Revelation-It's Grand Climax at Hand, 2006, page 111
Anyone who consults a spirit medium is detestable to Jehovah. –Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NWT), paraphrase.

Rebuttal of a JW's Defense of the Watchtower Society's Relationship with Johannes Greber

The following rebuttal was forwarded to Heinz Schmitz (a self-professed JW) on February 22, 2003 in response to his defense of the Watchtower Society's relationship with Johannes Greber.

(For more on Johannes Greber and the Watchtower Society, look here and here.)

Note that I have identified Heinz's comments with a distinct font and color, as well as indentation.


You begin:

Maybe you have seen them out there, at least a hundred (yes, I mean a hundred) web-sites condemning the Watchtower Society for using Johannes Greber's New Testament to support their rendering of "a god" at John 1:1c. Most Jehovah's Witnesses do not even know who Johannes Greber is, and the opposers that DO mention him know embarrassingly little of him and how they are hurting themselves with their won arguments.

"Opposers"? Why must they be "opposers"? Need I remind you that "it is not persecution for an informed person to expose a certain religion as being false"? (The Watchtower, 11/15/63, p. 688.1)

Have you truly analyzed over 100 websites such that you can categorically state that these are by "opposers", "condemning the Watchtower Society"?

You go on to categorically state that "the opposers that DO mention him know embarrassingly little of him". You seem to be given to gross generalizations.

I hope your argument develops some substance, because thus far all you have proffered are ad hominem attacks: Those publicizing the facts about Greber and the WTS are categorized as "opposers", "condemning the Watchtower Society", "who know embarrassingly little" about Greber. You are 'poisoning the well' as they say - discrediting your opponent before presenting his argument.

I wonder, could it be that some of those that mention Johannes Greber do in fact know more than "embarrassingly little of him"?

Or are we to take it that you alone in all of Cyberspace are familiar with Johannes Greber? I have to wonder where your wealth of knowledge on Johannes Greber comes from, if not from the very sources you have labelled "opposers" who have "embarrassingly little" knowledge of Greber.

You go on to say:

In the 1983 Watchtower 4/1/31 it says, "This translation was used occasionally in support of renderings of Matthew 27:52, 53 and John 1:1, as given in the New World Translation and other authoritative Bible versions. But as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on "God's Spirit World" to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages. It is stated: "His wife, a medium of God's Spiritworld was often instrumental in conveying the correct answers from God's Messengers to Pastor Greber." The Watchtower has deemed it improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12)"

You bolded and italicized "1980 edition" in the above text, where the Society advises, "but as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on "God's Spirit World" to clarify for him how he should translate difficult passages." Now you well know that this statement by the Society was in response to a "Questions from Readers", published in 1983; the question being: "Why, in recent years, has The Watchtower not made use of the translation by the former Catholic priest, Johannes Greber?"

Let's recap here: When asked (in 1983) why they had stopped using Greber's demonic bible, The Watchtower Society answer is that "as indicated in a foreword to the 1980 edition of The New Testament by Johannes Greber, this translator relied on 'God's Spirit World'" to translate portions of the bible, and it would be "improper to make use of a translation that has such a close rapport with spiritism". Deuteronomy 18:10-12 is cited for scriptural support. (Deut 18:10-12 of course condemning all forms of spiritism.)

In actual fact, as you yourself must be aware (as an authority on Johannes Greber), the forward to the 1937 edition of Greber's bible revealed his practise of spiritism. This, of course, is the edition the Watchtower Society would have referred to when using Greber's demonic bible for support prior to 1980. Neither are we left wondering whether the Watchtower Society noticed the introduction to the 1937 edition:

"Says Johannes Greber in the introduction of his translation of The New Testament, copyrighted in 1937: 'I myself was a Catholic priest, and... never as much believed in the possibility of communicating with the world of God's spirits. The day came, however, when I involuntarily took my first step toward such communication,... My experiences are related in a book that has appeared in both German and English and bears the title, Communication with the Spirit-World: Its Laws and Its Purpose.'... Greber endeavors to make his New Testament read very spiritualistic...Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation." (The Watchtower, 2/15/56, p. 110.)

