saint

The Greek that is translated as “saint” in English is rendered into Highland Puebla Nahuatl as “one with a clean hearts,” into Northwestern Dinka as “one with a white hearts,” and into Western Kanjobal as “person of prayer.” (Source: Nida 1952, p. 146)

Other translations include:

raised from the dead

The Greek that is translated as “was raised from the dead” is translated as “rose from the dead” (Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac), “came up again from where he was buried” (Huehuetla Tepehua) or “returned from among the dead” (Ojitlán Chinantec). (Source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)

In Highland Totonac it is translated with “revivify,” since a literal translation could simply mean altering the position of a dead body” (source: Hermann Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.).

See also Lord.

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:5:

  • Uma: “The suffering that Kristus got, much of that also we (excl.) get. But much also is the strength of heart that we (excl.) get from Kristus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Because our (excl.) being persecuted is great like the persecution of Almasi, God’s helping us (excl.) is also great because of Almasi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Even though we have to suffer great difficulty because we’ve been made one with Christ, also because of Christ, God’s help to us is big.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because the manyness of our being-hardshipped like the sufferings of Cristo, exactly the same is the bigness of what God uses-to-help us because of our being-united with Cristo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For this is the truth, no matter how many are the hardships we endure because of our being united/tied-together with Cristo, much more plentiful is the comfort of mind/inner-being that we receive because of our being united/tied-together with him.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When we suffer much like what suffering Christ went through, yet Christ will abundantly comfort our hearts then.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “Because just as we have more than enough of His sufferings in the same way we have more than enough of that which is Christ’s means of comfort.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:6)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:6:

  • Uma: “If we (excl.) get suffering, God uses-it-as-a-road so that we (excl.) can strengthen your hearts, relatives, so that you get goodness [salvation], for you also get sufferings like what we (excl.) get. So, when God strengthens our (excl.) hearts in our (excl.) sufferings, he will also strengthen your hearts, so that you will endure in suffering.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “We (excl.) endure persecution so that we (excl.) can encourage you and so that you will be saved. We (excl.) are/were helped by God so that you will also be included in his help. So then you really persevere enduring trouble like the trouble that we (excl.) are experiencing.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “When God allows us (excl.) to suffer hardship, the reason he allows us to suffer is so that you might be better off and that you might be given eternal life. And in the same way also, when we (excl.) are helped by God, this comes to be also His help for you. And by means of this, He strengthens your faith so that you also may be able to endure difficulty just like we are caused to endure.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore the hardship that we (excl.) experience leads to the strengthening of your minds and your salvation, and the comfort moreover that we (excl.) experience leads to our (excl.) knowing-how to comfort you in our (incl.) difficulties so that you will be able to endure them.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well since it’s like that, even though we (excl.) are hardshipped because of this responsibility of ours(excl.) of teaching, this is for your benefit and salvation. And because God comforts us, we can also comfort you so that you also will endure the hardships with a good mind/inner-being that you are experiencing, just like us also.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “I am suffering now in order that I can comfort your hearts and your souls will be saved. When God comforts my heart, then you can find out how also your hearts will be comforted and your souls will be saved. Because when you go through the suffering like I have gone through, I want that you endure well all the suffering you must go through.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “But if we should be in trouble, it will turn out for your comfort and good, which will be made to become good for you when patiently you bear that same trouble which we also suffer. However, if we are comforted, it also is just that it might result in your comfort and good.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:7)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:7:

