The Daodejing is a short book of about 5,000 Chinese characters. It has 81 short chapters. It has two parts: Part One is the Dao jing (道經), which is chapters 1–37; Part Two is the De jing (德經), which is chapters 38–81.
The earliest is the Guodian manuscript, c. 300 BCE. It is quite incomplete, but serves as a great supplemental source. The next to oldest are the Mawangdui A and Mawangdui B manuscripts, c. 250 BCE. These too, because of their many imperfections, serve as great supplemental sources. Future manuscripts are much easier to read because they include the correct characters in many cases. Among these are the 河上公 Heshang Gong, c. 180-157 BCE, and 王弼 Wang Bi manuscripts, 226-249 CE, which are great main sources for translating the poems. They provide the framework; the earlier ones add to its richness. The latest is the 傅奕 Fu Yi manuscript, c. 555-639 CE.

English Translations

  1. Ursula K. Le Guin. (1997) Tao Te Ching: A Book about the Way and the Power of the Way. Boston: Shambhala Publications.

  2. Ralph Alan Dale. (2002) Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. London: Watkins Publishing.

  3. Lin Yutang. (1948) The Wisdom of Laotse. New York: Random House.

  4. Raymond B. Blakney. (1955) Tao Te Ching (The Way of Life): The Mystic Wisdom of Ancient China. New York: New American Library.

  5. John C. H. Wu. (1961) Tao Teh Ching. New York: St. John’s University.

  6. Guy Leekley. (2004) Tao Te Ching – A New Version for All Seeker. Woodlands, Texas: Anusara.

  7. Lao-Tzu. (1993) Tao Te Ching. Translated by Lombardo S. and Addiss S. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Company.

  8. Lao-Tzu. (1996) Lao-tzu's Taoteching. Translated by Bill Porter (Red Pine), San Francisco: Mercury House.

  9. Lao-Tzu. (1994) Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained. Translated by Derek Lin. Nashville, Tennessee: SkyLight Illuminations.

  10. Lao-Tzu. (1963) Tao Te Ching. Translated by D.C. Lau. London: Penguin Books.

  11. Thomas Cleary. (1991) The Essential Tao. San Francisco: HarperOne.

  12. Lao-Tzu. (1995) Tao Te Ching. Translated by Chad Hanson. Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong.

  13. Waysun Liao. (2011) Nine Nights with the Taoist Master. Illinois: Taichi Tao Productions.

  14. Lao-Tzu. (1997) Tao Te Ching. Translated by English J. and Feng G.-F. New York: Vintage Books.

  15. Lao-Tzu. (2016) The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation. Translated by Oliver Benjamin. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

  16. Lao-Tzu. (2018) The Tao Te Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Book of the Tao. Translated by John Minford. New York: Prenguin Random House.

  17. Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall. (2003) Daodejing - "Making This Life Significant" : A Philosophical Translation. New York: Ballantine Books

  18. Victor H. Mair. 1990 Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching: The Classic Book of Integrity and the Way.


  1. Onkel Lotus – Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse
  2. Terebess Asia Online (TAO) – The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  3. Chinese Text Project – Dao De Jing, Simplified Chinese version
  4. Webseite von Dr. Hilmar Klaus: The Wisdom of Tao
  5. Webseite von Matthias Claus: Das klassische China – Verzeichnis der deutschsprachigen Ausgaben des Tao Te King
  6. Taoistic – The Taoism of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu Explained
  7. Homepage of Derek Lin (
  8. Homepages of Oliver Benjamin: and
  9. Laozi, Zhuangzi, Daoist and Chinese Link
  10. Verzeichnis der deutschsprachigen Ausgaben des Tao te King
  11. Taoism explained

Discussion Forums

  1. The Dao Bums - Discussions On The Way


  1. Dr. Carl Totton, Tod Perry - What's This Tao All About?
  2. Daniele - Bolelli - The Drunken Taoist


  1. Tao Talks with Derek Lin
  2. The Dao De Jing Lectures with Andrew Nogent-Head
  3. Tea Time Taoism


  1. Daniele Bolelli - Taoist Lectures