Well, the old blog gets more hits than this one still, and it is simply because of Alex Trebek and Jason BeDuhn.
Let me explain.
A half of a year back I had posted on the Jeopardy question involving which bible translation was the best, why the supposed best translation is not the best, and what Jason BeDuhn said in his book "Truth in Translation." So, I've decided to rehash this subject for those of you out there still trying to find answers to these questions. The reason being is this, I believe that if the truth is found in more places, more people will find it.
Did Alex Trebek really ask “What is the most accurate bible translation?” on Jeopardy?
No, he did not. I can find no evidence anywhere that this ever happened, and anyone who stops to think about it for a few minutes would conclude that long before seeking any evidence. There is no YouTube evidence, there is little anecdotal aside from Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I cannot be sure about this, but I have found hints of some sort of message from the people at Jeopardy that this question never was asked. The assertion is simply ridiculous. Why would a secular game show tackle such a hotly debated religious issue? Simply mind boggling how anyone could come up with such a ludicrous idea.
Did Dr. Jason BeDuhn really write that the New World Translation was the best translation?
There is some truth to this one. However, as is usual in Jehovah’s Witnesses publications, selective quoting and misquoting are employed here (I have read the magazine this was published in) to make the NWT receive a more glowing review than it actually received. You see, it turns out that BeDuhn actually liked two versions of the Bible, one being the Jehovah’s Witness version, much debated, and the other being a Catholic version, which is also somewhat debated. So did he do this to sell books? Perhaps, but I will not make that accusation at this time. If you know Jehovah’s Witnesses, they don’t like Catholics a lot, so they conveniently leave that detail out of the magazine. What they also leave out is that BeDuhn has some pretty harsh criticism toward their use of the name “Jehovah” in the New Testament, something they are particularly proud of.
This is from Wikipedia:
“Dr. BeDuhn (Truth in Translation pg. 170) wrote of the mainstream practice of making the Old Testament conform to the New in its use of "Lord" and of the NWT practice of making the New Testament conform to the Old in it use of "Jehovah": "Both practices violate accuracy in favor of denominationally preferred expressions for God."”
The big question to me is why anyone would listen to Jason BeDuhn anyway. His Masters degree requires only an intermediate level of competence in Greek. His PhD from the
Finally, is the New World Translation the best translation? Or, for those search engines out there: What is the best bible translation?
Absofreakinglutely not. The guys who wrote the book are the following: Frederick William Franz, George Gangas, Karl Klein, Nathan Knorr, Albert Schroeder, and Milton Henschel. Each and every one of these guys was a Jehovah’s Witness, and all high up Witnesses as well. How is it possible that a group of human beings, who all substantially agree on a particular position not publish a book agreeing with that position and not be biased as the Witnesses claim they were not. I would expect a group of hippies to be in favor of legalizing marijuana and a group of oil tycoons to be in favor of refinery subsidies, wouldn’t you? Therefore, I expect a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses to be for their own translation no matter what kind of bias there was or wasn’t, because they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
“It has been argued that the NWT translators were insufficiently qualified to translate the Bible, with only Franz having formal education in Biblical languages. It has also been argued that the size of the translation committee was very small compared to the number of translators involved in producing most other English translations. These criticisms are disputed by Witnesses, who state that the translation should be examined on its own merits, not on the speculated credentials of its translators.”
Let me ask you this. If I hired Ed and his buddies, all teenage McDonalds employees to build me a house, should I be happy with the end result because it is the right color, or should I take a closer look to make sure they actually did all the framing, electrical, and plumbing to code? Chances are, people who have little experience or education in what they are doing will do a poor job, regardless of what the end result *looks like*. So it is no surprise that when one examines the NWT on its own merits, we find that the hot water valve is on the right side of the sink and when you flip the light switch in the living room, the dish washer comes on.
The NIV I hear, was written by a group of several dozens of people, all whose credentials we know. It contained men and women, from a variety of backgrounds, and I’ve even heard there were one or two atheists and homosexuals among them. It was revised over a period of years by many people of similarly varying backgrounds. It would seem to me that people who disagree would, in the end, come to a more unbiased conclusion than people who agree. Don’t you agree?
Thinking people would agree ;-)