complete verse (John 1:17)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:17:

  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “Moses taught the ancestors of us Israelites the law of God, but Jesus Christ came to teach that God loves mankind, and he teaches us all the true words of God.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “The law about the things of God, the one who gave it was Moses. But the love which was to us and the truth came into being because of Jesus Christ.”
  • Umiray Dumaget Agta: “Even though Moses was caused to speak the rules of God, Jesus Christ was the one appointed to show mercy and to declare the truth.”
  • Guerrero Amuzgo: “. . . but Jesus Christ is the source of all favor and of the words that are true.”
  • Chol: “Jesus Christ came and gave us the goodness of his heart and truth.”
  • Tenango Otomi: “By means of Moses the law of God is known. But by means of Jesus Christ the love of God and the true word are known.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Uma: “From the prophet Musa we received the Law of the Lord God. But [it is] from Yesus Kristus that we really know God, and his grace to us.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “The law of God was given/sent to mankind by Musa but God’s love and the truth are given to mankind by Isa Almasi, he is the one called the Word of God.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And by means of Moses, God brought down to earth the laws. But by means of Jesus, God brought down to earth his love/grace for us and the true doctrine.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because God made-known his law through Moses, but his mercy/kindness and the truth concerning him, he made-known to us through Jesu Cristo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Because God gave his laws to Moises which he was commanding us, but that grace/mercy of his and truth concerning himself, he caused us to comprehend through Jesu-Cristo.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

gave up his spirit

The Greek that is often translated as “he gave up his spirit” in English is translated in a variety of ways:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “And then he died”
  • Aguaruna: “His breath went out”
  • Navajo: “He gave back his spirit”
  • Inupiaq: “He breathed his last”
  • Chol: “He caused his spirit to leave him”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “He sent away his life breath” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Kankanaey: “He entrusted his spirit to God” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “released his spirit” (lit. caused it to spring away) (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Uma: “His spirit/breath broke” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “His breath snapped” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)

northeaster

The Greek that is translated as “But soon a violent wind, called the northeaster (or: Euroclydon), rushed down from Crete” or similar in English is translated in a lot of different ways:

  • Upper Guinea Crioulo: “A great storm rose up on the side of the island that came against them.” (“The point wasn’t the name of the wind [nor’easter]. All of these nautical terms can be difficult for people who aren’t seafaring. The point wasn’t so much which cardinal direction the wind was coming from. The point was that the wind was coming from a direction that made it impossible for them to go in the direction they wanted to go. This is further explained in the following verse.”) (Source: David Frank)
  • Caluyanun: “Not long-afterward, the wind from the aminhan/northeast got-strong, which was from the land-area of the island of Crete.” (“’Aminhan’ is the common direction of the wind during half the year.”) (Source: Kermit Titrud)
  • Northern Emberá: “But soon a bad wind called the Euroclidon blew forcefully from the right hand.” (“When we have to specify north and south we use left hand and right hand, respectively. But in Acts 27:14, the Northeaster wind comes from the right, hitting the right side of the ship as they headed west.”) (Source: Chaz Mortensen)
  • Amele: “But shortly a strong wind called Jawalti blowing from the direction of the sun coming up to the left came up.” (“East is cam tobec isec ‘the direction the sun comes up’ and west is cam tonec/nec isec ‘the direction the sun goes/comes down.’ ‘Jawalti’ is a local name for the wind that blows down from the north coast of Madang. ‘Sea corner’ is the Amele term for ‘harbour‘”) (Source: John Roberts)
  • Mairasi: “But after not a very long time at all already a very big wind blew from behind us. In Greek that wind is called ‘Eurokulon’ from over there in the north and east. It blew down from that island itself.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Kankanaey: “But it wasn’t long, a swift wind arrived from the upper-part of Creta.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And it wasn’t a long time from then, we were typhooned. A very strong wind arrived which was called Abagat. The wind came from the direction of the land.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But before we had been sailing for long, suddenly/unexpectedly the wind changed again to an off-shore wind of tremendous strength. Euraclidon was what the people from there called that wind.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Uma: “But in fact not long after that, a big wind came from the land, a wind called Sea Storm.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But not long after, a very strong wind blew from the coast.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)

See also cardinal directions / left and right and cardinal directions (north, south, east, west).

bless(ed)

The Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic that is translated into English as “(to) bless” or “blessed” is translated into a wide variety of possibilities.

The Hebrew term barak (and the Aramaic term berak) also (and originally) means “to kneel” (a meaning which the word has retained — see Gen. 24:11) and can be used for God blessing people (or things), people blessing each other, or people blessing God. While English Bible translators have not seen a stumbling block in always using the same term (“bless” in its various forms), other languages need to make distinctions (see below).

In Bari, spoken in South Sudan, the connection between blessing and knees/legs is still apparent. For Genesis 30:30 (in English: “the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned”), Bari uses a common expression that says (much like the Hebrew) , ‘… blessed you to my feet.'” (Source: P. Guillebaud in The Bible Translator 1965, p. 189ff.)

