Frederick William Franz (September 12, 1893 – December 22, 1992)
Mr. Franz in Covington, Kentucky. He was baptized in the Lutheran Church, but attended Catholic services as a child as a matter of convenience, before later attending the Presbyterian Church. He graduated from Woodward High School in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1911 and attended the University of Cincinnati where he studied liberal arts and later (for two years) Biblical Greek, with the intention of becoming a Presbyterian preacher.
His association with the Bible Students began after he read some of the literature of Charles Taze Russell. He was baptized as a Bible Student on either November 30, 1913, or, in Franz's own account, April 5, 1914.
In 1920 he joined the Watch Tower headquarters staff in Brooklyn, New York and in 1926 became a member of the editorial staff as a Bible researcher and writer for the Society’s publications. Upon the death of Watch Tower president Joseph Rutherford, Franz became head of the editorial department, and in 1945 he replaced Hayden C. Covington as vice-president of the Watch Tower Society. Franz was the Society's leading theologian and has been named as a leading figure in the preparation of the Witnesses' New World Translation of the Bible. This is interesting to NOTE because Mr. F. W. Franz who held such a high position and (get this) was their "head editor", "Leading Society's theologian" and "leading figure in the PREPARATION of the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION -their BIBLE. Mr. Franz was called into the courts of Scotland and he admitted that the Watchtower contradicted itself as well as the Bible.
Read the manuscript below. Ask yourself would you put your salvation within an organization with a man of the moral character of Mr. Charles T. Russell (with his indoctrination against the Bible) and Mr. Frederick William Franz? ( who presented one thing to the "Governing Body" and loyal "Jehovah's Witnesses" all over the world that put their faith in his KNOWLEDGE, Yet before the courts under oath he is also found to be a liar and fraud).
His nephew and fellow Governing Body member Raymond Franz resigned from the Governing Body and was subsequently disfellowshipped in 1982 during F. W. Franz's presidency...but WHY?? We will get to this later...
Fred Franz on Trial
Fred Franz Unable to Translate Hebrew
Fred Franz was the leader of the New World Translation (NWT) committee and subsequent president of the Watchtower Society, and the only member of the secret committee to have any training in Hebrew or Greek, limited as it was.
Mr. Franz, under oath in a trial in Scotland in the Scottish Court of Sessions in November, 1954 (Douglas Walsh v. The Right Honorable James Latham Clyde, M.P., P.C., etc., Scotland, 1954, (1958 ed.).p.7.), was asked:
(Q): I think you are able to read and follow the Bible in Hebrew ....
The next day, he was put to the test. Could he really follow the Bible in Hebrew? Franz was asked to translate a simple Bible text at Genesis 2:4:6
(Q): I think we come to the name Jehovah in the forth verse, don't we, of the second chapter of Genesis ... [page 34]
(Q): You, yourself, read and speak Hebrew, do you?
(Remember, Franz had admitted to this the previous day)
(A): I do not speak Hebrew.
(The examiner was surprised to hear this)
(Q): You do not!
Q): Can you, yourself, translate that into Hebrew?
(Q): That fourth verse of the second chapter of Genesis?
(A): You mean here?
(A): No, I won't attempt to do that.
What Franz "wouldn't attempt" to translate into Hebrew is what many have said as a simple exercise an average first or second-year Hebrew student in seminary would be able to do. Franz could neither speak Hebrew nor translate the English to Hebrew. The President of the Watchtower allowed Jehovah's Witnesses to believe he is a Bible scholar having an education in Biblical languages. The facts show otherwise. He is not a scholar. In fact, there is not one Bible scholar among the Watchtower leaders. There couldn’t be one in good conscience because of their theology and what they have done in their translation.
Fred Franz Revealed as Accuracy Checker
In the same trial, Fred Franz, then head of the Watchtower Editorial Board, admitted that he himself was the one who had checked the accuracy of the translation and recommended its publication.
(Q): Insofar as translation of the Bible itself is undertaken, are you responsible for that?
(A): I have been authorized to examine a translation and determine its accuracy and recommend its acceptance in the form in which it is submitted.
