“New World Translation” and 2 Peter 3:10 – Jess Whitlock

Jess Whitlock

Judge Rutherford, founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, attempted to explain away 2 Peter 3:10 by saying that “the apostle is here using symbolic language.” The passage states that “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” The New World Translation (NWT) has corrupted the text to read, “Yet Jehovah’s day will come as a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a hissing noise, but the elements being intensely hot will be dissolved, and the earth and the works in it will be discovered.” Now let me say that there is a world of difference in a thing being burned up and a thing being discovered! Which had you rather hear: “Our dinner just got burned up!” or “Our dinner was just discovered!”

I recall the first time that I read this perversion of God’s Word in Second Peter 3. The words that immediately came to my mind were the words recorded in Isaiah 8:20, “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

Later, it dawned upon me that this is the same error made by those who cling to the A.D. 70 heresy introduced from denominationalism to the Lord’s church by Max R. King. Jehovah’s Witnesses and the followers of Max King both have made the same error of judgment as pertains to Second Peter 3.

The words “burned up” are taken from the Greek katakaio which means “to burn up, to consume with fire.” The Greek for “discovered” is katanoeo. The scholars have stated, “discovered is strange and improbable” (Thayer). Also, “discovered obviously makes utter nonsense of the place” (Burgeon). The evidence is highly in deference to “burned up.”

The NWT, like the current A.D. 70 heresy, is not even consistent. The same Greek phrase is used elsewhere in the Scripture. Matthew 3:12 states, “but the chaff he will burn up with fire” (NWT). Revelation 8:7 uses the phrase three times, “a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees was burned up, and all the green vegetation was burned up” (NWT). Why would they translate correctly in these four instances and then incorrectly in the only other occurrence of the phrase?Because Second Peter 3:10 stands diametrically opposed to Jehovah’s Witnesses’ doctrine. This same place also stands diametrically opposed to the A.D. 70 error.

Not only is the NWT inconsistent in its translation (or mistranslation!)—it also contradicts itself on this very matter. Consider the wording of Hebrews 1:10 in the NWT. “You at the beginning, O Lord, laid the foundations of the earth itself, and the heavens are the works of your hands, They themselves will perish.” Then, within the context itself notice Second Peter 3:7 in the NWT, “by the same word the heavens and the earth that are now stored up for fire.” Shades of contradiction—what shall it be? The A.D. 70 errorists are in league with the doctrine of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Paul warned in First Corinthians 15:33, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

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Author: Editor

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