Acts 5:3 "play false"-New World Translation
"Are there.... verses in which the New World Translation disagrees with the original Greek and with the standard independent translations of the Bible? Acts 5:3-But Peter said: "Ananias, why has Satan emboldened you to play false [Gr. lie] to the holy spirit and to hold back secretly some of the price of the field" ?
Answer:Does the NWT "disagree with the original Greek" when it translates "pseusasthai," the aorist middle infinitive of "pseudomai" at Acts 5:3 as "play false"? Does the 'Greek' only have the sense of "lie", that is, speaking a lie.
That this is an acceptable rendering can be seen from the following:
"try to deceive the Holy Spirit"-Weymouth;
"should attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit"-Fenton;
"should lie to and attempt to deceive the Holy Spirit"-Amplified N.T.;
"made you cheat the holy Spirit"-Moffatt.;
"thou shouldest deal falsely with the Holy Spirit"-Rotherham.;
"you play the holy Spirit false"-Schonfield.;
"thee defraud the Holy Spirit."-Knox.;
"to tell the Holy Spirit a falsehood"-Cassirer.
Both the Revised Version of 1881 and the American Standard Version of 1901 has "lie to." But both of these "standard independent translations of the Bible" offer as an alternative "deceive."
Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon here under this word says, " 'to deceive', 'cheat'; hence prop[erly] to show oneself deceitful, to play false.."-p.675(Strongs 5574)
A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament by Abbott-Smith says, "to deceive by lies."
What kind of 'deception' was Ananias and his wife guilty of? Looking at the account we can see that they were playing out an act. They, especially Ananias, for he is not said to have said anything, pretended by their actions that all that they had got for their property they laid out before the apostles. That they were not secretly witholding any thing back for themselves. They were acting out a lie. They were not only uttering an untruth, a lie, but , by a false act were were "playing false,"(NWT) or "defraud[ing](Knox) the Holy Spirit. As Reinecker's Linguistic Key says, "infinitive of purpose," and Strong's Greek Dictionary says about this word at Acts 5:3, "to utter an untruth or to decieve by falsehood." "Falsehood" means the "state or quality of being false." Both Ananias and Sapphira were acting out this lie, this treachery. The NWT's rendering then may well be, not only above criticism, but be an example of the care the NWT Translation Committee took in their task of not only being accurate as possible, but bringing out the most that could be brought out from the underlying Greek text! We should be thankful for that rather than making petty, trifling, insignificant criticisms.