|Shengjing yuelu 聖經約錄 / Li Madou deng 利瑪竇等.|
In: Yesuhui Luoma dang'anguan Ming-Qing Tianzhujiao wenxian 耶穌會羅馬檔案館明清天主教文獻 / Edited by Nicolas Standaert [鐘鳴旦] [and] Adrian Dudink [杜鼎克]. Reproduction of original text in vol. 1 of this collection. See
Citation source: Albert Chan, S.J., Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome, pp. 105-107.
Jap-Sin I, 126
Shengjing yuelu 聖經約錄
By an anonymous author.
One juan. Chinese bamboo paper in one volume, fourteen folios. No date or place of publication.
The cover bears a Latin inscription: "Succincta explicatio or. domin. [orationis dominicae ], Ave Maria, signi crucis, opera 7 spirit. Sacramentorum. S.J. deest nomen auctoris (compendium minimum operis Japa Sin I, 57)." Cf. Wieger’s catalogue (WH), which attributes this book to Alfonso Vagnone, gives: "Compendium minimum operis n. 57."
The characters are in the regular style of writing Chinese (kaishu 楷書). Each half folio contains seven columns with eleven characters in each column. Annotations are in double lines within the same column and each line contains nine characters.
At the back of the title page there is a note by P. D’Elia: "Dottrina Cristiana del Ricci posteriore al 1605. La descrizione di questa opera si ha in Tacchi Venturi: Opere storiche del P. Matteo Ricci, S.J. 1913, II, 266. La copia ivi descritta sta all’ archivio della propaganda a Roma. La presente copia deve essere posteriore a quella di Roma: a) il 3o comandamento è come quello di adesso. b) 5 unzioni (invece di 4) sono indicate per l’Estrema unzione. c) la parola "Messa" è quella chi si usa ora. 4.9.34 P. D’Elia S.J."
Pfister makes no mention of this book. From the title of the book one may easily make the mistake of thinking that it is a synopsis of the Scriptures. In reality, it is a small book of prayers, rightly translated by Courant as "Petit recueil de prières" (7449).
Judging from the Catholic terminology used in this book one can quite safely conclude that it is an old translation. A great number of the terms are transliterations. Thus, "Church" is translated 厄格勒斯亞 (Ecclesia) and "Sacraments" 撒格勒孟多 (Sacramentum). The seven Sacraments are rendered in the following way: baptism 拔第斯摩 (baptismum), confirmation 共斐兒瑪藏 (confirmatio), communion 共蒙仰 (communio), confession 白尼登輯亞 (paenitentia), extreme unction 厄斯得肋麻翁藏 (extrema unctio) and matrimony 瑪地利摩紐 (matrimonium). On folio 14v, there is the following inscription:
右耶穌會友所譯教要累經竄改至數次 . 乃得與本經原文相合. 方敢付梓. 以故與初譯本互異云. 中有即用本經語者. 乃用分註以譯其義.
There are also two seals on this folio with the emblems of the Society of Jesus, one of them round and the other square. Since there is no way to identify the author we are inclined to follow D’Elia’s opinion (see above) and class it with the writings of Ricci. A confirmation of this attribution can be found in letters of Ricci himself: "At that time permission had already arrived from the inquisitors for us to print the necessary books for our faithful. What Father Matteo [Ricci] first did was to publish a new version of the prayers and other things necessary for the new Christians, which he did with the help of the other priests. In addition to these prayers other items of the Christian teaching were included with brief annotations especially on the seven Sacraments" (TV 1:456). He goes on to say that translations of this kind had already been made, but because of lack of understanding of Catholic terms, the Chinese translators had never succeeded in making a good translation. Every year new corrections had to be made.
(The above is a translation of the essential Christian teaching. After repeated correction it finally agrees with the original. We can now print it with assurance, and the translation is different from that of the first edition. Some of the terms are rendered by transliteration and [to make them clear] we have added some annotations to explain the meaning of each of them).
In a letter to Father Fabio de Fabij, S.I. in Rome (9 May 1605), Ricci mentions his intention of sending a copy of the "Dottrina christiana" to his friend and tells him that this new version has been made with great care and that it has been necessary to make up many ecclesiastical terms that were new to the Chinese. The following are the subjects mentioned in the letter: the Pater Noster, the Ave Maria, the Decalogue, the Creed, the Sign of the cross, the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, the eight Beatitudes, the seven capital sins, the seven virtues, the five senses of the body, the three faculties of the soul, the three theological virtues and the seven sacraments. Brief explanations are given in small characters whenever there is need for. (TV 2:266, letter 30).
Cf. FR 2:292 note.