CHINESE EVIDENCE OF JESUS’ BIRTH, DEATH AND RESURRECTION (from the time of Christ)

EVIDENCE OF JESUS’ BIRTH, DEATH AND RESURRECTION FROM CHINESE HISTORY (from the time of Christ) by Bryan Bissell

WISE THOUGHTS

  • “And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 8:11
  • “During the forty days after he suffered and died, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.” Acts 1:3
  • Noted historian Dr. McCullagh (who wrote extensively on how to find truth in history fairly) writes:
    “Christian beliefs are of immense value, both to individuals, to society and to nature. They result in a wisdom and altruism that is of benefit to all. That is why I hope more and more people will accept them.” McCullagh, C. Behan. “Credible Christianity”. www.cbehanmccullagh.com/credible-cristianity/

Many scholars have said that based on academic standards, Jesus and His resurrection are one of the strongest and most proven events of history (see this page).  But did you know that Chinese scholars from the time of Jesus also were given evidence that Jesus was born, died and rose again as a perfect sacrifice to bring pardon for man’s sin and a whole new era of human history?  Pastor Kong Hee from Singapore found some of this evidence and spoke about it (links to his talk are at the end). The evidence dates back to the very time that Jesus was living, but it is evidence from China. I found links to the original Chinese documents with help from a couple Chinese friends and a couple more intriguing facts from China that also are evidence of Jesus life on earth while I was in China.

We already have evidence and proof for Jesus’ resurrection way beyond reasonable about according to many scholars. Even non-Christian scholars like Bart Ehrman agree that the evidence for the resurrection is better than the evidence for miracles in any other religion.

But this evidence from China is unique because it comes from cosmological sources which are beyond any human control and also ancient Chinese classics which have been verified by the atheist Chinese government as reliable history. It is also from a country far distant from Israel and from the same time Jesus lived. That should be logical enough to help eliminate any remaining doubt as to the fact that Jesus was born, died and rose again and that He cares enough to give evidence of His divinity to people in many cultures/nations throughout the world (researchers have documented evidence for God independent of the Bible in at least 300 major cultures).

Whenever we want to figure out if something is true, we need to use the 3 main methods of truth that God used and that science and academics use when they are objective and not controlled by greed/powerful businesses. I’ve written a brief overview of this here.

But remember one thing for this topic. Roy Davies, former managing editor of history programs at the BBC, talks about how he learned to check truth and credibility. Davies is irreligious. (~6:30).

(~3:30) “One of the most important lessons that I learned at that stage was from a senior reporter who said, ‘From now on, do not accept any story that you are told by less than two people…meaning if one person tells you a story, go out and check it with another person who doesn’t know that person.’ “ # 247. Roy Davies Exposes Charles Darwin’s Plagiarism http://www.skeptiko.com/247-roy-davies-exposes-darwin-plagiarism/, www.skeptiko.com/?powerpress_pinw=3693-podcast

So that is a standard practice in journalism and history. If 2 independent people who don’t know each other say the same thing, that’s good enough to publish it as a verified event of history to the best of our knowledge.

This concept of rational thought and proving things by 2-3 witnesses or more to verify accuracy  was actually pioneered in the Bible 1000s of years ago (Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1). But it is used in courts all over the world. One reason is that it would require an enormous amount of time, money and resources if we had to go and personally observe everything witnesses claimed happened and it would in many cases be impossible. So for many practical reasons, 2 or more independent witnesses is considered very strong evidence of truth.

This concept of rational thought and proving things by 2-3 witnesses or more to verify accuracy  was actually pioneered in the Bible 1000s of years ago (Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Corinthians 13:1). But it is used in courts all over the world. One reason is that it would require an enormous amount of time, money and resources if we had to go and personally observe everything witnesses claimed happened and it would in many cases be impossible. So for many practical reasons, 2 or more independent witnesses is considered very strong evidence of truth.

