{ scrollbar-base-color: #9999cc; scrollbar-arrow-color: white; scrollbar-track-color: #ccccff; scrollbar-shadow-color: black; scrollbar-lightshadow-color: black; scrollbar-darkshadow-color: gray; scrollbar-highlight-color: white; scrollbar-3dlight-color: black; }

Section 11... Cults/
Index To Jehovah’s Witnesses

  003white Index To Section 11 ... Cults       >        Index To Jehovah’s Witnesses     >       Manipulating Scripture

Kingdom Hall 2

Jehovah’s Witnesses -

Manipulating Scripture

Carol Brooks

Index to All Nine Chapters

Manipulating Scripture
In order to 'prove' their theories, the Jehovah's Witnesses have added, removed, or changed words in the New Testament that clearly indicate the deity of Christ. The New World Translation can be accessed at https://www.jw.org/en/library/bible/study-bible/books/. A Greek-English Interlinear Bible is available at https://www.logosapostolic.org/bibles/interlinear_nt.htm

Also See

Worship or Obeisance in Worshipping Jesus


Luke 23:43 in Body and Soul
when Jesus promised the thief that he would be with Him in paradise that very day.


John 8:57-58 - "I Am"
John 8:58 is Jesus' clear declaration of His Divinity.. 

    So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:57-58 NASB)

The underlined words have been translated from the Greek phrase - 'ego eimi.'  Ego means 'I'. Eimi is a present indicative active verb used mainly to make statements (An active verb is what the subject of a sentence is actively doing and 'present' obviously describes the action taking place now right now.) Here are some of Jesus' statements that use this exact combination of words,

     Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, "I am (Gr. ego eimi) the bread that came down out of heaven." (John 6:41 NASB)

     Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am (Gr. ego eimi) the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life."  (John 8:12 NASB)

     And He was saying to them, "You are from below, I am (Gr. ego eimi) from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. (John 8:23 NASB)

     "I am (Gr. ego eimi) the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  (John 10:9 NASB)

     Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,  (John 11:25 NASB)

     Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been (Gr. ego eimi) born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."  (John 18:37 NASB). (Note: In this verse ego eimi is translated I have been which is simply better English and doesn't change the meaning of the sentence).

In every single one of these cases the Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation (NWT) Bible reads exactly as the NASB does. However, when it comes to John 8:58 the NWT renders ego eimi in the present perfect tense - "I have been" instead of "I Am"

    Jesus said to them: "Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”  (John 8:58 NWT)

And, from their point of view, there was a good reason to change the tense. Here is why.

When Jesus told the Pharisees that any man who kept His Word would never see death (John 8:51), they responded by saying Abraham and the prophets had all died, and asked if he (Jesus) thought Himself better than Abraham. To which Jesus replied

    "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:56-58 NASB)

The reaction of the Pharisees, who immediately tried to stone Jesus (Vs. 59), tells us that His words were considered blasphemy of the most extreme kind. To understand why Jesus' words provoked such an extreme response, we have to travel back in time to the days just preceding the Exodus. When, at the burning bush, Moses was told that he had to go to Egypt and bring the children of Israel out, Moses asked what his reply should be in case they asked him for the name of the God of their fathers. God answered him thus

    God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM"; and He said, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (Exodus 3:14 NASB)

How God identified Himself that day shows that He does not measure his existence as we do ours. The present tense "I AM", although not a name as we understand it, indicated His continued and unchanging existence. The Israelites would have recognized that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - the God who exists and is both everlasting and unchanging, was the very same God who was sending Moses to them (Vs. 15-17).

So, when Jesus said "Before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:56-58), He was not only claiming existence prior to Abraham but, even more tellingly, was using the same appellation God gave Himself...

John 8:24
The Jehovah's Witnesses also add the words 'the one' to John 8:24

    NASB - "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." 

    NWT -  That is why I said to you: You will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I am (Gr. ego eimi) the one, you will die in your sins.” 

Note that both the King James and NASB add the word "He". However, it is in italics which signifies that it doesn't exist in the original Greek.

See Jesus' Other Declarations Of Divinity HERE

Definite and Indefinite Articles
In some cases the English articles ('a', 'an', 'the') have been added to various verses in order to reflect preconceived ideas.

Note: It is true that 'the' is sometimes added to English translations for the sake of clarity.  For example, in Greek John 1:2 literally reads 'He was in beginning with God" whereas the English translation reads 'He was in the beginning with God'. 

2 Peter 1:1
Granville Sharp's rule states that when you have two nouns that describe a person and are connected by the word 'and', if the first noun has the article ("the") while the second does not, both nouns are referring to the same person. (This does not apply to proper names like Paul, Timothy etc.)

For example in the sentence "The Lord and Master surveyed his kingdom" both words Lord' and 'Master' refer to the same person. Or, take the statement "The owner and manager looked over the property" in which just one person is both owner and manager. If the sentence was speaking about two individuals it should have said “the owner and the manager”. This rule also applies to possessive pronouns (our, their, his etc). Ex. The mother and her children sat down for a meal.

