author of life

The Greek that is translated as “author of life” in English is translated as “the one who give eternal life” in Rincón Zapotec, as “the one who gave us (incl.) our life” in Chichimeca-Jonaz, as “the Lord that gives life” in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “him who causes us to live” in Morelos Nahuatl, as “that man who has caused everything to be that there is” in San Mateo del Mar Huave, or as “gives life to people” Tepeuxila Cuicatec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

savior

The Greek that is translated as “savior” in English in translated in Laka as “one who takes us by the hand” (source: Nida 1952, p. 140), as “one who saves those on this earth” in Teutila Cuicatec, as “one who saves from save from sin” in Isthmus Mixe, as “a person who pardons people of their sins” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec (source for this and two above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.) and as Keny-Barranginy-Ngandabat or “One Bringing Life” in Nyongar (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).

In various German and Dutch Bible translations, the term Heiland is used, which was introduced by Martin Luther in the 16th century and means “the healing one.” This term (as “Hælend”) was used in Old English as a translation for “Jesus” — see Swain 2019 and Jesus.

Sovereign Lord

The Greek that is translated in English as “Sovereign Lord” is translated as “you who are Chief, you own all of us, truly you are God” in Chichimeca-Jonaz, as “Big Father, you are God” in Isthmus Mixe, as “my Lord who is the greatest” in Lalana Chinantec, as “our Lord, he who is greatest before us” in Ayutla Mixtec, as “you, Lord God, who is very great” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec, as “you, the Lord able to do all things” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, or “God our Father, you are our Boss, the biggest” Tataltepec Chatino. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

hypocrite

(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)

The Greek and Hebrew terms that are translated as “hypocrite” in English typically have a counterpart in most languages. According to Bratcher / Nida (1961, p. 225), they can be categorized into the following categories:

  • those which employ some concept of “two” or “double”
  • those which make use of some expression of “mouth” or “speaking”
  • those which are based upon some special cultural feature
  • those which employ a non-metaphorical phrase

Following is a list of (back-) translations from some languages:

The English version of Sarah Ruden (2021) uses “play-actor.” She explains (p. li): “A hupokrites is fundamentally an actor. The word has deep negativity in the Gospels on two counts: professional actors were not respectable people in the ancient world, and traditional Judaism did not countenance any kind of playacting. I write ‘play-actor’ throughout.”

See also hypocrisy.

serve tables, wait at tables

The Greek that is often translated as “serve tables” or “wait at tables is translated in the following ways:

conversion, convert, turn back

(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)

The Greek that is often rendered in English as “to be converted” or “to turn around” is (back-) translated in a number of ways:

  • North Alaskan Inupiatun: “to change completely”
  • Purepecha: “to turn around”
  • Highland Totonac: “to have one’s life changed”
  • Huautla Mazatec: “to make pass over bounds within”
  • San Blas Kuna: “turn the heart toward God”
  • Chol: “the heart turns itself back”
  • Highland Puebla Nahuatl: “self-heart change”
  • Pamona: “to turn away from, unlearn something”
  • Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “to turn around from the breast”
  • Luvale: “to return”
  • Balinese: “to put in a new behavior” (compare “repentance“: “to put on a new mind”)
  • Tzeltal: “to cause one’s heart to return to God” (compare “repentance”: “to cause one’s heart to return because of one’s sin”)
  • Pedi: “to retrace one’s step” (compare “repentance”: “to become untwisted”)
  • Uab Meto: “to return” (compare “repentance”: “to turn the heart upside down”)
  • Northwestern Dinka: “to turn oneself” (compare “repentance”: “to turn the heart”) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Central Mazahua: “changing the heart” (compare “repentance”: “turning back the heart”) (source: Nida 1952, p. 40)
  • Western Kanjobal: “to molt” (like a butterfly) (source: Nida 1952, p. 136)
  • Latvian: atgriezties (verb) / atgriešanās (noun) (“turn around / return”) which is also the same term being used for “repentance” (source: Katie Roth)
  • Isthmus Mixe: “look away from the teaching of one’s ancestors and follow the teachings of God”
  • Highland Popoluca: “leaving one’s old beliefs to believe in Jesus” (source for thsi and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

anoint (chrió)

The Greek chrió that is translated as “anoint” in English is translated in Chol as “choose.”

Wilbur Aulie (in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 109ff.) explains: “Another illustration of translating a figure in a non-figurative manner is the treatment of chrió ‘anoint’. In Luke 4:18, Acts 4:27 and 10:38, and in 2 Corinthians 1:21 it is metaphorical of consecration to office by God. We translated the metaphor ‘choose’.”

Other translations include “place as Savior” in Highland Popoluca, “appoint to rule” in Coatlán Mixe, “give work to do” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec, or “give office to be our Savior” in Chuj (source of this and four above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.).

beautiful before God

The Greek that is translated as “beautiful before God” in English is translated in the following ways:

healed (of spirits)

The Greek that is translated as “the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed” or similar is translated in Tepeuxila Cuicatec as “the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed sand the evil spirits left them.” Larson (1998, p. 20) explains: “In Tepeuxila Cuicatec, ‘healed’ can be used only to talk about ‘sickness,’ not to talk about ‘casting out evil spirits.’ to be sure these people were helped as well, an obligatory addition was made.”

shows no partiality

The Greek that is translated as “shows no partiality” in English is translated in the following ways:

See also God shows no partiality

obedience

The Greek that is translated in English typically as “obedience” is translated in Tepeuxila Cuicatec as “thing hearing.” “For to hear is to obey.” (Source: Marjorie Davis in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 34ff.)

In Huba it is translated as hya nǝu nyacha: “follow (his) mouth.” (Source: David Frank in this blog post)

In Central Mazahua it is translated as “listen-obey” and in Huehuetla Tepehua as “believe-obey.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)