John 1:1, the Watchtower, & the New World Translation (NWT)

John 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (New American Standard Bible [NASB], italics ours)

The Watchtower Organization has “translated” this Scripture in their New World Translation as:

“In [the] beginning, the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.” (italics ours)

Yet…

This is the announcement by N.H. Knorr and F.W. Franz of the release of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation in 1969 at the “Peace on Earth” International Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses (scroll down for scanned pages highlighting John 1:1 in Watchtower published Bibles).

Note the importance put upon the ability of Witnesses to now be able to understand the literal meaning of the Greek, that it must be a “truthful translation” “free of preconceived ideas on the part of the translator,” and that one doesn’t have to “defer to the pretentions of clergymen.”

This same announcement goes on to mention the Diaglott (scanned pages follow), then back to the value of the Kingdom Interlinear (KIT).

This is the announcement by N.H. Knorr and F.W. Franz of the release of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation in 1969 at the “Peace on Earth” International Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The announcement by N.H. Knorr and F.W. Franz of the release of the Kingdom Interlinear Translation in 1969 at the “Peace on Earth” International Assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses

John 1:1 as rendered in the Watchtower Society’s Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. See the first two lines in the upper left, then compare to the New World Translation in the upper right.

The original Greek says “god was the Word” while the NWT says, “the Word was a god.” “A god” indicates one of many, while “god” indicates but one, a specific one:

This page of the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear (KIT) with John 1:1 and is still available on jw.org, although only the Greek portion.
This page of the Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear (KIT) with John 1:1 and is still available on JW.org,
although only the Greek portion.

The next three scanned images are the cover of the KIT, the title page, and the copyright page.  Scroll beyond these to see the Diaglott.

Cover of the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)
Cover of the Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)
Title page of the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)
Title page of the Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)
Copyright page of the Watchtower's Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)
Copyright page of the Watchtower’s Kingdom Interlinear (KIT)

The Diaglott, published by the WTB&TS, shows John 1:1 translated as “and the Logos [Word] was God” (upper right hand corner).

The Watchtower published the Diaglott to strengthen its rendering of John 1:1.
Notice that while the Greek says "a god," the English does not.
The Watchtower published the Diaglott to strengthen its rendering of John 1:1.
Notice that while the Greek says “a god,” the English does not.

The cover of the Diaglott and the title page:

Cover of Watchtower's publication of the Emphatic Diaglott
Cover of Watchtower’s publication of the Emphatic Diaglott
The Watchtower's publication of the Emphatic Diaglott
The Watchtower’s publication of the Emphatic Diaglott

Conclusion: the WTB&TS, in its own published works above, uses correct translations of John 1:1, all the while continuing to insist that the correct “translation” is “the Word was a god” in their own New World Translation. Why? Because it is vital to their theology that Jesus Christ not be part of the Triune God, the Almighty God, but rather be Michael the Archangel, simply a creation of God.

There is one other “Bible” we are aware of that translates John 1:1 the exact same way the New World Translation (NWT) does. It is Johannes Greber’s New Testament.

So, how many true gods does the Watchtower have? At least 2, Jehovah and Jesus. Therefore, is the Watchtower a polytheist religion? Logically, yes.

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