Romans 13:1

"Authorities that exist have been established by God" changed to "authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.[NWT]"

Criticism: "Since the JW regard saluting a flag, military service and similar forms of submission to government as idolatry, they have added words to the text to weaken the proclaimed authority of government. "

According to the Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament(Rienecker/Rogers, 1997, 9th edition, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan)the Greek verb here is TETAGMENAI and is the perfect passive participle of TASSW and means "to draw up an order, to arrange in place, to assign, to appoint."

A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament informs us similiarly by saying : "TETAGMENAI EISIN are appointed/put there by God, periphrastic perfect passive TASSW order, assign."(Unabridged, Revised Edition in One Volume, Rome Biblical Institue Press, 1981)

J. W. McGarvey in his A Commentary on Acts of Apostles (1863) says this when discussing Acts 13:48:

"(48) "On hearing this the Gentiles rejoiced, and glorified the word of the Lord, and as many as were determined for eternal life believed." The controversy turns upon the meaning of the clause osoi eoan tetagmenoi eis zoen aioniou, rendered, in the common version, "as many as were ordained to eternal life."(underlining ours)"

He then cites and discusses various places where this same word occurs.Please note what he says regarding it's apparent usage and meaning at Romans 13:1.

"The word in question is a generic term, having no single word in English to fully represent it. Its generic sense is best represented by our phrase, set in order. In its various specific applications, however, we have single terms which accurately represent it. Thus, when Jesus etaxato set in order a certain mountain in Galilee as a place to meet his disciples, or the Jews in Rome taxamenoi set in order a day to meet Paul,} we best express the idea by appointed. But when Paul[at Romans 13:1]says of civil rulers that "the existing authorities tetagmenai eisin were set in order by God," he does not intend to affirm that God had appointed those rulers, but merely asserts his general providence in their existence and arrangement. The idea is best expressed in English by using the phrase set in order, or by saying they were arranged by God.

The above shows that the NWT editors had every right to translate how they did and they are certainly not to be accused, falsely, of "add[ing]words to the text to weaken the proclaimed authority of government." It is not the intention of this site to present the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses in regard to this or any scripture(other than in connection with the Trinity doctrine)but it appears obvious that the critic is wrong on both accounts: 1)How the Greek can be legitimately translated and 2)The scriptural beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses in regard to the governments of this world.

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