open a door of faith

The Greek that is often translated “(he had) opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” is translated as “made it possible for them to believe in Jesus” in Highland Popoluca or as “God permitted them to believe in him” in Rincón Zapotec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

sailor

The Greek that is translated as “sailor(s)” in English is translated in Kouya as “worker(s) in the big canoe.”

Philip Saunders (p. 231) explains:

Acts chapter 27 was a challenge! It describes Paul’s sea voyage to Italy, and finally Rome. There is a storm at sea and a shipwreck on Malta, and the chapter includes much detailed nautical vocabulary. How do you translate this for a landlocked people group, most of whom have never seen the ocean? All they know are small rivers and dugout canoes.

We knew that we could later insert some illustrations during the final paging process which would help the Kouya readers to picture what was happening, but meanwhile we struggled to find or invent meaningful terms. The ‘ship’ was a ‘big canoe’ and the ‘passengers’ were ‘the people in the big canoe’; the ‘crew’ were the ‘workers in the big canoe’; the ‘pilot’ was the ‘driver of the big canoe’; the ‘big canoe stopping place’ was the ‘harbour’, and the ‘big canoe stopping metal’ was the ‘anchor’!”

In Rincón Zapotec, it is translated as “men who had the care of the boat.” (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

the Way

The Greek that is often translated in English as “the Way,” referring to the young church in Acts, is translated in a number of ways:

vision

The Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek that is translated as “vision” in English is translated in a variety in the following languages:

  • Chol: “as if in a dream” (source: Robert Bascom)
  • Obolo: ilaak ọkpọchieen̄ or “dreaming awake” (source: Enene Enene)
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “a showing like dreams”
  • Desano: “see in a dream what God will send”
  • Rincón Zapotec: “see what God shows”
  • Mayo: “see things from God as in a dream”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “dream how it is going to be”
  • Chuj: “like dreaming they see”
  • San Mateo del Mar Huave: “understand what they see as if in a dream”
  • Ayutla Mixtec: “see that which will happen” (source for this and seven above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Tagbanwa: “being caused to dream by God” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Chichewa: azidzaona zinthu m’masomphenya: “they will see things as if face-to-face” (interconfessional translation, publ. 1999) (Source: Wendland 1998, p. 69)

The Greek in the books of Revelation and Acts is translated as obq-rmwible: “look-dream” in Natügu. Brenda Boerger (in Beerle-Moor / Voinov, p. 162ff.) tells the story of that translation: “In the book of Revelation, the author, John, talks about having visions. Mr. Simon [the native language translator] and I discussed what this meant and he invented the compound verb obq-rmwible ‘look-dream’ to express it. Interestingly, during village testing no one ever had to ask what this neologism meant.”

See also see a vision.

elders of the church

The Greek that is typically translated as “the elders of the church” in English is translated as “the old men who believe” in Sayula Popoluca, “those who care for the assembly of Christ” in Rincón Zapotec, “those in authority among the brothers” in Central Mazahua, and “the supervisors of the creed” in Guhu-Samane (source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation July, 1967, p. 5ff.).

See also elder.

tackle

The Greek that is translated as “tackle” in English is translated as “things that do the work of the boat” in Rincón Zapotec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

baptize with the Holy Spirit

The Greek that is translated in English as “baptize with the Holy Spirit” is translated in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “(baptize so that) the Holy Spirit will come upon/enter you” (source: Robert Bascom) and in Mairasi as “wash with the Holy Spirit” (“water” baptism is “wash with water”) (source: Enggavoter 2004).

Other languages translate as follows:

  • Rincón Zapotec: “be baptized with the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit will come to be with you”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “God’s Holy Spirit will possess you”
  • Chuj: “God’s Spirit will be given to you”
  • Mezquital Otomi: “be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit”
  • Mayo: “receive the Holy Spirit in the same way you receive baptism”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “the Great Spirit will enter your hearts” (Source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

See also Holy Spirit and baptism / baptize.

whitewashed wall

The Greek that is translated in English as “(you) whitewashed wall” is translated in Lalana Chinantec much more specifically as “you are like a masonry wall on which they have put white paint. It is no longer evident what it is like inside.” (Source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.).

The same is translated as “deceiver” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, as “you talk up above (not from the heart)” in Eastern Highland Otomi, as “you change words (you are a hypocrite)” in Morelos Nahuatl, as “you are not what you appear to be, like a wall that is white washed” in Huichol, as “you two faced person” in Mezquital Otomi, or “you who make your face broad” in Rincón Zapotec. (Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

bay with a beach

The Greek that is translated as “bay with a beach” in English is translated as “hand of the sea and it had sand” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac and as “where the sea made an opening into the land, with a level place next to the sea” in Rincón Zapotec.(Source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)

entirely born in sins

The Greek that is translated as “you were entirely born in sins” or similar in English is translated as “you were born completely evil” in Ojitlán Chinantec, “not even being born yet you were a sinner” in Aguaruna, “you have done sin from the time you were born” in Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac, “you cursed one, you were born blind because of your evilness” in Yatzachi Zapotec, and “the way you were born shows that you are loaded with sin” in Rincón Zapotec.

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

stiff-necked, uncircumcised in heart and ears

The phrase that is translated into English as “you stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears” is translated into Afar as “You dry stones that nothing enters, and people who have hearts that refuse God, and ears closed saying we didn’t hear God’s message.” (stiff-necked > dry stones, uncircumcised in heart > hearts that refuse God, uncircumcised ears > ears closed to hearing God’s message) (Source: Loren Bliese)

Other translations for “uncircumcised in heart and ears” include:

  • Rincón Zapotec: “it doesn’t enter your hearts or your ears. You are like those who don’t even believe”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “hard are your hearts and not a little bit open are your ears”
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “you have your heart as unbelievers, you do not want to hear God’s word”
  • Highland Popoluca: “you never wanted to do God’s will, never truly believed”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “you are just the same as those who do not believe God’s word because you do not obey”
  • Huichol: “you have not been marked with God’s sign in your hearts or in your ears (you are unruly and unsubmissive like an untamed, unbranded bronco)”
  • Ojitlán Chinantec: “you do not have the word-sign in your hearts. Your ears are clogged”
  • Copainalá Zoque: “you just don’t understand”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “your hearts and minds are not open” (source for this and above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Kaqchikel: “with your hearts unprepared” (Source: Nida 1964, p. 220)

In Chichewa (interconfessional translation) “stiff-necked” is translated as “hard-headed.” (Source: Wendland 1987, p. 130)