History of the Chinese Bible


The first Chinese translation of the Bible portion was the Chinese A Harmony of the Four Gospels, the Acts and all of Paul’s Epistles. This was used by Western missionaries as a reference for future Chinese translation works on the Bible.

The Gospel of Matthew was translated by Prof. Hovhannes Ghazarian in Macau in 1807. Prof Ghazarian’s work was continued by Dr Joshua Marshman who completed the Chinese New Testament in 1813 and the complete  Chinese Bible in 1822. Meanwhile, another independent translation work was carried out in Guangzhou by Rev Robert Morrison. Morrison who completed the Chinese New Testament in 1813. He was later joined by Rev Willian Milne and together they completed and published a 21 volumes of the Chinese Bible by woodblocks in 1823.

In 1847, a revision of the Chinese New Testament was commissioned by the Missionaries boards in Hongkong. This work was aided by some local Chinese scholars. The New Testament known as “The Delegates Version”  was published in July, 1850. The Old Testament was completed three years late in 1853.

Chinese Union Version Bible

Chinese Union Version Shen Edition John 1

Today, we have many Chinese Translations of the Bible. The most popular was the Chinese Union Version , 1904-1919. This is also known as the “He He Ben”. The earlier versions of the CUV contained many olden Chinese and hence harder to read and understand. However, there were many subsequent revisions and the readability became easier.

Chinese Union New Punctuation Bible Shen Ed John 1

In 1988, the Chinese Union New Punctuation (CUNP) version was published, This included both the Complex or Standard Script as well as the Simplified Script. The Shen and Shangti versions of the CUNP were also revised.

Revised Chinese Union Version Bible

Revised Chinese Union Version John 1

In 2010, the Revised Chinese Union Version ( RCUV) was published and has since being gaining popularity among the Chinese speaking Christians.


Today's Chinese Version Bible

Today’s Chinese Version John 1

The Today’s Chinese Version (TCV) also known as the “Xian Dai Xin Yi Ben” is the Chinese translation of the Today’s English Version (TEV) or the Good News Translation ( GNT). First published in 1979, it was subsequently revised in 1997.

The Chinese Living Bible also known as “Tang Dai Ben” is a paraphrased version, similar to the English Living Bible.

Lu’s Bible. This was first published in 1970 by Mr Lu Zheng Zhong. It is the work of a single person.