The Watchtower Society has produced their own New World Translation and new converts are encouraged to do all their reading in this translation. But is the New World Translation trustworthy?
Is the New World Translation a literal translation?
According to the Watchtower, their version is accurate, and is as close as possible to the original. The Kingdom Interlinear Translation 1969 page 10 says "We offer no paraphrase of the Scriptures. Our endeavor all through has been to give as literal a translation as possible, where the modern English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not for any clumsiness hide the thought. That way we can best meet the desire of those who are scrupulous for getting as nearly as possible, word for word, the exact statement of the original.". Unfortunately although the Watchtower has affirmed their desire to stick closely to the literal translation of the scriptures, they have inserted numerous changes into the text in an effort to validate their own particular doctrines.
What are some of the doctrinal changes?
"The first doctrinal change comes in the second verse of Genesis chapter one where "Spirit of God" is changed to "God's active force". This revision changes the original noun to an impersonal form because the Watchtower's doctrine rejects the personality of the Holy Spirit. In Exodus 3:14 "I am" is changed to "I shall prove to be". This alteration is designed to cloud the connection between God's self-proclaimed title and Jesus' proclamation that he is the "I am" in John 8:58. (See the English under the Greek in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation of John 8:58 for the inspired and therefore correct tense).
In Acts 10:36 "Lord of all" is changed to "Lord of all (others)". This alteration was made because the Watchtower teaches that even though Jesus is highly honored, he is still only one among many of God's created beings. This revision also allows Jesus to become Michael the Archangel who is only "one of the foremost princes". (See Daniel 10:13) In Romans 8:23 "The redemption of our bodies" is changed to "the release from our bodies by ransom". This changes the redemption or buying back of the original perfect body to the disposal of the human body. This revision came as a result of the Society's teaching that the spirit anointed ones must give up their human bodies to enter heaven.
In Romans 8:1 where the original says "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." the Society has deleted the word "now". This omission is necessary to support the belief that there is no assurance of salvation right now for any Jehovah's Witness. In Romans 8:28 "All things" is changed to "all his works". This substitute was made to undermine the sovereignty of God by claiming that He controls only the things He is directly involved in. In Romans 8:29 "Those God foreknew" is adjusted to read "those whom he gave his first recognition". This revision camouflages the nature of God's complete foreknowledge. In Romans 10:13 "Lord" is changed to "Jehovah". This substitution hides the fact that the Lord referred to in verse 13 is the same Lord called Jesus in verse 9. Since the Watchtower rejects the deity of Jesus, the revision was necessary to keep their doctrine intact.
In Galatians 6:18 "Your spirit" is changed to "the spirit YOU show". This alteration attempts to obscure the reality of the individual human spirit by presenting it more as an attitude or action than an entity. In 1 Timothy 4:1 "The Spirit" is changed to "the inspired utterance". This revision is designed to conceal the reality and activity of the Holy Spirit by representing the Spirit as a message instead of a person. Similar revisions are found in 1 John 4:1, 3 & 6.
These are just a few of the many unauthorized revisions made by the Watchtower designed to fit the Bible into their own doctrines. The Watchtower has deliberately altered the word of God and passed it off as accurate to their unsuspecting, loyal followers.