Discovering a Twist in Translation
…”But what about John 1:1?”
This was the question Sara and her sister posed to the Jehovah’s Witnesses sitting across the table from them. The JW’s had attempted to convince them that Jesus was not God. According to the rendering of John 1:1 in the Watchtower’s own version of the Bible called The New World Translation (NWT), Jesus is “a god” but not “the God.” Then the JW’s introduced the Strong’s Concordance to these two sisters and endeavored to prove that the article “a” was permissible in the verse.
That was over 13 years ago. One of these sisters followed the advice given by those JW’s to be like a Beroean and “carefully examine the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11 NWT) avoiding the snare of Watchtower indoctrination, but the other one became a disciple of the Watchtower organization.
Sara’s sister remains an active Jehovah’s Witness along with her two daughters, but Sara herself continues to examine the Scriptures. I met Sara on line in September 2015 after she had requested prayer for her sister and two nieces. I told Sara that I had two nephews about their ages who were also raised in the Watchtower and we agreed to pray for one another’s family. I saw results immediately when my nephew confided in me that neither he nor his brother planned to join the Watchtower with their father. Meanwhile, Sara continues to engage in discussions with other former Jehovah’s Witnesses through Facebook. She’s an encouraging presence on several groups and her posts have helped members to reason on biblical truth. As happens with anyone who attempts to reason with Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sara immersed herself in more Bible study and found herself using the very same books which those JW’s used to convince her sister to join them all those years ago: The New World Translation and Strong’s Concordance! She discovered how the translation committee of the Watchtower Society has taken great liberty in changing the original text, even inserting words and phrases to “trigger” a response in their members to align their vocabulary with the Watchtower Society. As her research mounted, Sara needed a place to store her findings and started a blog. Then she began to share that blog with others. Sara’s “A Twist in Translation” now fills a unique gap in the Ex JW community’s growing resources. Her entries are brief and use screen shots of passages straight from the New World Translation where Sara has highlighted key points. Don’t expect lengthy articles complete with paragraphs under the scrutiny of spell check, instead, followers of her blog have been invited to see Sara’s hand written notes in the margins. It’s like sitting across the table from a Beroean who’s examined the Scriptures and now sharing her research so that no one else is misled by “persuasive arguments” as she once could have been when Jehovah’s Witnesses sat across the table from her and her sister.
Please take the time to check out Sara’s blog “A Twist in Translation” and lift up a prayer for her sister and all those who’ve been misled by the Watchtower’s twists in translation, doctrine, and practices.
To learn more about the New World Translation, see also our article “Jehovah’s Witnesses Bible Translation Examined.”
Keep yourself in God’s love,