Post by Mike Miller on Jul 8, 2015 10:31:28 GMT -5
Jehovah's Witnesses deny the deity of Jesus, therefore, they had to change John 1:1 to fit with their theology. They like to claim that they have the correct translation, claiming that since the definite article ("the") is not in the Greek, the indefinite article ("a") should be inserted. Greek doesn't have an indefinite article, so supplying one isn't necessarily inappropriate when the context calls for it. Context does not call for it here. In fact, a very old rule in the Greek language is applied here. Colwell's rule for the article states: "The absence of the article does not make the predicate indefinite or qualitative when it precedes the verb; it is indefinite in this position only when the context demands it." The context makes no such demand in this case.
Now, Jehovah's Witnesses insist that whenever the Greek word for God (theos) appears without the definite article, it must be rendered "a god," but they are not consistent in other places in their own translation. Theos appears over 1,300 times in the New Testament, almost 300 of those times without the definite article. If they were to be consistent, they would translate it "a god" every time, but they only do so 16 times. In fact, theos appears without the definite article six times in John 1:1-18, but they only follow their own rule 2 times. The other 4 times, they translate it "God."
This is not the only area where The New World Translation is in error. It is a terrible translation worded to fit the theology of Jehovah's Witnesses while denying the truth of the original languages.