Sunday, June 06, 2010
China and the Gospel
I bought a book online this week and already received it. I have two more coming about the same subject. :) These authors studied Chinese characters to find correlations with the Bible. I had heard a couple before, and am interested to learn more. The one most people have heard about is this character. 船 The left radical means "vessel". In China, when taking a census, people count how many mouths are in the house. The top radical on the right is the number 8, and the bottom radical on the right is the character for mouth. This character 船 means a boat. So a vessel with 8 people in it is the character for boat. When the author of the book I am reading thought about this particular character, and recognized the similarity to the story of Noah, where 8 people were saved in a ship, she decided to study other chinese characters to see if she could find other correlations. What she learned is amazing.
When I first read about this woman, I wondered why she took this interest in Chinese characters. She lived in Thailand for about 17 years, but they speak Thai there, and there is no similarity to chinese. I questioned why she would even go to the effort to study chinese. But as I have read her book, I have come to see that for her, this was additional testimony, outside of the Bible, that the story in Genesis was true. She used these findings in teaching the Gospel.
What she found in her study is that the Chinese language origin is thought to have been about 2500 B.C. The interesting thing is that this date is very close to the time of the tower of Babel. (2218 B.C.) Many of the Chinese have forgotten the origin of their language. In fact, mainland China now uses a simplified form of the characters, so the original meaning has been changed even more. But this author, Ethel Nelson, studied the old characters as well as modern, and the older ones are even more clear.
In addition to the characters, Mrs. Nelson also read about the ancient temple rites of the Emperor. Some of the prayers he gave while making the ritual sacrifices were consistent with the first chapter of Genesis, including the creation. Most Chinese characters that she studied had correlation to the events of the first 11 chapters of Genesis, including the story of Adam and Eve, and the devil tempting them. One character combines the elements: devil, under cover, and trees to make up the word "Tempter". The word devil itself is made up of elements that mean: devil, man or son, garden, and secret or private. 魔 Of course we who read the Bible are familiar with the story of the devil secretly tempting Eve in the garden.
Another character is the one for "beginning". 始 The radical on the left is the one for woman. The ones on the right indicate secretly or alone, and a mouth to represent eating. One of the ancient forms of this character also includes a hand feeding the mouth. We read in Genesis of Eve eating the forbidden fruit, and then giving it to Adam.
Here is the explanation for the character "to create"
Some of the characters she shares are much more complicated, so I won't try to share them here. I have only just begun reading, but I'm looking forward to learning more. I'm not sure if the other books I bought will have much different information, but I like to read from different sources. I have long believed that the Gospel was at one time had by all nations, and that remnants can be found still today. I also believe that remannts of the ancient temple ceremonies can also be found in many cultures today. Those who have been to our temple can see that those remnants are consistent with our temples today. This is a gospel that has been around since the beginning of time. It's nice to find evidence of this.