The Pastoral Bible
: mùlíng shèngjīng; jyutping
: muk6 ling4 sing3 ging1) is the Chinese
edition of the Christian Community Bible
. Work on the translation began in 1991
, took 5 years to finish, and the completed translation was published in 1999
. This translation is available in both traditional
and simplified Chinese
Based on existing versions of the Christian Community Bible, the Pastoral Bible:
- uses easy-to-understand language
- includes extensive annotations
- has culturally appropriate and pastorally relevant annotations
Since its publication, this translation has been in the center of some controversy due to:
- being edited by a team of non-experts with no formal training in bible translation
- being translated not from the original languages (recommended by joint Catholic-Protestant guidelines laid out in Hong Kong in 1987), but instead from the English and other editions of the Christian Community Bible
- containing noted errors
- containing commentaries which may not agree with official church teaching
- using a transliteration scheme that matches neither the Studium Biblicum Version nor the Chinese Union Version.
Due to its criticisms, some regard this translation as being a poor translation unsuitable for lay people without extensive prior theological training; at the same time, there are also people who recommend this translation to lay people.
The Pastoral Bible uses modern typographical conventions and is typeset horizontally from left to right. It distinguishes between passages the editors feel to be more important and those felt to be less important, and the less important passages are typeset in a smaller font. This treatment allows the bible to stay within a reasonable thickness despite its extensive annotations, which often take up as much as half of the page.
The Pastoral Bible is copyrighted, but the publisher has chosen to allow it to be accessed and downloaded online from their web site free of charge. The downloadable version is in Microsoft Word
format; a browsable HTML
version is also available.