聖經中文譯本編年紀 Chinese Bible Versions Chronicle

聖經中文譯本編年紀 
中文聖經由來 聖經中文翻譯史,若把中文譯本按時序全部列出,或可知端倪。

以下紀錄由唐朝至今所有重要的中文譯本,但略去中國各地方言版本和少數民族語言譯本,也沒有包括異端譯本。至於不完整的譯本,例如只有新約,或只有幾卷書,或甚至不是翻譯聖經正文,則按其歷史價值決定是否包括在內,當然算是主觀篩選吧。

資料來源,見註腳。

蒙原作者允許,轉載如下。

聖經中文譯本編年紀


8世紀(約)
大秦景教流行中國碑
並非聖經譯本,而是景教在唐代流傳情況的記述,共1780個漢字和數十個字的敘利亞文。大秦即羅馬。

1305(約)
孟高維諾譯本
譯者:若望.孟高維諾(Giovanni da Montecorvino) 
內容:〈詩篇〉及新約全書
語文:蒙古文

1584
利瑪竇的著作
譯者:利瑪竇(Matteo Ricci) 
著作:《祖傳天主十誡》(1584)、《天主實義》(1603)等

1636(約)
陽瑪諾的著作
譯者:陽瑪諾(Manuel Dias, aka Emanuel Diaz)
著作:《聖經直解》等

1707(約)
巴設譯本
(大英博物館稿本)
譯者:巴設(Jean Basset)
語文:文言
內容:四福音書、使徒行傳保羅書信、〈希伯來書〉

1803(約)
賀清泰譯本
譯者:賀清泰(Louis Antoine de Poirot)
書名:《古新聖經》(未有印刷發行)
語文:文言
內容:大部份舊約和新約

1822
馬殊曼譯本
譯者:馬殊曼(Joshua Marshman)、拉沙(Joannes Lassar)
語文:文言
書名:1.《新遺詔書》(1811)(有說1816)
書名:2.《新舊遺詔全書》(1822)印度、塞蘭坡(Serampore)

1823
馬禮遜譯本
譯者:馬禮遜(Robert Morrison)
語文:文言
書名:《神天聖書》
出版:1. 新約(1814)廣洲:大英聖書公會(British and Foreign Bible Society)
出版:2. 全書(1823)馬六甲:大英聖書公會(British and Foreign Bible Society)

1840
郭實臘譯本
(四人小組譯本)
譯者:郭實臘(Karl Gützlaff)、
             麥都思(Walter Henry Medhurst)、
             裨治文(Elijah Coleman Bridgman)、
             馬儒翰(John R. Morrison)
語文文言
書名:1. 《新遺詔書》(1837) 巴塔維亞(Batavia)
書名:2. 《舊遺詔書》(1838/1840)巴塔維亞(Batavia)
書名:3. 《救世主耶穌新遺詔書》(郭實臘修訂,1840)香港

1854
委辦譯本
譯者:委辦譯本委員會(委辦會)
語文文言
書名:1. 《新約全書》(1852)
書名:2. 《舊約全書》(1854)
出版:大英聖書公會(British and Foreign Bible Society)

1857
麥都思、施敦力
譯本
(南京官話譯本)
譯者:麥都思(Walter Henry Medhurst)、施敦力(John Stronach)
語文:南京官話 (白話)
書名:《新約全書》
出版(初版):江蘇松江上海墨海書館(1857)

1862
裨治文譯本
譯者:裨治文(Elijah Coleman Bridgman)
             克陛存(Michael Simpson Culbertson)
             文惠廉(William Boone)
語文文言
書名:1. 《新約聖書》(1859)
書名:2. 《舊約聖書》(1862;有說1863)
出版:美國聖經會(American Bible Society)

1864
固利乙譯本
譯者:固利乙(Grigory Platonovich Karpov)  (俄文:Гурий Карпов)
參訂:隆源
語文文言
書名:1.《新遺詔聖經》(新約)
書名:2.《聖詠經》(詩篇)

1868
高德譯本
譯者:高德(Josiah T. Goddard)
            羅爾悌(Edward Clemens Lord)
            憐爲仁(William Dean)先後分別參與翻
語文文言
書名:《聖經新舊遺詔全書》
出版:新約(1853)寧波:美國浸信會真神堂
出版:舊約(1868)香港
出版:全書(1868)香港

