LETTER TO THE WTS REGARDING J GREBER
(Investigator 24, 1992, May)
Burjin J Kotwall
November 21, 1991.
Watch Tower Bible & Tract. Society of NY, Inc.
25, Columbia Heights
Brooklyn NY 11201. USA.
In the April 1, 1983 issue of The Watchtower p. 31 an interesting question was raised in the section "Questions from Readers" which queries why in recent years, the WT has not made use of Johannes Greber's translation of the New Testament.
The answer provided by the Watch Tower Society (WTS) was that it had lately become aware, from the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Greber, that he relied an "God's Spirit World" to clarify to him how he should translate difficult passages and for that reason the WTS had deemed it improper to make use of the translation. The Society's reply gives an impression to its readers that the WTS only recently became aware of Greber's spiritist connections, and as soon as they found this out they stopped quoting him.
This reply of the WTS however was not in accord with the facts. The truth is that the WTS was aware of Greber's spiritistic connection at least as early as 1956!
In an article titled "Triumphing Over Wicked Spirit Forces" in the February 15, 1956 Watchtower pp. 110 & 111 the WTS discusses Greber quoting him concerning his communication with the spirit world. Commenting on Greber's New Testament, WTS wrote: "Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believed helped him in his translation." The article was of course very condemnatory of spiritism and considered it unbiblical in no uncertain terms.
In spite of this awareness in 1956 the WTS continued to quote Greber, in subsequent WTS publications, as an authority on Biblical interpretation on at least eight occasions between 1962 and 1987. As such this use of Greber's translation some eight times cannot be attributable to some slip-up or error on the part of the WTS's writers.
However, readers of WTS publications would be hard placed to find out where the eight references to Greber's translation are quoted by the WTS in its publications. Normally this would be quite easy by referring to the WTS's comprehensive Publications Index covering the years 1930 to 1985 where subjects are listed under main headings and information is classified by subject. But under the heading Greber, Johannes, on p. 372 only two references are to be found.
One is the above-mentioned "Questions from Readers" and the other is a reference to John 1:1 in the September 15 1962 Watchtower on p. 554. Would not these two listings of only two references in the Index make readers innocently conclude that the WTS writers used Greber as a source only once, then discovered their mistake and stopped using his translation?
On the same subject, attached is a photocopy of two letters, one from the WTS to Greber Memorial Foundation addressed to them at 139 Hillside Av. Teaneck, NJ dated December 20, 1980 in which the WTS is acknowledging receipt of two books by Greber – his translation of the New Testament and a book by him titled Communication with the Spirit World.
The other letter is from the WTS to one Keith Morse dated December 10, 1981, indicating that the WTS was unaware of the present address of the Foundation, but gave an old address of 1937 in New York! (I am also aware that many others who wrote to the WTS in and around 1981 received the same reply pleading ignorance of the present whereabouts of the Greber Foundation).
Also despite promising not to use Greber's translation anymore after 1983 as indicated to the reader in paragraph two above the WTS has once again used it in the 1987 Spanish translation of the Aid to Bible Understanding book on p. 1258!
The 1983 "Questions from Readers" article, referred to in paragraph two above, which promised not to use Greber as reference was apparently not translated into Spanish, leaving the relevant page blank in the bound volumes of the Spanish Watchtower (La Atalaya) published at the end of the year. One can surmise that this omission was in preparation of once again including Greber's reference to John 1:1 in the Spanish translation of the Aid book despite the assurance of 1983.
I would appreciate receiving specific explanations for the points raised above by me.
To recapitulate I would like to know:
You must realize that the above facts are very incriminatory for the WTS which claims to be "The faithful and discreet slave" and which condemns all deception and lies.
- Why the WTS has continued to use Greber's translation up to 1987 despite having knowledge of his spiritistic connection since 1956?
- Why was a false impression created in the reply to "Questions from Readers" article in the Watchtower of April 1, 1983 that the WTS became aware of Greber's spiritist connection only recently soon after 1980?
- Why does the Publications Index 1930 to 1985 list only two references for Greber, whereas there should have been at least eight references?
- Why has the WTS not revealed to those who wrote to it around 1981 the then whereabouts of the Greber Foundation despite the fact that the WTS was aware of the Foundation's new address and had corresponded with the Foundation at that address? In fact why has the WTS gone one step further by misguiding the people who wrote to them by providing an old 1937 unreachable address?
- Why has the WTS after promising in 1983 not to use Greber's translation, once again used it in 1987 in their Spanish Aid book?
- Why has the WTS not printed in its Spanish bound volume of The Watchtower (La At Atalaya) the 1983 "Questions from Readers" article referred to in paragraph two above?
I have forwarded copies of this letter to several Witnesses and other interested persons. They and myself will eagerly await your response. I promise to send a copy of your reply to all Jehovah's Witnesses who have received this letter.
I will close this letter with the following well-written and appropriate quotation from The Watchtower of May 15, 1963 p. 293. Please consider the import of the quotation as it would impact the WTS in relation to what I have presented in this letter.Truth is important to man. It can mean the difference between life and death, riches and poverty, health and sickness, misery and happiness. With good reason does the Bible command: Speak truth each one of you with his neighbor''. – Eph. 4:25.
But because man has fallen, imperfect, weak and selfish he often takes liberties with the truth.
While at times it may be due to emotionalism, misguided zeal or a lack of facts, not infrequently it cannot be excused but must be charged to dishonesty, to a deliberate attempt to deceive for the purpose of advancing one's viewpoint, cause or profit.
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