VIDEO Genesis in Chinese Pictographs

chinese pictographs

Ancient Chinese pictographs are silent witnesses, like fingerprints, of historical events reported in Genesis.

In particular, the details of these word-symbols are clues that point to how the earliest Chinese must have known basic facts of Genesis 1–11 at the very time their pictographs were invented.

Chinese is not an alphabet-based language—its word characters are both abbreviations of and combinations of picture symbols.1 The simplest symbols are combined to construct composite symbols that denote compound words.1,2 However, the actual pictures that were chosen, and especially their associated meanings, are what give us an amazing insight into Chinese history. The pictographic clues to that mysterious past have remained hidden in plain view for thousands of years.

Whereas most written languages construct words from the letters of an alphabet, the Chinese language uses radicals [i.e., root meaning-symbols], also called keys, roots or primitives, as the basic units and building blocks for the word characters. Each character contains one or more root symbols.3

The creative selection process that invented ancient Chinese characters produced the earliest form of Chinese pictographs, sometimes called ideograms or oracle bone pictographs because the texts were often carved onto bones or tortoise shell plastrons.1,2

But linguistic changes have occurred over the centuries, so pictographic analysis requires a forensic perspective, because the present is not the key to China’s linguistic past. The basic written vocabulary of the Chinese language is not being invented today, so the origin of their pictographs cannot be observed by empirical science methods.4 Rather, an investigative study of how the earliest Chinese historically selected relevant symbols to denote word meanings, during the invention of their written language, requires historical cause-and-effect analysis—what forensic scientists call “cause and origin” analysis.5 In this investigation, the forensic cause-and-origin question is: Where did the Chinese picture concepts come from—concepts that are memorialized in ancient Chinese pictographs? And a corollary question is: Why do these figures match Genesis history?

During the invention of a pictographic language, creating pictographic “words” involved selecting picture symbols that were relevant and meaningful to whoever invented those written symbols. But what motifs would signify meanings that the ancient Chinese would portray about 4,500 years ago? What ideas were familiar to those who invented China’s original written language?

Since Chinese civilization began soon after the Tower of Babel fiasco, the first Chinese settlers still had a fresh memory of mankind’s origins—from creation week to the dispersion of languages at Babel. Thus, they not only knew the history highlights in Genesis 1–11, but they would also have regarded those same events as important in human history and experience.6 It is unsurprising, therefore, that many of the picture-symbol characters, in the ancient Chinese language, match the thinking of a soon-after-Babel people who retained important memories of historic events reported in Genesis 1–11.

These creation-through-Babel events observed in Chinese pictographs include many themes and associations that readers of Genesis will recognize: God the Creator; creation of heaven and Earth, including a garden; man made from earth; man with stewardship responsibility; warning provided by God, hand, and a tree; man and woman as demonstrating completeness; covetousness involving trees and woman; temptation represented by garden, trees, and devil; death involves hands, tree, and mouths; thorns indicate weeds and punishment; alienation shown through man, woman, and garden; goodness involves woman and “seed”; sacrifice is represented by God, hand, and blood; “Lord” is designated by God and blood; “me” plus sheep equals righteousness; trust/dependence is represented by God covering a couple with clothing; violence is shown by an elder brother with a mark; flood involves universal water, and “universal” is conveyed by the number eight, united, and earth; boat is illustrated as a vessel or container and eight people; mankind plus one mouth/speech equals a type of unity, yet that unity combined with weeds (which depict the curse) equals ambition, and that ambition plus clay/bricks equals a tower; rebellion/confusion is represented by a tongue—and the list of correlations goes on. A few visual examples of this Genesis-relevant pattern follow, but note that there are many more documented in scholarly sources.1,2

chinese_pictographs_fig1
The pictographic word for “to create” in ancient Chinese is composed of the components “to speak/talk” and “walking”—consistent with the Genesis account of God using His mouth to create and Adam being created fully mature and thus able to walk, as follows.

