complete verse (Matthew 23:24)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 23:24:

  • Uma: “You are like blind people who lead-by-the-hand others. You are like people who remove a gnat [lit., tiny mosquito] from your drink, yet a camel, which is very big, you go ahead and swallow.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “You strive to follow the commandments which are not so great but the great/important commandments you do not do. You are like blind people showing-the-way to your companions. You are like a person who strains the water so that he doesn’t drink the insect but he swallows a camel.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “You are like a blind person that leads another blind person. You wouldn’t dare do a little sin, but you dare to do a very big sin.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “You blind-ones who are going-ahead/leading-the-way! You are like a person who carefully/thoroughly strains a gnat from what he drinks while-simultaneously he swallows-at-a-gulp a camel!” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “You blind leaders-by-hand! You are like a person who strains what he drinks so that he won’t swallow an insect which has been forbidden by God. But as for the big kamelyo animal which has also been forbidden by God, he swallows it in one gulp. For you taboo small sins but don’t-mind big ones.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “All that you teach, you do not know the meaning of it. So you pay attention to the words that are of little importance, but concerning the words of most importance that you do, you don’t pay any attention to them.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

formal pronoun: Jesus addressing his disciples and common people

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 his disciples, individuals and/or crowds with the formal pronoun, showing respect.

In most Dutch translations, Jesus addresses his disciples and common people with the informal pronoun, whereas they address him with the formal form.