The Greek that is translated as “resurrection” in English is translated in Chicahuaxtla Triqui and Pohnpeian as “live-up” (i.e. return to life) (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel) and in Iloko as panagungar: a term that stems “from the word ‘agungar,’ an agricultural term used to describe the coming back to life of a plant which was wilting but which has been watered by the farmer, or of a bulb which was apparently dead but grows again” (source: G. Henry Waterman in The Bible Translator 1960, p. 24ff.)
Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 2:31:
- Uma: “Daud was a prophet, and he knew from-the-start what God would do in the future. God made a promise to Daud with vowing, he said: one from the descendants of Daud later would be raised by God and be made king, like Daud himself. So, that is why Daud foretold ahead-of-time that the Redeemer King would live again, he said: he was not abandoned in the dwelling-place of the dead, and his body is not abandoned in the grave until rotten.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “Da’ud knew beforehand as to what would happen in the future, that’s why he spoke about Almasi’s living again from his death. He said that Almasi was not left in the place of the dead and his body did not rot.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And since David knew what God was going to do, he prophesied the resurrection of Christ, the king whom God chose, because David said, ‘God didn’t never mind him there in the place of the dead, and also his body did not rot.’ ‘” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “He also knew that God would make-that descendant of his -come-alive again, and what he prophesied that he would not be left in the place of the dead and neither would his body rot, he was speaking-of the Messiah that God would send.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “David foretold what was put in his mind concerning the coming alive again of Cristo, who really wouldn’t be left there in the wherever of the dead, and his body wouldn’t be left to rot in the grave.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
The name that is transliterated as “David” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with the sign signifying a sling and king (referring to 1 Samuel 17:49 and 2 Samuel 5:4). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)
“David” in Spanish Sign Language (source)
The (Protestant) Chinese transliteration of “David” is 大卫 (衛) / Dàwèi which carries an additional meaning of “Great Protector.”
Click or tap here to see a short video clip about David (source: Bible Lands 2012)
The Greek Christos (Χρηστός) is typically transliterated when it appears together with Iésous (Ἰησοῦς) (Jesus). In English the transliteration is the Anglicized “Christ,” whereas in many other languages it is based on the Greek or Latin as “Kristus,” “Cristo,” or similar.
When used as a descriptive term in the New Testament — as it’s typically done in the gospels (with the possible exceptions of for instance John 1:17 and 17:3) — Christos is seen as the Greek translation of the Hebrew mashiaḥ (המשיח) (“anointed”). Accordingly, a transliteration of mashiaḥ is used, either as “Messiah” or based on the Greek or Latin as a form of “Messias.”
This transliteration is also used in the two instances where the Greek term Μεσσίας (Messias) is used in John 1:41 and 4:25.
In some languages and some translations, the term “Messiah” is supplemented with an explanation. Such as in the German Gute Nachricht with “the Messiah, the promised savior” (Wir haben den Messias gefunden, den versprochenen Retter) or in Muna with “Messiah, the Saving King” (Mesias, Omputo Fosalamatino) (source: René van den Berg).
In predominantly Muslim areas or for Bible translations for a Muslim target group, Christos is usually transliterated from the Arabic al-Masih (ٱلْمَسِيحِ) — “Messiah.” In most cases, this practice corresponds with languages that also use a form of the Arabic Isa (عيسى) for Jesus (see Jesus). There are some exceptions, though, including modern translations in Arabic which use Yasua (يَسُوعَ) (coming from the Aramaic Yēšūa’) alongside a transliteration of al-Masih, Hausa which uses Yesu but Almahisu, and some Fula languages (Adamawa Fulfulde, Nigerian Fulfulde, and Central-Eastern Niger Fulfulde) which also use a form of Iésous (Yeesu) but Almasiihu (or Almasiifu) for Christos.
Other solutions that are used by a number of languages include these:
- Dobel: “the important one that God had appointed to come” (source: Jock Hughes)
- Mairasi: “King of not dying for life all mashed out infinitely” (for “mashed out,” see salvation; source: Lloyd Peckham)
- Bacama: Ma Pwa a Ngɨltən: “the one God has chosen” (source: David Frank in this blog post)
- Binumarien: Anutuna: originally a term that was used for a man that was blessed by elders for a task by the laying on of hands (source: Desmond Oatridges, Holzhausen 1991, p. 49f.)
- Uab Meto: Neno Anan: “Son of heaven” P. Middelkoop explains: “The idea of heavenly power bestowed on a Timorese king is rendered in the title Neno Anan. It is based on the historical fact that chiefs in general came from overseas and they who come thence are believed to have come down from heaven, from the land beyond the sea, that means the sphere of God and the ghosts of the dead. The symbolical act of anointing has been made subservient to the revelation of an eternal truth and when the term Neno Anan is used as a translation thereof, it also is made subservient to a new revelation of God in Jesus Christ. The very fact that Jesus came from heaven makes this translation hit the mark.” (source. P. Middelkoop in The Bible Translator 1953, p. 183ff.)