Christian culture 基督教文化学刊

The Difficult-to-Translate Bible: A Case Study of Feng Xiang's Mo Xi Wu Jing

Author: Ph.D. Candidate, Center for Religious Studies, Sichuan University



The Chinese Union Version Bible (1919, CUV) has long been regarded as the authoritative version for Protestants, however, there also have been many new attempts at Bible translation. One of these is that of FENG Xiang, often praised as a pioneering figure in the history of Chinese Bible translation. While the CUV was a collective work of Christian missionaries and Chinese scholars, FENG translated the Bible as a non-believer. This paper focuses on the Pentateuch and offers a comparative study of the Chinese translation of the Chinese Union Version and FENG Xiang’s Mo Xi Wu Jing (The Five Scriptures of Moses) published in 2013. By analyzing the aims and methods of FENG’s translation, comparing selected excerpts, and exploring the criticism FENG received and his responses, the paper compares the internal grammar and external control of both versions. It points out that the difficulty of biblical translation lies not only in the text itself but in the desire, identity and ideology of the translator, and argues that the latter may be more influential.



FENG Xing, Pentateuch, Chinese Translation of the Bible, translation


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