Monday, March 28, 2016

Genesis and the Chinese




http://www.ancient-origins.net/sites/default/files/Pangucreation.jpg

 
by
Damien F. Mackey

 
 

Some have raised the point that the ancient Chinese dynastic civilisation is - just as the archaïc Egyptian civilisation was once thought to have been - so ancient that it antedates even the Genesis estimations for the beginning of humanity and the Flood.

 

Introduction
 

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How could there be sophisticated civilisations on earth

prior to the creation of the world?

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For a long time, until evolutionary thinking and dating models set in, the date for the creation of the world was generally accepted (by those who believed that it was indeed created by God) at around 4000 BC. James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of Ireland, famously dated this grand event to midday on Sunday October 23, 4004 BC.

But when, some centuries later, chronologists of ancient civilisations arrived at dates for the beginnings of dynastic history that well pre-dated this biblical estimation, then the Genesis account fell into ridicule.

How could there be sophisticated civilisations on earth prior to the creation of the world?

Taking the case of ancient Egypt, the highly-regarded chronologist, Eduard Meyer, of the Berlin School of Egyptology, had astronomically dated the beginning of Egyptian dynastic history to 4240 BC, some centuries earlier than archbishop Ussher’s date for creation.

I discussed the worth of Meyer’s astronomical model in my:

 


 


 

 

Meyer’s fictitious long-range calendar 

 

…. Meyer‘s belief that the ancient Egyptians had actually used this Sothic period of 1,460 years as a kind of long-range calendar is pure supposition, with no evidence in support of it. In fact Meyer had to go to Classical texts to get some of his key information: to Theon, an Alexandrian astronomer of the late 4th century AD, and to the 3rd century AD Roman author, Censorinus. According to Meyer’s interpretation of the Sothic data as provided by Censorinus, a coincidence had occurred between the heliacal rising of Sirius and New Year‘s Day in the 100th year before Censorinus wrote his book, De Die Natali Liber, c. AD 140.7 Meyer was therefore able to determine from there, using multiples of 1,460, his Sothic series of AD 140, 1320 BC, 2780 BC and 4240 BC. However, Censorinus had not actually connected the 1,460-year period with Sirius; his evidence contradicts that of Theon, according to whom the conclusion of a 1,460-yearperiod had occurred in the 5th year of the emperor Augustus 26 BC, as opposed to Censorinus’ testimony that a Great Year had commenced in c. AD 140. ….

 

[End of quote]

 

That date of 4240 BC for the unification of Egypt under pharaoh Menes (First Dynasty) became the accepted norm until wiser heads prevailed. However, whilst the date for Menes currently stands at c. 3100 BC - considerably lower than both Meyer’s estimation and the era of Creation - the broad pattern of Meyer’s artificial Sothic arrangement still prevails.

But even 3100 BC is about a millennium too early for Menes, I have argued in:

 

Narmer a Contemporary of Patriarch Abraham

 


 

and:

 


 


 

Today, a more fertile ground for critics may be ancient China, which, like Egypt once again, has known many dynasties. Biblical lecturer John D. Morris (Institute for Creation Research) tells of his having been the recipient of such a query from a scholar about the Chinese (http://www.icr.org/article/how-can-chinese-dynasties-extend-back-many-thousan/):

 

I was lecturing on the Biblical and scientific evidence for recent creation to a university audience in Hong Kong, China, when a scholar raised the objection: "The Chinese have a documented history going back many thousands of years, much earlier than your dates for creation and the Flood. We have known dynasties and named rulers. The Bible must be wrong."

 

Critics have said the very same thing about the Egyptian and other ancient histories, presuming them to be right, hence the Bible must be wrong.

The fact is that, when exposed to the torch of scrutiny, they are found to be, not right.

What about China? 

 

China’s Documented Dynasties

 

According to Morris, reliably documented Chinese history does not even precede 2000 BC:

 

The solution lies in an examination of the earliest Chinese dynasties. Actually, precisely documented dynasties go back only to about 2000 B.C. The first true dynasty was founded about 4000 years ago by a leader remembered for having "sweetened the waters," making the land habitable after wide-spread flooding. The ten listed dynasties before that, however, were of a different sort, with very long lives and questionable details attributed to them.

[End of quote]

 

This sounds suspiciously Noachic and reminds one of the great Genesis Flood.

And I shall be having more to say about Noah and the Chinese.

Fr. Hieromonk Damascene will begin by exploring an earlier phase of Genesis in his article, “Ancient Chinese History in Light of the Book of Genesis” (I do not necessarily accept Fr. Damascene’s dates) http://www.orthodox.cn/localchurch/200406ancientcnhist_en.htm

 

1. The Chinese Border Sacrifice:


The Earliest Chinese


Theology and Worship of God


 


In looking at the Chinese history in light of the Book of Genesis, it will be helpful to look first at the earliest known religion in China. Later, we will see how this ancient religion fits in with the Biblical account of ancient history.

 

The earliest account of religious worship in China is found in the Shu Jing (Book of History of Book of Documents), the oldest Chinese historical source. This book records that in the year 2230 B.C., the Emperor Shun “sacrificed to Shangdi.” That is, he sacrificed to the supreme God of the ancient Chinese, Shangdi meaning Supreme Ruler. This ceremony came to be known as the “Border Sacrifice,” because at the summer solstice and Emperor took part in ceremonies to the earth on the northern border of the country, and at the winter solstice he offered a sacrifice to heaven on the southern border.