Later, Franz was asked about his own involvement in the translating (Douglas Walsh v. The Right Honorable James Latham Clyde, M.P., P.C., etc., Scotland, 1954, (1958 ed.).p.92)
(Q) : Were you yourself responsible for the translation of the Old Testament?
( A ) : Again I cannot answer that question...
Here, under oath, Franz refused to confirm or deny he was the translator of the Hebrew text. Why wouldn't he say that he did not translate the Old Testament? The court also wondered "why" and asked (ibid)
(Q): Why the secrecy?
(A): Because the committee of translation wanted it to remain anonymous and not seek any glory or honour at the making of a translation, and having any names attached thereto.
Why is it the writers of the New Testament books identified their authorship by their names, we know they were not seeking honor.
The facts speak for themselves. The real reason would be that the translators could not be checked since they had no qualifications and anyone investigating this could not find anyone to assume responsibility for the translation. A shrewd plan indeed.
According to Raymond Franz, only Fred Franz had "sufficient knowledge of the Bible languages to attempt translation of this kind. He had studied Greek for two years in the University of Cincinnati but was only self taught In Hebrew." Raymond Franz, Crisis of Conscience (Atlanta: Commentary Press, 1983), 50
Not one of the men had ever studied Greek, and wouldn't know the difference between an alpha or a omega. Only three of the five had even finished high school. Of those three only one went on to College. His name was Fredrick Franz, the same man who became the President of the Jehovah's Witnesses. He did begin at the University of Cincinatti but only completed two years. He then dropped out of College after the first semester in 1913 because he believed what Russell told him, that Christ was returning in 1914. He does not have even the most basic college degree, and certainly does not possess a degree for advanced study of the Bible. In fact, outside of the Watchtower circle Franz is not recognized by anyone as a scholar.
As M. James Penton, a former Jehovah's Witness and historian, has written, "to all intents and purposes the New World Translation is the work of one man-Frederick Franz." M. James Penton, Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1985), 174.
Many have walked away or been dispfellowship over the "flip Flop" doctrines of "Jehovah's Witnesses.
In 1953 and on through 1963 the Watchtower taught that the superior authorities of Romans 13 were Jehovah God and Christ Jesus. Then changed back to believing they were political governments in 1963 and on to the present. During the time the society held that the interpretation should be Jehovah and Christ many were disfellowshipped for not accepting this view.
Letter Written to F.W. Franz August 7, 1980
Dear brother Franz,
I am writing to you regarding the relation of my wife and myself to the Watchtower Society.
Firstly I would like to explain our background. We both come from East Germany and have been in Australia for 15 years. I am a third generation witness, I was baptized 31 years ago. My wife is a second generation witness and was baptized 34 years ago.
After discussing our position with the Circuit Servant, he suggested that I write to you in order to avoid endless and useless discussions.
Because we do not desire to be hypocrites, we will clearly state our position. Having prayerfully read our Bibles each day, we have come more and more into collision with the ever changing ideas of the Organization. We have lost faith to believe what the Organization teaches because interpretations given in one Watchtower or book could be changed in the next. This has actually happened many times.
Please understand that we are not rebels or evil slaves, which might be easily said about us.
We shall state a few facts, which most probably you are well aware of. Proverbs 27:2 states, "May a stranger, and not your own mouth praise you, may a foreigner and not your own lips do so" However what are the members of the Organization doing? They praise themselves all the time. How good we are. How many hours we preach. How superior the New World translation is, etc,. Likewise Matthew 6:2-4 "Do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, that your gifts of mercy may be in secret." But we are trumpeting how many hours of visiting and preaching we are doing. Even Pioneers are dragged on to the platforms, where it is said "Look how many hours he does!"
The teaching of Romans 13, dealing with the superior authorities has been changed three times. Many years ago a brother was disfellowshipped because he did not agree that the superior authorities in Romans 13 are Jehovah and Jesus Christ. Six months later the Organization changed its opinion back to the previous interpretation, so the brother was right. This is stated in the book "This Means Everlasting Life" Page 197 Paragraph 10.
