Knowing God through Chinese characters

April 10, 2015 (Re-posting due to webpage construction.)

God, the Father Almighty, possibly taught me through Chinese characters.

I have been asked to speak at the small faith group at my church later in the month and I am planning to just share my faith story and some of my observations of the church as an immigrant. After all, what will I know that a group of Catholics who meet every week do not know already?

It is interesting how the preparation is leading me to find more about my roots and how I accidentally landed on a YouTube video titled “God in Ancient China”.  I must say that I do not have the time to fact-check the contents of the video.  However, the claims in the video are very interesting.  The “pastor” in the video talks about how records showed what we believed to be traditional Chinese religions (Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism) all started at around 5 to 6 BC.  However, the history of Chinese went back to 2500 BC. Records also seem to imply that prior to the birth of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, Chinese actually believed in ONE God and they called him Shang Di, which literally means “Lord above all”.

The most curious part of the video is the part where the pastor went on to explain how the Chinese characters were created at around 2500 BC.  As most people know, each Chinese character was constructed pictorially or by a combination of other characters which give its meaning.  I have never put much thought into the traditional characters that I learned to read and write as a child.  In the video, several characters were pulled apart and were shown to be constructed by a combination of characters that actually record the creation story in Genesis! For instance, the character for “create” involves three characters that mean “Clay”, “Mouth” & “Movement”, i.e. When God speaks to the clay, things are created, there is movement, there is life. Now, when we think about creation, we often think of using our hands to make things. In the character itself, there is no hint of “hands”, but “mouth”! Another example is the word for “Prosperity”, a very popular character that Chinese will post on their walls or doors during Chinese New Year or special occasions. The character for “Prosperity” can be pulled apart to give the characters for “God”, “one”, “mouth”, “garden”. It looks like the word “Prosperity” not only means wealth, but also means blessings. Wouldn’t “God” together with “one” man (“mouth”) in the “garden” be a wonderful picture of man’s special relationship with God in the garden of Eden? Later in the video, the character for a big ship was also split into parts that showed “boat”, “eight” and “mouth”. Wasn’t Noah’s Ark the boat that saved 8 lives (“mouths”)? Why would the number “eight” be used as a description for a big boat?

I do not know if any of the reasoning can ever be proven.  However, the possibility of the God that I know of actually had made himself known to my ancestors delights me! I also feel blessed that the Chinese characters that I learned long time ago might be a tool that He uses to reach me. Thank You, God!