complete verse (1 Timothy 1:8)

Following are a number of back-translations of 1 Timothy 1:8:

  • Uma: “We know that the Law of Musa is good, as-long-as we use it according to the true way.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “We/one (dual) know(s) that the law of God written by Musa is good if it is correctly/rightly used.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “We (incl.) know that the law which was left behind by Moses is good if we use it properly.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Now regarding the law of God, we know, granted, that that-aforementioned law is good provided that a person’s using-of-it is its proper use.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Of course, we all know that these things which God commanded are good. But it’s necessary that as for our obeying, it follows the meaning of these commands/laws.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning the law which the Jews follow, we know that it is good what it says. But it is necessary that it be known why it is that this law was written.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (1Tim. 1:8)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, translators typically select the inclusive form (including the addressee).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.


The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”) (source: Nida 1947, p. 198) and in Central Tarahumara it is “writing-command.” (wsource: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)