Jehovah’s Witness Bible Good?!

The Human BibleBiblical scholar Robert Price has recently started an excellent podcast called The Human Bible. It is a non-religious look at the Bible. I really like it because it explains the bible the same way one would any historically important book. It doesn’t require God to understand what the Bible is and how it was written. And Price is a real gem, because he truly loves the Bible. I’m not sure I can say the same thing for most Christians because they don’t really see the Bible as it is because of how they cloak it with their preconceptions about God. With the United States Constitution, most people admit that the slavery clauses were wrong. But with the Bible’s acceptance of slavery, most people just avoid the issue. If you are really going to appreciate the Bible, you have to admit that it approves of slavery not because God is mysterious but because the people at that time thought that slavery was just fine.

Wednesday marked the 11th episode of The Human Bible. In it, Price discussed different English translations of the Bible and he had a feature about the New World Translation—the Bible of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I had heard that the JW Bible was really bad. According to Price, this is not true. He says it is a very accurate:

The New World Translation is amazingly accurate in many places where the supposedly more legitimate translations are not… Charles Taze Russell—the son of a hell fire preacher—feeling he had to take a second look. He said, “I cannot believe the Bible teaches what dad says from the pulpit.” So he took a fresh new look at the thing and the doctrines he came up with were rather different and I think he had the better of the argument.

Note that Robert Price has no dog in this fight. He was once a Baptist pastor but is now an atheist. I’ve read several of his books and I always find him pretty even handed. And always interesting.

If you are at all interested in the Bible, I recommend listening to The Human Bible. It explains a whole lot about the Bible and (more important) its place in our culture. Price is also quite funny. He loads up his podcasts with lots of popular culture references. And whenever quoting God from the Bible, he rightly uses the only appropriate voice: Charlton Heston.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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