buying / selling

The Greek that is translated as “buying” and “selling” in English is both translated in Ulithian as “exchange.” Stephen Hre Kio (in The Bible Translator 1987, p. 246f. ) explains: “There are buyers and sellers in the Temple whom Jesus drove away. But Ulithians do not buy or sell; they only exchange. And so we have ‘exchange’ for both buying and selling.”

In righteous anger he attacked hypocrisy (image)

“Jesus is doing something extremely dangerous here. The Thai temple is a place in which it is considered by religious people inappropriate to show any anger or strong emotions. It has to be an extremely urgent reason for someone to do something as violent as this in such a sacred space.”

Drawing by Sawai Chinnawong who employs northern and central Thailand’s popular distinctive artistic style originally used to depict Buddhist moral principles and other religious themes; explanation by Paul DeNeui. From That Man Who Came to Save Us by Sawai Chinnawong and Paul H. DeNeui, William Carey Library, 2010.

For more images by Sawai Chinnawong in TIPs see here.

sell

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “sell” in English is translated in Noongar as wort-bangal or “away-barter.” Note that “buy” is translated as bangal-barranga or “get-barter.” (Source: Bardip Ruth-Ang 2020)

See also buy and buying / selling.

synagogue, temple (inner), temple (outer)

In many English translations the Greek terms “hieron” (the whole “temple” in Jerusalem or specifically the outer courts open to worshippers) and “naos” (the inner “shrine” or “sanctuary”) are translated with only one word: “temple” (see also for instance “Tempel” in German [for exception see below] and “tempel” in Dutch, Danish, or Afrikaans).

Other languages make a distinction: (Click or tap here to see more)

  • Navajo: “house in which worship is carried out” (for naos)
  • Balinese: “inner part of the Great Temple” (“the term ‘inner part’ denoting the hindmost and holiest of the two or three courts that temples on Bali usually possess”) vs. “Great Temple”
  • Telugu: “womb (i.e. interior)-of-the-abode” vs. “abode”
  • Thai: a term denoting the main audience hall of a Buddhist temple compound vs. “environs-of-the-main-audience-hall”
  • Kituba: “place of holiness of house-God Lord” vs. “house-God Lord”
  • Shipibo-Conibo: “deep in God’s house” vs. “God’s house” (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • German das Buch translation by Roland Werner (publ. 2009-2022): “inner court of the temple” (Tempelinnenhof) vs. “temple”

Languages that, like English, German, Dutch, Danish, or Afrikaans don’t make that distinction include:

  • Mandarin Chinese: “聖殿 Shèng diàn” (“holy palace”)
  • Loma: “the holy place”
  • Pular: “the sacred house” (source for this and the one above: Bratcher / Nida)
  • Zarma: “God’s compound”
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “big church of the Jews”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “big house on top (i.e. most important)”
  • Toraja-Sa’dan: “house that is looked upon as holy, that is sacred, that is taboo and where one may not set foot” (lit. “house where-the-belly-gets-swollen” — because taboo is violated — using a term that is also applied to a Muslim mosque) (source for this and the three above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Mairasi: Janav Enggwarjer Weso: “Great Above One’s (God’s) House” (source: Enggavoter 2004)
  • Noongar: Maya-maya-Kooranyi: “Sacred House” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Huehuetla Tepehua: “the big church of the Israelites”
  • Aguaruna: “the house for talking to God” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.)
  • Guhu-Samane: “festival longhouse of God” (“The biiri, ‘festival longhouse’, being the religious and social center of the community, is a possible term for ‘temple’. It is not the ‘poro house’ as such. That would be too closely identified with the cult of poro. The physical features of the building, huge and sub-divided, lend it further favor for this consideration. By qualifying it as ‘God’s biiri’ the term has become meaningful and appropriate in the context of the Scriptures.”) (Source: Ernest Richert in The Bible Translator, 1965, p. 81ff. )
  • Enga: “God’s restricted access house” (source: Adam Boyd on his blog)

Another distinction that tends to be overlooked in translations is that between hieron (“temple” in English) and sunagógé (“synagogue” in English). Euan Fry (in The Bible Translator 1987, p. 213ff. ) reports on this:

“Many older translations have simply used transliterations of ‘temple’ and ‘synagogue’ rather than trying to find equivalent terms or meaningful expressions in their own languages. This approach does keep the two terms separate; but it makes the readers depend on explanations given by pastors or teachers for their understanding of the text.

“Translators who have tried to find meaningful equivalents, for the two terms ‘temple’ and ‘synagogue’ have usually made a distinction between them in one of two ways (which focus on the contrasting components of meaning). One way takes the size and importance of the Temple to make a contrast, so that expressions such as ‘sacred meeting/ worship house of the Jews’ and ‘big sacred meeting/worship house of the Jews’ are used. The other way focuses on the different nature of the religious activity at each of the places, so that expressions such as ‘meeting/worship house of the Jews’ and ‘sacrifice/ceremony place of the Jews’ are used.

“It is not my purpose in this article to discuss how to arrive at the most precise equivalent to cover all the components of meaning of ‘temple’. That is something that each translator really has to work through for himself in the light of the present usage and possibilities in his own language. My chief concern here is that the basic term or terms chosen for ‘temple’ should give the reader of a translation a clear and correct picture of the location referred to in each passage. And I am afraid that in many cases where an equivalent like ‘house of God’ or ‘worship house’ has been chosen, the readers have quite the wrong picture of what going to the Temple or being in the Temple means. (This may be the case for the word ‘temple’ in English too, for many readers.)”

Here are some examples:

  • Bambara: “house of God” (or: “big house of worship”) vs. “worship house” (or: “small houses of worship”)
  • Toraja-Sa’dan: “house where-the-belly-gets-swollen” (see above) vs. “meeting house for discussing matters concerning religious customs” (and “church” is “house where one meets on Sunday”)
  • Navajo: “house in which worship is carried out” vs. “house of gathering” (source for all above: Bratcher / Nida)
Click or tap here to see a short video clip about Herod’s temple (source: Bible Lands 2012)

Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing synagogues in New Testament times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

See also this devotion on YouVersion .

complete verse (Luke 19:45)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 19:45:

  • Noongar: “Then Jesus went into the Temple and started driving out people exchanging money,” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “After that, Yesus entered into the yard of the House of God and he expelled the people who were selling there.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Then when Isa entered the town Awrusalam he entered the temple and he chased out the people who were trading there,” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And when Jesus arrived there in the town of Jerusalem, he continued on to the big church called the house of God, and he went inside there, and he drove out the people who were selling things there.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he went to the Temple and began to drive-out the sellers” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he entered the Templo. He drove out the traders and ones buying there in its like-a-yard.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

buy

The Hebrew and Greek that is translated as “buy,” “acquire,” or “purchase” in English is translated in Noongar as bangal-barranga or “get-barter.” Note that “sell” is translated as wort-bangal or “away-barter.” (Source: Bardip Ruth-Ang 2020)

See also sell and buying / selling.

Translation commentary on Luke 19:45

Exegesis:

eis to hieron ‘into the temple,’ cf. on 2.27.

ērxato ekballein tous pōlountas ‘he began to drive out those who were selling.’ For ērxato with infinitive cf. on v. 37.

Translation:

The event is to be located in the outer court of the temple, called the Court of the Gentiles.

Those who sold may require an object and/or a locative qualification, e.g. “those who were selling things there” (An American Translation), ‘those who were trading there/in-it’ (cf. The Four Gospels – a New Translation, Sranan Tongo, several Indonesian languages); elsewhere the phrase is rendered by a noun ‘the merchants’ (e.g. in Batak Toba).

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.