 

The Chinese have been called one of the most history-conscious and tradition-conscious peoples of the world. This is seen in many aspects of Chinese culture. Perhaps it is seen most of all in this very Border Sacrifice which the Emperor performed twice a year. This ceremony, which goes back at least to 2230 B.C. was continued in China for over four thousand years, up until the fall of the Manchus in A. D. 1911. Even though the people gradually lost an understanding of what the ceremony was all about, and Shangdi was obscured behind all kinds of pagan deities in China, nevertheless the worship of the one God, Shangdi, was continued faithfully by the Emperor up into modern times.

 

The oldest text of the Border Sacrifice that we have dates from the Ming Dynasty. It is the exact text of the ceremony that was performed in A. D. 1538, which was based on the existing ancient records of the original rituals. Let us look at portions of the recitation script that the Emperor used.

….

The Emperor, as the high priest, was the only one to participate in the service. The ceremony began: “Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and the moon to shine. In the midst thereof there existed neither forms for sound. Thou, O spiritual Sovereign, camest forth in Thy presidency, and first didst divide the grosser parts from the purer. Thou madest heaven; Thou madest earth; Thou madest man. All things with their reproductive power got their being.” This recitation praising Shangdi as Creator of heaven and earth sounds surprisingly like the first chapter of Genesis: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep” (Genesis 1: 1- 2).

 

So, in the earliest records of Chinese religion, we see that the people worshiped One God, Who was Creator of all. We also see that the original people of China looked at Shangdi with a sense of love and a filial feeling. The Emperor continued his prayer: “Thou hast vouchsafed, O Di, to hear us, for Thou regardest us as a Father. I, Thy child, dull and unenlightened, am unable to show forth my dutiful feelings.”

 

As the ceremony concludes, Shangdi is praised for His loving kindness: “Thy sovereign goodness is infinite. As a potter, Thou hast made all living things. Thy sovereign goodness is infinite. Great and small are sheltered [by Thee]. As engraven on the heart of Thy poor servant is the sense of Thy goodness, so that my feeling cannot be fully displayed. With great kindness Thou dost bear us, and not withstanding our shortcomings, dost grant us life and prosperity.”

These last two recitations, taken together, bear the same simile as found in the Prophecy of Isaiah in the Bible: “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father; we are the clay, and Thou our Potter and we all are the work of Thy hand” (Isaiah 64: 8).

 

In general, reading the text of the Border Sacrifice reminds one strongly of the prayers of the ancient Hebrews as found in the Old Testament: the same reverent awe before God, the same self abasement, humility and gratitude before His greatness. For us Christians, these most ancient of Chinese prayers to God are strangely familiar. Why is this? It seems that the most ancient Chinese religion and the ancient Hebrew religion are drawn from the same source. And that is indeed the case, as we will see.

….

 

Further on, Fr. Damascene returns to earliest Genesis and the Chinese.

{Some of his conclusions here may be a bit strained}:

 

The first people of China could have heard about the creation, the Fall, and life before the Flood from Noah himself. And Noah, as we have said, could have learned about these things, through one or at most two intermediaries, from Adam himself. This gives us an idea of how close were the first Chinese people to the first man, Adam.

 

We know that when the original settlers of China came to their new land, they brought the religion of Noah with them. We know this from the Border Sacrifice of which we spoke earlier. The Border Sacrifice was like the sacrifices of Noah, which were like the sacrifices of Adam. And, as we have seen, the God that was invoked at the Border Sacrifices was the One God, the Creator of universe, that both Noah and Adam worshiped. The prayers that were at the Chinese Border Sacrifice bear remarkable similarity to the prayers of the ancient Hebrews because both come from the same source: the religion of Noah.

 

An interesting point to ponder is why the Chinese called their sacrifices “Border Sacrifices,” and why the Emperor traditionally performed them at the border of the Empire. We know that Adam would have performed his sacrifices outside the borders of Paradise, probably as close as possible to Paradise, outside the Gate that was guarded by the Cherubim. It is possible that the Chinese Border Sacrifice were based on the tradition of a “border sacrifice” from the time of Adam.

[End of quotes]

 

 

 

Part Two:

Noah, the Flood, and Chinese history

 

 

 

 

“The first thing that students of Chinese history learn is that Chinese history began with a Flood. This is not surprising, since we know that ancient peoples from all the continents of the world have a story of a Great Flood which covered all the earth as a judgment on man’s sin. In many cases, the details are remarkably like the details recorded in the book of Genesis. The Aboriginal peoples of Australia, for example, speak of a global flood and how only eight people escaped it in a canoe”.

 

 

Introduction

 

As we learned in Part One:


Chinese dynastic history goes back only as far as c. 2000 BC. Hence, the accusation by certain critics that early Genesis (Creation and the Flood) is negatived due to a presumed antedating of it by well documented Chinese history, is found to be quite groundless.

And this revised chronological perspective found apparent support in a related article:  

 


 


 

according to which the origins of the Chinese people was from Canaan, a post-Flood descendant of Noah’s son, Ham - that Canaan’s descendant, Sin, gave rise to the Sinites, or Chinese (Genesis 10:17). 

These conclusions, if correct, would strictly regulate the beginnings of Chinese dynastic history.

 

The following article (not all details, e.g. the dates, of which I would necessarily endorse) likewise argues for a close relationship between the earliest Chinese and Mesopotamia




Nineteenth century French Academy laureate Albert Etienne Terrien de Lacouperie extensively studied the relationship between China and the West, and wrote numerous articles and books on the subject. In Western Origin of the Early Chinese Civilization (London, Asher & Co., 1894), he wrote:

"The early civilization and writing of the Chinese were simply derivations from those of Elam and Chaldea, about and after the time of Gudea and Dungi [Shulgi], derivations carried eastward later on to the Flowery land, namely in the XXIII century before our era" (1)."The comparatively late beginnings of the Chinese civilization showed themselves to be the outcome of an importation, not a distinct growth from common seeds, but simply a loan, a derivation, an extension eastward from a much older form of culture in the west. I was led slowly by overwhelming evidences, direct and circumstantial from the Chinese and W. Asiatic sides, to the unexpected disclosures alluded to, and which, however astonishing they may appear to those who have not followed the gradual advance of my researches, are now proved to be an assured progress of our knowledge and solid discoveries of historical fact" (1-2). "sifting all fabulous accounts, we find a residue of undisputable evidences showing a small number of families arriving in the N.W. of present China, and in possession of a comparatively advanced civilization which explains the enthusiasm of after ages for these men, and has left a deep impression surviving to the present day in the mental habits of the whole people. The existence of these feelings and beliefs would have been difficult and even impossible, should traces or traditions of savage beginnings, slow development of civilization, pictorial rudiments of writing, and successive progresses of knowledge by self-growth, have ever existed among Chinese, but nothing of the kind exists in their early souvenirs " (3-4). "Everything in Chinese antiquity and tradition points to a western origin. No Sinologist who has studied the subject has been able to ascertain any other origin for the Chinese than one from the West" (4).

"C.J. Ball...a collaborator of The Babylonian and Oriental Record, in several papers published in the Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeologyhas concluded in favor of a close relationship of the Akkadian and Chinese language, a derivation (established by me in 1888) of the Chinese characters from those of Babylonia between Gudea and Khammurabi, and a migration of civilized Akkadians to China at that time" (xi-xii). Terrien de Lacouperie observed that the ancient Chinese records appear to describe the cuneiform writing of their Bak ancestors:

"There are however in the ancient Chinese traditions several allusions which point in so precise a manner to the cuneiform writing, that we must mention them here. Shen-nung=Sargon was reputed to have used signs like tongues of fire to record facts, at a time when the ancestors of the Chinese were not yet acquainted with the art of writing, and Dunkit (modern Tsang hieh) whose name has the same meaning as that of the Chaldean Dungi [Shulgi] of which it was a rendering and under whom the Bak tribes were taught to write, made marks on clay like claws of birds and animals. The primitive writing was always compared to drops of rain finely drawn out and freezing as they fall. It is difficult to mistake in all this, most distinct descriptions of the cuneiform writing of south-west Asia" (5).

The identification of the Chinese founders with the Bak people has been challenged by Firth, as referenced in my article "Ethnography, Biblical Studies, and Higher Criticism." Indeed, there is some question whether specific tribal identification can be made due to difficulties of transliteration, changes of pronunciation, the lack of adequate original Chinese records from the earliest eras, and linguistic shifts over time. At best, we can say that Terrien de Lacouperie makes an interesting case for identification of the Chinese founders with the Bak tribes of Elam which falls short of the mandate of proof.

Furthermore, our understanding of both chronology and the Sumerian language has changed considerably since Terrien de Lacouperie's day: In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, King "Dungi" of Ur, under whom orthographic reforms occurred and tribes of the Sumero-Akkadian empire were taught to read and write, was believed to have lived in the twenty fourth century BC, leading Terrien de Lacouperie to postulate an exodus for the Bak tribes toward China in the twenty third century BC. Modern scholars now know "Dungi" as Shulgi of Ur, and assign his chronology to the twenty first century BC. Similarly, contemporary scholars date Gudea's rule circa 2144-2124 BC. Either Chinese migrations would have had to come after this time - which is certainly plausible in view of the lack of proven evidences of these forms of Chinese culture before this date - or they would have had to come earlier under a prior ruler, which is also possible. On the other hand, modern chronologies makes certain elements of Terrien de Lacouperie's theory more plausible. For instance, Sargon the Great's reign was attributed to the period of approximately 3900 BC by the Sumerian King lists, which have since been shown to contain serious chronological errors. Modern scholars accept a date in the 23rd century BC, which would explain a persistent memory of these events closer in time and place to the exodus of the putative Chinese ancestors.

Yet the uncertainty of specific tribal identification does not allow Terrien de Lacouperie's overarching hypothesis to be lightly dismissed in demonstrating compelling similarities between Akkadian and Chinese language, culture, and technology.

