The Greek that is translated in English as “baptize with the Holy Spirit” is translated in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “(baptize so that) the Holy Spirit will come upon/enter you” (source: Robert Bascom) and in Mairasi as “wash with the Holy Spirit” (“water” baptism is “wash with water”) (source: Enggavoter 2004).
Other languages translate as follows:
- Rincón Zapotec: “be baptized with the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit will come to be with you”
- Teutila Cuicatec: “God’s Holy Spirit will possess you”
- Chuj: “God’s Spirit will be given to you”
- Mezquital Otomi: “be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit”
- Mayo: “receive the Holy Spirit in the same way you receive baptism”
- Lalana Chinantec: “the Great Spirit will enter your hearts” (Source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
See also Holy Spirit and baptism / baptize.
The Greek that is translated as “everything they owned was held in common” or similar in English is translated as “no one said, ‘This is mine.’ They owned everything together” in Isthmus Mixe, as “not one of them considered their things apart, because they considered their things as if they belonged to all of them” in Teutila Cuicatec, as “there was no person who said that one thing was his alone. But everything of theirs one only its thusness by them all” in Chuj. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Greek and Hebrew that is typically translated as “(to the) right hand of” is often translated much more descriptively in other languages. In Yakan it is translated as “at the right side, here in the greatest/most important/most honored place/seat,” in Mezquital Otomi as “the right hand, at the place of honor,” in Chuj as “exalted at the right hand,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz as “in a high place there at the right,” in Lalana Chinantec as “make great,” in Isthmus Mixe as “given great authority,” in Morelos Nahuatl as “placed big,” in Isthmus Mixe as “stays with me,” in Morelos Nahuatl as “heart-strengthens me” (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August, 1966, p. 86ff), and in Teutila Cuicatec as “in all authority at the right side” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.).
In Lamnso’, the seat on the right-hand side signifies that the person seated there would have a higher position than the one to his left (vs. just being a seat of honor). To circumvent any misunderstanding of the biblical text, the translation here refers to the “highest seat next to God.” (Source: Karl Grebe in Holzhausen 1991, p. 52)
The Greek that is translated in English as “hanging him on a tree” in English is translated as “crucified on a cross” in Teutila Cuicatec), as “put him on a tree” in Lalana Chinantec, as “fastened him on a tree made into a cross” in Chichimeca-Jonaz, as “on a cross” in Morelos Nahuatl, or “hang on a cross” in Chuj. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “witness” in English is translated as “truly have seen” in Highland Popoluca, as “telling the truth regarding something (Eastern Highland Otomi), as “know something” in Lalana Chinantec, as “verily know something to be the truth” in San Mateo del Mar Huave, as we ourselves saw this Desano, as “tell the truth about something in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “know something is true because of seeing it” in Teutila Cuicatec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Greek and Hebrew that is typically translated as “census” in English is translated in these ways:
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 them to say they 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.
See also prophet and prophesy / prophetic frenzy.
The Greek that is typically translated as “full of grace” in English is translated in the following ways:
The Greek that is translated as “brothers and fathers” in English is translated in Purari as “younger and older brothers.” (Source: David Clark)
In Teutila Cuicatec it is “all of you, officials of our nation and my brothers,” in Isthmus Mixe “old men and brothers (according to order of respect), in Lalana Chinantec “companions, men,” in Eastern Highland Otomi “you men, fathers,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz “you who are our relatives, and you whom I made my fathers,” in Highland Popoluca “my older uncles,” and in Rincón Zapotec “elders and brothers.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Greek that is translates as “enslave (them) and maltreat (them)” or similar in English is translated in the following ways:
- Lalana Chinantec” “they will become servants of other people, servant who don’t have any pay. The other people will mistreat them”
- Teutila Cuicatec: “mistreat them and force them to work for them”
- Desano: “they will help in the work like slaves and the people will scold them and beat them hard”
- Eastern Highland Otomi. “they will be servants and have suffering”
- Ayutla Mixtec: “will take your sons to be their property and will make them suffer”
- Isthmus Mixe: “would be made laborers by force and be mistreated”
- Highland Popoluca: “work them hard but not pay them” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Greek that is translated into English as “anchor” in English is, due to non-existing nautical language, rendered as kayo’ barko (“an instrument that keeps the boat from drifting”) in Chol (source: Steven 1979, p. 76), “iron hooks” (“that make the boat stop”) in Isthmus Mixe, “irons called ‘anchors’ with ropes” in Teutila Cuicatec (source for this and above: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.), “weights, and thus they were able to make the boat stand” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac (source: Larson 1998, p. 99), “an iron attached to a rope attached to the boat so that it may not drift away” in Lalana Chinantec (source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.), “a thing that makes the water vehicle stand still” in Kamwe (source: Roger Mohrlang in here), and “big canoe stopping metal” in Kouya.
Eddie Arthur tells the story of the translation into Kouya: “A slightly more prosaic example comes from Paul’s sea voyages in the Book of Acts. In Acts 27, when Paul’s ship was facing a huge storm, there are several references to throwing out the anchor to save the ship. Now the Kouya live in a tropical rain-forest and have no vessels larger than dug-out canoes used for fishing on rivers. The idea of an anchor was entirely foreign to them. However, it was relatively easy to devise a descriptive term along the lines of ‘boat stopping metal’ that captured the essential nature of the concept. This was fine when we were translating the word anchor in its literal sense. However, in Hebrews 6:19 we read that hope is an anchor for our souls. It would clearly make no sense to use ‘boat stopping metal’ at this point as the concept would simply not have any meaning. So in this verse we said that faith was like the foundation which keeps a house secure. One group working in the Sahel region of West Africa spoke of faith being like a tent peg which keeps a tent firm against the wind. I hope you can see the way in which these two translations capture the essence of the image in the Hebrews verse while being more appropriate to the culture.”
Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing an anchor in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)
See also ship / boat, rudder, and anchor (figurative).