fishers of men

The Greek that is translated as “(I will make you) fishers of men (or: people)” in English is rendered in Martu Wangka as “before you used to work getting fish for people, now i think you should do another work getting people and teaching them to be my relatives” (source: Carl Gross).

In Galela it is translated as “. . . you teach people to follow me, which is similar to you netting fish to gather them in” (source: Howard Shelden in Kroneman 2004, p. 501).

perfect

The Greek that is translated as “be perfect” in English is rendered in Martu Wangka as “sit correctly.”

I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners

The Greek that is translated in English as “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” is translated in Martu Wangka as “I came to the earth to teach bad people who are like those sick ones so that they can hear the Father’s word and become his relatives. I didn’t come for the good people — no.”

woe (to you)

The Greek that is translated as “woe to you” or similar in English is translated in Martu Wangka as “you sit as sorry ones.”

Kingdom (of God / heaven)

The German Good News Bible (Die Bibel im heutigen Deutsch) (1st edition: 1968, 2nd edition: 1982, 3rd edition: 1997) says this about the translation of the Greek expressions that in English are often translated as “kingdom of God” or “kingdom of heaven” respectively:

An example for how a term evolved is the rendering of ‘heavenly kingdom’ or ‘kingdom of God.’ A verbatim translation will be misunderstood by most readers today: as if it talks about a kingdom that is located in heaven, when in reality it refers in the Bible to God being the ruler, to that area in which that rule has been realized and everything that human beings can expect because of that. Dependent on the context, the term is therefore translated differently in this present version: When it focuses on the presence of God’s kingdom it is rendered as ‘God establishes his rule’ (‘Gott richtet seine Herrschaft auf’), when the focus is on the future it is translated as ‘Once God finalizes his creation (or ‘work’) . . . ‘ (‘Wenn Gott sein Werk vollendet . . .’), and when the focus is on that finished creation it is ‘God’s new world’ (‘Gottes neue Welt’).” (p. 299)

The respective translation choice in that German translation:

Daud Soesilo writes this about the translation of those terms in the Malay translation:

In the New Testament [of the Revised Malay Translation (Alkitab Berita Baik, 1996)] “the Kingdom of God/Heaven” does not refer primarily to a region, or place, or to a political or national territory.
The meaning of “kingdom” is fundamentally that of “sovereignty” or “rule.” Since the primary idea is that of kingship, kingly rule, or sovereignty of God, rather than of the sphere or realm in which his rule operates, the sense of this term should be expressed in translation as “kingly rule,” “reign,” or “sovereignty,” rather than by the literal “kingdom.” The most common literal translation of the term “Kingdom of God” in Malay is “Kerajaan Allah.” “Kerajaan Syurga” is used for its variant “Kingdom of Heaven.” However, careful linguistic analysis of the meaning and usage of the term “kerajaan” “kingdom” shows that when it is unmarked it carries the following components:

  • a territory
  • in which a king rules
  • his people

Thus the expressions “Kerajaan Allah” and “Kerajaan Syurga” have primarily a territorial sense, rather than expressing the idea of “kingly rule.” This means, then, that we should consider replacing the literal renderings “Kerajaan Allah/Syurga” with expressions that are better able to give the New Testament meaning of “he basileia tau theou,” as expressed in the following components:

  • God’s kingly rule, including his activity in bringing about his rule in this world
  • the people God rules over, in particular those who accept his rule in their lives,
  • the situation in which God rules completely, which is the consummation of God’s activity of bringing about God’s rule. (This is the situation which the German Common Language Bible “Die Gute Nachricht” translates as “God’s New World.” From one point of view, however, this use of the expression is the one that relates most closely to the “territory” sense mentioned above.)

The Malay translation team has tried to render the expression “he basileia tou theou” faithfully and meaningfully according to the main focus in each context in which it occurs. However, to help readers who are looking for the formal features of the term, we have added footnotes that give a literal rendering. (Source: Daud Soesilo in The Bible Translator 2001, p. 239ff.)

(See also Barclay Newman in: The Bible Translator 1974, p. 401ff.)

Likewise in the Gurung translation the term was also, depending on context, rendered in four different ways:

  • God’s power at work in the world,
  • the personal response to God, in obedience and receiving blessing,
  • God’s future open ruling of the world,
  • the ultimate blessings of God’s rule in heaven.

(Source: Warren Glover in The Bible Translator 1978, p. 231ff. — here you can also find a comprehensive list of examples where which translation was applied.)

