complete verse (John 17:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 17:10:

  • Chol: “All who belong to you also are mine. All who are mine are yours. My greatness has been shown in the believers.”
  • Mezquital Otomi: “All mine are yours and all yours are mine. We own them together. My glory appears in them.”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “And all the people who follow me are your children. And thus it is, whoever are your children are also my children. I receive honor because of what they do.”
  • Central Pame: “. . . It is apparent that I am glorious when the people I rule live righteously.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

bread, loaf

The Greek term that is translated in English as “bread” or “loaf” is translated in Chol as waj, the equivalent of a tortilla.

John Beekman (in The Bible Translator 1962, p. 180f.) explains: “The word ‘bread’ in Scripture primarily occurs as either a specific term for bread (including the Lord’s Supper), or as a generic term for food. It is not surprising, however, the some aboriginal groups use something other than bread as the staff of life. The Chols, with their cultural focus in the cultivation of corn, use waj, a type of thin corn flake. Since a meal is not complete without this main item of food, the term has been extended to include any other foods which may be served along with waj. While bread is known to them, its use is limited to a few occasions during the year when it functions as a dessert. In translating this term in the Chol New Testament, consistent use has been made of the word waj whenever the function of bread as a basic food was in focus. John 6:35, “I am the bread of life,” was thus translated with this word. If the word for bread had been used, it was feared that the Chol would compare Christ to the desirable, but not absolutely necessary, dessert.”

In Samo, it is translated as “Sago,” which serves “like ‘bread’ for the Hebrews, as a generic for food in the Samo language. It is a near-perfect metonymy that has all the semantic elements necessary for effective communication.” (Source: Daniel Shaw in: Scriptura 96/2007, p. 501ff.)

mixture of myrrh with aloes

The Greek that is translated as a “mixture of myrrh with aloes” refers a mixture of “a fragrant resin used for embalming the dead” (myrrh) and a “powdered aromatic sandalwood, spoken of as providing perfume for the bed or clothes” (aloes) (source: Newman / Nida),

Ojitlán Chinantec translates it as “fragrant powder, resin powder and wood powder mixed” and Chol as “a wood that gives a fragrant smell when it is rotten.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

apostle, apostles

The Greek term that is translated as “apostle(s)” in English is (back-) translated in the following ways:

peace (being at peace)

The Greek that is translated into English as “peace” is (back-) translated with a variety of idioms and phrases:

complete verse (John 1:20)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:20:

  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “He said to them clearly, ‘I am not the Christ, the person whom God is to send to help the nation of us Israelites.'”
  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “He said, ‘I am not the Christ, the chosen of God for a particular task.’ John showed the truth. He did not speak lies.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “Well he admitted the truth. He immediately made it plain to them that he wasn’t Christ whom it was said God would send.”
  • Mezquital Otomi: “. . . I am not the Christ, whom God chose.”
  • Alekano: “Then not denying it, revealing it, he told them this: ‘I am not the Christ.'”
  • Chol: “John did not keep it a secret . . . “

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

adultery

The Greek that is translated as “adultery” (typically understood as “marital infidelity”) in English is (back-) translated in the following ways:

  • Highland Totonac: “to do something together”
  • Yucateco: “pair-sin”
  • Ngäbere: “robbing another’s half self-possession” (compare “fornication” which is “robbing self-possession,” that is, to rob what belongs to a person)
  • Kaqchikel, Chol: “to act like a dog”
  • Toraja-Sa’dan: “to measure the depth of the river of (another’s) marriage.”
  • Inupiaq; “married people using what is not theirs” (compare “fornication” which is “unmarried people using what is not theirs” (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • In Purari: “play hands with” or “play eyes with”
  • In Hakha Chin the usual term for “adultery” applies only to women, so the translation for the Greek term that is translated into English as “adultery” was translated in Hakha Chin as “do not take another man’s wife and do not commit adultery.”
  • In Falam Chin the term for “adultery” is the phrase for “to share breast” which relates to adultery by either sex. (Source for this and three above: David Clark)
  • In Ixcatlán Mazatec a specification needs to be made to include both genders. (Source: Robert Bascom)

See also adulterer and adulteress.