A few of the borrowings of China cited by Terrien de Lacouperie from Chaldea include:

The remains and loans of Chaldean culture, which we can still now discover in the early Chinese civilization, are so numerous and bear on so many points that we cannot without difficulty summarize them with clearness...The ancient Chinese, through their civilizers, had learned from Chaldea: the solar year; its duodenary division, with the system of an intercalary month, its subdivision into twenty-four parts, and into periods of five days; also the division of days into double hours, and a certain use of a period of seven days. They preserved from their early teachers the same fourfold division of the year into seasons; and they hand not entirely forgotten the symbolism of the names of the twelve months. Nor had they forgotten the allusions in the names of the planets and their symbolical colours the special colours...

LaCouperie continues for many pages citing and documenting various Chinese borrowings from their Chaldean predecessors. ….

[End of quote]

 

 

China and the

Great Genesis Flood

 

According to the emphatic statement by Fr. Hieromonk Damascene at the top of this article:

 

“Chinese history began with a Flood”.

 


 

Based upon what Dr. John Osgood has written about the watery traces of the Great Flood in the Iranian plateau (http://creation.com/a-better-model-for-the-stone-age-part-2):

 

Prior to the earliest appearances of man in the Iranian Plateau, there is strong evidence of much residual water and of wet conditions, the sort of conditions we would expect following the great Flood.32

 

‘Recent geological research has shown that at the time when the greater part of Europe was covered by glaciers, the Iranian Plateau was passing through a pluvial period, during which even the high valleys were under water. The central part of the plateau, today a great salt desert, was then an immense lake or inland sea into which many rivers ran from the high mountains.’33

 

then - given also our association of the early Chinese with the ‘Ubaid culture of Mesopotamia - it would make logical sense if “the earliest appearances of man” in China, further east than Iran, had post-dated the Great Flood.

Now, Fr. Hieromonk Damascene tells of an early post-Flood account of the Chinese (op. cit.):

 

3. Chinese Recorded History in Light of the Bible


 

Let us go back now and look at the recorded history of China in light of what we’ve just been talking about, that is, in light of the Biblical history of the world.

We’ve already mentioned the oldest book of Chinese recorded history: the Shu Jing, or Book of Documents. This book was written in about 1000 B.C. and was based on material from the Shang Dynasty, which began in 1700 B.C. (1700 B.C., by the way, is 200 years before the time of Moses, who wrote the book of Genesis.) Even if we assume that the original materials for the Shu Jing came from the beginning of the Shang Dynasty in 1700 B.C., this means that at least 500 years would have passed from the beginning of China to the first written record of its history.

 

Mackey’s comment: These chronological estimates may need to be modified (presumably downwards) in the light of further revision.

Back now to Fr. Damascene:

 

The flood story was the most pervasive of all the other legends in ancient China. The Shu Jing records: “The flood waters are everywhere, destroying everything as they rise above the hills and swell up to heaven.”

 

Since the Shu Jing only begins with Chinese history, however, this statement does not refer to the global Flood, but rather to the local flooding that was caused in China by the remnants of the Great Flood. The Shu Jing speaks of how, after the Great Flood, some of the land was not yet habitable because the flood waters were still inundating the land. This was certainly possible. The time between the Flood and the founding of the first Chinese dynasty was as little as 143 years, and we would expect that huge pockets of water would have been on the land at that time, which are not there today.

….

These leftover Flood waters made parts of the land uninhabitable. At that time, according to Chinese history, there were the first righteous Chinese Emperors, Yao and Shun: the first emperors to offer the Border Sacrifices to Shangdi. To a man named Kun given the task of ridding the land of the flood waters, but he was not able to do so. It was not until Kun’s son, Yu, devised a new technique to channel the waters out to sea that the land was eventually made habitable.

It took nine years for Yu to channel the waters out to sea. He became a hero because of this amazing feat. As a result, Shun turned the rulership over to Yu. Yu became emperor, thus beginning China’s first dynasty, the Xia. After that, China’s dynastic culture lasted almost another four thousand years.

 

Fr. Damascene proceeds in the next section to describe a possible Chinese version of the Noachic Flood, the colourful story of Nu-kua:

 

4. Indications of Ancient Chinese Knowledge of the Creation and the Global Flood


 


So, now we have looked at Chinese history in relation to the Bible. If we start with the most ancient record of Chinese history, the Shu Jing, we find that the history of ancient China matches very well with the history of mankind as recorded in the Bible. (The Shu Jing, by the way, was the source of Chinese history used by Confucius, considered by him to be the most authentic source of Chinese history.)

 

Since the Shu Jing begins with specifically with Chinese history, however, it does not refer to Noah, or to what occurred before the Great Flood. Is there anything in ancient Chinese history that refers to the Great Flood or to what occurred before it? Yes, there is, but unfortunately it was written much later than the Shu Jing, and thus filled with legendary material. In the Huainan- tzu, written in the 2nd century B.C., we read the story of Nu- wa (also pronounced Nu- kua), whose name sounds a lot like “Noah.” The story says that, in very ancient times, the habitable world was split apart, waters inundated the earth without being stopped, and fires flamed without being extinguished. “Therefore,” the text reads, “Nu- kua fused together stones of the five colors with which to patch together the azure heaven.” This is perhaps a distorted retelling of the Flood story, over 2,000 years after it happened. The stones of Five Colors by which Nukua patched the heavens may be a legendary retelling of the rainbow that Noah saw in the sky after the Flood, which was to be a covenant between God and the earth that God would never again destroy the earth by water. ….