Kang and Nelson recognize that this etymology retains information from Genesis 2:7, since Adam (whose name means “ground” in Hebrew) was made from and received the breath of life from God, and was created fully formed, able to walk and talk, etc.7 Interestingly, the Chinese have a memory of a seven–day week, depicted pictographically as “the returning seventh day”—which is itself a monument to the creation week.
chinese_pictographs_fig2
Recollection of the Garden of Eden is also evident in the ancient Chinese word for “garden.”6

If this does not link to the Genesis account, why else would the early Chinese combine the ideas of “two persons” who received the “breath” of life after the first one of those two persons (Adam) was made from the “dust” of the earth?
chinese_pictographs_fig3-4
Additionally, the pictographic characters for “boat” and “flood” recall information recounted in the adventures of Noah and his Ark–borne family, as recorded in Genesis 6–9. These Chinese characters recall that there were exactly eight survivors of the worldwide Flood.7

Although the illustrations above only serve to introduce this fascinating trove of pictographic philology (word study), they do show what forensic professionals call a “beyond-genuine-dispute” witness of God’s historic workings in Chinese history, producing a form of providential history and evidence of biblical truth.

Before concluding this fascinating study a qualification is appropriate, because this writer is not an expert in ancient Chinese pictographs. Has this author ever seen the apologetics value of these Chinese pictographs tested in the real world? The answer is yes, as a previous Acts & Facts article indicated years ago.

In 1990, a graduate student from communist China—raised on atheistic evolution—asked me the following question: “Why should I believe in the Bible God, the Bible is true, and God is fair, when China was never given Bible truth about God to believe?” Simply put, this young man was asking: “Why should I believe in your Bible’s God?” and “Why should I believe in your God’s Bible?”8

Recalling that I learned somewhere that the Chinese character for “flood” somehow contained the symbol for “eight,” I asked my Chinese friend to write out the Chinese word for flood, and to describe what its component symbols represented. As indicated above, his description of flood included the number eight—a fact he had no explanation for, other than he guessed that it might have once been a phonetic symbol, similar to how “4” can be shorthand for “for” or “8” for “ate.”

Then I read 1 Peter 3:20 to him and pointed out how Genesis 6–10 reports that exactly eight humans survived the global Flood, a fact that perfectly made sense of the Chinese pictographs. Then, he added that the Chinese character for “boat” also contained the number eight, and he began to realize that his own language contained latent clues that the Bible’s early history was once well known to the Chinese people.

After further discussion about how the biblical God is a loving shepherd who seeks to secure wandering sheep into His heavenly sheepfold (Psalm 23; Luke 15; John 10), my friend concluded that, long ago, the Chinese people had known the truth about the God of the Bible, including the early history of God’s dealings with mankind as Genesis records, but that somehow this precious truth had been lost or wasted. During the wee hours of the morning, with joy in knowing that God had caringly revealed Himself to the Chinese people, my friend trusted Christ as his personal Savior, and he has enjoyed belonging to Him since (Luke 15:7; Romans 4:3; Luke 10:20).

The silent-yet-testifying witnesses of ancient Chinese pictographs, which remind us that the earliest Chinese generations knew much of what we read in Genesis, are a monument to God’s truth, preserved in simple pictographic symbols. That historically preserved truth points to the accuracy of the Scriptures, which in turn always point to and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (John 5:39, 46).

References

1 This study is a forensic perspective on pictographic philology. The two best overviews are co-authored by Dr. Ethel Nelson: Kang, C. H. and E. R. Nelson. 1979. The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language. St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House; Nelson, E. R., R. E. Broadberry, and G. T. Chock. 1997. God’s Promise to the Chinese. Dunlap, TN: Read Books Publishers, which discusses oracle bones and tortoise shell plastrons on page 11.
2 Voo, K. S. and L. Hovee. 1999. The Lamb of God Hidden in the ancient Chinese Characters. Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal. 13 (1): 81-91.
3 Kang and Nelson. The Discovery of Genesis, 23.
4 Johnson, J. J. S. 2012. Genesis Critics Flunk Forensic Science 101. Acts & Facts. 41 (3): 8-9; Johnson, J. J. S. 2014. Is the Present the “Key” to Our Past? Acts & Facts. 43 (6): 19.
5 United States v. Hebshie, 754 F.Supp.2d 89, 114 (D. Mass. 2010) (discussing cause-and-origin techniques used in forensic science investigations); Layton v. Whirlpool Corp., 2007 WL 4792438, *3 (S.D. W.Va. 2007). In medical science and in other origin science contexts, the term etiology is often used to denote cause-and-effect history.
6 Just as modern Norwegian Sami care about snow and reindeer, and Jamaicans care about jerk chicken and reggae music, the first settlers of China cared about their cultural heritage, which included fresh memories from Babel and the oral histories of earlier events, so far as their ancestors transmitted reports of those events. See Johnson, J. J. S. 2014. Job’s Icy Vocabulary. Acts & Facts. 43 (12):19.
7 Kang and Nelson, Discovery of Genesis, 40-41 (create—see also Genesis 2:7), 54 (garden), 55 (week of seven days—see Genesis 2:2-3 and Exodus 20:11), 95-97 (boat, flood—see Genesis 6–9 and 1 Peter 3:20).
8 Johnson, J. J. S. 2010. Understanding Effective Biblical Apologetics. Acts & Facts. 39 (4): 8-9.

by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. who is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2015. Genesis in Chinese Pictographs. Acts & Facts. 44 (3).

