The Greek that is translated as “scribe” in English “were more than mere writers of the law. They were the trained interpreters of the law and expounders of tradition.”

Here are a number of its (back-) translations:

complete verse (Mark 9:14)

Following are a number of back-translations of Mark 9:14:

  • Uma: “After that, Yesus and his three disciples, they came down from the top of the mountain and met with the other disciples. Arriving there, they saw many people surrounding his disciples, and several religion teachers were busy arguing [lit., reciprocally answering] with them.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “When they returned to his other disciples, they saw very many people surrounding them. And there were teachers of the religious law there arguing/discussing with them.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “When Jesus and company arrived to the rest of his disciples, they saw that those disciples were surrounded by many people, and the teachers of the law were arguing with them.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “When plural Jesus had come-downhill approaching where his other disciples were, they saw that they were surrounded by many people. There were also some teachers of the law arguing with them.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “When Jesus and company reached those disciples who had been left behind, there were many people there now. And there were explainers of law challenging/arguing with those disciples.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)


(To view the different translations of this term in a simplified graphical form on a new page, click or tap here.)

The Greek that is often translated as “disciple” in English typically follows three types of translation: (1) those which employ a verb ‘to learn’ or ‘to be taught’, (2) those which involve an additional factor of following, or accompaniment, often in the sense of apprenticeship, and (3) those which imply imitation of the teacher.

Following are some examples (click or tap for details):

In Luang several terms with different shades of meaning are being used.

  • For Mark 2:23 and 3:7: maka nwatutu-nwaye’a re — “those that are taught” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ before the resurrection, while Jesus was still on earth teaching them.”)
  • For Acts 9:1 and 9:10: makpesiay — “those who believe.” (“This is the term used for believers and occasionally for the church, but also for referring to the disciples when tracking participants with a view to keeping them clear for the Luang readers. Although Greek has different terms for ‘believers’, ‘brothers’, and ‘church’, only one Luang word can be used in a given episode to avoid confusion. Using three different terms would imply three different sets of participants.”)
  • For Acts 6:1: mak lernohora Yesus wniatutunu-wniaye’eni — “those who follow Jesus’ teaching.” (“This is the term used for ‘disciples’ after Jesus returned to heaven.”)

Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.