brother and fathers

The Greek that is translated as “brothers and fathers” in English is translated in Purari as “younger and older brothers.” (Source: David Clark)

In Teutila Cuicatec it is “all of you, officials of our nation and my brothers,” in Isthmus Mixe “old men and brothers (according to order of respect), in Lalana Chinantec “companions, men,” in Eastern Highland Otomi “you men, fathers,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz “you who are our relatives, and you whom I made my fathers,” in Highland Popoluca “my older uncles,” and in Rincón Zapotec “elders and brothers.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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.)

tent of testimony

The Greek that is translated as “tent of testimony” or similar in English is translated as “a leather house which they could pack up again, where they remembered God” in Lalana Chinantec, as “cloth house where they worshipped God” in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “cloth house where God spoke to the people” in Chichimeca-Jonaz, as “house of God where they kept the stones on which were written the commandments of God” in Morelos Nahuatl, as “small holy house which was of the skins of animals, in it were the stones which contained the ten commandments” in San Mateo del Mar Huave, and “inside this church the slates on which God’s law was written were kept” Teutila Cuicatec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

the Way

The Greek that is often translated in English as “the Way,” referring to the young church in Acts, is translated in a number of ways:

babbler

The Greek that is translated into English as “babbler” is translated in Fuyug as “this birdbrain.” (Source: David Clark)

In San Mateo del Mar Huave, it is translated as “that man who does not know how to close his mouth,” in Eastern Highland Otomi as “much-talker man,” in Teutila Cuicatec as “loud-mouthed fellow,” in Chichimeca-Jonaz as “person who does nothing but talk,” and in Morelos Nahuatl as “man who talks so much.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

uneducated and ordinary men

The Greek that is translated as “uneducated and ordinary men” or similar in English is translated in the following ways:

  • Lalana Chinantec: “people who were not learned, humble people
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “hadn’t studied a lot but were like anybody”
  • Chichimeca-Jonaz: “had not studied long in school, truly ordinary people, that is not officials”
  • Chuj: “they had never studied, they were plain people”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “were not from important families and didn’t know paper (= didn’t have education)”
  • Totontepec Mixe: “they talked like people who plow” 8(source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

savior

The Greek that is translated as “savior” in English in translated the following ways:

  • Laka “one who takes us by the hand” (source: Nida 1952, p. 140)
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “one who saves those on this earth”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “one who saves from save from sin”
  • Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “a person who pardons people of their sins” (source for this and two above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Nyongar: Keny-Barranginy-Ngandabat or “One Bringing Life” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “the King who lifts us from the punishment of our sins” (source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “one who delivers us from punishment” (source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “one whom we hope/expect will do all we are waiting for” (source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “one who is the pledge of our assurance of salvation in the future.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

In various German and Dutch Bible translations, the term Heiland is used, which was introduced by Martin Luther in the 16th century and means “the healing one.” This term (as “Hælend”) was used in Old English as a translation for “Jesus” — see Swain 2019 and Jesus.

In American Sign Language it is signed with a sign describing releasing someone from bondage. (Source: Yates 2011, p. 52)


“Savior” in American Sign Language (source )

I will strike the shepherd

The Greek that is translated as “I will strike the shepherd” or similar in English is translated in San Mateo Del Mar Huave as “I will give room for the shepherd to be killed” and in Chichimeca-Jonaz as “It is written that which God said was going to happen to me: I am going to allow them to kill the shepherd.” (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

Sovereign Lord

The Greek that is translated in English as “Sovereign Lord” is translated as “you who are Chief, you own all of us, truly you are God” in Chichimeca-Jonaz, as “Big Father, you are God” in Isthmus Mixe, as “my Lord who is the greatest” in Lalana Chinantec, as “our Lord, he who is greatest before us” in Ayutla Mixtec, as “you, Lord God, who is very great” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec, as “you, the Lord able to do all things” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, or “God our Father, you are our Boss, the biggest” Tataltepec Chatino. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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.