1872
北京官話新約全書
譯者:北京翻譯委員會
書名:《北京官話新約全書》
語文:北京官話 (白話)
出版:大英聖書公會(British and Foreign Bible Society)、美國聖經會(American Bible Society)

1874
北京官話舊約全書
譯者:施約瑟(Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky)
書名:《北京官話舊約全書》
又稱:「施約瑟官話譯本」
語文:北京官話 (白話)
出版:美國聖經會(American Bible Society)

1878
北京官話本
譯者:北京翻譯委員會
書名:《北京官話新舊約全書》
語文:北京官話 (白話)
出版:美國聖經會(American Bible Society)

1885
楊格非淺文理新約譯本
譯者:楊格非(Griffith John)
書名:《新約全書》(1885,修訂1889或1898) 
語文:淺文理 (半文言、半白話)
出版:漢口:蘇格蘭聖經會(National Bible Society of Scotland)

1889
楊格非官話譯本
譯者:楊格非(Griffith John)
書名:《新約全書》
語文:官話 (白話)
出版:漢口:蘇格蘭聖經會(National Bible Society of Scotland)、大英聖書公會(British and Foreign Bible Society)

1889
包爾騰、白漢理
譯本
譯者:包爾騰(John Shaw Burdon)、白漢理(Henry Blodget)
書名:《新約全書》
語文:淺文理 (半文言、半白話)

1897
李問漁譯本
譯者:李問漁
書名:《新經譯義》
語文:文言
出版:上海慈母堂

1902
施約瑟淺文理譯本
譯者:施約瑟
書名:《新約全書》
語文:淺文理 (半文言、半白話)
出版:東京:美國聖經會

1904
淺文理和合本
譯者:淺文理翻譯委員會
書名:《新約全書》(淺文理和合譯本第二次修訂版)
語文:淺文理 (半文言、半白話)
出版:大英聖書公會、美國聖經會、蘇格蘭聖經會

1905
楊格非淺文理 舊約譯本
譯者:楊格非(Griffith John)
內容:舊約由〈創世紀〉譯至〈雅歌〉
語文:淺文理 (半文言、半白話)
出版:漢口:蘇格蘭聖經會、大英聖書公會

1907
深文理和合本新約
譯者:深文理翻譯委員會
書名:《新約全書》(深文理譯本)
語文:文言
出版:大英聖書公會、美國聖經會、蘇格蘭聖經會

1919
和合本
(國語和合本)
譯者:官話翻譯委員會
書名:《新舊約全書》(官話和合譯本)
語文:白話
出版:大英聖書公會、美國聖經會、蘇格蘭聖經會

1919
文理和合本
譯者:文理和合譯本委員會
書名:《新舊約全書》(文理和合譯本)
語文:文言
出版:大英聖書公會、美國聖經會、蘇格蘭聖經會

1922
蕭靜山譯本
譯者:蕭靜山
書名:《新經全集》
語文:白話文
出版:獻縣直隸東南耶穌會;修訂版(1948/1956/1957):台中光啟出版社
1929
朱寶惠譯本
譯者:朱寶惠、賽兆祥(A. Sydenstriker)
書名:《新譯新約》(1929)
書名:《重譯新約全書》(1936)
語文:白話文
出版:上海競新印書館(1936)

1933
王宣忱譯本
譯者:王宣忱
書名:《新約全書》
語文:白話文
出版:青島:中華基督教會

1949
吳經熊譯本
譯者:吳經熊(John C. Wu)
書名:《新經全集》、《聖詠譯義》
語文:文言
出版:台灣商務印書館發行(2011)

