complete verse (Hebrews 10:28)

Following are a number of back-translations of Hebrews 10:28:

  • Uma: “A person who did not pay attention to the Law of Musa long ago, if there were two or three people who bore-witness that he was indeed guilty, there was no forgiveness, he was punished by death.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “In old times whoever did not honor the law that God gave to Musa, if there were two or three who witnessed that he really did not honor that law, was not shown mercy but was killed.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “Any person long ago who did not respect the Law left behind by Moses, if three or two testified to this, he was not pitied but rather, he was killed.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Let us remember what happened to even anyone who totally turned-his-back-on the law of Moses back then. As-long-as there were three or two who testified to his sin, he was sentenced to die without being-pitied.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For is it not indeed so that, whoever regarded-as-unimportant even just the laws of Moises in the past, (he) really was not forgiven, (but) was killed, if two or three witnesses testify to what he did?” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Now concerning the law which Moses wrote, if anyone rejected that word written in the law, then with the testimony of two or three witnesses, he could not have any mercy, he must be killed.” (Source: Tenango Otomi 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.