Exchange of Letters Regarding “New World Translation”
October 18, 1950
New World Bible Translation Committee
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Last week I purchased a copy of your New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures of which I take pride in being an owner. You have done a marvelous work.
I was happy, indeed, to see the name Jehovah in it. It would have made me happier if you had given the name as precisely as possible and so used the word Yahweh. Since this is God’s “name forever” and His “memorial to all generations”, it is evident that it should appear in every place the King James Version uses the word LORD (in small capital letters) and where the Revised Version uses the name Jehovah.
In 1931 I wrote a folder in which I outlined a few things that need to be restored, one of which was the Divine Name! While I had no evidence that it was used in the Septuagint or in any copies of the Greek Christian Scriptures, I felt compelled, from the Old Testament evidence, that it should be used by Christians of today and that much had been lost by the suppression of the Name through the centuries. I even ventured the assertion that some day a New Testament would be gotten out in which the Name would be boldly printed. Your long step in that direction should lead to a widespread conviction in its favor.
I am sending you under separate cover a booklet of which I am the editor entitled “Order”. I believe that if you will read the two articles by F. W. Emmons entitled “The Fellowship” and the one by myself entitled “Facts About Acts 2:42” you will make some revision of your rendering of that passage in future editions.
But you have made a marvelous step in the right direction, and I pray God that your Version will be used to His glory. What you have done for the Name alone is worth all the effort and cost!
Please pardon this intrusion on your time.
J. D. P., Editor
P.S. I am glad you have unmasked the clergy’s criticism of your work. They surely knew the facts as to 1 John 5:7! In 1947 I published a book by the late Gilbert O. Nations exposing the clergy.
October 31, 1950
Mr. J. D. Phillips
2305 E. First St.
This acknowledges yours of the 18th instant.
As publishers of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures, we wish to express our deep appreciation of your kind words with reference to this Translation. We can sense therein your own love of God’s Word in its purity and your honest desire to have it set forth in its most faithful form that it may aid others to gain the divine truth.
Thank you, too, for sending us your book, “ORDER: The Commission and The Items of Worship.” We are glad to have it on file, especially with its compilation of what has been said by these several individuals regarding Acts 2:42 and related scriptures. We have gone through it, especially reading the article “The Fellowship No. 2”, by F. W. Emmons, and also the article “Facts About Acts 2:42” by yourself. What these articles say on koinonía has some claims for recognition, and a footnote at Acts 2:42 could have done so, showing the possible rendering “the contribution”, as it appears in the main text of The Emphatic Diaglott, of which we are also the publishers. This would take its place alongside the other footnote, “to the breaking of the bread.” While the Translation Committee prefers the rendering appearing in the main text, the footnotes show another possible or allowable rendering and the reader is thus left to choose what to him appears the preferential reading according to his own study and understanding of the sacred text.
Your prayer in behalf of the new Version is noted and appreciated, and if by the circulation of this Version we can serve toward men’s greater love and grasp of God’s Word and the glorifying of his holy name, we shall be most grateful indeed to him.
Very sincerely yours,
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY