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Reformation Translation Fellowship was established in South China by Reformed Presbyterian missionaries and pastors just before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The two men instrumental in this development were Samuel E. Boyle (an American missionary who had been ministering in Canton) and Charles Chao (who had assisted Johannes G. Vos in theological education in Manchuria). As a former journalist and an observer of current events, Dr Boyle saw the lack of theological foundations in the Chinese church and the ongoing threat of Protestant liberalism, which had swept most theological schools and denominations in China since the early 1920s. It was at this time that he began to translate Gresham Machen’s Christianity and Liberalism into Chinese. Eventually, it was published in 1951, and a reprint has been published in 2002.

Later Dr Boyle and Charles Chao started to publish a Reformed periodical entitled Faith and Life. This aimed to feed the needs of Chinese pastors throughout China. During the past 58 years, Reformation Translation Fellowship has sought to translate the great works of Protestant and Reformed theological literature into Chinese. Some theological works originally were written in Chinese have also been published. The aim has been to provide the resources needed to strengthen the doctrinal foundation of the Christian Church in China. To date over 60 titles have been published, and these are being distributed widely in China.

Currently, the translation work is directed from the RTF headquarters in Taiwan. Support organisations exist in the USA, UK and Australia.