witness

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “witness” in English is translated as “truly have seen” in Highland Popoluca, as “telling the truth regarding something” (Eastern Highland Otomi), as “know something” in Lalana Chinantec, as “verily know something to be the truth” in San Mateo del Mar Huave, as “we ourselves saw this,” in Desano, as “tell the truth about something” in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “know something is true because of seeing it” in Teutila Cuicatec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

enslave and maltreat

The Greek that is translates as “enslave (them) and maltreat (them)” or similar in English is translated in the following ways:

  • Lalana Chinantec: “they will become servants of other people, servant who don’t have any pay. The other people will mistreat them”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “mistreat them and force them to work for them”
  • Desano: “they will help in the work like slaves and the people will scold them and beat them hard”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “they will be servants and have suffering”
  • Ayutla Mixtec: “will take your sons to be their property and will make them suffer”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “would be made laborers by force and be mistreated”
  • Highland Popoluca: “work them hard but not pay them” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

heaven is my throne and earth my footstool

The Greek and Hebrew that is typically translated as “heaven is my throne and earth my footstool” in English is translated in the following ways:

  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “heaven is where I have my power and earth is also where I have my power”
  • Highland Popoluca: “heaven I rule, earth I rule also”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “as a chair where kings sit is heaven where I sit. As is a low stool where my feet rest, is the earth”
  • San Mateo del Mar Huave: “if I wished, heaven could serve as my seat, and I could use the earth as a place to rest my feet if I wanted” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Kankanaey: “In heaven is where I sit to rule, and the world, that’s where-I-stretch-out-my-legs.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “The heavens really are my seat in kingship. The world is just the stepping-stool of my feet,” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

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)

open a door of faith

The Greek that is often translated “(he had) opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” is translated as “made it possible for them to believe in Jesus” in Highland Popoluca or as “God permitted them to believe in him” in Rincón Zapotec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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.)

conversion, convert, turn back

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

The Greek that is often rendered in English as “to be converted” or “to turn around” is (back-) translated in a number of ways:

  • North Alaskan Inupiatun: “to change completely”
  • Purepecha: “to turn around”
  • Highland Totonac: “to have one’s life changed”
  • Huautla Mazatec: “to make pass over bounds within”
  • San Blas Kuna: “turn the heart toward God”
  • Chol: “the heart turns itself back”
  • Highland Puebla Nahuatl: “self-heart change”
  • Pamona: “to turn away from, unlearn something”
  • Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “to turn around from the breast”
  • Luvale: “to return”
  • Balinese: “to put in a new behavior” (compare “repentance“: “to put on a new mind”)
  • Tzeltal: “to cause one’s heart to return to God” (compare “repentance”: “to cause one’s heart to return because of one’s sin”)
  • Pedi: “to retrace one’s step” (compare “repentance”: “to become untwisted”)
  • Uab Meto: “to return” (compare “repentance”: “to turn the heart upside down”)
  • Northwestern Dinka: “to turn oneself” (compare “repentance”: “to turn the heart”) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Central Mazahua: “changing the heart” (compare “repentance”: “turning back the heart”) (source: Nida 1952, p. 40)
  • Western Kanjobal: “to molt” (like a butterfly) (source: Nida 1952, p. 136)
  • Latvian: atgriezties (verb) / atgriešanās (noun) (“turn around / return”) which is also the same term being used for “repentance” (source: Katie Roth)
  • Isthmus Mixe: “look away from the teaching of one’s ancestors and follow the teachings of God”
  • Highland Popoluca: “leaving one’s old beliefs to believe in Jesus” (source for thsi and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

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.)

self-control

The Greek that is typically translated as “self-control” in English is translated in Yamba and Bulu as “(a) cool heart.” (Source: W. Reyburn in The Bible Translator 1959, p. 1ff.)

In Eastern Highland Otomi it is translated as “be careful what one does,” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “determine that they cannot do the things that are not good, and in Highland Popoluca as “not do like our evil thoughts want.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

anoint (chrió)

The Greek chrió that is translated as “anoint” in English is translated in Chol as “choose.”

Wilbur Aulie (in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 109ff.) explains: “Another illustration of translating a figure in a non-figurative manner is the treatment of chrió ‘anoint’. In Luke 4:18, Acts 4:27 and 10:38, and in 2 Corinthians 1:21 it is metaphorical of consecration to office by God. We translated the metaphor ‘choose’.”

Other translations include “place as Savior” in Highland Popoluca, “appoint to rule” in Coatlán Mixe, “give work to do” in Tepeuxila Cuicatec, or “give office to be our Savior” in Chuj (source of this and four above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.).