ESV-RCUV Bible

ESV-RCUVSS65

Preface

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

《圣经》由涵盖多部书卷的两大部分组成,成书过程更是历时千年。其第一部分名为“旧约”,第二部分则被称为“新约”。“旧约”的文字表达基本上以希伯来文为主,少量书卷为亚兰文(亚拉姆语),而“新约”则全部由希腊文写成。

将圣经文字多国化的翻译工作很早就开始进行了。如此做的信念是:圣经作为神的话语,应采用不同的语言以便于人们阅读。如今,整本圣经已被翻译至457种语言。

在这个特别的版本中,结合了使用现代英文翻译版本——“英语标准译本”(ESV),与新近完成的中文译本——“和合本修订版”(RCUV)。用圣经公会的术语来说,就是所谓的“双语对照”,即,一个版本两种语言。

如今的社会,对“双语对照”的需求自是不言而喻。时下,英语与中文已然成为全球最为大众化的两大语种,全球数以百万计的人们是这两种语言或者其中一种的使用者。针对那些已经是双语的人们或欲通过切换阅读中英圣经来熟练精通双语的人们来说,这个版本是最为简单与便利的。

将这两个版本放在一起的做法是全新的,以下将简短概括此二者的特色。

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。

于2010年完成并发行的“和合本修订版”(RCUV),是最为普及的中文“和合本”的主要修订版本。早期版本(1919年)中所使用的古老的文字表达,至此已被修订,以便于现代人更好地理解愿意。同时,随着“死海古卷”重现天日,一些文本内容也相对应地得到了修正。当然,译者们也慎重地保留了早期版本的语调与风格。

我衷心期待通过此版本的发行,圣经的永恒信息将被有意义地传达、理解与领受。

 

林溪潭