top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureChapman Chen

Jesus Told us to Preach the Gospel to ALL Creation, NOT Just Humans! By Dr. Chapman Chen



Summary: Just as God made a covenant with all His creatures or animals (Genesis 9:8-17) rather than just humans, Jesus told His disciples to "preach the Gospel to all creation (κτίσει)" (Mark:16:15 KJV). According to Strong's Concordance, κτίσει is defined as creation (the act or the product). However, 12 out of 14 Chinese versions of the verse reviewed in this article render "all creation" as either "all peoples" or "all humanity" or "all humans" or all created humans" or "hundreds of thousands of humans". Only 2 translate "all creation" as "all sentient beings under Heavens" or "all creatures". This reflects human megalomania on the part of ethnic Chinese Christians with a view to exploiting and ravaging animals at will. Prof. Peter Singer (1975) calls it speciesism; Revd Prof. Andrew Linzey (1995) and Prof. David Clough (2011) call it anthropocentrism or humanocentrism.


1. All Creation = All Humans??

Chinese Union Version with New Punctuation (新標點和合本) (1988), Chinese Union Version: Shangdi Edition (和合本2010(上帝版)), Chinese Union Version: Shen Edition (和合本2010(神版)), New Cantonese Bible 新廣東話聖經 (1997), Hong Kong: United Bible Societies, Chinese Union Wenli Bible文理和合譯本)(1919), Wenli Delegates' Bible文理委辦譯本) (1927), and Samuel I.J. Schereschewsky's Easy Wenli Bible施約瑟淺文理新舊約聖經)(1902) translate "all creation" as 萬民 (all peoples). (https://wd.bible/bible/verse/mrk.16.15.csbs)


Chinese Contemporary Bible聖經當代譯本修訂版)(1979, 2005, 2007, 2011) translates "all creation" as 全人類 (all humanity). Chinese New Version聖經新譯本)(1976, 1992, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2010) translates it as所有的人 (all humans). The Holy Bible: A New Translation (Lu's Version)呂振中譯本 (1970, 2017) translates it as一切被創造的人 (all created humans). The Chinese Standard Bible中文標準譯本)(2005, 2008, 2011) (https://wd.bible/bible/verse/mrk.16.15.csbs)and New Testament: Canton Colloquial(新約全書:廣東土白) (1900) (Shanghai: American Bible Society) translate it as 萬人(tens of thousands of humans).


2. All Creation = All Sentient Beings

WU Ching-hsiung's Wenli New Testament & Psalms吳經熊文理聖詠與新經全集)(1949) translates "all creation" as 普天生靈 (all sentient beings under Heaven) (https://wd.bible/bible/verse/mrk.16.15.csbs); Studium Biblicum Version聖經思高本)(1968) translates as 一切受造物 (all creatures). (https://www.ccreadbible.org/Chinese%20Bible/sigao/Mark_bible_Ch_16_.html)


3. Strong's Concordance on κτίσει (ktisei)

In the Greek test, Nestle 1904 〈NE〉, "creation" as in "preach the Gospel to all creation" (Mark:16:15 KJV) is κτίσει. Strong Concordance's entry on this Greek word is as follows: (https://biblehub.com/greek/2937.htm)


ktisis: creation (the act or the product)

Original Word: κτίσις, εως, ἡ Part of Speech: Noun, Feminine Transliteration: ktisis Phonetic Spelling: (ktis'-is) Definition: creation (the act or the product)

Usage: (often of the founding of a city), (a) abstr: creation, (b) concr: creation, creature, institution; always of Divine work, (c) an institution, ordinance.

Thus κτίσει by no means refers to only humanity.


4.Peter Singer’s (1975) Animal Liberation


Generally regarded as a basis for or introduction to this debate is Peter Singer’s (1975) Animal Liberation, in which Singer defines speciesism as a pervasive “prejudice or attitude of bias in favour of the interests of members of one’s own species and against those of members of other species” (1975: 6). Singer views speciesism as discrimination based on species membership, on an equal footing with racial discrimination and sexism: speciesists are unduly biased towards the interests of members of their own group over the interests of others.