God So Loved . . . – After Surrender, Then What?

God So Loved . . .
cross
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

July 28, 2014, marked the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. In the British media many discussions and documentaries recalled the start of that 4-year conflict. Even the TV program Mr. Selfridge, which is based on an actual department store in London, included an episode set in 1914 that showed young male employees lining up to volunteer for the army. As I observed these portrayals of self-sacrifice, I felt a lump in my throat. The soldiers they depicted had been so young, so eager, and so unlikely to return from the horror of the trenches.

Although Jesus didn’t go off to war to defeat an earthly foe, He did go to the cross to defeat the ultimate enemy—sin and death. Jesus came to earth to demonstrate God’s love in action and to die a horrendous death so that we could be forgiven of our sins. And He was even prepared to forgive the men who flogged and crucified Him (Luke 23:34). He conquered death by His resurrection and now we can become part of God’s forever family (John 3:13-16).

Jesus came to earth to demonstrate God’s love in action.

Anniversaries and memorials remind us of important historical events and heroic deeds. The cross reminds us of the pain of Jesus’ death and the beauty of His sacrifice for our salvation.

Dear Lord, thank You for loving me so much that You left Your home in heaven, came to earth, and willingly went to the cross for me.

Thank You for paying the penalty for my sins and forgiving me.

The cross of Jesus is the supreme evidence of the love of God. Oswald Chambers

By Marion Stroud

After Surrender, Then What?
open hands

I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. —John 17:4

True surrender is not simply surrender of our external life but surrender of our will— and once that is done, surrender is complete. The greatest crisis we ever face is the surrender of our will. Yet God never forces a person’s will into surrender, and He never begs. He patiently waits until that person willingly yields to Him. And once that battle has been fought, it never needs to be fought again.

Surrender for Deliverance. “Come to Me…and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). It is only after we have begun to experience what salvation really means that we surrender our will to Jesus for rest. Whatever is causing us a sense of uncertainty is actually a call to our will— “Come to Me.” And it is a voluntary coming.

Surrender for Devotion. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself…” (Matthew 16:24). The surrender here is of my self to Jesus, with His rest at the heart of my being. He says, “If you want to be My disciple, you must give up your right to yourself to Me.” And once this is done, the remainder of your life will exhibit nothing but the evidence of this surrender, and you never need to be concerned again with what the future may hold for you. Whatever your circumstances may be, Jesus is totally sufficient (see 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Philippians 4:19).

Surrender for Death. “…another will gird you…” (John 21:18; also see John 21:19). Have you learned what it means to be girded for death? Beware of some surrender that you make to God in an ecstatic moment in your life, because you are apt to take it back again. True surrender is a matter of being “united together [with Jesus] in the likeness of His death” (Romans 6:5) until nothing ever appeals to you that did not appeal to Him.

And after you surrender— then what? Your entire life should be characterized by an eagerness to maintain unbroken fellowship and oneness with God.

The Bible is the only Book that gives us any indication of the true nature of sin, and where it came from. The Philosophy of Sin, 1107 R

Oswald Chambers

An Imperishable Inheritance

1 Peter 1:3-5

Human beings have a fundamental need to feel safe and secure. But whenever we base our sense of security on the things of this world, we can expect disappointment. This is especially true when it comes to our finances. We are living in very uncertain times of high unemployment and diminishing retirement accounts. Our money and belongings can disappear no matter how carefully we plan and try to guard them. That’s why remembering our eternal future is so important.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that believers have an inheritance that never depreciates and cannot be stolen? It was given to us when we placed our hope in Jesus Christ and will never be taken away because it’s reserved and protected for us in heaven. Someday, when we see Jesus face to face, we’ll enjoy all the riches of God’s grace and receive the fullness of our inheritance.

But did you know that every day we live on this earth, we have an opportunity to build up that inheritance by investing in things the Lord values and credits to our account? That’s what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20). Whenever we live righteously in obedience to God, we’re laying up good works and adding to the treasure that awaits us.

