I recently wrote about law professors who embraced Chinese censorship on the Internet as a mind-blowing contradiction for intellectuals. However, China has done one better. A school textbook changes a critical story in the Bible to support the authoritarian rule of the Communist Party. In the Chinese version of the story from The Gospel of John, Jesus still stops people from stoning a woman to death but when they leave, he then stones her to death because . . . well . . . she deserved it and that is the law. Fortunately, Jesus did not appear to make any direct reference to rendering Hong Kong unto Beijing.
University of Electronic Science and Technology Press, a government-run company, published a school textbook to teach “professional ethics and the law.”
The book reportedly relates the famous passage in John 8:7 where Jesus stops the stoning of the woman for adultery. A group reminded Jesus that an adulterer should be stoned to death by Mosaic Law but “he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
In the Chinese version, once the crowd left, Jesus killed her after stating “I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.”
It is a type of law-and-order, tough-on-crime Jesus. In China, of course, the communist regime has many “blemishes” from corruption to repression. However, it can now claim Jesus as someone who would insist on maintaining law and order or “law would be dead.”
No need to read the Bible. After all,“To read too many books is harmful.” The Bible was usually at the top of Mao’s list of harmful reading.