  • Uma: “That’s why our (excl.) hearts are not uncertain about you, we (excl.) know that you will indeed endure in sufferings. For we (excl.) know that you get sufferings the same as we (excl.) do, and God will definitely strengthen your hearts the same as [he strengthens] us (excl.).” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So then we (excl.) don’t have two-thoughts/doubts about you. We (excl.) know that because you are like us (excl.) suffering trouble, you will also be helped by God as he helped us (excl.).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And because of this, our trust in you is strengthened because we know that when you are enduring difficulty, just like we endured it, in the same way also you are helped by God, just like He helped us also.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Therefore big is our (excl.) hope in you, for we (excl.) know that if you join-in-experiencing our (excl.) hardships, you will also join-in-experiencing God’s helping us (excl.).” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “That is why our (excl.) hope concerning you is firm, because we (excl.) know that even if you experience also the hardhips that we are enduring, God will also comfort you, just like (he does) us.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “And now I am assured that your faith will come out well. Because I know that when you have suffered like I have, God also will comfort your hearts like he comforts my heart.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “Also our hope is in you that it will be so. We know very well that as you share with us in our suffering, in the same way you will share with us in our comfort the same as we do.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

church

The Greek that is often translated as “church” in English is translated into Avaric as imanl’urazul ahlu: “the community of believers” or “the believing people.”

Magomed-Kamil Gimbatov and Yakov Testelets (in The Bible Translator 1996, p. 434ff.) talk about the genesis of this term (click or tap here to read more):

“The word ‘Church’ presents particular difficulties, as we might expect when we think that even many Christians do not understand it correctly. When people today say ‘church,’ they often mean a particular building, or an organization consisting chiefly of clergy (priests and monks). It is even harder to find a word or combination of words which adequately translates the meaning for people unfamiliar with Christianity. Surprisingly, the Greek word ekklesia, indicating in the classical language ‘an assembly of the people,’ ‘a gathering of citizens,’ has come into Avar and other Dagestani languages in the form kilisa. This, like the word qanch (‘cross’), is an ancient borrowing, presumably from the time before the arrival of Islam, when Dagestan came under the influence of neighboring Christian states. In modern usage, however, this word indicates a place of Christian worship. Thus it is completely inappropriate as a translation of its New Testament ancestor ekklesia.

“We were obliged to look at various words which are closer to the meaning of the Greek. Some of these words are dandel’i (‘meeting’), danderussin (‘assembly’), the Arabic-derived mazhlis (‘meeting, conference’), zhama’at (‘society, community’), ahlu (‘race, people, family, group of people united by a common goal or interest’, as in the Arabic phrase ahlu-l-kitab ‘people of the Book’ or ‘people of the Scriptures’), which describes both Jews and Christians, and ummat (‘people, tribe’). In Islamic theology the phrase ‘Mohammed’s ummat’ means the universal community of Muslims, the Muslim world, in the same way as the Christian world is known as ‘Isa’s ummat.’ None of these descriptions on their own, without explanation, can be used to translate the word ‘Church’ in the New Testament. Thus, after long consideration, we adopted the phrase imanl’urazul ahlu, meaning ‘the community of believers,’ ‘the believing people,’ This translation corresponds closely to New Testament teaching about the Church.

“It is interesting that the same word ahlu with the meaning ‘tribe, community’ has been used by translators for different reasons in the introduction to the Gospel of Luke in order to translate the expression in the original Greek pepleroforemenon en hemin pragmaton (πεπληροφορημένων ἐν ἡμῖν πραγμάτων), which the Russian Synodal translation renders ‘about the events well-known amongst us’ (Luke 1:1). The expression ‘amongst us’ cannot be translated literally into Avar, but has to be rendered ‘among our people’; and here the same term was used as for the word ‘church’, literally ‘among our tribe, community (ahlu).'”

In Kamo “church” is fang-balla (“owners of writing-people”) when referring to the church community and “house of writing-people” when referring to a church building. David Frank explains: “In Kamo culture, Christianity was associated with writing, so Christianity is called balla, which they say means ‘people who write.’ Christianity is balla, and Christians are called fang-balla, which means ‘owners of Christianity.’ That is the term that is used for the church, in the sense of people, rather than a building. In Philemon 1:1b-2a, Paul says he is writing ‘To our friend and fellow worker Philemon, and to the church (fang-balla ‘owners of Christianity) that meet in your house.’ The word fang “owner’ is very productive in the Kamo language. A disciple is an ‘owner of learning,’ an apostle is an ‘owner of sending,’ a believer is an ‘owner of truth,’ a hypocrite is an ‘owner of seeing eyes.’ The expression ‘house of writing-people’ is used in Matthew 16:18, which reads in Kamo, ‘And so I tell you Peter, you are a rock, and on top of this rock foundation I will build my house of writing-people, and never even death will not be able to overcome it.” (See also Peter – rock)

In Bacama there also is a differentiation between the building (vɨnə hiutə: “house of prayer”) and the community (ji-kottə: “followers”) (source: David Frank in this blog post).