The belief in God, Jesus and eternal life is crucial for many reasons. But one is this. Harvard’s professor Dr. Wilson says that sometimes selfish individuals may succeed in certain areas (wealth/fame, etc.). But at the group/nation level, altruistic societies always win. He says
“A group of altruists will beat a society of selfish individuals every time.”


So the progress and thriving of nations depends on many people living with genuine love, concern and sacrifice for others, in other words altruism. The Bible speaks of this in 1000s of verses. The problem is that you can’t get large numbers of people to live with genuine love and altruism for others long term if they don’t have confidence in eternal life. Without that confidence, they think this life is the only life they have and so they better get all the wealth, fame, etc. in this short life which they know they have.   This is why faith in God is part of a crucial cycle of nations that many historians have written about (see here for some of the principles that God and history say are foundations of thriving nations).

We can see that it happened in Israel’s history many times. Faith in God brought success and freedom. But time after time, they became proud, abandoned God’s laws, then many became greedy/proud, people began to treat others with prejudice/discrimination of various types and this led to many kinds of suffering and injustice. They soon became weak because only altruistic societies stay strong long term as Dr. E.O. Wilson of Harvard and others have documented and enemies conquered them. This same cycle has been documented in almost every nation in history and also in China too.

Yuan Zhiming was a dissident and co-leader of the Tiananmen Square protests. He later escaped to America, became a Christian and then began making documentaries about belief in the God of the Bible throughout Chinese history. He made a powerful documentary  surveying 5,000 years of Chinese history which shows that belief in the God who revealed Himself to them and who is the same as the God of the Bible leads to equality, peace and thriving, while belief in false religions, secularism and atheism lead to greed, violence, crime and much loss of life.

China’s Confession 神州忏悔录 (Abridged, English subtitle) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jh5cBIZscSA

A key section of the documentary says:

“Facts have once again demonstrated to us that as long as the Chinese people worship men instead of God, as long as sinful men act like righteous God, as long as men with limitations hold limitless power, that peace and stability will never last long…Oh China! This is where your misery resides. The one who sits on the central throne is not God, but an earthly man….men who did not know God became gods of men. Is not this the source of all China’s tragedies? Chinese butchered their fellow Chinese and Chinese conspired against their fellow Chinese. They abused each other…until…they became prey for foreign invaders…Oh China, because you firmly believe there is no God, you give full reign to sinful men to carry out their self abuse in hopelessness. Since you firmly believe mankind does not share a common holy nature, you then let human reason negate your God given conscience. Since you believe there is no Savior except yourself, you are left to drown again and again in an ocean of bitterness, a sea of fire and a pool of blood, of your own making”

(***a link to more highlights of this documentary will be here in the future)

 

Rejection of belief in God and eternal life often leads to enormous amounts of greed, injustice and inequality which are the main cause and factor for nearly all evils in the world, according to both the Bible and history and a vast amount of science. Confidence in Jesus’ resurrection gives a person solid confidence that they can have eternal life. Because that is far more valuable than anything earthly life can give,  it inspires people to work and live for justice, equality and the good of all mankind more than anything else in history.

 

CHINESE HISTORICAL RECORDS CORROBORATE JESUS’ LIFE
Now on to the evidence for Jesus’ life from China.  The Bible records many events of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection in the gospels as all Christians and many others well know. But what is amazing is that before or about the same time that these things were happening in Israel, the Chinese were well aware of them by completely different means.

This of course was long before telegrams, telephones and all other high speed communication devices. So this information could not have reached them in any of those ways.

Far more important, they understood that events of enormous importance that would bring a whole new epoch to world history were transpiring in the world based on both cosmological events that were far beyond the ability of the Chinese to control, or any other human for that matter, along with Chinese astronomical names assigned long before anything about Israel and its prophecies of the Messiah was known, but which gave incredible significance to these events.  This understanding could only have been given to them by a power that had the ability to control and order events in the cosmos and on earth to happen at just the right place and at just the right time. In other words, God.

