complete verse (Philippians 3:5)

Following are a number of back-translations of Philippians 3:5:

  • Uma: “I was circumcised at the age of eight days according to the Law of Musa. I am a real Yahudi person, a descendant of the Israel people, from the family of Benyamin. Before I believed in the Lord Yesus, I followed the Law of Musa according to the teaching of the Parisi people.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “Because I, when I was only eight days on the floor (idiom for having been born) I was already circumcised according to the Yahudi custom. My parents were descendants of Benjamin one of the children of our (excl.) forefather Isra’il. I am really a pure Yahudi. Concerning the law written by Musa, I really followed/obeyed it because I am a Pariseo, the ones who defend/take-the-side-of the law.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For eight days after I was born I was circumcised; my parents, they were descendants of Benjamin, who was the son of our ancestor Israel. I was a Jew through and through. I thoroughly observed the Law left behind by Moses, for I was a Pharisee.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “Because listen to this: I was circumcised on my eighth day, for I was born a Judio, a descendant of Benjamin who was a child of Israel. I am also a pure Hebreo, because my parents are Hebreo, and my language and customs are also Hebreo. As regards also the law that God gave to Moses, I have-been-thorough in obeying it, because I am a Fariseo.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tagbanwa: “For when I was born, when it was the eighth day I was circumcized. And I really am a pureblood Hebreo, a true descendant of Israel, of the clan of the descendants of Benjamin. Well in talking of obeying the laws of Moises, I am very much a Pariseo.” (Source: Tagbanwa Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “On the eighth day after I was born, I was marked with the circumcision. Because I am a Jew. My ancestor was Benjamin. I was a Jew by birth, and my language is that of Hebrew. That which I explained about the law which the Jews follow is the belief which the Pharisees have.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)

circumcise, circumcision

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The Hebrew and Greek terms that are translated as “circumcise” or “circumcision” in English (originally meaning of English term: “to cut around”) are (back-) translated in various ways:

  • Chimborazo Highland Quichua: “to cut the flesh”
  • San Miguel El Grande Mixtec, Navajo: “to cut around”
  • Javanese: “to clip-away”
  • Uab Meto: “to pinch and cut” (usually shortened to “to cut”)
  • North Alaskan Inupiatun, Western Highland Purepecha: “to put the mark”
  • Tetelcingo Nahuatl: “to put the mark in the body showing that they belong to God” (or: “that they have a covenant with God”)
  • Indonesian: disunat — “undergo sunat” (sunat is derived from Arabic “sunnah (سنة)” — “(religious) way (of life)”)
  • Ekari: “to cut the end of the member for which one fears shame” (in Gen. 17:10) (but typically: “the cutting custom”) (source for this and above: Reiling / Swellengrebel)
  • Hiri Motu: “cut the skin” (source: Deibler / Taylor 1977, p. 1079)
  • Garifuna: “cut off part of that which covers where one urinates”
  • Bribri: “cut the soft” (source for this and the one above: Ronald Ross)
  • Amele: deweg cagu qoc — “cut the body” (source: John Roberts)
  • Eastern Highland Otomi: “cut the flesh of the sons like Moses taught” (source: Ronald D. Olson in Notes on Translation January, 1968, p. 15ff.)
  • Newari: “put the sign in one’s bodies” (Source: Newari Back Translation)
  • Central Mazahua: “sign in his flesh”
  • Hopi: “being cut in a circle in his body” (source for this and above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)


The Greek that is translated in English as “Law” or “law” is translated in Mairasi as oro nasinggiei or “prohibited things.” (Source: Enggavoter 2004)

In Yucateco the phrase that is used for “law” is “ordered-word” (for “commandment,” it is “spoken-word”) (source: Nida 1947, p. 198) and in Central Tarahumara it is “writing-command.” (wsource: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)