Original Research - Special Collection: Africa Platform for NT Scholars

Translations and interpretations of baptizontes (Mt 28:19–20) in some Ghanaian mother tongue translations of the Bible

Jonathan E.T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 1 | a6859 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i1.6859 | © 2021 Jonathan E.T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 May 2021 | Published: 22 September 2021

About the author(s)

Jonathan E.T. Kuwornu-Adjaottor, Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Scholars have written on Jesus’ command to make disciples, but little work has been done on the translation of baptizontes. Using the mother-tongue biblical hermeneutics approach, this article analyses the translation of baptizontes in 12 Ghanaian mother tongue Bibles. The findings are that the various Ghanaian mother tongue translations of Matthew 28:19 render baptizontes variedly, to suit the indigenous Bible readers. Translators sometimes use religiocultural words and phrases that express a similar idea in their contexts to translate the word. Thus, Bible translation always involves interpretation. Translators sometimes coin their own words or consult mother tongue speakers for information in order to render words and phrases that are difficult to translate. This article has added an African (Ghanaian) interpretation of baptizontes in Matthew 28:19. This fits into the overall aim of the journal to promote African theology.

Contribution: This article makes a contribution to the Special Collection ‘Africa Platform for NT Scholars’ on the Ghanaian (African) interpretations of baptizontes in Matthew 28:19–20.


Bible; translation; interpretation; Ghana; Africa; Matthew 28:19–20


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Crossref Citations

1. Examining the Translation and the Interpretation of Ᾱμπɛλος (Ampelos) and κλῆμᾱ(Klema) as Bobe and Ban/Mman in John 15:1-5 of the Asante-Twi Bible
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Journal of Mother-Tongue Biblical Hermeneutics and Theology  first page: 88  year: 2021  
doi: 10.38159/motbit.2021361