Are you more concerned with investments in this life than with everlasting riches? It is very easy to let daily demands and responsibilities overshadow the importance of building eternal prosperity. Take time each day to refocus your mind and heart. Then start storing up wealth of lasting value.

The Writing of God

“And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables.” (Exodus 32:16)

In this verse is the first occurrence in the Bible of the word “writing” and, appropriately enough, it is speaking of “the writing of God” rather than the writings of men. The reference, of course, is to the two tables of the law, the Ten Commandments, “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18) and rewritten on a second set of stone tables to replace the first, once they were shattered (Exodus 34:1).

All Scripture is divinely inspired, but the Ten Commandments were divinely inscribed! This testimony of their unique importance is a sobering condemnation of any who ignore them or distort their meaning (including the one referring to the six-day creation in Exodus 20:11).

But there is another writing of God—this one recorded in the New Testament, one of even greater personal significance to the Christian: “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3). No longer an external standard divinely engraved in stone by the finger of God, but an internal conviction inscribed in the heart by the Spirit of God! “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them” (Hebrews 10:16).

This remarkable writing of God’s law in our hearts and minds has been accomplished because Christ came not “to destroy, but to fulfill” the law (Matthew 5:17) and “hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13). Now, with the law in our hearts, we have become epistles of God, “known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2), and it is vital that the writing read true and clear through our lives. HMM

Give Me Thyself

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. —Psalm 86:3-4.

And here’s a
little prayer that was made by
Lady Julian:

O God, of Thy goodness give me Thyself, for Thou art enough for me, and I may ask nothing that is less and find any full honors to Thee. God give me Thyself!

We make out that a revival is everybody running around falling on everybody else’s neck and saying, “Forgive me for thinking a bad thought about you. Forgive me for that nickel that I forgot to pay back.” Or we say a revival consists of people getting very loud and noisy. Well, that might happen in a revival, but the only kind of revival that would be here when the worlds are on fire is the revival that begins by saying, “Oh God, give me Thyself! For nothing less than Thee will do.” “Anything less than God,” Julian said, “ever me wanteth.” I like that little expression. Translated into modern English it means, “It won’t be enough.”

Oh, God, “of Thy goodness give me Thyself.” Amen.

More Concern Today for Fruit Than for the Root

The root of the righteous shall not be moved. Proverbs 12:3

One marked difference between the faith of our fathers as conceived by the fathers and the same faith as understood and lived by their children is that the fathers were concerned with the root of the matter, while their present-day descendants seem concerned only with the fruit.

Today we write the biographies of the Augustines, the Luthers and the Wesleys and celebrate their fruit, but the tendency is to ignore the root out of which the fruit sprang.

“The root of the righteous yielded fruit,” said the wise man in the Proverbs. Our fathers looked well to the root of the tree and were willing to wait with patience for the fruit to appear.

We demand the fruit immediately even though the root may be weak and knobby, or missing altogether. How can we ignore the fact that the bough that breaks off from the tree in a storm may bloom briefly, giving the impression that it is a healthy and fruitful branch, but its tender blossoms will soon perish and the bough itself will wither and die? There is no lasting life apart from the root.

Much that passes for Christianity today is the brief, bright effort of the severed branch to bring forth its fruit in its season. But the deep laws of life are against it. Preoccupation with appearances and a corresponding neglect of the out-of-sight root of the true spiritual life are prophetic signs which go unheeded.

God Hungry Souls

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness. 1 CORINTHIANS 1:23

The Greek philosopher Pythagoras divided men into three classes: 1. Seekers after knowledge; 2. Seekers after honor; 3. Seekers after gain.

I wonder why he failed to notice two other classes: those who are not seeking anything and those who are seekers after God. Let us add them to his list:

4. Seekers after nothing. These are the human vegetables who live by their glands and their instincts. I refer to the millions of normal persons who have allowed their magnificent intellectual equipment to wither away from lack of exercise. Their reading matter is the sports page and the comic section; their music is whatever is popular and handy—and loud!

5. Seekers after God. I am thinking of men and women who are God-hungry souls though their numbers may not be large. By nature they are no better than the rest of mankind, and by practice they have sometimes been worse. The one sign of their divine election is their insatiable thirst after the Source of their being. Thank the Lord for seekers after God, and their destiny lies in the hand of the One who gave His only begotten Son to die for the life of the world!

Dear Lord, I want to be known among my family and friends as a Godseeker. My destiny belongs to You, O Lord.