The Greek that is translated as “I am in the Father and the Father in me” in English is translarted as “I am with my Father and my Father is with me” in Chol, “My Father and I are one” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, and “My Father and I are the same” in Ojitlán Chinantec. (Source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)
The Greek that is translated as “the life was the light of all people” or similar in English is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “that one who gives life, he is the one who gives understanding to the minds of men,” in Ojitlán Chinantec as “he teaches people the right and straight way according to truth, as if to say, he illumines them,” in Tzotzil (San Andres) as “The one that causes people to live, he is like light. This one who is like light…,” and in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “and he showed people what is truth. And thus he was as it were a light to the people.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
The Greek that is translated as “if my words abide in you” or similar in English is translated in Yatzachi Zapotec as “if you think about my words all the time,” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “if you do not forget my word,” in Huehuetla Tepehua as “if you believe my words in your heart,” and in Ojitlán Chinantec as “if you obey my words.” (Source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)
The Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Latin that is transliterated “Levites” in English (only the Contemporary English Version translates it as “temple helpers”) is translated in Ojitlán Chinantec as “temple caretakers,” Yatzachi Zapotec as “people born in the family line of Levi, people whose responsibility it was to do the work in the important church of the Israelites,” in Alekano as “servants in the sacrifice house from Jerusalem place,” and in Tenango Otomi as “helpers of priests.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
In American Sign Language with a sign that combines “temple” + “servant.” (Source: RuthAnna Spooner, Ron Lawer)
“Levite” in American Sign Language, source: Deaf Harbor
See also Levi.
The Greek that is translated as “figures of speech” or similar in English is translated in Ojitlán Chinantec as “telling words a little bit covered,” in Tenango Otomi as “comparisons,” in Navajo: “stories that teach,” and in Mezquital Otomi as “like a story” (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.).
The Hebrew and the Greek that are translated in English versions as “prophesy” are translated into Anuak as “sing a song” (source: Loren Bliese), into Balanta-Kentohe as “passing on message of God” (source: Rob Koops), and into Ixcatlán Mazatec with a term that does not only refer to the future, but is “speak on behalf of God” (source: Robert Bascom).
Other translations include: “God making someone to show something in advance” (Ojitlán Chinantec), “God causing someone to think and then say it” (Aguaruna), “speaking God’s thoughts” (Shipibo-Conibo), “God made someone say something” “Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac) (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125), “proclaim God’s message” (Teutila Cuicatec), “speak for God” (Chichimeca-Jonaz), “preach the Word of God” (Lalana Chinantec), “speak God’s words” (Tepeuxila Cuicatec), “that which God’s Spirit will cause one to say one will say” (Mayo) (source for this and four above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.), and “say what God wants people to hear” (tell people God wod dat e gii oona fa say) (Gullah) (source: Robert Bascom).
In Luang it is translated with different shades of meaning:
- For Acts 3:18, 3:21, 3:25: nurwowohora — “mouth says words that don’t come from one’s own mind.” (“This term refers to an individual’s speaking words that are not his because either a good or bad spirit is at work through him. The speaker is not in control of himself.”)
- For Acts 19:6, Acts 21:9: nakotnohora — “talk about.” (“The focus of this term is on telling God’s message for the present as opposed to the future.”)
- For Acts 21:11: rora — “foretell” (“The focus of this term is giving God’s message concerning the future. The person who speaks is aware of what he is doing and he is using his own mind, yet it is with God’s power that he foretells the future.”)
Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.
The Greek that is tramslated in English as “My hour has not yet come” or similar is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “The moment hasn’t come when I can do anything,” in Ojitlán Chinantec as “It has not yet arrived, the time of my showing myself,” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “It is not yet time for my task to begin, and in Yatzachi Zapotec as “My hour has yet to come for me to help people.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
The Greek that is translated as “weapon” in English is translated as “machete” in Ojitlán Chinantec (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.).
