The Purple People Eater Rides Again

KITThe Jehovah’s Witnesses interlinear Bible, titled The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (KIT), was first released in 1969.  Called “the purple people eater” by many Christian apologists because of its purple cover, it contains the Westcott-Hort Greek text along with the Watchtower’s New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures (NWT).  The NWT, released in 1961, twists Holy Scriptures to suit the doctrinal views of the Watchtower.  Some of the lowlights, quoted from the 1969 KIT, include Colossians 1:15-20:

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. Also, he is before all [other] things, and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, and he is the head of the body, the congregation. He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that he might become the one who is first in all things; because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him, and through him to reconcile again to himself all [other] things by making peace through the blood [he shed] on the torture stake, no matter whether they are the things upon the earth or the things in the heavens.

Compare the ESV translation:

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Take a look at John 1:1 in the NWT…

In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

…and then compare John 1:1 in the ESV:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The Watchtower works hard to demote Jesus to the status of a lesser god and a created being.

The KIT is rather difficult to obtain in hard copy, which is too bad, considering the ease with which one can refute the Watchtower’s own translation using the Greek.  Recently, the Watchtower released an app called JW Library, available for smartphones and Kindle.  Its primary Bible is the NWT – but it also contains the KIT, which can be displayed in parallel fashion by clicking on individual verse numbers in the NWT.  The JW Library is a boon for anyone seeking to dialogue with a Jehovah’s Witness – it is readily available for free, easy to use, and can be proven to be a legitimate Watchtower app (which an unfamiliar Witness will assume to be a fake when it disagrees with their theology).  You can visit your phone’s app store to download a copy of the app, or obtain more information here.  For more comprehensive information on obtaining other hard or digital copies of the KIT, go here.

Jesus is not a god, He is the one true God, begotten of His Father before all worlds.  This is a message that the Witnesses need to hear, and using the KIT is a great way to make the point.

Screenshots of the JW Library app:

The Word Was God

About Scott Diekmann

Scott is a lifelong LCMS layman. Some of his vocations include husband, dad, jet driver, runner, and collector of more books than he can read. Oh, and also chocolate lover. He’s been involved in apologetics for over a decade, is on the Board of Regents at Concordia Portland, and is a column writer for the sometimes operational Around the Word Journal. He’s also written for Higher Things Magazine, The Lutheran Clarion, and has been a guest on Issues Etc. as well as the KFUO program Concord Matters.


The Purple People Eater Rides Again — 4 Comments

  1. @Erich #1

    I can wait for the doorbell, but I won’t have to. “JW” stuck a flyer on the door the other day, which is appropriately filed. [I think it’s the same people, a little hard to tell from the flyer.]

  2. In that original 1969 edition on page 1159 the Watchtower states, “With a reference to the Grammar by Dr. Robertson the Manual Grammar by Dana and Mantey, page 140 says . . .” They twisted Dana and Mantey’s work to make it appear that they agreed with the teaching of the Watchtower. Dr. Mantey sent them a letter through his lawyer telling them that if they did not remove the reference from his book (for which they never obtained permission) he would take them to court. That reference was missing from all following editions. BTW – I have a copy of that letter in my files.

  3. It’s too bad that more people don’t respond in the same way that Dr. Mantey did to the Watchtower’s frequent misrepresentations. Unfortunately, a lot of those people whom the Watchtower misrepresents are dead.

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