Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing

Section D - Bibliography

PDF Version 07.4 © Bradford Hatcher, 1998, 2005


                 The versions that have fallen within the scope of my research have been
grouped into three categories, in effect: very useful, somewhat useful and less
than useful. The dozen or so most useful versions are highlighted in bold. Works
on this “A” list belong on the shelves of university libraries. Even though not all
of these books represent faithful translations, all of them represent some level of
respectable scholarship. Works on the “B” list all had something to offer. The
“C” list is given separately below. Here one may find a surprising number of
“translations” which have been done by people who do not understand a single
word of Chinese. This list includes a few of the best selling editions and a number
of authors with Chinese-sounding names.


A & B Lists (with notes)


Addis, Stephen and Stanley Lombardo. Lao-Tzu Tao Te Ching. Cambridge: Hackett Pub.

Co., 1993. (Good sense of word meanings; attempts brevity but overshoots).

Ames, Roger T. and David L. Hall. Dao De Jing, A Philosophical Translation. NY:

Ballantine Books, 2003. Reads too much philosophy into the text.

Blakney, Raymond B. The Way of Life: Lao Tzu.. New York: Mentor, 1955, 1983.

Boltz, William G. “The Lao Tzu Text that Wang Pi and Ho-shang Kung Never Saw,”

Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies; Vol 48, No 3; 493-501, 1985.

Byrne, Patrick Michael. Lao-zi: Dao De Jing. Santa Fe, NM: Sun Pub. Co., 1991.


Carus, Paul. The Canon of Reason and Virtue - Being Lao-tze’s Tao Teh King. Chinese

and English. Chicago: Open Court, 1913. (Chinese-English, long out of print)

Carus, Paul and D.T. Suzuki. The Canon of Reason and Virtue. LaSalle, IL: Open Court

Pub., 1913, 1974 (abridged of Chinese-English but contains Hanzi text).

Chan, Alan K. Two Visions of the Way. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1991.

Chan, Wing-Tsit. The Way of Lao Tzu. New York: Macmillan, 1963. (Notes)

Chen, Ellen. The Tao Te Ching. New York: Paragon House, 1989.

Cheng, Man-jan. Lao-Tzu: “My words are very easy to understand.” (tr. Tam C. Gibbs).

Richmond, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1981.

Ch’u Ta-Kao. Tao Te Ching. London: The Buddhist Society, 1937, 1959. (Decent

scholarship but inclined to meddle with the original text).

Cleary, Thomas. The Essential Tao. S.F.: Harper Collins, 1991.

Condron, Daniel R. The Tao Te Ching Interpreted and Explained. Windyville, MO: SOM

Publishing, 2003.

Dalton, Jerry O. Tao Te Ching: A New Approach. New York, Avon, 1993.

Duyvendak, J.J.L. Tao Te Ching: The Book of the Way and its Virtue. London: John

Murray, 1954. (Good notes; meddles with the original text).

Feng, Gia Fu and Jane English. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching. New York: Vintage, 1972.

Gu Zhengkun. Lao Zi: The Book of Tao and Teh. Beijing: Peking University Press,

1995. With Hanzi, Pinyin & tones, some pieces of text are missing.

Hansen, Chad. Tao Te Ching, Translation in Progress. 1998. Internet; URL at the time: (see current links)

Harvard Yenching Institute. Chu-Tzu Yin-Te: Lao Tzu. Taipei: Chinese Material &

Research Service Center, 1986. B125. C572, 1986, V3

Hatcher, Bradford. Lao Zi zhi Dao De Jing (Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching) Word forWord.

Self-published, 1999. Obsolete.

He Guanghu, Gao Shining, et al. The Book of Lao Zi. Beijing: Foreign Languages

Press, 1993. (Based on Ren Jiyu. Book of Lao Zi - a Modern Chinese Translation.

Shanghai Pub. House, 1985). (Translation)

Henricks, Robert G. Lao Tzu Te-Tao Ching. New York: Ballantine Books, 1989.

(both MWD texts; good notes)

_____Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching: A Translation of the Startling New Documents Found at

Guodian. NY: Columbia Univ. Press, 2000. Very thoughtlessly arranged, with no

index to the received texts. I have inserted an index for this at the end of the section:

“Common Variations on the Text.”

Hinton, David. Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu. Washington DC: Counterpoint, 2000.

Hodge, Stephen. Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. NY: Barron's

Educational Series, 2002. An annoying arrangement, and the index has some typos.

Ivanhoe, Philip J. The Daodejing of Laozi. NY: Seven Bridges Press, 2002. Work-

manlike translation, Wang Bi version. Wanted to see more notes

Iyer, Raghavan, ed. Tao Te Ching. Lao Tzu. Santa Barbara, CA: Concord Grove Pr., 1983.

La Fargue, Michael. The Tao of the Tao Te Ching. Albany: SUNY Press, 1992. (MWD)

Lau, D.C. Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching. New York: Penguin, 1963, 1978. (Notes)

Legge, James. “Tao-Teh King,” The Texts of Taoism. New York: Dover, 1891, 1962.

LeGuin, Ursula K. Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching. Boston: Shambhala, 1997.

Lin, Paul. A Translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Wang Pi’s Commentary.

Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies, 1977. (Notes)

Lynn, Richard John. The Classic of the Way and Virtue. NY: Columbia Univ. Press,

1999. Workmanlike, straight Wang Bi.

Mackintosh, Charles H. Tao. Chicago: Theosophical Press, 1926.

Mair, Victor H. Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way. New York:

Bantam, 1990. (MWD)

Maurer, Herrymon. Tao: The Way of the Ways. New York: Schocken, 1982.

McCarroll, Tolbert. The Tao: The Sacred Way. New York: Crossroad, 1982.

Medhurst, G. Spurgeon. Tao Teh King. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Pub. House, 1905.

Miles, Thomas H. Tao Te Ching: About the Way of Nature and Its Powers. Garden

City Park, NY: Avery Pub. Group, 1992. (Translation)

Muller, Charles. Tao Te Ching. 1997. (Translation) Internet.

Red Pine. Lao-tzu’s Taoteching. S.F.: Mercury House, 1996. (Notes).

Richter, Gregory C. The Gate of All Marvelous Things: A Guide to Reading the Tao Te

Ching. SF: Red Mansions Pub., 1998. Interlinear with Pinyin & tones, some text

errors (as distinct from text variations).

Roberts, Moss. Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way, Laozi. Los Angeles: University of

California Press, 2001. More poetic than literal.

Rump, Ariane and Wing-tsit Chan. Commentary on the Lao Tzu by Wang Pi. Honolulu:

Univ. of Hawaii Press, 1979.

Star, Johnathan. Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition. NY: Tarcher/Putnam, 2001. One

hopes the word “definitive” was the publisher’s idea. His “Verbatim Translation”

or matrix is quite useful, but his conventional translation does not follow the

Chinese very closely.

Waley, Arthur. The Way and Its Power. London: Allen & Unwin, 1934.

Wei, Henry. The Guiding Light of Lao Tzu. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Pub. House,

1982. (Translation)

Wilhelm, Richard. Tao Te Ching. (tr. fr. German by H.G. Ostwald). London: Routledge

& Kegan Paul, 1910, 1986.

Wing, R.L. The Tao of Power. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1986.

Wu, John C.H.(Ching-Hsiung) Lao Tzu. Tao Teh King. New York: St. John’s Univ. Pr.,

1961, 1990.

Yi Wu. The Book of Lao Tzu (The Tao Te Ching). S.F.: Great Learning Pub. Co.,

1989. (Literal translation; Side by side English-Chinese)

Yutang, Lin. The Wisdom of Laotse. New York: Random House, 1948.


Internet Sources for Text Comparisons


General Laozi and Daoism (all of these were useful):


Blofeld, John. Taoism: The Road to Immortality. Boston: Shambhala, 1978.

Chan, Alan K. Two Visions of the Way. Albany: SUNY Press, 1991.

Csikszentmihalyi, Mark and Philip Ivanhoe, eds. Religious and Philosophical Aspects of

the Laozi. SUNY Press, 1999.

Kaltenmark, Max. Lao Tzu and Taoism. Stanford University Press, 1965.

Kohn, Livia & Michael LaFargue, eds. Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. Albany, NY:

SUNY Press, 1998.

Watts, Alan. Tao: The Watercourse Way. New York: Pantheon, 1975.

Welch, Holmes. Taoism: The Parting of the Way. Boston: Beacon Press, 1957.


C List (redeeming features as notes)


Bahm, Archie. Tao Teh King. Albuquerque, NM: World Books, 1958. (Good bibliogra-


Baskin, Wade. Classics in Chinese Philosophy. Totowa, NJ: Littlefield, Adams & Co.,

1974. (Chapters 1-30 of a translation by Dagobert Runes)

Bruya, Brian. The Tao Speaks. NY: Doubleday, 1995. (Would be a good introduction for

young people but only portions are translated).

Bryce, Derek and Leon Wieger. Tao-Te-Ching. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1999.

Bynner, Witter. The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu.. New York: John Day, 1944.

 (Well-written & fun to read, but not a very literal translation)

Crowley, Aleister. Tao Te Ching, Liber CLVII. York Beach, ME: Samuel Weiser, 1995.

Dreher, Diane. The Tao of Inner Peace. NY: Harper, 1990.

Freke, Timothy. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. London: Piatkus, 1995. (Insightful but not

very literal).

Goddard, Dwight. “Tao-Teh-King,” A Buddhist Bible. Boston: Beacon Pr., 1938, 1966.

(Text tr. with Bhikshu Wai-tao, 1936).

Grigg, Ray. The Tao of Being. Atlanta: Humanics, 1989.

Heider, John. The Tao of Leadership. New York: Bantam Books, 1985.

Heysinger, I.W. The Light of China, The Tao Teh King of Lao Tsze. Philadelphia: Re-

search Pub., 1903. (Meaning lost to rhyme; useful section on vocabulary).

Hoff, Benjamin. The Way to Life at the Heart of the Tao Te Ching. (Adapted from various

translations). New York: Weatherhill, 1981.

Hwang, Shi Fu. Tao Teh Chin. Austin, TX: Taoism Publisher, 1987.

Kaminski, Gerald. Another Way: the Tao of Lao Tzu. Belmont, CA: Cove View Press,


Kwok, Man-Ho, Martin Palmer and Jay Ramsay. Tao Te Ching. Gr. Br.: Element, 1993.

Mabrey, John R., The Little Book of the Tao Te Ching. Gr. Br.: Element, 1994. (Only

contains fragments).

Mears, Isabella. Tao Teh King. London: Theosophical Publishing House, 1916.

Merel, Peter. TaoDeChing - Lao Tze. 1995. Internet; URL at the time: (see current links)

Mitchell, Stephen. Tao Te Ching. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. (the most popular

“translation” but he does not know any Chinese)

Ni, Hua-Ching. The Complete Works of Lao Tzu. Malibu, CA: Shrine of the Eternal

Breath of Tao, 1979.

Reynolds, David K. Reflections on the Tao Te Ching. New York: William Morrow, 1993.

Rasmussen, Jeff. Spirit of the Tao Te Ching. Indianapolis, IN: Nisi Sunyyata, 1998.

Rosenthal, Stan. The Tao Te Ching. 1998? Internet.

Shrine of Wisdom, Publisher. The Simple Way of Lao Tsze. Surrey, England: 1924.

Simms, Bennett B. Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching. New York: Franklin Watts, 1971.

Trapp, Jacob. Tao Teh Ching. Santa Fe, NM: Yucca Printing, 1985.

Unsong, Kim. Lao Tzu’s Tao-Te Ching. San Bruno, CA: One Mind Pesss, 1986.

(Meaning often sacrificed for rhyme)

Short List

I have not seen or used any of the following versions:

some of these may not exist, some may be found at


Agner, Lajos

Alexander, Gen. G.G. “Tao-Teh-King or Book of the Values of Tao” Sacred Books and

Early Literature of the East. New York: Parke, Austin & Lipscomb, 1895, 1917.

Allen, Rupert C. The Yin-Yang Journal: An Alternate Reading of the Tao Te Ching.

Tucson: Inner Eye Press, 1996.

Arnold, Gary N. Way of Life, The Tao Te Ching. Metaire, LA: Windhorse, 1996.

Balfour, Frederick Henry. Taoist Texts, Ethical, Political and Speculative. London:

Trubner, 1884; NY: Gordon Press, 1975.

Bjerregaard, Carl H. A. The Inner Life and the Tao-Teh King. London: Theosophical Pub.

 House, 1911.

Bokenkamp, Stephen R. Early Daoist Scriptures: Daoist Classics No. 1. Univ. of Calif,

Press, 1999.

Burtt, George. The Explicated Tao. L.A.: Vector Counseling Institute, 1977.

Chalmers, John. The Speculations on Metaphysics, Polity and Morality of “The Old

Philosopher,” Lao-tze. London: Trubner, 1868.

Chang Chi-chun and William Forthman. Lao Tzu. New York: Meredith Pub., 1967.

Chang Chung-yuan. Tao: A New Way of Thinking. NY: Harper & Row, 1975.

Ch’en Ku-ying. Lao Tzu.: Text, Notes & Comments. (trans. & adapted by Young, Rhett

& Roger Ames). S.F.: Chinese Materials Center, 1935, 1977.

Cheng Lin. The Works of Lao Tzyy: Truth and Nature. Taipei, Taiwan: World Book Co.,

1949, 1953.

Chiang Hsi-ch’ang. Lao Tzu chiao-ku (Lao Tzu Collated and Explained). Shanghai:

 Commercial Press; Taipei: Ming Lun Press, 1937, 1971.

Ch’ien-chih Chu Lao Tzu chiao-shih (Lao Tzu Collated and Explained). Shanghai, Taipei

reprint: Ming Lun Press, 1958, 1971.

Dantzer, V.

Erkes, Eduard. “Ho-Shang-Kung’s Commentary on Lao Tse,” Artibus Asiae, Vols. VIII,

IX & XII. Ascona, Switzerland: Artibus Asiae, 1945, 1950, 1958.

Ernest, Paul.

Evans, G. 1905.

Fu Yi. Chiao-ting ku-pen Lao Tzu.

Giles, Herbert. “The Remains of Lao Tzu,” China Mail, Vol. XIV, pp. 231-280. Hong

Kong, 1886.

Giles, Lionel. The Sayings of Lao Tzu. London: John Murray, 1905, 1950.

Home, A. Roger. The Great Art of Laotse. Exeter: Newbard House, 1972.

Hsuing, Y.T. Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching. Chinese Culture. Vol. 18. Taiwan: China Academy,

June, 1977.

Hughes, Ernest R. “Tao Te Ching,” Chinese Philosophy in Classical Times. London:

J.M. Dent, 1942, 1950.

Hu Tse-ling. Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching. Chengtu, Szechuan: Canadian Mission Press,


Huang, Paulos Zhanzhu. Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching

Inouye, Shuten. Laotse, Tao Teh King. Tokoyo: Daitokaku, 1928.

Ju-Chou Yang and Edward K. Chook. Lao Tzyy Dow Der Jing. Taipei, 1979.

Julien, Monsieur Stanislaus (French Jesuit).

Kao Heng. Ch’ung-ting Lao Tzu cheng-ku (Revised Collation of the Lao Tzu). Peking:

Chung-hua Press, 1956.

Kaufman, Stephen F. The Living Tao: Meditations on the Tao Te Ching. Tuttle.

Kingsmill, Thomas W. “Tao Teh King,” Shanghai Mercury; The China Review, Vol.

 XXIV, 1899.

Kitselman II, A.L. Tao teh king (The way of Peace) of Lao Tzu. Palo Alto, CA: The

School of Simplicity, 1936.

Ko Lien-hsiang. Commentaries on Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching. Taipei: L.H. Ke, 1968.

Lao C’en. The Way of the Dao: An Interpretation of the Writings of Lao Tzu. La Jolla,

CA: Day Press, 1980.

Lau, Dim Chuek. Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching. NY: Knopf, 1994. Mawangdui tr.

Leebrick, John R. Tao Teh Ching: Classic of the Way and Its Nature. Urbana, IL: After-

image, 1980.

Li Ying-chang.

Liu I-Ming and Thomas Cleary. Awakening the Tao. Shambhala, 1988.

Lu Te-ming. Lao Tzu yin-i (Pronunciations and Meanings of the Lao Tzu). Taipei: I Wen

Press, 1965.

MacHovac, Frank J. The Book of Tao. Mt. Vernon, NY: Peter Pauper, 1962.

MacInnes, T. The Teachings of the Old Boy. Toronto: J.M. Dent, 1927.

Maclagan, P.J. “The Tao Teh King,” The China Review, Vols. XXIII & XXIV, 1898.

Ma Hsu-lun. Lao Tzu chiao-ku (Lao Tzu  Collated and Explained). Peking: T’ai Ping

Book Co., 1956, 1964.

Maspero, Henri. Taoism and Chinese Religion. (Tr. Frank Kierman). Amherst: Univ. of

Masschusetts Press, 1981.

Moran, Patrick Edwin. Three Smaller Wisdom Books: Lao Zi’s Dao De Jing. Lanham, NY:

University Press of America, 1993.

Nivison, David S.

Old, Walter Gorn. The Simple Way, Laotze. London: Philip Wellby, 1904, 1905.

Old, Walter R. The Book of the Path of Virtue. Madras: Theosophical Pub. Soc., 1894.

Org, Lee Sun Ching. Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translation Based on His Taoism. Writers

Cub Press, 1999.

Ould, Herman. The Way of Acceptance. London: A. Dakers, 1946.

Parker, E.H. Studies in Chinese Religion, pp. 96-131. New York, Dutton, 1903, 1905.

Parker, E.H. “The Tao Te Ching or Providential Grace Classic.” Dublin Review, I:02, 364-

76; I:04, 162-77.

Parker, E.H. The Tao The King: A Translation of the Chinese Classic. London: Luzac,


Payne, Robert.

Poynton, Orde. The Great Sinderesis, being a translation of the Tao Te Ching. Adelaide,

Australia: Hassell Press, 1949.

Rodrigo, R. Tao Te Ching. NY: Avery Publishing,

Schmidt, Karl Otto. Tao-Teh-Ching: Lao Tzu’s Book of Life. (tr. fr. German by Leone

Muller). Lakemont, GA: CSA Press, 1975.

Straus, Victor von. Lao-Tse Tao Te King. Zurich: Manesse Verlag, 1959.

Sum Nung Au-Young. Lao Tze’s Tao Teh King. New York: March & Greenwood,


Tang Zi-chang. Wisdom of Dao. San Rafael, CA: T.C. Press, 1969.

Thomas, Frederick B. The Tao Teh of Laotse. Oakland, CA: 1948.

Wagner, Rudolf. The Craft of a Chinese Commentator: Wang Bi on the Lao Zi. SUNY


Waley, Arthur. Laozi. Tr. into Modern Chinese by Chen Guying, annotated by Fu

Huisheng. Hunan: Foreign Languages Press, Library of Chinese Classics, 1999.

ISBN: 7543820897.

Wu-wu-tze and L. P. Phelps. The Philosophy of Lao-tzu. Chengtu, Szechuan: Jeh Hsin

Press, 1926.

Yen Ling-feng. A Reconstructed Lao Tzu. (tr. fr. Chinese by Chu Ping-yi). Taipei:

Ch’eng Wen Pub., 1976.

Ying-Chang Li & Eva Wong. Lao Tzu’s Treatise on the Response of the Tao.

Yu, T.H. The Philosophy of Taoism. S.F.: Falcon Pub., 1970.