justification, justify

The Greek that is translated as “justify” in English is translated into Tzotzil in two different ways. One of those is with Lec xij’ilatotic yu’un Dios ta sventa ti ta xc’ot ta o’ntonal ta xch’unel ti Jesucristoe (“we are seen well by God because of our faith in Jesus Christ”) (source: Aeilts, p. 118) and the other is “God sees as righteous” (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).

Other (back-) translations include:

  • Bilua: “straigthened” (Rom 3:20: “Nobody can be straightened in God’s presence…” (source: Carl Gross) (see also: righteous)
  • Western Highland Purepecha: “he sees him with the goodness of his Son” (“justification”)
  • Highland Puebla Nahuatl: “heart-straightening”
  • Western Kanjobal: “having a straight soul” (source for this and two above: Nida 1952, p. 145)
  • Central Mazahua: “no longer carrying sin in God’s estimation.”
  • Rincón Zapotec: “come out good before God”
  • Guhu-Samane: “God called one right” (source for this and two above: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.)
  • Mairasi: “already straight: completely clean” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Uma: “straight in God’s sight”
  • Yakan: “be reckoned straight/righteous by God”
  • Ekari: “maa nigajawii (“deem us right through favor”) (source: Marion Source in The Bible Translator 1963, p. 37f.)
  • Kwara’ae: “regard as righteous” (source: Norman Deck in The Bible Translator 1963, p. 34ff.)
  • Manikion: “heart sits next to Jesus” (source: Daud Soesilo)
  • Obolo: ben itip-oyerebet isan̄a: “take away condemnation” (source: Enene Enene)


The Hebrew and the Greek that are translated as “covenant” in English are translated in a variety of ways. Here are some (back-) translations:

  • Western Kanjobal: “to put mouths equal” (i.e. “signifying complete assent on the part of all”)
  • Mossi: “helping promise”
  • Vai: “a thing-time-bind” (i.e. “an arrangement agreed upon for a period of time”)
  • Loma (Liberia): “an agreement”
  • Northwestern Dinka: “agreement which is tied up” (i.e. “secure and binding”)
  • Chol: “a word which is left”
  • Huastec: “a broken-off word” (“based on the concept of ‘breaking off a word’ and leaving it with the person with whom an agreement has been reached”)
  • Tetelcingo Nahuatl: “a death command” (i.e. “a special term for testament”)
  • Piro: “a promised word”
  • Eastern Krahn: “a word between”
  • Yaka: “promise that brings together” (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Manikion, Indonesian: “God’s promise” (source: Daud Soesilo)
  • Natügu: nzesz’tikr drtwr: “oneness of mind” (source: Brenda Boerger in Beerle-Moor / Voinov, p. 164)
  • Guhu-Samane: “The concept [in Mark 14:24 and Matthew 16:28] is not easy, but the ritual freeing of a fruit and nut preserve does afford some reference. Thus, ‘As they were drinking he said to them, ‘On behalf of many this poro provision [poro is the traditional religion] of my blood is released.’ (…) God is here seen as the great benefactor and man the grateful recipient.” (Source: Ernest Richert in The Bible Translator, 1965, p. 81ff.)