In addressing the arguments made at this website, my goal is not to "win an argument." The authors of the site hope that anyone taking "issue with the renderings as found in the New World Translation or any other translation" would "do so in a manner that is an effort to seek out the truth and in a way that is scholarly, honest, and fair." I agree wholeheartedly, and so my goal (in interacting with the arguments put forth at this site) is to seek truth and to do so with love for these fellow beings who call themselves Jehovah's Witnesses, men and women for whom Christ laid down His life.
Having said that, I find the site's introductory arguments unpersuasive, and that because they represent fallacious reasoning.
The first argument seems to be that the NWT can't be all that bad, since by 1998 it had sold 100 million copies. This is an example of the argumentum ad populum or "popular appeal" fallacy. Whether or not a large number--or even a majority--of people believe something is irrelevant to the question of whether it is true. Arch-Darwinist Richard Dawkins' latest book, The God Delusion, made it to the top of the Bestsellers' List and enjoyed great popularity. But this popularity is irrelevant to the question of whether or not his main thesis (that religion of all varieties is both delusional and dangerous) is true. In the same way, the fact that the NWT has sold so many copies is irrelevant to the question of whether it accurately translates the Greek of the New Testament.
The second argument is that, just as the NWT has received a great deal of criticism, so too did Martin Luther's translation of the Bible into German. Since most scholars now consider Luther to have produced a trustworthy translation, we should extend the same appraisal to the NWT. To complete this analogy, the authors of the site argue that in both cases the reason for the criticism was that the new translations (Luther's and the NWT) served to expose the shortcomings of the traditional religion of their respective days.
This argument is an example of a faulty analogy. To be sure, the two characteristics mentioned (each received criticism and each upset the traditional religion of the time) represent similarities between Luther's translation and the NWT. But with regard to the question of whether either is biased, there are significant differences that make the analogy break down. The most important difference, of course, is at the heart of my original claim. And that is this... Today, a host of experts in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek who come from a wide diversity of theological positions have access to each of these translations and to the abundant copies in the original languages. And they, while finding specific points at which Luther likely erred, find his translation to be free of bias and that of the JWs to display a very clear (non-Trinitarian) bias. (I'll be glad to provide specific examples in another post.)
Another analogy used by the site's authors is more obviously faulty...
Criticisms of the New World Translation should not be surprising. In Jesus' day, he and his followers were the object of criticism, ridicule, and abuse. This was more often than not from religious leaders and men. Those who were 'looked up to' and respected as being learned men (Jn. 7:45-49). Likewise today Jehovah's Witnesses are sometimes the object of criticism, ridicule, and abuse. Not least their New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.In other words, if we don't condone the Pharisees' criticism of Jesus then we shouldn't condone criticism of the NWT. I trust that my readers immediately recognize the illegitimacy of this equation.
So these are the arguments meant to defend the NWT against the charge of bias. In that attempt, they fail. Moreover, though Jehovah's Witnesses like to claim that this translation was produced in a scholarly manner, the evidence doesn't support this claim. Unlike almost every other English translation, this one was done so anonymously. There is no way to assess the qualifications of its translators because they were unwilling to attach their names and reputations to it.* All we can address is the translation itself, and non-JW experts are unanimous in recognizing it as a distorted rendering of the original languages, one designed to support the doctrines and practices unique to this modern group.
*JWs will respond that the translators chose to remain anonymous for fear that pride would otherwise overtake them. One need not be praised by others, however, to be consumed by pride. Moreover, being numbered with a host of other editors (as is typical of all of our other modern English translations) is hardly a guarantee of fame and stardom in our culture.