That bears repeating: "Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation."

Watchtower leaders knew of Greber's spiritism from the introduction to the 1937 edition of his Bible translation. Yet they relied upon his spiritism (which is demonism) to support their own "translation" for ~20 years (in stark contrast to their professed abhorrence of spiritism, and in defiance of Deuteronomy 18:10-12). Secondly, to claim that they stopped consulting Greber's demonic bible because of his confession in the introduction of the 1980 version is nothing short of LYING, my friend.

So you see, not only did Watchtower leaders knowingly consult a spirit medium, they then hid the truth of the matter, stating it was the 1980 version that revealed Greber's spiritism.

Why do you accept this? Why do you condone it? Why do you defend it?

Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (NWT): "There should not be found in you anyone who ... consults a spirit medium ... For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah... "

Of course, as an authority on Johannes Greber, you know all of this already.

You proceed:

We will be looking at this from several different angles.
Is it unusual for Catholics like Johannes Greber to involve themselves with spiritism? No.
One book states,
"Has the Catholic Church ever been in communication with spirit beings from the next world?...In the history of the Catholic Church there are many accounts of messages received from the souls of the departed. The truth of these accounts is subject to the ordinary laws of historical criticism, and some accounts have certainly been proved doubtful. Others leave no room for prudent doubt. As a rule, God permits a soul only occasionally to communicate momentarily a warning, or a request for prayers, but nothing fantastical. Likewise, the messages are spontaneous, and not due to the curious efforts of people seeking the truth from the dead. The Church tests the messages received, or claimed as received, in order to discern whether good or evil spirits are responsible for the communication. (1) The message must in no way conflict with Catholic teaching or moral principles. Gal. I.,9. . . ."-Pages 73, 74 of the book Radio Replies, by Rumble and Carty, with the Imprimatur of Archbishop J. G. Murray, of St. Paul, Minnesota, February 11, 1938, and with a Preface by Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen, D.D. (9th printing of 1939)

Ummm, relevance to Greber? Very little, since he rejected Catholicism due to his experiences (but then you knew that, right?). Relevance to the Watchtower Society's relationship with Greber? Absolutely nil.

This, friend, is known as a "red herring".

You go on:

The WTS knows about this, as this quote comes from the 1955 Watchtower that also mentions Johannes Greber and his book, "Communication with the Spirit World, Its laws and Its Purpose." (1932, Macoy Publishing Company, New York).

Now I have to pause here. You make mention of the 1955 Watchtower that discussed Greber and his spiritism. Since you yourself are aware that the WTS knew of Greber's spiritism in the 50's, and that Greber himself confessed his spiritism in the forward to the 1937 edition of his "bible", I find it curious that you chose to bold and italicize the text, "1980 edition", which you quoted from the 1983 Watchtower (Questions from Readers). This seems a very deceitful thing to do. What is your intent in emphasizing the 1980 date? Perhaps you could explain it to me?

You continue:

In Central and South America the mixing of Catholic beliefs with voodooism is a common practice. Interest in Santeria is also growing. In fact, all through history, pagan elements have been introduced into Christianity AND the Bible by the Catholic Church, like the Cross (translated from the word stauros meaning "stake"), the Trinity (as in adding the Comma Johanneum) and Christmas (as in the 3 Wise Men instead of Magi/Astrologers).

Hmmm, let me see if I understand this correctly. The Romans, who were pagans, could not have used a cross as the instrument of our Lord's death... because it was pagan? I confess, I don't follow your "logic". Have you really thought through this argument of yours?

Have you simply chosen to ignore the fact that an upright stake is itself a "pagan element"? Ever heard of an obelisk? Read Exodus 34:13 and Micah 5:13,14 in your NWT.2 Maybe you could explain to me why it is that one "pagan element" is unacceptable to the WTS as the instrument of our Lord's death, while another is not?

In support of the cross of Christ, John 20:25 says in part: "But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."

