Fijian uses four noun classes:
(1) Possessible items in general, taking normal or “neutral” pronoun forms
(2) Edible items, to which are linked “edible” pronoun forms
(3) Drinkable items, to which are linked “drinkable” pronoun forms
(4) Body parts and kinship, taking “familiar” pronoun suffixed forms.
The Greek terms that are translated as “body (or: flesh)” and “blood” used in John 6:52-56 “as symbols of Christ’s sacrifice are not treated by either version as edible and drinkable objects, even though they are said in the text to be eaten and drunk. The apparent reason is that the passage is taken to be about the institution of a memorial and not about the actions of eating and drinking themselves. Hence the translators use the familiar pronoun for the body part (lewequ ‘my body’) and the neutral pronoun for the blood part (noqu dra ‘my blood’).”
Source: Joseph Hong in The Bible Translator 1994, p. 419ff.
The Greek that is translated in English as “eternal life” is translated in various ways:
Lloyd Peckham explains the Mairasi translation: “In secret stories, not knowable to women nor children, there was a magical fruit of life. If referred to vaguely, without specifying the specific ‘fruit,’ it can be an expression for eternity.”
See also eternity / forever and salvation.
Following are a number of back-translations of John 6:54:
- Uma: “The people who eat my body and drink my blood, they receive good life forever, and I raise them on Kiama Day.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “The ones who eat my flesh and drink my blood live forever. And I will make them alive in the last day.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Because he who eats my body and drinks my blood has already come to own life forever, and I will raise him up in the future on that last day;” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “Because those who eat my body and drink my blood, it is they to whom God gives life that is forever, and they also are the ones I will make-alive at the last day.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “That one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, he has life which is without ending and I really will raise him to life again at the end of the world.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has the new life forever. And I will cause him to be resurrected at the last day.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)