looked up at his disciples

The Greek that is translated as “(he) looked up at his disciples (and said)” or “raised his eyes to his disciples” or similar in English is translated in the German New Testament translation by Klaus Berger and Christiane Nord (publ. 2005) as Jesus setzte sich, sah seine Jüngerinnen und Jünger an und sagte…: “Jesus sat down, looked at his [male and female] disciples, and said….”

Christiane Nord (in Open Theology 2016; 2: p. 566ff.) explains: “Where are the disciples if Jesus has to lift up his eyes to them? The bit of cultural knowledge the reader may be lacking (and the translators did not think of) is that, in the source culture, teachers used to be seated while they were teaching, with the listeners standing in a circle around them. Since the author assumed this habit to be known by his addressees, he used a generic verb that does not specify how Jesus ‘is’ in the plain, whereas the translator(s) of the King James Version adapted the text to English style conventions which require a specific verb, thus contributing to an image of Jesus with his eyes lifted up to heaven. (…) Now the text is coherent, but the readers automatically envisage a scene that is different from the one described in the original. Berger and Nord explains the situation, thus making the scene comprehensible without reducing its strangeness.”