Jesus calming the sea in Shor throat singing

The following is a representation of the story of Jesus calming the sea in Shor with traditional throat singing. The singers are Lubov Arbachakova (with no instrument) and Irena Kiskurova:

A translation of the Russian subtitles into English:

0:11 Once Jesus was at the sea with his disciples.
0:24 A multitude of people gathered, and he began to teach them.
0:36 When evening came, He said to His disciples:
0:45 “Let’s move to the other side.”
0:48 The disciples asked the people to leave,
0:56 they were all in the boat together in Jesus and set out on the other side of the sea.
1:22 Suddenly there was a strong storm.
1:30 The waves beat the boat so that it was filled with water.
1:42 And Jesus at this time slept in the stern of the boat, laying his head on the steersman’s seat.
1:58 The disciples woke him up and said:
2:08 “Teacher! Do you really care that we are dying?”
2:11 Jesus stood up, calmed the wind, and said to the sea:
2:20 «Hush, shut up!»
2:23 The wind died down, and there was a complete calm on the sea.
2:35 And Jesus rebuked the disciples:
2:46 “Why are you so timid? Do you have absolutely no faith?”
2:52 They continued sailing, and the disciples spoke to each other with fear:
3:11 “Who is He, that even the wind and the sea listen to Him?”

Video provided by Bronwen Cleaver.

See also examples of Southern Altai throat singing.

complete verse (Luke 8:23)

Following are a number of back-translations of Luke 8:23:

  • Noongar: “As they went, Jesus lay down and slept. Now suddenly a gale blew across the lake. Water started to fill the boat and all of them were nearly drowning.” (Source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang)
  • Uma: “While they were-in-the-boat, Yesus slept. Suddenly a big wind came on the lake striking them. Their boat was-entered-by water, with the result that they almost sank.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “While they were going there Isa fell asleep. Suddenly a strong wind was blowing and their boat was almost filled with water, therefore they were in danger of sinking.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And while they were riding in the boat, Jesus went to sleep and the lake was struck by a very strong wind. And the water was coming into the boat, and they were about to submerge.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “While they were riding he fell-asleep. That being so, a swift wind suddenly-arrived and the waves repeatedly-splashed-into the boat and they were close to sinking. It was extremely frightening!” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When they were now sailing, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly/unexpectedly the wind blew strongly. What else but their boat was getting filled. They were almost sinking.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

Translation commentary on Luke 8:23


pleontōn de autōn ‘as they sailed (along).’ autōn refers to Jesus and his disciples. pleō.

aphupnōsen ‘he fell asleep.’ Subject is Jesus.

kai katebē lailaps anemou eis tēn limnēn ‘and a squall of wind came down upon the lake,’ as if descending from the surrounding mountains.

lailaps ‘whirlwind,’ ‘hurricane,’ here with anemou ‘a squall of wind.’

kai suneplērounto kai ekinduneuon lit. ‘and they were filling and were in danger.’ The subject of both verbs is Jesus and his disciples (as in pleontōn autōn), not the disciples only as in the first clause of v. 24. In suneplērounto (also 9.51 but in a different meaning) what happens to the ship is said to happen to the crew. The imperfect tense of both verbs serves to bring out the situation in which they find themselves due to the squall of wind.

kinduneuō ‘to be in danger.’


They sailed, or, ‘they boat-ed’ (e.g. in Toraja-Sa’dan, Batak Toba, just as in Greek), ‘they were driving’ (Marathi, same verb as used of carts, motor-cars, etc.); or still more generically, ‘they were going so’ (Sranan Tongo).

He fell asleep. Other idiomatic expressions are, “he dropped off to sleep” (Phillips), ‘his sleep stole Jesus’ (Toraja-Sa’dan), ‘his-eyes became-sleepy’ (Batak Toba).

A storm of wind, or, ‘a heavy storm,’ ‘a roaring wind,’ ‘a gale,’ a term referring to heavy wind with rain, etymologically related with the word for ‘west’ (Toraja-Sa’dan), ‘a very strong wind,’ lit. ‘a mother of winds’ (Tboli, which has also another and more forceful idiom: ‘a horse of winds’).

Came down, or, ‘began to blow/rage,’ ‘came’ (Sundanese), ‘came suddenly (lit. broke came)’ (Sranan Tongo), “struck” (New English Bible), ‘released itself’ (Marathi), as idiom may require; Tboli shifts to, ‘they ran into a very strong wind.’

They were filling with water, or, ‘water began to fill the boat’ (Marathi). Some idiomatic renderings are, ‘they made with water’ (Willibrord), ‘the(ir) boat was-entered-by water’ (Bahasa Indonesia), ‘the boat took water’ (Sranan Tongo). Ekari uses a specific word for water in a boat needing to be bailed.

And were in danger, or, ‘and were in distress’ (Nieuwe Vertaling), ‘so that they nearly perished’ (some Indonesian languages), ‘they were nearly sinking’ (Toraja-Sa’dan, similarly Sranan Tongo, lit. ‘they sought to sink’).

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.