List of Chinese Bible translations

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This is list of the Bible translations to Chinese language.

Bible translations into Chinese began with unpublished manuscripts by individual Roman Catholic priests in the sixteenth century and individual Protestant missionaries in the early nineteenth century. The first complete translation to be published was that of Joshua Marshman in 1813, followed by that of Robert Morrison in 1823. A group of Protestant missionaries in Hong Kong in 1843 started a collaborative translation. The New Testament of their so-called "Delegates Version" was published in 1850 and the Old Testament in 1853. A translation of the Old Testament by Karl Gutzlaff, first published in 1840, was widely distributed and was used by the leaders of the Taiping Rebellion as the basis of their theological study.

The second half of the century saw the publication of Chinese Bibles in regional languages using romanization rather than Chinese characters, the first works printed in the regional language. The Classical Chinese of the Delegates Version could not be understood when read aloud, and towards the end of the century the national missionary body started a revision which used vernacular Chinese. The resulting Union Version, published in 1919, became the standard translation for Protestants and was adapted and published in different forms, including Braille. A Chinese New Version was published in 1992 and a Revised Chinese Union Version in the early twenty-first century.

The Studium Biblicum Version, now the standard Chinese Bible for Catholics, was started in the 1930s and published in 1968. Starting in the 1850s, there have been three Russian Orthodox translations.

Classical Chinese[edit]

Mandarin Chinese[edit]

Northern Mandarin[edit]

Character Colloquial Versions

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • New Testament, 1889
  • Portions of New Testament for the Blind

Southern Mandarin[edit]

  • New Testament, 1856

Western Mandarin[edit]

Wu Chinese[edit]

Bible in Soochowese Suzhou dialect Romanised (Gospel of Mark), published by the American Bible Society.

Hankou dialect[edit]

  • Book of Mark, 1921 using the Wangchao phonetic system.[1]

Suzhou dialect[edit]

  • New Testament, 1881

Shanghai dialect[edit]

Bible in Shanghainese Romanised (Gospel of Mark), published by the American Bible Society.

Character Colloquial Versions

  • Isaiah-Daniel, 1886
  • New Testament, 1870

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • New Testament, 1870

Ningbo dialect[edit]

Bible in Ningpo (Ningbo) Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Romanized Vernacular Versions

Hangzhou dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • New Testament (parts of it), 1877 by the English Bible Society.
  • Gospel of John, 1879 by the Anglican Missionary G.E. Moule
  • Gospel of Matthew, 1880 by the English Bible Society.

Jinhua dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gospel of John, 1866

Wenzhou dialect[edit]

  • Matthew-Acts, 1890
  • "THE FOUR GOSPELS AND ACTS, IN WENCHOW." was published in 1894 under the title of "Chaò-chî Yi-sû Chī-tuh Sang Iah Sing Shī: Sz̀ fuh-iang tà sź-du ae-djüe fa üe-tsiu t'û", with the entire book in Wenzhou dialect.[2]

Taizhou (Zhejiang) dialect[edit]

Bible in Taichow (Taizhou) Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.
  • New Testament

Min Bei[edit]

Bible in Jian'ou Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Jian'ou dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

Jianyang dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gospel of Mark, 1898 by the English Bible Society.
  • Gospel of Matthew, 1900 by the Methodist Episcopal Mission Press. Translated by Hugh S. and Minnie Phillips of the American Bible Society.

Min Dong[edit]

Fuzhou dialect[edit]

Character Colloquial Versions

  • Old Testament, 1875–1884
  • New Testament, 1856

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gospel of John, 1886
  • Gospel of John, 1889
  • New Testament, after 1890

Min Nan[edit]

Amoy dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Old Testament, 1852–1884
  • New Testament, about 1853-1873
  • Gospel of Matthew, for Blind, 1888

Shantou dialect[edit]

Character Colloquial Versions

  • Genesis, 1879
  • Ruth, 1875
  • Matthew-1 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians-Titus, Hebrews, 1 2 3 John, 1880–1884

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Genesis, 1888
  • Jonah, 1888
  • Gospel of Matthew, 1889
  • Gospel of Mark, 1890
  • Gospel of Luke, 1876
  • Acts, 1889
  • James, 1888

Teochew dialect[edit]

Bible in Teochew Romanised (First Book of Samuel), published for the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Romanized Vernacular Versions

11 Samuel. (Tie-chiu dialect.)

  • New Testament, 1915 by English Presbyterian Missionary societies.

Hainan Junjiahua[edit]

Bible in Hainan Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gospel of Matthew, 1891
  • Gospel of John, 1893

Xinghua (Puxian) Min[edit]

Bible in Hinhwa (Xinghua) Romanised (Genesis), published by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gospel of John, 1892 by the American Bible Society.
  • Gospel of Mark, 1893
  • Gospel of Matthew, 1894
  • Acts, 1894
  • Gospel of Luke, 1895

Gan Chinese[edit]

Shaowu dialect[edit]

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Book of James, 1891 by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.

Jianning dialect[edit]

  • Gospel of Matthew, 1896 by the American Bible Society.
  • Gospel of John, 1897 by the Bible Society of Great Britain in London.

Hakka[edit]

Character Colloquial Versions

  • Genesis and Exodus, 1886
  • Psalms, 1890
  • New Testament, 1883

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • New Testament, 1860–1883
  • New Testament (Bible Society in Taiwan), 1993 (with the Psalms); Proverbs 1995 [1]

Dingzhou dialect[edit]

  • Gospel of Matthew (Romanised), 1919

Wujingfu Hakka dialect (五经富)[edit]

  • New Testament, 1916

Swatow Hakka Dialect[edit]

  • New Testament, 1924

Taiwan Siyen Hakka dialect[edit]

Yue Chinese (Cantonese)[edit]

Guangzhou dialect (Cantonese)[edit]

Translations into Cantonese include:

Character Colloquial Versions

Romanized Vernacular Versions

  • Gosepel of Luke, 1867
  • Gospel of Mark, after 1890

Lianzhou dialect[edit]

  • Gospel of Matthew, 1904 by the American Bible Society. Translated by the Missionary Eleanor Chesnut.
  • Gospel of Mark, 1905
  • Gospel of Luke, 1905
  • Gospel of John, 1905

Yangcheng dialect[edit]

  • Gospel of Matthew, 1862 by the American Presbyterian Church. Translated by Charles F. Preston.
  • Gospel of John, 1862
  • Gospel of Luke, 1867 by the English Bible Society. Translated by Wilhelm Lauis.

Notable Translations[edit]

Chinese Bible used by the Filipino-Chinese Anglican Community in Saint Stephen's Pro-Cathedral under the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.
  • Robert Morrison. 耶酥基利士督我主救者新遺詔書 : 俱依本言譯出 (Ye Su Ji Li Shi Du Wo Zhu Jiu Zhe Xin Yi Zhao Shu : Ju Yi Ben Yan Yi Chu). Canton, 1813. New Testament. Google Book

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ An Encyclopaedia of Translation, David E. Pollard, p.67
  2. ^ Chaò-chî Yi-sû Chī-tuh Sang Iah Sing Shī: Sz̀ fuh-iang tà sź-du ae-djüe fa üe-tsiu t'û. Dà-ìang sing-shï whaỳi yiáng-ge. 1894. p. 564. 
  3. ^ 《圣经》方言译本书目考录

Reference[edit]

  • John R. Hykes. List of Translations of the Scriptures into the Chinese Language. (Yokohama, Japan: Fukuin Printing, 1915). Google Book (free download).