You will notice that the text reads "nails", not "nail". Even NWT "translators" (I use the term very loosely) could not get around this one. Two nails would be required for a traditional crucifixion; only one for the Watchtower version.

Matthew 27:37 says: "Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS."

According to the text, the sign was placed "above his head". Were Jesus "impaled" in the Watchtower manner, would not the location of the sign more properly be described as above his hands? I wonder why the Bible writer chose to describe the sign as being situated "above his head" then. Any ideas?

At Exodus 17:11,12 we read the following:

"As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset."

"One on one side, one on the other" - victory in the cross prefigured? Perhaps. Certainly early church fathers believed so.

The Watchtower Society has quite ignored the extra-biblical early church evidence as to the precise shape of the "stauros" used in the crucifixion. There are numerous descriptions in early Christian texts. The Christian apologist Justin, writing about 160 CE (long before Constantine) made mention of the shape of the cross at least twice:

"And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having its hands extended...and this shows no other form than that of the cross." (Justin Martyr: "First Apology" in Roberts & Donaldson (ed): Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol I, Eerdmans 1969, p. 181.)

"For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn." (Justin's "Dialogue With Trypho", Chap XC in ANF, p. 245.)

A few decades later Irenaeus wrote:

"The very form of the cross, too, has five extremities, two in length, two in breadth, and one in the middle, on which [last] the person rests who is fixed by the nails." (Irenaeus' "Against Heresies", Chap XXIV in ANF p. 395.)

In 197 AD the Christian writer Tertullian wrote:

"Every piece of timber which is fixed in the ground in an erect position is a part of a cross, and indeed the greater portion of its mass. But an entire cross is attributed to us, with its transverse beam, of course, and its projecting seat." (Tertullian in "Ad Nationes" Chap XI in ANF, Vol III, p. 122.)

In the "Epistle of Barnabas" the cross is described as being in the shape of the Greek letter tau ("T").

We even find testimony about the form of the cross by early non-Christian writers. The Greek writer Lukianos (c. 120-180 AD) wrote that the letter tau ("T") had received its "evil meaning" because of the "evil instrument tyrants put up to hang people upon them. (Lukianos in "Iudicium Vocalium 12", in Martin Hengel in Crucifixion, Fortress Press, 1982, pp. 8,9.)

I will not bother with the extensive medical evidence against the Watchtower Society's precept of crucifixion.

Next you say it's the Trinity that's pagan, then Christmas, wise men, astrologers, blah, blah, blah. What does any of this have to do with Greber? Zero, zilch, nada, nothing - this is another blatant red herring.

Moving on, you say:

Does that mean we should reject all Catholic Bibles and other versions that carry these? No. In fact, one of my favorite Bibles is the Catholic New Jerusalem Bible. The Bible is God's Word, it is QEOPNEUSTOS/God-breathed [2Tim 3:16], and it is not hijacked by demons.
"The words of Jehovah are pure words, silver tried in the furnace of the earth, purified seven times. Thou, Jehovah, wilt preserve them from this generation forever." Psalm 12:6, 7 Darby

Your argument seems to be something along the lines of, 'we Jehovah's Witnesses have our own bible, into which our theological biases are incorporated, and since we don't "reject" scholarly bibles [depends on your definition of reject - I have never had a JW at my door with anything other than the NWT] that disagree with our own, why should we reject Greber's bible'. Am I following you so far?

Allow me to answer the question: Because the translators of scholarly translations such as the New Jerusalem Bible have not confessed to using the "spirit-world" to aid them in their translation. They have not confessed to having a spirit (read: demon) convey to them the "correct" translation of scripture. Were they to do so, then their Bible translation should be rejected along with Greber's.

Your attempt to pass off Greber's bible as just another translation is preposterous. You are either virtually completely ignorant of the claims of Johannes Greber, or you are being intentionally deceitful.