1954
徐匯修院譯本
譯者:徐匯修院
書名:《新譯福音》
1955
狄守仁譯本
譯者:狄守仁
書名:《簡易聖經讀本》
1958
陸亨理譯本
譯者:陸亨理(Heinrich Ruck) 、鄭壽麟
書名:《國語新舊庫譯本》
語文:白話
出版:新約(北京,1939);新約附詩篇(香港,1958)
1964
蕭鐵笛譯本
譯者:蕭鐵笛(Theodore E. Hsiao)
書名:《新譯新約全書》
出版:香港:靈糧出版社
1968
思高譯本
譯者:雷永明、及其他中國方濟會會士協助
書名:《聖經》(Studium Biblicum Version, Si Gao Sheng Jing)
語文:白話
出版:香港思高聖經學會
1970
呂振中譯本
譯者:呂振中(Lu Zhenzhong)
書名:《聖經》
語文:白話
出版:新約初稿(1946):燕京大學宗教學院
出版:新約新約訂稿(1952):聖書公會
出版:全書(1970):香港聖經公會
1979
當代聖經
譯者:國際新力出版社(Living Bibles International)香港辦事處
書名:《當代聖經》(Chinese Living Bible)
語文:白話
出版:國際新力出版社(Living Bibles International)香港辦事處

1979
現代中文譯本
譯者:許牧世、駱維仁、周聯華、王成章、焦明譯
書名:《現代中文譯本》(Today's Chinese Version)
語文:白話
版本:初版(1979)、天主版(1984)、修訂版(1995)
出版:聯合聖經公會(United Bible Societies)台灣聖經公會香港聖經公會
1989
新標點和合本
譯者:官話翻譯委員會
書名:《新舊約全書》(新標點和合譯本)
語文:白話
出版:聯合聖經公會(United Bible Societies)台灣聖經公會香港聖經公會
1993
聖經新譯本
翻譯組組長:鮑會園
書名:《聖經新譯本》(New Chinese Version)
語文:白話
出版:中文聖經新譯會

1999
牧靈聖經
書名:《牧靈聖經》(Pastoral Bible)
語文:白話
出版:澳門樂仁出版社(Claretian Publications, Macau)
2003
恢複本
譯者:李常受
書名:《聖經恢復本》(Recovery Version)
語文:白話
出版:美國水流職事站 (Living Stream Ministry) 、台灣福音書房香港真理書房

2006
簡明聖經
譯者:凸桑中文聖經協會
書名:《簡明聖經》(The Holy Bible: A Dynamic Chinese Translation)
語文:白話
出版:凸桑中文聖經協會
2008
中文標準譯本
譯者:Global Bible Initiative
書名:《中文標準譯本》(Chinese Standard Bible)
語文:白話
出版:Global Bible Initiative, Holman Bible Publishers
2009
CNET
(新英語譯本聖經中譯本)
譯者:德仁文化交流中心
書名:《新英語譯本聖經中譯本》(Chinese New English Translation Bible)
正式簡稱:CNET、CNET聖經、NET聖經(中譯本)
語文:白話
出版:聖經研讀出版社版(Biblical Studies Press LLC)
2010
和合本修訂版
譯者:香港聖經公會
書名:《和合本修訂版》
語文:白話
出版:聯合聖經公會香港聖經公會台灣聖經公會
2012
新普及譯本
譯者:漢語聖經協會
書名:《新普及譯本》(Chinese New Living Translation)
語文:白話
出版:漢語聖經協會
2006-20??
馮象譯本
譯者:馮象(Peter Feng)
書名:1.《摩西五經》(2006/2013修訂)
書名:2.《智慧書》(2008) 
書名:3. 《新約》(2010)
語文:白話
出版:牛津大學出版社
2010-20??
新漢語譯本
譯者:漢語聖經協會
書名:《新漢語譯本》(Contemporary Chinese Version)
語文:白話
出版:漢語聖經協會
2012-20??
環球新譯本
譯者:環球聖經公會
書名:《環球新譯本》
語文:白話
出版:環球聖經公會

此編年紀部份資料來自:陳少蘭(2005)、尤思德 (Zetzsche) (2002)、趙維本(1993)、莊柔玉(2000)、伊愛蓮(Eber) (2003)、海恩波 (Broomhall) (2000),另比照一些通行的西方來華宣教史中國近代史書,再重新編寫。我在編寫此編年紀時,發現不同作者的資料有不少出入;我會先按一般學術原則衡量資源來源的可靠度,並盡量找最少兩個獨立的資料來源核實,若仍未能辨別真誤,便按情況再決定應把資料略去抑或把不同的說法都列出。若同一作者先後出版新約和舊約,則以較後者作該譯本完成的年份。

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珍本聖經查詢
信望愛珍本聖經查詢

信望愛珍本聖經查詢(測試版 2012.02.10)

典藏書籍一覽  使用手冊  珍本聖經網站建置緣由   中文聖經譯經史 排序依據: 年代 分類 文體格式 語言
書名關鍵字
年代 19世紀早期 19世紀中期 19世紀晚期 20世紀上半 20世紀下半 全部 或直接指定西元年代:
分類 全部 聖經 信仰著作 聖詩 白話字文獻
文體格式 全部 白話(官話) 文理 淺文理 少數民族及各地方言 外文
作者關鍵字
提供者關鍵字
珍本聖經編號

【官話版聖經】

【各地方言聖經】

聖經的漢語譯本,是指從聖經原語種及其他語言翻譯成漢語的聖經譯本。中文聖經包括文言文聖經古文)、國語聖經、及方言聖經,例如閩南話聖經客語聖經粵語聖經廣東話)與吳語聖經等等。《聖經》原文分別以希伯來語阿拉米語希臘語寫成。

目錄

1 不同年代的聖經漢語譯本
2 現今流行的中文聖經譯本
3 參見
4 參考文獻
5 外部連結

不同年代的聖經漢語譯本

七世紀
在公元七世紀的時候,波斯景教已經譯出了將近三十部的聖經書卷,大部分屬於專卷的,但是現已全數佚失。從景教其他傳世著作中,有引錄部份經文,文體頗近佛經。

十三世紀
1294年以後,天主教方濟各會(Franciscan)也有譯本,像孟高維諾John of Monte Corvino)譯了新約詩篇,用「韃靼人最通用的語文」翻譯,有可能是中文,亦已全部失傳。

十九世紀

十九世紀初,馬士曼拉沙印度塞蘭坡翻譯聖經,1811年譯畢新約,1822年舊約亦告成,並於同年出版《新舊遺詔全書》,是新教最早出版的中文聖經。同一時候,馬禮遜米憐亦在廣州翻譯聖經,1813年出版新約,1823年出版舊約,定名為《神天聖書》。

麥都思、郭士立、裨治文及馬禮遜兒子馬儒翰修訂馬禮遜譯本,麥都思負責新約,郭士立負責舊約。1835年新約譯畢,1837年出版,名為《新遺詔書》,而舊約則大約在1838年至1840年間出版。1840年郭士立復將新約改名為《救世主聖經新遺詔書》。這譯本後來為太平天國採用。

1843年傳教士在香港召開會議,決定成立委員會訂正聖經,此譯本因此稱為委辦譯本1850年新約出版。之後傳教士就聖號譯名當用「上帝」或是「神」起爭論,委員會於是分裂。麥都思、郭士立等傳教士以「上帝」為譯名,繼續翻譯舊約,得到王韜協助,1853年完工,1854年出版,仍稱委辦譯本,裨治文與克陛存、文惠廉等美國傳教士退出委員會,主張用「神」為譯名,另行翻譯聖經,於1862年出版。麥都思、施敦力改寫委辦譯本為南京官話,1857年出版新約,是第一本官話譯本聖經。另外又有如施約瑟楊格非等也曾自行翻譯聖經。中國各地傳教士,亦有從文理(文言文)聖經翻譯為當地方言。

正教會掌院修士固利爾乙,也曾將新約全書和詩篇翻譯為文言文,新約於1864年出版,名為《新遺詔聖經》,詩篇於1879年出版,名為《聖詠經》。不過正教會至今一直未有完整翻譯舊約全書。

二十世紀

東正教:
  • 新約聖經(主教英諾肯提乙譯本)1910年
  • 官話聖詠經(主教英諾肯提乙譯本)1910年
  • 創世紀第一書(主教英諾肯提乙准印),1911年俄7月出版
天主教:
新教:
  • 嚴復譯馬可所傳福音(前四章),1908年
  • 和合本,1904年-1919年 (淺文理新約1904)(深文理新約1906)(文理舊約)(官話新約1907,舊約1919)
  • 朱寶惠譯本 1929(新約). 1939(舊約).
  • 王宣忱譯本 1933(新約)
  • 陸亨理國語新舊庫譯本 1939(新約) 1958(舊約)
  • 蕭鐵笛譯本 1964(新約)
  • 新約聖經(1959譯本)
  • 新譯四福音
  • 呂振中譯本,1970年
  • 當代聖經,1974年
  • 現代中文譯本,1979年
  • 聖經恢複本,新約1987,舊約2003,李常受主譯
  • 聖經新譯本,1993年
中華聖公會

