A Better Gospel for Chinese People and Asian Cultures

Have you noticed there are 4 Gospels about Jesus Christ in the Bible, the Christian Scriptures? Why wasn’t one more than enough?

One reason it’s so valuable to have these multiple presentations of the life of Christ is to make it more understandable and meaningful to particular people in specific cultures: Matthew for the Jews. Mark for the Romans. Luke for the Greeks. John for all humanity, the cosmopolitan & multicultural. The more scalable & easier-reproduced “one size fits all” Gospel presentation apparently doesn’t reach everyone.

Could the Christian Gospel be presented in a more meaningful way to the Chinese mindset and the Asian cultures influenced by Chinese culture? This 5-minute video titled Back to God’s Village (from honorshame.com)  illustrates how the Good News could be better contextualized to touch the hearts and souls of Chinese people.

I had only recently come across anything like this in all these years of swimming in the world of Christianity. Before I share my personal reflections, I want to hear from you – what do you think?


9 responses to “A Better Gospel for Chinese People and Asian Cultures”

  1. Linda Avatar

    So has anyone translated this clip into Chinese yet? Sorry, I’m not offering (still learning Chinese : )

  2. Great question! Let me check into that from the producer, or I can find someone to do that translation. Thank you Linda!

  3. You wouldn’t want to translate it too closely because it is designed for someone with a Persian or Middle Eastern background. I don’t think much adaption would be needed.

  4. Sorry, there is no Chinese version. Your not the first to ask, so I guess it needs to get done! Honor and shame are expressed uniquely every culture, so I’d love to help produce a distinctly Chinese version (not just translation). Let me know if you’re interested, and we’ll make it happen! ~Jayson

  5. Jackson, Jayson — thanks for adding your comments. I’m glad to hear of your astute sensitivity to cultural differences from nation to nation, culture to culture, language to language, tribe to tribe. And with that being the case, it’d be lackluster to literally or scientifically translate anything verbatim, and all the wiser and better to translate things with a good hybrid of science and art to communicate well to the hearts of a people.

  6. It’s great and there are few resources like this but I think shame needs to be better defined (at least for a Westerner like me) so I can understand more precisely what the experience of shame is. Steve Hong has some great stuff like this where he made the 4 Spiritual Laws contexualized:

  7. The cultural context reflected in this clip is specifically Kyrgyz, not Persian or Middle Eastern. The music (komus), the clothing (kalpak), the housing (yurt) and much more are all Kyrgyz. The strength and appeal of this clip is that it so closely speaks to Kyrgyz values but in the context of universal Truth. So rather than a direct translation of this clip, it would be more useful and appropriate for folks to develop presentations that reflect the values of their own cultures consistent with Truth.

    1. Thank you J for noticing the specific cultural artifacts in this video that are so meaningful to Kyrgyz people! I’d imagine that hearing the message of the Gospel in one’s own heart culture & language, and to recognize how those themes are universal and true and good for all humanity, has got to be a powerful thing, and makes the good news great news!

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