complete verse (Romans 5:14)

Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 5:14:

  • Uma: “But even so, from the time of Adam up to the time of the prophet Musa death had-power-over all men. Even though they did not break a command of God like the command Adam broke, they nonetheless died just like Adam. Adam can be compared to one person who came after Adam, that is Yesus.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
  • Yakan: “But because sin brings/entails death, therefore from-the-time-of from Apu’ Adam until Musa all people died even-though they did not sin (in the same way) as Apu’ Adam sinned when he transgressed/broke the command of God. There is like a similarity of what Apu’ Adam did and what Almasi, the one commanded/sent by God to come to the earth did. They were similar because their deed had a result/final-outcome for mankind/human-beings.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
  • Western Bukidnon Manobo: “But in spite of that, starting from the time of Adam until the time when the Law was given to Moses, we can tell that there was evil behavior because everybody died just the same. What they did which was evil was not like that which Adam did, because Adam broke the command of God. But as for them, there was no command for them to break. And as for Adam, he became the shadow of the person who would come who was Christ.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
  • Kankanaey: “But even though they didn’t break one of God’s laws like the sin of Adan, we know that they had sin nevertheless, because beginning with the time of Adan until the time of Moses, all people were dying. Adan, he has a similarity to Cristo who came-after him, because what they both did has an outcome for all people.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
  • Tenango Otomi: “It is apparent that people committed sin because all died. At the beginning, Adam committed sin, afterwards all the rest of the people committed sin even though they did not sin the same as Adam did. That what Adam did ended up by spoiling all people. But afterwards, there lived Christ who did good for all people.” (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.