complete verse (John 8:56)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 8:56:

  • Uma: “As for your ancestor Abraham, he is glad because he knew that he would see the day of my coming. So now, he has seen my coming and he is very glad.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Your grandfather Ibrahim was glad because he knew that there was a time in the future when he would see me come into the world. Then when he saw my coming, he was glad.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Your ancestor Abraham, he was very glad long ago because he knew that I would be sent here to the world. The reason he was glad is because he was expecting me.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Great was the happiness of Abraham your ancestor, because he expected he would see my coming here, and truly it was shown to him and he was-happy.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “You father Abraham was able to be happy when he knew that he would see the day of my coming here. He really saw it, that’s why he was able to be happy.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Your ancestor Abraham was glad that the day would come when I would arrive here. He knew about and therefore was glad.'” (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.