In 16th-century Classical Nahuatl, a transliteration from Spanish (Santa Yglesia or Santa Iglesia) is typically used rather than a translation, making the concept take on a personified meaning. Ottman (p. 169) explains: “The church building, or more precisely the church complex with its associated patio, has a Nahuatl name in common usage — generally teopan, something like ‘god-place,’ in contradistinction to teocalli, ‘god-house,’ applied to a prehispanic temple — but the abstract sense is always Santa Iglesia, a Spanish proper name like ‘Dios’ or ‘Santa María’, and like ‘Santa María’ often called ‘our mother.’ As a personified ‘mother,’ in the European tradition as well as in Nahuatl, She instructs Her children or chastises them; as Bride of Christ, She both longs for Her heavenly rest and bears witness to it, in the ‘always-already’ of eschatological time; as successor to the Synagogue, the blindfolded, broken-sceptred elder sister who accompanies Her in painting and sculpture, She represents the triumphant rule of truth. ‘The Church’ can mean the clerical hierarchy; it can also, or simultaneously, mean the assembly of the faithful. It dispenses grace to its members, living and dead, yet it is also enriched by them, living and dead, existing not only on earth but in purgatory and in heaven.”

In Lisu the building (“church”) is called “house of prayer” (source: Arrington 2020, p. 196) whereas in Highland Totonac the community is referred as “those who gather together” (source: Hermann Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.), in Huehuetla Tepehua as “those who gather together who have confidence in Christ” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.), in Uma as “Christian people” (source: Uma Back Translation), in Kankanaey as “the congregation of God’s people” (source: Kankanaey Back Translation), and in Tagbanwa as “you whom God separated-out as his people because of your being-united/tied-together with Jesus Christ” (source: Tagbanwa Back Translation).

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:8)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:8:

  • Uma: “Relatives, so that you know, the difficulties that hit us (excl.) in the propinsi of Asia were so severe. The difficulties were very heavy, more than our (excl.) ability, with the result that our (excl.) hearts became discouraged [lit., lessened], we (excl.) said there’s no way we (excl.) are going to live. [Uma idiom that cannot be translated literally]” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “My brothers, we (excl.) want to tell you about the trouble that we (excl.) experienced there in the place Asiya. We (excl.) were really in very great difficulty (tight) we (excl.) almost could not endure it. We (excl.) did not expect to live.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “We want you to know, brothers, about the big trouble that we had when we were in the province of Asia. We suffered a very severe testing which we thought we could not endure; that’s why we thought it would be the death of us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You brothers, we (excl.) want you to know the excessive hardship/difficulty/suffering (same range of meaning throughout book) that we (excl.) experienced in the prov

    ince Asia. We (excl.) were extremely burdened by that hardship until we (excl.) were not able-to-endure it and we (excl.) already had no hope that we (excl.) would live.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Siblings in believing, we (excl.) will tell you about the hardships that we (excl.) experienced in Asia. What we (excl.) experienced was really horrendous (lit. truly very-far-from-ordinary). We (excl.) really no longer had any assurance that we would still be alive.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Listen my brothers, concerning the places in the land of Asia, I want that you know that I suffered much there. Very much did I live in suffering, I thought that I couldn’t endure all the suffering I was going through. Because I was about to be killed.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “Brethren, because we do not want you not to understand the reason for our sufferings which came upon us there in Asia. It was terrible what we bore; we were no longer able to bear it, to the point of thinking we would die.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:9)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:9:

