transgression, trespass

The Greek that is often translated as “trespass” or “transgression” in English is translated as “missing the commandment” in Kipsigis and “to step beyond the law” in Navajo.

In Tepeuxila Cuicatec it is translated as “thing not reached.” Marjorie Davis (in The Bible Translator 1952, p. 34ff.) explains: “[This] implies that the goal was not reached, the task was not finished, or of finished, it was not satisfactorily done. According to the Cuicateco way of thinking of one does not what is expected of him, he offends [or: trespasses] and is an offence.”

inclusive vs. exclusive pronoun (Rom. 4:25)

Many languages distinguish between inclusive and exclusive first-person plural pronouns (“we”). The inclusive “we” specifically includes the addressee (“you and I and possibly others”), while the exclusive “we” specifically excludes the addressee (“he/she/they and I, but not you”). This grammatical distinction is called “clusivity.” While Semitic languages such as Hebrew or most Indo-European languages such as Greek or English do not make that distinction, translators of languages with that distinction have to make a choice every time they encounter “we” or a form thereof (in English: “we,” “our,” or “us”).

For this verse, translators typically select the inclusive form (including the writer of the letter and the readers).

Source: Velma Pickett and Florence Cowan in Notes on Translation January 1962, p. 1ff.

complete verse (Romans 4:25)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 4:25:

  • Uma: “Yesus is the one who gave himself to be killed to redeem our wrongs. And after that God brought him back to life so that we become straight in his sight.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “This Isa Almasi was killed because of our (incl.) sin and was caused to live again by God so that we (incl.) could be forgiven and considered straight by God.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Jesus is the one God sent in order to let himself be killed as punishment because of our (incl.) transgressions. And then God raised Him from the dead so that God might consider us righteous, just as if we had never done anything wrong.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “God handed-Jesus -over to die on account of our sins and he made-him -alive again so that we would be made-righteous.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Concerning Jesus, it was allowed that he died in order to pay for our sins. Afterwards he resurrected. And now it is this that clears us with God.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)