Translation paradigms and a historic-critical reading of the Epistle to the Romans: Intercultural curriculum challenges on life and values education for contemporary Chinese-speaking adult Christians

Orlando Nang Kwok HO

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


This is a dissertation per an Exegetical Thesis that draws upon a portfolio of naturalistic action research. The entire project has sprung from a wish to make The Epistle to the Romans simple for every potential learner. Soon this wish reveals the centrality of translation paradigms in any translation and teaching of The Epistle. Moreover, we found embedded in The Epistle to the Romans is a Pauline curriculum on Life and Values Education. That curriculum is designed to enlighten the Greco-Roman interculturals - i.e. the newly proselytized “Hellenes” in Rome - and to lead them forward into the deeper and lived and live-able phenomenological thickness of the Unearned Grace from the Divine. In other words, the Greco-Roman ur-recipients’ residual worries and unspeakable mental reservations about the dichotomy between unearned Grace and their acculturated “creeds” for heroic and manly performance is that fundamental yet overlooked “Big Question” which has propelled the discourse developments in L1-Romans. It is then the main storyline in the meta-context working to weave coherence into the L1-text of The Epistle to the Romans. In connection to the above findings, three central questions about Life and Values Education for Chinese-speaking adult Christians using Romans can then be asked and answered in this Portfolio. Those questions are: (1) Why are modern translations of the Epistle to the Romans (i.e. L2-Romans) problematic for contemporary Chinese audiences? (2) How can this translated textual situation be remedied to emancipate and to convey effectively the electrifying and life-empowering and value-bound messages of The Epistle? (3) How can life and values education be conducted for and among adult Chinese-speaking Christians to achieve re-enlivening and re-awakening experiences about one’s worth and spiritual well-being? As an overview, evidences in this Portfolio will show the Linguistic Translation Paradigm (i.e. LTP and word-based translation) has indeed been a disservice to the inter-cultural and inter-perspectival Curriculum of the L1-Romans of St. Paul. Adopting the Cultural Translation Paradigm (CTP) both in the translation and the teaching of The Epistle is definitely more sensible and necessary. Besides, this Portfolio in making a historic-critical re-reading The Epistle has recognized fully the historicity, the interculturality, and the intra-congregational and wider socio-interactionary dimensions of both St. Paul and his ur-recipients. It is reasonably a new station in the development of the so-called “The New Perspective on Paul”. Yet, at the same time, this Portfolio in breaking the straitjackets of the Linguistic Translation Paradigm is a revision as well as an extension of the universalistic and Lutheran concern about the shared fates of humanity. For “the Law” (ò νóμoς) as an elastic generic concept in the Rezeption of the ur-recipients of The Epistle to the Romans in the mid-first century was much bigger and richer than Luther’s L2-Romans has sought to construct for his Reformation readers and learners. In short, this Portfolio is recovering fundamental ur-messages of L1-Romans and is a modest step in paving the way of teaching The Epistle for inter-perspectival enlightenment of the intercultural adult learners in the contemporary world. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Hong Kong Institute of Education
  • ADAMSON, Robert Damian, Supervisor
  • WONG, Ping Ho, Supervisor
Award date07 Aug 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Bible
  • Life -- Study and teaching
  • Values -- Study and teaching
  • Religious aspects
  • Christianity
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2013


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