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I'm trying to translate "Jesus's saving grace". Translating directly from English, the phrase that comes to mind is:

イエス様の救っている恵み

But I get the feeling that maybe it's more natural and articulate to put the verb first and the noun modifier second:

救っているイエス様の恵み

In English, this sort of ordering would amount to "saving Jesus's grace", which is not what's intended, but maybe it's more natural and people would understand what it really means.

So I almost asked this question to see which of those two would be more natural, but now I'm also starting to think that maybe instead of using 救っている, I should use 救う. Is this so? What's the most natural, articulate way to say this? Thanks!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

As a Christian who worked at a Japanese church, I can say that イエス様の救う恵み and 救うイエス様の恵み are both fine, although the latter is somewhat ambiguous in parsing, i.e., it could be parsed as either

  • 救う(イエス様の恵み) → Jesus' grace that saves.
    OR
  • (救うイエス様)の恵み → The grace of Jesus, who saves.

To disambiguate it, you could add in a その

  • 救うそのイエス様の恵み

Either way, the phrase beginning with 救う sounds more refined/formal to my ear. And of course, if you're saying this in a more familiar setting (like to other Christians), you can leave off 様 completely.

And not to dump on @Tim's answer, but I have never heard any Japanese Christian use 神の加護. Sounds way too dictionary and impersonal.

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If this is what the priest will say in church giving a sermon then I expect this is the answer the OP is looking for but what do they use in the Bible, if that book contains the expression? (I suspect 加護 is more formal/written and was carefully chosen by a translator rather than a Japanese preacher talking to his flock.) –  Tim Aug 8 at 13:07
    
@Tim: I only find it in the Bible a handful of times (you can search it here), but in these passages it only means "protection", not "grace" or "saving". Although if you're not a Christian, the distinction between these words is probably not so clear-cut. –  istrasci Aug 8 at 16:36
    
I had a Christian upbringing but it is only occasions like this I think about the varied meanings of words like grace, redeem, charity etc. –  Tim Aug 9 at 4:08

After some research about this topic, I've found that "(神の)救いの恵み" is very frequently used by Japanese Christians. So this seems to be the exact phrase you need.

And looks like "saving grace" is used by some theologians as a strictly defined technical term, as an antonym of "common grace." (English WP and Japanese WP). In that case, "救いの恩寵" or "救済的恩寵" is the corresponding term of "saving grace". But I don't know whether this term is widely recognized by ordinary Japanese Christians.

And as for the difference between 恵み and 恩寵【おんちょう】, Japanese Wikipedia says that the choice of words depends on the communions.

「神の恵み」は日本聖書協会の口語訳聖書・新共同訳聖書、他にも新改訳聖書などで一般的な表記であるが、正教会では恩寵(おんちょう)が一般的表記である。カトリック教会では、かつては聖寵(せいちょう)と訳され、例えば伝統的な祈祷文「アヴェ・マリア」の文語訳(天使祝詞)では「めでたし聖寵・・・」と唱えられていた。いまは「恩寵」と表記される例も稀にあるが、カトリック教会のカテキズムや公式文書等では「恵み」「神の恵み」「恩恵」と表記されている。また、プロテスタントにも「恩寵」の語彙を用いるものがある。

And you may also have to change the word choice depending on the intended audience. I can say 恵み is recognized by almost all native speakers (not to say the precise definition is understood). I, as a non-Christian, feel 恩寵 is very difficult.

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For an expression like this (a kind of 専門用語)there is likely to be a commonly used phrase you won't be able to come up with from scratch, and the majority of people have to look it up.

I found this on the internet:

saving grace of God | 神の加護

I expect you could use it for Jesus too.

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But in majority of people for theology 専門語, you should include most Japanese people, so this might be dictionary-accurate but is it meaningful to regular people or obscure? –  virmaior Aug 8 at 4:05
1  
I don't understand your comment but "saving grace" is an expression associated with the bible/God/Jesus which has become a colloquialism in secular society for a "redeeming quality" while the individual words, saving and grace have taken on new meanings: Such an expression is not easily translated and, just like in any field, I find it most effective to keep to the accepted expressions to avoid confusion. –  Tim Aug 8 at 5:17
3  
「神様/仏様の(御)加護」はネイティブなら誰でも知っている、比較的平易な日本語だと思います。多分「恩寵【おんちょう】」の方が正確かつ専門用語的だと思いますが、この辺りになると知らない人もいそうです。 –  naruto Aug 8 at 5:34
1  
Well, 「加護」 is very widely used and will work fine in most cases, but strictly speaking, it may be more like protection rather than grace. –  naruto Aug 8 at 5:56
1  
@Tim I think that one's actually pretty opposite of this. Having looked around a bit, I don't think Christians use 加護 as a translation for grace. In that case, お使い is a very literal translation of the Greek word angelos which means "messenger." It's rather that the English transliterated word angel has added specific ideas not present in the Biblical text. –  virmaior Aug 9 at 3:01

You're a little mixed up about the English grammar and its equivalence in Japanese; "saving" is not present progressive, but a participle adjective.

イエス様の救い would be enough I think, though you could make it "fancier" if you like.

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