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.” (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)

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 — for a longer exposition, see Rudolf Kassühlke in The Bible Translator 1974, p. 236ff. )

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.)
  • Kamo: kuu le Yamba: “kingdom of God” / kuu le Yamba: “kingdom of heaven.” Yamba can mean either “sky/heaven” or “God” and they distinguish between the two meanings by capitalization. The word kuu is an abstract noun meaning “rule/reign.” (source: David Frank)

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.’

The artist Willy Wiedmann envisioned Jesus foretelling the kingdom of God like this:

Click here to see the image in higher resolution. Image taken from the Wiedmann Bible. For more information about the images and ways to adopt them, see here .

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.

gentiles

The Greek that is often translated as “gentiles” in English is often translated as a “local equivalent of ‘foreigners,'” such as “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 as “(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.), Highland Totonac as “outsider people” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.), Uma as “people who are not the descendants of Israel” (source: Uma Back Translation), and Yakan as “the other tribes” (source: Yakan Back Translation).

See also nations.

complete verse (1 Corinthians 12:12)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Corinthians 12:12:

  • Martu Wangka: “And just like one body, we who are Jesus’ relatives are one group of relatives, one family. There are many bones that hold our bodies together and just like those many bones there are many of us who are Jesus’ relatives.” (Source: Ken Hansen in Notes on Translation 1998/2, p. 11ff.
  • Uma: “We who believe in Kristus can be compared to a human body. It’s just one body, but it has many parts. Even though there are many parts, all those parts make/are just one body.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Even if our (incl.) expertise are not the same, but we (incl.) are just one. Like our (incl.) body. A person’s body is just one but there are many different things in his body like his hands, his feet, his mouth, and the others yet. Even though there are many different things but there is only one body. Likewise also all who trust in Isa Almasi are figuratively his body and each one of them is figuratively like the different things in his body.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And even though the skills which are given to each one of us are not the same, we are all one just the same, because we are like the single body of Christ which has many parts.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The body of us people, it has many parts, but it is nevertheless only-one body. It is the same with Cristo and those who believe in him.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well, if we think about the body of a person, is it not so that even though there are many parts, it’s just one body? And these parts, they are a single body-entity. Well, just like that is Cristo and all those believing/obeying him.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning the body of a person, even though there are many parts to it, yet the person is just one person. It is like that for us, in that because of Christ, we are many who believe in him, but it is like we become only one person together.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

brother (fellow believer)

The Greek that is translated in English as “brother” (in the sense of a fellow believer), 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.

complete verse (Matthew 6:12)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 6:12:

  • Uma: “Forgive our wrongs, like we also forgive the wrongs of our companions,” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Forgive our sins as we also forgive those who sin against us.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Forgive us our sins like our forgiving the one who sins against us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Forgive our (excl.) sins, because we (excl.) also have forgiven those who sinned against us (excl.).” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Forgive, too, our sins, the same as we do as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “And forgive our sins, like we also forgive those who do bad to us.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Chichewa (interconfessional translation, 1999): “Forgive us our sins, even as we ourselves forgive those who wrong us.” (Source: Wendland 1998, p. 157)
  • Martu Wangka: “When another person does wrong to me, I should not in return do wrong to them — I should go and talk about being reconciled together. When I talk like that, to that person, then following that, I am asking you, you throw out my badness.” (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 6:22)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 6:22:

  • Uma: “‘Our (incl.) eye can be compared to a torch. If our (incl.) eye is good, our (incl.) sight/vision is clear.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Our (dual) eyes are figuratively the lamp of our (dual) body. If our (dual) seeing is clear, that means, if our (dual) works are straight/righteous, our (dual) whole body is like light.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Our (dual) eye, it’s like a lamp here in our body, because if our seeing is bright, which is to say, if our activity is righteous, it is as if our whole body is illuminated.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘The eye is like the light of people. Therefore if your (sing.) sight/viewpoint is good, it is as if your (sing.) mind is thoroughly lighted.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “I’ll also add something else, that what is like a lamp for the body is the eye. If it has no defect, of course your (sing.) whole sight is clear.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When you open your eyes good, then you see the light. In like manner, if you open your understanding well, then you will know what is the good by which you must live.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Martu Wangka: “If you think to sit true to the Father, as a result of that, you will sit happy.” (Source: Carl Gross)