NWT Revelation 5:10 Rule on the earth or over the earth?

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    M digderidoo posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 01:24:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    New World Translation and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth."

    compared to New International Version

    10 You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,
    and they will reign on the earth."

    Seems to be another clear cut case where the NWT has been mistranslated to fit in with JW beliefs. Seems as if just about every other translation uses the word "on" too. The original Greek word "epi" can apparently be translated for on or over.

    Interestingly the Old J.W Interlinear (The EMPHATIC DIAGLOTT) published by the WTBTS and used for over 100 years as their teaching Interlinear show Rev. 5:10 as "on" and not "over". This was obviously being used prior to 1914 to show that Jesus' rule would be "on" the earth. With their failed predictions and new meaning of an invisible presence, comes the new interlinear.

    Surprise, surprise, the new Kingdom Interlinear Translation (KIT) translates the word "epi" as over.

    So it all fits. Unbelievable! It is only recently i have been discovering mistranslations in the NWT and find it fascinating.

    Paul

    Leolaia posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 02:07:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    I'd hate to be a naysayer, but I believe that the NWT is taking epi + gen. NP as a genitive of subordination, which is technically valid. You can find this usage in a number of texts where epi is used to indicate authority and power over another party: "God who is over all (epi pantón) blessed forever" (Romans 9:5), "One God and Father of all, who is over all (epi pantón), and through all, and in you all" (Ephesians 4:6), "I will give him authority over the nations (epi tón ethnón)" (Revelation 2:26), etc. Since the verb basileuousin "we shall be reigning" is specifically concerned with authority over others, I would say that the NWT rendering is probably as valid as the alternative. Another example with this verb can be found in Luke 19:14: "We will not have this man to reign over us (basileusai eph' hémas)".

    M oompa posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 02:20:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    diggerdoo...she sounds smart...and her avatar is hot!...so she must be right.....lol...plus she is usually RIGHT!................oompa

    F Sarah Smiles posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 03:40:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

    Post 589 of 646
    Joined 9/26/2004

    There is another song that the great crowd is singing in heaven but the NWT changed it! the in heaven part or maybe the King James was wrong!

    I see what you mean about over or on! good point.

    Who are them?

    I had an elder telling me that Jesus Christ appointed him to act as an elder to rule as judge during one of my elders meetings. Later, I asked that elder's daughter what the meaning of that scripture and she said she did not know!

    I hope you find another song in Revelations. I do like the songs and prayers.

    M JosephMalik posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 15:29:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    Leolaia,

    Sure it can be translated either way. But even is you translate "over" instead of "on," this does not mean that this rule takes place from someplace else. You gave examples where "over" still involved the same place. To properly understand what was meant then we need to also know where all this is scheduled to take place. And there is adequate information in scripture to show that Christ will return once again to rule over this earth with His apostles and disciples. The word heaven does not cancel this out. The New Jerusalem comes down from Heaven. It does not stay there to function in our behalf. The tent of God is with mankind and the meek that will inhabit it. That is our hope.

    Joseph

    Leolaia posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 16:52:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    Joined 9/1/2002

    Actually, you make a good point JosephMalik, the word "over" is ambiguous in English. Just like the word "with", which can be used for both instrumental ("I cut the bread with a knife") and accompaniment senses ("I went to the park with John"). The same goes with "over". In English, "over" can indicate a spatial location ("The astronauts were orbiting over Africa when they received the transmission"), as well as a non-spatial relation of power ("The king ruled over his subjects"). Epi is not used to indicate a spatial relation of "over" (its spatial relation is "on" or "upon"), the proper word for that is huper. So if the Society uses the probable genitive of subordination in Revelation 5:10 as indicating a location of the anointed rulers over the earth, i.e. in heaven, then that would be a misinterpretation of the given text (even if the NWT rendering is permissible).

    And there we may discover the value of this thread....for indeed this misinterpretation can be found in Watchtower publications:

    *** w06 8/15 pp. 6-7 "As in Heaven, Also Upon Earth" ***

    This salvation with two destinies, heavenly and earthly, is mentioned in a vision seen by the apostle John. He saw kings on heavenly thrones who had been chosen from among Christ’s faithful disciples. The Bible specifically states regarding these associates of Christ that "they are to rule as kings over the earth." (Revelation 5:9, 10) Note the dual aspect in the accomplishing of God’s purpose -- a restored earth under the direction of a heavenly Kingdom made up of Jesus Christ and his joint heirs.

