Because there are many Chinese translations to choose from, many people wonder why we would bother to develop a new translation such as the Chinese Standard Bible©.
1. CHINESE—THE WORLD’S MOST USED LANGUAGE—IS CHANGING RAPIDLY, AND BIBLE TRANSLATION MUST KEEP PACE WITH THOSE CHANGES. As the language used by a nation with the largest population in the world, Chinese is becoming a global language. More than 1.5 billion people around the world speak or read Chinese as a primary or secondary language. And because of this worldwide usage, Chinese is also a rapidly changing language. However, in recent years, illiteracy in China has continually risen. The Chinese Standard Bible© puts a deeper understanding of God’s Word within reach of the multitude of Chinese speakers, carefully considering both visual attractiveness and listener-friendliness when read aloud. Linguistic and semantic advances have been incorporated into the translation, and it reflects changes in Chinese style through contemporary punctuation, formatting, grammar and vocabulary. At the same time, the Chinese Standard Bible© retains meaningful theological terms while avoiding slang, regionalisms, or changes made simply for the sake of “political correctness” or other social agendas.
2. ADVANCES IN BIBLICAL RESEARCH PROVIDE NEW DATA FOR BIBLE TRANSLATORS. Biblical scholars today have more and better information about ancient biblical texts than scholars did years ago. Ours has been called the “information age” and that is emphatically true in the field of biblical research. Innumerable archaeological discoveries support the reliability of biblical source documents. Analysis of ancient manuscripts has revealed new insights into the transmission of biblical material. And intensive study of individual Bible books—including sophisticated statistical research—has uncovered heretofore unknown facets of Bible knowledge. While translations made as recently as 10 or 20 years ago do not reflect these advances in research, translators of the Chinese Standard Bible© have integrated vast amounts of this information into the translation.
3. ADVANCES IN COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY HAVE OPENED A NEW DOOR FOR BIBLE TRANSLATION. The Chinese Standard Bible© scholars have likely used computers and telecommunications more than any other Bible translators in history. Daily—and sometimes hourly—electronic mail facilitated the timely exchange of ideas and transmission of manuscripts. A platform was specially set up for collaboration of group efforts, and a customized set of software tools was developed to create, revise and manage the translation at each stage. The revisions were aligned to the original language to facilitate cross-checking and consistency during the translation process—something never before done with a Bible translation.