The Hebrew that is translated as “(glowing) coals” in English is translated in Owa as “stones of parrot offspring” (due to the fact that parrots are red!).

law of freedom, law of liberty

The Greek that is translated as “law of liberty” in English is translated in Owa as “the command that makes us free (=teaching that makes us clean from sin).”

judgment is without mercy

The Greek that is translated as “judgment is without mercy” in English is translated in Owa as “God will not have mercy.”


The Greek that is translated as “double-minded” in English is translated in Owa as “double-hearted” (doubt; first one thought, then the opposite).

See also double-minded.

implanted, in one's heart

For the phrase that is translated as “implanted (word)” or “(word that he plants) in your hearts” in English versions, Kahua uses a term for belly/chest as the seat of the emotions. (Source: David Clark)

In Owa it is translated as “planted in your soul” (=hearts). (Source: Carl Gross)

See also heart, soul, mind.

crown of life

The Greek that is translated in English as “crown of life” is translated in Navajo as “the life-way prize” (source: Nida 1964, p. 238) and in Owa as “the wage of your souls” (source: Carl Gross).

In Chichewa (interconfessional translation) translated as mphotho or “prize (of life)”. Ernst Wendland (1987, p. 120) explains: “A Chewa Chief might wear a special sea shell or bracelet as a sort of badge of office, but these would be magically endowed to give him super-natural protection against his enemies. Because of these underlying associations, such terms would not be appropriate here. Instead the word mphotho ‘prize,’ ‘reward’ (for achievement) has been used.”

See also complete verse (James 1:12) and crown of thorns.


The Greek that is translated as “whenever our thoughts condemn us” or similar in English is translated in Owa as “point at our eye.”

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (1John 4:16)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). (Click or tap here to see more details)

The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, translators typically select the inclusive form (including the addressee).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.

In the Owa translation, an exclusive form is used. (Source: Carl Gross)