"Now I have translated the Aramaic of this passage as follows:
because many of the Judeans, on account of him, were trusting more and more ('EZAL) in Yeshua."
The Greek version makes no sense. Why would believing in Him cause them to "go away"?"
As I pointed out on December 26 , the Greek in Jn 12:11 is fine. There is no difficulty with the text as it now stands in the GNT. I consequently suggested understanding the text as a reference to Jews departing from the tutelage of religious leaders, who left the sheep of Judaism skinned and thrown about like sheep without a shepherd.
But after I made this reply, I decided to do a little more research. What I found interesting in my studies is how different Bibles render this verse.
"because on account of him many of the Jews were going there [hUPHGON-imperfect indicative active 3rd pl of hUPAGW] and putting faith in Jesus" (NWT).
"for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and putting their faith in him" (NIV).
"because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus" (NASB).
"Because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [were withdrawing from and leaving the Judeans] and believing in and adhering to Jesus" (Amplified Bible). Words in the bracket are in the original text of the Amplified Bible.
"because on account of him many of the Jews were going away, and were believing in Jesus" (YLT).
"for on account of him many of the Jewish people from Jerusalem were going away and believing in Jesus" (NET Bible).
The quotes listed above quickly reveal that a number of translators think that hUPHGON (Jn 12:11) refers to the Jews "going away" from the Jewish authorities in order to follow Jesus. However, the NWT does not necessarily communicate this idea but instead simply says that the Jews were going to Bethany, where Jesus was staying. Why does the NWT read so differently?
BDAG informs us that hUPAGW is used only intransitively in our literature and is found most frequently in John. The verb can mean "to leave someone's presence" or to "go away." In Mt 4:10, for instance, we read: "TOTE LEGEI AUTWi hO IHSOUS hUPAGE SATANA . . ."
John also writes: APEKRIQH IHSOUS EIPON hUMIN hOTI EGW EIMI EI OUN EME ZHTEITE AFETE TOUTOUS hUPAGEIN (18:8).
While hUPAGW can delineate the action of departing or going away, however, BDAG reminds us that the line between "going away" and "going" is not fixed. See Mk 6:31; Jn 13:3; Rev 17:8, 11.
A second sense listed in BDAG for hUPAGW is "to be on the move, esp. in a certain direction, go." After listing a number of instances illustrating this usage, the Greek lexicon mentions that hUPAGW can also be used to simply mean "go" (absolutely) and in these cases, "the context supplies the destination" of the movement thus delineated. See Mt 8:32; 13:44; Lk 10:3;Jn 15:16. Finally, BDAG categorizes Jn 12:11 as an example of hUPAGW meaning "to be on the move, esp. in a certain direction, go." The idea of movement away from or in a certain direction therefore seems to be supplied from the context. BDAG also states that P66 omits hUPAGW in Jn 12:11.
At any rate, we can now more clearly discern why some render it either "going away" or "going there" in the case of the NWT. Either way, the Greek of Jn 12:11 is not really problematic.