Stele of the Spread of the Illustrious Teaching from Da Qin through The Middle Kingdom.
Commonly referred to as the “Nestorian Stele,” this beautifully inscribed stele was rediscovered by workmen c. 1625. It is presently located in the Forest of Steles ((Beilin)) Museum in Xi’an. The nine character title (given above) is found at the top of the stele. The main text below consists in 33 lines of inscribed text (which is read from top to bottom, beginning in the upper right corner). Line one repeats the title (without the reference to Da Qin) adding “introduction and poem.” Line two reads: Composed by the monk Jingjing of the Da Qin Monastery. The body of the inscription then begins with line 3 and is composed of the 3 parts shown below. Part three is the “poem” referred to in line 1. Parts 1-2 then serve as the introduction. The table below shows that Part 2 in particular parallels part 3 in detail, and can be viewed as a commentary on the poem.
At the bottom of lines 2 and 31, as well as at the bottom of the stele, additional text is found in Syriac. More Syriac is found on both sides of the stele. Most of the Syriac is a listing of names of monks and church officials, sometimes with Chinese names added. Click here to go to the Syriac section of our site.
|26.10-27.2 the Lord without Origin (8)|
|3.1-3.9 The Eternal God (9)||10.10-15.6 Taizhong and Alopen’s arrival (55)||27.3-27.12 Taizhong (10)|
|3.10-4.11 His creative work (12)||15.7-17.1 Gaozhong (21)||27.13-28.5 Gaozhong (8)|
|4.12-6.3 Satan, Sin and its Consequences (16)||17.2-19.12 Xuanzhong (30)||28.6-28.13 Xuanzhong (8)|
|6.4-6.12 The Incarnation (9)||20.1-20.5 Suzhong (5)||28.14-29.7 Suzhong (8)|
|7.1-8.4 The Messiah’s life and work (14)||20.6-21.2 Taizhong (8)||29.8-29.15 Taizhong (8)|
|8.5-10.1 The Scripture, Church, and its Teaching (20)||21.3-22.13 Jianzhong (20)||30.1-30.8 Jianzhong (8)|
|23.1-26.4 General Yisi (38)|
|10.2-10.9 Thanksgiving Ode (8)||26.5-26.8 Thanksgiving to the Lord for these men (4)||30.9-30.13 Thanksgiving to the 3-in-1 and his teaching (4)|
To download the Jing Jiao Stele as a text document, click here.