The Greek that is translated into English as “grace be with you” or similar is translated into Iatmul as “I want God to help all of you freely.” Like many languages, Iatmul does not allow for verbal nominalization where a verb can be turned into a noun.
See also grace.
The Greek that is translated into English as “I, Paul, write this greeting in (or: with) my own hand” is translated into Banaro as “I myself by my hand am writing to you the last talk that is on this paper here.”
William Butler (see here) tells this story:
“… we got to verse 18, where Paul takes the pen from his scribe to write greetings in his own handwriting. The first part of that verse says, ‘I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand’ (NIV). The translation said, ‘I am Paul. I myself by my hand am writing this paper to you.’ It was fine except that everyone understood that ‘this paper’ referred to the letter in its entirety, not what the original meant to say. To clarify the meaning, we stated that part of the verse this way, ‘I myself by my hand am writing to you the last talk that is on this paper here.’ Then everyone understood that Paul was only writing the last little bit with his own hand.”
“The Greek word charis, usually translated by English ‘grace,’ is one of the desperations of translators. The area of meaning is exceptionally extensive. Note the following possible meanings for this word in various contexts of the New Testament: ‘sweetness,’ ‘charm,’ ‘loveliness,’ ‘good-will,’ ‘loving-kindness,’ ‘favor,’ ‘merciful kindness,’ ‘benefit,’ ‘gift,’ ‘benefaction,’ ‘bounty,’ and ‘thanks.’ The theological definition of ‘unmerited favor’ (some translators have attempted to employ this throughout) is applicable to only certain contexts. Moreover, it is quite a task to find some native expression which will represent the meaning of ‘unmerited favor.’ In some languages it is impossible to differentiate between ‘grace’ and ‘kindness.’ In fact, the translation ‘kindness’ is in some cases quite applicable. In other languages, a translation of ‘grace’ is inseparable from ‘goodness.’ In San Miguel El Grande Mixtec a very remarkable word has been used for ‘grace.’ It is made up of three elements. The first of these is a prefixial abstractor. The second is the stem for ‘beauty.’ The third is a suffix which indicates that the preceding elements are psychologically significant. The resultant word may be approximately defined as ‘the abstract quality of beauty of personality.’” (Source: Nida 1947, p. 223)
Other translations include (click or tap here to see more):
- Inuktitut: “God’s kindness that enables us” (source: Andrew Atagotaaluk)
- Kwara’ae: kwae ofe’ana (“kindness to one who deserves the opposite”) (source: Norman Deck in The Bible Translator 1963, 34 ff.)
- Chichewa: “being favored in the heart by God” (Source: Ernst Wendland)
- Sayula Popoluca: “God’s favor” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
- Caribbean Javanese: kabetyikané (“goodness”)
- Saramaccan: bunhati (“good heart”)
- Sranan Tongo: bun ati (“good heart”) or gadobun (“God’s goodness”)
- Eastern Maroon Creole: (gaan) bun ati (“(big) good heart”) (source for this and three above: Jabini 2015)
- Fasu: “free big help”
- Wahgi: “save without reward” (source for this and the one above: Deibler / Taylor 1977)
- Warao: “goodness of his obojona.” Obojona is a term that “includes the concepts of consciousness, will, attitude, attention and a few other miscellaneous notions” (source: Henry Osborn in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 74ff.) — see other occurrences of Obojona in the Warao New Testament.
- Nukna: “God gave his insides to one.” (“The ‘insides’ are the seat of emotion in Nukna, like the heart in the English language. To give your insides to someone is to feel love toward them, to want what is best for them, and to do good things for them.” (Source: Matt Taylor in The PNG Experience)
- Hindi, Bengali: anugraha (Hindi: अनुग्रह, Bengali: অনুগ্রহ) from graha: “grasp, a reaching out after, with gracious intent” (source: R.M. Clark in The Bible Translator 1962, p. 81ff.)
In Latvian the term žēlastība is used both for “grace” and “mercy.” (Source: Katie Roth)
For Muna, René van den Berg explains the process how the translation team arrived at a satisfactory solution: “Initial translation drafts in Muna tended to (…) use the single word kadawu ‘part, (given) share, gift,’ but this word is really too generic. It lacks the meaning component of mercy and kindness and also seems to imply that the gift is part of a larger whole. Consequently we now [translate] according to context. In wishes and prayers such as ‘Grace to you and peace from God’ we translate ‘grace’ as kabarakati ‘blessing’ (e.g. Gal 1:3). In many places we use kataano lalo ‘goodness of heart’ (e.g. Gal 1:15 ‘because of the goodness of his heart God chose me’) as well as the loan rahamati ‘mercy’ (e.g. ‘you have-turned-your-backs-on the mercy of God’ for ‘you have fallen away from grace’; Gal 5:4). In one case where the unmerited nature of ‘grace’ is in focus, we have also employed katohai ‘a free gift’ (typically food offered to one’s neighbo-1urs) in the same verse. ‘The reason-you-have-been-saved is because of the goodness of God’s heart (Greek charis, Muna kataano lalo), going-through your belief in Kristus. That salvation is not the result of your own work, but really a free-gift (Greek dooron ‘gift’; Muna katohai) of God.’ (Eph 2:8).
See also grace to you.
Translation: Eastern Canadian Inuktitut
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ ᒍᕇᑭᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖅᑕᖓᑦ ᑐᑭᓕᐅᔾᔭᐅᓯᒪᔪᖅ ᐃᒫᒃ “ᓴᐃᒪᓂᖅ” ᖃᓪᓗᓈᑎᑐᓪᓕ ᑐᑭᓕᐅᔾᔭᐅᓯᒪᒻᒪᑦ ᐃᒫᒃ “ᒎᑎᐅᑉ ᑐᙵᓇᕐᓂᖓᓂ ᐅᕙᑦᑎᓐᓂᒃ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᑎᑦᑎᕙᑦᑐᖅ.”
(Translator: Julia Demcheson)
Following are a number of back-translations of Colossians 4:18:
- Uma: “Greetings from me, Paulus. The end of this letter I write with my own hand. Remember me please while I am still in prison. The Lord bless you. End here.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “I, Paul am the one writing these words. I remember you all who are there. Don’t forget that here I am in prison. May God always take care of you. Wassalam” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “‘As for me, Paul, I send greetings to you.’ (This my writing my name is a sign that this is my letter.) Don’t you forget that I’m in prison and pray for me. May God show His kindness to you.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “I am Pablo who have written this conclusion to the letter which I have had-written. Please don’t forget that I-am-in-prison. May it be that God will show-mercy/grace to you all.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “Really I Pablo am the one who wrote this, the proof being that I am writing my greeting to you with my-own-hand-writing.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “I, Paul, write the words with my own hand in this greeting now. Do not forget that I am in prison. May God bless you. Amen.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)