The Greek that is translated into English as “crucify” is translated into Naro with xgàu which literally means “to stretch” as is done with a skin after slaughtering in order to dry it. The word is also widely accepted in the churches (source: Gerrit van Steenbergen). Similarly, Balinese and Toraja-Sa’dan also translate as “stretch him” (Source: Reiling / Swellengrebel) and in Rendille as lakakaaha — “stretched and nailed down” (source: Holzhausen / Riderer 2010, p. 33).

In Ghari it becomes “hammer to the cross” (source: David Clark), in Loma “fasten him to a spread-back-stick” (source: Bratcher / Nida), in Sundanese “hang him on a crossbeam” (source: Reiling / Swellengrebel), in Aguaruna “fasten him to the tree,” in Navajo “nail him to the cross,” in Yatzachi Zapotec “fasten him to the cross” (source for this and above: M. Larson / B. Moore in Notes on Translation February 1970, p. 1-125.), in Nyongar “kill on a tree” (source: Warda-Kwabba Luke-Ang), and in Apali the different aspects of the crucifixion have to be spelled out: “nail to a tree piece put cross-wise, lift up to stand upright (for the crucified person) to die (and in some contexts: to die and rise again)” (source: Martha Wade).

Click or tap here to see a short video clip showing how crucifixion was done in biblical times (source: Bible Lands 2012)

See also cross, hang on a tree, and this devotion on YouVersion .

complete verse (John 19:16)

Following are a number of back-translations of John 19:16:

  • Uma: “Finally Pilatus offered/gave Yesus to them to be crucified. From there, soldiers took Yesus off to be crucified.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then Pilatus handed Isa over to them so that they nailed him on the post to kill (him).” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “And then Pilate permitted that Jesus be nailed to the cross. And they brought Jesus” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “That being so, he handed-over Jesus to them to be nailed on the cross.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore Pilato then went along with the will of those Judio, in that he caused Jesus to be delivered to those who would nail him to a cross. The soldiers then took charge of Jesus.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “After this was said, Pilate delivered him to go and be put on the cross. The Jews took him.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)