pioneer of our faith

The Greek that is translated as “(Jesus) the pioneer (and perfecter) of our faith” in English is translated as “Jesus first has opened a path for us to believe God” in Citak. (Source: Graham Ogden)

In Masai, “pioneer” is translated as “one who treads on the thorns ahead.” Nida (1972, p. xiv) explains: “Such a person goes down the pathway ahead of others and becomes the ‘thorn-treader.’ What more fitting description of the role of Jesus, who promised always to go ahead of his disciples?”


During the translation of one of the miracles of feeding or crowds with fish and bread into Yami, Graham Ogden tells this story:

“A small population on tiny Orchid Island, off the S-E coast of Taiwan, depended to a large extent on fishing as a source of food. When translating the story of the Five Loaves and Two Fish the translator asked a question that took me by surprise. He asked what kind of fish they were. I said they were just fish! But he said, I have to know what kind of fish they were because we have no word ‘fish.’ How come? I asked. He said we have no general word, because every fish has a name. So I suggested he choose a common type. He then said, But was it a fish that only men can eat or only women? Do you mean that there are cultural restrictions on who can eat which kind of fish? Yes, he said. Is there not one kind of fish that everyone can eat, given the circumstances? Oh yes, he said, there is one kind. Then that’s the name to use, I said. He was satisfied with that answer.”

foolishness of God

The Greek that is translated as “foolishness of God” in English is translated into Bunun as “if God was foolish then even his foolishness would exceed our wisdom.” (“The notion that God was foolish was thought to be a problem.”) (Source: Graham Ogden)

TIn Huixtán Tzotzil it is translated as “they mistakenly think that it is in vain what God says.” Huixtán Tzotzil frequently uses the verb -cuy to express “to mistakenly think something” from the point of view of the speaker. (Source: Marion M. Cowan in Notes on Translation 20/1966, pp. 6ff.)

See also tempt God / put God to the test.

free (woman)

The Greek that is translated as “free (woman)” in English is translated into Bunun as “the lady master” (a parallel to the “master” or “husband”). (“Bunun have no word ‘free’ — they claim that they were always free so have no concept of not being so!”)