birth

The Greek that is rendered into English as “birth” is translated into Sierra Totonac as lakatunkuwi: “born to see the morning.” (The Sierra Totonac word for Christmas is lakatunkuwit.) (2nd translation into Sierra Totonac of 1999.)

See also bear (child), give birth.

contrary to nature

The Greek that is translated as “contrary to nature” or similar in English is translated as “where you didn’t spring up” in Isthmus Zapotec, as “contrary to what you belong to” in Highland Totonac, and as “which is contrary to your normal way in that you are not the good branches of the good tree” in North Alaskan Inupiatun. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

miracle, miraculous power

The Greek and Hebrew that are often translated as “miracles” or “miraculous powers” into English are translated as “things which no one has ever seen before” (San Blas Kuna), “thing marveled at” (Tepeuxila Cuicatec), “breathtaking thing” (Ngäbere), “long-necked thing” (referring to the onlookers who stretch their necks to see) (Huautla Mazatec), “sign done by God’s power” (Mossi), “supernatural power” (Javanese), “things that have heaven-strength” (Highland Totonac) (source for all above: Bratcher / Nida), “amazing thing” (Muna) (source: René van den Berg), or “impossible things” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004).

See also wonder.

they are a law to themselves

The Greek that is often translated into English as “they are a law to themselves” is translated into Bilua as “they follow their own law.” (Source: Carl Gross)

In Huehuetla Tepehua it is translated as “it is just as if they had a law in their hearts,” in Highland Totonac as “on their own they think of the law they should do,” in Yatzachi Zapotec as “what their head-hearts tell them to do is like the law for them,” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui as “their very hearts is a law which issues orders to them,” in Tzeltal as “it is because there are commandments in their hearts,” and in Sierra de Juárez Zapotec as “show that they themselves know what they ought to do.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

alive to God

The Greek that is translated as “alive to God” or similar is translated as “living in order to give honor to God” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “it is God for whom you live now” in Highland Totonac, “God has caused you to be alive, to do what he wants” in Tabasco Chontal, and as “live like servants of God” Huehuetla Tepehua. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

fit, worthy

The Greek that is rendered into “worthy” or “fit” in English versions is translated into Sierra Totonac as “proper” / “chief” — “I am not proper / chief enough.” (2nd translation into Sierra Totonac of 1999.)

See also worthy and not worthy / not fit.

outdo one another in showing honor

The Greek that is translated as “outdo one another in showing honor” or similar in English is translated as “always try to find out how the other person will come out better, and not yourselves” in Highland Totonac, as “be genuinely pleased if certain of your fellows should be more prominent than you yourself are” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui, and “each one give honor to the other and not to himself” in Isthmus Zapotec. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

peace (being at peace)

(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)

The Greek that is translated into English as “peace” is (back-) translated with a variety of idioms and phrases:

flesh (human nature)

The Greek that is often translated as “flesh” in English (when referring to the lower human nature) can, according to Nidq (1947, p. 153) “very rarely be literally translated into another language. ‘My meat’ or ‘my muscle’ does not make sense in most languages.” He then gives a catalog of almost 30 questions to determine a correct translation for that term.

Accordingly, the translations are very varied:

See also spirit / flesh and old self.

reconcile, reconciliation

The Greek terms that are translated as “reconcile” and “reconciliation” in English are translated in various ways. Nida (1952, pp. 140) says this:

“The North Alaskan Inupiatun describe reconciliation in the simple terms of ‘making friends again.’ That is to say, ‘God was in Christ making friends again with the world.’ The Uduk in the Sudan express this same truth, but in the rather interesting phrase ‘meet, snapping fingers together again.’ This expression is derived from the Uduk’s practice of snapping fingers together when they meet each other. Instead of shaking hands, they extend their thumbs and middle fingers and snap fingers together, but only friends will do this. Men who have something against each other refuse to acknowledge each other in this way. And so it is that the natural man is an enemy of God; he refuses to snap fingers with God, but God has come to reconcile man to Himself and through Jesus Christ has brought man into fellowship with Himself. Man and God may now meet ‘to snap fingers together again.’

“The Tai Dam of Indo-China employ quite a different figure of speech. They say that reconciliation consists in ‘rubbing off the corners.’ This does not refer to social acceptability, but to rubbing off the corners so that two objects, meant for each other, will fit together. Man is regarded as being incapable of fitting into the plan and fellowship of God because of the sin which has deformed him and which stands out as an ugly growth on his personality. The corners of iniquity must be rubbed off so that man may be reconciled to God and made to fit into God’s eternal plan for the world.”

In Muna, the phrase manusia suli dopometaa bhe Lahata’ala: “man has-a-good-relationship/is-in-harmony-again with God” is used for “reconciled.” (Source: René van den Berg)

“Reconcile to God” is translated as “our hearts become good toward him” in Tzeltal, as “he makes us his friends again” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “we are brought close to him” in Highland Totonac, as “he is no longer angry with us” in Sayula Popoluca, as “(Christ) put us in a state of well-being with God” in Yatzachi Zapotec, and as “opposition to God was healed” in Chol. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)