In this chapter, I shall give the titles of Korean books in English translation. Protestant theology is surveyed in the following: Ryu Tong-Shik, The Mineral Veins ofKorean Theology, revised edition (Seoul: Tasan Kulbang, 2000) (first published 1982); Choo Chai-Yong, A History of Christian Theology in Korea (Seoul: The Christian Literature Society of Korea, 1998); and Han Sung-Hong, Streams ofKorean Theological Thought, 2 vols. (Seoul: Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary Press, 1996).
the nineteenth century.3 For those who were involved in this type of work, their missionary work in this period was regarded as essentially 'Bible-centred' in three ways: the Bible was the source of inspiration for the missionaries, the basis of the worship of the church, and a means of evangelism in itself.4 The growth of Protestant churches in Korea is due to this missionary endeavour, but Korean Christians have taken it much further in applying the Bible to daily activities and making it key to Christian living.
The most important figures in the translation of the Korean Bible were John Ross and John MacIntyre, who were sent to Manchuria by the Scotland Bible Society in 1872. Through the help of the Korean translators, Lee Eung-Chan and Baek Hong-Jun, Ross and MacIntyre were eventually able to complete the Korean New Testament (Yaesu Seongkyo Junseo) and published it in China in 1887. Portions of the Bible and the New Testament in Korean were soon distributed to Koreans in Manchuria and Japan as well as in Korea by colporteurs who carried them from village to village.5 The significance of the activities of the early Korean Protestant Christians for this study is that they were motivated to preach the Christian message to their own people in China and in the peninsula and that the Bible was the key medium of their activities. Ross and MacIntryre were the ones who organized and pursued the translation, and their contribution to Christianity in Korea is immense, but the efforts of the Korean scholars who were involved in the whole process and the Korean colporteurs are also important to notice.6
The growth of the Korean church has to be understood in the light of the socio-political circumstances of the Korean peninsula in the second half of the nineteenth century and not just of the availability of the Bible.7 However, it is clear that Bible studies contributed to the characteristics of
Stephen Neill, A History of Christian Missions (London: Penguin, 1990), p. 209.
Eric Fenn, 'The Bible and the Missionary' in S.L. Greenslade (ed.), The Cambridge History of the
Bible (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), p. 383.
The Institute of Korean Church History Studies, A History of Korean Church I (Seoul: Korean Literature Press, 1989), pp. 142—8; Lak-Geoon George Paik, The History of Protestant Missions in Korea: 1832—1910 (Seoul: Yonsei University Press, 1929), pp. 148—53; Min Kyoung-Bae, History of the Christian Church in Korea (Seoul: Christian Literature Society of Korea, 1982), pp. 147—8; Yi Mahn-Yol, Korean Christianity and Unification Movement (Seoul: Institute of Korean Church History, 2001), pp. 175—211; A Study of History of the Reception of Christianity in Korea (Seoul: Durae Sidae, 1998), pp. 60—94.
Min Kyoung-Bae, History of the Christian Church, pp. 168—74; H. Underwood, Korea Mission Field (Sept. 1908), pp. 131—2; William Scott, Report of British and Foreign Bible Society (1916), p. 294. See: Bong Rin Ro and Marlin L. Nelson (eds.), Korean Church Growth Explosion, revised edition (Seoul: Word of life Press, 1995).
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