A sister in Munich, Germany, could not believe that Solomon would have no resurrection, she was disfellowshipped for apostacy and later committed suicide Later the Organization said "Yes, Solomon will still have a resurrection."
Each new publication is said to be given to us by Jehovah through His 'Faithfull and Discreet Slave' But if the explanation changes, it must mean that either Jehovah is a liar, or could it be the Faithful and Discreet Slave has not spoken the truth? God never changes as James says in 1:17 "and with him there is not a variation of the turning of the shadow".
When Paul baptized the Philippian jailor and his household the same night that they believed, Paul certainly did not ask the 'eighty questions' before he baptized them. Neither did Philip when he baptized the Ethiopian eunuch. There is no basis for the 'eighty questions' in the Bible, no matter how much human reasoning is used to try to prove that there is. We have no right to demand more than what is required in Scripture. Baptism is no more administered in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, as it was when I was baptized, despite this being a command of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20.
In Acts 10 we read that Cornelius was still in the army when he was baptized. Now we go beyond the Bible by refusing baptism to any man in the army. This is putting the Roman historian, Tertullian, above the Bible.
For many decades we have been taught that Jesus did not have a beard, because the churches depicted him as having a beard. Now we are told that Jesus did have one.
In the Watchtower, 15/8/68, speaking of the Lord's return in the article "Why are you looking forward to 1975", Page 499 states "it may involve only a difference of weeks or months, not years". Now five years have passed, so the prophecy was a lie. Also what about the other dates which were prophesied, 1914, 1918, 1925 etc?
According to this year's yearbook page 62, concerning the resurrection of the worthy ones, Rutherford said 'It was stated in the 'Millions' book that we might reasonably expect them to return shortly after 1925, but this was merely an expressed opinion" However, this was not only an expressed opinion because they already had a house, 'Beth-Sarim' ready for them. If a humble brother expresses his opinion in a printed form, he is disfellowshipped, but the President is above his own rules and may do so.
At the large assemblies there is always much talk about bringing people into God's Organization, but the Bible speaks plainly of leading people to Christ. Jesus says "I am the door," There is no Scripture whatsoever that states that the Organization is the door.
Our Founder, Brother Russel proved the return of the Jews beyond any doubt from Romans 11 and many chapters in Ezekiel and Jeremiah, too many to go into details. But if I preach what Brother Russel said, and the literal meaning of the Bible a humble person would understand by reading it himself, then I would be disfellowshipped. Which means that the Bible does not mean what it says, and that the Founder was a liar.
The next President, Brother Rutherford, completely contradicted himself in his writings. He wrote a book entitled "Comfort for the Jews" directed towards the Jews naturally. He proved that their return is beyond any doubt in the Bible. Shortly afterwards, in some of his following books, he wrote the opposite and went into great detail to disprove the arguments of his previous book
I Corinthians 15 and I Thessalonians 4 and II Thessalonians 2 speak about the rapture and Christ's coming back to earth. The resurrection and the rapture of the living ones is described as one event, as occurring together. However the Faithfull and Discreet Slave says just the opposite, he says that Christ does not return to the earth, and that the rapture is in stages, like a bus picking up stragglers.
Zechariah 14:4 says concerning Christ, 'And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in the front of Jerusalem on the east'. One recent Watchtower stated the opposite, it said that Jesus had already put his feet on the heavenly Mount of Olives. So the Bible does not mean what it says. There are many examples which I could give like this. The books of Rutherford are a real mine of errors. Some years ago I picked out over four hundred statements which were just the opposite to what the Scripture stated.
The explanation of the parable of the leaven in Matthew 13:33 has been changed four times in the past seventy years, yet the Organization claims that the spiritual food is given to us by Jehovah through His Faithful and Discreet Slave, and only after deep and prayerful study of the Bible. The same was said in the book "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose," but Rutherford put all Russel's teachings out of the window. Who then is a liar, Brother Russel, Brother Rutherford, or Jehovah, the God who never changes?
Dealing with the different gifts I Corinthians 12:28 29 says "Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets are they? Not all are teachers. are they?" But the Faithfull and Discreet Slave always says 'ALL OF US SHOULD BECOME TEACHERS', thus going beyond the Scriptures.
