peace (absence of strife)

The Greek that is translated as “peace” in English, and like the English can refer to a mental state as well as a lack of strife or absence or cessation of war, needs to be expressed with distinguished terms in other languages. For the meaning of peace when referring to absence of strife, Northern Grebo renders “the palaver has passed,” Highland Totonac “well arranged” (implying reconciliation), Tae’ and Toraja-Sa’dan “being-good-with-each-other” (in Luke 12:51, the 1933 edition of Tae’ has “land and water are well”) or Sranan Tongo “free” (in the sense of “to conclude peace”).

See also peace (absence of conflict).

complete verse (Luke 12:51)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 12:51:

  • Nyongar: “You say that I came to bring peace to the world? No, no peace, but only division.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “Do you think that my coming here, [I] come to make-one-life people? No! My coming here, [I] come to make-at-odds people.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Is it that you mistakenly-thought that I have come to bring peace to the world? Not peace, instead I tell you, I have come to bring a reason for opposition/division-of-opinion.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “You thought mistakenly, perhaps, that the reason I came here to the earth is so that there would not be any more trouble for mankind. That’s not it, because by means of my coming here, there will be separation of the breaths of people (this phrase means that they are divided in opinion.)” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You probably think I came to bring peace to the earth, but no. I came to cause-people -to-separate.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “You must not think that why I came here was to bring peace/protection so that people here in the world would be harmonious. Because some will believe-in/obey me, others won’t. Therefore it’s like I came here so that people are now in conflict.” (Source: Tagbanwa 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.