Steps to Writing Your Own Bible – Just Like the Watchtower Society
|By: Lorri MacGregor; ©February 2003|
|Lorri MacGregor uses an interesting “tongue in cheek” style to describe the process the Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses) went through in producing their New World Translation of the Bible. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll understand why it can’t be trusted as a valid translation attempt.|
Jehovah’s Witnesses caused quite a stir in the 1960’s when they released their own peculiar Bible called the New World Translation. With so many divergent beliefs today, it might be helpful to you to follow the Watchtower path to see how they arrived at their end product. You, too, could write your own bible, by following their example. Here’s how they did it:
- First off, make sure you have absolutely no scholars trained in Hebrew and Greek from any recognized University or School of Theology. After all, your purpose is not really to “translate” but to “alter.” Keep your goals in mind. Ignore real scholarship.
- Make sure your translating committee is identified as “anonymous” so they can’t be easily checked out. Tell your gullible followers that this constitutes “humility.”
- Make sure at least one of your anonymous “translating committee” was a short-order cook in his previous life, before being appointed to the committee. Any other occupation will work just as well as long as there is no linguistic training involved.
- Have one of your claimed Hebrew Scholars be unable to translate a single Hebrew sentence when challenged to do so under oath during a court trial. Hope that you never have to be exposed this way. The embarrassment is intense. Just hide it from your followers as best you can.
- Make outrageous claims with no basis in fact such as: “We offer no paraphrase of the Scriptures.” “As nearly as possible, word for word, the exact statement of the original” (page 10—Kingdom Interlinear Translation). Then do the opposite.
- In the absence of reputable scholars, turn to not-so-reputable ones like Johannes Greber, a defrocked Catholic Priest who received his “translation” for his New Testament through his spirit-medium wife. Don’t ever ask why Watchtower doctrines are the same as the doctrines of demons, just press on. Maybe no one will ever notice!
- Oops! When caught red-handed using sources like Johannes Greber, claim you had no idea he was into spiritism (even though you were in possession of his other book, Communications with the Spirit World of God, all along) and promise followers you won’t quote him anymore! However, just leave his wrong concepts incorporated into your New World Translation. Memories fade and new converts come along who won’t remember the debacle. When caught in a lie, deny, deny, deny!
- Turn to other cults who also deny the Deity of Christ like the Christadelphians, and even obtain the copyright for their altered New Testament to try and bring credibility to your own. Also find a couple of very obscure sources to endorse you. Hope nobody looks at them too closely.
- Ignore the outrage expressed by scholars who expose your errors on John 1:1, where you refer to Jesus as “a god.” These include the late Dr. J. R. Mantey (misquoted by you), Dr. Bruce M. Metzger of Princeton, Dr. William Barclay etc. etc. The list goes on and on. Ignore this list.
- Where the Bible text does not suit your doctrine, just put in your own twist on the matter. Use brackets sometimes, but not always, to keep people on their toes. Also add words that change the meaning of the text. For example, the word “other” should be added four times in Colossians 1:16-17 to reduce Jesus from Creator to Jehovah’s right-hand angel in creation. Simple, but effective. Use it often.
- Muddy the waters where Scriptures show Jesus Christ was worshipped by his followers. Use the correct word “worship” when Jehovah is involved, but change this same Greek word to “obeisance” for Jesus. Do what you have to to disguise the fact that Jesus is God. Then redefine “obeisance” to your followers, calling it a “gesture of respect.” Never, ever, tell them that the believing Jews bowed down and worshiped Jesus, recognizing Him as Jehovah. That would never do. Cover it up at all costs!
- Do away with all the references to Jesus coming to indwell believers. Replace these embarrassing scriptures with new phrases suitable to your doctrine, like replacing “to know Him” with “taking in knowledge of him.” Don’t let readers know they can trust Jesus directly for their salvation—make them turn to the organization, and get “knowledge” from you. Keep their eyes off Jesus and on you! You keep control of your flock with an iron fist!
- If your readers, despite your best efforts, do somehow manage to see they don’t need your organization, but only Jesus according to the scriptures, look them right in the eye and tell them the New Testament was written to only 144,000 select Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is not for them! Reprimand them severely for criticizing you and threaten to disfellowship and shun them for disloyalty or apostasy! Attack, attack, attack! Never be on the defensive. Don’t ever answer honest-hearted questions.
- To avoid having your manufactured bible questioned, forbid your followers to talk to anyone who has left your group. Forbid your followers to go on the internet at all. Warn them that looking at the websites of “apostates” is the same as looking at “pornography.” Encourage everyone to become a watchdog and report offenders. Make sure your followers become increasingly paranoid—use the “us against them” philosophy, and call it “Christian persecution.” This goes a long way.
Well, that’s how easy it is to fabricate a bible peculiar to your own beliefs. By following the Watchtower example, you too, can gather a following around yourself and become a wealthy cult leader. Make sure you enjoy all the benefits you can during this life, because you won’t like what’s waiting for you when you meet the real Jesus at the judgment seat! He doesn’t take tampering with His word lightly! He also doesn’t share His glory with anyone else. Proceed with caution.