Moving on:

That does not mean there haven't been slight corruptions over time, but most of these involve a varying word order and do not affect the message of the Bible. To argue otherwise is to argue against divine providence.
The spirit world has been used in the past in translating scripture, despite the Bible's warning against this (see Deut 18:10). When? In 1823 Joseph Smith claimed that the "Angel" Moroni appeared to him and led him to some plates. Smith translated the plates into English through supernatural means and called the record the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon contains entire excerpts that are identical with the King James Version Bible. Are we now to conclude that the King James Version is a demonic Bible? In fact, Joseph Smith has made his own "Inspired" version of the Bible, which, except for a few place [like the beginning of Genesis, the Johannine prologue, Ex 33:20, 1John 4:12 and Genesis 50:24], this "direct revelation" is otherwise identical to the King James Version. Sure, we might argue that this is a claim by Mr. Smith only, but that argument can go both ways. What Joseph Smith received by supernatural means, Johannes Greber received from the Codex Bezae.

You say, "The spirit world has been used in the past in translating scripture". You then go on to cite the Book of Mormon. I hate to break it to ya, but the Book of Mormon ain't "scripture".

You seem to be arguing that because Joseph Smith claimed to have translated the Book of Mormon by supernatural means, and some of what he translated is in fact excerpts from the KJV, that therefore the KJV may be concluded to be a demonic bible. Do you really not see your faulty logic here? If Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon by supernatural (demonic) means, that only allows for the Book of Mormon to be demonic. What if the demon quoted Watchtower publications? Would this make Watchtower publications demonic? What if it quoted National Geographic? Would this make National Geographic demonic? Your argument doesn't hold water.

You continue:

The Codex Bezae was first presented to the library at Cambridge University in 1581 by Theodore Beza, who is no stranger to textual critics and Calvinists. The Codex probably dates from somewhere around the 4th century, making it very old. The inner page of Johannes Greber's NT states, "A New Translation and Explanation based on the Oldest Manuscripts [1937]." Remember that it was the 1980 edition that stated it relied on "God's Spirit World."

We've already established that (by the Watchtower Society's own admission) it was the 1937 edition that revealed Greber's spiritism. The Watchtower Society acknowledged in 1956 that "Very plainly the spirits in which ex-priest Greber believes helped him in his translation."

You know this. The Watchtower Society knew and admitted in 1956 that "the spirits...helped [Greber] in his translation." Why do you pretend otherwise? Your deceit is laid bare.

I suspect that this is a fanciful claim. Others have also made translations from this Codex, namely William Whiston (1745) and J.M. Wilson (1923). It is also true that others have used Johannes Greber for support (see Metzger's "The Text of the New Testament", Bible Museum and Biblical Research Foundation and Duthie's How to Choose Your Bible Wisely).

The codex is not at issue. Another red herring. Neither is others' use of Greber for support at issue. (Another red herring and appeal to common practise.) If they did so knowingly, they are also guilty of consulting a spirit medium, as is the Watchtower Society. I wonder if they also misled their readers into believing they weren't aware of Greber's spiritism?

I have yet to see examples of outright marring, removing or additions in Greber's Bible that you cannot see in modern Bibles.

Sure, if you include the NWT in that list.

Let us consider more accusations.
"The first two, B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort discuss their club, the Ghostly Guild, in their biographies. They were actually the fathers of the New Age channeling movement; their Ghostly Guild evolved into the infamous Society for Psychical Research.
The third translator to confess involvement was J.B. Phillips, author of the Phillips Translation. His autobiography details his necromancy and communication with the dead.
The last and most recent revelation of "giving heed to seducing spirits," concerns Dr. Virginia Mollenkott of the NIV. Her book, Sensous Spirituality, tells tales of her spirit guide and contact with her dead mother...The doctrines of devils which follow her includes admitted involvement with divination through use of Tarot cards and the I Ching." 'Which Bible is God's Word' by Gail Riplinger, p.81
Many take writings like these with an understandable grain of salt. But if the above did have some involvement with the spirit world, then we are all in danger because the above accused represent most of the sales in Bibles in the English language. Even older versions are not safe if you consider the accusations hurled at Origen:
Origen's six column Old Testament, the Hexapla, parallels O.T. versions by Theodotian, Symmachus, and Aquilla, all three Gnostic occultists." Ibid, p.79
But wait, there is more.
"But is it only the pride of man that prompted this rewriting, or is some malignant supernatural power guiding the hands of these people as they take away from and add to the Word of God? Below are some of the results of this satanic assault on the Bible."
This is from a pastor on, and he includes the NASB in this attack. Not even the New King James Version is without suspicion:
"There's nothing "new" about the NKJV logo. It is a "666" symbol of the pagan trinity which was used in the ancient Egyptian mysteries. It was also used by satanist Aleister Crowley around the turn of this century. The symbol can be seen on the New King James Bible, on certain rock albums (like Led Zeppelin's), or you can see it on the cover of such New Age books as The Aquarian Conspiracy. (See Riplinger's tract on the NKJV.)"
Fact is, if you really want to discredit someone or something, you can. Atheists do it all the time.