It is very important to understand that what you will read is from ancient Chinese historical works. The current published versions of these ancient Chinese classics have been studied and compared very rigorously with the most ancient manuscripts by Chinese scholars from 9 disciplines. They found that the versions we have are very accurate and almost identical to the ancient versions. See ~ minute 12 in this documentary for more on this.

The Sacred Meaning of China’s Altar of Heaven
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCG8yrJskRk

Here is an overview of what Chinese pastors and scholars discovered about events in the life of Jesus that have transformed their world and ours.

 

!!SYMBOLS OF JESUS BIRTH!!
The Chinese were very interested in astronomy. The royal courts hired many astronomers to study the stars and write down important events that happened in the cosmos because they believed they could have major impacts on human lives. The Chinese astronomers recorded an incredible event in 5 BC.
“ 二年二月,彗星出牽牛七十餘日。傳曰: ‘彗所以除舊佈 新也. 牽牛,日、月、 五星所從起, 歷數之元, 三正之始。 彗而出之,改更之象也。其出 久者,爲其事大也.”

(漢書, 卷二十六, 天文志第六) Book of Han 《漢書》 卷二十六 天文志
Volume 26: Treatise on Astronomy
http://chinesenotes.com/hanshu/hanshu030.html (starts at 2nd to last paragraph)

In English, it says
“In the second month of the second year [of Jian Ping, emperor of that time], the comet was out of Altair for more than 70 days…It is said, ‘Comets appear to signify the old being replaced by the new.’ Altair, the sun, the moon and the five stars are in movement to signify the beginning of a new epoch; The beginning of a new year, a new month and a new day…The appearance of this comet undoubtedly symbolizes change. The extended appearance of this comet indicates that this is of great importance.”
Astronomy Records of the Book of the Han Dynasty

Jian Ping was the emperor of China at this time & it his second month & second year. Chinese historians have calculated that this date is ~ March 9th to April the 6th, 5 B.C.

Most Christian scholars think Jesus was born between 6-5 B.C.
“the most likely time of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem is 6-5 B.C. “
https://www.gotquestions.org/what-year-was-Jesus-born.html

[The evidence] “would suggest Jesus was born in either 5 or 6 B.C.” http://biblelight.net/year.htm

The astronomers saw the comet for ~70 days. Interestingly, the Bible tells us that wise men from the east saw a star that to them signified the birth of a Great King and traveled to give Him gifts. In ancient times, it took travelers/caravans ~70 days travel from China to Jerusalem. Could this have been wise men from China?  So it’s a distinct possibility. But let’s continue.

Altair is one of the 15 brightest stars in the night sky in China, from the constellation of Aquila. According to Chinese classic historical records,
“正義牽牛爲犠牲, 亦爲關樑.” (史記 卷 27 天官書)

“The primary meaning of Altair, the key supporting pillar of the heavens, is the Perfect Sacrifice.”
Historical records, Vol. 27, Book of Astronomy
http://www.sidneyluo.net/a/a01/027.htm (near the middle)
https://ctext.org/shiji/tian-guan-shu/zh (line #24 but characters are a little modified)

Jesus is the Perfect Sacrifice! The Bible tells us:

  • “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14
  • “…with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:19

Where does the comet Altair come from? The constellation of Aquila. What does Aquila mean?