雖然次經並非新教的聖經一部份,但是中華聖公會曾經翻譯出版:

  • 次經全書,都孟高、黃葉秋文言文譯本,1925年。雷海峰改譯國語譯本,1933年。
耶和華見證人
二十一世紀
現今流行的中文聖經譯本

思高本聖經

聖經思高本是現在華語天主教(羅 馬公教)人士使用得最普遍的一種譯本。此譯本的出版起源自1924年,在上海舉行的天主教會議決定翻譯《聖經》。天主教修會方濟各會於1945年着手翻 譯,1948年遷往香港繼續翻譯工作。花了九年時間翻譯舊約,再用六年時間翻譯新約,於1968年正式出版。這是第一部翻自原文的公教聖經全譯本。

香港思高聖經學會(方濟各會雷永明神父主持)是這個公教聖經全譯本的翻譯和出版單位,所以通稱「思高譯本」或「思高本」。思高聖經學會在台灣的台北市設有分支-「思高聖經學會出版社」,負責在台灣出版印行思高譯本。

方濟各會翻譯《聖經》時,有使用專門收集聖經文獻的圖書館。部分譯者更親自赴以色列實地考察。翻譯時,除使用原文外,參考的考古文獻則多以法、德兩文記載和教會用的拉丁文。

和合本聖經
簡體中文的和合本聖經

和合本聖經(Chinese Union Version)是現在使用最普遍的一種中文譯本。1890年上海第二次的宣教士會議時,決定推派代表來翻譯通用的譯本。所以三個委員彙出三種譯本,一種是淺文理的新約(淺文理之意即比較文言文,但不是那麼深),然後再翻文言文的新約。

1907年,出版國語新約和合本,就是用白話文的國語新約。1919年,出文理跟國語的新舊約,所以那時候和合本就全部和在一起出版。至今大部份的教會用的聖經仍是和合本的譯本。事實上,這八十年間還是沒有一個譯本能夠完全地取代和合本;雖然和合本當時所用的一些名詞,或者一些文法的方式,我們今天讀時可能有一點點不習慣,但是基本上此譯本的翻譯因為這三方面都做非常地好,所以現在固然有新的編譯版,但是很少能夠完全取代它。

其他譯本
在海外今天也有比如象「今天佳音譯本」的現代中文譯本,還有「聖經新譯本」,但是到目前為止都還很難完全取代和合本。現在聖經中文公會在準備把「和合本」和「合譯本」當中若干名詞、用詞、地名改為現代化的方式。


參見
參考文獻
外部連結
閱讀全文
Chinese Bible translations mean all works on translating whole or parts of the Bible into the many dialects of Chinese language. The creation of Chinese Bible Translations began in the nineteenth century, but availability only became widespread in the early twentieth century.

Contents

1 Catholic translation work
2 History of Protestant translations
3 Translations
4 See also
5 References
6 Notes
7 External links

Catholic translation work

The first translations of the Bible into Chinese were made by Catholic missionaries. However, they were only manuscript copies. The first Catholic Chinese Bible to be published was started by a young Franciscan friar named Gabriele Allegra, who began translating the Old Testament from the original Hebrew and Aramaic languages in 1935. Ten years later he recruited Friars Solanus Lee, Antonius Lee, Bernardinus Lee, and Ludovicus Liu in Beijing. However, due to the Chinese civil war in 1948, the friars were forced to move the Studium Biblicum in Hong Kong. After twenty years of effort, the first Old Testament was published in 1954. In 1968 the New and Old Testaments were published in a single volume.

John C. Wu, a Catholic convert, who served as the Republic of China's minister to the Vatican, also made a translation of the New Testament and the Psalms into Classical Chinese in 1946. The translations were not direct and often noted to be florid, and his translation of the Psalms were paraphrases.