    *** w78 3/1 p. 21 par. 1 “The Kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ” Takes Over ***

    Then they will no longer be earthly subjects of a spiritual kingdom of Christ, but they will be kings with him in heaven. This prospect agrees with the words of Revelation 5:9, 10, addressed to Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God: "With your blood you bought persons for God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and you made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God, and they are to rule as kings over the earth."

    The goofy Revelation Climax book oddly enough does not make this mistake. What is really odd though is a QFR that explains why the NWT is correct for rendering the epi as a genitive of subordination, bringing a knowledge of Greek grammar to bear, but then it goes right ahead and makes a doctrinal interpretation that ignores the genitive of subordination and takes the epi incorrectly as spatial:
    *** w74 12/1 pp. 735-736 Questions From Readers ***

    The basic significance of the Greek word epi is "on" or "upon," but that is not the only meaning. When used in connection with power, authority or dignity, epi can also mean "over."

    Numerous Biblical examples illustrate this. God is referred to in the Bible as being "over [epi] all." (Rom. 9:5; Eph. 4:6) The Ethiopian eunuch was "over [epi] all" the treasure of Candace. (Acts 8:27) The "faithful and discreet slave" is appointed by his master "over [epi] his domestics." (Matt. 24:45) Seven certified men were to be selected by the Jerusalem congregation that the apostles might "appoint them over [epi] this necessary business" of food distribution. (Acts 6:3) Clearly, in all these instances the Greek word epi followed by the genitive case cannot be translated "on" or "upon," but, in harmony with the context, is properly rendered "over." —Note also Revelation 9:11; 11:6.

    Likewise, at Revelation 5:10, those entrusted with rulership are in charge of the earth, exercising dominion over those dwelling on it. The subject matter of this text is rulership, and logically, therefore, the Greek word epi calls attention, not to the location of the rulers, but to the area over which they exercise authority. That they rule "over the earth" agrees with the rest of the Scriptures, which reveal that God’s kingdom by Christ is heavenly and that Jesus’ associate rulers are promised heavenly life.

    Isn't that amazing? They say that "over" does not indicate "the location of the rulers", and yet for doctrinal reasons they still insist (despite their description of the genitive of subordination) that epi is still spatial, and thus indicates "the area over which they exercise authority," allowing them to sneak by with letting that define the spatial location of the rulers "in heaven". Just look at the other examples of epi that they cited -- the sense is properly "that over which one exercises authority" or "those over which one exercises authority", not "the area over which one exercises authority". Usually, when a king rules over his kingdom, he is not himself located outside the kingdom or literally over it. He is in it. That doesn't necessarily mean that the rulers in our present text are in the domain of the earth (although a spatial reading of epi certainly means this -- remember the preposition is ambiguous in this context), it just means that the word "over" is not used spatially in this context if it is to be read as a genitive of subordination.

    isaacaustin posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 16:57:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    Joseph has said it well, as has Leolia

    Heaven refers to the source of authority. The WT uses over to try to place their upper class of their two class system in physical Heavens above while ruling the other sheep/great crowd on earth. Either translation is no issue.

    M JosephMalik posted Wed, 12 Nov 2008 19:15:00 GMT(11/12/2008)

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    Leolaia,

    Thanks. Agreement is always nicer and enlightenment is best. It all means that we should not only think but research words more carefully. It is the really simple words where major error has its roots. I learned about a few such words fairly recently and had to correct some of my documents on important texts usually taken for granted. That is the way it goes. Never too old to learn.

    Joseph

    F Mary posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 02:02:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    the Greek word epi is "on" or "upon,"

    OK, Leolaia has provided examples of where the NWT has translated epi as "upon". Are there any examples of where they use epi as "on" in the NWT? Since they used the Greek word ka toikon as "in private homes" in Acts 2:46 and the exact same phrase as "house to house" in Acts 5:42, I'm just wondering if they've done this with yet another word that might prove damaging to this doctrine.

    M JosephMalik posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 03:01:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    Mary,

    You are asking to look up around 790 verses where epi appears. And in such verses it is translated as "in", "time," "to," "upon," "by," "unto," "as," "at," "before," and who knows what else and that is just in the first 10 chapters of Matthew in the AV. There is no question that such examples exist.

    Joseph

    M possible-san posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 11:37:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    Joined 6/18/2008

    Hi, oompa.

    and her avatar is hot!...

    Yea. You are right.

    And your avatar is cool!...
    What picture is it?
    A movie or something?

    possible
    http://bb2.atbb.jp/possible/

    M possible-san posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 11:54:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

    Post 135 of 1485
    Joined 6/18/2008

    Hi, digderidoo.

