I found a slightly unnatural use of 「〜て来た」 in the postscript of the Gospel in colloquial Japanese.


 聖書改訳文は元訳の文体に限り申候 口語体は威厳なく口調悪く記憶に不便に候 勅語もし口語体にて作られる時代来らばイザ知らず云々





塚本虎二訳 1993 『新約聖書 福音書』 岩波書店  (bold emphasis added)

I have never seen this expression but it can be literally understood as:

喜ん(連体形・撥音便) + で(接続助詞) + 来(補助動詞) + た(過去)

= 「口語訳が喜ばれるようになって来た」 People came to welcome Bible in colloquial terms.

Is my understanding correct? Are there any other possible interpretation?

  • It's quite possible that the same person who complained about the the "colloquial" translation 9 years ago praised the new colloquial translation published in year 28 (Showa?). In such case we tend to omit the subject in the sentence to avoid the repetition. Jan 27, 2016 at 16:18

1 Answer 1


I agree that it is an unusual expression, but I understood it to be exactly in the same form as the “言って来た” in “言って来た人があった位である”. That is, as an action taken toward the speaker. I find this interpretation especially likely because they both are used in conjunction with quotes from readers.

From スーパー大辞林:


⑰ …話し手の方へ向かって動作が行われ…

  • お客さんが(私に)電話をかけてきた
    A customer gave me a phone call.
  • お客さんが(私に)怒ってきた
    A customer got angry towards me.
  • おかしな服を着てたら友だちが笑ってきた
    A friend laughed at me when I was wearing a strange outfit.
  • 口語訳を非常に喜んできた
    People were very pleased (towards me) for the colloquial translation.

Most occurrences of 喜んできた I could find online were not used in this sense, but rather in the sense of “以前から常々喜んできた”. But since your specific sentence begins with “この時は”, I think this can be ruled out.

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