complete verse (Acts 7:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 7:3:

  • Uma: “he said to him: ‘Leave your (sing.) town and your (sing.) relatives. Go to the town that I will point-out to you (sing.).'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “God said to him, ‘Leave that country of yours and your relatives, and go to a country which I will show you as-to which (it is).'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And God said to Abraham, he said, ‘Go away from this your village and from your brothers and your parents, and you live there in that land which I will show you.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And he said to him, ‘Leave that (near addressee) town/country of yours (sing.) and leave (diff. word) your (sing.) relatives to go to the town/country that in-the-future I will show to you (sing.).'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “He said to him, ‘You are now to leave this land where you are living. Leave your relatives and go to a land which I will point-out to you.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

For the Old Testament quotes, see Genesis 12:1.

Honorary are / rare constructs denoting God (“say”)

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way Japanese show different degree of politeness is through the usage of an honorific construction where the morphemes rare (られ) or are (され) are affixed on the verb as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017. This is particularly done with verbs that have God as the agent to show a deep sense of reverence. Here, iw-are-ru (言われる) or “say” is used.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

first person pronoun referring to God

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way Japanese show different degree of politeness is through the choice of a first person singular and plural pronoun (“I” and “we” and its various forms) as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017. The most commonly used watashi/watakushi (私) is typically used when the speaker is humble and asking for help.

In these verses, where God / Jesus is referring to himself, watashi is also used but instead of the kanji writing system (私) the syllabary hiragana (わたし) is used to distinguish God from others.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

See also pronoun for “God”.

Translation commentary on Acts 7:3

The command leave your family and country has reversed the order of the words “country and family,” as they appear in the passage quoted from Genesis; but the Good News Translation has done this inasmuch as the command go to the land that I will show you more naturally follows after “country” than after “family.”

It is sometime difficult to translate the verb show by a term which may be used for revealing or showing objects, since a country does not fall into the same class of demonstrable things. One may be required, therefore, to translate as “the country I tell you to go to” or “the country I say is the right country for you to go to.”

Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1972. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .