The Greek that is translated as “sinner” in English is translated as “people with bad hearts” (“it is not enough to call them ‘people who do bad things,’ for though actions do reflect the heart, yet it is the hearts with which God is primarily concerned — see Matt. 15:19”) in Western Kanjobal, “people who are doing wrong things in their hearts” in San Blas Kuna (source: Nida 1952, p. 148), “people with bad stomachs” in Q’anjob’al (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff.), or “people with dirty hearts” (Mairasi) (Enggavoter 2004).


The Greek that is translated as “scribe” in English “were more than mere writers of the law. They were the trained interpreters of the law and expounders of tradition.”

Here are a number of its (back-) translations:

complete verse (Luke 15:2)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 15:2:

  • Uma: “The Parisi people and the religion teachers disparaged them, they said: ‘Ii, that person there is befriending sinners and eating with them.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Then the Pariseo and the teachers of the religious law grumbled, they said, ‘This person goes along-with/keeps company with sinful people and even eats together with them.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And this disgusted very much some Pharisees and some teachers of the Law who were there also, and they said, ‘As for this Jesus, he runs around with people who are breakers of our Law, and he eats also with them.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So the Pharisees and the teachers of the law grumbled/muttered saying, ‘Now look at this person! Why does he like to converse-with sinful people and even eat-with them!'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “But the Pariseo and explainers of law talked-among-themselves. They were saying, ‘Really as for this fellow, he gathers-around-himself sinners and even joins-in-eating with them.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)