Garamtseren Bayarjargal’s article “Re-Establishment of the Christian Church in Mongolia: The Mongolian Standard Version Translation by National Christians” describes a past Christian presence among Mongolians and asserts that post-1990 Mongolian Christianity is not new, but is in a process of “re-establishment.” The article also describes Mongolian Bible translation history with special emphasis given to the author’s Mongolian Standard Version Bible translation project.
Bayarjargal’s article raises five questions the answers to which explain why the Bible Society of Mongolia’s approach to history is different and results in translations which convey Bible meaning more distinctly from Mongolian Buddhist meanings.
My response follows the order of John Gibbens’s questions (hereafter Gibbens).
I. In Mongolia in the 1990s and especially in the 2000s, there has been a search for the source of true Mongolian identity, a search commented upon by Mongolist scholars. I believe such a phenomenon is no surprise and even expected when a nation’s identity and history have been seriously altered and rewritten for a political agenda for so long. However, my characterization of the history of Christianity in Mongolia is not based on these “ethnic values” and “cultural past” (to use Gibbens’s wording, 228). I want to specifically emphasize that my references are not ethnic and cultural, but historical. Since the past history of Christianity in Central Asia has only recently...