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Image taken from the Wiedmann Bible. For more information about the images and ways to adopt them, see here .
For other images of Willy Wiedmann paintings in TIPs, see here.
The story of welcoming home the son as part of The Prodigal Son is illustrated for use in Bible translations in West Africa by Wycliffe Cameroon like this:
Illustration 1999 Mbaji Bawe Ernest, © Wycliffe Bible Translators, Inc. Used with permission.
Following is a painting by Chen Yuandu 陳緣督 (1902-1967):
Housed in the Société des Auxiliaires des Missions Collection – Whitworth University.
The Greek that is translated with “moved with compassion (or: pity)” in English is translated as “to see someone with sorrow” in Piro, “to suffer with someone” in Huastec, or “one’s mind to be as it were out of one” in Balinese (source: Bratcher / Nida).
The term “compassion” is translated as “cries in the soul” in Shilluk (source: Nida, 1952, p. 132), “has a good stomach” (=”sympathetic”) in Aari (source: Loren Bliese), “has a big liver” in Una (source: Kroneman 2004, p. 471), or “crying in one’s stomach” in Q’anjob’al (source: Newberry and Kittie Cox in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 91ff. ). In Mairasi it is translated with an emphasized term that is used for “love”: “desiring one’s face so much” (source: Enggavoter 2004) and in Chitonga with kumyongwa or “to have the intestines twisting in compassion/sorrow for someone” (source: Wendland 1987, p. 128f.).
See also Seat of the Mind for traditional views of “ways of knowing, thinking, and feeling.”
The Hebrew and the Greek that is usually directly translated as “kiss” in English is translated more indirectly in other languages because kissing is deemed as inappropriate, is not a custom at all, or is not customary in the particular context (see the English translation of J.B. Phillips [publ. 1960] in Rom. 16:16: “Give each other a hearty handshake”). Here are some examples:
See also kissed (his feet).
Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 15:20:
kai anastas ēlthen pros ton patera heautou ‘and he set out and went to his father.’ heautou is equivalent to the simple possessive autou. For anastas cf. on v. 18.
eti de autou makran apechontos ‘while he was still far away,’ scil. from his father’s house. The range of makran (also 7.6) ‘far away’ is determined by the fact that he is already within eyeshot.
eiden auton ho patēr autou ‘his father saw him.’ auton takes up preceding autou. eiden is best understood as ingressive, cf. Bible de Jérusalem.
esplagchnisthē ‘he was filled with pity,’ “his heart went out to him” (Phillips, New English Bible), cf. on 7.13.
dramōn epepesen epi ton trachēlon autou ‘he ran and fell on his neck,’ i.e. ‘he threw his arms around him,’ ‘he embraced him.’ trachēlos also 17.2.
katephilēsen auton ‘he kissed him,’ cf. on 7.38.
While he was yet at a distance, or, “while he was still a long way off” (New English Bible). To be at a distance is sometimes rendered by a verbal form derived from ‘far/distant.’
Saw him, sometimes better, ‘saw him coming’ (cf. e.g. Javanese).
Had compassion, see 7.13.
And ran …, or, as a new sentence, ‘he went to meet him’ (Sranan Tongo); or specifying the participants, e.g. ‘his father ran…’ (Bahasa Indonesia KB), ‘he-ran-toward his child’ (Balinese).
Embraced him and kissed him, indicating an affectionate greeting. Descriptive renderings of the first verb may come close to the Greek expression, ‘he put his arms around him, or, around his neck/shoulders/body’; the function, if unknown, usually will become clear from what follows. The verb to kiss often is difficult to render. Some descriptive or idiomatic renderings used are, ‘to smell (the face of)’ (Ekari, Kekchi), an intensive form of ‘to suck’ (West Nyanja, habit and term a novelty amongst the young and more or less westernized people, the traditional term for greeting a friend after a long absence being, ‘to clap in the hands and laugh happily’), ‘to hug’ (Shona 1966), ‘to caress’ (Balinese); Medumba uses ‘suck the cheek,’ a novelty again, the traditional term being ‘to embrace’—which might have been considered here also, as rendering of the two verbs. A generic rendering may be, ‘to greet/welcome affectionately,’ which, again, may have to serve for the two verbs.
Quoted with permission from Reiling, J. and Swellengrebel, J.L. A Handbook on the Gospel of Luke. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1971. For this and other handbooks for translators see here . Make sure to also consult the Handbook on the Gospel of Mark for parallel or similar verses.