Building a Foundation for Your Faith:
A Guide to Bible Study and Theological Tools (1)
What the 21st century longs and needs to see, are Christians and churches who have a message to proclaim. Do you know what you believe? Building one’s own theological foundation is a life time task. It may involve going to seminary, or it may not. Not everyone has that opportunity. Sadly, very often a seminary degree does not mean a solid foundation in the doctrines of the Bible. However you can launch out on your own seminary education. It will involve effort and sacrifice of time. You also need to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom, so that you avoid going the way of worldly scholarship, and end up really hearing the message proclaimed by and in the Bible. But it is most rewarding, and most importantly, it strengthens your faith and your ministry.
有些基督徒进神学院进修，装备自己带职事奉，可是不是每一位信徒都有这机会。不幸的是，很多神学院毕业生没有为自己的神学 (信仰) 打好根基。不少
当代的神学院 (包括福音派) 因为崇尚学术而在建立信仰根基这方面失败了。不
First we must correct a wrong concept among Christians: many want to buy and read new books only. Beware! New books are not always better than old books. Spiritual giants like John Stott (司徒德/史托特) and J.I. Packer (巴刻) advises the reader to drink from the foundations of ripe, mature theology which has been handed down through the centuries. Let the beginner take heed!
The content of our beliefs is the Bible; the standard for our beliefs is also the Bible, God’s inspired, inerrant and infallible Word. A system of belief, therefore, must be consistent, and completely based on the Bible. However, to build a belief system you may begin at a number of points, since a theological system is a comprehensive whole made up of many parts. You may start with a serious study of each book of the Bible; or by studying systematic theology. You may begin by using reference works (e.g. theological dictionaries) to supplement your preparation for Sunday School classes and Bible studies; or you may choose to follow a Bible survey or a Bible textbook.
我们信仰的内容 、准则都来自《圣经》 ，是上帝所默示的、无误无谬的话语。完备而合乎《圣经》的信仰系统，应是前后一贯的整体。因此，学习的计划可以从不同地方入手。你可以先好好地细读《圣经》的书卷，或者从学习系统神学开始。前者比较属归纳法思维方式，后者比较像演绎法，两者都是合理的思维方式。
BIBLE VERSIONS AND STUDY BIBLES 《圣经》版本，研读版《圣经》
A profitable Bible study lifestyle is an excellent starting point to build your theological foundation. Christians need to make the most out of their personal devotions! For those who serve as Bible study leaders or Sunday School teachers, it will help to take advantage of some reference books, especially a good Bible dictionary. Or you may begin by using a survey of the Bible.
一个有益的读经生活，是建立扎实的信仰根基的起点。在查经和主日学事奉的弟兄姐妹们，可以用一些信仰稳固的参考书来帮助你准备主日学或查经班，例如一本有份量的《圣经》辞典。或者，你可以跟着一本《圣经》入门 (《圣经》综览) 和一本《圣经》教科书来读经。
Although most Christians are now using The New International Version (NIV， 新国际版) of the Bible, there are problems. A British edition of the NIV has been published, using “inclusive language.” I have recently switched back to the New American Standard Bible (NASB). It may not read as smoothly as the NIV, but it is more accurate to the original words of Scripture. If you shop carefully at your local Christian bookstore, there may be a rather inexpensive version of the NASB (as low as US $7), which you may buy for your entire Sunday School class/Bible study group. Also the English Standard Version (ESV) is receiving very favorable comments from conservative scholars since its recent publication.
目前英语世界的基督徒，很多爱用《新国际版圣经》(NIV)，不过这里不无问题。将来出版的 《今天新国际版圣经》 (Today’s NIV)，可能采用女权主义的词汇 (即英文的所谓 inclusive language)。笔者已从《新国际版》改回用《新美国标准版》 (New American Standard Bible, NASB)；后者可能没有《新国际版》 (NIV) 读起来那么舒服，可是对原文的字句忠实得多 (比方说，罗3 ：24的挽回祭，意即主耶稣在十字架上挽回父神的忿怒，这观念 NASB 不会翻译成赎罪祭)。读者不妨到附近的基督教书店逛一逛，有时可以买到较便宜的《新美国标准版》。可以为你的主日学的学生购买，让人手一册！另外，《英文标准版》 (English Standard Version, 简称 ESV) 近年来面世，获得很多信仰保守的信徒与学者的赞赏。
For Chinese readers, I recommend both the Union Version (He he ben， 和合本) and the newer New Chinese Bible (Zhong wen xin yi ben 中文新译本), which is somewhat patterned after The NASB. Do not confuse the New Chinese Bible (a translation) with Xian dai zhong wen yi ben 现代中文译本, which is the Chinese version of The Good New Bible (only a paraphrase).
