complete verse (Galatians 3:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of Galatians 3:16:

  • Uma: “So also with God’s promises, relatives. God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. (Notice well these words earlier. It is not written like this: God made a promise "with Abraham’s descendants" who were many. What is written is like this: God made his promise with "Abraham’s descendant," like it was just one, for the one who is intended/aimed-at with these words, is Abraham’s one descendant, that is Kristus.)” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then God, he made covenants with/promises to Ibrahim and his descendant. The holy-book does not say, ‘to plural his descendant,’ which means that they are many. But the holy-book says to just one of his descendants and this is Almasi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And it’s the same way also because there is that which God has promised to Abraham and to the descendant of Abraham which would be born much later. He did not say that He had a promise to the descendants of Abraham because He was not talking about many; but rather He said to Abraham, ‘To your descendant.’ The reason He said this was it was only one person there among the descendants of Abraham that He was talking about, and that is Christ.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “So also with what God promised to Abraham and to his one descendant. One I say, because the word descendant(s) that God caused-to-be-written, it doesn’t refer to (lit. want to say) the many Jews who were Abraham’s descendants but rather his one descendant who is Cristo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Well now, that which God promised to Abraham in the past, that coming from him all people would be shown-grace/mercy, its fulfillment was through only one of Abraham’s descendants. For it did not mean that it would be fulfilled through many of his descendants, but rather just one was being-referred-to, Cristo only.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “God promised a word to Abraham and his descendant. But it doesn’t say in what is written ‘his descendants’ as though it spoke of many. Rather it speaks of one person only, that is, Christ.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

Christ, Messiah

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.)