2 Peter has five "Granville Sharp" constructions.

    1. for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord (Gr. kurios) and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you. (2 Peter 1:11 NASB)

    2. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord (Gr. kurios) and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. (2 Peter 2:20 NASB)

    3. that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord (Gr. kurios) and Savior spoken by your apostles.  (2 Peter 3:2 NASB)

    4. but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (Gr. kurios) and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 NASB)

    5. Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God (Gr. theos) and Savior, Jesus Christ:  (2 Peter 1:1 NASB) 

Note: In the last example (5) the construction is the same as the other four. However, the problem for the Jehovah's Witnesses is that Peter refers to Jesus not as Lord (Gr. kurios) but as God (Gr. theos). To circumvent the difficulty the New Word Translation adds the word 'the' to the verse to differentiate between God and Jesus Christ. Their Bible then reads (Emphasis Added)

    Simon Peter, a slave and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have acquired a faith as precious as ours* through the righteousness of our God and the Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:1 NWT)

In the original Greek the definite article (ho) does not exist in this verse thus it is not found in any other version.

See 2 Peter 1:1 in a Greek-English Interlinear Bible HERE

Titus 2:13
Titus also called Jesus "our great God and Savior" which means the Jehovah's Witnesses had to subtly alter Titus' words to suit their philosophy. (Emphasis Added)

    NASB - "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus"

    NWT - "while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of our Savior, Jesus Christ"

See Titus 2:13 in a Greek-English Interlinear Bible HERE

Daniel Wallace's exhaustive article Sharp Redivivus? - A Reexamination of the Granville Sharp Rule goes through the rule, including uncontested New Testament examples finally coming to the conclusion that "... in Titus 2:13 and 2 Pet 1:1 we are compelled to recognize that, on a grammatical level, a heavy burden of proof rests with the one who wishes to deny that 'God and Savior' refers to one person, Jesus Christ." [01]

John 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."

When it comes to the articles ('the’ 'a’ or ‘an') Greek and English do not work the same way. Although Greek has a definite article ('the'), it does not have an indefinite article ('a' or 'an'). In Greek something unspecific is indicated by the Greek indefinite pronoun 'tis'. In the following examples, I have used the KJV translation that clearly shows how tis is used.

    There was a certain (Gr. tis) householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:  (Matthew 21:33 KJV)

    Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man (Gr. tis) be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  (John 3:5 KJV)

    But there are some (Gr. tis) of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.  (John 6:64 KJV)

Also, it cannot be assumed that if the definite article ('the') is absent in the Greek, then an indefinite article ('a' or 'an') should be inserted into an English translation.

In order to try and show that Jesus is not God, the Jehovah's Witnesses have added the word 'a' to the last part of this verse i.e. "and the Word was a god". The problem here is that saying that Jesus is "a god" implies that there is another god besides YHWH. From beginning to end the Bible is strictly monotheistic. God Himself said that that there is not other God besides Him.

    'See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.  (Deuteronomy 32:39 NASB)

    You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.  (Isaiah 43:10 NASB)

    "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me.  (Isaiah 44:6 NASB)

See Explanation of John 1:1 - NT Greek HERE

Also note that the Father (Yhvh) was called the "Mighty God" by both Isaiah and Jeremiah

    A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty (Heb. gibbor) God.  (Isaiah 10:21 NASB)

    who shows loving kindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty (Heb. gibbor) God. The Lord of hosts is His name;  (Jeremiah 32:18 NASB)

Yet, when foretelling the coming Messiah, Isaiah said

    For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty (Heb. gibbor) God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:6 NASB)

Thus Jesus cannot be some kind of 'lesser god"

God or a god?
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

In Greek the second part of the statement (underlined above) reads 'kai (and) Theos (God) en (was) ó (the) Logos (Word)' - and God was the Word. However, it cannot just be assumed that because there is no definite article ('the') in front of the word 'God', an indefinite article ('a') has to be inserted.

     Because the first use of the word 'God' in John 1:1 ('the Word was with God') clearly refers to the Only True God, the Eternal Pre-existent Creator, more than likely John would have used a different Greek construction than he did if he had meant for this next phrase ('and the Word was God') to refer to a 'lesser' god, and did not want us to confuse this with the True God he had just mentioned.

    If John meant to avoid confusion, when making such a definitive statement, he could have done so by using this 'indefinite pronoun' ('tis') as an adjective. This would have made it clear that the Word was 'a certain god', but not the one he was just referring to. ... So, it seems that by the Greek grammatical structure in this statement, John is indicating that the Word (Jesus Christ - John 1:14) is the same essence and nature as God the Father. [02]

Besides which, in John 1:6, 12, 13 18 where "theos" also has no definite Greek article, the New World Translation renders it as "God" every time.

A more technical explanation of the Greek is in Footnote I

Other Changes Made in The NWT

Acts 20:28
"Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.  (Acts 20:28 NASB)

However, the New World Translation changes "with His own blood" to "with the blood of his own Son"

    Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of his own Son. (Emphasis Added)

"Son" does not exist in the original Greek

Colossians 1:16
For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created through Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16 - 17 NASB)

 If Jesus was Michael the Archangel at the time of creation, would an angel have created all things for himself?  In order to circumvent this problem, the New World Translation has twice added the word "other" to these verses (Emphasis Added)

    because by means of him all other things were created in the heavens and on the earth, the things visible and the things invisible,o whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All other things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all other things, and by means of him all other things were made to exist,   (Colossians 1:16-17 NWT)

"Other" is not in any New Testament manuscripts

Luke 4:12
And Jesus answered and said to him, "It is said, 'you shall not put the Lord (kurios) your God (theos) to the test.'" (Luke 4:12 NASB)

The New World Translation rendition of this verse reads

    "You must not put Jehovah your God to the test"

The chapter opens with the words

    "Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry". (Luke 4:1-2 NASB)

Which should make it extremely clear that Satan was putting Jesus, not Jehovah, to the test, so Jesus was speaking of Himself as "theos" of God.

Matthew 3:1-3
Now in those days John the Baptist *came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is the One referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "the voice of One crying in the wilderness, 'make ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight!'" (Matthew 3:1-3 NASB)

John was referring to Isaiah 40 in which God is speaking about Himself

    "Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God (Gr. elôhîym). "Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord's hand Double for all her sins." A voice is calling, "Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God (Gr. elôhîym) (Isaiah 40:1-3 NASB)

Although even a cursory reading of Matthew 3 leads to the inescapable conclusion that John the Baptist was heralding Jesus' ministry, The New World Translation tries to make it sound like it was the Father whose paths were to be made straight.

    In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying: "Repent, for the Kingdom of the heavens has drawn near." This, in fact, is the one spoken of through Isaiah the prophet in these words: "A voice of one calling out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of Jehovah! Make his roads straight.'" (Matthew 3:1-3 NWT)

This is also true of Mark 1:3, and John 1:23.

Continue on to Body and Soul - The Jehovah's Witness contend that humans are souls and that we completely and entirely cease to exist at the moment of physical death. So is our soul a spiritual entity separate from our body? HERE


Footnote 1 - John 1:1.. God or a god?
Dr. Patrick Zukeran

In spite of the overwhelming testimony throughout the entire Gospel of John, there are some who argue about the translation of John 1:1.
The New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses reads, "In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was a god," which makes Jesus to be an inferior being to God. In refutation of this translation, I will explain the Greek rules behind the proper translation and argue that the Greek word God (theos) in John 1:1c must be translated in the definite or qualitative sense - written God with a capital G - rather than indefinitely - a god - as the NWT has done. This discussion will get a little technical, but the importance of the subject deserves careful attention.

Let me first define some key terms of Greek grammar. An anarthrous noun is a noun without the definite article, the English equivalent of the word the. A noun in the nominative case in Greek often signifies that this is the subject of the sentence. A predicate nominative noun is a noun in the same case and is equivalent to the subject. The Greek construction of John1:1c looks like this - theos en ho logos, and is literally translated "God was the Word."

The subject of this phrase is the Word (ho logos). We know this because it is in the Greek nominative case and it possesses the definite article ho. God (theos) is in the nominative case and does not have an article. It precedes the equative verb"was" (e^n), and therefore is the predicate nominative.

The Jehovah's Witnesses argue that since God (theos) does not have the article before it, it must be translated indefinitely. So we get their translation,"a god." However, there are other possibilities available for translation.

According to a Greek grammar rule called Colwell's rule, the construction in John 1:1c - anarthrous predicate nominative (theos) equative verb (e^n) articular noun (ho logos) does not automatically mean that the predicate nominative must be indefinite. Colwell's rule, in summary, states that an anarthrous predicate nominative preceding an equative verb can be translated as either (1) definite, (2) qualitative, or (3) indefinite. Thus, (1) as a definite noun the Word equals God, (2) as a qualitative the Word has the attributes and qualities of God, or (3) as an indefinite noun the Word is a god. Context determines which one it will be.

In the vast majority of cases in the New Testament, especially in the Gospel of John, this construction is translated as a qualitative or definite noun. Greek Scholar Dan Wallace writes,"an anarthrous pre verbal PN [predicate nominative] is normally qualitative, sometimes definite and only rarely indefinite. . . . We believe there may be some in the NT, but this is nevertheless the most poorly attested semantic force for such a construction."{1}

Furthermore, the translators of the New World Translation are not even consistent with their own rule of translation. Throughout John we find instances of an anarthrous God (theos) not translated as "a god," but as "God." John 1:6 and 1:18 are clear examples of this. Therefore, to argue that God (theos) in John 1:1c must be translated as indefinite solely because it has no article is clearly incorrect.

In an effort to insure that our decision agrees with the overall context of John's Gospel, we must see if the Gospel of John argues that Christ is inferior to God. As I showed previously, this is certainly not the case.

We must conclude that grammar and context argue against an indefinite translation that makes the Word an inferior being to God. The noun God (theos) should be translated "God," as a definite or qualitative, thus upholding the fact that Jesus is 100 percent God and 100 percent man.

End Notes

[01] Daniel Wallace. Sharp Redivivus? - A Reexamination of the Granville Sharp Rule

[02] Corey Keating.  New Testament Greek. https://www.ntgreek.org/answers/answer-frame-john1_1.htm


Index To Cults