My long waited NCV-ESV Bible has finally arrived! The first time I heard about it was from an ICQ conversation with Joel from Singapore last April. It was actually quite exciting to hear a publisher combining probably two of the finest translation to date - New Chinese Version 新譯本 and English Standard Version - into a Chinese-English bilingual Bible. The release date was initially July last year, but due to various reasons there were delay after delay. We have made our order late last year, directly from Hong Kong, and today 3 boxes containing 60 Bibles, which we have ordered on behalf of FOCUS, have finally been delivered.
I myself took a compact hardcover copy. First impression - very very thin pages. It has Chinese on one side and English on another side of page, which is obvious for a bilingual Bible. It contains NCV and ESV introduction for each of the book before the first chapter, and it also contains introduction on groups of books, for example before the Law, the Major/Minor Prophets, etc. I found the NCV introduction is quite comprehensive, as it includes sections on the date, author, main themes, section break downs, etc. At the end of the Bible, it also includes the ESV concordance, which would be very useful searching for related passages around a key word. ESV cross reference is not included though, but I doubt it would fit as it already tried to squeeze in two translations.
At the back it also includes some full colour maps - they are actually good quality maps from the days of the Patriarchs to the spread of Christianity. The binding is okay - I hope it will not be as disastrous as Crossway's ESV binding, which Vivian's died within a year. I guess only time will tell.
I have not tried to compare much of NCV to the older CUV (Chinese Union Version of 1919) yet. I opened both of them to 2 Timothy 3:15-16, which I used in the Bible study last Sunday.
... the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, ... (English Standard Version)
... 這聖經能夠使你有智慧，可以因信基督耶穌得著救恩。全部聖經都是 神所默示的，在教訓、責備、矯正和公義的訓練各方面，都是有益的，(New Chinese Version)
... 這聖經能使你因信基督耶穌有得救的智慧。聖經都是神所默示的、於教訓、督責、使人歸正、教導人學義、都是有益的．(Chinese Union Version)
The Mandarin group I had yesterday had trouble understanding verse 15b on the relationship between the scripture, salvation and faith in Christ Jesus. The CUV is a bit confusing, or misleading I'll say. ESV is clear, and so is the NCV. So far so good...
Another feature of NCV is that dotted underline, which means these words/phrases were not in the original but added by the translators so that the sentence won't sound too awkward. I'll take that famous passage of John 3:16.
The word "他們" can be clearly seen that it has been added by the translator (and it is not in ESV). The same word exists in CUV, but there is no way for readers to know that it is actually not in the original manuscript.
That's it for today. I believe there will be more discovery for the days to come.