The Chinese say it is 天鷹座 (tiān yīng zuò), meaning “the heaven eagle constellation”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_in_Chinese_astronomy

Altair, or Alpha Aquilae, is the brightest star in the constellation “Aquila, the Eagle.”
www.constellation-guide.com/altair/

Eagles have a special meaning in Christian symbology. They symbolize rising into heaven or resurrection:
“In Christian iconography the eagle is often seen to symbolize John the Evangelist, the ascension of the prophet Elijah, and the ascension of Jesus Christ.”
constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/Aquila.htm

What does the symbol of Eagle mean in the Bible?
“Eagle Symbol: Because it soars upward, the eagle is a symbol of the resurrection or ascension of Christ.”
www.religionfacts.com/eagle

God’s care over his people is likened to that of the eagle in training its young to fly (Exodus 19:4 ; Deuteronomy 32:11 Deuteronomy 32:12 ).
https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/eagle/

Since eagles fly high and are sharp-sighted, they signify rational things…The eagle first mentioned denotes the rational enlightened by the Divine;
www.biblemeanings.info/Words/Animal/Eagle.htm

So the comet coming from the constellation named eagle, indicates that the coming of the “Perfect Sacrifice” can/will including these things.
A) Show God’s care and concern for His people (to save them from sin/injustice/eternal death)
B) it could involve a resurrection
C) and it will be rationally/logically based involving enlightenment from God.

All these coincide in the life of Jesus and His resurrection in some very profound ways.

 

!! SYMBOLS OF JESUS’ DEATH !!
Chinese records say:
“癸亥晦, 日有食之, 避正殿, 寑兵,不聽事五日.詔曰:「吾德薄致災, 謫見日月, 戰慄恐懼, 夫何言哉!… 其上書者, 不得言聖.” (後漢書 光武帝第七年)
“In the day of Gui Hai, the last day of the month, there was a solar eclipse. [The emperor] avoided the Throne Room, suspended all military activities and did not handle official business for five days.”
History of Latter Han Dynasty, Vol. 1, Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu, 7th year”
http://chinesenotes.com/houhanshu/houhanshu003.html (~paragraph 29)

Gui Hai was the last day of the 3rd month in the spring in the 7th year of Guang Wu. You can pinpoint this to A.D. 31.

Another document says:
“夏四月壬午,詔曰: ‘比陰陽錯謬,日月薄食. 百姓有過,在予一人,大赦天下’.” (後漢書 光武帝第七年)

“Summer, fourth month [of the year], on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, “Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and moon were eclipsed. The sins of all the people are now on one man. Pardon is proclaimed to all under heaven.”
History of Latter Han Dynasty, Volume 1, Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu, 7th year
http://chinesenotes.com/houhanshu/houhanshu003.html (~paragraph 30)

Yet another:
“癸亥日蚀, 天人崩.” (後漢書 志第十八)
“Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from Heaven died”. History of Latter Han, Annals, No. 18, Gui Hai.
www.readtcm.com/book_GuoXue/3_118.thtml (~5th paragraph from the beginning)

Who is the one man that all sin was laid on?

Whose life brought pardon for sin to all?

Who is the man from heaven that died?

There is only one possible answer to these questions. Jesus Christ. The Chinese were given signs from the Creator of the Cosmos to know that God’s Perfect Sacrifice had come to earth and died for the sins of all mankind. They knew about this at the same time that he died. Again, there is no way the news could have gotten to China from Israel this fast.

45 From noon until three o’clock it was dark over all the land. 50 Then Jesus gave another loud cry and gave up His spirit and died.” Matthew 27:45,50

45 从正午一直到下午三点,黑暗笼罩着整个大地。50 耶稣又大喊了一声,就断了气。马太福音 27:45,50

 

!! SYMBOLS OF JESUS’ RESURRECTION !!
Chinese astronomers saw something else miraculous. They wrote,
“光武建武七年四月丙寅, 日有晕抱, 白虹贯晕.” (後漢書 志第十八)
“During the reign of Emperor Guang Wu, on the day of Bing Yin of the fourth month of Jian Wu, a halo (rainbow) encircled the sun.”
History of Latter Han, Annals No. 18, Gui Hai
www.readtcm.com/book_GuoXue/3_118.thtml (~10th paragraph from the end)

 

How does this connect to the Bible? Jesus is called the Sun of Righteousness in the context of the final judgement.
“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.  “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings.[b] And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.”
https://www.gotquestions.org/sun-of-righteousness.html

What do rainbows symbolize? The rainbow was first a symbol of a covenant between God and man that he would not destroy the world with a flood again.  Based on this, the rainbow can connect to God’s desire to save everyone from perishing (2 Peter 3:9) if they will accept His way of salvation. The rainbow covenant and Noah’s story points forward to a time of God’s ultimate salvation, that a way to escape the 2nd and final death has finally been definitely established.

A rainbow is also a symbol of Jesus (Ezekiel 1:26–28) and His power, mercy and can remind us of various aspects of the atonement.  In Revelation 4:2–3, John saw Christ clothed with a cloud and a rainbow on His head….Bible scholar John Gill states concerning the rainbow,
“as it has in it a variety of beautiful colors, it may represent Christ, who is full of grace and truth, and fairer than the children of men; and may be considered as a symbol of peace and reconciliation by him, whom God looks unto, and remembers the covenant of his grace he has made with him and his chosen ones in him; and who is the rainbow round about the throne of God, and the way of access unto it.”1
https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/taking-back-the-rainbow/
https://www.compellingtruth.org/meaning-of-the-rainbow.html

This site has some more information about rainbows and how each color has connections to Jesus’ atonement, salvation and sanctification for us.
https://www.biblestudy.org/question/what-does-a-rainbow-symbolize-in-bible.html

Rainbows can also be symbols of peace, hope, new beginnings, a gate to the divine realms, mystery, purity, which all connect to Jesus, the peace and new beginnings He offers if we confess our sins and repent and His perfect life will cover our sins and day by day, the mystery of the gospel can help us become more and more pure and perfect like Jesus is (Matt. 5:48, Eph. 5:1), etc.

This rainbow around the sun happened 3 days after Jesus death. What happened then? Jesus resurrection! He resurrected! He’s alive! And the Chinese knew something stupendous happened at that time too!

A) When Jesus was born, there was a sign in heaven and the Chinese saw it and wrote it down.

B) When He died, there was a sign in heaven and the Chinese recorded it too.

C) When He resurrected, there was also a sign in heaven and the Chinese recorded that too.

God is amazing. He gives evidence and proof of His love and grace to cultures all over the world and throughout history! He controls the cosmos and gives signs to human beings at times through it. The God who created and controls the whole universe is certainly strong and good enough to guid you and give you eternal life as Jesus promised. Why not learn how to be saved and be sure of eternal life today!
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/god/salvation-basics/

God bless as you keep learning about and following the resurrected Creator of all life and the only source of eternal life!

 

REFERENCES

These are 2 sermons by Pastor Kong Hee from City Harvest church in Singapore where I heard some of the above interesting evidences for Jesus from China. I found some more on my own (especially the part about the heavenly eagle constellation and it’s meaning) and then with a Chinese friend found the links to the Chinese classic works online.

God in Ancient China 古代中國人的神 – Part 1 (English & Chinese) 第1部分 (中文 / 英文)  (In this section pastor Kong Hee shows how Chinese characters align with Bible history and also convey the gospel of salvation extremely well).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNT82P6JpSM

God in Ancient China 古代中國人的神 – Part 2 (English & Chinese) 第2部分 (中文 / 英文)  (in this part, pastor Kong Hee, talks about the influence of Christian missionaries on Chinese culture throughout history and how it influenced some, such as Kangxi, to become Christian, but also some of the mistakes of Catholic missionaries.  It also has the incredible section on Jesus’ resurrection.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kkxUyMAMXQ

If you would like to learn more about this Jesus and how to trust and believe in Him and have surety that you can have eternal life and live forever, these are some links that can help you with more information about that.

