desires of the flesh

The Greek that is often translated as “desires of the flesh” in English is translated in Ixcatlán Mazatec as “human desires” (source: Robert Bascom), in Mezquital Otomi as “the desires of our old life,” in Tzeltal as “doing what your bodies want,” and in Huehuetla Tepehua as “doing the things that your thoughts like (source: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.).

In Enlhet it is translated as “wantings of the innermost.” “Innermost” or valhoc is a term that is frequently used in Enlhet to describe a large variety of emotions or states of mind (for other examples see here). (Source: Jacob Loewen in The Bible Translator 1969, p. 24ff.)

See also flesh (human nature).

flesh (human nature)

The Greek that is often translated as “flesh” in English (when referring to the lower human nature) can, according to Nidq (1947, p. 153) “very rarely be literally translated into another language. ‘My meat’ or ‘my muscle’ does not make sense in most languages.” He then gives a catalog of almost 30 questions to determine a correct translation for that term.

Accordingly, the translations are very varied:

See also spirit / flesh and old self.

complete verse (2 Peter 2:18)

Following are a number of back-translations of 2 Peter 2:18:

  • Uma: “They are haughty [lit., their hearts are high] speaking of all their deeds, but their words have no contents. With their words they entice people who have just parted from their companions whose behavior is evil. They entice them with evil bodily desires, in order that they will return to that evil behavior of theirs that they just left.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “They are experts in speaking but there is no use to it. They lure those who have recently rejected/turned-their-back-on their companion-sinners so that they sin again. They teach that it is not bad if one always indulges the greedy-desires of ones body. Like that they lure.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Their words appear to be deep, but there is nothing good in what they say. There are some people who might have abandoned their former companions who do wrong, however those teachers tempt them by means of the evil desires of their bodies.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “There is also much that they say which sounds good, but it has no significance (lit. weight). They teach that it is not bad to follow what the body desires, and that is what they use-to-persuade the person who has-just-believed who has-just-abandoned his evil companions and behavior.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Presumption is big in everything they say. But well, there’s no gain/usefulness in what they tell. On the contrary, it’s just their luring/deceiving of those who have newly believed in the Lord, who havn’t yet really understood his will. Because they cause those new believers to fall (into sin, fig.) by returning to a life of wrong, which is keeping on indulging the disgusting desires of the body without any self-control at all.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Because they make proud the words they speak, but they are not worth anything. They lead people who have now parted from the evil they were living, giving permission to again do the evil that other people do.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)