Hello ISM friends,
I am new to focused international ministry. (Campus ministry and church planting background.) I’m working with a few churches, helping families show hospitality to I.S.’s as a path to disciple-making.
I’m dreaming about some resources, that might or might not exist out there. Perhaps you have some ideas.
I’d love to have a few things for the students we’re getting to know who speak Chinese, Arabic, Korean and Mongolian. I’d love to have:
- A good bilingual bible (with both versions about the equivalent to the Good News Bible. I’m not a huge fan of clunky English transitions for Americans or non-English speakers :).
- A basic book/booklet with the basics of the gospel and what it means to follow Jesus.
- An English Translation of #2 for American Christians to read and be able to dialogue about with students.
For Chinese, I’ve found a Song of a Wanderer in both Chinese and English. There are several bi-lingual bibles out there, but I’m not sure if the Chinese version is very readable. One some of the Koreans has a New Revised Korean Version?? bilingual bible, but he reports he’s rather read the NIV because it’s easier to understand! ;)
Any thoughts on these resources? And any chance there’s a central location for getting these kinds of things in every language? You old-time ISMer’s might be chuckling right now at that one.
Thanks so much for all the resource “centers” you suggested. I thought I’d send a compilation of the replies:
- multilanguage.com came up many times.
- afcresources.org came up many times for resources in Chinese.
- Digital Bible Society (http://dbs.org/)
- A blog by a Chinese man (who blogs in English) called Jackson Wu for help understanding what translated American resources are and aren’t helpful: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jacksonwu/resources/
- Global Recordings Network- evangelistic recordings in over 6,400 languages and dialects. You can go to www.5fish.mobi and search, listen to, and share them for free.
- American Bible Society
- A good discussion about the difference between the CUV (older Chinese language, but used by the churches in China) and the CNV (updated language, but not used by the churches.) This seems important to think through I believe, especially for reentry of students back to China.
Here is the discussion:
With regards a Chinese Bible, whether bilingual or not, I'd go with the 新译本 which translates I think as the Chinese New Version (Simplified). It's a much more readable Bible than the older 和合本 (Chinese Union), although the older one is still what you'll find in most Chinese churches in China. You could say it's like a comparison between the NIV and the KJV. Also when buying Chinese Bibles, remember there are simplified and traditional characters, and generally speaking it's only people from Taiwan or Hong Kong (and some people from the southern province of Guangdong) who would read traditional characters.
Song of a Wanderer is excellent (particularly from an apologetic point of view), and recently there have been many good translations of other books available, including from writers such as Tim Keller etc. The obvious advantage of translated books is that you can know what the content is!
Re a basic booklet of what it means to follow Jesus etc., we've tended not to use these (apart from ones focusing on Christmas/Easter etc.), largely because there's not a lot of good stuff available. There are many translations of western materials which are written to an American audience, and are on the whole inappropriate to give to someone with a Chinese cultural background. If you're looking for thoughts on this, I'd recommend instead a blog by a Chinese guy (who blogs in English) called Jackson Wu. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jacksonwu/resources/
Hope that helps
Hello Brother Luke, and others interested in the Chinese side of Luke’s inquiry,
Thank you all for serving the Lord Jesus by serving the international students. I praise God for this association of likeminded coworkers!
As for the Chinese Bibles, you can read a sentence or two about each one (with links to preview them all online) under the Bibles section of our website. Although the old CUV is more difficult to understand, I must admit that Chinese are still coming to Christ in droves through it. Although for an unbeliever, most of us Americans would prefer to use a CNV, and even better if its bilingual with the NIV, as an introductory Bible. Eventually, down the road, the student could be introduced to the CUV since that is what they will read in a Chinese church setting.
We distribute tens of thousands of CUV Bibles here in North America each year, almost exclusively to Chinese Christians. And thousands of CNV Bibles, almost exclusively to Americans. I’m not sure if this polarization is good or bad, but it’s an interesting factoid J
There are some good paraphrases out there, but are not always easy to obtain. But hopefully later this year we’ll be stocking the TCV and CCB. You can check our website every once in a while to see: www.ChineseResourceMinistry.org.
As for a basic book or booklet for Chinese students, there are several options available, depending on the level of depth you are looking for - I can share what I believe to be useful. On a beginners level, there is the Chinese re-write of the Four Spiritual Laws: Bilingual Five Great Mysteries. This is also available inside a Bilingual Gospel of John. The next level up, I would say the Stranger on the Road to Emmaus is a great explanation of the Bible’s message from a Gospel viewpoint. For seasonal use, What are Christmas and Easter all about? is a condensed version of the Stranger book (Easy-English, but coming soon in Chinese, hopefully by Easter, fingers crossed). Growing in Christ is one of several good books for new Christians, talking in depth about growth and spiritual disciplines. There are many more than these, but any of you can call me if you have questions or need more information.
The items I listed in this email are simply for Gospel and Bible understanding, not really for apologetics or other needs. There are many resources available to help answer students’ questions, and help them overcome the hurdles that keep them from listening to the Gospel (Luke mentioned Song of a Wanderer, which is one of several great books). I’d love to talk with any of you and introduce you to items that may fit your needs. You can start by looking at our recommended items and new resources.
Thanks again and blessings on your work.