Kingdom Interlinear Translation and the Deception of
Colossians 2:9 reads in the New World Translation:
because it is in him that all the fullness of the divine
quality dwells bodily
Concerning this verse, MacGregor asks in what can only be
termed a rant:
quality"?? Where is that found in the Greek! Nowhere! It
is a Watchtower invention. In the KIT, under the Greek
text, in the purple edition (1969) , the word is
translated "godship" (Wescott & Hort's correct
translation) but in the navy blue edition (1985) the same
Greek word becomes "divinity". How dare they take the
liberty of altering Greek meanings from edition to
edition, when they have no Greek Scholars?
First of all, as we've already pointed out, we do
have Greek scholars. The existence and quality of the
New World Translation are ample testimony to that.
Now, about the expressions "divinity," "godship," "divine
quality". Is there a major difference
between them? All of them basically refer to the state
or quality of being either God or a god, as is demonstrated
on this page.
In fact, "godship" is not the 'correct translation'
of Westcott & Hort, as though no other translation were
correct. Many respected Greek lexicons have words like
godship, divinity, and deity to define the Greek
The word 'divinity' is defined in authoritative English
dictionaries such as Webster's as 'the quality of being
divine' - which is just another way of saying 'divine
quality'. Thus, the NWT translators have not 'taken
the liberty of altering Greek meanings', as MacGregor
accuses. In fact, it is MacGregor Ministries that have
taken the liberty of falsely bearing witness against the NWT
committee without any proof.
further discussion of Colossians 2:9 can be found on the
page The "Fullness of the Divine
Quality" in Colossians 2:9
Revelation 5:10 -
over the earth (επι της γης,
Revelation 5:10 in the New World Translation reads:
and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God,
and they are to rule as kings over the earth.”
In the Greek text
we find this group reigning UPON the earth, but by the time
the "translation" makes it to the NWT side of the page,
suddenly they are reigning OVER the earth, not UPON it! How
come in other places they left the word "upon" as it was?
(Rev. 5:13 etc. etc.) It takes another Greek word entirely
to mean "OVER". Why the blatant deception?
Again, MacGregor Ministries are overstating their case.
It's true that the Greek word
does mean 'on,' so 'epi tes ges' could mean 'on (the)
earth'. That is why the term appears in the Kingdom
Interlinear at this place. But that is not the
only meaning for the preposition.
Let's examine how some lexicons define
preposition with a basic meaning
on, but with a wide range of meanings according to
the context; I. with the genitive emphasizing
contact; (1) in answer to "where?"
on (LU 2.14); (2) with verbs of motion answering
"to what place? where?" on, in (HE 6.7); (3)
expressing immediate proximity at, by, near (JN
21.1); (4) in legal procedures in the presence of,
before an official court (AC 25.10); (5)
figuratively, related to rule and authority
over (RO 9.5); (6) figuratively; (a) as
giving a basis on the basis or evidence of
(1T 5.19); (b) based on, in view of (LU 4.25); (7)
as relating in historical timing in the time of, under
(the rule of) (MK 2.26);
Liddell & Scott:
of persons in authority,
ο επι των οπλιτων
ο επι των ιππεων
ο επι της διοικησεως
So, MacGregor's statement that "it takes another Greek word
entirely to mean OVER" has been proved to be entirely false.
This is borne out by
even the most cursory examination of some verses in the
Greek Septuagint and the Christian Greek Scriptures
where the word επι,
epi, is used in connection
with the verb βασιλευω,
2 Kings 11:3
και Γοθολια βασιλευουσα επι της
And Athaliah did reign over the land (KJV)
1 Samuel 8:7
εμε εξουδενωκασιν του μη βασιλευειν
επ' αυτων (LXX)
they have rejected me, that I should not reign over
1 Samuel 16:1
καγω εξουδενωκα αυτον μη βασιλευειν
επι Ισραηλ (LXX)
I have rejected him from
reigning over Israel (KJV)
ου θελουμεν τουτον βασιλευσαι εφ'
We will not have this man to
reign over us (KJV)
It is apparent from
these and numerous other cases that epi can be used
after basileuo with the meaning of "rule over" or
Professor Carl Conrad, moderator of the B-Greek
scholarly discussion list, has also acknowledged that 'rule
over the earth' is a possibility for epi tes ges at Revelation 5:10.
He states: "EPI is a preposition that has somewhat
different meanings depending upon what case it is used
with. It basically means 'upon' or 'onto.' With a
dative it can even mean 'on top of (x)' in the sense of
addition to (x).' With a genitive it tends to mean 'on,'
'upon,' 'over' the area coextensive with the noun in the
genitive case: 'And they will be kings upon the surface
of the (whole) earth' = 'And they will exercise kingship
over the (whole) earth.'"
Next, consider some cases where
is translated in this way in the King James Version.
over all his household
over this business
had the charge of
power over waters
Finally, we can examine how a number of other translations
have rendered the phrase epi tes ges in Revelation
επι της γης (epi
over the earth
J. N. Darby
over the earth
Elberfelder Bible (German)
über die Erde (over the earth)
over the earth
Green's Literal Translation
over the earth
over the earth
over the earth
super terram (over the earth)
The falsity of MacGregor's claims can be
seen, then, from three points of view:
Lexicons give 'over' as an acceptable meaning of
The King James Version itself frequently translates
epi as 'over' in contexts relating to authority.
