Friday, July 21, 2017

What Do Greek Scholars Think of the Watchtower Society's New World Translation of the Bible?

In their small book The Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses, authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon contend that "Greek scholars, Christian and non-Christian universally reject..."1 the New World Translation (NWT) of the Bible used by Jehovah's Witnesses.

One such example they offer is the late Dr. Julius Mantey.  As the authors explain:

"Mantey was one of the leading Greek scholars in the world.  He was author of the Hellenistic Greek Reader and coauthor, with H.E. Dana, of A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament.  Not only did he reject the NWT, he publicly demanded that the Society stop misquoting his Grammar to support it."2

Mantey wrote:

"I have never read any New Testament so badly translated as The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures.  In fact, it is not their translation at all.  Rather, it is a distortion of the New Testament.  The translators used what J.B. Rotherham has translated in 1893, in modern speech, and changed the readings in scores of passages to state what Jehovah's Witnesses believe and teach.  That is distortion, not translation."3

Bruce Metzger, another well-known scholar of New Testament stated, "The Jehovah's Witnesses have incorporated in their translations of the New Testament several quite erroneous renderings of the Greek."

Also, Dr. Robert Countess, who wrote his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Greek on the NWT, concluded that the translation:

"...has been sharply unsuccessful in keeping doctrinal considerations from influencing the actual translation...It must be viewed as a radically biased piece of work.  At some points it is actually dishonest.  At others it is neither modern nor scholarly.  And interwoven throughout its fabric is inconsistent application of its own principles enunciated in the Foreword and Appendix."5

As if that were not enough. British scholar H.H. Rowley actually called the NWT "an insult to the Word of God."6

So, according to both Christian and non-Christian Greek scholars, the NWT is biased, dishonest and wrong.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. John Ankerberg and John Weldon, The Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 31.
2. Ibid., 32.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Featured Series: Taking Back Christianese by Michael J. Kruger

Last year, New Testament scholar Michael J. Kruger featured a series on this blog about the way Christians talk.  He writes:

"This series is designed to analyze a number of theological phrases or practical bits of Christians wisdom that may simply be wrong, or at least misunderstood. Or maybe both.

Now to be clear, I will not be suggesting that the instances of Christianese we will be exploring in this series are necessarily wrong. Taken properly, they may be right in many ways. But, of course, that is precisely the issue. Often they are not taken properly. Instead they can be used to justify some questionable theological views.

So, the goal of the series–and this is important to get–is not to refute these phrases but to clarify, to nuance, and to balance out these phrases. In the world of theology, lack of nuance is one step (often a big step) towards doctrinal error."1

The series is as follows:

To learn more about Kruger's work, go here.

Courage and Godspeed,

1. Michael J. Kruger, "Taking Back Christianese," June 1, 2016.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Counterpoints: Joseph Smith and The Book of Isaiah on the Existence of God

Joseph Smith: “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.”1

The Book of Isaiah: "You are my witnesses," declares the Lord, "and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he.  Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me."2

Courage and Godspeed,


1. Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 6, pp. 307, 308 as quoted by Mormon Think.
2. Isaiah 42:10, ESV; Emphasis mine.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Is Christianity Useful Anymore? The Younger Generations Don't Seem to Think So

In the subject post, Michael C. Sherrard writes the following on Southern Evangelical Seminary's  blog:

Young adults simply don’t know anything about Christianity. I’m not sure, then, that it is right to say that young adults are walking away from Christianity. It seems as though they’ve never been introduced to it.

He goes on to write about our responsibility to not only teach the next generation the Word of God but also display to them the power it has in our lives.

You can read the post in its entirety here.

Stand firm in Christ,

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Heart's Prayer

In the prologue to Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi shares his desire to know who God is.  Below is part of the prayer he recites:

"Please, God Almighty, tell me who You are!  I beseech You and only You.  Only You can rescue me.  At your feet, I lay down everything I have learned, and give my entire life to You.  Take away what You will, be it my joy, my friends, my family, or even my life.  But let me have You, O God.

Light the path that I must walk.  I don't care how many hurdles are in the way, how many pits I must jump over or climb out of, or how many thorns I must step through.  Guide me on the right path.  If it is Islam, show me how it is true!  If it is Christianity, give me eyes to see!  Just show me which path is Yours, dear God, so I can walk it."1

I find this prayer very moving as it reveals the author's heart to truly know who God is despite what it might cost him.  It also reminds me to ask myself what are my intentions when it comes to being a Christian?  Is it for the experience?  Is it to have the right worldview compared to many others?  Is it to avoid being condemned to hell?

While these questions are worth considering, I believe there is a more important question.  Do I truly believe in who Jesus is and that he came to "give life and give it abundantly" as mentioned in John 10:10.  If I do, am I living this out accordingly?  Is it apparent in my marriage, as a father, in my daily interactions with my co-workers and others who may cross my path?  I find this question to be helpful in reminding me of my purpose to share the truth of the Gospel message.

You can find the latest Nabeel Qureshi videos by going here.  Please continue to pray for him and his family as he perseveres through his illness.

God Bless,

1. Seeking Allah Finding Jesus p. 26

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Professor of Ancient History Paul Maier on "Was Jesus Married?"

“If there were even one spark of evidence from antiquity that Jesus even may have gotten married, then as a historian, I would have to weigh this evidence against the total absence of such information in either Scripture or the early church traditions. But there is no such spark-not a scintilla of evidence-anywhere in historical sources. Even where one might expect to find such claims in the bizarre, second-century, apocryphal gospels...there is no reference that Jesus ever got married.”1

Courage and Godspeed,

1. As quoted by Charlie Campbell here.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Video: How to Explain the Trinity by Jeff Durbin

In this featured video, Pastor Jeff Durbin of Apologia Church explains how to biblically and concisely explain the doctrine of the Trinity to those who reject it.  This message is aimed toward Muslims, but really applies to any world religion or cult that rejects the Triune Nature of God.

To learn more about Jeff Durbin, go here.

Learn more about Apologia Church here.

And I highly recommend Durbin's podcast, Apologia Radio.

Courage and Godspeed,

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