complete verse (John 14:28)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 14:28:

  • Uma: “You heard my words earlier that said: I go, but I will return here to you. If you really love me, you will be glad that I go to my Father, because my Father’s greatness surpasses me.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “I have told you already that I am leaving, but I will come back again to you. If you really love me, you will certainly be glad that I am going to my Father, for he is greater than I.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “You heard me say that I am going to leave you and that I will return to you. I wish that I were big in your breath because this would cause you joy. Because now I am able to return to my Father, and he is greater than I.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You have heard what I said that I will leave you but then I will return. If you loved me, you would be happy, because I am going to my Father who is greater than I.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “I have told you already that I am leaving but I will indeed return. If you really hold me dear, you would be happy about this home-going of mine to the Father, because the Father is much more important, much more so than I.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now you heard me tell you that I am going where the Father is, and that I will come again so that we will be together. If you truly love me, you would have been glad that I am going. Because he is greater than I.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing his disciples and common people

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theological judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

Here, Jesus is addressing his disciples, individuals and/or crowds with the formal pronoun, showing respect.

In most Dutch translations, Jesus addresses his disciples and common people with the informal pronoun, whereas they address him with the formal form.