[End of quote]

 

Part Three:

Babel and the Dispersion

 

 

 

From a Biblical viewpoint, as did all of humanity, the Chinese descended from Adam, then Noah through the Tower of Babel incident. The amazing "Table of Nations" in Genesis 10, which chronicles the language groups and their destinations, mentions the "Sinite people" in verse 17, which probably became the Asian groups. The Asian people descended from language groups migrating away from the Tower of Babel after God confounded their languages. In all likelihood, the well-documented dynasties date to that event, while the prior ones were faded memories of pre-Flood patriarchs, preserved as legends”.

 

 

 

This is a quote from Dr. John Morris’s article, “How Can the Chinese Dynasties Extend Back Many Thousands of Years?”:


He presumes, as is common, that all humanity who survived the Flood was present at the Babel incident. I have often discussed the Creationist tendency to ascribe a universal meaning, such as “the whole world”, to the Hebrew phase (כָל-הָאָרֶץ) that we find, for instance, in Genesis 1:11: “Now the whole world had one language and a common speech”. The phrase can be used in the Pentateuch, for instance, to indicate merely the region of Moab – that is hardly global!

Another common view, that the biblical Babel, “in the land of Shinar” (Genesis 11:2-3), was located in ancient Sumer (southern Mesopotamia), now also needs to be reconsidered.

I have explained this in, for instance: 

 


 


 

Fr. Hieromonk Damascene, too, in “Ancient Chinese History in Light of the Book of Genesis”, has taken it for granted that the original Chinese were present at Babel.


And well they may have been, but that cannot, I think, be taken for granted.

He writes (and I do not necessarily accept his dates): 

 

Only 101 years after the Flood, evil abounded again; and therefore, as the Bible tells us, “the earth was divided.” This occurred at the Tower of Babel, when God confounded the languages, and people began to be scattered about the earth. The Tower of Babel incident occurred at about 2247 B. C. And it is soon after this point that Chinese history begins.

The original people of China were undoubtedly a group of people (of unknown number) who traveled to China from Babel. It is probable that most of the people living in China today have descended from this original group.

Many Christians who have looked into this question have suggested that, in the Genesis “table of nations” chronicling the language groups migrating from Babel, the “Sinite people” (Genesis 10: 17) could refer to the group that became the Asian peoples.

Whether or not this is the case, here is a very interesting fact to consider: According to the Chinese records, the establishment of China’s first dynasty, the Hsia (Xia) dynasty, occurred in 2205 B.C. Modern scholars ascribe a somewhat later date of between 2100 and 2000 B.C. Therefore, depending on which reckoning one accepts, the establishment of China’s first dynasty occurred anywhere from 42 to 205 years after the approximate date of the Tower of Babel incident. That was the time it took for the protoChinese to migrate to China from present- day Iraq (the site of the Tower of Babel) [sic] and already begin their dynastic civilization.

[End of quote]

 

Fr. Damascene, who next goes on to refer to Dr. Morris on the subject of Babel, will proceed to attempt to refute the evolutionary view of Chinese origins with the hominid, Sinanthropus:

 

Dr. John Morris points out that many of the language groups migrating from Babel “took with them technological knowledge which they put to use in their new homelands. History documents the fact that several major cultures sprang into existence seemingly from nowhere at about the same time— the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Phoenecians [sic], the Indians, as well as the Chinese— and each possessed a curious mixture of truth and pagan thought, as would be expected from peoples only briefly separated from Noah and his teachings as well as the star- worshipping, pyramid- building heresy of Nimrod at Babel.”

 

5. About the Evolutionary Explanation of the Origin of the Chinese People


 


Now that we have gone this far in our examination of Chinese history in the light of Genesis, a few questions may remain. First of all, it may be objected that, according to secular scientists, the first inhabitants of China were actually hominid ancestors of man. About thirty years ago, it was generally believed by evolutionists that the hominid ancestor of Chinese man was the Asian Homo erectus, otherwise known as “Peking Man” or Sinanthropus (meaning China Man). Sinanthropus was supposed to have lived from a million or two million years ago in China. Today, however, some scientists disagree that this Sinanthropus is really an evolutionary ancestor of today’s Chinese people. In fact, the whole field of paleoanthropology is becoming more and more confused as time goes on. The paleoanthropologists can’t agree on the evolutionary tree of man, and different parties among them have heated fights over this question. Now it is generally thought that there is not an evolutionary tree at all in relation to man, but rather a confused “bush.”

 

If we look at the so- called ancestors of man, we can see that, in some cases they are extinct apes, and in some cases they are human beings. Sinanthropus, whose skulls have been found in China, is a case in point. What is this Sinanthropus? Clearly, he is a human being, probably one of the early settlers in China after the dispersion at Babel. He did not live two million years ago, which is an inconceivable amount of time. All over the world, recorded human history begins no earlier than about 2,400 B.C., which is the approximate date of the Flood. The radiometric dating methods that are used to get ages of a million or a billion years are based on untestable and unprovable assumptions, as the scientists who believe in them will admit themselves. (As an indication of hypothetical nature of these methods, rocks known to have been formed in volcanic eruptions within the last 200 years have yielded radiometric dates of up to 3.5 billion years.)

