Chinese Pictograph 中國文字與基督教
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    Chinese Characters

    Ancient Emperor Huang Di (2697 - 2597 B.C.) ordered his historian Can Ji to establish a writing system for China. Can Ji invented a system of Chinese characters based on pictographs, representing each word by the physical appearance of the object. A few of the pictographs or ideograms invented by Can Ji are listed in the following table. Note how the characters evolved with time to the present characters that are familiar to most Chinese nowadays.



    Ancient Character

    Present Character










    As for words that don't have form or shape, like actions, feelings, senses etc., Can Ji was creative enough to combine the ideograms that he invented to represent them. For examples, as shown in the following table, combining the components 'mouth' and 'bird' makes the word 'sing', and the combination of 'sun' and 'moon' makes the word 'bright'.

    Singing, Calling

    Bright, Brightness

    There seems to be a strong tie between quite a few Chinese characters and the Bible teaching, without which it's simply difficult to explain the component parts that make up the characters. Some of these words are listed in the following together with illustration of their ties with the Bible.


    Creation is comprised of the following components

    dust + (breath of) life + (from God's) mouth + motion = Creation


    Without reading the verse from Genesis 2:7, it's difficult to understand how Can Ji could come up with this character. Genesis 2:7 - The Lord formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a living being.


    Forbidden is comprised of the following components

    tree (of knowledge) + tree (of life) + command (from God) = Forbidden


    Again, the components of the word become meaningful after reading the following verses. Genesis 2:16,17 - And the Lord commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will certainly die". Genesis 3:24- After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden Cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

    And indeed, through the sins of one man (Adam) we are separated from God; and only by accepting Jesus (flaming sword), can we return to him.


    Ship is comprised of the following components



    boat + eight + mouth (family member) = Ship


    The origin of this word becomes more meaningful after reading the following verse. Genesis 7:7 - And Noah and his sons [Ham, Shem, and Japheth] and his wife and his sons' wives with him, went into the ark, to escape the waters of the flood.

    The word 'mouth' is often used to describe number of family members. For example, the phrase 'One family of four mouths' means a family with four members. Four couples in Noah's family have a total of eight members.


    Righteousness is to raise a lamb above us


    Lamb + (above) me = Righteousness


    In the Old Testament people sacrifice lambs for their sins. In the New Testament, Jesus died for our sins on the cross to give us salvation, for God is just and loving. The only way to salvation is to accept Jesus who paid for our sins.

    For more information, please refer to the book "The Discovery of Genesis - How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language", by C.H. Kang and Ether R. Nelson, Concordia Press, 1979.

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