More Chinese Bibles?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Jul 13, 2006.

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Should the Chinese Get a New Bible?

  1. Any new Bible translations in Chinese are great!

    5 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. The Chinese need no new translations.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Any new Chinese Bible must be from the TR\Byz\Maj.

    7 vote(s)
    53.8%
  4. Any new Chinese Bible must be from a modern Greek text.

    1 vote(s)
    7.7%
  5. I don't care.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    In another thread, it was decried that some were suggesting a new Chinese Bible based on the TR and/or KJV. The more I think about it, the more I think this is a great idea. Go Waite! Go Khoo!

    For over 1 billion people, there are only two main Bible translations in print that I know of, the Union Version of 1919 (NT based on Nestle's, I think) and the Today's Chinese Version of 1979, similar to the Today's English Version, and possibly one more I haven't seen in print. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.) I have several editions of the Union Version, and it's pretty good though getting old; I am thrilled that I was able to get many of them out to Chinese from the mainland, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong when I was in language school. I've only seen the other in a store in Tokyo--didn't buy it.

    Think about it, though. Contrast that to the English language, which according to Kubo and Sprecht in So Many Versions? had over 200 versions of the NT in 1983. There are many more now. It really doesn't seem right nor fair--nor God's will, to me.

    Waite is supporting a new Chin Burmese Bible from the TR/KJV. Is that bad? I don't think so. I think it's great. More power to him! You folk in the homeland just sit back and enjoy your 200+ NTs. I say let an Asian "people group" have more than one Bible. Go Waite! Go Khoo!

    Interesting side note. I was once in a conference in the States with a missionary to China who produced a Bible CD--and COUNTED ON it being pirated so more people could have it!
     
    #1 John of Japan, Jul 13, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2006
  2. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Oops!

    How odd. I corrected "Cinese" to "Chinese" in the title, but it didn't carry over to the top title. Embarrassing!
     
  3. jshurley04

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    Anytime a new translation that can more clearly make known the Word of God to any people group is proposed or delievered then I believe that we should be all for it.

    I do believe that it should have the same roots as the KJT but not be another copy of the KJT in another language. The KJT is a great translation but it needs to be current to the language used today just as any other translation in any other language should be of the current language.
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Well said, jshurley04, and thanks for your vote.
     
  5. Gold Dragon

    Gold Dragon
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    While I'm generally not a Majority Text supporter, I do support the creation of new Chinese Bible Translations. A year ago I did some quick online research on the different Chinese translations out there and there seemed to be very limited choice with most translations having severe problems, probably due to a lack of resources and qualified professionals involved in the translation process.

    Also, the Chinese language has been rapidly changing over the last few decades. The recent invention of simplified chinese characters was started in 1949 and finalized in 1986. Also, with the rapid rise in Chinese economic prosperity and openness to the west, there are significant cultural and linguistic changes since the popular CUV was released. It is probably similar to reading the KJV in today's NA culture.

    I see a huge demand for a freer/dynamic translation among the rural Chinese where literacy is significantly lower than in the cities. I also see a huge demand for a modernized translation for the new urban middle-class that grew up seeing China continually rise in prominance and modernity by letting go of their past Chinese culture, which is a sad reality in many ways.

    Major protestant bibles in China
    Chinese Union Version (1919)
    Today's Chinese Version (1975, 1997)
    Chinese Living Bible (1979)
    New Chinese Version (1992)

    I support new Chinese translations of the bible, but I don't see the need for a highly formal equivalent translation based on the TR, which is probably what would come out of Waite.
     
  6. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    n that's the rub. the KJB-ised CUV is nothing more than the addition of a set of verses or words unique to the KJB/TR.

    it does nothing in terms of a "modernised translation" (the job's been done by the TCV) or even, minimally, in the use of the simplified script.

    bottom line is it does little more than advancing the agenda of D.A. Waite n his supporters (n possibly dragging the mainly CUV Chinese readers into the whole tiresome TR vs Alexandrian debate).

    sure, if there's something that puts God's Word in the hands of the ploughboy, u've got my support as well, but right now, it's more a squaring of the wheel (rather than a reinvention thereof).
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks for your input, Gold Dragon.