 

Many secular and even evolutionist scientists today say that the distinction between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens (human beings) is an artificial one: Homo erectus, including Sinanthropus, is nothing else than a human being. This claim has been made by paleoanthropologists both in the West and in China (such as Wu Xin Zhi at the Institute of Paleoanthropology in Beijing).

 

Professor William S. Laughlin (University of Connecticut), in studying the Eskimos and the Aleuts, noted many similarities between these peoples and the Asian Homo erectus people, specifically Sinanthropus (Peking Man). He concludes his study with a very logical statement:

 

“When we find that significant differences have developed, over a short time span, between closely related and contiguous peoples, as in Alaska and Greenland, and when we consider the vast differences that exist between remote groups such as Eskimos and Bushmen, who are known to belong within the single species of Homo sapiens, it seems justifiable to conclude that Sinanthropus belongs within this same diverse species.”

 

[End of quote]

 

A Babel enthusiast, Gary Moyers, apparently influenced by Fr. Damascene’s connections between Chinese religion and early Genesis, “The Border Sacrifice”, has asked (also presuming that the early Chinese were at Babel):

 

Is Chinese a Language of the Tower of Babel?


March 4, 2012 ….

ShangdiI first heard of this possibility in the mid-90’s, as the Internet was coming of age. I had always been fascinated with the story of the Tower of Babel and wondered about the languages that came from the incident. Could some of them survived? What new forms and derivations did they take over the years? As I researched, I ran across the idea of Shangdi, the Chinese creator God. The literal translation of Shangdi is “the heavenly ruler.”

I am not a scholar and won’t pretend to be. Still, I’d like to share some of the things that I’ve found and that are easily discoverable all over the Internet. Shangdi (sometimes interchangeable with Tian, or Heaven) was the single deity that the Chinese emperor worshipped from as long as 4000 years ago. Documentation has been discovered that shows the Chinese royalty offered sacrifices (called the Border Sacrifice) to Shangdi once a year. This practice continued until as recent as 1911.

 

The Border Sacrifice


 

As the emperor would begin the sacrifice, costumed singers would lift their voices in song, reciting the following lyrics (translated into a somewhat King James style):

“To Thee, O mysteriously-working Maker, I look up in thought. . . . With the great ceremonies I reverently honor Thee. Thy servant, I am but a reed or willow; my heart is but that of an ant; yet have I received Thy favoring decree, appointing me to the government of the empire. I deeply cherish a sense of my ignorance and blindness, and am afraid, lest I prove unworthy of Thy great favors. Therefore will I observe all the rules and statutes, striving, insignificant as I am, to discharge my loyal duty. Far distant here, I look up to Thy heavenly palace. Come in Thy precious chariot to the altar. Thy servant, I bow my head to the earth reverently, expecting Thine abundant grace. . . . O that Thou wouldest vouchsafe to accept our offerings, and regard us, while thus we worship Thee, whose goodness is inexhaustible!”

As the emperor continued the ceremony, he would recite the following words:

“Of old in the beginning, there was the great chaos, without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had not begun to revolve, nor the sun and moon to shine. You, O Spiritual Sovereign, first divided the grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven. You made earth. You made man. All things with their reproducing power got their being.”

All this sounds very biblical to me. The emperor’s words very clearly echo verses from the first chapter of Genesis.

This, by itself, is fascinating and could prove that the ancient Chinese were knowledgeable of God, El Shaddai, and worshipped him. It doesn’t necessarily follow that Chinese is a language of Babel. If you take a look at the structure of the Chinese pictography, a different picture takes shape (excuse the pun).

 

Chinese as a Written Language


 

The written Chinese language is based on a series of representational pictures. Each picture has a certain meaning. When you combine two pictures, they take on a new meaning. For instance, if you drew a picture of a hand and a picture of a spear, you could assume the combination of the two would mean hunting. This is the essence of the Chinese written language, which is generally agreed to be somewhere between 4000 to 4500 years old.

Looking at the Chinese language itself, you can clearly see that not only were they aware of the biblical story of creation and the flood, they also had a grasp of sin, salvation and redemption. All of this is pictured in the written Chinese language and it is still in use today!

For instance, the Chinese symbol for the word garden, as seen here, is a combination of the symbols for dust, breath, two people and enclosure. The simple word “garden” is a beautiful picture of the formation of man, the breath of God which gives life, and the placement of Adam and Eve into the garden of Eden.

Likewise, the symbol for “to create”, as seen here, is a combination of speak, dust (or mud), life and walk. Again, it is the imagery of God speaking life in to the dust and man arises to walk.

The symbol for forbidden, or “to warn”, as seen here, is a combination of two trees and the abbreviated form of God.

As the story progresses, the symbol for covet, or desire, as seen here, is a combination of two trees and women. And the imagery behind the word tempter is amazing. Take a look.

Here’s a fun one. moving forward in time a bit to the flood of Genesis, the word boat, as seen here, is comprised of three symbols: vessel, eight and people (count them – Noah, his wife, three sons and three wives).

