ponder

The Greek that is translated as “ponder” in English is translated as “continually think-about” in Tboli, “turn around in the mind” in Batak Toba, “puzzle forth, puzzle back” in Sranan Tongo (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel), “constantly setting down her visions” in Mairasi (source: Enggavoter 2004), “carried all those words in her heart and then sat thinking” in Enga (source: Adam Boyd on his blog), or “moved them in her heart” (bewegte sie in ihrem Herzen) (German Luther translation).

make ready a people prepared for the Lord

The Greek that is translated as “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” or similar in English is “makes the hearts soft for the Lord” in (Panao Huánuco Quechua), “a people fit to be used by the Lord” (wéi zhǔ yùbèi héyòng de bǎixìng 為 主 預 備 合 用 的 百 姓) (Chinese Union Version, 1919), “will prepare people to be Above-One’s people” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004).

right mind, sound-minded

The Greek that is rendered as “in his right mind” or “sound-minded” in English is translated as “his mind had returned” (Amganad Ifugao), “his heart was sitting down” (Tojolabal), “his head was healed” (Chicahuaxtla Triqui), “his mind was straightened” (Tzotzil), “with a clear mind again” (Javanese), “come to his senses” (Indonesian) (source for this and all above: Bratcher / Nida), “come to his cleanness/purity” (Marathi), “(his) thoughts having become right” (Ekari), “his intelligence having-become clean again” (Sranan Tongo), “having-mind” (Batak Toba), “settled his mind” (Tae’), “settled/fixed” (Balinese) (source for this and five above: Reiling / Swellengrebel), or “had well-split vision” (Mairasi) (source: Enggavoter 2004).

eye of a needle

The Greek that is translated as “eye of a needle” in English (and in many Romance and Germanic languages) is rendered variously in different languages:

In Warlpiri, needles were not traditionally used, so after much discussion the translation there is “(Does a camel go into) the hole of an ant’s nest?” which uses a more traditional metaphor. (Source: Sam Freney in this article.)

See also It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

own city

The Greek that is translated as “(his) own city” in English is translated in Batak Toba as “his clan-origin” or literally “the trunk of his nangka-tree” (the strong, but slow growing nangka, or Jack-fruit, tree is being used metaphorically of the compound of a well-to-do family which remained in the same village for generations).

filled with the Holy Spirit, full with the Holy Spirit

The Greek that is rendered in English as “filled with the Holy Spirit” or “full with the Holy Spirit” is translated in various ways:

  • Tboli: “the Holy Spirit is with / lives with one”
  • Shipibo-Conibo: “the Holy Spirit permeates one” (using a term said of medicines)
  • Cuyonon: “one is under the control of the Holy Spirit” (esp. Luke 4:1, Acts 7:55, Acts 11:24)
  • Ngäbere: “the full strength of the Holy Spirit stays in one”
  • Tae’ (translation of 1933): “one carries the Holy Spirit in his inner being” (source for this and all above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Yamba and Bulu: “the Holy Spirit filled one’s heart” (source: W. Reyburn in The Bible Translator 1959, p. 1ff. )
  • Rincón Zapotec: “the Holy Spirit comes to be completely with one”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “one walks with the Holy Spirit of God”
  • Chuj: “God’s Spirit enters into one”
  • Morelos Nahuatl: “the Holy Spirit enters one’s heart to rule”
  • Teutila Cuicatec: “God’s Spirit possesses one” / “in all the authority of the Holy Spirit”
  • Isthmus Mixe: “have the Holy Spirit (in one’s head and heart) very much” or “Holy Spirit enter one completely”
  • Lalana Chinantec: “one’s heart really obeyed what the Holy Spirit wanted”
  • Chichimeca-Jonaz: “one’s heart full of God’s Holy Spirit” (source for this and seven above: Viola Waterhouse in Notes on Translation August 1966, p. 86ff.)
  • Yawa: “God’s Spirit gives one power” (source: Larry Jones)

The following story is relayed by Martha Duff Tripp as she led the translation of the New Testament into Yanesha’ (p. 310):

I continue to work with Casper Mountain [an Yanesha’ translator] on translation. As we start the book of Luke, we run into another problem. In Chapter 1, verse 15, the text reads (speaking of John the Baptist), “and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Amueshas [Yanesha’s] have never associated their word for “fill” with anything except pots and baskets. How can a person be “filled”? Even their word for a full stomach is not the word for “fill.” We talk together about what “filled with the Holy Spirit” means (obsessed with or possessed by). The thought comes to me of what the Amueshas [Yanesha’s] say about the shaman. They say that he can “wear” the spirit of the tiger, that they can tell when he is wearing the tiger spirit because he then will act like a tiger. Their word for “wear” is the same word as to “wear or put on a garment.” Can this possibly be the way to say “filled with God’s Spirit”? As I cautiously question Casper about this, his face lights up immediately. “Yes, that is the way we would say it, he is ’wearing’ God’s Holy Spirit.”

Note that Cheyenne also uses the term for “wear” in these instances. (Source: Wayne Leman)

See also Holy Spirit.

kiss (feet)

The Greek that is translated as “kissing his feet” and “kiss my feet” in these verses in English is translated in Medumba as “massaged his feet,” as people do to show reverence to a chief, especially when imploring his protection or forgiveness.

See also kiss.

their eyes were prevented from recognizing

The Greek that is translated as “their eyes were prevented from recognizing” in English is translated with idioms in languages like Shona with “their eyes were clouded, or, shrouded/blindfolded,” Uab Meto with “their eyes were misty” or with a simile such as “their eyes were just as if they had been caused to be shut” in Marathi.

hypocrisy

The term that is translated as “hypocrisy” in English versions is translated with a term in Oxchuc Tzeltal that means “two hearts,” in Central Pame “two mouths” (source: Nida 1952, p. 150), and in San Miguel El Grande Mixtec “having two heads” (source: Nida 1947, p. 150).

Kituba uses a specialized idiom for “hypocrisy”: “eye under leaf.” (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

See also hypocrite.

wash

The Greek that is translated as “wash” in English has to be specified with an object in some languages. Indonesian for instance translates as “wash hands.” In others languages a derivational form of “to wash” is used that has the meaning “to wash one’s-hands-or-feet” (Sundanese) or “to wash-one’s-hands” (Batak Toba).