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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The New World Translation

A “Remarkably Good” Translation:

ACCORDING to one count, as many as 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures were published between 1952 and 1990. Translators’ choices mean that no two read alike. In order to assess the reliability of the translators’ work, Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., examined and compared for accuracy eight major translations, including the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The result?

While critical of some of its translation choices, BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation “is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available” and “the most accurate of the translations compared." — Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure “to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.” On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of “the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers."
As the New World Bible Translation Committee acknowledges in the foreword to its work, it is “a very responsible thing” to translate the Holy Scriptures from their original languages into modern speech. The Committee goes on to say: “The translators of this work, who fear and love the Divine Author of the Holy Scriptures, feel toward Him a special responsibility to transmit his thoughts and declarations as accurately as possible.

Since its first publication in 1961, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures has been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions. The Christian Greek Scriptures of the New World Translation, or the “New Testament,” is available in an additional 18 languages plus one Braille edition. We invite you to read God’s Word in this modern and “remarkably good” translation, perhaps in your own language. - December 1, 2004 Watchtower, WTB&TS
- Professor Jason D. BeDuhn, Ph.D.

—Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament.

“It Is the Best Interlinear New Testament Available”

THAT is how Dr. Jason BeDuhn describes The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures. He explains:

“I have just completed teaching a course for the Religious Studies Department of Indiana University, Bloomington, [U.S.A.] . . . This is primarily a course in the Gospels. Your help came in the form of copies of The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures which my students used as one of the textbooks for the class. These small volumes were invaluable to the course and very popular with my students.” Why does Dr. BeDuhn use the Kingdom Interlinear translation in his college courses? He answers:
“Simply put, it is the best interlinear New Testament available. I am a trained scholar of the Bible, familiar with the texts and tools in use in modern biblical studies, and, by the way, not a member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But I know a quality publication when I see one, and your ‘New World Bible Translation Committee’ has done its job well. Your interlinear English rendering is accurate and consistent to an extreme that forces the reader to come to terms with the linguistic, cultural, and conceptual gaps between the Greek-speaking world and our own. Your ‘New World Translation’ is a high quality, literal translation that avoids traditional glosses in its faithfulness to the Greek. It is, in many ways, superior to the most successful translations in use today.”
The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures is published by Jehovah’s Witnesses to help lovers of God’s Word get acquainted with the original Greek text of the Bible. It contains The New Testament in the Original Greek on the left-hand side of the page (compiled by B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort). A literal word-for-word English translation is found under the lines of Greek text. In the narrow right-hand column is the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which allows you to compare the interlinear translation with a modern English translation of the Bible. - February 1, 1998 Watchtower, WTB&TS

The "New World Translation" Scholarly and Honest

In fact, the New World Translation is a scholarly work. In 1989, Professor Benjamin Kedar of Israel said:

"In my linguistic research in connection with the Hebrew Bible and translation, I often refer to the English edition as what is known as the New World Translation. In doing so, I find my feeling repeatedly confirmed that this kind of work reflects an honest endeavor to achieve an understanding of the text that is as accurate as possible. Giving evidence of a broad command of the original language, it renders the original words into a second language understandably without deviating unnecessarily from the specific structure of the Hebrew....Every statement of language allows for a certain latitude in interpreting or translating. So the linguistic solution in any given case may be open to debate. But I have never discovered in the New World Translation any biased intent to read something into the text that it does not contain." - March 1, 1991 Watchtower, WTB&TS

Following this quotation of Professor Kedar's comments in the above WT article, he received much mail from those who wanted to know if he had been quoted correctly and by those who had a different view point from his. He replied to some, but, from a certain time, sent out a statement instead. We possess a copy, which he had kindly sent to us in November, 1995, which we will print out in it's entirety-the Professor had signed it and in his own writing had written, "permission to be published is granted only if quoted in full!". You will be able to see that this Professor has his own views on religion and religious groups, large or small, including Jehovah's Witnesses. The main point however should not be lost. This Professor is a scholar in his own right and has expressed an opinion in regard to a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures-The New World Translation. Judge for yourselves what that opinion is. Herewith is that statement. All we ask is that you read it carefully. Where you see square brackets those words therein are ours. They are only to aid the reader with the meaning of terms they might not be familiar with. We have also smaller cased his statement after section 1) only to high-light that which is the pertinent section to the title of this page:

"Since several individuals and institutions have addressed me concerning the following matter, I make this statement; henceforth it will be sent instead of a personal letter to anyone appealing to me to clarify my position.

1) Several years ago I quoted the so-called New World Translation among several Bible versions in articles that dealt with purely philological [pertaining to the study/science of languages] questions (such as the rendition of the causative hiphil, of the particple qotel). In the course of my comparative studies I found the NWT rather illuminating: it gives evidence of an acute awareness of the structural characteristics of hebrew as well as an honest effort to faithfully render these in the target [English] language. A translation is bound to be a compromise, and as such it's details are open to criticism; this applies to the NWT too. In the portion corresponding to the hebrew Bible, however, I have never come upon an obviously erroneous rendition which would find it's explanation in a dogmatic bias. Repeatedly I have asked the antagonists of the Watchtower-Bible who turned to me for a clarification of my views, to name specific verses for a renewed scrutiny. This was either not done or else the verse submitted (e.g. Genesis 4:13, 6:3, 10:9, 15:5, 18:20 etc.) did not prove the point, namely a tendentious [with a purposed aim/biased] translation.
2) I beg to make clear that I do not feel any sympathy for any sect and this includes Jehovah's Witnesses. Of course, my mistrust is not directed against the individual member of such sect but rather against the organisation that manipulates him and puts forward its dogmas and rules as the ultimate truth. It should be conceded, however, that the groups and organisations that fiercely oppose the witnesses do not behave any better. On the whole, synagogue, church and mosque also tend to exhibit dogmatic arrogance coupled with intolerance of and enmity with other confessions.

3) I cannot help expressing my deep conviction that the search for truth will never benefit by linguistic quibble. Whether the author using the word naephaesh denoted 'soul' as opposed to body (Lev 17:11) or meant something else, whether 'almah' means 'virgin' or 'young woman'(Is 7:14) is of great interest to philologists and historians of religion; an argument for or against blood transfusion or the virgin-birth of Jesus respectively, cannot be derived from it.

4) Obviously, it is man's destiny to make the choice of his way a matter of conscience and to the best of his knowledge. There exists no simple set of rules such as could be learned from the mouth of a guru or the pages of an ancient venerable book. Those who pretend to act according to an infallible guide, more often than not interpret the texts in accordance with their preconceived wishes and notions.

Benjamin Kedar
Haifa 27.11.95

Professor Benjamin Z. Kedar, Ph.D.

Additional Reading:

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Witnesses of Jehovah are Bible-publishing people. This was so in the days of Ezra. It was so in the days of the early disciples of Jesus Christ, who saturated the ancient world with their handwritten copies of the Bible to such an extent that the rich legacy we have received of their manuscript writings surpasses that of any other ancient literature. Now, in these modern times, the same kind of energetic Bible-publishing activity characterizes Jehovah’s Witnesses.

In 1884 Jehovah’s Witnesses formed a corporation for carrying on their Bible-publishing work, the corporation being now known as the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. At first Bibles were purchased from other Bible societies for redistribution by these Witnesses, who were even then developing their characteristic house-to-house ministry. The King James Version of 1611 in English was used as their basic version for Bible study.

