each holding twenty or thirty gallons

The Greek that is translated into English as “each holding twenty or thirty gallons” where the Greek ē (ἢ) or “or” is directly translated and relates to an approximation cannot be directly translated in languages where the equivalent of “or” can only relate to mutually exclusive options. In Anyin, for instance, the solution is “Each jar, if it does not contain twenty gallons of water, it can contain thirty.”

Source: Etienn Koffi in The Bible Translator 1994, p. 434ff.

complete verse (Galatians 1:8)

Following are a number of back-translations of Galatians 1:8:

  • Uma: “But I say to you, whoever brings a Good News that is different, that is not the same as the Good News that we (excl.) already announced to you, [may] God curse them! Whether it is we (excl.) ourselves or even an angel from heaven, they must definitely be cursed by God!” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But if there is a person or even yet we (excl.) or even yet an angel from heaven and he proclaims/preaches a different good news than/from the true teaching which we (excl.) have preached to you, truly he will go to hell.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “However, I say to you that if there’s anyone – even if it is we, or even an angel who comes from Heaven – and he preaches to you that which he calls Good News but it is different and it is not the true doctrine which we preached to you, may he be placed in hell.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “I warn you that even if we (excl.) ourselves or an angel from heaven were to go preach something different from the good news that we (excl.) preached to you previously, may he be punished in hell forever.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But well, the truth of it is, whoever teaches you differently from that which we (excl.) taught, it’s really necessary that God punish him with unlimited punishment, even (if it’s) us (excl.) apostles, or one of the angels from heaven/sky.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But even though we ourselves, or an angel should come from heaven, if one should arise to tell you another good news and it is not just the same as the word we have already told you, then the one who tells a different word will go to punishment.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Anyin: “If even us, we come tell you a new matter and if that matter and the one we told you before are not the same, let misfortune hit us. Also if an angel comes from heaven and comes tells you a new matter, and if that new matter and the one we told you before are not the same, let misfortune hit him.” Click or tap here to see an explanation of this translation

    “The Greek verb translated in English as ‘should preach’ is in the third person singular. It is also in the third person singular in French and in Spanish. The agreement of the verb with ‘angel’ as opposed to ‘we’ (Paul and his friends) poses problems of language and meaning in some African languages with resumptive pronouns [=a personal pronoun appearing in a relative clause, which restates the antecedent after a pause or interruption, such as ‘This is the girl that whenever it rains she cries‘]. In Anyi, for instance, if the verse is translated without paying attention to the issues of resolution rules, Paul could be taken to mean that if he and his friends were to come back and preach a different gospel they would not be accursed. However if an ‘angel’ preached a different message he would be accursed. (…) The best way to translate Galatians 1.8 and verses like it without producing an ungrammatical sentence or translating the verse incompletely is to make two separate sentences. In one sentence ‘should preach’ and ‘him’ agree with ‘we,’ and in the other ‘should preach’ and ‘him’ agree with ‘angel.'”

    Source: Etienn Koffi in The Bible Translator 1994, p. 434ff.