North Koreans have no concepts of a spiritual world, of sin and forgiveness, of prayer, or of a transcendent, eternal deity. (Even when Kim Il Sung is worshiped, he is not mistaken for a transcendent, eternal deity but rather is revered Confucian-style as the great ancestor of the North Korean people.)
So as we are preparing our two new Bibles for publication–one, a North Korean study Bible and the other, a North Korean/English Parallel study Bible–we experienced again the same great challenge we experience each time we publish a North Korean Bible: How to describe the Bible in a single page, in a way they can understand, in a way that says everything that needs to be said.
Here’s what Dr. Foley and I wrote. We used the Nicene Creed as our guide for “everything that needs to be said,” and we used our experience with North Koreans, coupled with a whole lot of prayer, to write in a way they can understand.
Greetings to the Reader.
This book is the most widely read book in history. It has been read by people in every country of the world. It is loved by billions of people because it tells the good news about the one true God, who is a good and loving and all powerful God who rules over the whole universe.
This news did not originate in Korea or America or in any country on earth, though it has been announced in every country and is being sent to all people. As you will read in the beginning of this book, God created the heavens and the earth. He remains active in every country on earth to this day, including North Korea. He creates each one of us in love, including you. Because of his love, he is even now setting right every wrong that has been committed by every human being, including us.
As you will also read in the book, he has accomplished this by being born on earth as a man even while he continued to rule from heaven. This man, Jesus Christ, showed us the way to God and how we should live our lives. He was rejected by those to whom he came, and they killed him. But he was raised from the dead, forgave those who turned against him, and ascended into heaven. He will soon return to end history. He will rescue those who trust him but also punish those who have rejected his forgiveness. Until his return, his spirit is present with us on earth, willing to live inside all of us who will receive him in order to guide us back to God.
This book will tell you the good news of how to invite the one true God to live inside you so that you may be made ready for his soon return. Just as Jesus Christ died and was raised again, those in whom God’s spirit lives will also be raised from the dead and given power to overcome evil. Please read this book to learn how.
The proof of God’s love is that he has used all of the circumstances of your life to bring you to the point where you now hold this good news in your own hands, in your own language. We encourage you not to set aside this book. The purpose and destiny of your life, as well as the meaning of everything you have so far experienced, is contained within.
Warmly in Christ,
The Rev. Dr. Eric Foley and Dr. Hyun Sook Foley
Now, turn yourself to this task: What would you write if you were printing a Bible and sending it to North Koreans?
If you’re interested in learning more about our new North Korean/English Parallel Bible or our North Korean study Bible, please contact Pastor Tim at [email protected]