True to its name, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has engaged in distributing Bibles, as well as publishing books, tracts, and other Christian literature. This has been for the purpose of instruction in the correct teachings of God’s Word. Its Bible education has helped lovers of righteousness to break away from false religious tradition and worldly philosophy and to return to the freedom of Bible truth as revealed through Jesus and other devoted spokesmen for Jehovah. (John 8:31, 32) From the time that the magazine The Watchtower began to be published in 1879, the publications of the Watch Tower Society have quoted, cited, and referred to scores of different Bible translations. Thus, the Society has recognized the value of all of them and has made use of the good in all of them as being of value in clearing away religious confusion and setting forth the message of God.

Rotherham and Holman Bibles. In 1896 Jehovah’s Witnesses, by means of the Watch Tower Society, entered directly into the field as publishers and distributors of the Bible. In that year printing rights were obtained from the British Bible translator Joseph B. Rotherham to publish in the United States the revised twelfth edition of his New Testament. On the title page of these printed copies, there appeared the name of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the Society’s headquarters being located there at the time. In 1901 arrangements were made for a special printing of the Holman Linear Bible, containing marginal explanatory notes from the Society’s publications of 1895 to 1901. The Bible text itself presented the King James Version and the Revised Version of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The entire edition of 5,000 copies had been distributed by the year 1903.

The Emphatic Diaglott. In 1902 the Watch Tower Society came to be the copyright owners, sole publishers, and distributors of The Emphatic Diaglott. This version of the Christian Greek Scriptures was prepared by the English-born Bible translator Benjamin Wilson, of Geneva, Illinois. It was completed in 1864. It used the Greek text of J. J. Griesbach, with a literal interlinear English translation and Wilson’s own version to the right using his special signs of emphasis.

A Bible Students Edition. In 1907 the Watch Tower Society published a “Bible Students Edition” of the Bible. This volume contained a clear printing of the King James Version of the Bible and included excellent marginal notes, together with a valuable appendix designed by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The appendix, which was later enlarged to over 550 pages, was called the “Berean Bible Teachers Manual” and was also published in separate book form. It contained brief comments on many of the verses of the Bible, with references to The Watchtower and to the Society’s textbooks, and an epitome of doctrinal topics with key scriptures to facilitate their presentation to others. This was similar in form to the Society’s later publication “Make Sure of All Things.” Also included were a topical index, explanations of difficult texts, a list of spurious passages, a Scripture index, a comparative chronology, and 12 maps. This excellent Bible served Jehovah’s Witnesses for decades in their public preaching work.


For 30 years the Watch Tower Society engaged outside firms to do the actual printing of its Bibles. However, in December 1926, The Emphatic Diaglott became the first Bible version to be printed on the Society’s own presses at Brooklyn, New York. The printing of this edition of the Christian Greek Scriptures stimulated the hope that a complete Bible would someday be printed on the Society’s presses.

The King James Version. World War II underlined the need for independent publication of the Bible itself. While the global conflict was at its height, the Society succeeded in purchasing plates of the complete King James Version of the Bible. It was on September 18, 1942, at the New World Theocratic Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses, with key assembly point at Cleveland, Ohio, that the Society’s president spoke on the subject “Presenting ‘the Sword of the Spirit.’” As the climax to this address, he released this first complete Bible printed in the Watch Tower Society’s Brooklyn factory. In its appendix it provided a list of proper names with their meanings, a specially prepared “Concordance of Bible Words and Expressions,” and other helps. An appropriate running head was provided at the top of each page. For example, “Jephthah’s earnest vow” replaced the traditional “Jephthah’s rash vow” at Judges 11, and “Prehuman existence and human birth of God’s Word” appeared at John chapter 1.

The American Standard Version. Another important Bible translation is the American Standard Version of 1901. It has the most commendable feature of rendering God’s name as “Jehovah” nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures. After long negotiations, the Watch Tower Society was able to purchase, in 1944, the use of the plates of the complete American Standard Version of the Bible for printing on its own presses. On August 10, 1944, at Buffalo, New York, the key city of 17 simultaneous assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses linked together by private telephone lines, the Society’s president delighted his large audience by releasing the Watch Tower edition of the American Standard Version. The appendix includes a most helpful expanded “Concordance of Bible Words, Names, and Expressions.” A pocket edition of the same Bible was published in 1958.