5. Andrew Linzey's (1995) Animal Theology


According to Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1995:33-34), when we say that God values humans more than any other creatures such that we have the right to kill innocent animals for food, to abuse them for entertainment and to exploit them for their labour, we are expressing humanocentrism. This view can be challenged from three theological angles, namely, common creation, dominion and covenant.


Regarding common creation, terrestrial animals and humans are created together on the sixth day. Regarding dominion, God expects humans to look after and care for the creations which is made (cf. e.g. Gen. 2.15 where humans are specifically given the task of tilling and keeping the garden). "The dominion granted is such that subsequent upon hits bestowal, God commands a vegetarian diet (Gen. 1.29f.)." Regarding covenant, the primary subjects of the covenant in Genesis 9 are not just human beings but 'every living creature that is with you' and specifically, 'the birds, the cattle, and every breast of the earth with you' -- and this, as if to underscore the point, is 5 times repeated (Gen. 9. 10, 12, 15, 16, 17).

Linzey (1995:45) concludes that humans are to emulate Jesus Christ by "co-operating with God in the healing and liberating of creation."


6. David Clough (2012): Other Animals and Humans are Buddies


According to Prof. David Clough (2012), the anthropocentric view that human beings are God's aim of creation, that humans have the right to use, abuse, torture, slaughter, and eat other animals at will, is based on no sound theological argument nor any valid scientific ground. John Calvin's inference, based on the dominion granted to humans in Genesis 1.28, that all things were created basically for the good and enjoyment of humankind is in no way an indispensable one - "humans could be given the task of governing the rest of creation for its own benefit as well as their own." (Clough 2012: 14). Humankind is not exceptional. Intelligence, reason, self-awareness, feelings, responsibility, culture, etc. all fail to adequately differentiate humans from other animals. For all these attributes "define at best a spectrum of ability on which different creatures can be placed at different points" (Clough 2012:72).

Clough (2012:27) concludes that "the affirmation of God as the creator of all things means the subversion of all human attempts to create hierarchy among creatures. We exist in solidarity with all other creatures, sisters and brothers of a single parent."


7. Conclusion


To sum up, just as God so loved the WORLD (kosmos in Greek) (John 3:16 KJV) is rendered in many Chinese Bibles as神愛世人 [God loves humans of the world], "all creation (κτίσει)" as in "preach the Gospel to all creation" (Mark:16:15 KJV) is translated as "all humans" or likewise in most Chinese versions of the Holy Scripture. This could have originated from indifference to animals' sufferings in most Chinese communities or their human megalomania/humanocentrism/anthropocentrism, though many Western churches also interpret "all creation" as just humanity, excluding other creatures of God. On the other hand, Rev. Prof. Andrew Linzey (1995) and Prof. David Clough (2012) argue that as all creatures are engendered by the same Heavenly Parent, it is the obligation of humans, as a particular intelligent species, to love and serve other animals instead of abusing, enslaving, massacring, and consuming them.


References


Chen, Chapman (2022). "Jesus did NOT Eat Meat. Go Vegan!" HKBNews, 15 Mar. (https://www.hkbnews.net/post/jesus-did-not-eat-meat-go-vegan-by-chapman-chen-hkbnews)


Clough, David L. (2011). On Animals, Volume I: Systematic Theology. London: T&T Clark.


Freud, Sigmund (1916, 1991). Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. Trans. James Strachey. London: Penguin Books.


Lefevere, André (1992). Translation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. Milton Park: Routledge.


Freedman, David Noel (2000). The Nine Commandments: Uncovering the Hidden Pattern of Crime and Punishment in the Hebrew Bible. New York: Doubleday.


Linzey, Andrew (2009, 2007). Creatures of the Same God. New York: Lantern Books.


Rosen, Steven J. (2004). Holy Cow: The Hare Krishna Contribution to Vegetarianism & Animal Rights. New York: Lantern Books.


Singer, Peter (1975). Animal Liberation. New York: Harpercollins.


7 views0 comments
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page