History of Protestant translations

Protestant missionaries pioneered the translation of vernacular dialects, as well as the printing, and distribution of Bibles so that the knowledge of the Christian Gospel message could be more widely known in China.[2]

The first Protestant effort to undertake the work of translating the Scriptures for the Chinese was made by the Rev. William Willis Moseley, of Daventry, in Northamptonshire, England. He found, in the British Museum, a manuscript translation in Chinese of a Harmony of the four Gospels, the Acts, and all of Paul’s Epistles. He then published “A Memoir on the Importance and Practicability of Translating and Printing the Holy Scriptures in the Chinese Language; and of circulating them in that vast Empire”. Copies of this memoir were sent to many Christian leaders.

The Archbishop of Canterbury recommended that the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge print the Chinese Bible; but, after four years deliberation, the project was abandoned. Then, a double effort was made, independently and almost simultaneously, to translate the Scriptures into Chinese. Soon after the formation of the Anglo-Hindoo College, of Fort William, in Calcutta, in 1800, a department was devoted to the translation of the Scriptures into Asian languages. The directors did not limit themselves to the Indian vernaculars, but included in their purpose the preparation of a version in Chinese. Professor Hovhannes Ghazarian (Lassar), an Armenian, born and educated in Macau, began the work by translating the Gospel by St. Matthew, which he finished in 1807.[3] After this, Prof. Ghazarian removed to Serampore, where the work was continued under the special care of Dr. Joshua Marshman, the New Testament being published in 1813, and the whole Bible in 1822, by the liberality of the British and Foreign Bible Society. This was the first known entire printed version of the Scriptures in Chinese ; and its production was by the Baptist missionaries of Serampore. The version was imperfect, as all first versions are; but Marshman spent sixteen years in its production.

While Marshman's work was progressing at Serampore, a similar undertaking—a translation of the entire Bible into Chinese—was completed in China itself. In 1807 the Rev. Robert Morrison arrived in Guangzhou as the representative of the London Missionary Society as the first Protestant missionary to China. The special work assigned to him was the translation of the Scriptures, because the public preaching of the Gospel in the towns and cities of the Chinese Empire was prohibited by the Chinese Government. Before leaving England he made a copy of the manuscript Harmony of the Gospels already referred to, which he took with him to China, and which he subsequently used as the basis of his translation of the New Testament, completed in 1813. Just at this time he was joined by the Rev. William Milne, but, because of the Roman Catholic Government of Macau, he was, a few days after his arrival, compelled to leave China and go to Malacca. Though separated, the two friends co-operated in translating the Old Testament; Milne translated the historical books and the Book of Job; the other books were translated by Morrison. The task was finished in November, 1819, and the whole underwent revision at the hand of Morrison. It was printed from wood blocks and published, in 21 volumes, in 1823.

Marshman was glad to hear that Robert Morrison had made an independent translation, stating that if they profited by each other’s labors, the translation of the Scriptures into Chinese would be brought to as great perfection in twenty years as they might have been in the hand of one for the space of fifty. These two translators were, however, never able jointly to compare and revise their work ; but the American Baptist Board of Foreign Missions requested the Rev. Josiah Goddard, one of their missionaries, to revise the whole of Dr. Marshman s translation. He published the revised version of the New Testament in 1853, fourteen years after his arrival in China. At his death it was found that he had made only a little progress with the Old Testament, and his labors were continued by the Rev. Dr. Dean, of the same mission, residing at Bangkok. A further revision of Marshman’s New Testament was made by an English Baptist missionary the Rev. T. H. Hudson and published in 1867.

Morrison’s version, like that of Marshman, had defects. It was, however, faithful to the original. Morrison himself made preparation for a revision. In a letter to the Bible Society, he wrote ; "I make it my daily study to correct the Chinese version of the Scriptures; and my brethren of the Ultra-Ganges Mission are requested to note down whatever may occur to them as an error or imperfection in the translation. These are sent to the college and preserved, or immediately employed, as may appear best." He hoped that his son, John Robert Morrison, who gave him promise of being a great Chinese scholar, would at some future time revise Morrison and Milne’s Translation. This wish was about to be carried into effect, when the death of Morrison frustrated the plan; for the son, having succeeded to his father s office as Government translator, did not have time to devote to the work.

The production of this most important version, and the numerous and successive editions through which it passed, was mainly due to the aid of the British and Foreign Bible Society, who contributed more than 10,000 pounds for the translation and circulation costs.