A) A good site explaining the 3 major parts of salvation with many Bible verses quoted to prove each (confession, justification and sanctification).
http://blog.truth-is-life.org/doctrine/salvation-basics/

B) A helpful article from a pastor on salvation.
https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/salvation/the-experience-of-salvation/article/go/-/how-to-know-youre-saved/

C) A good article from a Christian site.
https://christiananswers.net/q-dml/dml-y005.html

D) Probably the best in depth overview for non-Ph.Ds. is this series.
Pastor Jerry Arnold is a wonderful, grace based SDA pastors who preached a brilliant series of sermons on how we can know for certain that we are saved. This is one of the best, most insightful sermon series you’ll hear on the topic from any pastor in any denominations. Crucially it has an ideal and biblical balance of grace that saves us and obedience that prevents us from experiencing and doing harm to the lives of others such as you see in the Bible (James 2, 1 John 1:8,9,  1 John 2:1-9, etc.).

Jerry Arnold-Can I Know I’m Saved series
http://www.collegedalecommunity.com/sermon-series/serie/19-issues

Another good one is:
How Perfect Should a Christian Be?- (Doug Batchelor)

See especially parts: 0~15, 22~27,

I really hope to see you in heaven and get to know you better along with many believers in God from China and nations around the world!
And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 8:11

EXTRA:

“The rainbow is a symbol of the covenant between God and man. It is a symbol of God’s promise after the Flood to not destroy humankind again Christ is sometimes shown enthroned on a rainbow at the Last Judgment. The rainbow demonstrates His heavenly power and mercy. God says the rainbow will be a reminder for Himself to remember His covenant: “When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (Genesis 9:14–16). https://www.compellingtruth.org/meaning-of-the-rainbow.html

the rainbow is a covenant of grace. It is actually a symbol of Christ Himself….The Bible reveals to us that the rainbow is a symbol of Christ in Ezekiel 1:26–28. In Revelation 4:2–3, John saw Christ clothed with a cloud and a rainbow on His head….Bible scholar John Gill states concerning the rainbow, “as it has in it a variety of beautiful colors, it may represent Christ, who is full of grace and truth, and fairer than the children of men; and may be considered as a symbol of peace and reconciliation by him, whom God looks unto, and remembers the covenant of his grace he has made with him and his chosen ones in him; and who is the rainbow round about the throne of God, and the way of access unto it.”1
https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/taking-back-the-rainbow/

Ezekiel 1:28, Revelation 4:2–3 The rainbow colors red, purple (which is a mix of red and blue), and scarlet (a bright red) and crimson (a cooler hue of the color red) were used extensively in the tabernacle Moses made in the wilderness. They were also a part of the temple later constructed, and in the garments for the High Priest and other priests (Exodus 25:3 – 5, 36:8, 19, 27:16, 28:4 – 8, 39:1 – 2, etc.). These colors were types or shadows of atonement. The colors purple and scarlet can mean or represent iniquity or sinfulness (Revelation 17:3 – 4, 18:16, etc.). Purple itself was used as a symbol of royalty (Judges 8:26). Scarlet by itself can represent prosperity (Proverbs 31:21, Lamentations 4:5). The color blue, referred to directly or when scripture states something is like the appearance of a sapphire or sapphire stone, can be a symbol of deity or royalty (Numbers 4:5 – 12, Ezekiel 1:26, Esther 8:15, etc.). Blue was also the color God commanded some threads in the fringes of Israelite garments be colored in order to remind them of the commandments and living a godly way of life (Numbers 15:38 – 39). The color white found in a rainbow can mean holiness, righteousness and dedication to serving the true God (Leviticus 16:4, 2Chronicles 5:12, etc.). In vision, Jesus first appears to the apostle John with hair that is white (Revelation 1:12 – 14). All believers throughout history who die in the faith will, according to the Bible, be resurrected and given white robes to wear (Revelation 7:13 – 14, 19:7 – 8). https://www.biblestudy.org/question/what-does-a-rainbow-symbolize-in-bible.html

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