“I thank God for giving me this opportunity to study at the National Catholic Seminary, “says Du Buxing who hails from the Bameng Catholic Diocese in Inner Mongolia. “I am also grateful to the United Bible Societies (UBS) for sending Biblical lecturers to the seminary.”
Each year for over a few years now, at the invitation of the National Catholic Seminary, UBS has been sending its Biblical scholars, Dr Yu Suee Yan and Dr Peng Kuo Wei, to teach intensive courses on Biblical studies. Describing these courses as beneficial to him, Du adds that the UBS scholars have helped him to know God more holistically by teaching him different study approaches to the Scripture.
“Before I came to the seminary, my knowledge of the Bible is almost zero due to our cultural and geographical limitations. When we first read the Bible, we thought it was a “heavenly book” with mystical truths. Step by step, from outside to inside, we scour through the Bible and came to know more about our heavenly Lord.”
Know God’s Word to Understand His Will
Du tells us that after the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church in China sought to revive the central role of the Scripture as many believers still held on to a ‘mistaken’ view of seeing God’s Word as secondary in their daily lives.
“It’s only when we delve into the Scripture that we can fully understand God’s will and direction for us. If we depart from the Word, our theological studies and research will be in vain. We are followers of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. The Bible is very important in our devotional life. If we do not read the Scripture, how will we know the will of God and our life’s purpose?”
Know God’s Word to Help Others
Du says that men should not live for themselves alone; they need to care for others as well. “We need to help others to know God. It is only through the study of God’s word that we can help other people. If we were to share with others about God only through our personal experiences, it would be lopsided. When we study the Scripture, we gain more understanding in theology and are thus able to explain more clearly God’s truth to seekers and believers alike.”
Ethnic Diversity in Congregation
Du tells us of ethnic diversity in his church congregation: there are both Han Chinese and Mongolian Catholic believers.
“We know that the translation of the Chinese Catholic Bible is well-established but we have yet to have a fully translated Mongolian Catholic Bible. Therefore, this is one big problem we are facing. Some of our elderly priests and others are working hard in the translation of the Mongolian Bible but it is a long and arduous process. So, at the present moment, we would be reading out the Bible passage in Mandarin and one of us would translate orally into Mongolian to the best of our abilities for our Mongolian believers.
“Hence, the gaining of deeper understanding and knowledge of the Scripture in the seminary enables me to know the Scripture in its original language and explain the Word more clearly to our believers.
“The study of God’s word is of utmost importance not just to me but also to the Catholic faith.”
Interview transcript extracted by Chiong Min Lee
Edited by Pamela Choo
2015 © United Bible Societies, China Partnership