    Thank you for the topic.

    I have described the Greek preposition "epi" also in my forum.
    http://bb2.atbb.jp/possible/viewtopic.php?t=20

    However, there were few participants and that topic did not liven up.

    F Mary posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 13:25:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    Joined 6/26/2002
    Joseph Malik said: You are asking to look up around 790 verses where epi appears. And in such verses it is translated as "in", "time," "to," "upon," "by," "unto," "as," "at," "before," and who knows what else and that is just in the first 10 chapters of Matthew in the AV. There is no question that such examples exist.

    OK, thanks Joseph.

    M JosephMalik posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 14:49:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

    Post 1309 of 1467
    Joined 5/2/2002

    Mary,

    That's ok. Would not mind doing it if it really mattered. But this one could take a lot of time for very little if any gain. Comparing translations is much simpler and you get better support.

    Joseph

    P.S. There are other verses using other words where this does matter a great deal and comparinig translations will not help much. Verses like Heb 1:3 or 1 Tim 1:17. A search such as you have suggested can be a real help.

    Joseph

    isaacaustin posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 14:57:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    for my own clarification I wanted to confirm that the Greek word "Epi" is not used to indicate spatial or physical location. The Greek word "huber" would be the word in this scenario?

    "Epi" means over in the sense we can say George Bush rules over America, correct? "Huber" means over in the sense of a physical location or spatial relationship- such as a physical object laying over, or on top of something, correct?

    M possible-san posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 15:46:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

    Post 136 of 1485
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    The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures

    This is a diagram which showed the Greek prepositions.

    alt

    The Greek preposition "epi" means "upon" literal,
    and it shows that it is in contact with the target thing, or shows the position near it.


    possible
    http://bb2.atbb.jp/possible/

    M possible-san posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 16:49:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

    Post 137 of 1485
    Joined 6/18/2008

    alt

    http://www2.biglobe.ne.jp/~remnant/shumatsu08.htm

    The upper picture is in the website of the Protestant publication group in Japan.

    That is, "terrestrial heaven" (heaven on earth) is meant.

    Leolaia posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 20:20:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

    Post 11832 of 16234
    Joined 9/1/2002
    "Epi" means over in the sense we can say George Bush rules over America, correct? "Huber" means over in the sense of a physical location or spatial relationship- such as a physical object laying over, or on top of something, correct?

    You got it. The first is epi used non-spatially with the genitive to indicate subordination. The second is huper used spatially to indicate a location "over" another entity. Two distinct semantic relations that are indicated by separate words in Greek. In English however we use the same word "over" to express both concepts. Hence, the Society misconstrues the Greek on the basis of English.

    Mary....The case forms of the noun following epi is the key to understanding which sense is appropriate. The epi + genitive usually has a spatial sense of "on, upon" (as does epi + accusative, as in Revelation 11:11), but it could also be used as a genitive of subordination or as a genitive of time (e.g. "during" as in Jude 18). The dative case forms however can be used in many different ways (including location and instrument), such that epi + dative can be used as a dative of indirect object (e.g. "to" in Acts 5:35), a dative of reference ("concerning" in Acts 11:19), dative of place ("at" in Revelation 9:14), dative of time (e.g. "during" in Ephesians 4:16), dative of sphere (e.g. "in" in Acts 2:26), and a dative of cause ("because of" in Acts 20:38). As in the above case, it is important not to be misled by English translation equivalents, such that the dative of sphere is not confused with a purely locative "in", and so forth.

    isaacaustin posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 20:43:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    Epi + genitive can mean spatial or subordination? I am a bit confused here? Am I misunderstanding something? Sorry to be a pain.

    Leolaia posted Thu, 13 Nov 2008 21:24:00 GMT(11/13/2008)

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    Joined 9/1/2002

    No, you're not missing anything. It can be either spatial ("on, upon", NOT "over" as a location above another) or non-spatial ("over" as a relation of power). As I said in my first post to this thread, the expression is ambiguous -- it could mean either or both. As I pointed out, both "on, upon" or "over" as subordination are valid in translation -- although the latter is probably more likely than the former because the verb "to reign" specifically introduces a relation of power, such that it is more natural to understand epi as "over" in this context. That doesn't make the alternative wrong, as BOTH are technically valid. What is not valid is interpreting the expession as itself indicating a location of the rulers "in heaven" (spatially "over" the earth).

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