peace (being at peace)

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated into English as “peace” (or “at ease”) is (back-) translated with a variety of idioms and phrases:

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).

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Luke 1:79)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). (Click or tap here to see more details)

The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, translators typically select the inclusive form (including the people of Israel).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.

complete verse (Luke 1:79)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 1:79:

  • Nyongar: “when the sun is shining from the Country of God, on all people sitting in the dark shadow of death, and he will keep our feet on the path of peace.'” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “He came to shine in the hearts of the people who are in darkness and who are afraid, fearing death. He leads us in the way/path that goes towards goodness of life.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “This light shines for all who live in the darkness, for the people who are afraid to die, and he directs us (incl.) to the way towards peace.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “It is as if we are living in that which is very dark because we are very much afraid of punishment which is death without end. But when our Lord comes He will shine upon us with His favor and He will show us the way to live in peace,’ said Zechariah.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because when he comes, he will illuminate the people who are staying in darkness who are afraid to die and he will teach us the path-we -are-to-take so that our minds will be peaceful.’ Thus said Zekarias in prophesying.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Because he will enlighten those who are living in darkness, who are like subjects/under-the-rule of death for they have no hope. And he will teach us the path which goes to peace/shelter.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)