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The Story of the Chinese Bible and How it Helped Spread the Word of God

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The Story of the Chinese Bible and How it Helped Spread the Word of God

We have certainly gone a great deal with all the technological and productive advancements which can also be seen in the rise of the population globally. You’d think all of this would bring us even more closer together, and yet now more than ever, differences speak way too loud. We compete with each other on a daily basis, trying to be better in achievements and possessions than friends, neighbours, acquaintances and those we call our enemies, instead of focusing on how similar we all are. God has created us as equals, which luckily we can get to remind ourselves with through the book of books, the Bible.

This is what makes the Bible unmatched in content and a real treasure to have. Considering it speaks the word of God, it speaks in a universal language so it’s no surprise there are more than 2,600 translations of it nowadays. Although we usually link it to Western civilizations, it has reached all parts of the world, which is how translations were brought about. Such is the case also with China. The first recorded Chinese translation goes as far back as the times of the Tang Dynasty when Christian missionaries made their first visit to this part of the world, however none of them remained to present day. In the later centuries, many other missionaries had their attempts with translating though the first fully translated was the one of Protestant missionary Robert Morrison in 1814. Nowadays, there are many versions of Chinese English Bible to be found, that can also be helpful with learning the language, especially bilingual editions.

The most widely read version is the Chinese Union Version (CUV), which was completed in 1919. It received the name because of the joint work of a number of missionaries to come up with a translation that was written in vernacular Chinese. It’s the most preferred Chinese English Bible because of the language it uses, which reaches the basic aim of translators: to be easily understood by the public and touch the lives of many people. Though there have been many other versions published since then, such as the Chinese Living Bible, Today’s Chinese Version and the New Chinese Version, the CUV still remains the most popular one, despite having undergone upgrading as well.

The proof of the importance of God’s word and love is seen in the countless translations that were done by dedicated people whose mission was to make God’s wisdom available to everyone.

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