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神は實にそのひとり子をお與えになったほどに世を愛されたそれは御子を信じる者がひとりとして滅びることなく永遠のいのちを持つためである is the full translation of John 3:16 into Japanese.
This translation comes from the Shinkaiyaku Bible (a preferred translation by many Japanese Christians).
Just for reference, from the KJV, this reads, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
神愛世人甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們叫一切信他的不至滅亡反得永生 is the full translation of John 3:16 into Chinese.
This is from the Chinese Union Bible which comes from a revised version of the King James. This Chinese Bible was originally translated and printed in 1919 (several revisions since then).
Because of the origin being the KJV, I'll say that in English, this would be, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."
As with any translation, there are interesting cultural and linguistic issues. For instance, the word used for "world" in Chinese can also mean "common people." So you could say that it means "For God so loved the common people..."
This does not take away from the text, as it will be understood with the same meaning and connotation.
There is no direct Greek to Chinese translation in print (that I know of), so this is the best available. Of course, you can ask any Greek person of faith, and they will claim that a bit is lost from the original Greek of the New Testament to any of the English versions of the Bible in print.
These are the last two words from John 3:16 in the Chinese Union Bible.
Although not specifically Christian, this is the way to express ever-lasting life or eternal life in Chinese.
In Japanese, this can either mean eternal life or immortality.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|John 3:16||神は， 實に， そのひとり 子をお 與えになったほどに， 世を 愛された． それは 御子を 信じる 者が， ひとりとして 滅びることなく， 永遠のいのちを 持つためである．||kami wa, minoru ni, sono hitori ko o o atae ni natta hodo ni, yo o aisare ta. Sore wa miko o shinjiru mono ga, hitori toshite horobiru koto naku, eien no inochi o motsu tame de aru.|
|shén ài shì rén shèn zhì jiāng tā de dú shēng zǐ cì gè tā mén jiào yí qiè xìn tā de bú zhì miè wáng fǎn dé yǒng shēng|
shen2 ai4 shi4 ren2 shen4 zhi4 jiang1 ta1 de du2 sheng1 zi3 ci4 gei3 ta1 men2 jiao4 yi2 qie4 xin4 ta1 de bu2 zhi4 mie4 wang2 fan3 de2 yong3 sheng1
shen ai shi ren shen zhi jiang ta de du sheng zi ci gei ta men jiao yi qie xin ta de bu zhi mie wang fan de yong sheng
|shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang t`a te tu sheng tzu tz`u kei t`a men chiao i ch`ieh hsin t`a te pu chih mieh wang fan te yung sheng
shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang ta te tu sheng tzu tzu kei ta men chiao i chieh hsin ta te pu chih mieh wang fan te yung sheng
|John 3:16 (first half)||神愛世人甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們|
|shén ài shì rén shèn zhì jiāng tā de dú shēng zǐ cì gè tā mén|
shen2 ai4 shi4 ren2 shen4 zhi4 jiang1 ta1 de du2 sheng1 zi3 ci4 gei3 ta1 men2
shen ai shi ren shen zhi jiang ta de du sheng zi ci gei ta men
|shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang t`a te tu sheng tzu tz`u kei t`a men
shen ai shih jen shen chih chiang ta te tu sheng tzu tzu kei ta men
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
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The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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