parable of the wise builder

The parable of the wise builder is translated in Yaosakor Asmat as “the wise builder is like the person who builds a house on stilts made of iron wood which last a long time, while the foolish builder is the one who builds a house on stilts made of white wood which will rot quickly.”

Daud Soesilio (in Noss 2007, p. 175) explains: “In Pirimapun, a swampy area on the southern coast of Indonesian Papua, the parable of the wise builder who builds on stone foundation and the foolish builder who builds on sand was rendered into the Asmat language as ‘the wise builder is like the person who builds a house on stilts made of iron wood which last a long time, while the foolish builder is the one who builds a house on stilts made of white wood which will rot quickly.’ This adaptation is necessary since one cannot find a single stone in this swampy area, and all houses are built on stilts. They use iron wood stilts for their more permanent houses, and they only use white wood stilts for the temporary houses that they use when they go hunting. White wood will not last. It is also interesting to point out that they use sand from the beach to make their walking paths firm.”

complete verse (Luke 6:48)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 6:48:

  • Uma: “A person built a house, he dug the ground he made deep and he planted a strong foundation-stone. Big rain and a flood came and struck that house, but it did not shake because its foundation-stone was strong.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “He is like a person building a house. He makes a deep hole until he reaches a rock. Then he erects the posts of his house on the rock. When the house is finished the river floods and the house is reached by the strong flood but his house does not move, for the place-for-standing it/it’s foundation is good.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “he is like a person who builds a strong house on top of a great stone. He dug the holes deeply in order to set the posts, and when that house was finished, a typhoon came and the water became deep, and that house was struck by strong-flowing water, but it did not fall because it was built strongly.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “He is like a person who built his house on a rock. He properly chipped-out-the-rock-for the foundation, then he erected his house. The water in the river then increased and it struck-against that house, but (expression of reassurance) it was not shaken, because its construction was firm/strong.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “He is like a person who built a house, putting its posts down really deep in ground which had rocks mixed in it. When bad weather came, when there was a big flood and his house was engulfed in it, nothing bad happened to it, for he had truly made it really sturdy.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)