Chinese Orthodox Translation Project 中華正教翻譯計劃
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To promote easy to read accurate modern Chinese translation of important Christian Orthodox texts to inspire those who translate or read the texts to imitate the lives of the Saints in word and in deed in following our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ in this world in preparing us for the joyful "day without evening" of the eternal Kingdom of God.

What's the need for modern Chinese material?

There is a demand for liturgical and catechetical material in easy to read modern Chinese for converts and the faithful in both mainland China and overseas , as well as the general Chinese population who are interested in learning more about the Orthodox Church and the inspirational material drawn from her Saints.

Most existing Chinese Orthodox material was translated into classical Chinese by the Peking Ecclesiastical Mission from Russia in the late 19th or early 20th century. They are hard to read and understand today since the written Chinese language was reformed at the end of the last Chinese dynasty of the early 20th century to use colloquial style and the character simplification has been promoted by the communist government since the 1950s to improve literacy rate among the general Chinese population. Only a handful of literary language scholars can understand the old translations, and even less are Orthodox in background to have a desire to translate them into modern Chinese, based on feedback from native Chinese speakers. Even though this is only a span of century, it is actually equivalent to a modern English speaker trying to read old English Anglo Saxon material of 1300 A.D., such as the Angelic Salutation, "heil ful of grace, þe lord wiþ þee, blissid þou among wymmen" is the Old English equivalent of "Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord be with thee: blessed art thou among women."

Relevance of the Lives of Saints in Today's World of Violence

Excerpt from the life of Venerable Moses the Black [the Robber] (Aug 28):
Moses was an Ethiopian by birth and by profession, at first, a robber and leader of a band of robbers and, after that, a penitent and great ascetic.

He foresaw his death and, one day, he told his disciples to flee for the barbarians were going to attack the monastery. When the disciples also urged him to flee with them, Moses said that he must die by violence for, at one time, he himself committed violence and, according to the words: "For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword" (St. Matthew 26:52). He remained there with six brethren and the barbarians came and slew them. One of the brethren, hidden in the vicinity, beheld and saw seven shining wreaths as they descended upon the seven martyrs.

The Place of Lives of Saints in the Spiritual Life

A talk delivered by Hieromonk Damascene at the Annual Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, February 16/March 1, 2002, on how to make use of the Lives of the Saints and mentions the example of St. John Maximovitch, Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco, who was also a contemporary of St Nikolai of Zica.