During the translation of the New Testament into Huixtán Tzotzil, translation consultant Marion Cowan found that questions where the answer is obvious, affirmative rhetorical questions, as well questions raising objections tended to cause confusion among the readers. So these are rendered as simple or emphatic statements.

Accordingly, Matthew 7:9-11 reads “If your son asks you for a tortilla to eat, not a stone you would give him. If he asks you for fish to eat, not a snake you would give him. You whose hearts are not good, know what good gifts you will give your children. Your father in heaven surpassingly knows what good gifts he will give to those who ask him.”

Source: Marion Cowan in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 123ff.

these are not drunk

The Greek that is translated as “these are not drunk” or similar in English had to be translated in Tzotzil as “We (excluding you) are not drunk.” A literal translation would be inferring that Peter had not received the Holy Spirit along with the rest who were present in the upper room. (Source: Marion Cowan in The Bible Translator 1962, p. 90)

you though only a human being are making yourself God

The Greek that is translated as “you, though only a human being, are making yourself God” or similar in English is translated in Huixtán Tzotzil as “You mistakenly think that you are God.” 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.)

I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners

The Greek that is translated in English as “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” is translated in Martu Wangka as “I came to the earth to teach bad people who are like those sick ones so that they can hear the Father’s word and become his relatives. I didn’t come for the good people — no.” (Source: Carl Gross)

In El Nayar Cora it is translated as “I came not to call those who think they language are good people, but those who think they are sinners.” (Source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

In Huixtán Tzotzil, the first part is “those who mistakenly think their hearts are straight.” 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, p. 6ff.)

not with plausible words of wisdom

The Greek that is translated as “not with plausible words of wisdom” or similar in English is translated in Huixtán Tzotzil as “I did not force you like people do, those who mistakenly think they are wise.” 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.)

rhetorical questions (John 7:48)

During the translation of the New Testament into Huixtán Tzotzil, translation consultant Marion Cowan found that questions where the answer is obvious, affirmative rhetorical questions, as well questions raising objections tended to cause confusion among the readers. So these are rendered as simple or emphatic statements.

Accordingly, John 7:48 reads “Not one has believed of the authorities or of the Pharisees.”

Source: Marion Cowan in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 123ff.

he has claimed to be the Son of God

The Greek that is translated as “he has claimed to be the Son of God” or similar in English is translated in Huixtán Tzotzil as “he mistakenly thinks he is God’s Son.” 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.)

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.

He catches the wise in their craftiness

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “He catches the wise in their craftiness” or similar in English is translated in Huixtán Tzotzil as “Those who mistakenly think they are wise even if they mistakenly think they will not be found out, they will be found out by God.” 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.)

rhetorical questions (John 18:35)

During the translation of the New Testament into Huixtán Tzotzil, translation consultant Marion Cowan found that questions where the answer is obvious, affirmative rhetorical questions, as well questions raising objections tended to cause confusion among the readers. So these are rendered as simple or emphatic statements.

Accordingly, John 18:35 reads “Pilate said to him, I am not a Jew.”

Source: Marion Cowan in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 123ff.

everyone who claims to be a king

The Greek that is translated as “everyone who claims to be a king” or similar in English is translated in Huixtán Tzotzil as “all who mistakenly think they are a king.” 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.)

may be in you, might remain in you

The Greek that is translated in English as “(my joy) might remain in you” or “(my joy) may be in you” is translated in Tzotzil as “these things I have told you in order that your hearts may be happy-untroubled like my heart is happy-untroubled.”

“If Jesus’ words in John 15:11 were to be translated literally (…) it would infer that Jesus had given all His joy away and so not have any Himself.” (Source: Marion Cowan in The Bible Translator 1963, p. 90)

See also we might become the righteousness of God.