The Greek that is rendered as “in his right mind” or “sound-minded” in English is translated as “his mind had returned” (Amganad Ifugao), “his heart was sitting down” (Tojolabal), “his head was healed” (Chicahuaxtla Triqui), “his mind was straightened” (Tzotzil), “with a clear mind again” (Javanese), “come to his senses” (Indonesian) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida), “come to his cleanness/purity” (Marathi), “(his) thoughts having become right” (Ekari), “his intelligence having-become clean again” (Sranan Tongo), “having-mind” (Batak Toba), “settled his mind” (Tae’), “settled/fixed” (Balinese) (source for this and five above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), or “had well-split vision” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004).
The Greek that is translated as “wisdom” in English is rendered in Amganad Ifugao and Tabasco Chontal as “(big) mind,” in Bulu and Yamba as “heart thinking,” in Tae’ as “cleverness of heart” (source for this and all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), in Palauan as “bright spirit (innermost)” (source: Bratcher / Hatton), in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “with your best/biggest thinking” (source: Robert Bascom), and in Dobel, it is translated with the idiom “their ear holes are long-lasting” (in Acts 6:3) (source: Jock Hughes).
See also wisdom (Proverbs).
The Greek that is translated as “eye of a needle” in English (and in many Romance and Germanic languages) is rendered variously in different languages:
- “foot of a needle” (Mitla Zapotec)
- “hole in the foot of the needle” (Guerrero Amuzgo)
- “hole of a needle” (Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, French (also: “eye of a needle”), Japanese, Muna)
- “nostril of a needle” (Piro)
- “mouth of a needle” (Hakha Chin)
- “ear of a needle” (Tedim Chin, German, Tsou, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian)
- “nose of a needle” (Lahu)
- “channel of a needle” (Rawang) (source for this all above: Bratcher / Nida and crowdsourced responses on Twitter)
- “loop of the needle” (Tae’) (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
The Greek that is translated as “blasphemy” or “blaspheme” is (back-) translated in various forms:
- Panao Huánuco Quechua: “speak evil of God”
- Southern Bobo Madaré: “to break God’s name”
- Loma: “to spoil the name of God”
- Luvale: “to insult God”
- Pamona and Malay: “to slander God”
- Javanese and German: “to defame God”
- Tae’: “to bring curses (or “calamitous words”) against God”
- Uab Meto: “to talk to pieces” (source for this and above: Bratcher / Nida)
- Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac: “treat God with contempt”
- Ojitlán Chinantec: “say bad words”
- Yatzachi Zapotec: “slander God”
- Tenango Otomi: “don’t respect God with what one says”
- Navajo: “say evil about God” (source for this and four above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125)
- Q’anjob’al: “that which hurts the high” (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.)
- Bacama: “spoiling the name of God” (source: David Frank in this blog post)
The Greek that is rendered in English as “filled with the Holy Spirit” or “full with the Holy Spirit” is translated in various ways:
- Tboli: “the Holy Spirit shall be with him,”
- Shipibo-Conibo: “the Holy Spirit shall permeate him” (using a term said of medicines)
- Cuyonon: “he shall be under the control of the Holy Spirit” (esp. Luke 4:1, Acts 7:55, Acts 11:24)
- Ngäbere: “the full strength of the Holy Spirit shall stay in him”
- Tae’ (translation of 1933): “he shall carry the Holy Spirit in his inner being” (source for this and all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
- Yamba and Bulu: “the Holy Spirit filled their hearts” (source: W. Reyburn in The Bible Translator 1959, p. 1ff.)
