|A paragraph in Professional Ethics and Law, an official Chinese textbook.|
In 2018, the Editorial and Reviewing Committee, a Chinese official educational organization, approved Professional Ethics and Law, edited by Zhongmei Pan, Gang Li, and Baoyu Xu. This official textbook features a story from the Bible, recorded in John 8. The plot of the heavily revised story totally contrasts its original meaning.
The original account records:
He (Jesus) stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” … But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
In the textbook, however, the altered passage now reads:
Jesus once said to the angry crowd who was trying to stone a woman who had sinned, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone at her.” When his words came to their ears, they stopped moving forward. When everyone went out, Jesus stoned the woman himself, and said, “I am also a sinner.”
This malicious distortion of the Christian Bible obviously does not align with the words John 8 states, seriously distorts, and defiles the image of Jesus Christ in Christianity. In the original biblical story, Jesus saved the woman’s life. He did not stone her. Moreover, contrary to this textbook fabrication of Jesus’ words, saying, “I am also a sinner,” Jesus never proclaimed that he sinned.
The textbook also adds, “But if the law can only be enforced by unblemished ones, the law will only die. In this excerpt, the question, ‘how do you view the law?’” equates to: How do you view Chinese law?
The CCP textbook infers that if only people without sin can enforce the law, the law will become powerless. It implies that because illegal behaviors of Chinese judicial officials in law enforcement are unavoidable, they should be tolerated.
Although some perceive this textbook aims to cultivate the professional ethics of legal practitioners, as it fabricates biblical text, this book instead violates professional ethics.
The CCP has pressured the Christian community in China for years, trying to reinterpret the biblical doctrine and theology to conform to the socialist values Xi Jinping advocates. Until now, however, Chinese officials rarely, so openly presented an altered biblical passage in an official textbook.
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