The Hebrew word that is transliterated in Greek and typically in English as “rabbi” is translated in Indonesian and Malay as guru — “teacher” — or bapak guru — “father teacher” in recent translations. (The only exception that is the Alkitab Versi Borneo of 2015 that transliterates as rabi.) (Source: Daud Soesilo in The Bible Translator 1996, p. 335ff. )

See also teacher.

Judas (the disciple)

The term that is transliterated as “Judas” in English is translated in American Sign Language with the sign for the letter J and the sign signifying holding a bag of money, referring to John 12:6. (Source: RuthAnna Spooner, Ron Lawer)

“Judas” in American Sign Language, source: Deaf Harbor

In Spanish Sign Language it is translated with with the sign for “kiss,” referring to Matthew 26:49 et al. (Source: Steve Parkhurst)

“Judas” in Spanish Sign Language, source: Sociedad Bíblica de España

Learn more on Bible Odyssey: Judas .

complete verse (Matthew 26:25)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 26:25:

  • Uma: “From there, Yudas, who would sell him later, also said: ‘It’s not I that you (sing.) mean, is it, Lord?’ Yesus said: ‘It’s like you (sing.) say!'” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Then Judas said, the one soon to betray Isa, ‘Surely, it is not I, Sir, is it?’ Isa said, ‘You, hep.'” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then said Judas, the one who was going to betray him, ‘Teacher, am I the one who will betray you?’ And Jesus said, ‘Yes, you are the one.'” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Then Judas who would later betray him spoke and said, ‘Sir teacher, in-case-doubtfully it is I, right?’ ‘If that’s what you (sing.) say, correct,’ answered Jesus.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Judas also asked, that being the one who would lead those wanting to kill Jesus, ‘Master,’ he said, ‘am I the one you meant by that?’ Jesus replied, ‘Yes, what you said there is true.'” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Judas who would betray him said to him: ‘Listen, Lord, is it I of whom you speak?’ he said. Jesus said to him: ‘Yes, it is you, like you say.'” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

the last supper (image)

Click here to see the image in higher resolution.

Willy Wiedmann, the artist, commented on this picture: “In spite of some difficulty, and unlike Leonardo da Vinci [see here ] I did not set my last supper in a theatrical scene with Jesus in the center behind an elongated table with all the disciples, with two at each end so that that there are 11 seated behind the table. And not like the panel by Juan de Juanes (1623-79) [see here ] in which the six disciples left and right are very dynamic figures. And also not like Martin Schongauer’s Last Supper [see here ] with a slightly shorter table (also incidentally very similar to Juanes in the attitudes of the figures) and two figures seen from the back in the foreground of the panel. Instead I have given the Master the middle place to the foreground, with his back to us to finally leave the controversial Jesus-existential questions unanswered. Slightly symbolically it means that he is leaving his world. The iris color is meant to transfer the rainbow to Jesus, that God once linked to Noah (my kingdom is not of this world). I attempted to present answers that correspond to the characters of each individual.”

Image and text taken from the Wiedmann Bible. For more information about the images and ways to adopt them, see here .

For other images of Willy Wiedmann paintings in TIPs, see here.


Painting by Wang Suda 王肅達 (1910-1963),
Copyright by the Catholic University Peking, China.

Text under painting translated from Literary Chinese into English:

Beginning of the Holy Communion
You have this as food and this is my body.

Image taken from Chinese Christian Posters . For more information on the “Ars Sacra Pekinensis” school of art, see this article , for other artworks of that school in TIPs, see here.

the last supper (icon)

Following is a contemporary Ukrainian Orthodox icon of the last supper by Ulyana Tomkevych.


Orthodox Icons are not drawings or creations of imagination. They are in fact writings of things not of this world. Icons can represent our Lord Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Saints. They can also represent the Holy Trinity, Angels, the Heavenly hosts, and even events. Orthodox icons, unlike Western pictures, change the perspective and form of the image so that it is not naturalistic. This is done so that we can look beyond appearances of the world, and instead look to the spiritual truth of the holy person or event. (Source )

Honorary are / rare constructs denoting God (“say”)

Like a number of other East Asian languages, Japanese uses a complex system of honorifics, i.e. a system where a number of different levels of politeness are expressed in language via words, word forms or grammatical constructs. These can range from addressing someone or referring to someone with contempt (very informal) to expressing the highest level of reference (as used in addressing or referring to God) or any number of levels in-between.

One way Japanese show different degree of politeness is through the usage of an honorific construction where the morphemes rare (られ) or are (され) are affixed on the verb as shown here in the widely-used Japanese Shinkaiyaku (新改訳) Bible of 2017. This is particularly done with verbs that have God as the agent to show a deep sense of reverence. Here, iw-are-ru (言われる) or “say” is used.

(Source: S. E. Doi, see also S. E. Doi in Journal of Translation, 18/2022, p. 37ff. )

Translation commentary on Matthew 26:25

Judas was last mentioned in verse 14; here he is identified as the one who betrayed him, which may be translated “the one who had agreed to turn Jesus over to his enemies.”

Is it I, Master? is word-for-word the same question in Greek as that of the rest of the disciples (verse 22), except that Judas substitutes Master (Good News Translation “Teacher”) as a noun of address for “Lord.” Master (RSV footnote “Rabbi”) is discussed at 23.7. In many languages this noun of address must precede the question.

You have said so (Good News Translation “So you say”) translates an expression which, dependent upon the context, may be understood as either a denial or an affirmation. The majority of scholars apparently interpret Jesus’ reply to be in agreement with Judas’ question: “You have said so, and what you say is true.” Barclay has “You have said it yourself!” The Good News Translation question and response do not relate clearly to each other and do not make the best model.

Quoted with permission from Newman, Barclay M. and Stine, Philip C. A Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. (UBS Handbook Series). New York: UBS, 1988. For this and other handbooks for translators see here .