The Greek that is a transliteration of the Hebrew Pərūšīm and is transliterated into English as “Pharisee” is transliterated in Chinese as Fǎlìsài (法利賽 / 法利赛) (Protestant) or Fǎlìsāi (法利塞) (Catholic). In Chinese, transliterations can typically be done with a great number of different and identical-sounding characters. Often the meaning of the characters are not relevant, unless they are chosen carefully as in these cases. The Protestant Fǎlìsài can mean something like “Competition for the profit of the law” and the Catholic Fǎlìsāi “Stuffed by/with the profit of the law.” (Source: Zetzsche 1996, p. 51)


The Greek that is translated as “weapon” in English is translated as “machete” in Ojitlán Chinantec (source: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.).

complete verse (John 18:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 18:3:

  • Uma: “So, the leaders of the priests and the Parisi people ordered a group of Roman soldiers and House of God guards to go with Yudas going to that garden. They carried fighting equipment, lampu and torches.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then Judas led the soldiers of the Roman tribe and the temple guards to that orchard. These guards were sent along with him by the Pariseo and the leading priests. They carried weapons (bessi) and torches (la’al) and lamps (payita’an).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then Judas arrived there accompanied by a company of soldiers and police who were sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying lights and they were armed.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “And there is where-he-led a unit-group of soldiers and Temple police that the leaders of the priests and Pharisees had sent. They were all-using-torches/lights and all-carrying-arms.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore Judas went there to that plantation because that was his agreement with the chiefs of the priests and the Pariseo. He was leading the Templo guards they had sent and also one iskuwadra (generic for any military group) of soldiers. They had lights and they were well armed with weapons.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Judas arrived to where Jesus was. Accompanying him was a group of soldiers and the police sent by the priests and Pharisees. They brought swords and lamps. Some carried wood which was burned to light the way.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)