Since 1919, the Chinese Union Version (CUV) Bible has been a shining light for Christians in China.

To mark the centenary of the CUV Bible, a special thanksgiving service and symposium was held in Hongde Church in Shanghai from the 15th – 17th January.

The celebration was well attended, with over 100 church pastors and leaders, local seminary representatives, academia, government officials and many more packing out the 90-year-old church building. Amongst the local people attending were representatives from United Bible Societies (UBS), neighbouring Hong Kong Bible Society, as a well as nearby Bible Societies from Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.

Also in attendance was Elaine Duncan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Bible Society.

Elaine commented on the event, and the production of the CUV Bible 100 years ago, which took a great deal of collaboration between countries, saying:

The collaborative work that produced the CUV is also being repeated in many other contexts today. Giving people ‘the best possible Bible’ is never a work done alone. The many skills, gifts, knowledge and experience that go into good Bible translation are gifts from God himself to equip His church and build His Kingdom.

Since 1987, more than 80 million copies of the CUV Bible have been distributed in Mainland China, making the CUV the most widely used Chinese Bible not just in China but the world over.

Bishop John Chew, UBS China Partnership Honorary Consultant, recalled the tough circumstances at the time of translation of the CUV in 1919, but was filled with joy at how many people had been transformed by the CUV Bible.

Despite the situation in 1919, the CUV was published in China. It was a product of China. And this calls for thanksgiving! […] With the Amity Printing Company, the CUV has seen wider distribution and usage.

100 years on from the first CUV Bible and the Amity Publishing Company in Nanjing are producing thousands of Bibles every year. However, there is still a great need for Bibles in China, as more and more Christians and non-believers seek to know more about God.