The Bible in Living English. In 1972 the Watch Tower Society produced The Bible in Living English, by the late Steven T. Byington. It consistently renders the divine name as “Jehovah.”

Thus, not only are Jehovah’s Witnesses preaching the good news of God’s established Kingdom in more than 200 countries and islands throughout the earth but they have also become printers and publishers, on a large scale, of the priceless Book that contains that Kingdom message, the Holy Scriptures inspired by Jehovah God.


Additional Reading: Also See:

Jehovah’s Witnesses acknowledge their indebtedness to all the many Bible versions that they have used in studying the truth of the Word of God. However, all these translations, even down to the very latest, have their defects. There are inconsistencies or unsatisfactory renderings, which are infected with sectarian traditions or worldly philosophies and hence are not in full harmony with the sacred truths that Jehovah has recorded in his Word. Particularly since 1946, the president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society had been in quest of a faithful translation of the Scriptures from the original languages—a translation just as understandable to modern readers as the original writings were understandable to intelligent, ordinary people of the Bible-writing era itself.

On September 3, 1949, at the Brooklyn headquarters of the Society, the president announced to the Board of Directors the existence of the New World Bible Translation Committee and that it had completed a modern translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The committee’s document was read, by which the committee assigned the possession, control, and publication of the translation manuscript to the Society, in recognition of the Society’s unsectarian work of promoting Bible education throughout the earth. Portions of the manuscript were also read, as examples of the nature and quality of the translation. The directors were unanimous in accepting the gift of the translation, and arrangements were made for its immediate printing. Typesetting began on September 29, 1949, and by early summer of 1950, tens of thousands of copies were completed in bound form.

Releasing the New World Translation in Its Parts. It was on Wednesday, August 2, 1950, on the fourth day of their international assembly at Yankee Stadium, New York, that a totally surprised audience of 82,075 of Jehovah’s Witnesses heartily accepted the release of the New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures. Encouraged by the initial enthusiastic reception, as well as by later expressions of appreciation for the translation’s merits, the Committee next undertook the extensive work of translating the Hebrew Scriptures. This appeared in five additional volumes, released successively from 1953 to 1960. The set of six volumes formed a library of the entire Bible in modern English. Each volume also contained valuable aids to Bible study. A vast storehouse of Scriptural information was thus made available to the modern-day student of the Bible. Diligent effort had been made to draw on every reliable source of textual information so that the New World Translation would express clearly and accurately the powerful message of the original inspired Scriptures.

Among the Bible study aids in the six-part first edition of the New World Translation was the invaluable collection of textual footnotes, giving background to the renderings. In these notes powerful arguments in defense of the Scriptures were made available. A valuable chain-reference system was also included. These chains of important doctrinal words were designed to direct the student to a series of key texts on these subjects. There were numerous cross-references in the margins of the pages. These directed the reader to (a) parallel words, (b) parallel thoughts, ideas, and events, (c) biographic information, (d) geographic information, (e) fulfillments of prophecies, and (f) direct quotations in or from other parts of the Bible. In the volumes were also important forewords, illustrations of some ancient manuscripts, helpful appendixes and indexes, and maps of Bible lands and locations. This first edition of the New World Translation provided a gold mine for personal Bible study and for beneficial teaching of honesthearted persons by Jehovah’s Witnesses. A special student’s edition, published in one volume in a printing of 150,000 copies, was later released on June 30, 1963, at the opening of the “Everlasting Good News” Assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

One-Volume Revised Edition. In the summer of 1961, at a series of assemblies of Jehovah’s Witnesses held in the United States and Europe, a revised edition of the complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in one handy volume was released for distribution. It was accepted with joy by the hundreds of thousands who attended these assemblies. Bound in green cloth, it contained 1,472 pages and had an excellent concordance, an appendix on Bible topics, and maps.