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

  • Tzeltal: “persons like these will reach God’s government” (as in Mark 10:14 and Luke 18:16: “the Kingdom of God belongs to those”) or “the jurisdiction of God” (in the sense of where God has the authority)
  • Western Kanjobal: “receive God as king”
  • Copainalá Zoque: “like God to rule over”
  • San Miguel El Grande Mixtec: “agree to God reigning over”
  • Kekchí: “power (or authority) of God”
  • Laka: “God’s commanding”
  • Javanese: “the rule of God”
  • Huave: “where God rules”
  • Huastec: “God as ruler”
  • San Blas Kuna: “God’s government”
  • Navajo: “what God has charge of”
  • Sayula Popoluca: “to have God rule over”
  • Tzotzil: “to have God as chief”
  • Highland Puebla Nahuatl: “the leadership of God”
  • Wayuu: “where God is chief” (this and examples above in Bratcher / Nida)
  • Fuyug “God’s clan”
  • Mono: “sana lala’aha nang” – “area of chiefly rule”
  • Martu Wangka: “The Father looks after his own relatives” (source for this and the two preceding: Carl Gross)
  • Caribbean Javanese: Kratoné Allah (“God’s seat (of a king)”)
  • Sranan Tongo: Tiri fur Gado (“the Ruling of God”) or Kownukondre fur Gado (“King’s land of God”)
  • Eastern Maroon Creole: A Nyun Tii fu Massa Gadu / Saramaccan: Di Njunjun Tii u Gadu (both: “the New ruling of God”) (source for this and 2 above: Jabini 2015)
  • Umiray Dumaget Agta: “protectorate of God” (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

In Mairasi, a language “where people would rather say something in a new way than in an old way,” there are a number of translations, including “Great Above One’s (=God) rule,” “His power,” “His control,” or “His place of authority/power.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

cornerstone

Bawm build with bamboo and thatch in their mountainous forests. They made the apostles and prophets become the roof ridge pole and Jesus the central uprights which support it. I asked why not the corner uprights since Greek has a term that is translated in English as ‘cornerstone.’ Bawm translators responded that the central uprights are more important than the corner ones, and Greek refers to the most important stone. (“Corner uprights” used in 1Tim 3:15.) (Source: David Clark)

In Mono, translators used “main post,” in Martu Wangka “two forked sticks with another long strong stick laid across” (see also 1 Peter 2:6-7.), and in Arrernte, the translation in 1Pet 2:7 (in English translation: “the stone . . . became the very cornerstone”) was rendered as “the foundation… continues to be the right foundation.” (Source for this and two above: Carl Gross)

Likewise, in Uripiv it also is the “post” (“The post that the builders rejected has now become the mainstay of the house.”) (Source: Ross McKerras)

In Ixcatlán Mazatec it is translated with a term denoting the “the principal part of the ‘house’ (or work)” (Source: Robert Bascom) and in Enlhet as “like the house-root” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.)

See also rock / stone, foundation on rock, and foundation.

gentiles

The Greek that is often translated as “gentiles” in English is often translated as a “local equivalent of ‘foreigners,'” such “the people of other lands” (Guerrero Amuzgo), “people of other towns” (Tzeltal), “people of other languages” (San Miguel El Grande Mixtec), “strange peoples” (Navajo) (this and above, see Bratcher / Nida), “outsiders” (Ekari), “people of foreign lands” (Kannada), “non-Jews” (Inupiaq), “people being-in-darkness” (a figurative expression for people lacking cultural or religious insight) (Toraja-Sa’dan) (source for this and three above Reiling / Swellengrebel), “from different places all people” (Martu Wangka) (source: Carl Gross).

complete verse (Matthew 5:29)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 5:29:

  • Uma: “So if for example our (incl.) right eye causes [lit., carries] us (incl.) to sin, scoop it out and throw it away. It is far better that one of our (incl.) eyes is lost, than our (incl.) whole body be thrown into hell.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “If your right eye influences you to sin, leave that sin of yours. Figuratively as if you dig out your eye and throw it away. It is better if you no longer have one of your eyes than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And if it is your right eye that causes you to sin, dig it out and throw it away. It is better if you have no eye rather than your being thrown into the fire of hell with your whole body.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore if your (singular) right eye is the cause-of-your (singular) -sinning, extract it to throw it away. Because it’s-preferable if your (singular) body has a part taken-from-it (root word: lack) than that your (singular) body have no lack and you (singular) be thrown into hell.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore if your (s) eye is the source of what causes you to sin, just pluck it out and throw it away. Because it’s better if there’s a part of your body subtracted, rather than still having a complete body which will be thrown into the fire that doesn’t die down, which is punishment by God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “So now, if you say that it is the fault of your eye, the right one, that you commit sin, then pluck out your eye and throw it away. It is better that you have lost an eye rather than you go to hell with all your body.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “Jesus said to them another talk like this, ‘If you see with your eye, and think about doing bad, if you have thought like that with the intention of doing bad, then you should dig out your eye and throw it away. If you think and do like that, You will sit well with one eye without doing bad so that you won’t be sent to the fire if you should do bad.'” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (Colossians 3:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of Colossians 3:18:

