On Tuesday, 23 November, 1954 a slim, reticent, kindly man took the stand in the Right Honorable James Latham Clyde's courtroom.1 The man's name was Frederick William Franz, who besides Russell and Rutherford, has contributed more leadership for the Jehovah's Witnesses than any other man. He was then Vice-President and later became the President of the Watchtower Society. When he got older, arrangements were taken to place the power in the hands of others. While Nathan Knorr was still President, prior to Franz succeeding him, the Governing Body removed much of the power of the President of the WT Society.2
This was a curious phenomena which will be discussed later. That his power could be taken away so easily, is just one clue that the power controlling the Watchtower Society actually ultimately recides outside of the Society and works through a select clique within the elite of the Watchtower hierarchy.
FRED FRANZ, AN EARLY WT RELIGIOUS LEADER
Fred Franz, before joining the Watchtower Society, had studied to be a Presbyterian minister.3 In 1913, while C.T. Russell was still considered the Faithful and Wise Servant, Fred Franz joined.4 He was soon promoted to prominence in the Society, and as an early key player was a key speaker already in the early 1920s.5 In 1924, he delievered talks over the WT Society's radio-station WBBR.6 Some observers think he may have played a greater role in formation of the Watchtower's Theology during Rutherford's time, than is generally credited him.
Fred Franz remained a bachelor for his lifetime. As part of the Bethel Headquarters, he lived simply, although like other WT leaders because of their power he rarely lacked anything. He went on trips to places like Israel and Ireland. He earned a reputation of being friendly and of not being self-conscious to the point he'd walk around headquarters in slippers and mismatched socks.7
THE WT SOCIETY'S SCHOLAR
He was also the Society's Bible Scholar by virtue of a few college classes in Hebrew and Greek. Because he was their most skilled leader (his nephew Ray Franz would prove equally as adept until Ray's conscience bothered him), Fred's skill came under scrutiny at the Douglas Walsch Trial on that Tuesday. Much time and effort was spent in court on witnesses, to uncover the story behind the controversial New World
Translation of the Bible. It is clear from testimony that day, and that testimony is colloborated by testimony from other sources, that Fred Franz, as the Society's leading scholar, played a crucial role in the production of the NWT.
When asked, "Insofar as translation of the Bible itself is undertaken, are you responsible for that?"
To which Fred Franz answered, "I have been authorized to examine a translation and determine its accuracy and recommend its acceptance in the form in which it is submitted."8
The New World Translation was billed by the WT Society as the most literal translation available. The NWT itself expresses this, for instance, on pg. 9 of the Forward, of the 1950 ed., "We offer no paraphrase of the Scriptures. Our endeavor all through has been to give as literal a translation as possible, where the modern English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not for any clumsiness hide the thought. That way we can best meet the desire of those who are scrupulous for getting, as nearly as possible, word for word, the exact statement of the original."
The anonymous Translating committee revised in 1961 and 1970 the NWT. They declare that "An effort was put forth to bring about even greater consistency in the renderings of the related parts of the Holy Scriptures,... the purpose was to attain to closer conformity to the literal reading in the original languages. All this process has resulted in revisions in the main text of the translation."9
According to one source connected with the translating committee, the translating committee sat around a table with 20-30 different translations, and went verse by verse picking the version that fit their theology best. Sometimes they relied upon Johannes Greber's spirit channelled translation.
Whether this is exactly how they created their "translation", is not critical at this point. The reader is asked to bear in mind, three pertinent items—
a. That the translation was an attempt to be the most literal translation possible. In this they have succeeded in points to where it is hardly readable. However, all translations must paraphrase to some degree, the languages involved are not constructed so that word for word translations could make sense. In other words, they do paraphrase in spite of their denials, but they have managed to produce a very literal translation. (This is not to imply that they used the best ancient manuscripts, just that they tried to be literal with the ones they chose.)
b. Fred Franz directed and edited the work. He gave the final approval and recommendation to print.
c. Other translations were consulted, if my sources are accurate, other translations formed the base or were relied upon heavily. The wording of the NWT supports this information.
