swear, vow

The Greek that is translated as “swear (an oath)” or “vow” is translated as “God sees me, I tell the truth to you” (Tzeltal), “loading yourself down” (Huichol), “to speak-stay” (implying permanence of the utterance) (Sayula Popoluca), “to say what he could not take away” (San Blas Kuna), “because of the tight (i.e. “binding”) word which he had said to her face” (Guerrero Amuzgo) or “strong promise” (North Alaskan Inupiatun). (Source for all above: Bratcher / Nida)

In Bauzi “swear” can be translated in various ways. In Hebrews 6:13, for instance, it is translated with “bones break apart and decisively speak.” (“No bones are literally broken but by saying ‘break bones’ it is like people swear by someone else in this case it is in relation to a rotting corpse’ bones falling apart. If you ‘break bones’ so to speak when you make an utterance, it is a true utterance.”) In other passages, such as in Matt. 6:72, it’s translated with an expression that implies taking ashes (“if a person wants everyone to know that he is telling the truth about a matter, he reaches down into the fireplace, scoops up some ashes and throws them while saying ‘I was not the one who did that.'”). So in Matt 26:72 the Bauzi text is: “. . . Peter took ashes and defended himself saying, ‘I don’t know that Nazareth person.'” (Source: David Briley)

Seer also swear (promise) and Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’, or ‘No, No’.

complete verse (Matthew 26:74)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 26:74:

  • Uma: “Petrus oathed again, cursing himself, he said: ‘I really don’t know him!’ At that time a chicken crowed.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But Petros cursed himself and swore and he said, ‘I really don’t know that person.’ Immediately the cock crowed.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then Peter swore the most complete oath, he said, ‘May God punish me if what I say is a lie, that I do not recognize that person.’ And immediately the chicken crowed,” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Whereupon Pedro swore-to-his-own-hurt saying, ‘May God punish-me if what I am saying is not true. I swear I absolutely don’t know that person,’ he said. Right then the rooster immediately-crowed.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “‘Expletive, no indeed! I swear that even if I die (Tagbanwa-style oath),’ said Pedro, ‘I really don’t know that fellow.’ Suddenly/unexpectedly there was a rooster which crowed.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Peter replied and again said: ‘May God punish me if it isn’t true in what I tell you. But this man you tell me about, I don’t know who he is.’ As he finished speaking, the rooster crowed.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)