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.” (Source: Carl Gross)

In El Nayar Cora it is translated as “I came not to call those who think they language are good people, but those who think they are sinners.” (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

In Huixtán Tzotzil, the first part is “those who mistakenly think their hearts are straight.” Huixtán Tzotzil frequently uses the verb -cuy to express “to mistakenly think something” from the point of view of the speaker. (Source: Marion M. Cowan in Notes on Translation 20/1966, p. 6ff.)

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)

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

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:

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)
  • 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.)
  • Lalana Chinantec: “how God is the boss of people’s hearts”
  • Chichimeca-Jonaz: “God rules as chief”
  • Chuj: “everything which is in God’s hand” (source for this and two above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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)

In Q’anjob’al, the translators stumbled on an additional difficulty. Newberry and Kittie Cox (in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.) explain: “‘The kingdom of God’ may be translated ‘where God supervises’ (or literally ‘guards’). However, in Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17 it is not possible to speak of ‘receiving the kingdom of God,’ for this would imply that one simply takes over the responsibility for guarding God’s country while He rests. Accordingly, the translation is adapted to meet the cultural and linguistic requirements of the language by the form ‘receive God as king.’

See also your kingdom come.

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” (source: Ross McKerras) as well as in Sabaot (source Jim Leonhard in Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 50)

In Ixcatlán Mazatec it is translated with a term denoting the “the principal part of the ‘house’ (or work)” (Source: Robert Bascom), in Enlhet as “like the house-root” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.), in Q’anjob’al it is translated with with the existing idiom “ear of the house.” (Source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.), in Desano as “main support of the house,” and in Tataltepec Chatino as “the best stone” (source for this and one above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.).

Shuar translates as “that stone was placed to the main house pole.” The Shuar use stones in house building either at the bottom of the posthole as a base for the house pole to rest on, or as chocking material around the post to hold it firm. Either function is acceptable here particularly as applied to the main house-pole. In Ocotlán Zapotec it is “master stone of the house.” This is a special stone they put into the foundation as sort of a guide stone of how the foundation is to true up. (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

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

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.”

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” (North Alaskan Inupiatun), “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).

Tzeltal translates it as “people in all different towns,” Chicahuaxtla Triqui as “the people who live all over the world,” Highland Totonac as “all the outsider people,”Sayula Popoluca “(people) in every land” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.), Chichimeca-Jonaz as “foreign people who are not Jews,” Sierra de Juárez Zapotec as “people of other nations” (source of this and one above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.), and Highland Totonac as “outsider people” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).

See also nations.

complete verse (Matthew 6:23)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 6:23:

  • Uma: “But if our (incl.) eye is cloudy, it’s like our (incl.) sight is dark. So, if the Lord enlightens our (incl.) heart, and we (incl.) make it dark again, it will really be pitch dark. [lit., no kidding its pitch darkness.]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But if our (dual) seeing is clouded, that means our (dual) works are bad, our (dual) whole body is like dark. If we (dual) say/think that our (dual) body is light but in fact/surprise it is dark, then it is really very dark.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “But if we are blind, which is to say, if we are wicked, it’s as if we are benighted. And if we are blinded because of our wickedness, then our way is dark indeed.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But if your (sing.) sight/viewpoint is bad, it is as if your (sing.) mind is extremely dark. So if you (sing.) say/think that your (sing.) mind is lighted but unexpectedly it is dark, surely it is extremely dark!'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But if your eye has a defect, of course in your sight all is darkened/unclear. Well this which I am saying that the eye is like the lamp of the body, what is being alluded to here is your mind/inner-being. For as long as it’s your own will and good-situation here in the world that you are giving priority to, alas, it’s really very darkened/unclear in your mind/inner-being.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But if you don’t open your understanding, then you do not truly know what is the good by which you must live. Then how bad is the darkness where you walk (live), because your thoughts are not opened for you to know the good.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “If you think to do bad things, then you will be bad and you will be ignorant of the Father.” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (1 Peter 2:6)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Peter 2:6:

  • Uma: “In the Holy Book the Redeemer King [Messiah] is compared to a rock that God chose. Like this its sound: ‘I chose an expensive rock, I plant it on Sion Mountain, I made it the main foundation stone. Whoever believes in that stone, they will not have-a-fall / be-disappointed.’ [an idiom that means that you were counting on someone to do something and that person ‘lets you down’]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Because the holy-book says hep, ‘I have chosen a very valuable stone, to-be/which-is used to make the house firm/strong in the city/town Siyon. Whoever trusts in it/him will really not be made ashamed.’ This stone is a parable/figure-of-speech. It means Isa Almasi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For there is a written Word of God which says, ‘There is a king whom I have chosen and He is like a very precious stone. I will place Him in the town of Zion. He is like a strong stone upon which a house is built. Anyone who trusts in Him will not be disappointed, for He is the one to be trusted.’ This is the written Word of God.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “We know that these-things are true, because there is that which God caused-to-be-written which says, ‘Look, I have chosen a most-valuable stone which I have erected in Zion which makes-firm the house. Even anyone who believes in him, he will absolutely not be shamed.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Because it says in what is contained in the writing which is the word of God, ‘Consider this. There is someone whom I have chosen, whom I am setting up in Sion who is like a far-from-ordinary smoothed stone/rock which is the main-support of a house. As many as trust in him really won’t be let down.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “It is written in the Holy Book that God says: ‘There in Zion I will put a stone in place which will be for the corner of my house. It is a chosen stone, and it is supremely valuable. He who believes in him, there will never come the day that he will say that it isn’t true what he believes.'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • The Greek text of 1 Peter 2:6-7 is translated in Martu Wangka (combined with verse 7) “The Father’s talk from a long time back, is like this, ‘Some people will make a shade and they will stand up two forked sticks. And then they will get another long strong stick and lay it across (on those other two). And they will get that same strong stick and throw it down thinking mistakenly that it is rubbish. The Father from above will take that stick which was thrown down and make a shade out of it. After that we will see that very good shade which was made from that stick.'” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (Matthew 6:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 6:24:

