The Watchtower and Jehovah's Witness apologists have often cited scholars in support of the New World Translation in general, and particularly its rendering of John 1:1c ("and the Word was a god").Scholarly citation is a form of an "argument from authority." Such an argument cannot establish the truth or falsity of a given assertion; it can merely lend credence or cast doubt.
When Jehovah's Witnesses produce scholars that support the NWT, we must first establish that the scholar is, indeed, a recognized expert in the field of Biblical Languages, and that he or she has been quoted accurately.
When given careful consideration, many of the scholars used by Jehovah's Witnesses do not actually constitute a sound argument from authority.
I'm not suggesting that no scholars may be found in support of the NWT or its translation of John 1:1, but these are in the minority and often are not as qualified in their field as the scores of scholars who advocate the traditional translation.
In the chart, below, we will examine how some scholars have been used in defense of the NWT and whether they actually support the Watchtower translation as claimed.
It is not my intent to be exhaustive; however I've tried to cover the scholars most often cited; I think you'll find that any omissions will be obscure scholars that are not generally recognized as authoritative in the scholarly community. AWlosk, Rmischer Kaiserkult '78." BDAG agrees that Ignatius frequently called Christ QEOS.
If you know of a prominent scholar that I've missed, please let me know so that I may include him/her in a future revision of this article. Odd, isn't it, that once the field of texts goes outside the Bible the author (s) feel no need to offer an explanation for the designation of Christ as QEOS?When Barclay says that John didn't write that "Jesus was God," he merely means that Jesus was not God the Father. All in all, the BDAG entry here is seriously deficient, both in its argumentation and in its scholarship.That Barclay sees an ontological unity between ho theos and ho logos is apparent in the following passage omitted from the Watchtower article:"The only modern translator who fairly and squarely faced this problem is Kenneth Wuest, who said: 'The Word was as to his essence, essential deity.' But it is here that the NEB has brilliantly solved the problem with the absolutely correct rendering: 'What God was the Word was'" (Barclay, p. Still, I think you will have to disagree with it on at least a couple of texts.23)."The Watchtower article has, by judicious cutting, made me say the opposite of what I meant to say. It is true that Becker renders John 1:1c in German as "ein Gott," and he appears to have done so on the basis of the anarthrous theos.What I was meaning to say, as you well know, is that Jesus is not the same as God, to put it more crudely, that is of the same stuff as God, that is of the same being as God, but the way the Watchtower has printed my stuff has simply left the conclusion that Jesus is not God in a way that suits themselves. But if one reads his accompanying commentary, it is clear that he does not regard the Logos as "a god" in the way the Watchtower does.If they missed from their answer the translation of Kenneth Wuest and the N. B., they missed the whole point" (A letter to Donald P. Joh 1,1 states at the very point of the Originating Expression this fact: That the Logos was in the Beginning; that is, at the creation of the world, he already was...