Questions From Readers
● The King James or Authorized Version Bible says at Revelation 13:1: “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea.” But the New World Translation does not show John standing on the seashore. It says: “And it stood still upon the sand of the sea. And I saw a wild beast ascending out of the sea.” Why so?—F. H., United States.
The New World Translation renders Revelation 13:1, “And it stood still upon the sand of the sea,” because, as stated in the Foreword of this translation, the Greek text upon which this translation is based is that of Westcott and Hort, which is about the best text of the original Greek. Westcott and Hort reads “it” or “he,” referring to the dragon out of heaven discussed in chapter 12, rather than “I,” referring to the apostle John. The oldest Greek manuscripts also read “it” or “he,” besides the still older Greek papyrus No. P-47, of the third century A.D.
Other modern translations recognize that it is the dragon, not John, that is shown standing on the seashore. The Revised Standard Version says, “And he stood on the sand of the sea,” and puts this expression at the end of the seventeenth verse of chapter twelve. The Catholic Confraternity and Knox’s Catholic translations put the expression in an eighteenth verse in chapter twelve, the former saying, “And he stood upon the sand of the sea,” and the latter saying, “And he stood there waiting on the sea beach.”
● The Chart of Outstanding Historical Dates in the back of the book “New Heavens and a New Earth” shows Abraham born in 2018 B.C., and cites Genesis 11:26: “And Terah lived on for seventy years, after which he became father to Abram [Abraham], Nahor and Haran.” But does not this show that Terah was seventy when Abraham was born? And since Terah was seventy in 2078 B.C., would that year not be Abraham’s time of birth?—M. B., United States.
While still in Ur Abraham was told by Jehovah to move to a land God would show him. He departed for this land, for Canaan, accompanied by his father Terah. Arriving at Haran, they camped for a time, and there Terah died at the age of 205 years. But at this time Abraham was seventy-five years old, according to the Bible account. (Gen. 11:32; 12:4) That means that Terah was 130 years old when Abraham was born, rather than seventy years old. It is true that Terah began to father his sons in his seventieth year, and it is also true that Abraham is named first of the three, but this does not necessarily prove that he was the first one of the three born. To argue that he was would make the Bible wrong when it indicates Abraham was seventy-five when his father died at the age of 205. Others, because of their prominence or faithfulness, were named first in a listing of offspring even though they were not first-borns. In making record of Abraham’s sons Isaac’s name is given before that of the older son Ishmael: “The sons of Abraham were Isaac and Ishmael.” (1 Chron. 1:28) Also Shem is listed first among Noah’s sons, but the evidence indicates that Japheth was Noah’s first-born. Hence the order of listing offspring is not always on the basis of age, and we know it was not in the case of Terah’s sons, as shown by other Bible texts.
The substance of your word is truth, and every righteous judicial decision of yours is to time indefinite.—Ps. 119:160.