Author: XIANG Bingguang, Assistant Researcher, Institue of Contemporary Religions, Shandong Academy of Social Sciences
Two early manuscript copies of “Nestorian” Scriptures in Dunhuang, including the Hsu T’ing Mi-shih-so Ching (Jesus Messiah Sutra) and Yi shen lun (Discourse on Monotheism), have recently been republished from Japanese holdings in Japan by Kyou-shooku in a volume entitled Dunhuang miji (Dunhuang Secrets). The two manuscripts have many features in common, such as the same handwriting, but also share many common problems, including missing words, hiatuses and misprints, creating hard-to-understand sentences and textual disputes. These basic textual problems have hindered research on the manuscripts, and no single method exists to resolve all of the problems. This paper argues that only through continuous detailed research and collation and by comparison with other Dunhuang writings, ancient Chinese classics and Christian classics, can the texts become comprehensible, and that we should begin by defining and explaining difficult words and fragmented sentences in the texts.
Dunhuang, Nestorianism, Hsu T'ing Mi-shih-so Ching, Monotheism
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