inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (2Pet. 1:19)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). (Click or tap here to see more details)

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: SIL International Translation Department (1999)

complete verse (2 Peter 1:19)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Peter 1:19:

  • Uma: “So, from what we (excl.) saw, our (excl.) faith in the words of prophets of long ago became stronger-and-stronger. How good it is if you in-heart/ponder those words of the prophets, for their words are like a lamp shining in the darkness. Pay-attention-to the words of the prophets until the Lord Yesus comes again to this world, and you know him clearly/fully. The coming again of Yesus will be like the breaking of the day or like the appearing of the morning star.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Because of what we (excl.) saw and heard on that mountain we (excl.) are the more sure that it is true what the prophets of old said about the Almasi. You should really listen-obey (to) what he said because this is like a lamp shining in darkness until the day comes when Isa Almasi comes back. Almasi is figuratively like the morning star shining in your livers.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “At that time our (excl.) faith was drawn very tight in the prophecies long ago by the prophets of God about Jesus, and it is necessary that you thoroughly believe it also. For what they taught is like a lamp which shines in the darkness until the morning comes. And when the morning comes, we (incl.) will be shined on by the morning star, which is to say, the time for Jesus to return will come.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Thus it was confirmed to us (excl.) that what the prophets said long ago is thoroughly believable. And it’s right/good if you believe/obey what they said, because it’s like a lamp that shines in a dark place. Persevere in believing/obeying (it) until the morning-star appears (lit. comes-out) and it gets-light, meaning to say, until the day that Cristo comes again to shine properly in your minds.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Through that which happened before our (excl.) eyes, we (excl.) are all the more sure that the written word of the prophets is really the truth. Therefore store it well in your heads. For as for these writings, what they are like is, a lamp which gives us light while it’s still night-time, till dawn comes. And then we will be shined on by the Morning Star(Buntatala), which means, the glory of Jesu-Cristo at his returning here.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now we realize that it is true, this word that the prophets of God wrote. It is important that we study this word until Christ gives us good understanding in our hearts. Because this word is like a lamp shining in the darkness until the morning star arises when it begins to dawn.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)