John 1:1, Part 1

Jehovah's Witnesses say that John 1:1 is mistranslated in all Bibles except their New World Translation. They say the correct translation should be "the Word was a god" rather than '"the Word was God." According to Jehovah's Witnesses, the word "God" doesn't have an article in front of it, so it shouldn't be capitalized.

This shouldn't surprise us. The Jehovah's Witnesses' New World Translation has deliberately mistranslated all verses pertaining to the deity of Christ, including John 1:1, 8:58, 10:33, 14:9, Acts 20:28, Rom. 9:5, Phil. 2:5-6, Col. 1:16, 2:9, Titus 2:13, and Heb. 1:8.

Every Bible translation and version, except for the New World Translation, agree that the passage is correctly translated "the Word was God." Here's why:

1. The word "God" appears 282 times in the Greek without the article (anarthrous) in the New Testament. In order to be consistent with their "a god" translation, the New World Translation (NWT) should translate all anarthrous verses "a god." But this is not what we find. Instead, the NWT translates it "God" a whopping 266 times and god, a god, gods, and godly only 16 times! (The Jehovah's Witnesses' New Testament, Robert H. Countess, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1982, pp. 54-55). This proves the NWT deliberately changed John 1:1 to fit their theology. The verse is correctly translated, "The Word was God."

2. The New World Translation overlooks Colwell's rule in Greek which says, "A definite predicate nominative has the article when it follows the verb; it does not have the article when it precedes the verb." Simply stated, the word "God" doesn't need an article in John 1:1 because in Greek it precedes the verb.

3. In The New World Translation "God" is capitalized in John 1:6, 12, 13, and verse 18 (twice), yet all are without the articles! This proves once again, the committee that translated the NWT deliberately changed John 1:1 to "a god." To this day, the names of the translators of the NWT remain a secret.

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