When the Pioneers were working 1200 hours per year and one of them became sick. he had to make up the missing hours in order to reach the 1200 hours so that he could remain in pioneer service. We still remember my late father in law, he was 65 years old, he was sick with a severe cold yet he went out in the winter on his pushbike. My wife urged him to stay at home,. his reply was 'No I cannot, otherwise I will not reach the 1200 hours.' Not even the most cruel worldly employer would ask one to make up for the time lost when they were sick yet the Faithful and Discreet Slave has done so for years. Jesus, our Redeemer said "For my yoke is kindly and my load is light." Matthew 11:30.
The Organization teaches that men may be saved and stand accepted before God on the basis of their own righteousness, rather than being saved through Christ alone. This is clearly stated in the book "Life Everlasting - in Freedom of the sons of God" Page 392. "Eventually,
The final blow came for us a few weeks ago when the Watchtower said about "praying through but not to Jesus". It was admitted that Stephen was praying to Jesus when he was being stoned to death, and that John prays directly to Jesus in the end of Revelation, "Amen come Lord Jesus." But the Organization says in the same paragraph this does not mean that we can pray to Jesus because we have to consider the circumstances etc. But who can tell me not to talk to my Saviour? John 5:23 says, "that all may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He that does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him," Who has the right to tell us not to pray to the King of Kings, to our Lord who shed his precious blood for us. Isaiah 9:6 says of him, "And his name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. But the socalled God's Organization says, "No you should not pray to him and honour and worship him." Once it was taught by the Organization that Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, but now it is Jehovah who is the Alpha and the Omega.
How can we be sure that the writings of the Organization are true when there are constant changes and the Word of God is denied. Many thousands have already left because they could not accept the hundreds of changes and spiritual somersaults. God's word is written so that even the most simple person can understand it, while the most wise and clever will never understand it. If God did not spare Israel, how much less will He spare you if you continually change and twist His Word.
There is much more that we could say, but will not. We have found peace in the blood of our Saviour. No longer will we agree to deny the same honour to the Son as to the Father, because we then belittle the Father also. We will not let anyone hinder us from bringing the Good News of God's Kingdom to the people.
We have no bitterness in our hearts, but we love all our brothers. You may call us apostates and evil slaves etc. But remember that you as well as us will have to give an account before the judgement seat of Christ.
In our Lord and Saviour's precious Name.
Brother and Sister. Siegfried and Ruth Strohbach.
Raymond Victor Franz
(May 8, 1922 – June 2, 2010)
Mr. Raymond V. Franz was a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses from October 20, 1971 until his removal on May 22, 1980, and served at the organization's world headquarters for fifteen years, from 1965 until 1980. Franz stated the request for his resignation and his subsequent disfellowshipping resulted from allegations of apostasy. Following his removal, Franz wrote two books that related his personal experiences with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and his views on Jehovah's Witnesses teachings. His uncle, Frederick Franz, was influential in the denomination's development, practices and doctrines. His father associated with the Bible Student movement (from which Jehovah's Witnesses developed) and was baptized in 1913. Franz joined the Jehovah's Witnesses in 1938, and became a baptized member in 1939. In April 1980 a committee of the Governing Body raised concerns about "wrong teachings" being spread by headquarters staff and began questioning staff about their beliefs. Staff were also questioned about comments Franz had made that may have contradicted Watch Tower doctrine. On May 21, 1980, Franz was called to a Governing Body session where he was questioned for three hours about his biblical viewpoints and commitment to Watch Tower doctrines. Consequently, he agreed to a request to resign from the Governing Body and headquarters staff. Franz refused the Watch Tower Society's offer of a monthly stipend as a member of the "Infirm Special Pioneers". The Governing Body investigation resulted in the disfellowshipping of several other headquarters staff. Franz's ended his time with the Jehovah's Witnesses by given a detained account of his perspective on failed and unreasonable expectations among the Witness community that Armageddon would take place in 1975 and his views on fundamental Witness teachings on the significance of 1914 and continued expectations of Armageddon.