complete verse (Mark 7:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 7:10:

  • Uma: “In the Law of Musa is written like this: ‘We must honor our father and mother.’ And ‘the one who curses his father or mother must be killed.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “For God spoke hep in the law which he gave to Musa for the people, he said, ‘Honor your mother-father.’ And, ‘Whoever speaks bad of/to his mother or father, he should be killed.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “The word of God which Moses commanded you long ago says, ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ He also commanded, ‘he who speaks evil to his father or mother must be killed.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because what God had-Moses -write, it says, ‘Honor your (singular) father and your (singular) mother,’ and ‘If someone speaks-evil-of his father or his mother, it-is-necessary that he die.'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For like it is said in this law of God which was written by Moises, ‘Honor your (s) father and your mother,’ and ‘Whoever will speak evil to his father or mother, or speak-evil-behind-their-backs, what’s fitting for him is to be killed.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing religious leaders

Like many languages (but unlike Greek or Hebrew or English), Tuvan uses a formal vs. informal 2nd person pronoun (a familiar vs. a respectful “you”). Unlike other languages that have this feature, however, the translators of the Tuvan Bible have attempted to be very consistent in using the different forms of address in every case a 2nd person pronoun has to be used in the translation of the biblical text.

As Voinov shows in Pronominal Theology in Translating the Gospels (in: The Bible Translator 2002, p. 210ff.), the choice to use either of the pronouns many times involved theological judgment. While the formal pronoun can signal personal distance or a social/power distance between the speaker and addressee, the informal pronoun can indicate familiarity or social/power equality between speaker and addressee.

Here, Jesus is addressing religious leaders with the formal pronoun, showing respect. Compare that with the typical address with the informal pronoun of the religious leaders.

The only two exceptions to this are Luke 7:40/43 and 10:26 where Jesus uses the informal pronoun as a response to the sycophantic use of the formal pronoun by the religious leaders (see formal pronoun: religious leaders addressing Jesus).

In most Dutch translations, the same distinctions are made, with the exception of Luke 10:26 where Jesus is using the formal pronoun.


The name that is transliterated as “Moses” in English is signed in Spanish Sign Language in accordance with the depiction of Moses in the famous statue by Michelangelo (see here). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“Moses” in Spanish Sign Language (source)

Another depiction in Spanish Sign Language (source: Carlos Moreno Sastre):

The horns that are visible in Michelangelo’s statue are based on a passage in the Latin Vulgate translation (and many Catholic Bible translations that were translated through the 1950ies with that version as the source text). Jerome, the translator, had worked from a Hebrew text without the niqquds, the diacritical marks that signify the vowels in Hebrew and had interpreted the term קרו (k-r-n) in Exodus 34:29 as קֶ֫רֶן — keren “horned,” rather than קָרַו — karan “radiance” (describing the radiance of Moses’ head as he descends from Mount Sinai).

Even at the time of his translation, Jerome likely was not the only one making that decision as this recent article alludes to.