    Of course you are correct with your list of major Protestant Bibles in Chinese. After writing the OP I got to thinking that it has been years since I researched the subject myself. So I got online and noticed a couple of things.

    First of all, the CLB is a Taiwanese version, meaning it won't be accepted on the mainland. That leaves the other three you mentioned. So depending on where a Chinese believer lived, they may have three or four versions to choose from, but of course the Union Ver. is still the most common.

    The NCV is a literal type translation, thus pleasing my crowd. The TCV has recently been revised. Wouldn't that satisfy your wish for a freer/dynamic version?

    There are also a couple of niche versions, such as a new NT supported by the government, which would probably only accepted in Three Self churches. There is the Recovery Version of the “Local Church” cult of Witness Lee in Taiwan. They have gotten into big trouble trying to smuggle their version onto the mainland. Also, Lu’s Version (a one man version) came back into print in 2002. Interestingly, he uses Shang Ti for “God.” Check it and a couple of others out at www.digitalbiblesociety.org.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    As I see it, Waite's version would be a niche version. If folk like the Bible Presbyterians in Singapore and the many Chinese being won to Christ by IFB missionaries on the mainland (and I know of many) have an itch for a nitch version :laugh: :smilewinkgrin: , what is wrong with that? If they are not completely comfortable with the versions there are now, what is wrong with them having their own version? Unless someone has reprinted Morrison's version or something, there are no TR/Maj/Byz-based versions in print. I say Waite's version is a great idea for his contituency!
     
  9. John of Japan

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    I actually see this as a plus. What could be wrong with the Chinese believer learning about textual criticism? I think we can trust the Chinese to do their own thinking. After all, this is the country that produced Confucious, Watchman Nee and many other great thinkers (unlike Japan, which has never produced a real philosopher). I think it would be great to have the work of men like Zane Hodges or Maurice Robinson in Chinese.

    It's not like the KJV-only philosophy is going to catch on with the typical Chinese believer. :laugh: :tongue3: Few on the mainland speak English, and when I was in Hong Kong a few years ago I noted that while many speak English there, of course, few are at a level that would allow them to read the KJV and make much sense out of it.

    Gotta go to the church. Catch you folk later. :wavey:
     
  10. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    yes, it's a niche consituency, indeed. n that was my point. it's not that we shdn't have a marketplace of ideas, no--i'm glad for this forum!--but a question of cost/benefit.

    yes, it wld be good to have Maurice Robinson (n possibly Zane Hodges--NB neither of them are TR advocates! ;)) in Chinese; but that's a different topic altogether. so's the issue of Waite n Khoo's theological diceyness in their theory of "VPP."

    i think the OP was focused on the needs of China, not some Waite-esque niche community. how does this niche bible, which adds NOTHING linguistically to the CUV but tacks on a bunch of TR variants, have to address:

    "a huge demand for a freer/dynamic translation among the rural Chinese where literacy is significantly lower than in the cities [and] a huge demand for a modernized translation for the new urban middle-class that grew up seeing China continually rise in prominance and modernity by letting go of their past Chinese culture"?

    why not send the money to publishers of CUV, TCV, e-Sword, OLB, n Maurice Robinson instead? not forgetting the Mandarin-speaking fundamentalist missionaries n seminaries that need all the resources they can get.
     
    #10 Forever settled in heaven, Jul 15, 2006
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  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Tsk tsk. As you well know, the TR is simply an earlier version of the Maj/Byz, done with fewer mss and less knowledge.

    In my experience, other than such places as 1 John 5:7 and some iffiness in Rev., the TR and Byz. Textform are quite close. (I haven't compared either with Hodge's Maj.) For example, in Galatians: there is a slight spelling difference in 1:17 (meaning not affected); Greek word men added in 2:9 (meaning not affected); in 3:8 Byz agrees with Stephanus instead of Scrivener (meaning not affected); full agreement in ch. 4-5; Byz omits “Written from Rome to the Galations” in 6:18.