中文读者除了《和合本圣经》 (1919) 以外，可以考虑《中文新译本》；
后者翻译原则有点像《新美国标准版》。《中文新译本》与《现代中文译本》是两本不同的《圣经》；后者是意译的，采用的原则与英文的 Good News Bible 相似。
In recent years we see many styles of the Chinese Bible. For example, there is a parallel Bible with both the Union Version and the New Chinese Bible. This parallel Bible is worth buying and using!
A solid tool to accompany your Bible study is The Reformation Bible former name: The New Geneva Study Bible (Ligonier Ministries, www.ligonier.org, list price: $39.99). The notes and the special articles all seek to build a solid theological foundation from the historic, 16th century Reformational perspective. This is the Bible I use at present; it uses the text of the English Standard Version. If we complement this with something like the Life Application Bible (Tyndale and Zondervan, 1988), we will have two tools to build solid, practical Bible studies and sermons.
For Chinese readers, the NIV Study Bible published by Christian Renewal Ministries (Sheng jing: xin guo ji ban yan du ben 《圣经：新国际版研读本》, or The CRM Study Bible, Milltown, NJ: Christian Renewal Ministries, 1996) is the most complete study Bible. This Bible gives you background and guides you to understand the meaning and content of the Bible.
Another helpful Chinese tool is the study Bible edited by China Graduate School of Theology’s faculty: Sheng jing: chuan zhu zhu xi ben 《圣经：串珠注释本》 [The Bible: CGST Study Edition] (Hong Kong: Christian Communications Ltd., 1987). The bottom half of every page is shaded in gray, and packed with thought-provoking questions (no answers, just questions!).
另外一本是由早期的中国神学研究院讲师编写的 《 圣经：串珠注释本》(香港：证主，1987) ，每一页的下半页都有查经的问题，让读者好好的回到经文去找答案。(没有答案，只有问题！)
Christian Renewal Ministries has recently published The Quest Bible 灵修圣经, which is the Chinese translation of The Life Application Bible.
The ones I have listed are aimed at building one’s theological foundations.
There are other study Bibles for devotional use. For example, The Living Bible (当代圣经)or its newer edition, The New Living Translation (Tyndale House), as well as the very popular Good News Bible (American Bible Society), are paraphrases, not translations. They are helpful for you to get a contemporary twist to the text, but do not rely on them to give you the accurate meaning of the text. In fact, Dr. Kenneth Taylor originally did The Living Bible translation to help his elementary-school age children to understand the Bible.
There are non-evangelical translations which can be scholarly, but should be used for reference only: e.g. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV—National Council of Churches USA); The New English Bible (Oxford University Press/Cambridge University Press); The New Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic); and The New American Bible (Roman Catholic).
在福音派大家庭以外还有其他的版本，如美国教协 (NCC) 的《修订标准版》RSV (Revised Standard Version, 1952) 和 《新修订标准版》NRSV (New Revised Standard Version). 天主教则出版 了《耶路撒冷圣经》 (Jerusalem Bible) 。
Two older translations formed the background to the NASB, and are very solid and reliable: The Revised Version (RV) of the 1880’s, and The American Standard Version (ASV) of the 1900’s. The Reformation Bible is based on The New King James Version (NKJV), which patterns itself after the King James Version of the 1610s – archaic sounding, but quite good.
新美国标准版出版之前，在历史上有两次重要的翻译：1880 年代的 Revised Version， 与 1900 年代的上 ASV。近年来英语世界出版了 《宗教改革精神圣经》 (原称《新日内瓦圣经》) ，《新日内瓦圣经》采用的是新鉴定版 (New King James Version) ，英文比较古老，可是却是一本信仰可靠的工具书。
Both Chinese and English Bible readers should be aware that The Restoration Bible (hui fu ban， 恢复本) is published by The Living Stream Ministries (shui liu zhi shi zhan 水流职事站), operated by the cult commonly known as The Local Church Movement, begun by the late Witness Lee. Another cultic Bible is The New World Translation, published by The Watchtower Society 守望台 (Jehovah’s Witnesses 耶和华见证人). College students often receive a copy of the New Testament of this translation on campuses.
英文与中文读者需要留意，异端也出版《圣经》，如李常受的异端 (英称地方教会运动，出版社名水流职事站) 最近出版了《恢复本圣经》；耶和华见证人 (守望台) 的《圣经》名为《新世界翻译本》 ( New World Translation ) 。这些翻译本都属正统基督教范围以外。
2/16/2006 4:04:00 PM