Other examples for the translation of “bless” when God is the one who blesses include:

  • “to think well of” (San Blas Kuna)
  • “to speak good to” (Amganad Ifugao)
  • “to make happy” (Pohnpeian)
  • “to-cause-to-live-as-a-chief” (Zulu)
  • “to sprinkle with a propitious (lit. cool) face,” (a poetic expression occurring in the priests’ language) (Toraja Sa’dan) (source for this and above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • “give good things” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • “asking good” (Yakan) (source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • “praised, saying good things” (Central Yupik) (source: Robert Bascom)
  • “greatly love” (Candoshi-Shapra (source: John C. Tuggy)

In Tagbanwa a phrase is used for both the blessing done by people and God that back-translates to “caused to be pierced by words causing grace/favor” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation).

Ixcatlán Mazatec had to select a separate term when relating “to people ‘blessing’ God” (or things of God): “praise(d)” or “give thanks for” (in 1 Cor. 10:16) (“as it is humans doing the ‘blessing’ and people do not bless the things of God or God himself the way God blesses people” — source: Robert Bascom). Eastern Bru also uses “praise” for this a God-directed blessing (source: Bru back translation) and Uma uses “appropriate/worthy to be worshipped” (source: Uma back translation).

When related to someone who is blessing someone else, it is translated into Tsou as “to speak good hopes for.” In Waiwai it is translated as “may God be good and kind to you now.” (Sources: Peng Kuo-Wei for Tsou and Robert Hawkins in The Bible Translator 1962, pp. 164ff. for Waiwai.)

Some languages associate an expression that originally means “spitting” or “saliva” with blessing. The Bantu language Koonzime, for instance, uses that expression for “blessing” in their translation coming from either God or man. Traditionally, the term was used in an application of blessing by an aged superior upon a younger inferior, often in relation to a desire for fertility, or in a ritualistic, but not actually performed spitting past the back of the hand. The spitting of saliva has the effect of giving that person “tenderness of face,” which can be translated as “blessedness.” (Source: Keith Beavon)

See also bless (food and drink), blessed (Christ in Mark 11:9), and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.

complete verse (Matt. 7:3 / Luke 6:41), speck vs. log

The Greek that is translated in English as “Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?” or similar is translated in Uma with an existing figure of speech: “Why do we stare at the sleep in another’s eye, yet the piece of wood that is in our own eye we don’t know it’s there!” (Source: Kroneman 2004, p. 501)

In Una, it had to be translated with a more explicit translation because “a more literal and shorter version of this verse had led to major misunderstanding or zero understanding.” It’s back-translation says: “You (pl.) are doing very evil things, but you think, ‘We do not do evil things’. But, regarding other people who do not do very evil things, you think, ‘They are doing evil things, for shame’. As for the very big thorn that broke off and entered your eyes, you think, ‘There is no big thorn that entered my eye’, but with regard to the very small piece of wood dust that might have entered someone else’s eye, why would you say, ‘A piece of wood dust has entered his eye?’ That is not appropriate.” (Source: Dick Kronemann)

In Uripiv it is translated as “How is it you see the fowl dropping stuck on the bottom of your brother’s foot, but you can’t see the cow-pat you have stood on? … You could stand on his foot by mistake and make it dirtier!” (Ross McKerras remarked about this translation: “Our village father laughed when he heard this, which was the right reaction.”)

Other back-translations include:

  • Uma: “‘Why do we look at the sleep in another’s eye, yet the splinter of wood in our own eye, we do not know is there!” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “You who puts down his companion,’ said Isa, ‘why do you notice a speck (lit. of sawdust) in the eye of your companion but you, the tree trunk in your own eye you don’t notice.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And again Jesus spoke, ‘You who are always rebuking your companions, why do you rebuke the sin of your companion which is just like a speck that got into his eye. But you — you have a sin which is as big as a log, which has blinded your eye, and you pay no attention to it.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “‘Why do you (singular) notice the small bit-of-eye-discharge (as when waking up) in the eye of your (singular) fellow, and you (singular) don’t notice the large bit-of-eye-discharge in your (singular) eye?” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “I don’t know why, when someone else has a foreign-body-in-the-eye which is only dust, that is what you(s) keep looking for. But when your own foreign-body-in-the-eye is wedged across your eye (implies too big to go in), you just leave it alone.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (John 1:1)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:1:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “The Word was living when there was still nothing at all. And that Word lived in the same place God did. And that Word was God himself.”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “When the world began, the person who is the Word was already present. He was with God and the person who is the Word was God.”
  • Chol: “In the beginning of the world there already was the Word. This Word already was with God. This Word was (and still is) God.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Long ago before anything was created, the one who is titled the Word of God already was. This Word of God, he already was with God and he is God.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Before the world and heavens/sky was laid-down/spread-out (i.e. existed), there was already Jesus who is called Word/Speech of God. This one referred to as Word, he was already there in the presence of God. Not just in the presence of God but on the contrary, this Word who is Jesus, he indeed is the one who is this God.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “The Son of God makes it known how God is. When the world was made, already he was living. He was in fellowship with God. He also is God.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Luke 12:23)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 12:23:

  • Uma: “Because your lives are more than food and clothes.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “For the life is more valuable than food and the body is more valuable than clothes.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “because God has given you breath and your body, which is very precious and it cannot be that he will not give you also food and clothing.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because your lives are far-away more-valuable than food, and your bodies are also emphatically more-valuable than clothes.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For isn’t it so that life is greater/more-important than food and the body also is greater/more-important than clothing? Well since life and body are indeed the gift of God to you, of course he will also give these which you need which are food and clothing.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (1 Corinthians 13:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Corinthians 13:5:

  • Uma: “We are not harsh with others, we don’t always seek our own desires, are not easily hot-hearted, don’t hold grudges.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “If we (dual) love our (dual) companions we (dual) respect them/treat-them-according-to-custom, we (dual) don’t always think of ourselves but about our (dual) companions, we (dual) don’t get easily angry, we (dual) also don’t keep a grudge (lit. don’t store in the liver).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Our customs are not ugly; we do not force our own desires on other people; we don’t become angry easily, but rather, we very easily are able to forgive those who sin against us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The person who is loving, his behavior is not rude/improper and neither does he insist on (lit. force) what he wants. He is not easily angered or offended but rather he easily forgets it if someone does wrong to him.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “It is not wild-behaviored, does not think only of its own desires, it is not easily-angered, and it easily/quickly forgives the evil that others do against it.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “And he has respect for his fellow man. He doesn’t seek just his own welfare. Rather he seeks the good of his fellow man. He doesn’t get mad. And he forgives what is done to him.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Luke 12:55)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 12:55:

  • Uma: “If the wind blows from the south, you say there will be a drought, and it is definitely thus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And when the south wind blows, you say, the sun/day will be hot, and finally it will be hot.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And when the wind blows, coming from the south, then you say, ‘It’s really going to be hot today.’ And it really is hot.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “If you know also that the wind is coming from the south, you say, ‘It will probably get-extremely -hot,’ and it becomes-true.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And then if a wind blows from the south, you say it will get hot. Well, it truly will get hot.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (1 Corinthians 14:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Corinthians 14:24:

  • Uma: “But if all of you speak God’s words and a person who is not a Kristen or who does not-yet know God’s Word enters, when he hears what you all say, it will become clear in his heart that he has sinned. It’s like there is something in his heart that says: ‘That is to me!’ [i.e., those words are meant for me]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But if all of you speak the word of God and a person is coming in there who does not yet believe in Isa Almasi or another person, when he hears the word of God that you speak, he knows that he is sinful and worthy of being punished because God makes known/causes to understand in his liver all the bad things that he has done. Then that person will prostrate and worship God and he will state-that-it-is-true/confess that God is really there among you.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “But, if what everybody does is, they explain what God had caused them to understand in the word of God, then as for that visitor, by means of what he hears he will understand what God is thinking about his evil-thinking. And he will realize that he is sinful and he will repent. And then he will worship God and he will say, ‘It really is true that you are guided by the power of God!'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But if you all are telling what God has made-known to you and you have a visitor who doesn’t believe, his conscience will be struck because of what each one of you is saying and the truth concerning his sins will be shown to him,” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But if instead of speaking different languages that can’t be understood, you are relating in a language that everyone understands that which God is making known, is it not so that those who arrived will become aware that they will have to answer to God because they are sinners?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But if those who speak do so with the word God puts on their mind and speak in the words with which the people there speak, then if there should come in a person who is not a believer and doesn’t know about the faith, then he will understand that he has sin by means of the word he hears.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

complete verse (Luke 13:28)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 13:28:

  • Uma: “‘At that time, you will cry and suffer, because you see Abraham, Ishak and Yakub with all the prophets, sitting happily in the Kingdom of God, whereas you are shut on the outside.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Then you will wail there and you will gnash your teeth when you see there inside your forefathers Prophet Ibrahim and Isahak and Yakub and all the prophets but you are just outside.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then,’ said Jesus, ‘You will wail loudly and you will grind your teeth because you feel so badly, because you’ve not been included among those whom God will rule over. And inside you will see your ancestor long ago, Abraham, and his son Isaac, and his grandchild Jacob, and also all of the prophets of God.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When they see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets who have been included in the ruling of God, they will excessively cry-bitterly while-simultaneously they will gnash-their -teeth in their anger, because as for them, they will be thrown-away.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “It’s certain that you will cry and your teeth will grind when you see that there in the kingdom of God are Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and all the prophets, but as for you, you will be driven-out/away for you really won’t be allowed to enter.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

complete verse (1 Corinthians 15:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Corinthians 15:16:

  • Uma: “For if dead people are not caused to live again, then certainly also Kristus was not caused to live again.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Because if the dead are not made alive again, that means Almasi also was not made alive again.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Because if it’s not possible for dead people to be raised, then Christ also was not raised.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Not only that but also it will become-known that what we (excl.) have been saying about God is a lie, because we have confirmed that he made-Cristo -alive again. But if it’s true that he won’t/doesn’t make-the dead -alive again, it’s not also true that he made-Cristo -alive.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For, like I said, if the dead will not be made to live again, of course it will turn out that Cristo was not made to live again.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “If it be that dead people do not resurrect, then Christ is still dead.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)