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:
See also spirit / flesh.
Following are a number of back-translations of Romans 8:5:
- Uma: “Whoever follow the evil desires of their heart, that-that always is what they think about. People like that get death that separates them from God. But whoever follow the desire of the Holy Spirit, the desire of the Holy Spirit is what they think about, and they get good life and peace/unity/agreement with God.” (Source: Uma Back Translation)
- Yakan: “The people ruled by their greedy-desires, what they are always thinking of is obeying/following the wishes of their greedy-desire. But the people ruled by the Holy Spirit, what they always think about is following/obeying the will/wish of the Holy Spirit.” (Source: Yakan Back Translation)
- Western Bukidnon Manobo: “For anyone whose evil desires are the thing that control him, the only thing he can think about is what is wanted by the evil desires of his body. But by contrast, anybody who the Holy Spirit is the one who controls him, the thing that is big in his breath is what the Holy Spirit wants.” (Source: Western Bukidnon Manobo Back Translation)
- Kankanaey: “The person who obeys his evil desires, those alone are what his mind is concentrated on, and the result is that he will be separated from God forever. But the one who obeys the Holy Spirit, his mind is concentrated on what the Holy Spirit desires, and the result is that his mind will become peaceful while at-the-same-time he enjoys life that has no end.” (Source: Kankanaey Back Translation)
- Tenango Otomi: “The person who by his own thoughts takes the road he walks (lives) is one who earnestly does according to the evil in which people live. But the person who is given the good thoughts on how to walk by the Holy Spirit, is one who earnestly does according to the will of God.” (Source: Tenango Otomi Back Translation)