The Chinese symbol for RighteousnessAnd one of my favorites… Righteousness. It’s the combination of me and sheep. What a wonderful foreshadowing of the coming of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

So, is Chinese a language of Babel? You tell me. It’s old enough. Its earliest speakers conducted rituals that mirror the Bible. Its written form tells the story of creation and the flood. It seems a likely candidate to me.

Should a Chinese person tell you that Christianity is a foreigner’s religion, you can reply that quite likely the Chinese in antiquity worshipped the same God as Christians do today. Pretty cool, huh?

[End of quote]

 

Fr. Damascene even goes so far as to suggest that the famous Chinese Dragons arose from dinosaurs that still existed after the Flood.

Whilst I would accept that dinosaurs may still, then, have roamed parts of the “earth” (the word here taken in a more global sense) - since my model of the Flood, while being vaster than very local (e.g. confined just to Mesopotamia), is not global - I find quite ridiculous the notion of certain Creationists (also held by Fr. Damascene) that Noah took on board the Ark dinosaurs, even baby ones. Fr. Damascene now gives his view on:

 

6. Chinese Dragons


 


Another question arises: If, as we believe from the Biblical account, the earth is only several thousands and not billions of years old, and if Adam lived only two or three thousand years before the first Chinese dynasty, then how do we account for the dinosaurs, which supposedly became extinct seventy million years before the first man appeared on earth?

This is a very fascinating subject to discuss, especially in relation to China. What about dinosaurs? Were there dinosaurs in China? The Censer Dragons, of course, are depicted everywhere in Chinese culture. But these are only legendary creatures, some will say. No, not at all. Later depictions of dragons, to be sure, contained fanciful elements, because they were drawn by people who did not see dragons themselves but had only heard about them from others or from historical sources. But dragons did live contemporaneously with humans in the history of ancient China. Dragons are written about in ancient Chinese annals, and not as imaginary creatures, but as real live animals. It is known from Chinese history that certain parts and fluids of dragons were used for medicines. And one historical account even mentions a Chinese family that bred dragons to be used to pull the Royal Chariot during Imperial processions!

 

What the ancient Chinese wrote about dragons fits in with what ancient people all over the world had to say about them. In all the ancient cultures of the world, people wrote about seeing dragons or killing dragons. They painted pictures of them or, in the case of some Central American cultures, made statues of them. Many of the historical descriptions and depictions of dragons match precisely with the physical features of known dinosaurs such as Triceratops or Tyrannosaurus Rex. They were not called dinosaurs then, because the word “dinosaur” was not invented until 1841 (by the way, it was invented by a Christian scientist who believed the Biblical account of origins).

When the army of Alexander the Great (356- 323 B.C.) went through India, they went to see a dragon living in a cave, which the Indians worshiped as a god, bringing it sacrificial food. This is only one of many historical accounts of dragons from places in the world other than China. One of the Holy Fathers of the Church, St. John Damascene (A. D. 674- 750), wrote of dragons as actual creatures that still existed in his time in small numbers. When people with an evolutionary frame of mind read of such things, they automatically think of them as legends. But it is very hard to explain why peoples from all over the world have spoken of dragons as real, living creatures. From these accounts from all over the world, we know that some dinosaurs went onto the Ark with Noah (probably as babies) [sic]. There is much evidence that, after the Flood, the climate and conditions of the earth became harsher; and thus the dinosaurs had a more difficult time surviving (hence Alexander the Great’s army saw one living in a cave). They did spread all over the earth, since people from China to South America tell of seeing them. But they were much more rare than other creatures, and they eventually died out due to the new conditions of earth and also, undoubtedly, to the fact that people killed them because they saw them as a threat.

 

To the ancient Chinese, dinosaurs or dragons were a symbol of power. It was natural that they would be fascinated with them and make them such a frequent subject of their art, because of all the land creatures that ever lived, what was greater and more powerful than a dinosaur?

 

Fr. Damascene is wrong, though, I believe, to associate the “Behemoth” in the Book of Job with a species of dinosaur:

 

In the book of Job, chapter 40, God calls Job’s attention to his greatness by reminding him that He created the great and powerful creatures of the earth. And the land creature that God mentions is the behemoth, which has a tail like a cedar tree. The Biblical description of the behemoth matches no other creature than a sauropod dinosaur.

 

For, as I pointed out in:

 


 


 

based on the Rev. Knight’s Nile and the Jordan, Behemoth is from the Egyptian p-ehe-mau, undoubtedly indicating the Hippopotamus:

 

Behemoth and Leviathan

 

Now all these creatures thus far mentioned, while having a habitat in Egypt, had nevertheless a range in other countries, and therefore, as I have stated, little stress perhaps can be laid on their insertion here to prove an Egyptian origin to the book, except that no animal is mentioned which did not reside in the Nile Valley. But the book closes with an elaborate description of two animals, the hippopotamus and the crocodile, which are acknowledged by all to be Egyptian, and as to whose African habitat there can be no question.

