After more than 90% of Chinese believers around the world used the Chinese Bible (CUV) for over 90 years, the revised edition of the Old and New Testaments were grandly released. On September 27, the dedication and thanksgiving ceremony of the RCUV was held by the Hong Kong Bible Society at St. John’s Cathedral.
During the dedication ceremony, the officiating guests, HKSAR Chief Executive, Donald Tsang, the Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwong (Primate and Archbishop of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui) and the chief editor of RCUV, Rev. Lien-Hwa Chow, opened a specially-made giant Holy Bible together, which implicated the official launch of the RCUV. The secretary of National Emblem of the People’s Republic of China, Miss Yu-Hong Ma, the secretary general of the National Committee of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement of the Protestant Churches in China, Rev. Xiao-Hong Xu, the director general of the United Bible Societies, the Asia-Pacific chief executive officer and members of the United Bible Societies from over 10 regions such as Taiwan and Singapore all attended to witness the historical moment.
The revision project for the whole book of RCUV lasts for 27 years, with Dr. Lien-Hwa Chow and Dr. Wei-Ren Luo as the chief editors. More than 30 Bible scholars participated came from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia, North America, Europe and other regions. In addition, the translation consultant from the Bible Society also took part. Bible scholars from China have been involved in the revision as well.
The Hong Kong Bible Society said the present revised edition has already been ordered by churches as the Bible used for the service. The National China Christian Council has also planned to publish the simplified characters in CUV and RCUV (New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs) in the end of this year.
Revised Version Loyal to the Original; Easier to Understand Leads to Greater Popularity
RCUV emphasised not to revise for the revision, but to make all difficult sentences more modern so they become easier to understand and more commonly used. For example, CUV uses “parade” which currently means protests or demonstration. It is now revised as “taking a walk” or “traveling”.
Moreover, the principals for the revision of CUV are “minimum change”, “retaining CUV style” and “loyalty to the original text”. Besides, according to the significant discovery of the Bible ancient transcript Dead Sea Scrolls, it is modified in this new light. In order to be loyal to the original text, for instance, many familiar scriptures were carefully revised.
It was reported that only 20% of the Old Testament and 15% of the New Testament were revised.
Furthermore, the revised edition is attached with a lot of information including the introduction of each book in the beginning, which enables readers to have a better understanding of the author, the object, the historical background and the central theme, and hence to better comprehend the scriptures. And if the original text is too vague to understand, the revised version provides explanation. The entire Bible has a total of 2,400 footnotes.
The Hong Kong Bible Society hopes RCUV can help the Chinese all over the world better understand the word of God. Donald Tsang also said, “The Bible is a valuable book, …I’m confident that the revised edition would make everybody better understand the truth of the Bible. And I also hope this Bible can continue to bless Hong Kong and all the Chinese around the world.”