The Union Version, China's preeminent and most widely used translation of the Bible, had achieved the status of a sacred Chinese classic within the Chinese Church not long after its publication in 1919. Jost Zetzsche's monograph on this remarkable translation traces the historical and linguistic background that led to the decision to translate the Union Version, with detailed analyses of the translation efforts that preceeded it. Special attention is given to the cooperation and confrontation among Protestant denominations as well as the rising prominence of the Chinese translators as these groups attempted to form a cohesive translation of the Bible. This is set against the background of the development of the Chinese language during the 30-year translation process, both in the perception of the translators and in the country at large.

chapter |4 pages


part 1|168 pages

The History of Protestant Missionary Translation from its Beginnings to 1890

chapter 3|18 pages

The Second Generation of Bible Translators

chapter 4|34 pages

First Attempt at a Union Version

Long-Lasting Divisions in the Protestant Mission

chapter 5|14 pages

Separate Activities

Baptist Translation Work

chapter 6|14 pages

Various Translations of Biblical Books

chapter 7|22 pages


Discovery of A Lingua Franca

chapter 8|24 pages

Lower Classical

Translation of The Bible Into a Lower Form of The Literary Language

chapter 9|6 pages

Intermediate Summary and Conclusion

part 2|180 pages

The Union Version

chapter 10|30 pages

The 1890 General Conference

chapter 11|62 pages

Union Version

New Testament Translation

chapter 12|12 pages

The 1907 General Conference

chapter 13|34 pages

Union Version

Old Testament Translation

chapter 14|32 pages

Union Version

Developments after Publication

chapter 15|8 pages