The Chinese Bible

Old Testament 旧约


Like many other words translated from English, Chinese religious words either make approximate transliterations of the constituent English word, or use Chinese characters that describe an attribute of the thing being described.

Jiàotú 教徒 disciple/follower of a religion

Jīlì Sīdū 基利斯督was an old term for "Christ, which tries to capture the Greek (ΧριστoV, Christos) or Latin (Christus) pronunciation. The shortened form,

Jīdū基督 (Pinyin is "Jidu") is used more commonly in both Catholic and Protestant circles.

The modern Chinese language typically divides Christians into two groups, believers of Protestantism jīdūjiàotú (基督教徒, a term that sometimes refers to Christianity, in general), and believers of Catholicism tiānzhǔ jiàotú (天主教徒).

Orthodox are referred to as 東正教徒"dongzheng jiaotu", but more correctly 正教徒"zhengjiaotu," because there is only one Chinese term for both Eastern and Oriental which is 東 "dong" and simply means the east. The latter term is more correct also because Eastern Orthodox churches are not in communion with and thus differ from the Oriental Orthodox churches.

Three Self Patriotic Movement
三自教会 [sānzì jiàohuì]

Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association
[Zhōngguó tiānzhǔjiào àiguóhu╙>

New Testament 新约

Divine Names

extracted from wikipedia

Shàngdì(上帝, literally, "Sovereign King Above") is one of the most prevalent terms for God in modern Chinese, used by non-Christians in conversations as well as Christians. The Catholic Church historically favored

Shàng zh成现 (shang zhu, Above Lord), similar to the translation decision made as capitalized "LORD", used by both Catholics and traditional Protestants like Anglicans and Lutherans, specially in the prayers in the Eucharist. However, the term 主 (zhu, Lord) is used by both Catholics and traditional Protestants in list formal prayers, and always by contemporary Protestants.

Tiānzhǔ (天主, literally, Lord of Heaven) over Shangdi, more commonly by Protestant Christians.

Shén 神 (Shen, a reference to a godly supreme being or a spirit or spirit generally) is used widely as well as Shangdi. The space used before the character "神" is intentional, in order to demonstrate reverence. The Protestant verson of the Chinese Bibles use

Líng 靈(Ling, which means "spirit") to refer to the Spirit. The Catholic Verson, in contrast, uses 神 ("sheng", or spirit). When it is referring to the Holy Spirit, a word

Shèng 聖(sheng, holy) is used before the word spirit to refer to the Holy Spirit. An evil spirit will have a modifier "evil" before the spirit. [圣灵- ShèngLíng]

In addition, the Hebrew word "YHWH" is translated into:

Yǎwēi 雅威 by Catholics (This translation is used only in the Catholic Church. It is only to capture the most sacred Hebrew pronunciation of the name of God, but 雅 means refined or graceful while 威 means might.) and "Jehovah" into

YēHéHuá 耶和華 by Chinese Protestants (Similarly, the term is used only in Chinese-speaking Protestant circle). Originally, 爺火華 (yéhuǒhuá) was used, which had a much more violent connotation than the modern translation. Some versions translate this term as

Yēsū 耶稣 — 基督徒们接受并相信此种观点,即耶稣是他们的救世主。 [(All Chinese) Christians accept and believe that Jesus Christ is their personal savior.]

Publishing the Bible in China

The number of Bibles produced in China might astound you - not to mention the fact that there are complete or partial translations in several of the major dialects. I recommend the article "List of Chinese Bible translations," which can be found here, for a fairly comprehensive listing.

Amity Press

The Amity Printing Compan [APC, 爱德印刷有限公司 -àidé yìnshuāYǒuxiàngōngs] in Nanjing is the largest producer of Bibles in China. The APC has so far published more than 50 million Bibles.

Most of the Bibles printed are the Chinese Union Version [和合本, héhé běn 1919], the Chinese Bible translation used by the Protestant churches.

GlobalDestiny Homepage

Homepage Take me there