Behemoth [Job 40:15-24] undoubtedly refers to the hippopotamus. The very name is seemingly Egyptian – p-ehe-mau, “ox of the water” …. All the description here of its habits suits the Nile. He lieth under the lotus trees, in the covert of the reed, and the fen: the lotus trees cover him with their shadow: the willows of the brook compass him about [Job 40:21, 22]. The allusion to the lotus, the favourite, beloved, and sacrosanct plant of the Egyptians, is peculiarly Nilotic …. A reference to the annual inundation of the Delta is seen in If the river overflow, he trembleth not; he is confident though a Jordan swell even to his mouth, that is, even if a steam as impetuous as the Jordan were to overtake him. The hippopotamus is of course unknown in the Jordan itself. In the Chapel of Senbi I … a nomarch of the time of Amenemhat [Amenemes] I (XIIth Dynasty), there is shown a fine group of hippopotami, who bellow and display their gleaming white tusks at the intruding sportsman as he skims over the water in his frail canoe. As the hippopotamus is an animal entirely confined to Africa, it is difficult to see how a dweller in Central Arabia, or in Babylonia (localities which have been advocated as the scene of the authorship of the book) could have given such an accurate and full description of its characteristics as we find here. But all is natural if the author was acquainted with the Nile Valley.

By the leviathan of the 41st chapter the crocodile is unquestionably meant: and in the 34 verses devoted to the description of this vast saurian we have the testimony of an eye-witness who had often observed the habits of the animal in the Nile …. It is true that crocodiles are to be found elsewhere, particularly in the so-called Crocodile River in Palestine. Both Strabo and Pliny give this name to the small Zerka River which falls into the Mediterranean a little south of Caesarea. A 13th century tract states that crocodiles were introduced here from Egypt by a rich man of Caesarea, in order that his brother might be devoured by them …. But it has also been asserted … that an Egyptian colony transported crocodiles to the spot about B.C. 400 for purposes of worship …. During the succeeding centuries a few survivals have been seen, but only on the rarest occasions …. The extreme rarity of the animal in Palestine, imported in a probability from Egypt, could never have allowed its habits to be so well known to the residents in Canaan that the author of Job could have spoken of them as he did. It is in Egypt, where the crocodile was so thoroughly at home that one of the border lakes (on the line of the present Suez Canal) was actually called Lake Timsah, the “Crocodile Lake”, and where the city of Crocodilopolis in the Fayum was wholly given over to the worship of this creature, that we must look for the habitat of this huge saurian.

The whole details of the habits of the crocodile are so brilliantly depicted that we feel instinctively that the author was describing the animal from first-hand knowledge. He was acquainted with the fact that Egyptian conjurers were accustomed to play with the crocodile with immunity from danger by arts which were kept secret from the uninitiated: Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens [Job 41:5] When he says, His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning [Job 41:18], he is reminding us that the Egyptians employed the eye of the crocodile to denote the rising sun, inasmuch as it is the streaming red eyes of the amphibian which first become visible when the creature rises out of the water ….

But the most recent theory about the hippopotamus and the crocodile in these chapters is one which at least is deserving of very careful discussion. Briefly it is, that the description of these vast creatures refers not to the actual animals, but to mythological animals which they embody. Professor Cobern says … “Modern archaeology has proved that, in the time of Job, the crocodile and hippopotamus were, in contemporary religious literature, constantly associated with the thought of a future world. These animals are mentioned hundreds of times in the religious texts of Egypt, and in no single instance, I think, are they mentioned because of their zoological importance, but always because of their demonic character. At least six chapters of the Book of the Dead are given up to magic texts which shall protect the deceased from the dreaded crocodile, as he fights his way trough the underworld. In many other chapters, the crocodile, and the hippopotamus his closest ally, are referred to when incantations are used against the foes of Osiris, and this is equally true in other ancient sacred books of the Egyptians”. ….

 [End of quote]

 

Finally, Dr. D. Livingston tells, in “The Flood and Subsequent Civilization”, http://davelivingston.com/postfloodciv.htm

of a theory connecting the early Chinese with the mysterious Olmecs of Mexico:

 

….

 


Tale of Two Cultures: Ancient Chinese Dynasty Linked to New World's Earliest Civilization


 

Abroad for the first time in his life, Han Ping Chen, a scholar of ancient Chinese, landed at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., the night of September 18, 1996. The next morning, he paced in front of the National Gallery of Art, waiting for the museum to open so he could visit an Olmec exhibit -- works from Mesoamerica's spectacular "mother culture" that emerged suddenly with no apparent antecedents, 3,200 years ago. After a glance at a 10 ton basalt sculpture of a head, Chen faced the object that prompted his trip: an Olmec sculpture found in La Venta, 10 miles south of the southernmost cove of the Gulf of Mexico.

What the Chinese scholar saw was 15 male figures made of serpentine or jade, each about 6 inches tall. Facing them were a taller sandstone figure and six upright, polished, jade blades called celts. The celts bore incised markings, some of them faded. Proceeding from right to left, Chen scrutinized the markings silently, grimacing when he was unable to make out more than a few squiggles on the second and third celts. But the lower half of the fourth blade made him jump. "I can read this easily," he shouted. "Clearly, these are Chinese characters." ….

 

 

http://greendragonsociety.com/images/Ancient%20Chinese%20Presence%20in%20the%20New%20World_Txt.jpg

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