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

eternal life

The Greek that is translated in English as “eternal life” is translated in various ways:

Lloyd Peckham explains the Mairasi translation: “In secret stories, not knowable to women nor children, there was a magical fruit of life. If referred to vaguely, without specifying the specific ‘fruit,’ it can be an expression for eternity.”

See also eternity / forever and salvation.

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).

root of Jesse

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “root of Jesse” or similar in English is translated as “descendant of the ancient man of God who was called Jesse” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “a person born in the family line of Jesse” in Yatzachi Zapotec, and as “a son from the people of Jesse the father of David” in Mezquital Otomi. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

build up

The Greek that is translated as “building up” in many English versions is translated in Chol with a term that specifically indicates to make others better (here and elsewhere, in their faith in Christ). (Source: Robert Bascom)

In Huehuetla Tepehua it is translated as “have more confidence in Christ,” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui as “cause that their hearts grow strong with reference to the way of God,” in Yatzachi Zapotec as “to become stronger in their faith,” and in Central Tarahumara as “so that they can believe better yet.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

arrogant, proud

The Greek that is translated in English as “proud” or “arrogant” is translated in Chimborazo Highland Quichua as “making yourself chief.” (Source: Julia Woodward in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 140ff. )

In Isthmus Zapotec it is translated as “snobby” and in Sierra de Juárez Zapotec as “thinking they are the people of worth.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

For “proud” also see humble / lowly.

patriarchs

The Greek that is often translated as “patriarchs” in English is translated as “first old fathers” in Isthmus Zapotec, as “the ancient fathers” in Tzeltal, as “the old important people who lived long ago were forefathers of the Israelites” in Yatzachi Zapotec, as “the ancient fathers” in Highland Totonac, as “the 12 sons of Jacob” Central Tarahumara, or “the fathers from way back when” in Chicahuaxtla Triqui. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

debased mind

The Greek that is translated as “debased mind” or similar in English is translated as “nothing but sin went to their hearts” in Tzeltal, as “think things that weren’t good” in Huehuetla Tepehua, as “do what their foolish minds wanted” in Isthmus Zapotec, and as “think evil in this strange way” in Central Tarahumara. (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

firstborn

The Greek that is translated as “firstborn” in English is translated “he/she that opens the gown” in Batak Toba (because formerly a woman stopped wearing a gown and started using a bodice after the birth of her first child) and “he/she that damages the stalk (i.e. the body)” in Uab Meto. (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

In Bawm Chin, the term can imply the existence of younger siblings, so a translation is needed that brings out the fact that Jesus is superior to all else, not just the first of a series. (Source: David Clark)

In Mezquital Otomi it is “the oldest son of all” and in Isthmus Zapotec “oldest child.” (Source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also only begotten son / (one and) only son.

led by

The Greek that is translated “led by” or similar in English is translated in various ways: