complete verse (Acts 7:22)

Following are a number of back-translations of Acts 7:22:

  • Uma: “So Musa was schooled in all the skill of the Mesir people, with the result that he was very powerful in his speech and actions.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Musa was taught all the learning of the tribe of Misil, and he was famous because of his speech and his deeds.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And she had Moses taught all of the customs of the Egyptians, and he became famous because of his wisdom in causing to understand and because of his work.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “He was taught with all the learning of the residents in Egipto, and what he said and did, it had weight.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore, when Moises grew up, he was taught all which had been studied by the wise-people/thinkers who were taga Egipto. He was praiseworthy in speech and deed.” (Source: Tagbanwa 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.