HONG KONG- The New Testament of the Revised Chinese Union Version was formally launched and dedicated, symbolizing a new era in the history of Chinese bible ministries.
The dedication service for the New Testament of the Revised Chinese Union Version was held on April 24 evening at the Evangelical Free Church of China Kong Fok Church, presided over by the Anglican Archbishop of Hong Kong Rev. Dr. Peter Kwong. The editor of the revised edition Rev. Chow Lien Hwa was invited to deliver the message.
Among the attendants, important representatives from the Hong Kong Bible Society and the United Bible Societies were present. Rev. Deng Fu Cun, vice-chairman of the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) of the Protestant Churches, has also represented China to witness the historical moment.
Translation of the Bible is very important for the spread of the Gospel and the revising task itself is a great grace of God, according Deng. Deng added that the China Christian Council (CCC) is very concerned about the project. He also mentioned about the preparation work for the upcoming China Bible Ministry Exhibition in the U.S. that involves both the China Christian Council (CCC) and the National Committee of Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM), saying that "The Bible allows us to become united."
Rev. Chow delivered the message with the theme "the Word of God." He stressed that the Bible is the revelation from God. Some people read the word "History" as "His Story," and the Bible is "His Story" meaning "God’s Story," but Chow suggested that it is also "the world of God."
The New Testament of the Revised Chinese Union Version will be sent to churches, adults, youths and young people, symbolizing that the revised edition is suitable for everyone to read. Currently, only the revised edition for the New Testament is available.
The revision of New Testament of the Chinese Union Version is mainly due to the transformation of word usage over the last century. Since the Chinese Union Version was released in 1919, almost all Chinese churches and Christians regarded it as the standard authority. However, over the last century, Chinese language has developed so much that many phrases used in the translation are too difficult to be understood by modern people in the 21st century.
Since 1983, the United Bible Societies (UBS) has held a number of Chinese Union Version revision seminars in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries to discuss with church leaders the details of the project. Most Chinese church leaders have unanimously agreed with the need to revise the edition.
In September 2000, Hong Kong Bible Society (HKBS) has been authorized to lead the project with the support of CCC. To ensure the revision is made prefect and be accepted by Chinese churches in Mainland China and overseas, HKBS has invited Chinese pastors and ministers from all over the world to participate in the project. Only in Hong Kong, there are a total of 149 church leaders as the consultant.
Following the victory of the project, Christians are urged to continue to pray for the revision of the Old Testament of the Chinese Union Version. It is expected to be completed before 2010.
Correction: Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006:
An article on Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2005, about the recent release of the Revised Chinese Union Bible in Hong Kong. The newly revised Bible version was wrongly named as the "Chinese NIV Bible Revised Edition" both in the heading and in the content of the report whereas the correct name should be the "Revised Chinese Union Version."
Also, the correct number of church leaders in Hong Kong that are invited as the consultant of the revision project should be 149 instead of 121. The revision of the Old Testament of the Chinese Union Version is expected to be completed before 2010 instead of in 2007.(read the apology to the Hong Kong Bible Society)