feed my lambs

The Greek that is translated as “feed my lambs” in English is translated as “teach my people my words, as if to say you will feed my little sheep” in Ojitlán Chinantec, “teach my word to the men who are like lambs” in Huehuetla Tepehua, “help those who believe in me” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, “teach the people who have just begun to trust in me” in Yatzachi Zapotec and “now do like a shepherd does. Take care of the people who believe in me” in Tenango Otomi.

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

See alsotend my sheep.

complete verse (John 1:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:5:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “That one who gives understanding to the minds of men, he was like a light that shines where it is dark. But the one who walks where it is dark (the devil) couldn’t overcome him.”
  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “For people are in the evil way, as if to say, they are in darkness. But he illuminates people. The evil one did not prevail over that one who illuminates people.”
  • Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac: “He is like a light which illuminates where it is dark. And the devil, he is of the darkness but he cannot conquer the light.”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “The person who is the word has light for the hearts of mankind. Even though there is very much evil in this world where he arrived, the evil did not shut off his light.” (Source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Chol: “The light of the world shows itself in the midst of a very dark world. This very dark world was not able to put out the light.” Wilbur Aulie (in The Bible Translator 1957, p. 109ff.) explains the use of “put out the light” (dlick here to display)

    “The problem of multiple meanings is often involved in the rendering of figures. Some hold that Greek katelaben in John 1:5 means both ‘to grasp with the mind’ (i.e., ‘to comprehend’) and ‘to grasp with the hand’ (i.e., to overcome’). Many translators are obliged to make a choice here. In Chol there is no choice, since the darkness cannot comprehend, even metaphorically speaking. It was therefore rendered: ‘The darkness did not put out the light’.”

  • Uma: “That light shone/shines in the darkness, and the darkness was/is not able to kill it/him” (NOTE: The verb “kill” can be used of putting out a light or fire)

tend my sheep

The Greek that is translated as “tend my sheep” or similar in English is translated in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “take care of the ones who believe in me just as a shepherd carefully cares for his sheep,” in Ojitlán Chinantec as “take care of my people, as if to say, you will take care of my sheep,” in Huehuetla Tepehua as “take care of the people who are like my sheep,” and in Yatzachi Zapotec as “care for the people who trust in me.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

See also feed my lambs.

bread of life

The Greek that is translated in English is translated in Bambam as “food of life” since “bread is considered a light and unnecessary snack.” (Source: Phil Campbell in Kroneman 2004, p. 500) Similarly, Huehuetla Tepehua has “that food that gives eternal life” and Aguaruna has “the food that gives eternal life.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125)

In Chol, it is translated as Joñon Wajo, the “waj (tortilla) of life.” John Beekman (in The Bible Translator 1962, p. 180f.) explains: “The word ‘bread’ in Scripture primarily occurs as either a specific term for bread (including the Lord’s Supper), or as a generic term for food. It is not surprising, however, the some aboriginal groups use something other than bread as the staff of life. The Chols, with their cultural focus in the cultivation of corn, use waj, a type of thin corn flake. Since a meal is not complete without this main item of food, the term has been extended to include any other foods which may be served along with waj. While bread is known to them, its use is limited to a few occasions during the year when it functions as a dessert. In translating this term in the Chol New Testament, consistent use has been made of the word waj whenever the function of bread as a basic food was in focus. John 6:35, “I am the bread of life,” was thus translated with this word. If the word for bread had been used, it was feared that the Chol would compare Christ to the desirable, but not absolutely necessary, dessert.”

complete verse (John 8:36)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 8:36:

  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “Therefore if the Son of God liberates you, you will be truly liberated.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “I am the Son of my Father. If I free you from your servanthood, you truly won’t be servants.”
  • Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac: “You are like bought ones and the Son of God is able to free you and thus you will be able to rule yourselves.”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “And if the Son of God cause you to get out from under the foot of evil so you are no longer like slaves, then truly you will get out from under its foot.”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “So if the Son will save you, you will really be saved.”
  • Central Tarahumara: “. . . If I shall help you so that you no longer have to do wrong, then you truly shall no longer be ruled as if you were a servant of the devil.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

complete verse (John 1:9)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:9:

  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “The light of God has arrived in this world, to enter into the hearts of mankind; and it shines for all of them.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “The one who is the true one, who can give understanding, came here to this earth. He gives understanding to the minds of all men.”
  • Alekano: “The father of light, who enlightens the people all over, appeared and remained on earth.”
  • Tenango Otomi: “That one who came to the earth is truly the one who opens the hearts of the people.”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “The rays of the real Light were beginning to shine, causing the path on which all men walk to become lit.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

complete verse (John 1:20)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:20:

  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “He said to them clearly, ‘I am not the Christ, the person whom God is to send to help the nation of us Israelites.'”
  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “He said, ‘I am not the Christ, the chosen of God for a particular task.’ John showed the truth. He did not speak lies.”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “Well he admitted the truth. He immediately made it plain to them that he wasn’t Christ whom it was said God would send.”
  • Mezquital Otomi: “. . . I am not the Christ, whom God chose.”
  • Alekano: “Then not denying it, revealing it, he told them this: ‘I am not the Christ.'”
  • Chol: “John did not keep it a secret . . . “

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

without him not one thing came into being

The Greek that is translated as “without him not one thing came into being” or similar in English is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “if it hadn’t been for him there would not have been the world or anything” and in Tenango Otomi as “of all the things there are, there is not one that he did not make.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February, 1970, p. 1-125.)

complete verse (John 10:30)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 10:30:

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

complete verse (John 1:15)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 1:15:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “John told what he knew about that Word. When he was preaching he spoke loudly and this is what he said: ‘The one who is coming afterwards, he is the big one. Not I, since he was living before me. Not I. He is the one I preached to you about.'”
  • Tenango Otomi: “John told the people who he was. He said, “This one is that one I spoke of before. I said, ‘He who comes afterwards is greater than I because before I was living, he was already living.'”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

the life was the light of all people

The Greek that is translated as “the life was the light of all people” or similar in English is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “that one who gives life, he is the one who gives understanding to the minds of men,” in Ojitlán Chinantec as “he teaches people the right and straight way according to truth, as if to say, he illumines them,” in Tzotzil (San Andres) as “The one that causes people to live, he is like light. This one who is like light…,” and in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac as “and he showed people what is truth. And thus he was as it were a light to the people.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

complete verse (John 12:28)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 12:28:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “Rather I will say, ‘Let people say that you are great.’ And when Jesus said this, that is when a word came from heaven which said. . . “
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “Then he prayed, ‘Father, cause yourself to receive more honor.’ Then God who is in heaven spoke, saying to him, ‘I have caused myself to receive honor, and I will cause myself to receive more honor.'”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “‘My Father, do what is necessary so that people will worship you.’ That’s what Jesus said. So God spoke from heaven. He said, ‘I have done what is necessary so that people will worship me. I will also do it again,’ he said.”

(Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)