Is Shangdi Who Created the Chinese, also the God of the Bible?

(How Chinese characters and the Bible testify to the same story)

     Everyone has benefited enormously from Chinese culture, it’s food, paper and paper money, printing, the compass, tea, silk, kites of course fire works, and many other things. A Chinese proverb says “Those who drink the water should never forget those who dug the well.“ “喝水不忘挖井人”  So there is much to honor about the Chinese culture. But who dug the well for the Chinese? Who created them as well as all other people and cultures? Who gave them wise laws to fuel creative thinking and progress of many kinds?

When 2-3 independent sources say the same thing, news sources like CNN, the BBC, etc. consider a story to be verified and very likely true. Chinese characters and the Bible are two very independent sources, and researchers have also found similar things in hundreds of cultures around the world. This is very good evidence that these accounts are all true (some details differ, but this is common in historical accounts about the same story).

Pastor Kang and many other Chinese Christians and scholars have found many Chinese characters with profound similarities to the Bible accounts. At present, researchers have found that over 70% of ancient Chinese characters have similarities to stories in the Bible. Even more surprising, these Chinese characters existed for probably at least 1000 years before most of the Bible was written. Sometimes the Chinese characters give fuller details of a Bible story and sometimes the Chinese characters it’s impossible to understand how the parts of a Chinese character relate to the whole character’s meaning until you read the Bible accounts.

This is a graphic with a few of them. And the story about how this was discovered and more characters with important meanings are below.

     Many years ago, pastor C.H. Kang was talking with an intelligent Chinese woman about how the Bible has profound truths and is a wonderful guide for life. She thought it was an OK fairy tale for children, but had no value for adults. Pastor Kang remembered that in the Chinese character for boat, there are 3 parts: a vessel/boat, 8, and mouths/people (see the 3rd character in the graphic at right). In the Bible, there is a story of Noah, a flood that destroyed the earth. 100s of cultures around the world have a similar story.  In the story there were also 8 people that survived the flood. This helps understand why 8 is associated with boat in this character. It also helps us understand why Chinese people think the number eight, “八” is good fortunate/good luck. The Chinese characters tell the same basic story found in the story of Noah and the flood from the Bible.

      Pastor Kang realized that this helps us know that Christianity is not just a western religion. God has revealed Himself and the same important truths independently to many cultures, including the Chinese. Even today, when journalists find 2 independent sources saying the same thing, they consider it verified fact. So because we see the same basic stories of ancient history, creation and the flood told in many different and disconnected cultures, we can be certain that these stories are true. This is one of many ways that we can know that the God of the Bible is the true God of the whole earth!

     Pastor Kang found many other examples too.  Check out the word “create” (1st character in the graphic above).  In it, we see the words for dust, a mouth, life, and walk.  These match together perfectly with the creation story in the Bible. God created the first person from the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life*.  Adam became a living being who was walking and talking. These are striking parallels and tell the same story!

     In the creation story, God created a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve and often talked with them.  He said that everything was good, very good! He wanted people to be happy. Look at the ancient Chinese word for “blessing/happiness” at the beginning of the 1st graphic above. There are 4 symbols in this word happiness.  What are these symbols?  (God, 1st, mouth/person and garden). This character indicates that there was deep happiness and blessing when God created the 1st people to live in the garden of Eden. And science shows that one of the best sources of happiness is God and a healthy church community*.

     God had put 2 trees in the garden as a test of loyalty.  Some people call this God’s voting booth.  God warned them not to eat from 1 tree.  But, Eve didn’t believe God.  She was curious.  In English we say “curiosity killed the cat”.  Curiosity killed Eve.  Eve desired to eat fruit that God had forbidden. Because Eve and later Adam disobeyed and betrayed God, they had to leave the Garden of Eden and they lost their happiness. Many selfish desires also came into human beings.  These cause much pain and suffering even today.  On the left is the Chinese character for “covet” or “desire”.

      If you look carefully at the graphic on the right, you will see the symbol for trees and a woman. This character reminds us that Eve desiring wrong things (and Adam following her in that), was the cause of much suffering and tragedy. The character for warn also traces back to this first creation story with God warning people about 1 of 2 trees in the garden of Eden. This story also reminds us that our choices can have profound effects across generations and the science of epigenetics confirms the Bible’s claim that one person’s choice can have effects for 3-4 generations.

But, in the story, God gave Adam and Eve a 2nd chance. Look at the word for righteousness. What symbols can you see inside this character?  In this character, are the symbols for a lamb, me, hand, and blade/knife.  “Hand” and “knife” together make the symbol for “me”.  How could all these words have any connection to righteousness, except with an understanding of the Bible? In the garden after Adam and Eve sinned, God told them a way to escape from sin and death.  For justice, someone would have to die.  God promised that His Son would die instead of them. Then they could be part of God’s family again. God told them to kill a lamb with a knife. The lamb was a symbol of Jesus who would die for humanity. By killing the lamb, they showed faith in God’s promise. This character on the right indicates that righteousness comes from faith in God’s promises.

      At present many Chinese are Buddhist, Taoist and atheist.  But, thousands of years ago, there was another religion that guided the Chinese culture to develop into its greatest periods of history. The ancient Chinese worshipped only ONE God and didn’t make idols of Him. His name was Shen or ShangDi  and He is:  “The emperor above”. One Chinese researcher wrote this, “[ShangDi] was self-existent.  He existed before the heaven and the earth and sun.  He created them.  He rules over them.  His years have no end.”

      This ShangDi is basically identical to Yahweh in the Bible.  In many countries around the world, the first and true God created all things and gave life by his power.  He always existed and as Creator, He knows the best ways to live. He gave wise moral laws and when the Chinese and other cultures have followed His wisdom, much research has found that it builds peace, harmony, strength, innovation and community. As the Bible says: “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” Proverbs 14:34

      There are hundreds of cultures with the same idea about God. How can people in all different nations and different places all around the world all believe in almost the same idea of God? Because the God of the Bible is real wants to show us His truth in the Bible, through nature, through Chinese characters and various other ways. He wants us to know that He is not the God of one nation or people.  He is the true Creator of everything and everyone in the world and wants to know you!

There are a couple more characters in this graphic on Chinese characters that also confirm the Bible’s truths about God.