Daily Japanese Bible Word (July)


兄弟姉妹 神様 威光/尊厳 聖所  栄光 永久/ 永遠
 預言 休憩 しもべ  休憩 キリスト教 エルサレム  贖いのふた
 生贄 神の召命

The Word
 brothers/sisters God iniquity majesty sanctuary  glory forever
 prophecy  break servant break  Christianity  Jerusalem Mercy Seat
sacrifice  God’s calling

July 17th, 2017

God’s Calling


《〈ラテン〉vocatio religiosa》キリスト教で、神の恵みによって神に呼び出されること。伝道者としての使命を与えられること。(デジタル大辞泉)= Translation: In Christianity, this means being called by the grace of God.  As an evangelist, receiving a task from God

This is specifically related to Christianity as can be seen from the above dictionary definition.


神の使命(かみのしめい)is  different in that it is not necessarily related to Christianity.

First definition of 使命(しめい)=使者として受けた命令。使者としての務め。(デジタル大辞泉)= Translation: orders received as an envoy. to work as an envoy.

Second definition of 使命 = 与えられた重大な任務 (大辞林 第三版) = given a very important appointment/task

使命を感じる=feel a calling, sense a mission (英辞郎 on the WEB)


天職(てんしょく)=天から授かった職業。また、その人の天性に最も合った職業。「医を天職と心得て励む」(デジタル大辞泉)This one is talking about your dream job… Not really your “calling in life.”


神のお召し(かみのおめし)= This one is talking more about God “summoning you” to do something or go somewhere. In the sense that, “God called for you to come.”

July 16th, 2017

Sacrifice (something as an offering)

生贄 (いけにえ)

神や霊への供え物として、生きている人や獣を捧ささげること。また、そのもの。(大辞林 第三版)= Giving an offering to a god or spirit of a living person or animal. Also, means the person or animal being offered.

The Oxford Dictionary rightly includes the Christian definition:

Christian Church–>Christ’s offering of himself in the Crucifixion.

As a pagan Nation, Japan has a long history of human sacrifice. When I googled this I got Hitobashira (人柱)–the practice of burying people alive under buildings to appease the gods. God have mercy on those people… Before Japan was united and modernized under the Meiji system of government, such practices still were going on in the countryside along with polygamy. This link on page 765 gives a horrifying account of the practice as late as 1895. (Not that long ago!!!)  You don’t want to be in Japan when they start this practice again!

We, of course, know the practice of sacrifice from the Bible and relate it to atonement (あがない)  for sins. Don’t make the mistake I always do and pronounce this “ikinie” to which my husband promptly responded, “That’s not a word.” The ikenie pronunciation can be harder than you think.

July 15th, 2017

Mercy Seat




This goes along with my post for the Bible verse of the day. (Leviticus 16:2) Although the English says “mercy,” it is technically “atonement” as can be seen from the Hebrew:

Kapporeth = place of atonement

Kippur = atonement (As in Yom Kippur)

The Hebrew root word for atonement is k-p-r and that’s why you get slightly different spellings. Always remember Hebrew doesn’t include the vowels in the written form.

I don’t know why The Japanese Living Bible decided to go along with the “Grace Seat,” but that definitely does not work here.

I like that the New Japanese Bible decides to use “lid” because that makes it easier to understand that the object is technically the lid of the ark of the covenant.

July 14th, 2017



The Japanese dictionary gets political on this one and just flat out calls this the ancient capital of Palestine (パレスチナ地方の古都/ぱれすちなちほうのこと: デジタル大辞泉). I can’t think of any other area in the world so hotly debated.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)


This should be 「おまえを愛する人々が栄える」They shall prosper! Not may they prosper.

July 13th, 2017



In Japanese this can be difficult to say. It gets even harder when you try to say I’m a Christian, because the ki changes to ku! (私はクリスチャンです=I’m a Christian.) My husband used to laugh when I would say イエス・クリスト instead of イエス・キリスト when talking about Jesus.

It is interesting to note that this used to be known as 耶蘇 (やそ) 教 (Yasokyou) because one of the names debated for Jesus when they were first writing the whole Bible here was Yaso. Some older people might still use this term, so it’s good to keep in mind.

July 12, 2017


July 11th, 2017

Servant of God


The usual word for servant is meshitsukai (めしつかい), but in the Bible they use the word shimobe. I’m not for sure of all the nuances, so I’ll ask. The second one “tsukaeru” doesn’t technically mean “servant” per se, but more of “waiting on a superior.” It is often used, which is why I’m including it.

