use other translations?


#7

The JW’s that I regularly speak with (my in-laws) are quite adamant about saying, “We can use any translation of the bible to show our beliefs”.

I believe this is insincere and they use it to bait people, but that is what they say.


#8

Yeah, i’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to use a DR to debate a non-catholic, which is why more ecumenical bibles are so useful to us.


#9

[quote=Jayson]From what I understand it’s a word here or there that makes the difference in that translation.
[/quote]

Mostly in places where it reinforces their peculiar doctrines, such as the non-divinity of Jesus. Their mistranslation of John 1:1 is a classic example.

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

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

Are JW’s allowed to use other translations?

They’re allowed to use other bibles if the person they’re prosetlyzing won’t look at any other version than, say, a KJV or a Catholic Bible. For private study, however, they are to rely on the NWT.


#10

In the NWT the “cross” is referred to as a “torture stake” (Matthew 10:38; 27:32), and rather than being “crucified” on it, the NWT says Jesus was “impaled” upon a stake (Luke 23:21 … “Then they began to yell, saying, ‘Impale him! Impale him!’”

Found that while i was looking into the NWT. Very odd!


#11

As an ex-Jehovah’s Witness myself, I have to say that in my opinion, the New World Translation is NOT the Holy Scriptures !!
The “translators” of this “translation” changed the text of the scriptures in scores and scores of passages in order to make the New World Translation “fit” with Jehovah’s Witness doctrine.
To call the NWT a Bible is a travesty.
Jaypeeto3


#12

[quote=Jayson]In the NWT the “cross” is referred to as a “torture stake” (Matthew 10:38; 27:32), and rather than being “crucified” on it, the NWT says Jesus was “impaled” upon a stake (Luke 23:21 … “Then they began to yell, saying, ‘Impale him! Impale him!’”

Found that while i was looking into the NWT. Very odd!
[/quote]

As is often the case, *Catholic Answers’ * "This Rock: magazine had a very good article on this subject a few years back, found here:

**Cross or Torture Stake? **
By Clayton F. Bower, Jr.
catholic.com/thisrock/1991/9110fea1.asp


#13

[quote=Jayson]Well, only the original autographs would be exactly what the authors wrote. Translations based on multiple generation copies are bound to contain things that weren’t in the original autographs.

Of course, things like the NWT contain writings that are contrary to our best ancient textual sources, and thus take the discussion to another level entirely.
[/quote]

We should always remember that the bible WAS inspired by God, but we have no guarantee that it has been perfectly preserved, once again this reinforces the importance of Sacred Tradition.

If the JWs or any protestants for that matter, viewed the bible in light of Sacred Tradition as the true church of Christ does, there would be no question as to the true meaning and interpretation of the Bible.


#14

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