complete verse (2 Corinthians 3:15)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Corinthians 3:15:

  • Uma: “Until this time, when they read the letter(s) written by the prophet Musa, we can say their hearts are still covered-up with a veil.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Even up to now, each time when it is read to the people of Isra’il from the holy-book of the law of Musa, there is like a cover on their thoughts/minds and they do not understand.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And they still don’t understand today, for when the Jews read the Law left behind by Moses, they are not able to understand because their thinking is still covered up.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Yes, that is true, for even today, when what Moses wrote is read, it is as if there is a headcloth that covers-over their minds.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Yes indeed, really right up to the present, each time the writings which God caused Moises to write are being read, it’s like their minds/thinking are being veiled still.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Until the present day the minds of the Jews are closed when they study the words which Moses wrote.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)


The name that is transliterated as “Moses” in English is signed in Spanish Sign Language in accordance with the depiction of Moses in the famous statue by Michelangelo (see here). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)

“Moses” in Spanish Sign Language (source)

Another depiction in Spanish Sign Language (source: Carlos Moreno Sastre):

The horns that are visible in Michelangelo’s statue are based on a passage in the Latin Vulgate translation (and many Catholic Bible translations that were translated through the 1950ies with that version as the source text). Jerome, the translator, had worked from a Hebrew text without the niqquds, the diacritical marks that signify the vowels in Hebrew and had interpreted the term קרו (k-r-n) in Exodus 34:29 as קֶ֫רֶן — keren “horned,” rather than קָרַו — karan “radiance” (describing the radiance of Moses’ head as he descends from Mount Sinai).

Even at the time of his translation, Jerome likely was not the only one making that decision as this recent article alludes to.