Recently one of the members of our DPM China outreach team came across some teaching from a textbook for high school students entitled “Ethics And The Law.” This book, which has been approved by at least one provincial education authority in China, if not by a central authority, referred to the story of the woman caught in adultery in John’s gospel.
In John 8:1-11 we read about what happened when the Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery. They wanted her to be stoned to death and were testing Jesus. But He did not fall into their trap. So, He challenged them by inviting those who were without sin to pick up the first stone. We can find the rest of this story in John 8:9-11 (NIV):
“At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
However, the Chinese textbook, claiming to be using the words of the Bible, has a different ending to this story. It says: “When the others had departed, Jesus stoned the woman to death and said: I am also a sinner. If the law can only be executed by a man who has no sin in his life, then the law itself will die.”
During the last few years, the Chinese government has discussed a plan to "sinicize the Bible", “a process intended to shape religious traditions and doctrine to better conform with Chinese society and the Chinese Communist Party objectives.” We do not know if the distortion of the Bible in this textbook is putting this plan into practice, or whether it is a lone act of one educational authority. But, what we know is that actions like this one and the increased persecution of Christians in China mean that we must do all we can to help church leaders and believers in this vast land to root their faith in God’s Word.
DPM outreach workers in China are providing Chinese believers and (underground) pastors with much-needed Bible teaching by Derek Prince. If you want to contribute towards this outreach, please consider making a donation online.
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