humble (mind)

The Greek that is translated as “humble” or “humble mind” in many English versions is translated into Eastern Arrernte as the appropriate and correct behavior in kinship relationships.

See also humble / lowly.

which (the commandment) is true in him and in you

The Greek that is translated as “which (the commandment) is true in him and in you” in many English versions is translated into Eastern Arrernte as “this commandment is straight because Christ himself told it to us. You also show that the commandment is straight because you show love to each other.”

test the spirits

The Greek that is translated as “test the spirits” in many English versions is translated into Eastern Arrernte as “first listen to them, perhaps their words are from God, perhaps not.”

his love is perfected in us

The Greek that is translated as “his love is perfected in us” in many English versions is translated into Eastern Arrernte as “because he has loved us, we are able to love (properly).”


Bawm build with bamboo and thatch in their mountainous forests. They made the apostles and prophets become the roof ridge pole and Jesus the central uprights which support it. I asked why not the corner uprights since Greek has a term that is translated in English as ‘cornerstone.’ Bawm translators responded that the central uprights are more important than the corner ones, and Greek refers to the most important stone. (“Corner uprights” used in 1Tim 3:15.) (Source: David Clark)

In Mono, translators used “main post,” in Martu Wangka “two forked sticks with another long strong stick laid across” (see also 1 Peter 2:6-7.), and in Arrernte, the translation in 1Pet 2:7 (in English translation: “the stone . . . became the very cornerstone”) was rendered as “the foundation… continues to be the right foundation.” (Source for this and two above: Carl Gross)

Likewise, in Uripiv it also is the “post” (source: Ross McKerras) as well as in Sabaot (source Jim Leonhard in Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 50)

In Ixcatlán Mazatec it is translated with a term denoting the “the principal part of the ‘house’ (or work)” (Source: Robert Bascom), in Enlhet as “like the house-root” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.), in Q’anjob’al it is translated with with the existing idiom “ear of the house.” (Source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.), in Desano as “main support of the house,” and in Tataltepec Chatino as “the best stone” (source for this and one above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.).

Shuar translates as “that stone was placed to the main house pole.” The Shuar use stones in house building either at the bottom of the posthole as a base for the house pole to rest on, or as chocking material around the post to hold it firm. Either function is acceptable here particularly as applied to the main house-pole. In Ocotlán Zapotec it is “master stone of the house.” This is a special stone they put into the foundation as sort of a guide stone of how the foundation is to true up. (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also rock / stone, foundation on rock, and foundation.

God is love

The Greek that is translated as “God is love” in most English versions is translated in Arrernte as “God always shows his love to people” (source: Carl Gross), in Mairasi as “Above-One Himself (=God) is ‘The Person Who Desires People’s Faces (=Love)'” (source: Enggavoter 2004), and in Ekari as Ugatame kidi ipa bokouto kouja or “God is enormous love” (bokouto — “enormous” — is being used as an attribute for abstract nouns to denote that they are of God [see also here]; source: Marion Doble in The Bible Translator 1963, p. 37ff.).

See also love (by God) and complete verse (1John 4:8).

since they are weaker than you, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way

The Greek that is translated in various ways in English but typically something like “you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you” is translated into Eastern Arrernte as “each one of you are to be thinking correctly about the love that belongs to married people. Remember that your wife is not physically strong like you are.”

The “weaker sex” is translated in Enlhet as “those with the un-strong feminine skin.” (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.)

complete verse (2 Peter 2:19)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Peter 2:19:

  • Uma: “Those teachers say: ‘If you follow our (excl.) teaching, you will be released from law, you can do whatever you want.’ But in fact it is they themselves who live like slaves, for behavior that cause the downfall of mankind control them. For if we have desires that control us, we are enslaved by those desires of ours.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “They promise the people that if they follow them, they can do whatever they want because they have no master. But this is the truth, even they themselves are like slaves to their bad customs. For whoever is addicted to do a certain thing, he is enslaved by that which he is doing.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Those teachers say that we can be saved by means of following them, for they say that any kind of behaviour is permitted to us, however, they are more deeply enslaved by activites which can destroy, for we (incl.) know that a person is a slave of anything which controls him.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “They promise that a person will be free if he follows what they teach, but the truth of it is, they themselves are enslaved by the sins which defile (lit. cause-to-be-filthy) and ruin them. Because a person, he becomes a slave of whatever/whoever defeats him.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “They even promise that whoever will follow/obey their teaching, they really are now free, it now being possible/acceptable to do whatever they want to, for they are no longer slaves to the will of another. But well, as for the ones putting out that (idea), they are in fact slaves themselves to destructive/dangerous evil. Because the truth is, we people are slaves to whatever has control of us.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “They tell the people to do whatever they want to do. But they themselves cannot depart from the evil life they live. For every person, the road he takes, he finds that he can’t leave it.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Eastern Arrernte “They say to people, ‘You don’t have to obey God or any man,’ but they themselves continue to obey the devil. Look, the person who obeys his evil desires, for him his evil desires act as boss over him.” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (1 John 4:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 John 4:18:

  • Uma: “If we really know God’s love to us, we are no longer afraid of God. His complete love strengthens our heart so that we are no longer afraid. If we fear that God will punish [us], its meaning, we do not yet really know his love for us.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “True love is not mixed with fear because if we (dual) truly love God our (dual) fear disappears. Whoever fears, his love is not yet complete, because he is afraid that perhaps he will be punished by God.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Anyone who loves God, it is not necessary that he be afraid of God, and since God’s love for us has no lack, he has removed already our fear of Him. The reason a person is afraid is because he expects God’s punishment on him, but as for that person who is afraid of God, God’s love for him has not yet been drawn tight in his mind.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So long as there is love, it not possible that it be added-to with fear, because the love which has no lack, it blocks fear. So the person who is afraid because he is thinking about God’s punishment, that is the evidence that his love is still lacking.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For as long as our holding dear of God and valuing of our fellowman is true, we no longer have fear of punishment. Because, as for complete holding dear, it’s like it can bury/cover up this fear. Because what people really fear is, to be punished. Therefore if we are still afraid of being punished, it’s clear that our holding dear and valuing is still lacking.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The person who loves God from the heart does not then fear that God will be angry with him. How can you go on fearing when from the heart you love? A person fears that God will be angry at him when he doesn’t love from the heart.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “If we love God there is nothing for us to fear. And if we love God as we ought, there is nothing left for us to fear, because it is like a punishment for us when we are afraid. And if we fear anything, we do not love God as we ought.”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “He who fears the judgment, he fears it because he hasn’t yet known well the love that God does to him. God’s love removes fear. When we fear, we think God will punish us.”
  • Tzotzil: “If we believe that God loves us, therefore we are not afraid. Because if we are afraid, it is because we think that God is going to punish us. If we believe that God really and truly loves us, not thus we think. Therefore if we are afraid it is because we have not believed that God loves us.”
  • Sayula Popoluca: “He who loves God, doesn’t fear. Because he who truly loves God will not fear anything. Because he who fears will suffer. He who fears, he doesn’t truly love God.” (Source for this and three above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.
  • Eastern Arrernte “The person who knows that God loves him does not fear God. But the person who fears that God will punish him, he does not yet know that God loves him very much.” (Source: Carl Gross)