hypocrite

The Greek and Hebrew terms that are translated as “hypocrite” in English typically have a counterpart in most languages. According to Bratcher / Nida (1961, p. 225), they can be categorized into the following categories:

  • those which employ some concept of “two” or “double”
  • those which make use of some expression of “mouth” or “speaking”
  • those which are based upon some special cultural feature
  • those which employ a non-metaphorical phrase

Following is a list of (back-) translations from some languages:

The English version of Sarah Ruden (2021) uses “play-actor.” She explains (p. li): “A hupokrites is fundamentally an actor. The word has deep negativity in the Gospels on two counts: professional actors were not respectable people in the ancient world, and traditional Judaism did not countenance any kind of playacting. I write ‘play-actor’ throughout.”

See also hypocrisy.

savior

The Greek that is translated as “savior” in English in translated the following ways:

  • Laka: “one who takes us by the hand” (source: Nida 1952, p. 140)
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “one who saves those on this earth”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “one who saves from save from sin”
  • Tepeuxila Cuicatec: “a person who pardons people of their sins” (source for this and two above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Noongar: Keny-Barranginy-Ngandabat or “One Bringing Life” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “the King who lifts us from the punishment of our sins” (source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “one who delivers us from punishment” (source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “one whom we hope/expect will do all we are waiting for” (source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “one who is the pledge of our assurance of salvation in the future.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tibetan: skyabs mgon (སྐྱབས་​མགོན།), lit. “refuge + lord” (source: gSungrab website )

In various German and Dutch Bible translations, the term Heiland is used, which was introduced by Martin Luther in the 16th century and means “the healing one.” This term (as “Hælend”) was used in Old English as a translation for “Jesus” — see Swain 2019 and Jesus.

In American Sign Language it is signed with a sign describing releasing someone from bondage. (Source: Yates 2011, p. 52)


“Savior” in American Sign Language (source )

Lord's Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer was translated into Nyulnyul (and back-translated into English) by the German missionary Hermann Nekes in 1939.

It reads:

Our Father on top sky.
Thy name be feared.
Thou art our boss.
Men-women will listen to Thee this place earth
as the good souls of men-women listen to Thee on top sky.
Give us tucker till this sun goes down.
We did wrong; make us good.
We have good hearts to them who did us wrong.
Watch us against bad place.
Thy hands be stretched out to guard us from bad.

Source
 
 
The following is a back-translation from Noongar:

Our Father, high in your Holy Place,
your name is holy.
Let the day come
when you reign as King in our land.
We want you to become Boss of our land,
the same way you are Boss of your Holy Land.
Give us the food we eat every day.
Forgive our wrong-doing
the same way we forgive the wrong-doing people do to us.
And do not take us to the hard place of testing.
But hold us so the Devil cannot get us.
You hold the land.
You hold the power.
You hold the light.
For ever and for ever.
Amen.

Source: Bardip Ruth-Ang 2020
 
 
The following is a version of the Lord’s Prayer set to Tibetan music:

Source: gSungrab website

See also this commentary on the Lord’s Payer in Tibetan and English from the same website .

altar

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “altar” in English is translated in a number of ways:

  • Obolo: ntook or “raised structure for keeping utensils (esp. sacrifice)” (source: Enene Enene)
  • Muna: medha kaefoampe’a or “offering table” (source: René van den Berg)
  • Luchazi: muytula or “the place where one sets the burden down”/”the place where the life is laid down” (source: E. Pearson in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 160ff. )
  • Tzotzil: “where they place God’s gifts” (source: John Beekman in Notes on Translation, March 1965, p. 2ff.)
  • Tsafiki: “table for giving to God” (source: Bruce Moore in Notes on Translation 1/1992, p. 1ff.)
  • Noongar: karla-kooranyi or “sacred fire” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “offering-burning table” (source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “place for sacrificing” (source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “burning-place” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tibetan: mchod khri (མཆོད་​ཁྲི།) or “offering throne” (source: gSungrab website )
  • Bura-Pabir: “sacrifice mound” (source: Andy Warrren-Rothlin)
The Ignaciano translators decided to translate the difficult term in that language according to the focus of each New Testament passage in which the word appears (click or tap here to see the rest of this insight

Willis Ott (in Notes on Translation 88/1982, p. 18ff.) explains:

  • Matt. 5:23,24: “When you take your offering to God, and arriving, you remember…, do not offer your gift yet. First go to your brother…Then it is fitting to return and offer your offering to God.” (The focus is on improving relationships with people before attempting to improve a relationship with God, so the means of offering, the altar, is not focal.)
  • Matt. 23:18 (19,20): “You also teach erroneously: ‘If someone makes a promise, swearing by the offering-place/table, he is not guilty if he should break the promise. But if he swears by the gift that he put on the offering-place/table, he will be guilty if he breaks the promise.'”
  • Luke 1:11: “…to the right side of the table where they burn incense.”
  • Luke 11.51. “…the one they killed in front of the temple (or the temple enclosure).” (The focus is on location, with overtones on: “their crime was all the more heinous for killing him there”.)
  • Rom. 11:3: “Lord, they have killed all my fellow prophets that spoke for you. They do not want anyone to give offerings to you in worship.” (The focus is on the people’s rejection of religion, with God as the object of worship.)
  • 1Cor. 9:13 (10:18): “Remember that those that attend the temple have rights to eat the foods that people bring as offerings to God. They have rights to the meat that the people offer.” (The focus is on the right of priests to the offered food.)
  • Heb. 7:13: “This one of whom we are talking is from another clan. No one from that clan was ever a priest.” (The focus in on the legitimacy of this priest’s vocation.)
  • Jas. 2:21: “Remember our ancestor Abraham, when God tested him by asking him to give him his son by death. Abraham was to the point of stabbing/killing his son, thus proving his obedience.” (The focus is on the sacrifice as a demonstration of faith/obedience.)
  • Rev. 6:9 (8:3,5; 9:13; 14:18; 16:7): “I saw the souls of them that…They were under the table that holds God’s fire/coals.” (This keeps the concepts of: furniture, receptacle for keeping fire, and location near God.)
  • Rev. 11:1: “Go to the temple, Measure the building and the inside enclosure (the outside is contrasted in v. 2). Measure the burning place for offered animals. Then count the people who are worshiping there.” (This altar is probably the brazen altar in a temple on earth, since people are worshiping there and since outside this area conquerors are allowed to subjugate for a certain time.)

See also altar (Acts 17:23).


In the Hebraic English translation of Everett Fox it is translated as slaughter-site and likewise in the German translation by Buber / Rosenzweig as Schlachtstatt.

Satan

The Greek that is typically transliterated in English as “Satan” is transliterated in Kipsigis as “Setani.” This is interesting because it is not only a transliteration that approximates the Greek sound but it is also an existing Kipsigis word with the meaning of “ugly” and “sneaking.” (Source: Earl Anderson in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 85ff. )

In Morelos Nahuatl it is translated as “envious one” (source: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.) and in Tibetan: bdud (བདུད།), lit. “chief devil” (except in Rev. 20:2, where it is transliterated) (source: gSungrab website ).

See also devil

tempt, temptation

The Greek that is typically translated as “tempt” or “temptation” in English is translated in Noongar as djona-karra or “reveal conduct” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang) and in Tibetan as nyams sad (ཉམས་​སད།), lit. “soul + test,” or in some cases as slu (སླུ།) or “lure / lead astray” (for instance in 1 Cor. 7:5 or Gal 6:1) (source: gSungrab website )

See also tempted by Satan.

archangel

The Greek and Latin that is translated as “archangel” in English is translated in Tibetan as pho nya mchog (ཕོ་​ཉ་​མཆོག) or “best messenger.” (gSungrab website )

See also angel.