July 10th, 2017


July 9th, 2017




「 予言」に同じ。 〔同音語の「予言」は未来の出来事や未知の事柄をあらかじめ言うことであるが、それに対して「預言」は神の意志を人々に伝えることをいう〕(大辞林 第三版


The Daijisen Dictionary gets to the point that this word is related to Christianity. In Japanese, most “prophecy” actually winds up being “uranai” or fortune telling, so this is where we see yet again a big difference between what has influenced the Japanese language verses what has influenced English.

July 8th, 2017


永久(とこしえ)/ 永遠(えいえん)

The first one is also read eikyuu, but I think tokoshie sounds more poetic. The word eien is also used often and it looks like they are almost interchangeable. Take a look:


例:とこしえの命, 「この愛よ、とこしえに続け」


例: 永遠に残る名曲、永遠のスターデジタル大辞泉)

When I googled tokoshie no inochi, I got a lot of Jehovah Witness material, so I would stick with the the term the New Japanese Bible, The Interconfessional Version, and the Japanese Living Bible uses of 永遠の命(えいえんのいのち) for eternal life.

July 7th, 2017



God’s glory = 神の栄光

July 6th, 2017



specifically referring to God’s sanctuary in the Bible.

聖書で、聖櫃せいひつの置かれた幕屋、または神殿。 → 至聖所 (三省堂 大辞林

Other words:

安らぎの場所 peaceful sanctuary

家からの避難所 sanctuary from home

ワシの保護区域 sanctuary for eagles

聖域 sanctuary area (Buddhists use this often)

(Source: 英辞郎 on the WEB)

July 5th, 2017


威光(いこう)/ 尊厳(そんげん)

This one is especially difficult, because Japanese does not technically have 1 word that means majesty.

Take a look at these contrasting definitions:

Majesty: regal, lofty, or stately dignity; imposing character; grandeur, supreme greatness or authority; sovereignty: (Dictionary.com Unabridged)

威光 = 人をおそれさせ、従わせる力や勢い。威勢。(デジタル大辞泉= Power or Force to make people fear or obey you. Authority.

That’s why you kind of have to include songen too to get the full meaning:

尊厳 = とうとくおごそかなこと。気高く犯しがたいこと。= exalted and stately. Nobly dignified / grandeur

Majesty: regal, lofty, or stately dignity; imposing character; grandeursupreme greatness or authority; sovereignty: (Dictionary.com Unabridged)\

The word that I believe comes the closest to majesty is みいつ(御厳)which is used by the New Japanese Bible, but you might get a few odd stares using it in conversation. Japanese can be extremely frustrating because you cannot apply the principal of A = A. As is the case above, we see that A = B + C. This happens a lot, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t immediately find the word you’re looking for!

July 4th, 2017






Compare that to English

1. gross injustice or wickedness.
2. a violation of right or duty; wicked act; sin. (Dictionary.com Unabridged)
Japanese consistently associates the idea of “sin” with a criminal act. This is why so many Japanese do not believe they are “sinners” AKA “criminals.”

July 3rd, 2017



Here we find one of the fundamental flaws of Japanese Christianity that keeps many from understanding the true God. In Korean, God is referred to as “The One.” or “Hananim.” In Japanese, the same word that is used for God is used for ALL GODS. Japanese words also do not distinguish between singular and plural by nature, so when you hear the word “kamisama” you could be saying “God” or “gods” depending on the context. I think it would be great if Japanese people adopted the Korean attitude and called God something like “Ichisama,” so at least Japanese people would have in their minds that God is the ONLY GOD!

I have often thought it would be better for them to change this word, but unfortunately, people who do that kind of a thing are often cult leaders… I pray that God will be able to get the honor that is due him in the Japanese language and that he will no longer have to be lumped in with all the other gods.

July 2nd, 2017

Brothers and Sisters (in Christ)


This is used often to refer to fellow believers in Christ.

たろう兄弟 = Brother Taro

ゆき姉妹 = Sister Yuki

キリストにある兄弟姉妹 = Brothers and Sisters in Christ

July 1st, 2017

The Word


This is specifically a Bible Word as far as I can tell. I googled it twice, but couldn’t find anything referring to the emperor in this case. Usually the word is pronounced “okotoba” and is used to refer to the words that the person you are talking to is speaking.


The word kotoba can also mean “language” or “the way one speaks.”

「言葉っておもしろい。」= Languages are interesting.

「そういう言葉使いはだめだよ。」= Don’t talk like that. (Using those words)