Monday, August 11, 2008

Who Is Johannes Greber?

The Watchtower Bible & Tract society has always sought scholarly support for its theology. The trouble is, sometimes they have difficulty finding it. In several Watchtower publications, the Society cites a work of Johannes Greber as supporting its theology. (See below) Greber's stand on many major doctrines is identical to that of the Watchtower society. He does not believe in the Trinity and denies that Jesus is God.
In His own translation of the New Testament, Greber translates John 1:1 in a way strikingly similar to the Society's NEW WORLD TRANSLATION. He calls Jesus, or the Word, a god, rather than God. Both Watchtower publications, MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS, page 489, and THE WORD WHO IS HE ACCORDING TO JOHN, page 5, quote his translation to support their own rendering of that verse.
A look into Greber's background proves most enlightening. In 1923, Greber, a Roman Catholic priest, became interested in communication with spirit beings. These spirits often spoke through his wife, a spirit medium, and told him the Bible was full of errors. The Bible clearly forbids all contact with demons professing to bring messages from God. Knowing this, the Society has even attempted to hinder research about Greber by informing inquirers writing them in 1981, that they do not know where his new Testament can be obtained.
The Watchtower Society first began quoting Greber's translation on John 1:1 in 1962. To show the depths of their deception and that they knew what they were doing, we find that six years earlier, in the 1956 Watchtower, page 111, the Society mentions Greber and warns readers against his demon-inspired translation!
We would like to add our own warning for all Jehovah's Witnesses and Bible believers. Beware of the Watchtower's own NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, for it has been tainted by the teachings of demons.
1 - THE WORD, WHO IS HE? -- ACCORDING TO JOHN, 1962, p. 5;
2 - AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING, 1971, pp. 1134, 1669;
3 - MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS, 1965, p. 489;
4 - WATCHTOWER, September 15, 1962, p. 554,
5 - WATCHTOWER, October 15, 1975, p. 640;
6 - WATCHTOWER, April 15, 1976, p. 231.


Anonymous said...

And let's say that all your accusation are true, then I am ready to convert now. Please point me to the truth, not just better than the WTBS but hold the only truth and the one that you will never criticize or condemn.

Please tell me your church or whatever God you praise and serve. I will follow you. Please I beg you.

Governing Body Letters said...

It may seem incomprehensible how the Witnesses could ignore the implications of each disconfirmation. Outsiders view the Witnesses as lacking common sense for not leaving the organization after numerous failures. They fail to understand the dynamics of mind control as used by cults. Even many ex-JWs fail to understand that the further disconfirmation of the importance of 1914 and "this generation" will not seriously affect the numbers of those swelling the ranks of the Watchtower. The results of mind control and unquestioning obedience will have the same effect today as it did in Russell's day. His view was, "Where else can we go?" Harrison writes regarding this attitude,

"That, of course, is one of the keys to survival of the organization Russell founded on soft mysticism, glorious visions and worldly disaffection. The Witnesses had nowhere else to go. Their investment in their religion was total; to leave it would have meant spiritual and emotional bankruptcy. They were not equipped to function in a world without certainty. It was their life. To leave it would be a death."

This same dependency-unto-death phenomena is at work in thousands of cults all over the world. People wondered at Jonestown: "Why didn't they leave when they saw what Jim Jones was becoming?" The people of Jonestown answered by their actions, "Where else would we go?" They had burned their bridges to follow their Messiah unto death.

Ronde said...

So does that mean that Jesus is no longer the son of God but is God?

Ronde said...

This topic is one of the most meaningless accusations.

It was simply another text or translation that agreed. No one argues whether it is right or wrong.
They just argue of him being a spirit medium.

To back to the question: Does it mean that Jesus is God?

OH, BTW, you are the only one following the Watchtower.

Anonymous said...

"*** w83 4/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***

Questions From Readers

■ Why, in recent years, has The Watchtower not made use of the translation by the former Catholic priest, Johannes Greber?

This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52, 53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on “God’s Spirit World” to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: “His wife, a medium of God’s Spiritworld was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God’s Messengers to Pastor Greber.” The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) The scholarship that forms the basis for the rendering of the above-cited texts in the New World Translation is sound and for this reason does not depend at all on Greber’s translation for authority. Nothing is lost, therefore, by ceasing to use his New Testament."

Since the rendering of John 1:1 as found in the New World Translation is supported by other scholars who do not claim to be "communicating with spirits" then how can it be claimed that the translation is tainted by spiritism? I find it admirable that Jehovah's Witnesses take steps to correct what may have been considered by some to be improper. Since you seem to have the "inside scoop", why is it you didn't include this quote from the Watchtower? Could it be because you don't want the whole picture to be revealed? By the way, Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to be perfect and do not claim to have never gone down the wrong path for a while. They DO take steps to correct matters when a more correct understanding is gained. You, meanwhile, are wasting your life trying to dredge up every twisted misrepresentation of who and what Jehovah's Witnesses are. How sad for you.

