By: Mark Tabata (Evangelist)
For the past several years, I have been greatly intrigued by the powerful apologetic nature of the Chinese language.
Briefly stated, the Chinese language is one of the oldest in existence, with the words of this language telling a type of story within their characters.
As one linguist has pointed out:
“Yet, if we take a journey backward in time, passing the first century B.C., when Buddhism was introduced; the fifth century B.C., when Taoism and Confucianism simultaneously blossomed; and continue back 1, 500 or even 2, 000 years more, we find a different religious atmosphere. There we find the little-appreciated evidence that these ancient people served only one God, had no myths or idols, and kept a strict moral code. They called their God ShangTi…(ShangTi, Shangti, Shangti), the Heavenly (above) …Emperor….It is supposed that the Chinese originally migrated from a site in Mesopotamia, for they show evidences of similarity to the later Babylon-Assyrian culture in arts, sciences, and government. The approximate date of their origin, 2500 B.C., is surprisingly close to the strict chronological dating of the great event at the Tower of Babel which resulted in the division of all mankind into new linguistic groups and the consequent dispersion of peoples over the face of the earth…When the Chinese, very early in their history as a separate people, found a need to communicate with a written language, a system of word-pictures was invented in keeping with the characteristic calligraphy of the ancient world. True to all primitive written languages, these so-called pictographs were satisfactory for representing objects but carried limitations in expressing abstract concepts. The early graphic symbols, therefore, were combined in meaningful ways to convey ideas, called ideograms, and these ‘picture stories’ of necessity had to contain common knowledge in order to be understood. It would have been only natural to use as a basis for some of the ideograms the history of the ancient beginnings of humanity with which all were familiar by oral tradition. Consequently, the written Chinese language is composed of characters uniquely adapted to the possibility of containing the stories of Genesis.” (C.H. Kang and Ethel R. nelson, The Discovery Of Genesis: How The Truths Of Genesis Were Found Hidden In The Chinese Language, 162-185 (Kindle Edition); St. Louis, MO; Concordia Publishing House)
These ancient Chinese words embody some of the earliest memories of mankind, and these reflect strongly upon-and confirm-the Biblical narrative.
Consider some examples with me.
(zhu fu-blessing, happiness)
The Bible reminds us that in the beginning, before sin entered into the Creation, everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
God created the universe out of an act of unmerited grace and love (Psalm 136:1-9). It was in the beautiful Paradise Garden of Eden that our human parents, Adam and Eve, existed in pure and unbroken communion with the God Who is love (I John 4:8).
Here, The Lord walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). How appropriate that the Chinese remembered this wonderful fellowship and described true happiness as being the unity of God and man in the Garden!
The First Family In The Beginning
(kāi shǐ- Beginning, First)
(Two People+Palace [Home]+Peace=Beginning)
In the beginning, God created Adam (Genesis 2:1-6). Out of his rib, He created the woman (Genesis 2:18-25).
God had created the family unit to be a blessing to humans. The Psalmist said that the reason for the family was so that people would not be lonely or alone (Psalm 68:6).
Later corruptions to the home caused sorrow and grief (such as polygamy and homosexual ‘marriage’).
Interestingly enough, the ancient Chinese practiced polygamy; yet they clearly point out that in the very beginning, there were two people who comprised the first home and lived in a “palace” (Paradise in the Garden of Eden-they lived as “king” and “queen” having all their needs met-Genesis 2:8) in peace and tranquility.
The Fall In The Garden Of Eden
(yù wàng- Desire, Covet)
(Two Trees+A Woman In The Midst Of=Covet)
When God created man, there were two trees in the Garden that men were to avoid: the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-6) and the tree of life (Genesis 3:22-24).
Temptation had its’ origin in the “desire” of the man and the woman to violate God’s Law (Genesis 2:14-17) by partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan first approached the woman with his deceptive lies (Genesis 3:1).
As such, “evil desire” or “covetousness” had its’ origin in the woman being tempted in the midst of the two trees (Genesis 3:6).
(è mó- Tempter, Demon)
The “tempter” or Satan (Matthew 4:3; I Thessalonians 3:5) stealthily approached Eve in the Garden.
He took the form of a serpent (Genesis 3:1; Revelation 12:9) and in his craftiness he deceived Eve (II Corinthians 11:3).
He did this subtly near the two trees. Again, notice how the Chinese language confirms the basic elements of the Genesis account of Creation and the Fall.
(yǐn cáng- To Hide)
The Bible tells us that when Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they tried to “hide” from Him in the trees of the Garden (Genesis 3:8).
People try to hide their sins from God, but He knows and calls us to repentance because He loves us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
If we attempt to hide from God, we will not succeed.
“He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)
The truthfulness of the Fall is captured in vivid detail in the Chinese word “hide” which means that the man is (or is covered by) the trees.
(qū zhú- To Expel)
(Offender+Two Persons=To Expel)
Adam and Eve were cast out of or “expelled” from the Garden of Eden.
This was a punishment, but also an act of mercy from God. If they had eaten of the tree of life, they would have been forever separated from God in a creation that had been ruined by sin.
As Albert Barnes has so eloquently written:
“There is unspeakable mercy here in every respect for the erring race. This present life in the flesh was now tainted with sin, and impregnated with the seeds of the curse, about to spring forth into an awful growth of moral and physical evil. It is not worth preserving for itself. It is not in any way desirable that such a dark confusion of life and death in one nature should be perpetuated. Hence, there is mercy as well as judgment in the exclusion of man from that tree which could have only continued the carnal, earthly, sensual, and even devilish state of his being. Let it remain for a season, until it be seen whether the seed of spiritual life will come to birth and growth, and then let death come and put a final end to the old man.” (Albert Barnes, 3312-3317 (Kindle Edition)).
There are many other examples of how the Chinese language provides confirmation of the historical authenticity of the Bible. These are sufficient, however, to show us that the ancient records of other civilizations establish that the Bible is a Book of fact, and not mythology.
Doesn’t it make sense to build your life on the solid foundation of God’s Book?
Please turn your life to ShangTi-the one true God-today (Acts 2:37-38).
The grace of The Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
All of the material regarding the Chinese language mentioned above may be found in the following references:
C.H. Kang and Ethel R. Nelson, The Discovery Of Genesis: How The Truths Of Genesis Were Found Hidden In The Chinese Language; (Kindle Edition); St. Louis, MO; Concordia Publishing House
Ethel R. Nelson/Richard E. Broadberry, Genesis And The Mystery Confucius Could’t Solve; (Kindle Edition); St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House
Chan Kei Thong with Charlene L. Fu, Finding God In Ancient China: how The Ancient Chinese Worshiped The God Of The Bible; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan