I the LORD your God am a jealous God

The Hebrew that is translated in English as “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” or similar is translated in Toraja-Sa’dan with an established figure of speech: “I am the Lord your God who will not that His face is drawn as water is drawn” (i.e “who will not that a person treats Him without respect, or refuses to figure with Him, or dishonors Him, or in passing Him by honors others above him.”) (Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff. ).

In Orma, the phrase is translated as “I, the Lord your God, will not tolerate if you bow down and worship them.” George Payton explains: “When we translated Exodus in Orma, we had difficulty translating ‘jealous’ in the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20. The first commandments in vv.3-5 read, ‘You shall have no other gods before me. 4 ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents…’

“Verse 5 says ‘I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God’ The word jealous/jealousy in Orma is hinaafa. This word brings two negative connotations. One is feeling envious of someone else’s property, or of the prosperity of their livestock or the produce of their farms. In other words, envy or coveting what someone else has but you do not. The word hinaafa can also refer to a jealous husband in a bad way. When a husband is always suspicious of his wife being unfaithful, he easily flies into a rage when she does something that triggers his suspicions, even if she is innocent. Sometimes the husband attacks her or someone else and harms them because of his jealousy. Hinaafa communicates that idea of blind rage, often unreasonable or irrational. We had to choose a different way to communicate God’s attitude. God promised to punish them if they worship any gods because He will not put up with them if they do. We ended up translating vv3-5: ‘Apart from me, you shall not worship any other gods. You shall not make a statue of anything in heaven or anything on earth or anything in the waters. I, the LORD your God, will not tolerate if you bow down and worship them. If you do, I will punish even the children for the sin of their parents…'”

In Chichewa “‘jealousy’ very commonly includes a prominent sexual component” so the solution there was to translated “(a God) who does not allow competition with me” (source: Wendland 1987, p. 127) and in Chamula Tzotzil it is not appropriate to use the usual word for jealousy of humans in relation to God when translating the Hebrew term that is translated as “jealous” in English versions. Here “I get angry with those who go with others” is used (source: Robert Bascom).

you shall not commit adultery

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated in English as “you shall not commit adultery” is translated in Toraja-Sa’dan with an established figure of speech: Da’ mupasandak salu lako rampanan kapa’ or “you shall not fathom the river of marriage” (i.e “approach the marriage relationship of another.”) (Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff. ).

It is translated as “practice illicit relationship with women” in Tzeltal, as “go in with other people’s wives” in Isthmus Zapotec, as “live with some one who isn’t your wife” in Huehuetla Tepehua, and as “sleep with a strange partner” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also adultery

conscience

The Greek that is rendered in English as “conscience” is translated into Aari as “our thoughts speak to us,” in Nuer it is “the knowledge of their heart” (source: Jan Sterk), in Cheke Holo “to know what is straight and what is wrong” (source: Carl Gross), in Chokwe “law of the heart” (source D.B. Long in The Bible Translator 1953, p. 135ff. ), in Toraja-Sa’dan penaa ma’pakilala or “the admonishing within” (source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff. ), in Yatzachi Zapotec as “head-hearts,” in Tzeltal as “hearts” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.), in Enlhet as “innermost,” and in Northern Emberá as “thinking” (source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1975, p. 201ff. )

In Warao it is translated with obojona, a term that “includes the concepts of consciousness, will, attitude, attention and a few other miscellaneous notions” (source: Henry Osborn in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 74ff. ). See other occurrences of Obojona in the Warao New Testament.

See also conscience seared and perfect conscience / clear conscience, clear conscience towards God and all people, and brothers, up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.

fox

The Greek and Hebrew that is translated as “foxes” in English is translated in Mam as “weasel.” Ron Ross explains: “Foxes is often a difficult concept to express in this part of the world. The Mayas don’t seem to know them. In the Mam project we finally put ‘weasel’ rather than ‘coyote,’ which were basically our choices.”

In Toraja-Sa’dan it is translated as sindallung or “civet cat.” H. van der Veen (in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 21 ff. ) explains: “This animal is a real chicken thief, and is a type of cat with a head resembling that of a fox.”

In Noongar, it is translated as mokiny or “dingo” (in Luke 9:58) (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).

See also fox (Herod).

old self

The Greek that is translated in English as “old self” or similar is translated in Enlhet as “old innermost.” “Innermost” or valhoc is a term that is frequently used in Enlhet to describe a large variety of emotions or states of mind (for other examples see here). (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff. )

In Toraja-Sa’dan it is translated as a’gan pa’kalean masainta or “the essence of the old body (tied to sin).” (Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 207ff. )

In Warao it is translated as “old obojona.” Obojona is a term that “includes the concepts of consciousness, will, attitude, attention and a few other miscellaneous notions.” (Source: Henry Osborn in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 74ff. ). See other occurrences of Obojona in the Warao New Testament.

See also flesh (human nature).

flesh (human nature)

The Greek that is often translated as “flesh” in English (when referring to the lower human nature) can, according to Nida (1947, p. 153) “very rarely be literally translated into another language. ‘My meat’ or ‘my muscle’ does not make sense in most languages.” He then gives a catalog of almost 30 questions to determine a correct translation for that term.

Accordingly, the translations are very varied:

The Toraja-Sa’dan translation uses a variety of terms for the translation of the same Greek term (click or tap here to see the rest of this insight)

  • A form of kale tolinona or “corporeal” is for instance used in Romans 9:5 or Colossians 1:22 (and also in Genesis 6:3 and Exodus 30:32)
  • A form of mentolinona or “the human” is for instance used in Matthew 16:17 or John 1:14
  • Phrases that include pa’kalean or “bodiliness” (also: “human shape”) are for instance used in Romans 6:6 or 1 Peter 2:11 (as well as in Isa 52:14, Isa 53:2, and Lamentations 4:7

(Source: H. van der Veen in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 207ff. )

See also spirit / flesh, old self, and flesh (John 1:14).