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Author Topic: Chinese Hymn on the Transfiguration  (Read 2090 times) Average Rating: 5
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« on: August 04, 2010, 08:26:27 AM »

A beautiful hymn, and an extraordinary testimony to the spread of Christianity
during the age of  John of Damascus.

 ----

 A Chinese Hymn on the Transfiguration
 attributed to Ching-ching (Adam),
 Bishop of Chang'an (Xi'an), capital of T'ang China, c. AD 780,
 found at Dunhuang, along the Silk Road in western China,
 on the edge of the Taklamakan Desert

                 The Ta-ch'in (Syrian) Luminous Religion's
                      Eulogy on the Transfiguration of
                        the Holy One-equal-to-God's
                         Leading People to the Truth

 We all adore Thee!  O Saviour!  Thou art the Holy One equal to God!
 Thou art the Merciful Father, the Aloha (God), Himself!

 Thy raiment is like the Precious Gem glorified in the
 Radiance of the Sun and the brightness of the Moon!
 Thy virtues, lofty and majestic, ever excel those of all the Saints and
 Sages.

 The Glad-tidings of Thine!  Oh, Thy Teachings of Wonderful Love!
 These are sounding throughout the world like the Golden Bell!

 The gracious influences of the Merciful Laws of Thine!
 These are spread throughout the world, lest all the souls be lost Forever!

 Being in the dark, these piteous souls are to be lost,
      Were it not for Thy Great Mercy!
 For they have already lost their true nature
      In consequence of all the poisonous evils they received.

 Thou alone art the Holy One who is equal to God Almighty!
 Thou art our King and Redeemer!
 Dwelling in the Divine Light of peerless effluence, visible only to the
 Saints.
 Thou reignest over us all from on high!

 In the form of the sacred streaks of Light, Thy Mercy shines forth
      Far and near,
 Rendering all kinds of iniquities to ashes in order to purge
      All the evil ones from the world!

 Thus Thou showest to us clearly and distinctly that
      Thou art the real Protector of Thy people!
 And by many excellent methods and ways Thou governest
      All the nations,
 Keeping Thine own people from going astray!
 And thus for them Thou preservest Thy merciful Way of Benevolent life!
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« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 11:12:14 AM »

Where did you find this, Father?

A year or so ago, I was looking at some display tucked down in the basement of the Field Museum about how scholars had concluded, and the basis of evidence I unfortunately do not recall in detail, that a Chinese Theotokos and child predated the arrival of the Jesuits in China.
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« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 11:19:13 AM »

It must be of the Nestorian church.
Beautiful.
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« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 11:28:42 AM »

I think that it is necessary to be a little more nuanced than to label everything in the Church in the Persian Empire and beyond as Nestorian.

There was a certain preferred terminology, and certain preferred emphases, but St Isaac the Syrian was of this Church. There were Orthodox in the Persian empire as well, and even some Chalcedonians. So I think it requires a greater degree of judging the various communities spread over thousands of miles by the evidence they present of their own faith.

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« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 11:38:52 AM »

There are no Chalcedonians or Miaphysites attested in China, as far as I know.
Do you know  of any?
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« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 12:22:19 PM »

From the tiny fragments of information we have, how would we know what the substance of the faith of these Christians was?

Can you say for sure that there were no Chalcedonians? Can you say for sure that they were such extreme diophysites that they should be called Nestorians?

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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 12:27:46 PM »

I'm only saying that the available evidence suggests that the Christian communities in China prior to the 14th century were exclusively affiliated with the Catholicos of Seleucia-Ctesiphon/Church of the East etc; whether they were "extreme dyophysites" nobody could say, AFAIK, since no Christological treatises of China have survived.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 12:45:44 PM by augustin717 » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 12:39:19 PM »

Since that is all that we know, that is why I think that we should not lightly call everyone Nestorian from that region of the world.

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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2010, 03:59:24 PM »

I think that it is necessary to be a little more nuanced than to label everything in the Church in the Persian Empire and beyond as Nestorian.

There was a certain preferred terminology, and certain preferred emphases, but St Isaac the Syrian was of this Church. There were Orthodox in the Persian empire as well, and even some Chalcedonians. So I think it requires a greater degree of judging the various communities spread over thousands of miles by the evidence they present of their own faith.

