we must pay greater attention to

The Greek that is translated as “we must pay greater attention to ” or similar in English is translated in Miahuatlán Zapotec as “we need to show respect to and sit our ear to.” In Miahuatlán Zapotec, a generic verb is often followed by a more specific verb with the same meaning for greater emphasis. (Source: Callow 1972, p. 45)

the wages of sin is death

The Greek that is translated in English as “(for) the wages of sin is death” or similar had to be translated into Tzotzil much more explicitly as “Because the one who works for sin, he will be paid for his work. The payment of his work will be that he will be lost eternally.” (Source. Callow 1972, p. 84)

complete verse (Genesis 1:29)

Genesis 1:29 is translated in Cashinahua as “Look, all the vegetables that have seeds, which are certainly all around, each of these vegetables with seed I certainly give you them. The trees which have fruit ans their fruit has seed, I certainly give you them; you are to eat them.”

Callow (1972, p. 16) explains: “Cashinahua has a range of verbal affixes indicating certainty or uncertainty on the part of the speaker (…) They are of frequent occurrence in conversation, and must be used correspondingly frequently in the translation, otherwise the reported conversation on Scripture will sound flat and unnatural.”

he found a Jew named Aquila

The Greek that is translated as “he found a Jew named Aquila” in English is translated in Tzotzil as “he found one of his own people called Aquila” because a more literal translation would have implied that Paul is non-Jewish (source: Callow 1972, p. 35)

See also the Jews plotted to kill him.

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)

In Bakairí, Jesus (Logos) had to stay the “focal character” so it’s translated as “He was the maker of all things.” (Source: Callow 1972, 61)

a man building a house

The Greek that is translated as “a man building a house” in English is translated in Tampulma as “a man who built his house” since he was building the house for himself. (Source: Callow 1972, p. 35)

struck the high priest's slave and cut off his right ear

The Greek that is translated as “struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear” or similar in English is translated in Muong as “cut off the high priest’s slaves right ear.” In Muong it is not possible to refer to the same event with different verbs. (Source: Callow 1972, p. 45)

complete verse (Mark 5:37)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 5:37:

  • Uma: “Yesus continued on walking, but he didn’t permit the many people to accompany him entering into Yairus’ house; only Petrus, Yakobus and Yohanes the relative of Yakobus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Isa did not take anybody else along only Petros and the two brothers Yakub and Yahiya.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then the only ones whom Jesus allowed to go with him and Jairus was Peter, James, and John the sibling of James.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And Jesus did not permit anyone to go-with him except Pedro and the siblings Santiago and Juan.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And then he said to that crowd that they were to stay behind now. The only ones he took with him were Pedro and those two brothers Santiago and Juan.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Kuku-Yalanji: “Jesus said: ‘Peter, James and John you come with me. Nobody else come.” (Kuku-Yalanji tends to use direct speech; source: Callow 2007, p. 18)

complete verse (Mark 12:41)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 12:41:

  • Uma: “Yesus sat close to the box for putting offering money in, and he watched the people who were putting in their offering money in it. Many rich people put in no small amount of money.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then Isa was sitting facing the container-for money in the temple. He was watching the people dropping money into the container. Many rich people dropped much money.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “There was a time then when Jesus was sitting inside the church, the House of God, near the place where the money offerings were put. He was watching the people putting their offering in the container. There were many rich people there putting in a large amount of money.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then Jesus went and sat facing the place-for-inserting money in the Temple. Then he watched the many-people inserting (as through a slot) their money. Many rich-people inserted much.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well Jesus sat down there beside where money was dropped which was being given there in the Templo. He was observing the people who were dropping (money). Many were the wealthy who were dropping large amounts.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Walmajarri: “When Jesus was sitting in God’s house, men and women were going through. They were putting money in for God. As they were going they were putting it into a vessel for money. Jesus was sitting looking at them.” (Source: Callow 1972, p. 75)

complete verse (Acts 16:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 16:3:

  • Uma: “It was Paulus’s desire that Timotius go with him on his journey to carry the Good News. That is why he circumcised him first according to the Law of Musa. His intention in circumcising him was so that the Yahudi would receive him, because all the Yahudi people in that land knew that his father was Yunani.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Paul wanted to take Timoteo along as his travelling companion. But all the Yahudi in those places knew that Timoteo’s father was a Girik therefore Paul first circumcised Timoteo so that he would be respected by the Yahudi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Paul wanted to take Timothy along with them, so he circumcized him. The reason he circumcized Timothy was so that the Jews there in the villages where they travelled would not be disgusted with Timothy, because all the Jews there, they knew that Timothy’s father was a Greek.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “and Pablo wanted to take-him -along. But because all the people there knew that his father was a Gentile, Pablo had-him -circumcised first so that the feelings (lit. thoughts) of their fellow Jews in the various-towns where-they -would-go would not be injured.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Pablo wanted to cause him to go along on that journey of theirs, therefore he asked him. But before they set out, he circumcized him so that the minds/thinking of the Jews there wouldn’t be agitated. For everyone knew that Timoteo’s father was a Griego, and as for the Griego, circumcizing wasn’t their custom.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Apinayé: “Paul arrived and saw him, and wanted to take him along with them. But Timothy was a mixed breed. His mother was an Israel but his father was a non-Israel. Thus Timothy was a mixed breed. Because the Israel ones knew it, Paul circumcised Timothy.” (Source: Callow 1972, p. 47f.)

complete verse (1 Peter 1:17)

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

  • Uma: “Relatives, you dwell in this world like a person just passing through. And when you pray to God you say that he is your Father. That is why you must submit to God while you are still living in this world. Because the God that you relate-to-as-Father, he is the Judge [lit., Sitter] who decides the cases of every person according to their behavior, he does not discriminate [lit., consider-the-appearance of] people.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “When God will judge mankind he will judge each-one-individually and he will not make a difference between them. He will judge all their deeds good and bad. Therefore, because you call God ‘Father’ when you pray, you should really honor/respect him as long as you live here in the world.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And since we have called on our Father God for help, it is necessary that our respect for Him is very tight while we are still living here on the earth. He is the one who investigates the activity of mankind according to what each one has done, and He shows favoritism to no one.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Remember that the God whom you acknowledge as Father in your praying, he also is the one-who-judges. And he will judge all people according to what each one has done without making-distinctions. So you should esteem/respect and fear him during your presence on this earth.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “It’s good for you to be considering that as for this God whom you call Father, he will pass judgment on all, according to what they have done. He doesn’t discriminate against anyone. Therefore it’s necessary that you respect him with fear, as long as you are still here under the heavens.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When you pray to God, you say, ‘My Father, God,’ you say. But God doesn’t play favorites when he judges how each one of us has lived. Therefore it is necessary that you live in fearful reverence during the days you live here on earth.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Kekchí: “God judges each person according to what he does, and he does not show favoritism. ‘Our Father’ you say, when you pray. If that is what you say, may you have fear in your hearts as you are here in this world.” (Source: Callow 1972, p. 60)