complete verse (Matthew 12:3)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 12:3:

  • Uma: “Yesus answered: ‘Have you not read what Daud and his friends did long ago because they were hungry?” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Isa said to them, ‘Have you not read as to what Sultan Da’ud did in old times when he and his companions were hungry?” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And Jesus answered, ‘It isn’t possible that you haven’t read in the writing long ago about what King David did. He and his soldiers were hungry.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Jesus answered saying, ‘You have certainly read what King David and his companions did when they became-hungry.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Jesus replied saying, ‘Haven’t you read what was done by king David, when he and his companions were hungry?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “When Jesus answered, he said: ‘One time David was hungry along with those who went with him. It seems like you have never read where it is written what he did.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The name that is transliterated as “David” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with the sign signifying a sling and king (referring to 1 Samuel 17:49 and 2 Samuel 5:4). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“David” in Spanish Sign Language (source)

The (Protestant) Chinese transliteration of “David” is 大卫 (衛) / Dàwèi which carries an additional meaning of “Great Protector.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip about David (source: Bible Lands 2012)

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.