Numerous highly respected translations have the same
expression as the New World Translation at Revelation 5:10.
"Worship" or "Obeisance" to Jesus Christ?
Now let us consider MacGregor's assertion that:
Watchtower's invented term "did obeisance" was given a
definition by them, namely,
of bowing, kneeling, prostrating the body, or making some
other gesture to betoken submission; or simply the paying of
respect. It adequately translates the Hebrew hishta-chawah'
and the Greek pro-sky-ne'o in many cases."
(Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 2, page 523).
is, they have no backing by Greek scholars for this invented
Is it true that
"did obeisance" is a term 'invented' by the Watch Tower
Society, or is this another case of MacGregor Ministries
inventing accusations to try to mislead us?
reproduce the definitions of proskyneo from a number
of Greek lexicons. Judge for
yourself whether MacGregor is telling the truth. Any
further comment is, frankly, superfluous.
The United Bible Societies (UBS) Lexicon gives the
following definitions for proskuneo:
worship; fall down and worship, kneel, bow low, fall at
The Friberg Lexicon states:
(1) from a basic sense bow down to kiss
someone's feet, garment hem, or the ground in front of
him; (2) in the NT of worship or veneration of a divine or
supposedly divine object, expressed concretely with falling
face down in front of someone worship, venerate, do
Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon
Plut.:-to make obeisance to the
gods, fall down and worship, to worship, adore, ...
of the Oriental fashion of making the
salam or prostrating oneself before kings and
The renowned Greek-English
Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian
Literature, by Bauer, Danker, Arndt,
Gingrich, 3rd edition, (BDAG) gives the following
Freq. used to designate the custom of prostrating oneself
before persons and kissing their feet or the hem of their
garment, the ground, etc.; the Persians did this in the
presence of their deified king, and the Greeks before a
divinity or someth. holy.) to express in attitude or
gesture one’s complete dependence on or submission to a
high authority figure, (fall down and) worship, do
obeisance to, prostrate oneself before, do reverence to,
that such respect is paid:
to human beings, but by this act they are to be recognized
as belonging to a superhuman realm ... —Jesus, who is
rendered homage as Messianic king and helper.
By now, you
may have noticed a difference between what respected
lexicographers say about proskyneo and what MacGregor
However, MacGregor does not stop there. The site adds:
problem for them is that many dictionaries list "obeisance"
as a definition of "worship"!
dictionaries? Perhaps they would have been more
convincing had they stated their sources. Here are the
definitions of 'worship' and 'obeisance' according to four
well-known English dictionaries, two American and two
: reverence offered a divine being or
supernatural power; also : an act of
expressing such reverence
3 : a form of religious practice with its
creed and ritual
: a movement of the body made in token of respect
or submission :
Dictionary of the English Language
The reverent love and devotion accorded a deity, an
idol, or a sacred object. b. The ceremonies,
prayers, or other religious forms by which this love is
expressed. 2. Ardent devotion; adoration.
A gesture or movement of the body, such as a curtsy,
that expresses deference or homage. 2. An
attitude of deference or homage.
to have or show a strong
feeling of respect and admiration for God or a god:
to go to a religious
respect, or something you do which expresses this:
One by one the noblemen
made their obeisances
(= bent at the waist)
to the Queen.
honour or revere as a supernatural being or power or as
a holy thing; to adore with appropriate acts, rites, or
honour; to regard or treat with honour or respect; to
salute, bow down to.
respectful salutation; a bow or curtsy
seems clear from this sampling of dictionaries that worship
and obeisance are separate and distinct concepts.
Plumbing the depths of poor taste and publicizing their
ignorance even further, MacGregor Ministries resort to
Sometimes the Society just can't keep their deceptions
straight with each other! Such an example is Hebrews 1:6 in
the Purple KIT. Here they put "obeisance" on the
Greek/English side and "worship" on the NWT side! What a
hoot! If you're going to mistranslate, at least try to be
consistent! They had to scramble around and correct their
boo-boo in the 1985 navy-blue edition where they hastily did
away with the worship of Jesus.
Thus, MacGregor Ministries apparently feel that the Watch
Tower Society simply didn't notice that the left column said
obeisance and the right-hand column worship - hardly likely
in view of the doctrinal significance of the term. The
Watch Tower Society has long recognized the range of meaning
of both the Greek verb proskuneo
and the English verb worship, which itself
historically meant to bow down. The Society has
nothing to hide and to this day has the alternative reading
"worship him" in the New World Translation Reference
Bible - With Footnotes. Unlike MacGregor
Ministries, the Watch Tower Society has humbly and
reasonable acknowledged that the verb can have more than one
meaning. Explaining how that is the case, The
Watchtower of 15 January 1992 commented:
prefers the rendering “worship,” such worship is relative,
for Jesus told Satan: “It is Jehovah your God you must
worship [form of pro·sky·ne´o], and it is to him
alone you must render sacred service.”—Matthew 4:8-10.
Ministries accuse the Watch Tower Society of deception, but
in fact, it is McGregor who is being deceptive.
Scholarly knowledge is easily available to everyone in our
time through lexicons, grammars, commentaries and computer
software, often free of charge at public library facilities.
There is really no excuse for making such wild accusations
without checking them out first.
For a further
discussion of the meaning of proskuneo, please see
Worship or Obeisance?.
1 - Part 2 -
"Yet these men are abusive
in matters of which they know nothing" -
Jude 10, Weymouth.