complete verse (Matthew 1:17)

Following are a number of back-translations of Matthew 1:17:

  • Uma: “So, from Abraham to Daud, the number of the list/order of the ancestors of Yesus are 14 layers. From Daud until the captivity of the Yahudi people going to Babel, also 14 layers. And from the captivity of the Yahudi people going to Babel until the birth of Kristus, also 14 layers.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “So-then there are fourteen generations from Ibrahim to Sultan Da’ud, and fourteen generations from Sultan Da’ud up to the time when they were deported to Babilon and fourteen generations from their deportation to Babilon up to the birth of Almasi.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “There were fourteen levels of generations from the offspringing of Abraham until David. And from the offspringing of David to the transfer of the Israelites to Baylon, fourteen levels also. And from then until the birth of Jesus Christ, fourteen levels also.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “The genealogy of the generations of Jesu Cristo, it is fourteen (generations) beginning with Abraham until David. There are also fourteen generations beginning with David until the time that the Jews were forcibly taken to Babilonia. And there are also again fourteen generations beginning from their being-taken there until the birth of the one-who-is-called Cristo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “Therefore in all, there are fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There are also fourteen from David until the Israelita were captured by the taga Babilonia. And there were also fourteen from then when they were captured until the Cristo was born.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “Therefore fourteen fathers lived having sons, starting with Abraham until David. Then fourteen fathers lived starting with David until when the Jews were grabbed and taken to the land of Babylon. Starting from those days then there lived fourteen fathers until Christ was born.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

David

The name that is transliterated as “David” in English is translated in Spanish Sign Language with the sign signifying a sling and king (referring to 1 Samuel 17:49 and 2 Samuel 5:4). (Source: John Elwode in The Bible Translator 2008, p. 78ff.)


“David” in Spanish Sign Language (source)

The (Protestant) Chinese transliteration of “David” is 大卫 (衛) / Dàwèi which carries an additional meaning of “Great Protector.”

Click or tap here to see a short video clip about David (source: Bible Lands 2012)

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.)