An introduction to some of the most frequently used Chinese Bible translations.
Chinese Union Version (CUV) 和合本
This most commonly used Bible in China and the easiest to buy within Mainland China. It is widely available in bookstores at registered churches. Translated in 1919 from English (rather than the original Hebrew and Greek), the language is poetic, but also outdated in places. It is well-loved by many Christians, but its literary style can be alienating to those new to Bible reading. Parallels can be drawn between it and the King James Version in English.
Chinese New Version (CNV) 新译本
Published in 1992, this translation is easier to read than the CUV, and is translated from the original languages, leading to greater accuracy in translation. It strikes a good balance between readability and faithfulness to the original, and is thus the Bible we most frequently recommend. It is not published within Mainland China (though available to buy online).
Contemporary Chinese Bible (CCB) 当代译本
Translated in 1974 and revised in 2010, this translation seeks to be readable, making it a good choice for those seeking an approachable introduction to the Bible. However, the priority of readability makes it less suitable for in-depth study. A previous version was also known as the Living Bible.
Today’s Chinese Version (TCV) 现代中文译本
Published in 1979, this translation uses simple, easy to read Chinese. Like the Union Version, it is published in Mainland China by the Amity Foundation, and aims to be more readable than the Union Version.
Further Reading: This article from an Australian website for returnees gives helpful advice on choosing a translation.