The Greek that is often translated as “flesh” in English (when referring to the lower human nature) can, according to Nidq (1947, p. 153) “very rarely be literally translated into another language. ‘My meat’ or ‘my muscle’ does not make sense in most languages.” He then gives a catalog of almost 30 questions to determine a correct translation for that term.
Accordingly, the translations are very varied:
- Highland Totonac: “like other men”
- Chicahuaxtla Triqui: the path of sinful people
- Mezquital Otomi: “of earthly kind” or “old life”
- Huehuetla Tepehua: “old life”
- Tzeltal: “body”
- Sayula Popoluca: “body that does evil”
- Tabasco Chontal: “old mind” (Source for this and above: Waterhouse / Parrott in Notes on Translation October 1967, p. 1ff.)
- Nyanja: “character that is inclined to evil things” (source: Ernst Wendland in The Bible Translator 2002, p. 319ff.)
- Huautla Mazatec: “the self” (Nida 1947, p. 248)
See also spirit / flesh.