An important task of a Bible translator is to accurately translate similar terms. And when the receptor language lacks its own terminology for important theological concepts, it’s all the more important for the translator to understand what those Greek or Hebrew terms mean in order to render the ideas precisely.
“Grace” and “mercy” are two of these which are so similar that, in some languages, it’s hard to find ways to distinguish them. We’ve all heard the helpful definitions of “getting what (good) you don’t deserve” and “not getting what (bad) you do deserve. Here’s another thought or two:
Maybe there’s an aspect of “grace” that focuses more on the giver—his kindness, compassion, riches and generosity.
And maybe there’s an aspect of “mercy” that focuses more on the recipient—his need, his guilt, his helplessness.
In Christ, we have both!