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How Ancient ‘Chinese Language’ Echoes the Bible

我羊義

Seven ancient Chinese records and language characters that echo Biblical accounts

1. The Chinese character for lamb and righteousness

Righteousness (義)

The Chinese character for righteousness (yi; 義) is formed by combining two characters. The top surface, “Yang” (羊), is a pictogram of a lamb or sheep, symbolizing purity, innocence, and sacrifice. The bottom character “wo” (我) means “me.”

Together, they form the character for righteousness, suggesting the idea of a sacrificial lamb leading to righteousness, similar to the Christian concept of Jesus as the sacrificial lamb.

John 1:19 says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Romans 3:25 explains that God presented Jesus as a sacrifice to demonstrate His righteousness.

Shepherd (牧)

Additionally, the character for “shepherd” (牧) is made up of the characters for “lamb” and “me” (我), suggesting that the Good Shepherd cares for His sheep individually and personally.

RIGHTEOUSNESS IN THE BIBLE.

2. The Great Flood

Chinese, the world’s oldest written language, uses pictographs to represent words. The Chinese word for boat comprises three pictographs: vessel, eight, and people. In Chinese, a person is symbolized by a mouth.

Thus, the word for boat in Chinese describes a vessel with eight people, which aligns with the number of individuals on Noah’s Ark.

China’s first dynasty’s proximity to the Great Flood may have influenced the word’s meaning. Flood stories involving eight individuals escaping in a vessel exist in various cultures worldwide, including among the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Legend has it that a great flood engulfed China 4,000 years ago and lasted more than 20 years. The date for Noah’s Biblical flood is approximately 4,500 years ago, based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

THE BIBLE COMPARED TO OTHER RELIGIONS.

Scientists have found evidence that China’s “great flood legend occurred. It shares similarities with the Biblical story of Noah and his ark.

4. The Tower of Babel

Emperor Yan and Emperor Huang

Legend says Emperor Yan and Emperor Huang, brothers who ruled successively, tried to build a tower to reach the heavens. Their plan failed when a divine force destroyed the tower, causing people to scatter and form different cultures and languages.

Xia Dynasty, founded by Yu the Great

Legend says that Yu the Great, a descendant of Emperor Huang, founded the Xia Dynasty and built a tower to reach the heavens. However, a divine force destroyed the tower, leading to the scattering of the people and the development of different cultures and languages.

Tower of Babel All people in the world, not just the Chinese, are descended from the inhabitants of Babel.

GENESIS IS HISTORY.

Tower of Babel All people in the world, not just the Chinese, are descended from the inhabitants of Babel. The Temple of Heaven in Beijing (right) was first constructed during the Ming Dynasty in the 1400s (Photo: Fong Chen).

5. There is only one God

Emperor Shun of China’s first dynasty believed in one God, Shang Di (Shang Ti; 上帝), who was never made into an idol or image. The Emperor acted as ruler and high priest, making an annual sacrifice to Shangdi in the Temple of Heaven.

The ancient ceremony resembles Genesis 1:1-2 and Isaiah 64:8, suggesting a monotheistic belief system. At the same time, other deities and ancestral worship were added later.

The Chinese Classics describe Shang Di as the God who created the universe, the earth, all living things, and human beings. Interestingly, the religious tradition in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan maintains “Shangdi” as the same Christian God of the Bible.

THE 7 PROMISES OF JESUS.

6. The birth of Jesus

Wise men from the east came to Jerusalem seeking the newborn king of the Jews after seeing his star in the east, and some scholars believe they may have come from China.

At that time, an ancient astronomical record described a comet that signified the beginning of a new epoch.

The Coming of a Perfect Sacrifice

Emperor Jianping believed the comet’s appearance was important because Altair, the brightest star in the Chinese sky and the primary supporting pillar of the heavens, symbolized the “Perfect Sacrifice.”

Chinese astronomers interpreted the information to mean that a king was coming and that he was worthy of worship. Emperor Guang Wu, who reigned during Christ’s death and resurrection, and his astronomers also knew Christ was God.

A king was coming—worthy of worship.

Magi from the land of the Shir

“Revelation of the Magi” was written in the 4th or 5th century C.E. original. The ancient text in Syriac (Aramaic dialect) was discovered in the Vatican Library in the 18th century.

It is a story that depicts the Magi as an ancient mystical group with a lineage tracing back to Seth (the third son of Adam and Eve), who inherited the prophecy of a star of indescribable brightness, heralding the birth of God in human form.

The text challenges commonly held ideas about the Magi, revealing that there were possibly more than three and that “Magi” refers to silent prayer unrelated to magic or astrology.

The Magi are said to be from the land of Shir, a land “located in the extreme east of the world, at the shore of the Great Ocean,” which is likely China due to its association with silk production. [Brent Landau]

THE PROMISES OF JESUS.

7. The resurrection of Jesus

According to historical records in China, a comet appeared in the second month of the second year of Emperor Jianping’s reign (3 B.C. – 6 B.C.) and was visible for over 70 days.

The Chinese Emperor and astronomers saw the comet and star Altair as a significant symbol of change, possibly marking the start of a new epoch, with Altair in the “heaven eagle constellation.”

Emperor Jianping and his astronomers believed that Altair’s appearance signaled the coming of a king worthy of worship. They may have thought that their supreme deity, Xiang Di (Shang Ti), was coming to claim the throne they had built for Him in the Temple of Heaven.

Emperor Guang Wu reigned over China during Christ’s death and resurrection. Chinese historical records show they were aware of His divinity.

Latter Han Annals

The History of Latter Han, Annals, No. 18, Gui Hai, recorded a solar eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, which may have coincided with Christ’s death, causing darkness to cover the earth from the sixth to the ninth hour, as recorded in Mark 15:33.

Three days after the eclipse, Chinese astronomers observed a halo or a rainbow encircling the sun, believed to have been a sign of Christ’s resurrection to those trying to find a connection between Christianity and this ancient text.

Some alleged that it also recorded that the “Man from Heaven” died on the day of Gui Hai. However, the text (天人) referring to it could be ‘Heaven and Man’ rather than ‘man from Heaven. Additionally, the character (崩) used to describe the event does not necessarily mean death but collapse.

IS HEAVEN A FAIRY TALE STORY?

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