  • Uma: “‘There is no-one who works for two bosses. Because one he will love, one he will hate. One he will follow his commands, one he will deny/refuse. So also we (incl.), we (incl.) cannot follow God’s will/desire, and at the same time [lit., and on one-side] continually gather the stuff of the world.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘There is no servant who can be slave to two masters, for he will hate the one and love the other one, or he will really obey/follow the one and not pay attention to the other one. If money is what is most valuable to you, you cannot also work for God.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “As for a slave, it can’t be that he has two owners, because if two are in charge of him he’ll respect the one and be angry with the other. And if not, he will be disgusted with one and he will love the other one. In the same way, if the thing that’s precious in your breath is wealth, it is also not possible that God is precious in your breath.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘It is not possible that a slave have two masters (lit. a slave’s masters be-twoed), because he likes/loves the one and dislikes the (other) one. He esteems also the one while-simultaneously looking-down-on the (other) one. Therefore it is not possible that you simultaneously serve God and money.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For the truth is that there’s no servant at all who can serve two masters. For maybe he will hate one, only the other being whom he holds dear, or if not, only one master will be served truly by him, the other he will insult/belittle. Well it’s like that too, that as long as collecting possessions is the emphasis of your (pl.) mind, it’s really not possible/acceptable for you to truly serve God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “A person cannot have two bosses. If there are two bosses, then one he will love and not the other. For one of the bosses he will do what he is ordered, but for the other boss he will not do what he is ordered. It is like that for your hearts, you cannot have two things to give your hearts to. Either your hearts go out to God or your hearts go out to money.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “A working-bloke can only be for one master, not for two. If two masters speak to him, to the working-bloke who belongs to one, and he says do this here, then the other says do that over there. One working-bloke will unsuccessfully think what to do — that working-bloke will sit good for one boss and correct for him and he will sit disliking bad for the other boss (not co-operating with his requirements). If you all sit like that, you can’t sit for the Father and also for belongings and money — you should only sit correct for the Father and follow him.” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (1 Peter 2:7)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Peter 2:7:

  • Uma: “The Redeemer King is like the/a stone that is indeed expensive to you who believe in him. But people who do not believe in him will certainly encounter disaster, with the result that words of the Holy Book long will have come to pass that say: ‘That stone was thrown away by the builders of the house. But actually that stone is the one that became the main foundation stone.’ And” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “This stone is of real great value for you the ones believing in him. But the ones who don’t believe in him, finally/eventually they will know that it is true, surprise, what is written in the holy-book saying, ‘The stone that was rejected by the people who make houses because they said it is of no use, that one is the stone of ultimate usefulness.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Now as for this king who is like a stone, He is very precious to us (incl.) who have trusted in Him, however as for all who will not believe, by means of them has been fulfilled the written prophecy which says, ‘As for that building stone, the carpenters threw it away. But it has now become the stone which alone can make the house right.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So as for you believers, you join-in-experiencing (non past) Cristo’s greatness (lit. highness). But as for those who don’t believe, they should remember what God caused-to-be-written which says, ‘The stone which the ones-building the house rejected, that’s what God has turned-into the most-valuable stone which makes-firm the house.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore he is really dear to you now, you who now believe/obey him. But to the ones who don’t believe/obey him, that which was said in the writing has been fulfilled, which is, ‘The rock which was not acceptable to the housebuilders, that very one is what was used as the main support of the house.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now you believe in Christ, now you will know that he is supremely valuable. But it is written about that which will happen to those who do not believe in that it says: ‘This stone which the builders threw away, there is no other stone like this chosen stone.'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • The Greek text of 1 Peter 2:6-7 is translated in Martu Wangka (combined with verse 6) “The Father’s talk from a long time back, is like this, ‘Some people will make a shade and they will stand up two forked sticks. And then they will get another long strong stick and lay it across (on those other two). And they will get that same strong stick and throw it down thinking mistakenly that it is rubbish. The Father from above will take that stick which was thrown down and make a shade out of it. After that we will see that very good shade which was made from that stick.'” (Source: Carl Gross)

complete verse (Matthew 7:1)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 7:1:

  • Uma: “‘Don’t criticize others, so that God also will not criticize us.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “‘Do not put-down/criticize your companion so that God will not judge you,” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Don’t criticize your companion so that God won’t criticize you.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Jesus continued to teach saying, ‘Don’t turn-yourselves-into (lit. cause-your bodies -to-become) those who judge your companions so that God also will not judge and condemn you.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Jesus continued his teaching, saying, ‘Put far away the habit of always criticizing your (pl.) companion, so that you won’t be being criticized too.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Do not want to make judgments on what other people do, so that God will not judge you in what you do.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “You should not rubbish another person (to make a decision that what they are doing is wrong and talk against them). You should think carefully so that later, the Father does not scold you and send you off. If you think carefully about another person without rubbishing them, the Father later, will think carefully about you without scolding you and sending you off.” (Source: Carl Gross)