  • Uma: “All you who have husbands, submit to your husbands as is appropriate for women who follow the Lord.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “You women you ought-to/must follow your husband’s wish/want/desire. This is right for you to do because you trust our (incl.) Leader Isa Almasi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “As for you women, submit yourself to your husbands, because this is the proper behavior of a woman who is a believer in the Lord.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You women, submit-yourselves -to (lit. cause-yourselves -to-be-ruled-by) your spouses, because that is what is fitting to believers in the Lord.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Here is what else I want to say to you. First, as for the women, it is necessary that you submit to your spouse for this is fitting for those who are united/tied-together with the Lord Jesus.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Listen you women, obey your husbands. This is the duty of those who believe in the Lord Jesus.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “There are some of you Jesus’s relatives who are women spouses. You should sit well to your men spouses, to those who are like your bosses. Jesus thinks that you should sit well like that.” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (Matthew 5:30)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 5:30:

  • Uma: “If for example our (incl.) right hand causes us (incl.) to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is far better that one of our (incl.) hands is lost, than our whole body be throw into hell.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And if your right hand influences you to sin, leave that sin of yours. Figuratively as if you chop off your hand and throw it away. It is better if one of your hands is chopped off than that your whole body goes to hell.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “If it is your right hand that causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you not to have a hand than for you to be thrown into hell with the whole body.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And if it is your (singular) right hand that is the cause-of-your (singular) -sinning, cut it off to throw it away. Because it’s-preferable if your (singular) body has a part taken-from-it than that your (singular) body have no lack and you (singular) be thrown into hell.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “It’s like that too with your hand/arm, even if it’s your right one, that you should cut it off if that’s where you are getting sin from, and throw it away. Because it’s really better to have a subtraction from the body, rather than a whole body which will be thrown into the fire which has no dying down, which is punishment by God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “If you say that it is the fault of your hand, the right one, that you commit sin, then cut off your hand and throw it far away. It is better that you have lost a hand rather than you go to hell with all your body.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “‘If you are thinking about doing bad with your hand, and you are thinking like that with the intention of doing bad, then as a result of that, you should chop off your hand and throw it away. You should do like that, and then you will be with one hand but you will sit well and you will not do bad so that you can avoid the fire if you did do bad.'” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (1 Peter 2:1)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Peter 2:1:

  • Uma: “That’s why I admonish you, relatives, let go of every kind of evil deed and all lying words. Do not any longer deceive, don’t envy, don’t disparage others.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Therefore leave all bad doings. Don’t lie anymore. Don’t be just good on the outside but bad in your liver but/instead your behavior/conduct should be good really from inside the liver. Don’t be envious of your fellow-men/companions and don’t slander your fellow-men/companions.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Now since we are new people, let us abandon every kind of harmful activity and lying. It is necessary that our following God is not a lie; we must not be jealous and we must not insult people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore since you have new life, turn-your -backs-on all evil and all lies and trickery. Avoid also all purposes/motives and deeds that are not sincere/heartfelt and all jealousy and bad words concerning your companions.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore drop habits of being hurtful to your fellowman, being deceptive, being hypocritical, envious, and all forms of fabricating-lies-about one’s fellowman.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now separate yourselves from all evil. And do not want that only on the outside you appear to be good at heart, rather want it to be true what you speak. Do not be jealous. And do not speak evil of anyone.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “You should sit well toward other people and you should not dislike them. You should sit well for other people and you should not lie to other people. You should sit well to other people and you shouldn’t criticize other people — you should sit well to other people and you shouldn’t deceive them. If another person has belongings, don’t be angry towards him.” (Source: Carl Gross)

brother (fellow Christian)

The Greek that is translated in English as “brother” (in the sense of a fellow Christian) is translated with a specifically coined word in Kachin: “There are two terms for brother in Kachin. One is used to refer to a Christian brother. This term combines ‘older and younger brother.’ The other term is used specifically for addressing siblings. When one uses this term, one must specify if the older or younger person is involved. A parallel system exists for ‘sister’ as well. In [these verses], the term for ‘a Christian brother’ is used.” (Source Gam Seng Shae)

In Martu Wangka it is translated as “relative” (this is also the term that is used for “follower”.) (Source: Carl Gross)

See also brothers.