Further Editions. In 1969 The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures was released, with a second edition issued in 1985. This volume provides a literal English translation of the Greek text edited by Westcott and Hort as well as the modern-English rendering of the 1984 edition of the New World Translation. It thus opens up to the serious Bible student what the original Greek basically or literally says.

A second revision of the New World Translation was released in 1970, and a third revision with footnotes followed in 1971. At the “Kingdom Increase” District Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses, held in 1984, a revised reference edition was issued in English. It includes a complete updating and revision of the marginal (cross) references that were initially presented in English from 1950 to 1960. Designed for the serious Bible student, it contains over 125,000 marginal references, more than 11,000 footnotes, an extensive concordance, maps, and 43 appendix articles. Also in 1984, a regular-size edition of the 1984 revision, with marginal references but without footnotes, was made available.___________________

In 1906 Hebrew scholar Rudolf Kittel released in Germany the first edition (and later, a second edition) of his refined Hebrew text entitled Biblia Hebraica, or “The Hebrew Bible.” In this book Kittel provided a textual apparatus through extended footnotes, which collated or compared the many Hebrew manuscripts of the Masoretic text available at that time. He used the generally accepted text by Jacob ben Chayyim as the basic text. When the far older, superior Ben Asher Masoretic texts, which had been standardized about the 10th century C.E., became available, Kittel set out to produce an entirely different third edition of the Biblia Hebraica. This work was completed by his associates after his death.

Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, the 7th, 8th, and 9th editions (1951-55), provided the basic text used for the Hebrew section of the New World Translation in English. A new edition of the Hebrew text, namely Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, dated 1977, was used for updating the information presented in the footnotes of the New World Translation published in 1984. Kittel’s presentation of the marginal Masora, which captures many textual alterations of pre-Christian scribes, has contributed to accurate renderings in the New World Translation, including restorations of the divine name, Jehovah. The ever-increasing field of Biblical scholarship continues to be made available through the New World Translation.

Accompanying this study is a chart that sets out the sources for the text of the Hebrew Scriptures in the New World Translation. This chart briefly shows the development of the Hebrew text leading to Kittel’s Biblia Hebraica, which was the main source used. The secondary sources that were consulted are shown by the white dotted lines. This is not intended to indicate that in the case of such versions as the Latin Vulgate and the Greek Septuagint, the original works were consulted. As with the inspired Hebrew writings themselves, the originals of these versions are not now extant. These sources were consulted by means of reliable editions of the texts or from dependable ancient translations and critical commentaries. By consulting these various sources, the New World Bible Translation Committee was able to present an authoritative and reliable translation of the original inspired Hebrew Scriptures. These sources are all indicated in the footnotes of the New World Translation.

The Hebrew Scripture portion of the New World Translation is thus the product of age-long Biblical scholarship and research. It is founded on a text of great integrity, the richly endowed result of faithful textual transmission. With a flow and style that are arresting, it offers for serious Bible study a translation that is at once honest and accurate. Thanks be to Jehovah, the communicating God, that his Word is alive and exerts power today! (Heb. 4:12) May honesthearted persons continue to build faith through the study of God’s precious Word and be aroused to do Jehovah’s will during these momentous days.—2 Pet. 1:12, 13.

A Greek master text that has attained wide acceptance is that produced by the Cambridge University scholars B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, in 1881. Proofs of Westcott and Hort’s Greek text were consulted by the British Revision Committee, of which Westcott and Hort were members, for their revision of the “New Testament” of 1881. This master text is the one that was used principally in translating the Christian Greek Scriptures into English in the New World Translation. This text is also the foundation for the following translations into English: The Emphasised Bible, the American Standard Version, An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed), and the Revised Standard Version. This last translation also used Nestle’s text.