What an impressive list of wholly impertinent statements. A truly dazzling display. I do have one question though: In any of your above examples, do we see a Bible translator stating that spirits aided him in translating scripture? Do we have a confession that a spirit (read: demon) gave to the bible translator the "correct" translation? No we do not, and therefore the relevance of the above to the issue at hand is absolutely nil. This is a red herring and appeal to common practise.

Moving on:

KJV-Onlyites and NWT/Greber opposers are only helping atheists in their attack on the word of God.

This is known as a complex question. In fact it is a classic complex question; a fallacy where two unrelated points are joined together as a single proposition. If I, as the reader, believe that "KJV-Onlyites" are "helping atheists in their attack on the word of God", then I am expected to accept both your points, despite the fact that they are in no way co-dependent.

KJV-Onlyism has no bearing on the WTS and Johannes Greber.

There is nothing wrong with using the NKJV, the NIV, the NASB, the NWT etc, in fact, using more than one translation helps one to get a better feel for the original Greek and Hebrew.

Ummm, who suggested there was? Irrelevant conclusion.

KJV-Onlyites would probably cringe at the notion that their precious Comma Johanneum was first quoted as part of the actual text by a Gnostic and an occultist, see "Priscillian of Avila: The Occult and the Charismatic in the Early Church" by H. Chadwick, but that is exactly what happened

Maybe they would. Nice red herring.

The Watchtower simply made a mistake by quoting Greber's NT,

I guess that depends on your definition of "mistake". If you call knowingly consulting the work of a spirit medium, attempting to pass it off as scholarly support for their own work for ~20 years, and then pretending they didn't find out about the spiritism until someone called them on it a "mistake", then yes, I guess the WTS made a mistake.

A convicted bank robber may call his actions a mistake too, but was it an honest mistake? Nope, and neither was the Watchtower Society's use of Greber's demonic bible in the face of Deuteronomy 18.

but then, they had only used that book a handful of times in the last 40 years, and never for support in the last 20.

Is it 2008 already? Cause you said the Society hasn't used Greber's demonic book for support in the last 20 years, and I know you know they used it in the Aid to Bible Understanding, Spanish version, published in 1987. (Oh, in case you're wondering, this type of fallacy is called a lie.)

The WTS is not an infallible organization:
"Someone may ask, Do you then claim infallibility and that every sentence appearing in "The Watch Tower" publications is stated with absolute correctness? Assuredly we make no such claim and have never made such a claim. What motive can our opponents have in so charging against us? Are they not seeking to set up a falsehood to give themselves excuse for making attacks and to endeavor to pervert the judgements of others?" Zion's Watchtower and Herald of Christ's Presence, Sept 15. 1909, 4473

Hey, cool, we agree! I don't think they're infallible either.

So when you read comments, like those from Raines:
"If it wasn't for the JWs quoting from his translation, Greber would have rightfully faded into obscurity."
The truth is, JW's have used him so little, it is actually a non-issue.

It's nice to know where you stand on the issue, and I guess Jehovah could have changed his standards within the last 30 years or so...

Go read Deuteronomy 18:10-12 and then tell me again it's a non-issue. You can trivialize it all you want, but deep down you know it's very much an issue.

