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.”

See also bread, loaf.

illegitimate children

The Greek that is translated “illegitimate children” or similar in English is translated as:

  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “children of an unknown father”
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “children of the streets”
  • Chol: “those who were born because of the lust of men”
  • Navajo: “born in adultery”
  • Yanesha’: “born from an unmarried person” (source for this and above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)

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.)

In Lalana Chinantec, the double-negative is turned into a positive: “All things came into being because that person made all that exists.” (Source: Larson 1998, p. 159)

I came that they might have life and have it abundantly

The Greek that is translated as “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly” or similar in English has been translated in a a variety of ways:

  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “I came so that people might have life, and that they might be happy in their lives.”
  • Aguaruna: “But I, on the other hand, came saying ‘That they might live; that they might live contentedly, lacking nothing.'”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “I came in order to give eternal life and so that they would be extremely happy.”
  • Shipibo-Conibo: “I have come so that the sheep will live, and so that they will live very well.”
  • Asháninka: “I came to give them life, to really give them all life.”
  • Yanesha’: “For this I came, so that you will live, completely exceedingly.”
  • Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac: “I have come in order to give them their new life, which is better life.” (Source for this and above: John Beekman in Notes on Translation 12, November 1964, p. 1ff.)

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.

what are you looking for

The Greek that is translated in English as “What are you looking for?” or similar is translated in Huehuetla Tepehua as “What are you hunting for?” (Source: Larson 1998, p. 221)

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 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)

dwell, tabernacle

The term that is translated as “tabernacle” or “dwell” in English versions is translated in Hakha Chin as “made his village among us,” an expression that shows he was not just a casual visitor. (Source: David Clark)

Huehuetla Tepehua translates it as “came and lived with us here a little while.” (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

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.