Watch Tower Society Pushes Bible Production and Distribution
IN addition to publishing explanations of Bible truths, the Society has accomplished a significant work in producing and distributing Bibles.
In 1896 it published in English The New Testament, by Rotherham, 12th edition.
In 1901 it published the Holman Linear Bible with the Society’s own marginal notes.
In 1902 it became the copyright owner of the Greek-English interlinear edition of the Christian Greek Scriptures entitled The Emphatic Diaglott, by Benjamin Wilson.
In 1907 it published and circulated extensively the Bible Students Edition of the King James Version, which contained 500 pages of appendix material prepared by the brothers.
By 1942 the Society was doing its own printing and produced on its own presses copies of the King James Version with marginal references and a concordance prepared by brothers.
In 1944 it printed the American Standard Version of 1901 featuring the divine name, Jehovah.
In 1972 it published Byington’s The Bible in Living English also featuring the name Jehovah.
The most extensive project has been the result of very close cooperation between the Watch Tower Society and the group of anointed Witnesses making up the New World Bible Translation Committee. Thus:
In 1950, the Society released in modern English the first volume of the New World Translation, the Christian Greek Scriptures. By 1960 five volumes of the Hebrew Scriptures were completed thus making a series of six volumes altogether. In 1961 the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was published in one volume.
In 1969 the Society published The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures, which presented under the Greek text by Westcott and Hort a literal word-for-word translation into English.
In 1971 a revised edition of the New World Translation was produced in larger print with footnotes and an appendix.
In 1984 there was released the New World Translation Reference Bible, containing extensive marginal and footnote references, a word index and appendix material.
And the Society has just recently produced the regular-size edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures with marginal references.
The Society is continuing its interest in Bible publication and distribution. Already work is being done to produce a small pocket Bible, which has been the desire of many of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In addition, for all those with limited eyesight work is proceeding on a truly large-print edition of the New World Translation in four volumes.
The Society has published the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, and additional languages are on the way. It has published the Christian Greek Scriptures in Danish, Finnish and Swedish; additional language translations are being made.
So during the past 34 years the Watch Tower Society has published the New World Translation, in part or in its entirety, in ten additional languages, with total printing and distribution surpassing 40 million copies.
But with all its effort in the area of Bible production and distribution, the Watch Tower Society still puts its greatest effort into the publication and distribution of printed explanations of Bible truths. It also provides personal instruction in the Bible for all who wish to have it and this without any payment whatsoever. As stated in its charter:
“The purposes of this Society are . . . to authorize and appoint agents, servants, employees, teachers, instructors, evangelists, missionaries and ministers to go forth to all the world publicly and from house to house to preach and teach Bible truths to persons willing to listen by leaving with such persons said literature and by conducting Bible studies thereon; to improve men, women and children mentally and morally by Christian ministry work and by charitable and benevolent instruction of the people on the Bible and incidental subjects.”
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The primary purpose of the Watch Tower Society is to provide Bible instruction for all who wish to have it