NASHVILLE (BP) – A new Mandarin translation of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, the official statement of beliefs of the Southern Baptist Convention, is now available in traditional and simplified scripts at sbc.net.
The revised translation replaces the previous Chinese translation on the website and is the first of four new translations planned for the BF&M 2000, said Peter Yanes, SBC Executive Committee executive director of Asian American relations and mobilization.
“I’m grateful for the passion, hard work and time invested in translating and making it available in different heart languages,” Yanes said. “My prayer is that the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 will be faithfully passed on through generations and would serve its purpose of guiding and guarding the tenets of Christian faith and practice among our ethnic congregations.”
Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world, with 1.31 billion speakers, and Mandarin is the most popular dialect, Statista reported. In the U.S., Chinese is the third-most spoken language behind English and Spanish, the U.S. Census Bureau said, based on 2017 numbers. There are more than 3.5 million Chinese speakers in U.S. homes, including Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien and other dialects, the Census Bureau said.
In addition to Chinese, the BF&M 2000 is available at sbc.net in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese, Hindi and Arabic. Additional translations are being planned in Persian, Zomi and Falam.
Hongyi Yang, director of Chinese Language Programs and assistant professor of world Christianity at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, is credited with the BF&M Mandarin translation, aided by SWBTS adjunct professor Tamra J. Sanchez, SWBTS professor Malcolm Yarnell as consultant, and the SWBTS translation team of Julie Feng, Rebecca Lin and Dale Jin.
Yang sat on a five-member committee tasked with planning the translation, joined by Daniel Chan, pastor of the Cantonese Congregation of the Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles, and SWBTS adjunct professor; Amos Lee, executive director of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of the United States and Canada and former president of the Malaysia Baptist Theological Seminary; Peter Leong, North American Mission Board Chinese pastor ambassador, Chinese Baptist Fellowship adviser and retired pastor, and Jeremy Sin, NAMB national church planting catalyst and Gateway Seminary adjunct professor.
“The committee unanimously deemed this translation to be excellent in accuracy and readability. It will be a great blessing to the Chinese Baptist communities,” the planning committee said in a joint statement. “We thank Dr. Yang’s meticulous approach, her expertise in theological translation, and her dedication to this task. We also appreciate the support from SWBTS, including Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Yarnell, who provided tremendous help with their knowledge of Baptist theology and English language and literature.”
The new translation was planned after the SBC EC’s Office of Convention Relations received complaints of inaccuracies in the previous Chinese document. The translation planning committee prioritized that the new translation should be written by a team possessing a high proficiency in English and Chinese, sound theological acumen, experience in theological translation and a keen awareness of Southern Baptist nuances and practices.