As e-commerce websites have become more commonplace in China, the Chinese Bible has become widely available to citizens. Before the advent of e-commerce, Christians and others curious about Christ were forced to purchase the Bible at state-approved churches.
Stores selling Christian books online have never had state permission to do so but continued selling the Bible without retribution from the Chinese government. That is until now.
The Chinese government abruptly stopped ALL online Bible sales earlier this month, closing a legal loophole that allowed vendors on some of the largest e-commerce websites in the country to freely sell Bibles and other Christian books. Journalists note that while two former Bible vendors offered to work out a Bible sale via private messages, these vendors made it clear that they could no longer sell Chinese Bibles freely on the internet.
While this new crackdown on Christianity is certain to make it hard for people who want to learn more about Christ, it is really nothing new. China has never made it easy to embrace Christianity since the communists took control of the government nearly 70 years ago.
Unfortunately, the communist government is no longer content with just stopping its people from reading God’s Word. It has a far more sinister plan in mind, one that could do a great deal of damage to the Christian community not only in the country but also abroad.
Shortly before halting all online sales, the Chinese government announced via an official document that the government would be creating its own re-interpreted version of the Bible to ensure that the Holy Scriptures are in line with the government’s beliefs.
This same document makes it clear that the government’s aim is to not only create a Bible that mixes God’s Word with its own doctrines but also build up a Chinese Christian community and theological system that could be used to re-translate reference books so that Chinese Christians who want to study God’s Word would not learn about subject matters that the Chinese government is not interested in promoting.
It is unknown at this time what the Chinese government’s new Bible translation would look like. However, it is well-known that Chinese president Xi Jinping is making an effort to promote traditional religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and folk religion. Would a new Chinese Bible incorporate mix beliefs from these religions with Christian beliefs in order to make Christianity more palatable to the Chinese government?
If so, the new Bible could very well exclude fundamental Christian beliefs such as Jesus being the only way to God and Heaven. At the same time, the government’s demand that all religions practice the core values of socialism almost guarantees that a new Chinese Bible would exclude any text that would put communism in a negative light.
Those who want an idea of what a modified Bible would look like should consider the Muslim Koran. It incorporates many stories of the Old Testament patriarchs, including the stories of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David and Jonah. It includes the story of Jesus’ birth, noting that he was born of a virgin just as the Bible says. It even has many of the stories of his miracles.
At the same time, the Koran makes assertions that are completely contrary to the Christian faith, leading Muslims to believe that Jesus was a great prophet but not the Son of God. A new Chinese Bible written by a government that has no interest in persevering its accuracy may look as similar to a real Bible as the Muslim Koran, in essence creating a new religion of people who claim to be Christians but who don’t actually know what Jesus and the Apostles taught.
While there has been a lot of debate over Bible translations in the past, Christians can unanimously agree that having an anti-Christian government create its own so-called “Christian Bible” for mass consumption is outrageous beyond belief. It is far more dangerous than banning the Bible outright as those who read the new Chinese Bible will think they are learning about what Jesus taught when in reality they are not.
Believers everywhere would do well to pray desperately that this new Bible translation venture will come to naught and that genuine Bible translations will become widespread, making it impossible for the Chinese government to create a new, so-called Christian religion.
~ Christian Patriot Daily