beat his breast

The Greek that is translated in English as “beat his breast” or similar is translated in Kasem as “clapped his hands.” To beat one’s breast is considered to be a sign of arrogance and pride. To express regret people clap their hands. (Source: Urs Niggli in Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 16)

Similarly in Bafut (in Luke 23:48): “If we translated the image, ‘beating their breasts’ literally, it would give a wrong meaning. ‘Beating their breasts/chests’ translates in Bafut as ‘ŋ̀kwɛɛ nɨ̂ mɨnt ̀ɨɨ̀ myaa.’ This means they were proud of what they had done. Another consideration is that literally translating ‘beating their breasts’ will mean that it was the women beating their breasts, not men, since, in Bafut, men are perceived as not having breasts. In order to bring out the right meaning using a culturally relevant image, we rendered this as ‘ŋ̀wɛtə mbô myaa,’ and this means ‘crossed their arms’ (under the chin, so the palms rested on the shoulders), which is a sign of mourning in the culture. So in order to explain the symbolic action, the translation added the implicit information, ‘nloŋ mə mɨntɨɨ̀ myaa lɛ nluu nɨ̂ àjəŋnə̀‘ which means, ‘because their hearts were full with sorrow.'” (Source: Michael Suh Niba in Vila-Chã / Hu 2022, p. 233ff.)

In Yaweyuha it is expressed more explicitly as “feeling great sorrow, repeatedly beating their chests” (source: Larson 1998, p. 98) and likewise on Chokwe as “beat his breast for sorrow” (“beat one’s breast” is the equivalent of the English “pat oneself on the back”) (source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.).

explain, interpret

The Greek that is translated as “interpreted” or “explained” is translated as kulumbununa — “to take-apart-a-pile” in Chokwe. “Kulumba is ‘to stack up in a pile’, ‘to pile up’, and ‘to unstack or take from a pile’ is kulumbununa. But this is the word they use for explaining or expounding a subject, and how expressive it is. One who can expound is one who can take the great unordered pile of any truth and ‘unpile’ it, take it apart piece by piece, laying it out in order so that it can be understood.” (Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.)

castaway, disqualified

The Greek that is translated as “disqualified” or “castaway” in English is translated as chisashili in Chokwe. This refers to a “basket or the like that has broken down or for some reason unfit for the fulfillment of its original purpose. It is then thrown out, though it may be picked off the rubbish heap to serve some other, though always inferior, end. It is rejected as unfit for the job intended by its owner or maker and lies on the refuse pile in shame.”

(Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.)

bishop, overseer

The Greek that is translated as “overseer” or “bishop” is kalayi in Chokwe. “This is the word for a watchman set in time of danger or war, who is responsible for the welfare of all under his care and will be held accountable for his faithfulness or otherwise.” (Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff. )

In Bacama the translation is adɨ nidə ji-kottə: “person who looks after the followers.” (Source: David Frank in this blog post )

deacon

The Greek that is often translated as “deacon” in English is translated as kavumbi in Chokwe, someone “who serves another, not from compulsion or for a wage, but because of vumbi or grace.”

(Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.)

conscience

The Greek that is rendered in English as “conscience” is translated into Aari as “our thoughts speak to us,” in Nuer it is “the knowledge of their heart” (source: Jan Sterk), in Cheke Holo “to know what is straight and what is wrong” (source: Carl Gross), in Chokwe “law of the heart” (source D.B. Long in The Bible Translator 1953, p. 135ff. ), in Toraja-Sa’dan penaa ma’pakilala or “the admonishing within” (source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff. ), in Yatzachi Zapotec as “head-hearts,” in Tzeltal as “hearts” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.), in Enlhet as “innermost,” and in Northern Emberá as “thinking” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1975, p. 201ff. )

In Warao it is translated with obojona, a term that “includes the concepts of consciousness, will, attitude, attention and a few other miscellaneous notions” (source: Henry Osborn in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 74ff. ). See other occurrences of Obojona in the Warao New Testament.

See also conscience seared and perfect conscience / clear conscience, clear conscience towards God and all people, and brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.

doubt

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “doubt” in English versions is translated with a term in Tzeltal that means “heart is gone.” (Nida 1952, p. 122)

In other languages it is represented by a variety of idiomatic renderings, and in the majority of instances the concept of duality is present, e.g. “to make his heart two” (Kekchí), “to be with two hearts” (Punu), “to stand two” (Sierra de Juárez Zapotec), “to be two” or “to have two minds” (Navajo), “to think something else” (Tabasco Chontal), “to think two different things” (Shipibo-Conibo), “to have two thoughts” (Yaka and Huallaga Huánuco Quechua), or “two-things-soul” (Yucateco).

In some languages, however, doubt is expressed without reference to the concept of “two” or “otherness,” such as “to have whirling words in one’s heart” (Chol), “his thoughts are not on it” (Baoulé), or “to have a hard heart” (Piro). (Source: Bratcher / Nida, except for Yucateco: Nida 1947, p. 229 and Huallaga Huánuco Quechua: Nida 1952, p. 123)

In Chokwekwalajala is ‘to doubt.’ It is the repetitive of kuala, ‘to spread out in order, to lay (as a table), to make (as a bed),’ and is connected with kualula ‘to count.’ [It is therefore like] a person in doubt as one who can’t get a thing in proper order, who lays it out one way but goes back again and again and tries it other ways. It is connected with uncertainty, hesitation, lack of an orderly grasp of the ‘count’ of the subject.” (Source: D. B. Long in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 87ff.)