- Rincón Zapotec: “the Holy Spirit come to be completely with them”
- Eastern Highland Otomi: “they all walked with the Holy Spirit of God”
- Chuj: “God’s Spirit entered into all of them”
- Morelos Nahuatl: “the Holy Spirit entered everyone’s heart to rule”
- Teutila Cuicatec: “God’s Spirit possessed all of them” / “in all the authority of the Holy Spirit”
- Isthmus Mixe: “have the Holy Spirit very much” or “Holy Spirit enter one completely”
- Lalana Chinantec: “One’s heart really obeyed what the Holy Spirit wanted”
- Chichimeca-Jonaz: “one’s heart full of God’s Holy Spirit” (source for this and seven above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The following story is relayed by Martha Duff Tripp as she led the translation of the New Testament into Yanesha’ (p. 310):
I continue to work with Casper Mountain [an Yanesha’ translator] on translation. As we start the book of Luke, we run into another problem. In Chapter 1, verse 15, the text reads (speaking of John the Baptist), “and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Amueshas [Yanesha’s] have never associated their word for “fill” with anything except pots and baskets. How can a person be “filled”? Even their word for a full stomach is not the word for “fill.” We talk together about what “filled with the Holy Spirit” means (obsessed with or possessed by). The thought comes to me of what the Amueshas [Yanesha’s] say about the shaman. They say that he can “wear” the spirit of the tiger, that they can tell when he is wearing the tiger spirit because he then will act like a tiger. Their word for “wear” is the same word as to “wear or put on a garment.” Can this possibly be the way to say “filled with God’s Spirit”? As I cautiously question Casper about this, his face lights up immediately. “Yes, that is the way we would say it, he is ’wearing’ God’s Holy Spirit.”
See also Holy Spirit.
The Greek that is translated as “council” or “Council” in English is (back-) translated in a variety of ways:
- Tzeltal: “officials who gather together”
- Copainalá Zoque: “those who think together”
- Amaganad Ifugao: “those who take charge of the affairs” (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida)
- Ekari: “place for speech-making/discussion”
- Tae’: “great assembly”
- Sranan Tongo, Javanese: “(high) tribunal”
- Marathi: “assembly of their Judgement-court” (source for this and three above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
- Lalana Chinantec: “the people who judge”
- Chichimeca-Jonaz: “the elders who give them advice”
- Morelos Nahuatl: “junta”
- Isthmus Mixe: “church judges”
- San Mateo del Mar Huave: “big meeting”
- Ayutla Mixtec: “council” (source for this and five above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
The Greek that is translated as “see(n) a vision” in English is sometimes translated generically, such as “to see something” (Sranan Tongo, Tae’), “something is made visible” (Western Apache), or “they knew, what he might have seen” (i.e. they knew that something had been seen but not what) (Shipibo-Conibo). Elsewhere a specification is added, such as “to see a divine sight” (Kannada, Toraja-Sa’dan), “he had seen something supernatural, which had appeared to him” (Tboli).
See also vision.
The Greek that is often translated as “slow of heart” in English is translated as “the heart is hard” in Zarma, “very heavy in heart” in Uab Meto, “blocked-hearted” in Indonesian, “lazy to think” in Tae’, “having a heart that delays” in Shona (translation of 1963), or “failing-heart-people” in Adamawa Fulfulde.
The Greek that is translated as “peace” in English, and like the English can refer to a mental state as well as a lack of strife or absence or cessation of war, needs to be expressed with distinguished terms in other languages. For the meaning of peace when referring to absence of strife, Northern Grebo renders “the palaver has passed,” Highland Totonac “well arranged” (implying reconciliation), Tae’ and Toraja-Sa’dan “being-good-with-each-other” (in Luke 12:51, the 1933 edition of Tae’ has “land and water are well”) or Sranan Tongo “free” (in the sense of “to conclude peace”).
See also peace (absence of conflict).
The Greek that is often translated as “Were not our hearts burning within us?” is translated as “a boiling comes to our hearts inside” in Marathi (an idiom for joy and enthusiasm), “drawn, as it were, our mind” in Balinese, “hurt (i.e. longing) our hearts” in Ekari, or “something was-consuming in our-heart” in Tae’ (an idiom for “we were profoundly moved”). (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
In an early version of the Bible in Sranan Tongo, the translation was Ke, hoe switi kouroe wi hatti be fili: “O, how sweet coolness did our hearts feel.” The translator “did this to avoid misunderstanding. In Sranan Tongo, when one says ‘my heart is burning’ he means ‘I am angry.'” (Source: Janini 2015, p. 33)
In Afar the phrase is translated as robti leeh innah nel oobak sugtem hinnaa?: “Wasn’t it as rain coming down on us?” (heat is bad, rain is good in the desert). (Source: Loren Bliese)