It is JW Hater's that have given Greber prominence and deified him. My last check on the Google search engine came up with 779 results, none from the WT Society.

"JW Haters"? That's another ad hominem.

Here's the irony: You call those who expose the Watchtower Society "JW Haters", but you and I both know which side is doing the hating, don't we? Allow me to jog your memory:

"We hate them [former members]..." (The Watchtower, 6/15/80, p. 8.)

"... in order to hate what is bad, a [JW] must hate the person..." (The Watchtower, 7/15/61, p. 420.)

"We must hate in the truest sense, which is to regard with extreme and active aversion, to consider as loathsome, odious, filthy, to detest." (The Watchtower, 10/1/52, p. 599.)

And I'm not sure how you figure that exposing an individual's spiritistic background can be considered giving him prominence and deifying him. Looking at the matter objectively it seems clear that it's the Watchtower Society that has given the man prominence by repeatedly lifting him up in a supposed display of scholarly support. I know the Johannes Greber Foundation agrees with me.

In fact, you will find that Greber's New Testament more closely resembles other non-JW Bible translations. Take note of the cover:

For real? Take note of the cover?? Devastating argument. Just devastating...

Greber's NT uses the Cross, in translation and imagery, something that resembles the Bible of mainstream churches more so than the New World Translation (who never use the Cross).

Now didn't you ever learn not to judge a book by its cover?

By attacking Greber's NT, opposers are actually causing damage to their own belief system.

Because they have the same cover, right?

Remember, the WT has only used Greber for 2 scriptures.

Remember God, I only consulted the spirit medium for 2 issues. (Although I did it repeatedly for ~20 years.)

Those that assert that Greber's NT resembles the NWT 100% (and yes, they do say that) are dishonest and lying. A closer examination (like the Cross) will help you see that Greber has much in common with non-JW translations.

I have never heard anyone suggest "that Greber's NT resembles the NWT 100%". This was never the argument. Sounds more like a straw man of your making.

Consider also Matthew 1:23:
"Look! The virgin will become pregnant and will give birth to a son, and they will call his name Immanuel," which means, when translated, "With Us Is God."
Here the New World Translation uses the word VIRGIN which is comparable to the King James, New American Standard etc. But Greber's NT uses the words "young women." This more closely resembles how the Revised Standard Version and the New English Bible have rendered the Hebrew equivalent ALMAH at Isaiah 7:14.
Let us look at some other examples that the NWT is commonly accused of as misleading:
While Greber's NT is used against the NWT in relation to John 1:1, the above shows that it actually has a lot in common with the King James Version.
This is of course a very unscientific polling, but the point forwarded is this, "You can make any version line up with the one you want to attack."
In a survey of 64 scriptures taken from the book of John, the Greber NT agrees with the KJV 24 more times than does the NWT.

And this makes the Watchtower Society not guilty of knowingly consulting a spirit medium how, exactly?

The issue is not whether Greber's bible agrees more with Bible 'X' or Bible 'Y'. This is a straw man argument. Of course Greber's bible will have commonality with the KJV, the NIV, the NEB, whatever. It is a bible after all, and in majority it is a conventional bible translation.

As one familiar with Johannes Greber, you should know that it was only certain verses where Greber received the translation from spirits, right? And it just so happens that one of these verses is John 1:1, which just so happens to be one of the verses the Watchtower Society has relied upon Greber's translation for.

Do not lose sight of the fact that Greber's "spirits" revealed to him the same doctrine that the Watchtower Society's "spirit-direction" revealed to them. What is the implication of this fact? Is God also working through the Johannes Greber foundation, communicating his truths through both parties? Sounds reasonable, except that for decades the Watchtower Society has proudly proclaimed themselves God's sole channel of communication. This leaves no room for the possibility that God is or has communicated through Greber and the Greber Foundation. What then? We are forced to consider the alternative; that the Watchtower Society's "spirit-direction" is of the same source as Johannes Greber's. And the Watchtower Society identified that source for us, didn't they? In the 1955, 1956, and 1983 Watchtower mags cited above.

