NIV 2 (New International Version)
28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be
shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with (His) † own blood.
NAS 3 (New American Standard, Foundation Publications)
28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you
overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
KJV 4 (King James Version, Zondervan)
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you
overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
NWT5 (New World Translation, The Jehovah's Witnesses )
28 Pay attention to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the holy spirit has appointed you
overseers, to shepherd the congregation of God, which he purchased with the blood of His own [son] †.
In acts 20:28, overseers of the early church were cautioned to be careful as they led the church. The
segments of text below show four translations of this important verse:
The highlighted sections of the first three versions, NIV, NAS and KJV, all show that the church was
purchased with God's own blood, while the fourth version says that the purchase was made with the blood
of God's own son. Which of these is correct? If one or the other is different, why is it different? To answer
these questions we should go back to the original language and examine it. The following is a word for
word translation from the Interlinear Greek English New Testament 3rd edition (J.P. Green Sr.) and
shows the Strong's number1 over each word.
Acts 20:28 & the Jehovah's Witnesses
4151, 3588, 40
(His) † own
As we can see, the most significant difference between the highlighted sections is that the NWT
translation indicates that God's son's blood was how God purchased the church, while all three of the
others translate the text as God's own blood. To see which is valid, let us see how the word labeled 2398,
the Greek word idios1, is defined.
Idios - pertaining to self, i.e. one's own; by impl. private or separate.
If idos means "one's own" then it is clear why NIV2, NAS3, and KJV4 translate it as God's own blood.
What is less clear is why the Jehovah's witnesses translate it differently. To understand why the JW's would
translate the text differently we should examine some other relevant verses quoted from the NIV2:
Romans 3:25 "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood."
Romans 5:9 "Since we now have been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be
saved . . ."
1 Peter 1:19 "…but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."
Revelation 1:5 "…To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood…"
Revelation 5:9 "…because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for
It is clear by these and many other verses that it was Jesus Christ whose blood saved the church.
And it logically follows that, if God's blood = Jesus' blood, then Jesus is God. While this may sound
obvious to many of us that are believers, Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was nothing more than a
man, yes a sinless man, but still far from being God. This answers our second question, Why the JW's
translate idios incorrectly, and differently from all other major translations; it is because they are
changing the Bible to conform to their own beliefs. God gives strong warnings for those who change
Galatians 1:9 9 . . .But even if an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the
one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
Revelation 22:18 & 19: 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this
book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away
his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
Making false claims about Jesus, or distorting the truth about Him, that the scriptures contain doesn't just
hurt the person that does the distorting. Anyone who listens to and believes these false claims is in real
danger. The Bible shows us clearly that our understanding and beliefs of who Jesus was and is bear
directly on our eternal destiny:
John 8:24 " . . . if you do not believe that I am (the one I claim to be) †, you will indeed
die in your sins."
John 3:16 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life"
If you have been fooled by someone to believe that Jesus is not God, the Son, investigate the matter for
yourself. Don't let a Bible distorting religion steal the true gift of salvation from you.
1 The New Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Red-Letter edition With contributions by John R.
Kohlenberger. Nashville: Thomas Nelson 2001
2 The Quest Study Bible, New International Version Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 1994
3 New American Standard Bible, Text Edition Anaheim California: Foundation Publications 1995
4 KJV Gift & Award Bible, Revised. Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan Corp. 2002
5 New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New
†. Words shown in [brackets], or in (parenthesis) are so noted to indicate that the word enclosed does not occur
explicitly in the Greek text. One way that Greek differs from English is in the compound meaning of some words. A word
that is not explicitly in the text may have a very valid place in the translation, as implied by the Greek meaning of that