In the CUV Chinese translation of the New Testament, at John 1:5 we have:

  1. 光照在黑暗裡,黑暗卻不接受光。 The light shines in the dark, the dark retreats and does not receive the light.

The above is my best understanding of what the Chinese says in-and-of itself.

Looking at parallel passages we see, from the older and more conservative KJV:

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

and this from the newer NIV:

5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The above CUV excerpt, as I understand it, is a bit different from the KJV & NIV.

Where have I made my mistake in reading the above passage?

If my understanding of the Chinese is correct and not wrong, then the Chinese is closer to the Greek IMO. I've probably made a mistake, though.

  • 1
    Where have I made my mistake in reading the above passage? I think this is beyond the language and literal meaning itself. You should probably ask this in Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange
    – zypA13510
    Mar 29, 2018 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


卻 in this context means 'however' or 'but', serves to connect the two phrases.

光照在黑暗裡 (The light shines in the dark),黑暗不接受光 (the dark does not receive the light.)

光照在黑暗裡,黑暗[]不接受光 (The light shines in the darkness, [however], the darkness does not receive the light)

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