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 (Matthew 17:10)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 17:10:

  • Uma: “His disciples asked, they said: ‘Why do the religion teachers say that the prophet Elia must first arrive, and only then will come the Redeemer King.'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “His disciples asked him, they said, ‘Why do the teachers who teach the religious law say that Eliyas shall come first and then the Almasi?'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah, the inspired one long ago, must appear first and then the one who will rule?'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then his disciples inquired, ‘If it is true what you (singular) say that it is necessary that you (singular) die and live again, then why do the teachers of the law teach that it is necessary that Elias come preceding the Messiah to arrange everything?'” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Jesus was questioned by those three disciples of his, saying, ‘Why do the explainers of law say that Elias who was that prophet of long ago must return first, to go ahead of the promised Cristo?'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Jesus’ learners asked him a word, they said: ‘What about the word which the teachers of the law say, that Elijah must come first before Christ comes?'” (Source: Tenango Otomi 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.