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Apologetics Press :: Reason & Revelation
August 2002 - 1[8]:29-R

Chinese Symbols Point to the Creation Account
by Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Charles McCown, M.S.

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Not many individuals would consider China a monotheistic civilization that believes in the Creation account as recorded in Genesis. Religious influences such as Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism have muddied the religious waters to the point that myths and magic often play a key role in public or private worship. But it has not always been this way. In fact, if we journey back in time beyond the first century B.C. (when Buddhism was introduced), beyond the fifth century B.C. (when Taoism and Confucianism simultaneously arose), and even 1,500 or more years beyond, we find a different religious atmosphere—one in which the ancient people served only one God, had no myths or idols, and kept a strict moral code (Ross, 1909, pp. 19-20).

Prior to 1911, the emperors of China observed a yearly ritual that went back almost 4,000 years. Known as the “Border Sacrifice,” this ceremony was the year’s most important and most colorful celebration. One of the earliest accounts of the Border Sacrifice is found in Shu Jing (Book of History) compiled by Confucius, where it is recorded that Emperor Shun (who ruled from about 2265 B.C. to 2205 B.C.) sacrificed to ShangTi (sometimes written Shang Ti—literally “Heavenly Ruler”). As the emperors took part in this annual ceremony of paying reverence to ShangTi, the following words were recited, which clearly indicate that ShangTi was considered the Creator of the world:

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 (Legge, 1852, p. 28).

For Christians those statements should sound strangely familiar, since much of the same sentiment can be found in the opening chapter of the book of Genesis. While the Chinese may not have referred to their “world-Creator” as God or Yahweh, ShangTi, the Creator-God of the Chinese, surely appears to be the same God of the Hebrews.

Now, consider the implications of finding records of the Creation that were written prior to Moses penning Genesis. Not only would this reinforce the biblical account, but it also would be catastrophic for evolutionists. And yet, this is exactly what we are discovering in regard to the Chinese language. Being one of the oldest scripts known to humankind, Chinese boasts a history of several thousand years. The written language began with ancient pictures that represented exactly what they looked like—a writing style often referred to as ideographic or pictographic. Simple pictures were combined to form complex sentences. Over time, these characters were simplified and streamlined to allow for easier writing. However, the origination of the symbols can be traced back several thousand years—to the time when the Chinese were worshipping ShangTi.

Interestingly, many of the original symbols and letters recount—in exacting detail—narratives from Genesis. For instance, in Chinese the symbol for “garden” is composed of the symbols:

Chinese Letter Illustration # 1

Likewise the character for “boat” tells the story of Noah and the eight people on the ark. There are three elements used to symbolize a boat:

Chinese Letter Illustration # 2

Examples such as these are abundant in the Chinese language. Consider how intriguing it is that the Chinese word for “tower” is a composition of:

Chinese Letter Illustration # 3

It is obvious that these individuals had personal knowledge of the incident that confused and confounded human languages. These people were acutely aware of the Creation account, the temptation, and the fall of man. For creationists, it is easy to understand why these Genesis depictions have been found recorded, and are still in use, in Chinese character-writing. For evolutionists, such distinctive depictions pointing back to the Creation are like a bomb detonating at the very foundation of their beloved theory. [For more information regarding China’s original religion and Chinese characters in light of Genesis, see C.H. Kang and Ethel R. Nelson (1979), Discovery of Genesis (St. Louis, MO: Concordia), or Ethel R. Nelson and Richard Broadberry (1994), Mysteries Confucius Couldn’t Solve (St. Louis, MO: Concordia).]


Legge, James (1852), The Notions of the Chinese Concerning God and Spirits (Hong Kong: Hong Kong Register Office).

Ross, John (1909), The Original Religion of China (London: Oliphant, Anderson, and Ferrier).

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