stone that makes them stumble, stumbling-stone

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “stumbling-stone” or “stone that makes them stumble” in English had to be translated carefully in Chol. John Beekman (in The Bible Translator 1962, p. 180ff.) explains: “When translating for the Chols, the translator was aware that the phrase ‘stone of stumbling’ could refer to a specific stone found on the trail to the town of Ococingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Those who came to this rock with aching muscles from long hours of weary walking with heavy loads believed that by striking their foot against this rock they would be strengthened for the remainder of the trip and would not stumble along the way. It therefore became important to translate these two passages avoiding any ambiguity as to whether this rock prevented or occasioned stumbling.”


The parallelism between “rock” in 1Pet 2:5 (in the English New Revised Standard Version “like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house”) and verse 8 (in the English New Revised Standard Version “a stone that makes them stumble, and a rock that makes them fall”) had to be maintained in the Kahua translation. As “posts” are used in house building (see cornerstone) the parallelism was kept with terms for “tree” and “centerpost.”

See also cornerstone.

complete verse (1 Peter 2:8)

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

  • Uma: “‘That stone became the stone they stumble on, and a stone where they fall-flat-on-their-front.’ They stumbled, because they refused to believe the Word of God, and that is the portion that God had already determined [lit., made certain] for them.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “And there is also another verse in the holy-book saying, ‘That is the stone that causes people to stumble therefore they fall.’ Because they did not believe God’s word/message they have figuratively stumbled. That is God’s will for them.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And there is also a prophecy which has been fulfilled which says, ‘That is the stone which people accidently kicked. That is the one which caused them to stumble.’ They did not believe in the Word of God, and because of that, according to the prophecy, they stumbled and fell, for that is what God has destined for those who do not believe.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “They should also remember what God caused-to-be-written which says, ‘This is the stone which people will-be-offended-at and over-which-(they)-will-stumble-and-fall.’ They will stumble-and-fall because they don’t believe/obey the word of God, and this also is God’s plan for them.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “And also fulfilled was what was said which is, his likeness is, ‘Like a rock which is always being-stumbled-over and what people fall over.’ They stumble because that is what was determined by God, because they don’t believe/obey this word of his which is the Good News.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Also it is written: ‘This is the stone which will cause people to stumble. This is the rock which will cause people to fall.’ They stumble just as it has been determined what will happen to those who do not believe the word of God.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)