Father Peter

Inded, it was a time of enormous distances and slow communication and as the Tibetans say

Every district its own dialect;
Every lama his own doctrine.
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« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2010, 04:00:24 PM »

There are no Chalcedonians or Miaphysites attested in China, as far as I know.
Do you know  of any?

Ony Niceans?
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« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2010, 04:12:40 PM »

Great! Nestorianism was called 景教 (Jing-jiao/Gyeong-gyo) at that time, which means something like, "The Scenic Religion." Something tells me it was a phonetic translation.

But yes, Fr., where did you get that?
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주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
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« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2010, 04:32:40 PM »

I thought that the chinese stele describes christianity as the 'illustrious religion'. The stele makes no mention of Nestorius nor any doctrinal tenet which could be called Nestorian. Since the church of the east does not call itself nestorian it is difficult to imagine that it would use any chinese words to describe itself in such terms.
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« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2010, 06:35:09 PM »

I thought that the chinese stele describes christianity as the 'illustrious religion'. The stele makes no mention of Nestorius nor any doctrinal tenet which could be called Nestorian. Since the church of the east does not call itself nestorian it is difficult to imagine that it would use any chinese words to describe itself in such terms.

Right. The Lumious Religion. I guess it could mean that. 景 literally means "scenery" or "situation." The modern pronunciation in Mandarin is "Jing." But in ancient times, it was probably pronounced like "King," as reflected in Cantonese, Korean ("gyeong" or "kyung"), Vietnamese, and Japanese. (Southern Chinese dialects, Korean, Vietnamese, and to a lesser extent, Japanese, reflect older usages and pronunciations of Chinese characters than modern Mandarin does).

"King" sounds like an attempt to transliterate "Christ" to me. The modern name for Christianity in Mandarin is "Ji-du-jiao" (Korean: Ki-dok-kyo). Jiao/Kyo means religion or teaching, and Ji-du is an attempt to transliterate "Christo" (better reflected in the Korean pronunciation of "Gi-dok"), and has no literal meaning.

K and G sounds in old Chinese became J sounds in Mandarin. They retain their K and G sounds in Southern Chinese dialects (like Cantonese), Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese.

BTW I'm Korean.
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주 예수 그리스도 하느님의 아들이시여 저 이 죄인을 불쌍히 여기소서.
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2010, 06:39:19 PM »

Is there a way to get the original Chinese text for this? I would be extremely grateful.
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2010, 08:27:26 PM »

Welcome, Nate!
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2010, 08:29:52 PM »

Is there a way to get the original Chinese text for this? I would be extremely grateful.

I second that request.

Also, I just realized there is no link or citation for the original post.  Fr. Ambrose, can you help us on that?   Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2010, 09:16:40 PM »

Your best bet is http://orthodox.cn
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2010, 04:45:46 AM »

Is there a way to get the original Chinese text for this? I would be extremely grateful.

   無上諸天深敬歎  大地重念普安和
 人元真性蒙依止  三才慈父阿羅訶
 一切善眾至誠禮  一切慧性稱讚歌
 一切含真盡歸仰  蒙聖慈光救離魔
 難尋無及正真常  慈父明子淨風王
 于諸帝中為帝師  于諸世尊為法皇
 常居妙明無畔界  光威盡察有界疆
 自始無人嘗得見  複以色見不可相
 惟獨絕凝清淨德  惟獨神威無等力
 惟獨不轉儼然存  眾善根本複無極
 我今一切念慈恩  歎彼妙樂照此國
 彌施訶尊大聖子   廣度苦界救無億
 常活命王慈喜羔  大普耽苦不辭勞
 願赦群生積重罪  善護真性得無繇
 聖子端在父右座  其座複超無量高
 大師願彼乞眾請  降筏使免火江漂
 大師是我等慈父  大師是我等聖主
 大師是我等法王  大師能為普救度
 大師慧力助諸羸  諸目瞻仰不暫移
 複與枯燋降甘露  所有蒙潤善根滋
 大聖普尊彌施訶  我歎慈父海藏慈
 大聖謙及淨風性  清凝法耳不思議
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