So what? It's important to the discussion, because Fred Franz gives his Masonic membership away, when he translates at Hosea 12:14 the Hebrew word adonai= Lord as "grand master".
The word "adonai" is literally Lord. It is a single word that simply calls for its simple, direct, straightforward translation as Lord. Indeed, almost all translations (with a few minor exeptions) translate "adoni" in Hosea 12:14 as Lord, the Watchtower itself translates the word everywhere else in their NWT correctly as Lord. There is no conceivable, plausible explanation for calling God the "grand Master" except that it is a subtle signal of his Masonic membership. Even if we believe that the committee merely borrowed from other translations, there are no other translations that call God the grand Master at Hosea 12:14. For instance, Young's Literal, the NAS, NIV, NEB, AV, NKJ, and others simply use the obvious word Lord. An exception is the Jerusalem Bible which interjects "Yahweh". In this instance, the Catholic translation does a better job of promoting Gc s name than the Watchtower Society.
MORE EVIDENCE OF FRANZ'S MASONIC MEMBERSHIP
Other clues about Fred Franz's masonic membership have surfaced. The greatest evidence has been brought to light by another researcher.
His firsthand research (which is at some point to be published) may deal with the issue even more indepth.)10 Certainly, if the New Order's plans are defeated it will owe a big debt to men like Russ Pine, who have labored hard to bring to light the actions of the conspiracy to unite the world under their political, economic, and religious domination.
FRANZ'S BACKGROUND Franz is a German Jewish surname.11
It is interesting to note that the locations of Russell's hometown, Pittsburgh, and Franz's hometown are centers of Jewish thought and power. The location that Russell moved his headquarters to from Pittsburgh, Brooklyn, N.Y., is the center of Jewish power and thought in the world. As this author travelled through Israel, the question was never are you an American, but many times, are you from New York? because so many Jews recide in New York City.
Someone who went to the University of Cincinnati with Franz was Sidney S. Tedeshe, who was a Jewish Freemason, and a Rabbi after graduation. Tedeshe graduated from both the University of Cincinnati and the Hebrew Union College in 1913. He later got a Ph.D. from Yale in 1928. He became the Rabbi of Union Temple in Brooklyn, NY.12
Frederick's father was Edward Frederick Franz. He was apparently a German of Jewish heritage who professed to be of the Lutheran Church. Frederick's parents made a big display of Fred and his brother's Lutheran baptismal certificates which were framed and hung on the wall for all to see.
Fred and his brothers though were not sent at school age to a Lutheran school but to St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church parocial school. According to Fred, he took part in Catholic Mass and in going to the Catholic confessional. (Catholics were expected to go to confession before Mass until after Vatican II when it quit being a rule.) Before he entered 3rd grade, his family moved to Cincinatti, OH which is across the river from Covington, KT. When they moved to Cincinnati, Fred and his brothers started attending the Second Presbyterian Church of Cincinnati where he had Bessie O'Barr as his Sunday School teacher, and a Mr. Fisher as his Sunday school superintendant.13 Franz's family's changeability raises questions. Having Lutheran relatives, this author is fully aware of the deep ties, devotion, and stubborn loyalty many Lutherans have toward their church. To prominently display the infant baptismal certificates, etc. makes one wonder if this religiousness was a show considering how quickly they could switch churches.
A RHODES SCHOLAR?
Fred Franz and the WT Society have claimed he rejected the offer of a Rhodes Scholarship to work for the WT Society.14 While making this claim to enhance Frederick Franz's scholastic credentials, it actually undercuts the reputation of his character in several ways. First, the Rhodes Scholarship people in response to querries have said Franz wasn't selected. On the surface it appears Franz has lied. To have "rejected" it means Franz is claiming it was offered to him. Even if Franz had sat through a personal interview with an election committee (which in the U.S. selects 32 scholars), and then was not selected— that is not the same as "rejecting" an offer of a Rhodes Scholarship.
Did Franz lie? Perhaps he didn't. Just maybe a secret offer of a Rhodes Scholarship did occur. If secret feelers had been put out, concerning whether he would want to go to Oxford or not, he just may have secretly rejected such an offer. What?
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