The Greek and Hebrew that is translated in English as “love your neighbor as yourself” is translated in Shilluk, Anuak, and Nuer as “love your neighbors as yourselves.” In those and other languages a plural form has to be used if it is to be applied to more than one person where in English a singular can stand for many (compare everyone, each, whoever, any). (Source: Larson 1998, p. 42)
The Greek that is translated as “neighbor” in English is rendered into Babatana as “different man,” i.e. someone who is not one of your relatives. (Source: David Clark)
In North Alaskan Inupiatun, it is rendered as “a person outside of your building,” in Tzeltal as “your back and side” (implying position of the dwellings), in Indonesian and in Tae’ as “your fellow-man,” in Toraja-Sa’dan it is “your fellow earth-dweller,” in Shona (translation of 1966) as “another person like you,” in Kekchí “younger-brother-older-brother” (a compound which means all one’s neighbors in a community) (sources: Bratcher / Nida and Reiling / Swellengrebel), in Mairasi “your people” (source: Enggavoter 2004), in Mezquital Otomi as “fellow being,” in Tzeltal as “companion,” in Isthmus Zapotec as “another,” and in Teutila Cuicatec as “all people” (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).
In Matt 19:19, Matt 22:39, Mark 12:31, Mark 12:33, Luke 10:27, Luke 10:29 it is translated into Ixcatlán Mazatec with a term that refers to a person who is socially/physically near. Ixcatlán Mazatec also has a another term for “neighbor” that means “fellow humans-outsiders” which was not chosen for these passages. (Source: Robert Bascom)
In Nyongar it is translated as moorta-boordak or “people nearby” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
The Greek that is translated “scripture” or “scriptures” in English is translated as “God’s word which people wrote” in Guerrero Amuzgo (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125) and “paper writings” in Copainalá Zoque (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.).
While the term “Bible,” often used as a synonym, does not appear in the Bible itself, there’s an interesting translation of that word in Dehu. Missionaries had translated “Bible” as “Container of the Word” until they realized that this was also used for “penis sheath.” (Source: Clifford 1992, p. 87)
Following are a number of back-translations of James 2:8:
- Uma: “Our behavior that is good, relatives, is if we follow the command of our King that we read in the Holy Book that says: ‘We must Love our companion like we love ourselves.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “Your doing is good if you truly follow/obey the greatest law of God. This law is hep written in the holy-book, saying, ‘You should love your fellow-man as you love yourself.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “You will do very well if you obey the greatest command of the Lord which you can read in his written word which says, ‘It is necessary that you love your companions; consider him to be just like your own breath.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “There is an important/valued law of God which he caused-to-be-written long ago which says, ‘You (sing.) must love your (sing.) companion like your (sing.) manner-of-loving yourself (sing.).’ If you (pl.) completely follow this law, what you are doing is correct (compliment particle).” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “Really good is what you are doing if you are following/obeying the important thing which God commanded which is written in that writing which says, ‘You (sing.) are to value your fellowman just like your (sing.) valuing of your (sing.) own self (lit. body).'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “In the Holy Book there is written the law which is more important than other laws. It says: ‘Love your fellowman like you have respect for your own selves.’ If you really do what this law says, then you are doing good.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)
The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things” (source: Enggavoter 2004) and in Nyongar with a capitalized form of the term for “words” (Warrinya) (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).
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.)