Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Nestorian Rendering of the Christian God's Name was Yishu (= 移鼠) = the Chinese Characters for 'Moving Mouse'

If we check the effort of strangification by the Nestorians in China, as to linguistic strangification, the Nestorians had not well appropriated Chinese language, the earlier translations were either misleading or coarse that would not invite Chinese religious faith, such as the term Jesus was translated as yishu (移鼠), a moving mouse, Maria (末艷), the least fair, John as ruohun (若昏), the seemingly confused...etc., not only without any aesthetic sense of letter, but also provocative of sense of disdain. Later, Nestorian translation over appropriated Daoist and Buddhist terms, such as using Buddha, Dao, Marvelous Dao, to translate God, which, not only misinterpreted the Christian message, but also made itself indistinguishable from Daoism or Buddhism. [Vincent Chen, Globalism, Christianity, Confucianism in Zhao Dunhua, Dialogues of Philosophies, Religions and Civilizations in the Era of Globalization p. 193]

A sample Chinese Nestorian prayer:

You should know that the one who controls all the matters can forgive, like Kenu Yishu (Christ Jesus). You should not store up treasures on earth. (Line 10-15) It can either be destroyed or be robbed by thieves. Treasures should be stored up in heaven where they will not be destroyed, nor lost. When you judge others, there are two life-related things which are first important in the world: first is the heavenly Lord, the second is money. then he lacks food and clothing. One needs not worry too much.

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