    Tsk tsk. Look at the OP again. :smilewinkgrin:

    But I don't understand the animus towards the TR. Is it not God's Word? Is there some kind of heretical addition to it that the UBS doesn't have? Will Chinese readers of a TR-adapted Union Version somehow come up with different doctrines than someone reading the original UV?
     
  12. Su Wei

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    haha... i had to check to see WHO was it who couldn't spell "Chinese".... :laugh:

    THanks for this thread. I'm learning lots.

    (edited for spelling. :OP)
     
    #12 Su Wei, Jul 16, 2006
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  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    You caught me, Su Wei! :eek: :eek: :laugh:
     
  14. Forever settled in heaven

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    tsk tsk, i guess if u cld believe TR is an "earlier" version, i'd leave it at that. :thumbs: in fact, if u equate TR (a Minority Text) w the Majority Text ... that's ok, but pls don't include me. :wavey:

    my point.

    been there done that.

    animus, what animus? heresy? interesting conclusion! whatever ... u're free to reread my post, its references to the OP, etc. anywayz

    :praise:
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Finally figured out how to change it!
     
  16. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    This was a genuine question. Why do you think it is wrong (or a mistake, or however you want to put it) to do a translation from the TR? (Pardon me if I'm misreading you here, but that is how you are coming across.) What do you think would be negative about such a translation?
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Thanks for helping me "save face!" :applause: :praise:
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Wow, this is the first time I've ever heard the TR called the "minority text." So if I get you right, you don't think the TR is based on Byzantine mss, am I right? So then, what is it based on?
    (1) Alexandrian mss
    (2) Western mss
    (3) Caesarean mss
     
  19. Forever settled in heaven

    Forever settled in heaven
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    TR is described as having been based on "20 to 25 MSS," n the Erasmus' original editions rested on 6 MSS. (http://www.bibletexts.com/terms/tr-history.htm)

    it has similarities w Alex, Western, n Caesarean MSS, but it sports several unique features as well, thx to the hand of Erasmus n others.

    but even optimistically giving the TR the figure of 30 underlying MSS, it can hardly be considered "Majority" by any stretch (cf. the total no. of NT Gk MSS).

    if u're thinking of Robinson-Pierpont's or Hodges-Farstad's works, sure, there's an argument there. but the TR, w a whole buncha minority (sometimes unique ones even) readings ... neh.

    but we're getting off-topic fr the point that new bibles (if economies of scale n such be considered) shd address the reader response of the larger audience, not the text-crit agenda of some niche interest group.
     
  20. John of Japan

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    I've compared the Byz with Scrivener and Stephanus in almost half of the NT and have to disagree with your idea that the TR is not based on the Byzantine. But hey, why take my word for it.

    From the website you linked to:

    "Popularized in the minuscule mss., it was a tradition that had become dominant at Constantinople from the 5th cent. on and was used throughout the Byzantine church (whence the name "Byzantine" given to the tradition)." (Raymond E. Brown, D.W. Johnson, Kevin G. O'Connell, and Raymond F. Collins (The New Jerome Biblical Commentary.)

    "The earliest printed editions of the Greek New Testament were based on later manuscripts -- manuscripts which exhibit what textual critics know as the "Byzantine" type of Greek text" ( F.F. Bruce (History of the Bible in English, Third Edition, NY: Oxford University Press, 1978).

    "And since this text became common in the Eastern church with its seat at Byzantium, it is also called the Byzantine text. It is the text that underlies the King James Version (KJV)" (Bruce M. Metzger (The Text of the New Testament, Third Edition, Oxford University Press, 1992).

    From my library: "His (Erasmus') only ms. which was non-Byzantine and of any antiquity was Cod. 1, and he does not seem to have leaned very heavily upon its text' (An Introduction to New Testament Textual Criticism, M. Harold Greenlee, 1964, p. 70).

    So, how was that again that the TR is not Byz/Maj.?
     
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