The Hebrew that is typically transliterated as “Hosanna” in English is translated in various ways:

  • Aguaruna: “Happily let him come”
  • Asháninka: “Here is this one who will save us, this one who comes”
  • Yanesha’: “Let him be saved”
  • Xicotepec De Juárez Totonac: “Worship God”
  • Chol: “Greetings”
  • Waffa: “The one who saves us”
  • Navajo: “Let him be praised!”
  • Yatzachi Zapotec: “God will help us now” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125)
  • Western Highland Chatino: “Thanks be to God that you have come here” (source: B. Moore / G. Turner in Notes on Translation 1967, p. 1ff.)

See also Hosanna (Psalm 118:25) and this devotion on YouVersion .


The Greek terms that are used for what is translated as “net” in English are translated in languages like Navajo where fishing with nets is not known as “instruments to catch (or: bring out) the fish.” (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel)

In Rundi the term urusenga is used. Rosemary Guillebaud (in The Bible Translator 1950, p. 15ff. ) tells this story:

“[People living close to lakes] produced further problems for us over fishing terms when we reached the revision of the Gospels. Fishing is practically unknown in the mountain streams and rivers, so there is hardly any vocabulary for it up-country. In Mat. 4:18 we read that Jesus saw two brethren “casting a net into the sea.” The word we used for net (urusenga) is used all over Rundi for a fishing net, whatever it is like, but when I read this to some people who live by the lake they said it was the wrong word, as from the context this happened during the daytime, and urusenga-fishing is only done at night. It appears that the urusenga is something like a shrimping net, and is used on moonless nights, when the fishermen hold flares over the side of the boat and attract a certain variety of very small fish which swim about in shoals. The net they use for day-time fishing is something like a drag-net and is called urukwabu. On enquiry inland, I never discovered a single person who knew this word. It was obviously the right one, technically speaking, but we felt that the few thousand lake-dwellers could not be weighed against almost the entire population of the country, so we had to employ the up-country word, putting an explanatory note in the margin that by the lake this net is called urukwabu.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing net-fishing in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

mend (nets)

The Greek that is translated in English typically as “mend (nets)” is translated in Wapan as “tie (nets).” (Source: Barnwell 2017, p. 63)

John the Evangelist (icon)

Following is a Bulgarian Orthodox icon of John the Evangelist from the 14th century (found in Rila Monastery, Bulgaria).

Orthodox Icons are not drawings or creations of imagination. They are in fact writings of things not of this world. Icons can represent our Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints. They can also represent the Holy Trinity, Angels, the Heavenly hosts, and even events. Orthodox icons, unlike Western pictures, change the perspective and form of the image so that it is not naturalistic. This is done so that we can look beyond appearances of the world, and instead look to the spiritual truth of the holy person or event. (Source )

See also John (the disciple).

relative age of James and John

Many languages have terms for siblings that define whether one is younger or older in relation to another sibling.

Dave Brunn reports this from the translation into Lamogai (see p. 141f. and 181f.):

“Some languages, including Lamogai, have two different words for brother. One means ‘older brother,’ and the other means ‘younger brother.’ In many cases, these languages do not have a generic word that includes both. Relating this to translation, which of the sons of Zebedee do you think was older, James or John? The Bible does not tell us, but there are some clues. The names James and John occur together about twenty times in the New Testament. In every occurrence, James is named first. Since there is not much else to go on, most translators who have faced this issue have considered this to be enough evidence to say James must be the older brother. Here is how we translated this pair of names in Matthew 17:1 in the Lamogai New Testament:

“‘Jems akap ino tikino Jon’ (‘James along-with his younger-brother John’)

“Technically, ‘tikino‘ means younger sibling of the same sex and ‘udikino‘ older sibling of the same sex. A man would refer to his older brother as ‘udikino‘ and his younger brother as ‘tikino.’ And a woman would use the same terms for her older and younger sisters. The term for opposite-sex sibling (either a man to his sister or a woman to her brother) is ‘luku.'” (Source for this paragraph: private communication from Dave Brunn)

In the translation into Oaxaca Chontal, the same principle is applied. (Source: Bratcher / Nida 1961)

The Chilcotin translators have tried to circumvent specifying which of the two is older, even though the language also uses age-specific terms for siblings. In Mark 1:19 and Mark 3:17 it says Zebedee beyiqi… (“Zebedee’s sons…”) and therefore avoids stating their respective age. Likewise in Mark 5:37 it says Peter hink´an ˀelhcheliqi James belh John (“Peter and brothers James and John”) (source: Quindel King).

See also Peter (Simon) / Andrew (relative age).