Jehovah's Witnesses and the bible

A couple stopped at my house this morning, and the tract they were handing out quoted from the “New Century Version”. I thought they used the "New World Translation. Have they created a new translation to conform to current teaching?

Are you sure they were Jehovah’s Witnesses?

JWs use their own New World Translation exclusively.

The NCV is a 1986 update to the International Children’s Bible. It’s a paraphrase that is used by some evangelicals in evangelism.

Yes, and the pamphlet even had a link to the watchtower site, which is why the translation cited had me confused.

That’s confusing to me too. Unless this is some update to the New World Translation that I was unware of, the NCV is a Thomas Nelson published Evangelical translation through and through.

I once worked with a Jehovah’s Witness. I’ll see if I can get in touch with him and report back.

In my experience the JW’s do not stick ridgidly to the NWT. They also use the KJV and other translations if and when it suits their purpose. - I believe they consider the NWT to take priority if and have authority where there are discrepancies.

:thumbsup: correct! They don’t mind using your bible and when it gets to problem verses where you differ they will simply state “that’s not the meaning of this verse” and continue on.

That’s exactly what my former co-worker had to say. They see the NWT as the best translation but they will gladly work with whatever translation you have.

Reminds me of a story from D. James Kennedy on this point: A couple of JWs came to his door and he let them in. He went after the deity of Christ and pointed to John 1, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”

They got as far as saying, “Well… that’s not what it says in the greek…” when he spouted off with, “You’re right. What it says in the Greek is Ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος, καὶ ὁ λόγος ἦν πρὸς τὸν θεόν, καὶ θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος and as you no doubt learned in your Greek studies, in sentences in which the copula is expressed, a definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb,” and they promptly excused themselves.

From Wikipedia…

The New Century Version of the Bible is a revision of the International Children’s Bible. The ICB was aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/limited vocabulary in English. It is written at a 3rd grade level (from the introduction)



Jehovah’s witnesses usually have more than one bible translation and are usually willing to use whatever translation you use. If your bible does not say what they expect then they are likely to read the same passage from their own bible (The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures) and indicate that scholars back their bible. Most of the time, however, they try to be polite and avoid too much heated debate. They usually have a lot of experience speaking to strangers and they know their own doctrines very well so they usually do quite well in debates.


What has been said is partially true. They do not use any other Bible but their own. If you took your Catholic or Protestant Bible to a meeting you would get some dirty looks for sure. If you read a scripture from a different bible, I’m sure the elders would speak to you after. The funny thing is that those things would never happen because the people are so brain washed into thinking that their Bible is the most accurate and unbiased translation around.

But, they do claim that their Bible is not “A Jehovah Bible”, but rather follows the greek and hebrew very well, so a similar Bible that stays true to greek and hebrew should say things very similarly. However, they are instructed from New York that all Bibles have an agenda and that they are all a little biased toward specific false teachings. They don’t realize that theirs is the one with bias, quite sad actually.

So they proudly claim that they can use “your own bible” to show you their cherry picked scriptures that magically show their strange interpretations. To really try to show that they don’t have a JW Bible, they quote from other Bibles in their magizines. They do this in hopes to make converts. It helps a lapsed Christian to see their own favorite Bible being used instead of the NWT. It is all a scam, they could care less about other Bibles. They call them works of Babylon the Great in other places.

What absolutely astounds me is that with all of the Bible research and critical scholarship that has practically boomed over the last 50 years, nearly all Bible translators have access to and use the same critical texts whether they are using the Septuagint, Hebrew Massorett or Latin or Greek New Testament.
I can understand legitimate translation differences such as the Protestant “Highly favoured one” compared to the Catholic “Full of Grace” and other slight’s of hand that fall within the accepted bounds of translation and may suit a particular denomination’s theology slightly better without crossing over to actual interpretation of the text.
But to leave out entire verses, add and delete words, not to mention the adding of an erroneous name for God through the entire New Testament with out any historical justification at all in an overt effort to confuse and nullify old Testament references directly indicating the divinity of Christ, to obtusely compound tenses, and cross over from translation to interpretation to suite a particular agenda.
The New World Translation is not a BIASED translation to fit a particular denomination it is a deliberate and outright CORRUPTION of the word of God. It is no longer the Bible and should not be called such.
There is nothing more frustrating than a Witness standing in front of you getting all hot and bothered jabbing their finger at a particular verse in “The New World etc” insisting that theirs is the correct translation and that somehow all other translations have conspired together in some sort of world wide conspiracy over the last 2000 years and are wrong.
This sort of reasoning is just “Off the planet”. When I point out to them that as a Catholic I am free to clarify any particular verses that may have one or more acceptable translation’s and that the original may not be clear and that I do this by using the DR, KJV, RSV, NJ, RSV-CE a good Greek Interlinear and compare with the Church fathers and modern biblical criticism then draw a conclusion and finally check this conclusion against the teaching of the Church. And then ask them why they don’t do this if they are so sure that their version is “The Truth”.
I say to them that the Word of God is so important to me that I diligently apply every resource I have to ensure that what I am reading is as close as possible to what God intended me to have in his written word.
Their reply is that the Watch Tower translation committee has already done that for them and removed all of the errors placed in the Bible by apostates over the last 2000 years and that they have the purest text available???
When asked which particular manuscripts they used? Blank stares!
What were the qualifications of the committee? Blank stares!
And on and on it goes deliberate and wilful ignorance!

There is an interlinear published by the Watchtower Bible and Tract society. It is called THE KINGDOM INTERLINEAR TRANSLATION OF THE GREEK SCRIPTURES. Next time you are visited by one of Jehovah’s witnesses ask them if you can have a copy of it. It may be educational for them. And a copy may be helpful in your chats with them. Their interlinear is less corrupt than the NWT.

I have it and use it when talking with them. The amazing thing about this little book is that they could not get away with altering the Greek because any alteration was Very obvious an In Europe where there are many Greek speakers who are familiar with the New Testament texts in the original language, changes would not be tolerated. It is in the translation where they have been able to get away with their confusion and deception.
Interestingly this bogus attempt at transparency and scholarship was quickly discontinued because it gave many witnesses an opportunity to compare interlinears and translations.
In fact this little book is now difficult to find.

Great post. I doubt that the average Witness preaching door-to-door would have any response to that.

Right. They might agree with newcomer Catholics, for example, only to read from a Catholic Bible.

One of their older booklets was aimed at Catholics and had an introduction reasurring readers that all Scripture quotes were taken from Catholic versions of the Bible.

No disrespect to anyone but that might tell you something about who they’re trying to target. Certainly they’re not going after the really knowledgeable or sophisticated Christians or the educated Bible scholars.

And, as you no doubt know, the English translation in the Kingdom Interlinear even contradicts their own Bible.



New Century Version Bible, NCV

The New Century Version (NCV) puts biblical concepts into natural and easy-to-understand English terms. The vocabulary used is based on The Living Word Vocabulary, by Dr. Edgar Dale and Dr. Joseph O’Rourke. The New Century Version aims to make the Bible easier to comprehend, so that even those who who own multiple Bibles can relax and allow God’s message to clearly, accurately, and eternally reach their hearts, and read the Bible for the sheer enjoyment.

Does this mean another translation for third grade level?

Never knew…

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