The next new translation was made by Walter Henry Medhurst, Karl Gutzlaff, and Elijah Coleman Bridgman. J.R. Morrison devoted what time he could spare from his official duties to perfect the translation. These men completed the New Testament in 1835 ; it was adopted by their colleagues, and was the chief version used, in the next ten or twelve years, by Protestant missionaries in China. Although nominally the work of the above-named committee, the version was chiefly made by Medhurst, and underwent a final revision by him in 1836. He also took part in the translation of the Old Testament published by Gutzlaff in 1840. In addition to translating the Old Testament, Gutzlaff modified the version of the New Testament which he and Medhurst had prepared jointly ; and he printed some twelve editions of it, each edition being revised and improved.

In August, 1843, a meeting of missionaries was held in Hong Kong to discuss the question of another revision, when a plan was adopted by which the services of every missionary capable of rendering aid were enlisted : and at five stations local committees wore formed, to each of which a share of the work of revision was given. From these local committees delegates were appointed to form a general committee of revision, by which the translations of the local committees were to be compared, and the version finally determined by the votes of the delegates.

The first meeting of the delegates was held in June,1847, the members of the committee being Bishop Boone, of the American Episcopal Mission, and the Rev. Dr. Medhurst, of the London Missionary Society, both living in Shanghai ; the Rev. W. Lowrie, of the American Presbyterian Mission, Ningbo ; the Rev. John Stronach, of the London Missionary Society, Amoy ; and the Rev. Dr. Bridgman, of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Guangzhou. Mr. Lowrie was drowned shortly after the work was begun, and the Rev. William Charles Milne was elected to fill his place. Bishop Boone never attended a meeting of the delegates after the first chapter of St. Matthew s Gospel was finished, and Dr. Bridgman never made a suggestion which his colleagues could accept ; and when the version was finished he repudiated all responsibility for it, so that the translation was virtually the work of the English missionaries Medhurst, Stronach, and Milne.

The committee, aided by several native scholars (principally the Chinese scholar Wang Tao), continued their work daily, from 10.00am to 2pm, almost without intermission. The translation of the New Testament was finished in July, 1850. It was published with the approval of the delegates, and is known as “The Delegates Version”.

Soon after the publication of this New Testament, a revision of the Old Testament was commenced, but owing to a division among the members the committee separated, and the result was two versions. One was made by the English missionaries Medhurst ; Stronach, and Milne, and has been called The Delegates Version, although this title is not strictly accurate; yet as the actual translators were the same as those who executed The Delegates Version of the New Testament, and as the style is uniform with it, the one title has been given to the whole Bible. The translation of the Old Testament was completed in 1853.

The other version was made by Dr. Bridgman and Dr. Michael Simpson Culbertson, American missionaries who withdrew from the committee of delegates. Besides these five versions of the whole Bible in classic style, the New Testament has been translated by Archimandrite Gury (Karpov), head of the Russian (Greek) Mission in Beijing and published in summer of 1864. In addition to these literary versions, translations have been made into several of the dialects of the Empire. The most important of these were the Anqing and Beijing Mandarin versions.

Dr. Medhurst translated the Old Testament into Anqing Mandarin, and in concert with the Rev. J. Stronach carried out the translation of the New Testament in the same dialect, the entire Bible being published in 1856 at the cost of the Bible Society. In 1865 a committee was appointed in the capital to translate the New Testament into Beijing Mandarin, The members of the committee were the Rev. John Shaw Burdon, of the Church Missionary Society; the Rev. Joseph Edkins, of the London Missionary Society; the Rev. Dr. Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, of the American Episcopal Church; the Rev. Dr, William Alexander Parsons Martin, of the American Presbyterian Mission ; and the Rev. Dr. Henry Blodget, of the American Board of Foreign Missions. They were six years completing their task. The Old Testament in the same dialect was translated by Dr. Schereschewsky for the American Bible Society, and published at its cost in 1875.

One of the enterprises that has been carried out in China by the National Bible Society of Scotland was the translation of the New Testament by the Rev. Griffith John of Hankou. Scholars in China acknowledged the Delegates version to be a masterpiece of Chinese composition; but that version contained many faults of the older versions ; while the style of the composition was too learned to be readily understood by the Chinese. On the other hand, the Mandarin colloquial version was not in a style which Chinese think should be employed in writing on a sacred subject. John’s translation struck a happy medium between the two.

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