During China’s Republican Era (1912–1949), the True Jesus Church, comprising one of the largest indigenous Pentecostal/charismatic churches in China, created a whole set of exclusive salvation doctrines based on its unique biblical interpretation. This paper attempts to illustrate the role that the Bible played in the development of the True Jesus Church (TJC for short) and how its biblical interpretations functioned in the shaping of its exclusive identity based on certain aspects of its charismatic experiences and unique doctrinal system. The founding of the TJC relied upon charismatic experiences, which were regarded as the work of the Holy Spirit to prove the authority of the Church. Doctrinally, the approaches to biblical interpretation employed by TJC leaders were another source of the church’s unique identity: The exclusive status the church assigned to itself was evident in its distinct interpretive approaches, as well as in its innovative rituals, especially facedown immersion baptism. Along with various influences of the Pentecostal tradition and the Chinese social context, these hermeneutics were an important reason for the TJC’s development as an independent denomination in the Republican era.
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