The Bible consists of a two-part collection of books written over a period of more than a thousand years. The first part is known as the ‘Old Testament’ and the second part the ‘New Testament’. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, with some portions in Aramaic. The New Testament was written entirely in Greek.
Translation of the Bible into vernacular languages began from very early days. The belief was that the Bible being the Word of God, should be available to people in their own language. Today, the whole Bible has been translated into 457 languages.
In this special edition, the text of a modern English translation of the Bible, the English Standard Version is set against the text of a newly completed Chinese translation, the Revised Chinese Union Version. In Bible Society parlance, what we have delivered is a ‘diglot’, meaning an edition with double or between two tongues.
The need for such a diglot is self-evident. In recent times, English and Chinese have become the world’s most popular languages. The number of people who use one or both of these languages is in the millions. Readers who are already bilingual and those desiring to become proficient in both these languages will want to be able to switch between reading scripture in English and Chinese. This edition will make it easy and convenient for such readers to do so.
As the two translations being matched are new, a word about each of them is in order.
The first thing to be said about the English Standard Version (ESV) is that it is an ‘essentially literal’ translation. As its sponsors claim, the translation ‘seeks as far as possible to capture the precise wording of the original text and the personal style of each Bible writer.’ Each resultant word and phase has been weighed against the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. In short, the ESV is a reliable and accurate translation.
Completed and launched only in 2010, the Revised Chinese Union Version (RCUV) is a major revision of the popular Chinese Union Version. Archaic language found in the earlier version (completed in 1919) has been updated so that the intended meaning can be better understood. Some texts have also been modified in light of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The translators however were careful to preserve the tone and style of the earlier version.
It remains for me to offer this compilation in the hope that the enduring message of the Bible will be meaningfully conveyed, understood and received.
LIM K THAM
首先，关于“英语标准译本”（ESV） 最值得一提的是，这是一个采用“直译为本”译法的版本。正如发起人所声称的那样，此版本“竭尽所能地捕捉原始文本中的精准词义并还原每位作者的个人写作风 格”。每一个被使用的词汇以及短语都一再与原文——希伯来文、亚兰文以及希腊文相核对。一言以蔽之，“英语标准译本”不失为一个可靠与准确的翻译版本。