Larry Wessels, director of Christian Answers of Austin, Texas/ Christian Debater (see websites: BibleQuery.org, HistoryCart.com, & MuslimHope.com) was invited to be the guest on "Blog Talk Radio." The radio program is entitled, "Insight on the Word" hosted by Pastor Derek Whitt out of Syracuse, New York. Pastor Whitt invited Larry for his extensive knowledge of Jehovah's Witness theology, doctrine & history (which would include the origins of the 1950 Jehovah's Witness "New World Translation" of the Bible).
The text "THE WORD WAS GOD" (John 1:1) has been a problem for four presidents of Jehovah's Witnesses. Charles Taze Russell (founder) thought he found relief when in 1876 N.H. Barbour, an Adventist, introduced him to Wilson's EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT. Mr. Wilson never studied Biblical Greek in a college. He was a follower of John Thomas who not only denied basic Biblical doctrine but founded his own religion called the "Christadelphians." Thomas nor Wilson believed "THE WORD WAS GOD." In the interlinear feature of his EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT Wilson placed the words "a god" under the Greek word for "GOD" theos. In contradictory fashion, however, Wilson's regular translation feature showed the John 1:1 Greek word "theos" to be translated "the LOGOS was God."
N.H. Knorr, third Jehovah's Witness president & F.W. Franz, the future fourth Jehovah's Witness president, realizing the deficiency of the DIAGLOTT, then decided to translate their own Bible called THE NEW WORLD TRANSLATION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Neither Mr. Knorr or Mr. Franz ever academically studied Biblical or koine Greek. Franz did not graduate from any college or did he receive a Rhodes Scholarship as he had claimed. Besides Knorr & Franz, the rest of the NEW WORLD translation committee consisted of Jehovah's Witness "Governing Body" members Milton Henschel, Albert Schroeder & G.D. Gangas. None of these men were Greek scholars or even proficient in the Biblical languages. Their "TRANSLATION" imposes John 1:1 with "the Word was a god" thus "creating" a second "god." Their KINGDOM INTERLINEAR for John 1:1 says "god was the Word." By this methodology, the Jehovah's Witnesses could force the Biblical text to agree with their preconceived ideas that Jesus was not God Almighty in human flesh but rather simply a created angel named Michael who Jehovah God recreated as a man who eventually ceased to exist after death on a torture stake (rather than a cross).
The Jehovah's Witness leadership, wishing to justify their "translation," turned for support to a man named Johannes Greber who had done his own translation of the Bible called "THE NEW TESTAMENT." Jehovah's Witness publications such as "MAKE SURE OF ALL THINGS", pages 5 & 489, 1965 revision, "AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING", pages 1134 & 1669, 1971 edition, "Watchtower" magazines: 9/15/1962, page 554, 10/15/1975, page 640, 4/15/1976, page 231; see also "Watchtower" February 15,1956 all which confirm the reliability of Johannes Greber. What Jehovah's Witnesses don't say until their April 1, 1983 "Watchtower" is that Greber translated his "Bible" via his spiritistic medium wife who was allegedly in contact with good angels (see Greber's other book entitled, "COMMUNICATION WITH THE SPIRIT WORLD OF GOD"). The Jehovah's Witnesses liked Greber simply because his "translation" rendered John 1:1 the same as theirs despite what Deuteronomy 18:9-14 says about communication with "familiar spirits."
What do actual Greek scholars think of the Jehovah's Witness translation of the Bible? Dr. Julius R. Mantey, who is even recognized by the Jehovah's Witnesses as a Greek scholar in their own publications, says of the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, "a GROSSLY MISLEADING TRANSLATION. It is neither scholarly nor reasonable to translate John 1:1 'the Word was a god.' But of all the scholars in the world, so far as we know, none have translated this verse as Jehovah's Witnesses have done." Dr. Paul L. Kaufman (Portland, OR) says, "The Jehovah's Witness people evidence an abysmal ignorance of the basic tenets of Greek grammar in their mistranslation of John 1:1." Dr. Charles L. Feinberg (La Mirada, CA) says, "I can assure you that the rendering which the Jehovah's Witnesses give John 1:1 is not held by any reputable Greek scholar." The list could go on & on with scholars such as Bruce M. Metzger (Princeton Theological Seminary), Dr. J.J. Griesback, Dr. Eugene A. Nida, Dr. William Barclay, Dr. Ernest C. Colwell, Dr. Harry A. Sturz, etc. all saying the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION by the Jehovah's Witnesses is unreliable & untrustworthy. Scholastic dishonesty is the best description for the Jehovah's Witness bible as they attempt to rewrite the Bible into their own peculiar brand of religious ideas. The Jehovah's Witness' own book, "AID TO BIBLE UNDERSTANDING" perhaps explains why they have produced this NEW WORLD TRANSLATION bible, when on page 1060, under the definition for a LIE they say, "Lying generally involves saying something false to a person who is entitled to know the truth and doing so with the intent to deceive or to injure him or another person."