whitewashed wall

The Greek that is translated in English as “(you) whitewashed wall” is translated in Lalana Chinantec much more specifically as “you are like a masonry wall on which they have put white paint. It is no longer evident what it is like inside.” (Source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.).

The same is translated as “deceiver” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, as “you talk up above (not from the heart)” in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “you change words (you are a hypocrite)” in Morelos Nahuatl, as “you are not what you appear to be, like a wall that is white washed” in Huichol, as “you two faced person” in Mezquital Otomi, or “you who make your face broad” in Rincón Zapotec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

my flesh will live in hope

The Greek that is translated as “my flesh will live in hope” or similar in English is translated these ways in the following languages.

  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “when my body rests in the grave I will wait what good he will do for me”
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “I have much confidence that my body will come alive”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “even though my body should die, I know that I will come to life
  • Falam Chin: “my whole body will be filled with hope”
  • Huichol: “even though my corpse is there while I wait I believe (you will not leave my soul dead)” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

does not dwell in houses made with hands

The Greek that is translated as “does not dwell in houses made with hands” in English is translated in does not dwell in Palantla Chinantec as “it isn’t as though men are capable of building a house where he will live,” in Tenango Otomi as “doesn’t reside in churches made by people,” in Lalana Chinantec as “it isn’t a house that people made where God lives. He lives up in heaven,” in Morelos Nahuatl as “does not really live in churches that we made with our hands,” and in Teutila Cuicatec as “it is not necessary for God….to live inside churches that people build.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart and ears

The phrase that is translated into English as “you stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears” is translated into Afar as “You dry stones that nothing enters, and people who have hearts that refuse God, and ears closed saying we didn’t hear God’s message.” (stiff-necked > dry stones, uncircumcised in heart > hearts that refuse God, uncircumcised ears > ears closed to hearing God’s message) (Source: Loren Bliese)

Other translations for “uncircumcised in heart and ears” include:

  • Rincón Zapotec: “it doesn’t enter your hearts or your ears. You are like those who don’t even believe”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “hard are your hearts and not a little bit open are your ears”
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “you have your heart as unbelievers, you do not want to hear God’s word”
  • Highland Popoluca: “you never wanted to do God’s will, never truly believed”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “you are just the same as those who do not believe God’s word because you do not obey”
  • Huichol: “you have not been marked with God’s sign in your hearts or in your ears (you are unruly and unsubmissive like an untamed, unbranded bronco)”
  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “you do not have the word-sign in your hearts. Your ears are clogged”
  • Copainalá Zoque: “you just don’t understand”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “your hearts and minds are not open” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Kaqchikel: “with your hearts unprepared” (Source: Nida 1964, p. 220)

your blood be on your own heads

The Greek that is often translated as “your blood be on your own heads” or similar in English is translated as “you have the guilt if you don’t receive eternal life” in Highland Popoluca, as “you are to blame if you lose your own souls” in Coatlán Mixe, as “you will be to blame yourselves when you do not go to a good place” in Isthmus Mixe, as “you will be lost but you are at fault yourselves” in Morelos Nahuatl, and as “you are the ones who are guilty that you will be lost” in Lalana Chinantec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

In Chichewa it is translated as “You have killed yourselves with your own heart.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 28)

right hand of

The Greek and Hebrew that is typically translated as “(to the) right hand of” is often translated much more descriptively in other languages. In Yakan it is translated as “at the right side, here in the greatest/most important/most honored place/seat,” in Mezquital Otomi as “the right hand, at the place of honor,” in Chuj as “exalted at the right hand,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz as “in a high place there at the right,” in Lalana Chinantec as “make great,” in Isthmus Mixe as “given great authority,” in Morelos Nahuatl as “placed big” or “heart-strengthens me,” in Isthmus Mixe as “stays with me,” (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August, 1966, p. 86ff), and in Teutila Cuicatec as “in all authority at the right side” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.).

In Lamnso’, the seat on the right-hand side signifies that the person seated there would have a higher position than the one to his left (vs. just being a seat of honor). To circumvent any misunderstanding of the biblical text, the translation here refers to the “highest seat next to God.” (Source: Karl Grebe in Holzhausen 1991, p. 52)

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.)

cardinal directions

The cardinal directions “east” and “west” are easy to translate into Mano (Mann) here since the language uses “where the sun comes up” and “where the sun goes down.” For “north” the translator had “facing toward the sun rising to the left,” and for “south” she had “facing toward the sun rising to the right.” So the listener had to think hard before knowing what direction was in view when translating “to the north and south, to the east and west.” So the verse was very long. It was shortened by saying simply “all directions.” Likewise, Yakan has “from the four corners of the earth” (source: Yakan back-translation) or Western Bukidnon Manobo “from the four directions here on the earth” (source: Western Bukidnon Manobo back-translation).

Kankanaey is “from the coming-out and the going-away of the sun and the north and the south” (source: Kankanaey back-translation), Northern Emberá “from where the sun comes up, from where it falls, from the looking [left] hand, from the real [right] hand” (source: Charles Mortensen), Amele “from the direction of the sun going up, from the direction of the sun going down, from the north and from the south” (source: John Roberts), Ejamat “look up to see the side where the sun comes from, and the side where it sets, and look on your right side, and on your left” (source: David Frank in this blog post).

In Lamba, only umutulesuŵa, “where the sun rises” and imbonsi, “where the sun sets” were available as cardinal directions that were not tied to the local area of language speakers (“north” is kumausi — “to the Aushi country” — and “south” kumalenje — “to the Lenje country”). So “north” and “south” were introduced as loanwords, nofu and saufu respectively. The whole phrase is kunofu nakusaufu nakumutulesuŵa nakumbonsi. (Source C. M. Doke in The Bible Translator 1958, p. 57ff.)

In Morelos Nahuatl, “north” is translated as “from above” and “south” as “from below.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

See also cardinal directions / left and right.

captain of the temple

The Greek that is often translated as “captain of the temple” in English is translated in the following ways:

  • Desano: “captain of the temple chief of the persons who guard the big temple”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “boss of the big church of the Jews”
  • Chuj: “chief of the guards of God’s house”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “church building leader”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “boss of the soldiers of the church
  • Ayutla Mixtec: “he who is over the soldiers of the temple”
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “the chief of police of the big church” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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