As one who is familiar with Johannes Greber, you must be aware that John 1:1 is not the only point where Greber's demons agree with the Watchtower Society's "spirit-direction". In addition to Matthew 27:52,53, consider the following partial list of doctrines taught by both Greber's "spirits" and the Watchtower Society (the self-proclaimed "spirit-directed organization" of God):

~ God has a body.
~ God is not omnipresent.
~ God is not completely omniscient.
~ Jesus is not God.
~ The Father alone is God.
~ Jesus is God's first creation.
~ Jesus is the agent of creation.
~ Jesus' physical body was not raised.
~ Jesus' physical body was "dissolved".
~ Jesus "materialized" bodies.
~ "Higher powers" (Romans 13) are not earthly governments.
~ There is no eternal Hell; Hell is a myth concocted by the clergy.

These are doctrines that set the Watchtower Society apart from historic Christianity, are they not? Do you see? While historic Christianity and Greber's demon-teachings are at variance, Watchtower Society doctrines accord perfectly with doctrines of demons!

1 Timothy 4:1 (NASB): "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

Just curious, do you believe we are living in "later times"?

How do you justify following "doctrines of demons", anyway?

Did Greber's use of "a god" influence how the translation of John 1:1c was rendered by the New World Bible Translation Committee?
A quick check of the 1950 first edition reveals that this is not so. In the appendix we have mention and use of Smith and Goodspeed's An American Translation, Moffatt's Bible, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey, The New Testament in an Improved Version upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation: with a Corrected Text, 1808 and Acts 28:6 in the King James Version etc. Of the above, only Newcome's Corrected Version reads "a god" at John 1:1c, while the other examples were used to promote the qualitative aspect of the anarthrous QEOS.
[It should be noted too that only the last clause of John 1:1, the "c" part, really resembles Greber's NT. The first part of the 1950 NWT start's, "Originally the Word was..."]

Hmmm, so because the appendix of the NWT first edition didn't mention Greber's demonic bible, we're expected to believe it didn't influence the NWT translation committee? First of all, whether Greber's bible influenced the NWT is irrelevant. This is just another convenient ruse to divert attention away from the real issue. Secondly, we are dealing with a group of people who lied to their own members about when they discovered Greber's spiritism. They have not proven themselves worthy of my trust.

Additionally, despite the fact that the Watchtower Society relied upon Greber's spiritism numerous times over the years, they only admitted two of these instances when they published their index. Why? Again, they are not worthy of trust.

Are there others that have used "a god" at John 1:1c?
Yes, take note:
So we can see that the New World Translation does indeed have support for its rendering and does not need to rely on Johannes Greber and his New Testament

Quite a collection you've identified. Unfortunately these translations fall into the same category as does Greber's bible and the NWT. Offering one unrecognized work as support for another is no support at all.

I can't help but smile when I see JWs offer translations such as these that you have offered in a show of "scholarly" support. Truly the Witnesses are scraping the bottom of the barrel in their appeal to authority. For future reference: it is a prerequisite for any work offered as scholarly support that it be, in fact, a scholarly work.

Regardless, this is just another diversionary tactic. The issue at hand is the Watchtower Society's devious use of a spirit medium in the face of Deuteronomy 18, not the validity of the NWT's rendering of John 1:1.

We simply do not know where his ancient manuscript, the Codex Bezae stopped, and his "spirit world" began.

This is not true. Greber delineated his spirit-world communication in a book entitled Communication with the Spirit-World Its Laws and Purpose. (But you already know that, right? Why do you pretend otherwise?) In this book Greber identifies doctrines communicated by the "spirit world". I've provided a partial list above, and as I noted, these are in agreement with Watchtower "spirit-directed" doctrine (and at variance with Christian doctrine).

Is it unusual for spirits/demons to recognize the truth of God's Word?
No, and this is borne out by the scriptures themselves.

It seems invariably that when discussing Greber with a JW, after seeing their arguments reduced to rubble, they fall back on "Well, then, the demons were telling the truth". Man, I wouldn't want to be on your side of that argument.

