Yes, I’ve been kinda quiet the last week or so. Call it an end of semester slump.

Anyway, apart from horrible, thick, murky, humid weather sapping my energy, Roubaozi’s in town, and so we’ve spent a fair bit of time hanging out and catching up… and sorting things out for when he moves here more permanently in August- he needed out of where he was and we need teachers with his skills and experience.

Anyway, one thing he brought with him was a bilingual Chinese-English bible. The English is the New Revised Standard Version, which I’m not so familiar with, but seems ok.  I don’t know anything about Chinese bible translations, but this one is an official Three Self edition.

Both lzh and I are curious about this bible, but for different reasons. I’m curious to see how it was translated into Chinese. To that end, I looked at John 1:1. In the English it says:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Fair enough, that’s a pretty standard translation. In Chinese:

太初有道,道与 神同在,道就是 神。

道, huh? Interesting. Although thinking about it, it does seem to fit, perhaps even better than ‘the Word’. I have a French bible somewhere…. must’ve left it up in Yanqing. Can’t remember which version or translation it is, but I do remember that in John 1:1 it uses “la Parole” for the English “the Word”, which, from what I remember, is a better rendition of the original Greek “logos” (corrections are most welcome).  ‘Parole’ refers specifically to the spoken word. It only refers to written words when they’re the lyrics of songs or poems written down.

Anyway, it’s far too early in the morning for such musings- and even if it were an appropriate time, I had sufficient Longjing in me, and I was breakfasted, I just don’t know enough about the various issues involved to make any intelligent comments.

About the Author


A Kiwi teaching English to oil workers in Beijing, studying Chinese in my spare time, married to a beautiful Beijing lass, consuming vast quantities of green tea (usually Xihu Longjing/西湖龙井, if that means anything to you), eating good food (except for when I cook), missing good Kiwi ale, breathing smog, generally living as best I can outside Godzone and having a good time of it.

3 thoughts on “quiet….

  1. Frankly, I have a problem with the Chinese translation of the book title, 圣经. Translate that back to English, one gets holy bible, but both holy bible and bible get the 圣经 Chinese name. Implicitly, it elevates the book to a sacred status, above 佛经 or 可兰经 or other religious text books, because that’s how you would call it in Chinese.

    An alternative title such as 波尔波经 would have been a better option, in my opinion.

  2. Yes, I’ve often wondered about the translation. I guess the missionaries were quite happy with their book being elevated above all the others.

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