Learning from the Past: Language Study

Today’s guest post comes from ANDREW T. KAISER, PhD, author of Voices from the Past and The Rushing on of the Purposes of God, has been living in Shanxi with his family since 1997, serving the people of the province through professional work and public benefit projects. The past is a laboratory for testing new [Read More…]

Using Chinese to Teach Hebrew

As I’ve said many times before, the Chinese church needs more teaching in the original biblical languages of Hebrew and Greek. For those who engage in this ministry, this is the post for you. Recently, Scott Callaham, a professor at Baptist Theological Seminary (Singapore), published an insightful article titled: Biblical Hebrew in Chinese: Fostering the [Read More…]

More tips for teaching theology in Chinese

This post gives a number of suggestions for learning and teaching theological concepts in Chinese. However, many of the ideas below could easily be applied to other languages as well. In the last post, I explained three of the most critical suggestions. Today, the list is more straightforward, starting with tip #4.   4. Use [Read More…]

3 Tips for Teaching Theology in Chinese (and other languages)

Practically speaking, how can people learn and teach theological ideas in Chinese (or any other foreign language)? My previous post explained “why” missionaries should learn theological language (not merely “religious” language). Today, I want to talk about the “how” by offering 3 initial tips. Later, I’ll offer a lot more suggestions. What do we do? [Read More…]

Teaching Theology in Chinese

I once sat in a meeting with a group of new missionaries being sent to East Asia. One man wanted to have proper expectations about learning Mandarin. He raised his hand and asked sincerely, “How long with it take before we can read things like theological journals in Chinese?” With a snorting laugh, one woman interjected [Read More…]

Why and how to talk about “face” in China

Why and how might the mianzi/lian distinction shape our conversations with Chinese Christians and non-Christians? In my previous post, I explained the difference between those two words, both of which can be translated “face.” In this post, I’ll touch on a few reasons why it can be helpful to keep in mind these two ways [Read More…]

Explaining “Face” Using Lian and Mianzi

Both in Saving God’s Face and on this blog, I have highlighted a slight distinction between the two Chinese words for “face”–– lian (脸) and mianzi (面子). Do Chinese people understand this? Is this distinction important? Does is matter when it comes to evangelism and explaining theological ideas? As soon as you distinguish lian and [Read More…]

What to do if they don't know Greek or Hebrew

What should we do when Chinese believers don’t know Greek or Hebrew? In the last post, I explain why we should use the biblical languages when teaching the Bible to Chinese Christians. Someone sent me the question because the most common Chinese translation of the Bible (CUV, 和合本) drops a lot of key words, like [Read More…]

Should We Use Biblical Languanges to Teach Chinese Christians?

A reader sent me a question after my previous post about using “context” to interpret a Bible passage. He asked, “I agree with you that conjunctions are the most important words in the Bible, however the 和合本 often leaves out conjunctions. Do you teach your students using English Bibles? Do you have them read Hebrew/Greek? [Read More…]

Talking about “Honor” and “Glory” in Chinese

“Face” is simply another way of talking about honor-shame (荣辱, róngrǔ). So, what some words someone might actually say? (In my previous post, I gave an introductory Chinese lesson on the subject of “face.”) Directly using a phrase like “honor-shame” (荣辱, róngrǔ) is of course more abstract than “face” language. This is necessary when you [Read More…]