The phrase that is translated into English as “you stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears” is translated into Afar as “You dry stones that nothing enters, and people who have hearts that refuse God, and ears closed saying we didn’t hear God’s message.” (stiff-necked > dry stones, uncircumcised in heart > hearts that refuse God, uncircumcised ears > ears closed to hearing God’s message) (Source: Loren Bliese)
Other translations for “uncircumcised in heart and ears” include:
- Rincón Zapotec: “it doesn’t enter your hearts or your ears. You are like those who don’t even believe”
- Eastern Highland Otomi: “hard are your hearts and not a little bit open are your ears”
- Morelos Nahuatl: “you have your heart as unbelievers, you do not want to hear God’s word”
- Highland Popoluca: “you never wanted to do God’s will, never truly believed”
- Teutila Cuicatec: “you are just the same as those who do not believe God’s word because you do not obey”
- Huichol: “you have not been marked with God’s sign in your hearts or in your ears (you are unruly and unsubmissive like an untamed, unbranded bronco)”
- Ojitlán Chinantec: “you do not have the word-sign in your hearts. Your ears are clogged”
- Copainalá Zoque: “you just don’t understand”
- Isthmus Mixe: “your hearts and minds are not open” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
- Kaqchikel: “with your hearts unprepared” (Source: Nida 1964, p. 220)
In Chichewa (interconfessional translation) “stiff-necked” is translated as “hard-headed.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 130)
The Hebrew and Greek pesach/pascha that is typically translated in English as “Passover” (see below) is translated in a variety of descriptive ways of various aspects of the Jewish festival. (Click or tap here to see the rest of this insight):
- Ojitlán Chinantec: “the feast of the passing by of God’s angel”
- Lalana Chinantec: “the day would come which is called Passover, when the Israel people remember how they went out of the land of Egypt”
- Huehuetla Tepehua: “the celebration when they ate their sheep”
- Umiray Dumaget Agta: “the celebration of the day of their being brought out of bondage”
(source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
- Obolo: ijọk Iraraka — “Festival of Passing” (source: Enene Enene)
- Guhu-Samane: “special day of sparing” (source: Ernest Richert in The Bible Translator 1965, p. 198ff. )
- Yakan: “The festival of the Isra’il tribe which they call For-Remembering” (source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Wolof: “Festival of the day of Salvation” (“the term ‘pass over’ brings up the image of a person’s crossing over a chasm after death”) (source: Marilyn Escher)
- Bura-Pabir: vir kucelir fəlɓəla kəi — “time-of happiness-of jumping-over house”
- Berom: Nzem Gyilsit Nelɔ — “Festival-of jumping-of houses”
- Nigerian Fulfulde: Humto Ƴaɓɓitaaki / Humto Sakkinki — “Festival-of passing-over”
- Hausa: Bikin Ƙetarewa — “Festival-of going-over” (source for this and three above: Andy Warren-Rothlin)
- Jula: “Feast of end of slavery” (source: Fritz Goerling)
- Bafanji: laiŋzieʼ — “pass-jump over” (source: Cameron Hamm)
- Tiéyaxo Bozo / Jenaama Bozo: “Salvation/Rescue (religious) feast” (source: Marko Hakkola)
- Sabaot: Saakweetaab Keeytaayeet — “Festival of Passing-by” (source: Iver Larsen)
- Language spoken in India and Bangladesh: “Festival of avoidance”
- Vlax Romani: o ghes o baro le Nakhimasko — “the Day of the Passing”
- Saint Lucian Creole: Fèt Délivwans — “Feast of Deliverance” (source: David Frank)
- Finnish: pääsiäinen (“The term is very probably coined during the NT translation process around 1520-1530. It is connected to a multivalent verb päästä and as such refers either to the Exodus (päästä meaning “to get away [from Egypt]”) or to the end of the Lent [päästä referring to get relieved from the limitations in diet]. The later explanation being far more probable than the first.”)
- Northern Sami: beas’sážat (“Coined following the model in Finnish. The Sami verb is beassat and behaves partly like the Finnish one. Many Christian key terms are either borrowed from Finnish or coined following the Finnish example.”)
- Estonian: ülestõusmispüha — “holiday/Sunday of the resurrection” — or lihavõttepüha — “holiday/Sunday of returning of meat”
- Karelian: äijüpäivü — “the great day” (“Here one can hear the influence of the Eastern Christianity, but not directly Russian as language, because the Russian term is Пасха/Pasha or Воскресение Христово/Voskresenie Hristovo, ‘[the day of] the resurrection of Christ,’ but the week before Easter is called as the great week.”) (Source for this and three above: Seppo Sipilä)
- Russian (for Russian speaking Muslims): праздник Освобождения/prazdnik Osvobozhdeniya — “Festival of-liberation” (source: Andy Warren-Rothlin)
- Spanish Sign Language: pass through + miracle (source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)
“Passover” in Spanish Sign Language (source )
- English: Passover (term coined by William Tyndale that both replicates the sound of the Hebrew original pesah — פסח as well as part of the meaning: “passing over” the houses of the Israelites in Egypt) — oddly, the English Authorized Version (King James Version) translates the occurrence in Acts 12:4 as Easter
- Low German: Osterfest “Easter” (translation by Johannes Jessen, publ. 1933, republ. 2006)
Many Romance languages follow the tradition from Latin that has one term for both “Easter” and “Passover” (pascha). Portuguese uses Páscoa for both, Italian uses Pascha, and French has Pâque for “Passover” and the identically pronounced Pâques for “Easter.”
In languages in francophone and lusophone (Portuguese speaking) Africa, indigenous languages typically use the Romance word for “Easter” as a loanword and often transliterate pesach/pascha. In Kinyarwanda and Rundi Pasika is used, in Swahili and Congo Swahili Pasaka, and in Lingala Pasika. In some cases, the transliteration of “Passover” is derived from the European language, such as Umbundu’s Pascoa (from Portuguese) and Bulu’s Pak (from French).
As John Ellingworth (in The Bible Translator 1980, p 445f. ) points out “in most contexts only the presence or absence of the definite article distinguishes them [in French la pâque for Passover and Pâques for Easter]. Since most African languages do not have definite articles, there remains no way to distinguish between the two terms where the general population has borrowed the word for Easter and the Bible translators have borrowed the word for Passover to use in their translation. Some even consider the references to [Passover] before the death of Christ as prophetic!”
See also this devotion on YouVersion .
The Greek that is translated as “I find no crime in him” or similar in English is translated as “Not a single fault do I find in this man” in Ojitlán Chinantec, “I don’t find any sin in this man” in Huehuetla Tepehua, “It is not known to me even a little bit of bad which he has done” in Aguaruna, “I think this man has no sin” in Chol, and “It is not apparent that this man is guilty” in Yatzachi Zapotec.
(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
The Ghari translation uses different terms for “fishing”: with nets when fishing for fish and with a line when fishing for men. (Source: David Clark)
The translation for “fishing” (when referring to catching fish) in Ojitlán Chinantec is “catching water animals” and in Aguaruna “killing fish.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing the different kinds of fishing with a net in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)
See also cast a net.