This well demonstrates the lengths JWs will go to in order to defend the Society and Watchtower doctrine. Rather than accept the uncomfortable (yet obvious) truth of the matter and then deal with it, you align yourself with Satan and his demons, defending them along with your Watchtower leaders as truth-teachers.

I recommend you take 1 Timothy 4:1 to the Lord in prayer tonight:

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons."

Meditate on it.

Consider 1 John 4:1:

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Why the warning, if the demons would be teaching true doctrine? Why the exhortation to test the spirits, if evil spirits would be teaching truth? According to 1 John 4:1, if the spirit passes the test, then it is from God. Do you believe Greber's spirits are from God? You must, because according to you, they passed the test. You claim Greber's spirits taught the truth.

The truth of the NT is that in later days the demons would lead some away from the truth, not into it. This does not accord with your conclusions regarding Greber and the Watchtower Society.

So what is the greater evil I wonder. The indiscretions of certain men like Greber (and perhaps those others mentioned above), or those who would keep others away from the Bible? By condemning certain versions, are you not condemning God for his inability to maintain divine providence? The mindset of those who condemn the New World Translation too often mirror the anti-intellectualism that runs rampant in the KJV-Only crowd. These people are not only anti-intellectual, they are anti-Bible and anti-God. It is these kinds of tactics, this kind of fear-mongering that brings out the worst in people of faith. It is okay to criticize certain elements of translation...I do it all the time. But I would never condemn the use of the King James Version, the New International Version and certainly not any Catholic version. They are all the word of God, and we can thank God for protecting his Word the way he has.

"These people are not only anti-intellectual, they are anti-Bible and anti-God." Ad hominem. Once again you are attacking the person, not the argument.

I'm not totally clear how your concluding thoughts tie into the Greber argument at all. What began as a (very weak) argument in defense of Johannes Greber and the Watchtower Society concludes as a (very weak) argument opposing KJV-Onlyism and "those who condemn the New World Translation". Puzzling.

You've done a fine job of obscuring the Greber/WTS issue, and I think at this point, we all understand what it's not about. Please allow me to summarize what it is about:

1. The Watchtower Society knowingly consulted a spirit medium for ~20 years. (Deut 18:10-12 applies.)

2. The Watchtower Society knowingly passed off a spiritistic (read: demonic) bible translation as scholarly support for ~20 years.

3. When called on it (by those "anti-intellectual", "anti-Bible", "anti-God" "opposers" "who know embarrassingly little" about Greber), the WTS chose the path of deceit (just like those evil spirits we are warned about at 1 Tim 4:1), pretending they only just found out about Greber's spiritism. In fact, they'd known about it for about 30 years.

4. A significant amount of core Watchtower doctrine is nothing short of "doctrines of demons". Is this based on my opinion? Nope. It's based on the fact that the Watchtower Society identified Greber's spirit source as demonic, and his demonic doctrines agree with the Watchtower Society's doctrines. Like it or not, you're following doctrines of demons.

If you care to refute any of these four points, by all means do so.

It truly never ceases to amaze me to what lengths a Jehovah's Witness will go to uphold the 'rightness' of the Watchtower Society. Nowhere does the NT mandate the 'loyalty to the organization' that the Watchtower Society requires. A Christian's allegiance is to Christ alone. It is a personal relationship that transcends any organization or church boundaries. Our citizenship is in heaven, not some earthly organization. (Phil 3:20)


Trevor Scott.

Click here for a transcript of the ensuing dialogue. Click here and here for more on Johannes Greber and the Watchtower Society. Click here for more on the slander tactics of the Watchtower Society.


1. Page number corrected.

2. In the NWT, these verses read as follows:

But their altars you people are to pull down, and their sacred pillars you are to shatter, and their sacred poles you are to cut down. –Ex 34:13 (NWT)
And I will cut off your graven images and your pillars from the midst of you, and you will no more bow down to the work of your hands. And I will uproot your sacred poles from the midst of you and annihilate your cities. –Micah 5:13,14 (NWT)