The Chinese Communist Party, China's ruling regime, has been on a mission to rewrite the Bible through a communist lens. This quest has reportedly resulted in shocking distortions of Scripture and gospel truth.
Todd Nettleton, spokesman for The Voice of the Martyrs, a persecution watchdog serving Christians across the globe, told Faithwire about the Chinese government's ongoing efforts to reimagine the Bible.
"This is a project that the Chinese Communist Party announced in 2019. At the time, they said it would be about a 10-year process ... to release a new translation of the Bible," he said, noting it would include Confucian and Buddhist principles, among others. "This new translation ... would really support the Communist Party."
A Shocking Example of a Bible Rewrite
VOM recently shared a reimagined version of the Bible's revered story centered on Jesus' love and corrective compassion for a woman caught in adultery.
"The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) announced plans to update the Bible to 'keep pace with the times.' The revisions will include adding 'core socialist values' and removing passages that do not reflect communist beliefs," a VOM Facebook post read. "In a textbook for high school students released in September 2020, the authors included a passage from John 8, as revised in their new version."
Before we explore the revised communist version, let's look at John 8 as it stands in the genuine and authentic Bible.
As the famous forgiveness story goes, the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery before them and challenged Jesus, proclaiming, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?"
The Bible notes that these Jewish leaders were "using this question as a trap" to accuse Jesus. Still, Christ started writing on the ground with his finger (it's a mystery what He was writing) and then uttered some transformational words (verse 7): "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."
After the people—clearly shaken by Jesus' words—walked away, Christ and the woman were left standing together, and their exchange went as follows (NIV):
Christ: "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
Woman: "No one, sir."
Christ: "Then neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."
The Chinese Communist Party, though, reportedly has a different vision for how this interaction unfolded—an anti-biblical, faux account that flies in the face of scriptural truth.
In the Chinese government's new version—purportedly observed in a textbook published in September 2020—the crowd disperses, but then the text states, "When everyone went out, Jesus stoned the woman himself, and said, 'I am also a sinner.'"
Why Is China Rewriting the Bible?
The transformed language directly aims at Jesus' divinity, something Nettleton said is quite shocking.
"In one sense, it's just like so arrogant to think, 'I'm going to rewrite the story of Jesus'... but then you think about denying the deity of Christ," he said. "If Jesus is a sinner, then he's not God."
For anyone wondering why the Chinese Communist Party would take such troubling steps to try and diminish the gospel, Nettleton said it has everything to do with control.
"The issue for the Chinese Communist Party is control. It is always about control," he said. "And they see the ... Christian message as something that would take control away from the communist party."
Rather than citizens waking up and pledging allegiance to a loving God and pondering ways to serve Jesus, Nettleton said the government's goal is for Chinese nationals to wake up every day and say, "How can I serve the party today? How can I be a good communist today?"
A Much Broader Persecution Problem
While bombastic and troubling, the rewrite of the Bible is just part of the Chinese government's ongoing attempts to crack down on the Christian faith. The nation's Three-Self Patriotic Movement is a Protestant denomination controlled by and registered with the Chinese Communist Party.
The new Bible translation, it seems, is just another step toward anti-biblical anarchy within the Chinese Communist Party ranks.
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