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.
Following are a number of back-translations of Galatians 4:29:
- Uma: “At that time, Abraham’s child who was born like an ordinary child persecuted his younger brother who was born according to God’s promise. So also it happens at this time: people who want to force us to follow the Law of Musa persecute us who follow the will of the Holy Spirit.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “At that time also, the child born as is done in the world/on the earth, Isma’el, he caused difficulty to the child born because of the power of God’s Spirit. Likewise we (incl.) now are really caused difficulty by the ones who are enslaved to the law written by Musa.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And at that time long ago, as for that child of Abraham that was born only by means of the world-type way of having children, he caused difficulty for his younger brother who was born by means of the help of the Holy Spirit. And in the same way also, we (incl.) are given a hard time by those people who are enslaved by observing the Law.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “Back then also, the child whose birth was not amazing, he hardshipped Isaac who was born by-means-of the power of the Spirit of God. Likewise also now, because those who are enslaved by the law, they hardship us.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tagbanwa: “However just like in that former time when, that one who had been born by the supernatural-power of the Espiritu Santo, he was hardshipped by that one who had been born because of the plan of people, it’s just like that now. For those who have been adopted by God because of their belief in Cristo, they are being opposed by the ones who are still enslaved by their obedience to the laws of Moises.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “When it happened according to the word promised by God, the Holy Spirit caused Isaac to be born. But the son of Hagar was angry at him and persecuted Isaac. It is like that with us, those who say that they do what is written in the law persecute us.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)