  • Uma: “We (excl.) said: ‘We (incl.) are certainly going to die now.’ But this happened so that we (excl.) would not trust/hope in our (excl.) own strength, we (excl.) would trust/hope only in God, for he is the one who causes-to-live again the dead [people].” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “We (excl.) thought-mistakenly that that was already our (excl.) death. But the reason why that was sent to us (excl.) was so that we (excl.) would not trust in ourselves but so that we (excl.) would trust only in God, the one who makes the dead alive.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “It seemed as if that would be the end of our life, but the reason this happened to us was so that we might not trust our own wisdom, but rather we might trust God, the one who raises dead people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The truth of it is that we (excl.) thought that our (excl.) time-of-death had already arrived. But that happened so it would not be ourselves (excl.) in which we (excl.) trusted, but rather God who is-able to make-alive those who die.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “We (excl.) mistakenly-thought that our allotted-life-span had ended. Apparently, we (excl.) only had like that happen to us so that we would not trust in our own ability, but rather only in the supernatural-power of God, he who is the raiser-to-life of even the dead.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “What I thought was that it was decided that I was to be killed. But concerning what I suffered, it was so that I could even more search for God to save me. Because God is able even to resurrect the dead. I am not able to search how to save myself.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “But that finally we were expecting death in order that we might not trust in ourselves but in God who makes the dead to live again.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

hope

“Hope is sometimes one of the most difficult terms to translate in the entire Bible. It is not because people do not hope for things, but so often they speak of hoping as simply ‘waiting.’ In fact, even in Spanish, the word esperar means both ‘to wait’ and ‘to hope.’ However, in many instances the purely neutral term meaning ‘to wait’ may be modified in such a way that people will understand something more of its significance. For example, in Tepeuxila Cuicatec hope is called ‘wait-desire.’ Hope is thus a blend of two activities: waiting and desiring. This is substantially the type of expectancy of which hope consists.

In Yucateco the dependence of hope is described by the phrase ‘on what it hangs.’ ‘Our hope in God’ means that ‘we hang onto God.’ The object of hope is the support of one’s expectant waiting.

In Ngäbere the phrase “resting the mind” is used. This “implies waiting and confidence, and what is a better definition of hope than ‘confident waiting’.” (Source for this and above: Nida 1952, p. 20, 133)

Other languages translate as follows:

  • Mairasi: “vision resting place” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Enlhet: “waitings of (our) 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.)
  • Kwang: “one’s future is restored to one’s soul like a fresh, cool breeze on a hot day.” (Source: Mark Vanderkooi right here)
  • Nyongar: koort-kwidiny or “heart waiting” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Anjam: “looking through the horizon” (source: Albert Hoffmann in his memoirs from 1948, quoted in Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 7)
  • Highland Totonac “wait with expectation” (to offset it from the every-day meaning of hope or wait — source: Hermann Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.).
  • Alekano: “wait not hearing two ears” (meaning to “wait without being double-minded” — source: Ellis Deibler in Notes on Translation June 1986, p. 36ff.)
  • Marathi aasha (आशा) with a stronger emphasis on desire
  • Tamil: nampikkai (நம்பிக்கை) with a stronger emphasis on expectation (source for this and above: J.S.M. Hooper in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 2ff.)

C.M. Doke looks at a number of Bantu languages and their respective translations of “hope” with slightly varying connotations (in The Bible Translator 1954, p. 9ff.):

  • Xhosa and Zulu: themba “hope, expect,” also “have faith in, rely upon”
  • Tswana: tsholofelo “hope, expect, look for confidently”
  • Southern Sotho: tshepo “trust, rely on, believe in, have confidence in”
  • Kuanyama: eteelelo “waiting for”
  • Swahili: tumaini “confidence, trust, expectation, hope” (as a verb: “hope, trust, expect, be confident, be truthful, rely on”
  • Ganda: okusuubira “hope, trust, expect” also “look forward to, rely upon, anticipate, reckon”
  • Chichewa: chiyembekezo “wait for, wait, expect”
  • Koongo: vuvu “hope, expectancy, expectation, anticipation”
Syntyche D. Dahou (in Christianity Today, January 2021) reports on the two different terms that are being used in French (click or tap here to see the details):