Governing Body Letters said...

The "Questions From Readers" are made up. They are not real. This was simply the Watchtower's way of explaining the use of Greber's translation after some brothers learned that he was a spirit medium. It is not my goal to misrepresent the Watchtower, but using their own words to excuse themselves is simply getting their side of the matter. The Watchtower's words are tainted with untruth.

Ronde said...


"By the way, Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to be perfect "

Hey, Speak for yourself. I am a JW who claims to be perfect.

Ronde said...

GBLetters said: "It is not my goal to misrepresent the Watchtower, but using their own words to excuse themselves is simply getting their side of the matter. The Watchtower's words are tainted with untruth."

Well you do a good job at something not your goal. You also misrepresent JWs.

Anonymous said...

So I guess it is okay for gbl to quote the Watchtower when he/she can twist it around to suit his/her purpose, but using the Watchtower to refute the lies is not allowed. Hmmm. That's logical. NOT!

kimmy jo said...

i think ronde secretly writes some of the literature for the watchtower. she will quote out of context and put a different spin on the meaning of what was actually said. quite often she misses the point or does she just completely ignore it? she speaks in a blither, like the watchtower. good job rondie girl.

Tom Rook said...

I have strongly suspected for years that the "questions from readers" are mad up, and not real questions from readers.

A question I would like to have answered is "What is the whole truth about the Society's 9-1/2 year association with the United Nations?"

That having been said, my bookcase contains many books that I vehemently disagree with the stuff in them, and yes, they are "reference books".

I do refer to them for selected ideas, but do not stuff the whole thing in my mouth and chew 100 times.

I also have dozens of bound copies of "Soldier of Fortune" magazines, but as historical references of various conflicts, not as a "how to" manual.

If Bill Gates was a spiritist, a nazi sympathizer, and a cannibal, if I quoted something from a Windows XP manual, would that make me one?

Only in the Bizarro World of the terminally bitter.


Watchtower Defence said...

People who complain about the WT sighting Greber often do so to say that The NWT translation committee based the rendering of John 1:1 on Grebers Bible. That is pure hogwash.

When the original 1950 NT. NWT was released, they did not use Greber's Bible, but other Bibles as well as accepted rules Greek Gramma. In the Appendix of the 1950 NWT we find that they refer to only 2 other Bibles . “The Complete Bible” An American Translation; “A New Translation of the Bible” by By J Moffatt. For proof of the Gramma they refer to “A manual Gramma of the Greek New Testament” by Danna amd Mantey; “Handbook to the Grammar of the Greek New Testament” by Samuel Green; “Grammar Of The Greek New Testament In The Light Of Historical Research” by A. T. Robertson,

They NEVER “aligned themselves” with, nor embraced Greber. Yes they did say that his Bible also had the same rendering of “and the word was a god”. That is NOT aligning it self with Greber any more than that when Greber agrees with the KJV. In fact, Greber's NT has far more in common with the KJV than the NWT.

Greber was once a Catholic Priest and it is not unusual for Catholics to be involved in specialistic practices. Like many professed Catholics, he was convinced that the spirit world (good and bad) had an effect on mankind. In his book “COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD ITS LAWS AND PURPOSE “ - Personal Experiences of a Catholic Priest by JOHANNES GREBER, - Greber sets aside about 30 pages discussing “The Part Played by the Spirits in the Lives of a Protestant and a Catholic Clergyman in the 19th Century”

WE understand that Greber was using the “wrong” spirit world (the world of demons) but he honestly believed that the spirits that “helped” him (via his wife) were the “good”, not “bad” spirits.

Greber original produced his Bible in German. He writes in the introduction of the English translation the following (capitals mine for emphasis)

"In my German translation I made it my chief concern to reproduce the exact meaning of the Greek text IN GOOD SIMPLE GERMAN, so that people of limited education may be able to understand every sentence without difficulty. The translation of the German original into English WAS MADE A PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATOR, CORRECTED BY A COMMITTEE OF AMERICAN CLERGYMEN WHO ARE PERFECTLY VERSED IN BOTH LANGUAGES, AND THOROUGHLY REVISED BY A TEACHER so that not only the exact MEANING of the German text is found in the English translation, but also the same simplicity of language."

What we have in English is a "meaning for meaning" translation of Greber's original, not a word-for-word translation.

As far as John 1:1. Greber's German reads: "Im Anfang war das Wort, und das Wort war bei Gott; und ein 'Gott' war das Wort." ( NOTE:
'Gott' is original)

Translated into English, this SHOULD read,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and a 'God' was the Word."

However, the English-translated Greber actually reads:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God; and the Word was a god."

Now, please, Take note of the Capitalisation and the controvertible word order of clause C.

German Greber "and a 'God' was the Word."

English Greber "and the Word was a god."

Noticed the difference in the word “ 'God' ” and “god” that the English translators did.