Known as the silver sword because of its colour, this is not an update it is a new translation.
With a new translation philosophy and approach. We will look at various features of this
edition and make comments from more than one perspective.
THE bare facts.
Sturdy but soft grey cover, with the wording inset into the binding and not printed on it. A
new WT invented font and crisp layout with even presentation. This is different to the old
NWT which originally had uneven and untidy typesetting. Launched with an ‘app’ (JW app
)which also includes other bibles from the watchtower, this NWT is not just a revision it is
effectively a new translation.
Features of the Bible
Full bible with centre references, summary (outline of contents) of each book in advance. At
the front is a section of 20 questions that people ask with colour drawings and short answers.
at the rear is a concordance and a glossary of terms. following this the usual various charts
and maps with two important (for the JWs) chapters on the divine name in the Hebrew and. Greek scriptures.
Differences to the ‘old’ NWT.
The most significant difference is that the translation has moved on the scale from being
like youngs literal translation to something that approximates to the NIV or perhaps the
HCSB. The old ‘one word in Greek/Hebrew is translated as one word in English’. Has gone,
although it never existed anyway (when proskuneo refers to Jehovah it was always translated
as worship but when referring to Jesus was translated as ‘do obeisance ‘), the old distinction
for plural second person pronouns like YOU and YOURS has also gone. Many words have
been modernised , the use of ‘kidneys’. To translate literally the Hebrew word has now been
sensibly changed to expressions like ‘ innermost feelings’. make no mistake, this is no Good
news bible or NLT, it is still not flowing but is an improvement on the past. Wherever there
is some textual uncertainty have not been put in smaller print or footnotes included…..they
have been omitted entirely!! That includes the story of the woman caught in adultery in John
8 and the endings of mark. It is apparent that absolute certainty is what the WT requires. It
is notable that there are no textual notes at all …. ‘Most early mss say…’ Or ‘ a few late mss
include…’, none of that at all. If the NWT wants to be taken seriously outside of its own circles
they really should include some notes reflecting the reality underneath the text. It is apparent
that the organisation has spoken and that is the way it is. All the brackets have been removed
in Coll 1 Around (other). This is a retrograde step but suits the WT purpose in reinforcing its
view of the deity of Christ.
If I was a JW……
I would think that this new NWT is a big improvement on previous editions. Great helps and
references and the extra colour pages are a plus. However I think many JWs will struggle
getting used to the non literal approach which is a massive change to previously. The new
JW app is easy to use and would disturb many JWs though as the translations included are
the Old study edition of the NWT plus the ASV, Byingtons, Kingdom Interlinear, KJV and
the new NWT. If a JW checks any contentious passages (Coll 1, Php 2, John 1v1, the use of
Jehovah in the NT etc) with the app, the ASV , KJV and byingtons will inevitably disagree
with the NWT, so will the Interlinear part of the KIT as well (see John 14v14 as an example).
Eagle eyed reviewers will notice a typesetting or layout mistake as well.In numbers 32v14-
16. On page 266. Compare the header with the reference on p277. It would be easy to think I
am being picky. But for a loyal JW this small error can be unsettling and it has caused a bit of
a stir in some JW circles.
Same old,same old?
All the usual errors are included in this translation. Notably the insertion of Jehovah into the
pages of the NT is utterly unfounded. The article at the back of the translation shows pictures
of OT passages in Hebrew and some editions of the LXX (the Greek OT). This is misleading
and is a bit of a smokescreen, it also shows a page from the emphatic diagnostic and an
Hawaiian translation! these of course are simply no evidence at all that ‘JEHOVAH’ should
be in the text of the NT. Let me repeat this…. There is not a single manuscript of the NT that
has Jehovah or Yahweh (a more correct translation) or YHWH in it……zero, zip, zilch! The
NWT stands utterly alone in this respect and even Jason Beduhn who in the past has made
a few favorable comments about the NWT severely criticized the NWT for falsely inserting
Well, that is my brief review of the ‘new’ NWT, parts of it will be translated into perhaps 300
languages by the WT, what they don’t realise is that mainstream Christians have translated
the bible into 2000 languages with greater volume and distribution than the NWT. JWs will
consider the NWT to be the most accurate of all translations , the evidence shows otherwise.