“Unlike English, which uses the word hope broadly, the French language uses two words that derive from the word espérer (to hope): espoir and espérance. Both can first refer to something hoped for. In this sense, the word espoir usually refers to an uncertain object; that is, someone who hopes for something in this way does not have the certainty that it will happen (“I hope the weather will be nice tomorrow”). On the other hand, espérance describes what, rightly or wrongly, is hoped for or expected with certainty. It often refers to a philosophical or eschatological object (‘I hope in the goodness of human beings’; ‘I hope for the return of Jesus Christ’).

“When we speak of espoir or espérance, we then have in mind different types of objects hoped for. This difference matters, because both terms also commonly refer to the state of mind that characterizes the hopeful. And this state of mind will be different precisely according to the object hoped for.

“Having espoir for an uncertain yet better future in these difficult times may be a good thing, but it is not enough. Such hope can be disappointed and easily fade away when our wishes and expectations (our hopes) do not materialize.

“The opposite is true with espérance, which is deeper than our desire and wish for an end to a crisis or a future without pain and suffering. To face the trials of life, we need peace and joy in our hearts that come from expecting certain happiness. This is what espérance is: a profound and stable disposition resulting from faith in the coming of what we expect. In this sense, it is similar in meaning to the English word hopefulness.

“If we have believed in the Son of the living God, we have such a hope. It rests on the infallible promises of our God, who knows the plans he has for us, his children—plans of peace and not misfortune, to give us a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). By using the two meanings of the word, we can say that the espérance that the fulfillment of his promises represents (the object hoped for) fills us with espérance (the state of mind).”

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:10:

  • Uma: “So, relatives, he did release us (excl.) from those severe difficulties yesterday, to the point that we (excl.) didn’t die after all. And he will also release us (excl.) from the difficulties that happen now. And we (excl.) trust/hope he will release us (excl.) from difficulties that will happen in the coming days.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “At that time we (excl.) were brought out/freed by him from the danger of almost being killed and he will also bring us (excl.) out in the future. We (excl.) just trust God that he will bring us (excl.) out/free us.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And God helped us and strengthened us, that’s why we escaped and we were not killed; and we know that He will continue to help us (excl.). Our trust is very great that He will not stop helping us.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And he truly did save/rescue us (excl.) from our (excl.) fearful hardships, and he will save us (excl.) in-the-future. He is the one in-whom-we (excl.) continually -hope that he will continue to save us (excl.),” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “He really saved us (excl.) from the death that we were facing. And we (excl.) are absolutely certain that he will continue to save us from everything life-threatening that keeps happening.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But God truly saved me at the time I was about to be killed. And until now he helps me. And I am assured that as I continue to suffer, he will continue to save me.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “The one who saved us from our troubles, will in the same way save us again. This is the one in whom we have confidence and hope that he will save us again.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)

complete verse (2 Corinthians 1:11)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 1:11:

  • Uma: “And you also, relatives, must hold-us (excl.)-up with your prayers. For if many people pray for us (excl.), God will bless us (excl.), with the result that many people will say thank you to God.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And you can also help us (excl.) if you pray/request to God for us (excl.). If many of you pray/request to God for us (excl.) and when God gives what you ask, then many will give thanks to him because of his help to us (excl.).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And it’s necessary that you also help us by praying, and then it will be possible that many will give thanks to God because of His favor toward us, because of the praying of many people.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “provided you help with your prayers. And if you do that, God will answer your many prayers and will bless us (excl.), and many will give-thanks to him.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But we (excl.) are asking that you will also continue your help to us in prayer. For if many are praying, after the answers, of course many will then praise and thank God because of his help to us.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “But it is necessary that you help me now by praying to God for me. If many people pray to God for me, then many people will thank God when they see how God blesses me.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
  • Highland Totonac: “Help me with your prayers in order that thus many will give thanks to God because of the mercies which he would show toward us because of many.” (Source: Herman Aschmann in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 171ff.)