Nestle’s Greek text (the 18th edition, 1948) was also used by the New World Bible Translation Committee for the purpose of comparison. The committee also referred to those by Catholic Jesuit scholars José M. Bover (1943) and Augustinus Merk (1948). The United Bible Societies text of 1975 and the Nestle-Aland text of 1979 were consulted to update the footnotes of the 1984 Reference Edition. ________________________________________________________________________________

ACCORDING to one count, as many as 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures were published between 1952 and 1990. Translators’ choices mean that no two read alike. In order to assess the reliability of the translators’ work, Jason BeDuhn, associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., examined and compared for accuracy eight major translations, including the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The result? While critical of some of its translation choices, BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation “is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available” and “the most accurate of the translations compared.”—Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament.

In the natural sciences, a basic principle is to break everything down to the smallest possible units and then study each unit. In linguistics and in the study of the biblical languages, a similar principle was followed with the word as the basic unit, but from the middle of this century the view has developed that the smallest units which were meaningful for translation had to be the sentence or even the paragraph. The author believes that the pendulum has swung too far in one direction, and that it still is meaningful to work with the word as the fundamental unit of translation. The book therefore suggests that for a particular target group - those who, by the help of their mother tongue, want to come as close as possible to the original languages - a literal translation will be better than an idiomatic one. In the course of discussion it is shown that the principles on which such a translation is based accords fully with modern linguistic principles

Your Word Is Truth is a collection of fourteen essays written by individual Jehovah's Witnesses from the U.K., U.S.A. and Norway, replying to critics of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures over the last 50 years, such as Bowman, Bruce, Byington, Countess, Lewis, Lundquist, Metzger, Rowley etc. Most subjects discussed involve the Christian Greek Scripture and the 1953 Volume 1 of the Hebrew Scriptures. Essays include: "Some Principles and Features of the New World Translation"; three involving use of Jehovah's name; Soul and Hell; Stake versus Cross; the Parousia; Immanuel; Triadic Formulae; Proverbs 8:22; Philippians 1:23; the Hebrew 'Waw' Consecutive; "Disputed Hebrew Renderings"; and "The Accuracy of Ephesians in the New World Translation". With Select Bibliography and of NWT Reviews. Includes listing of 44 Christian Greek Scripture translations which use a form of the name Jehovah, and large number which use it regularly in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Combing through both Trinitarian and non-Trinitarian books and web sites, Holt combines the arguments from both sides into one detailed discussion. It is his firm belief that unless one knows the arguments from both sides, he cannot really make an informed decision regarding his faith, nor defend his faith with any authority. Jesus-God or the Son of God? is an analysis of the most common arguments used to both prove and disprove the notion that Jesus is God. Beginning with the book of Matthew and continuing through Revelation, it tallies and discusses every scripture that implies Jesus is God and every scripture that implies he is not. Not to be left out of the discussion is a comparison of the arguments from the Hebrew scriptures. This work discusses the common arguments used by both sides and provides the response given by the opposing view. It concludes by asking the reader to review the arguments from both sides and determine for himself what he believes. If you want to know what evidence there is that Jesus is God (or what evidence there is that he is not), this is the book that presents a fair and balanced discussion of the matter. Before you discuss this subject with a Trinitarian or a non-Trinitarian, make sure you know why he believes what he believes. A comparison of the arguments is in order.

It is not uncommon to hear on radio or television programs disparaging remarks about the Bible. It appears the educated person today is expected to dismiss Bible history as questionable, consider the miracles mentioned in the Bible as either symbolic or overstatements of fact, regard comments about an Adam and Eve as scientifically inaccurate and consider the whole enterprise as a working and reworking of a collective document across time. The former reverence appended to this document which claims to be a written communication expressing the thoughts of the Creator of the cosmos, has been severely diminished in these post-modern times. This book, Examining Criticisms of the Bible, appeals to the reader to reevaluate the relevance of the Bible and to reconsider the evidences that relate to its historical, moral and scientific representations.