you shall not commit adultery

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “you shall not commit adultery” is translated in Toraja-Sa’dan with an established figure of speech: Da’ mupasandak salu lako rampanan kapa’ or “you shall not fathom the river of marriage” (i.e “approach the marriage relationship of another.”) (Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff.).

It is translated as “practice illicit relationship with women” in Tzeltal, as “go in with other people’s wives” in Isthmus Zapotec, as “live with some one who isn’t your wife” in Huehuetla Tepehua, and as “sleep with a strange partner” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also adultery

cares of the world, worries of this age

The Greek that is translated as “worries (or: cares) of the world (or: this age)” in English is (back-) translated in a number of ways:

  • Kekchí: “they think very much about these days now”
  • Farefare: “they begin to worry about this world-things”
  • Tzeltal: “their hearts are gone doing what they do when they pass through world” (where the last phrase is an idiomatic equivalent for “this life”
  • Mitla Zapotec and San Mateo del Mar Huave: “they think intensely about things in this world”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi and Pamona: “the longing for this world”
  • Tzotzil: “they are very occupied about things in the world”
  • Central Tarahumara: “they are very much afraid about what will happen in the world”
  • Shilluk: “the heavy talk about things in the world”

See also end of the age / end of the world.

debauchery, sexual promiscuity

The Greek that is translated in English as “debauchery” or “sexual immorality” or similar is translated as “have affairs with women” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, as “act any old way” in Central Tarahumara, as “live in the street” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “commit adultery” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “lie with people” in Mezquital Otomi and as “go after women” in Isthmus Zapotec. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also sexual immorality / fornication and adultery.

spirit / flesh

The Greek terms that are translated “spirit” and “flesh” are a fundamental contrast, but one which is variously expressed in different languages. Often, however, “spirit” is equivalent to “heart” (Eastern Highland Otomi, Loma, Guerrero Amuzgo, Highland Puebla Nahuatl), and “flesh” may be rendered as “body” (Guerrero Amuzgo, Highland Puebla Nahuatl, Tzeltal) or “you yourself” (Central Tarahumara).

The following translations are illustrative of the contrastive expressions: “your hearts are ready but your bodies are weak” (Highland Puebla Nahuatl), “your heart is strong but you yourselves are not strong” (Central Tarahumara), “your heart has strength, but your body does not have strength” (Tzeltal), “your heart desires to do good, but your heart is weak,” in which “heart” must be used in both clauses since it not only stands for the center of the personality, but is also the symbol of typical human nature (Loma). (Source for this and all above Bratcher / Nida)

Other translations include “the mind is enthusiastic about doing what God wants it to but limited in the capacity of the body” (Ibaloi) or “Your body is tired but your inner man is not tired” (Lacandon), (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

In Guhu-Samane an idiomatic expression with “your desire is there, but sleep has slain your body” is used. (Source: Ernest Richert in Notes on Translation December 1963: p. 4-7; reprinted in The Bible Translator 1965, p. 198ff.)

See also flesh (human nature).

dishonor God

The Greek that is usually translated in English as “dishonor God” is translated in various ways:

sanctification, sanctify

The Greek that is translated in English as “sanctify” or “sanctification” is translated in Balanta-Kentohe “separated to God.” (Source: Rob Koops)

Other translations include:

  • San Blas Kuna: “giving a man a good heart”
  • Panao Huánuco Quechua: “God perfects us”
  • Laka: “God calls us outside to Himself” (“This phrase is derived from the practice of a medicine man, who during the initiation rites of apprentices calls upon the young man who is to follow him eventually and to receive all of his secrets and power. From the day that this young man is called out during the height of the ecstatic ceremony, he is identified with his teacher as the heir to his position, authority, and knowledge.”) (Source for this and above: Nida 1952, p. 147)
  • Mezquital Otomi: “to live a pure life”
  • Hopi: “unspotted”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “clean-hearted”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “be servants of God”
  • Central Tarahumara: “only live doing good as God desires” (source for this and four above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
  • Mairasi: “one’s life/behavior will be very straight” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Enlhet: “new / clean innermost” (“Innermost” or valhoc is a term that is frequently used in Enlhet to describe a large variety of emotions or states of mind (for other examples see here).) (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.)

despise

The Greek that is translated as “despise” is translated as “not think anything of” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “he is of no account to you” in Tzeltal, as “say you are better” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, as “hate” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “speak evil of” in Sayula Popoluca, as “reject” in Highland Totonac, as “not respect” in Central Tarahumara, and as “act superior to” in Isthmus Zapotec. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

tradition

The Greek that is translated as “tradition” in English is translated in Kekchí as “the old root-trunk” (in which the life of a people is likened to a tree), in Central Tarahumara, as “to live as the ancients did,” in North Alaskan Inupiatun as “sayings passed down from long-ago times,” in Navajo as “what their fathers of old told them to follow,” in Toraja-Sa’dan as “the ordinance maintained by the forefathers,” in Tzeltal as “word that has been kept from the ancients” (source for this and all above Bratcher / Nida), and in Gumuz as “the life of your fathers” (source: Loren Bliese).

In Obolo it is translated as orọmijọn̄: “the deeds of the ground” (source: Enene Enene).

do not be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewal of your mind

The Greek that is translated in English as some form of “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind” is translated into Bilua as “you must not follow this generation’s behavior, but you must allow God in your heart that he make you new in your life and thinking.”

The first part of this phrase (“(don’t be) conformed to this world”) is translated as “live doing as other people do who live here in the world” in Central Tarahumara, as “do like mankind does, people who are here on the earth” in Yatzachi Zapotec, aw “do like people in this sinful world” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, and “the life of those who walk in sin” in Mezquital Otomi.

The second part (“be transformed by the renewal of your mind”) is translated as “let the way you think become new and changed” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, as “change so that what you think may become new” in Sayula Popoluca, as “let God change your head-hearts in order that your thoughts will he changed” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “be different since the Holy Spirit has made your mind new” in Huehuetla Tepehua, and as “in a different way think well” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

guileless as to what is evil

The Greek that is translated as “guileless as to what is evil” or similar in English is translated as “don’t let others deceive you so that you do evil” in Miahuatlán Zapotec, as “fear the bad life” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “don’t be those who know sick words” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, as “don’t get involved with evil” in Yatzachi Zapotec, and as “never do evil” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

glorify God

The Greek that is translated as “glorify God” in English is rendered as “to wake God up” in Guerrero Amuzgo.

Other translations are “say that God is very great” (Central Tarahumara), “how good God is, they said” (Tzotzil), “to speak about God as good” (Tzeltal), “to give God a great name” (Highland Puebla Nahuatl), “to give God highness” (Kipsigis), “to take God out high” (in the sense of “to exalt”) (Huautla Mazatec), “to make great, to exalt” (Toraja-Sa’dan, Javanese), “to lift up God’s brightness” (Kpelle), “to show God to be great” (Central Pame), “to make God shine” (Wayuu), “to make God’s name big” (Huastec), “to make God important” (Isthmus Zapotec) (source for this and above: Bratcher / Nida), or “say to God: You are of good heart” (Huichol) (source: Nida 1964, p. 228).

In Waama this is translated as “make God’s name big.” (For the translation into Waama, five categories of verb doxazo and the noun doxa were found that were all translated differently, see glorify (reveal God’s or Jesus’ glory to people)).

In Shipibo-Conibo it is translated as “to brag about God” (“This may strike some at first as being an unspiritual approach, but it surely is Pauline, for Paul used the word ‘to brag’ when he declared his confidence in Jesus Christ and in the salvation of the world which God wrought through His Son.”) (Source: Nida 1952, p. 162)