John the Baptist

The name that is transliterated as “John (the Baptist)” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language and Mexican Sign Language as “baptize” (source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff. )

“John the Baptist” in Mexican Sign Language (source: BSLM )

In German Sign Language (Catholic) it is translated with the sign for the letter J and the sign signifying a Catholic baptism by sprinkling on the head.

“John” in German Sign Language /catholic, source: Taub und katholisch

In American Sign Language it is translated with the sign for the letter J and the sign signifying “shout,” referring to John 1:23. (Source: RuthAnna Spooner, Ron Lawer)

“John” in American Sign Language, source: Deaf Harbor

Similarly, in French Sign Language, it is “prepare the way.” (Source: Lexique – Explications en langue des signes)

In Vietnamese (Hanoi) Sign Language it is translated with the sign for leaping in the womb (see Luke 1:41) and baptism. (Source: The Vietnamese Sign Language translation team, VSLBT)

“John” in Vietnamese Sign Language, source: SooSL

A question of cultural assumptions arose in Tuvan. The instinctive way to translate this name denotatively would be “John the Dipper,” but this would carry the highly misleading connotation that he drowned people. It was therefore decided that his label should focus on the other major aspect of his work, that is, proclaiming that the Messiah would soon succeed him. (Compare his title in Russian Orthodox translation “Иоанн Предтеча” — “John the Forerunner.”) So he became “John the Announcer,” which fortunately did not seem to give rise to any confusion with radio newsreaders! (Source: David Clark in The Bible Translator 2015, p. 117ff. )

In Noongar it is translated as John-Kakaloorniny or “John Washing” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang).

See also John the Baptist (icon).

Learn more on Bible Odyssey: John the Baptist .

John the Baptist (icon)

Following is a Syriac Orthodox icon of John the Baptist from the 18/19th century (found in the Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helen, Yabrud, Syria).

The wings are often depicted in icons of John the Baptist because of his status as a messenger. The scroll that John the Baptist holds quotes John 1:29 and reads (translated into English): “I saw and witnessed concerning him, ‘Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.’”

Orthodox Icons are not drawings or creations of imagination. They are in fact writings of things not of this world. Icons can represent our Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints. They can also represent the Holy Trinity, Angels, the Heavenly hosts, and even events. Orthodox icons, unlike Western pictures, change the perspective and form of the image so that it is not naturalistic. This is done so that we can look beyond appearances of the world, and instead look to the spiritual truth of the holy person or event. (Source )

See also John the Baptist.

complete verse (John 3:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 3:24:

  • Uma: “At that time, Yohanes the Baptizer had not yet been imprisoned. He was baptizing in Ainon town, not far from Salim town, because there was much water there. Every day people went asking Yohanes to baptize them.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “At that time Yahiya had not yet been imprisoned. Yahiya also bathed people there at the place Anon for there was much water there. This place Anon is close to the place Salim. Many people went to him and were bathed by him.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “(At that time John was not yet put in prison).” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “because Juan had not yet been-imprisoned.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “because at that time, Juan had not yet been imprisoned.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “John was not yet put in jail when this took place.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

Translation commentary on John 3:24

This verse is best taken as a parenthetical statement by the author of the Gospel. A number of translations, including Good News Translation, place the verse in curved brackets. The verse seems intended to give a background for verse 30.

There may be problems of tense sequence in the parenthetical expression This was before John had been put in prison. An equivalent may be “John was only later put in prison” or “Up to this time John was still not in prison.”

Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on the Gospel of John. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1980. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .