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New Chinese Bible released: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 22, 2010 p 8. October 23, 2010

Posted by geoconger in Biblical Interpretation, Church of England Newspaper, Evangelism, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.

Archbishop Kwong dedicating the RCUV Bible at St John's Cathedral in Hong Kong

First published in The Church of England Newspaper.

The first new translation of the Bible in Chinese since 1919 was launched last month at a ceremony at St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong.  On Sept 27 Archbishop Paul Kwong of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (HKSK) dedicated the Revised Chinese Union Version (RCUV) of the Old and New Testaments.

Produced in collaboration by the United Bible Society and the Hong Kong Bible Society, the RCUV was twenty-seven years in the making and replaces the Chinese Union Version (CUV) prepared by British and American missionaries in the early years of the Twentieth Century.  Scholars from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the United States sought to overcome the tremendous changes in the Chinese language seen in the past century.

The Hong Kong Bible Society stated that “conscious of the extreme importance of such a daunting task, the scholars involved in the project have been working diligently and prayerfully, imploring the Holy Spirit for guidance.  They have been weighing carefully every word and every expression, including the punctuation, confronting constantly with the original text, and consulting other versions, all for the purpose of producing a revision that conveys more accurately the message of the Bible.”

The revision of the New Testament is based on the Greek New Testament 4th Revised Edition published by the United Bible Societies in 1993. The revision of the Old Testament is based on the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia published in 1984, the Hong Kong Bible Society said.

Beside the issue of faithfulness and accuracy, there was also a concern about naturalness and fluency.  Changes are being introduced wherever the old text presents problems such as archaisms, ambiguities, or structures not conforming to current usage.

Certain words and expressions that formerly sounded smooth and natural have since become unnatural and unintelligible.  Chris Chow, marketing manager of the Hong Kong Bible Society, told the UCA New, as the translation produced 91 years ago had lost some of its meaning for modern Chinese speakers.

Mr. Chow cited the CUV’s use of the verb “rallying” in Galilee in John 7:1.  “This is now revised as Jesus ‘visits’ Galilee, since the word ‘rally’ nowadays carries the meaning of protest and confrontation,” he said.

“We hope this new translation will allow the nation of China and Chinese readers throughout the world to read, with familiarity and ease, the Bible’s life-changing message, ” said Marco Herrera, director of international ministries of American Bible Society.


1. yvonne-maude Meyer - December 28, 2010

This isn’t actually the only new version. I heard that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society have already produced the New World Translation in Chinese in the simplified and the traditional version.You could check it out in their website.

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