Shang Ti = YHWH??

So, recently I read the books The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language, by Ethel R. Nelson and C.H.Kang ( and Genesis and the Mystery Confucius Couldn’t Solve by Ethel R. Nelson and Richard E. Broadberry (, and the main basic claim of these two books is that the Chinese people developed their own alphabet independently and before any other big civilization like the Sumerians or the Egyptians and, by analyzing the oldest Chinese ideographs we can see incredible similarity between old chinese story accounts with the Biblical narratives, including the creation, the flood, and the fact that men disobeyed God (which the ancient chinese people called Shang Ti - or Shang Di depending on how you romanize it) and hence were banned from the Heavens. They even built a big altar to sacrifice lambs as an offer to God. Another interesting aspect is that they weren’t allowed to build any idols at all to represent and adore Shang Ti.
At first, it would seem that the pieces of story picked from the old chinese classics would be just coincidentally similar with the narratives in the Bible, but when you place them all together, the evidence is too overwhelming to ignore! There’s a little summary of the book in this PDF document here .
So, is it too wishful to believe that the Chinese people indeed believed in the same God? Or were they really narrating the same events as the ancient israelites? :slight_smile:

oh the name of YHWH can be found in Zoroastrianism , and Hinduism too

as for chinese , the catholic writer Roy Abraham , in his book the christ connection. make a similar point , he even say that the attitude of the emperor was similar to that of David that he make public Sacrifice to God on behalf of the people of China

Really? Can you tell me more about it, please?

in Isavaya upanishad basya verse 17 ‘’ SO AHAM ASMI’’ Madhvacharya pointz out ‘’ This is the great ineffable name of God ,'Iam that I AM’That Supreme being (asau)which indwells in Asu is the I AM ’ ‘’

Quoted in B.B.K A history of the dvaita school of vedanta and it’s literture

you can find more interesting things on this topic in the book’’ the Christ connection’’

Ok, thanks. I’m going to look for this book :slight_smile:

I have this theory of mine that the ancient pagan religions, at least most of them, are just distortions of the one true faith. Because of the lack of literacy and everything was handed down through oral tradition, a lot of the faith from the early days, like the time of Noah and even Abraham, was changed. The Bible says we have a common origin, and science says we have a common origin, so this theory of mine is not far off.

Yes, we can even take China as an example to all these religions. They started monotheistic, and after the most corrupt emperors came, their original pure monotheistic religion degraded into the worship of idols and demi-gods, until, in an attempt to restore the religious harmony Confucionism, Daoism and Buddhism were established. The same thing happened to the other countries? Yes, I would think so…

Very interesting point. I totally agree.

Yes, it is too wishful.

Good way to sell books.

Reminds me of a certain pious myth that Moses instructed Plato in the truth.

The Chinese philosophy is all about balance yin and yang their belief is about the equality of good and evil whereas ours in the supremacy of GOD.
So believing that they have the same sort of belief is correct.

Oh no, not this again! :bigyikes: :stuck_out_tongue: (I really recommend you to read that thread there)

Shang-Ti equals Ptah, the monotheist name for God in ancient Egypt, with “Shang” appended to denote this is Shem’s God. Shem was a big noise in the ancient world, and the benchmark of orthodoxy. Nobody has to apologize for thinking we were all originally monotheists as Genesis’ morals, laws, customs, architecture, and narratives are universal, including marriage, a standard of modesty and legends of the Great Flood.

Gene studies show, yes, we came from one man and one woman. There were/are two flavors of paganism: one is corrupted, decadent orthodoxy although, thank God, a remnant always keeps the true faith; the other is the rebellious active diminution and contravention of all God revealed about His nature and His will and our loving relationship. The remnants of Genesis influence are present today, hiding in plain sight. Analysis of Chinese ideograms is a grand place to illustrate this. China also held on to the “Eight Immortals” ensconced in Buddhism, the eight on the Ark paralleling the Ogdoad in Egypt. All those “wheels of life” and “trees of life” have eight branches.

I think the Tao Tieh theme in China represent Noah as a type of Janus/io-Noah, horned i.e. strong, Noah; Janus being the two-faced “hinge god” linking the old world before the Great Flood with the new world.
The Tao Tie/h mask theme (this from the Shang dynasty) is a kind of optical illusion: a face looking at the viewer; but it can be viewed as a face in profile, looking two ways. And this ties in with the red devil. Noah’s imagery of old shows him seated on a throne, flanked by a pair of animals and twin pillars, with two circle/eye topped “ringed (banded) bundles” with a tassel on top of each where sea anchor lines were cut on landing. This is the stem and stern post of the Ark and was then as now a religious symbol of orthodoxy correctly reflected in the twin pillars of Solomon’s Temple but also adopted by pagans like the Temple of Dagon–deified Noah. Combined with his getting drunk and naked, the corrupted art shows Noah as a drunk, naked satyr, an animal-man, with the ringed bundles/twin pillars of his authority and orthodoxy becoming his pitchfork. “Beware of Satan appearing as an angel of light [Lucifer/light bearer].” Jesus warned us of the real threat, and it’s not the red devil that is, after all, Noah.

Shàngdì (上帝) is a term which literally translates to “Above Emperor” or “High Sovereign.” You must remember that this is just the way the two characters are currently read in modern Mandarin - in other Chinese languages the characters are read slightly differently (for example, Seungdai in Cantonese) - and does not reflect how it would have been read in Old Chinese, where 上帝 would have been read as **daŋʔs-tēks, with the initial d sound softening into a ʒ́ (something like dzy-) by the time of Middle Chinese (where it would have been read as **ʒ́àŋ-tìej / dzyanX-tejH), eventually turning into an s in Cantonese and a ʂ in Mandarin. In other words, the whole “shàng=Shem” similarity is just superficial. We might as well claim that the names Shàngdì (or rather, **Daŋʔs-tēks) and Dante are related. :stuck_out_tongue:

As I mentioned on the other thread, I think really that the problems with these overanalyses (I’ll be frank) of Chinese characters are that (1) supposed evidence are usually based off superficial similarities most often involving how Chinese characters appear today - as opposed to 2500-3000 years ago; and (2) it seems to capitalize on the Western fascination (and ignorance) about Chinese characters.

Thanks. But we’re still on with the Supreme Being? Monotheism?

I would agree that the concept of Shangdi/Seungdai/*Daŋʔs-*tēks or whatever is the closest thing to the Judaeo-Christian monotheistic concept in Chinese thought. In fact, this whole Shangdi business was started by 19th century Christian missionaries to China, who were trying to find a Chinese word that would fit the Christian definition of God. There was actually a huge controversy in Protestant circles about whether ‘God’ in the Judaeo-Christian sense could better be represented by 神 shén, or 上帝 shàngdì, especially since the former had somewhat of a pantheistic connotation (shén was often applied to supernatural entities in the general sense, usually benevolent ones), while the latter was associated with Daoism. Chinese Catholics, meanwhile, were banned by Clement XI in 1704 from using Shàngdì or the synonymous 天 tiān ‘heaven’ to refer to the Christian God, perhaps because of its connotations, so that God became known in Catholic parlance as 天主 Tiānzhǔ ‘Lord of Heaven’, and the Catholic Church became known in Chinese since then as 天主教會 Tiānzhǔ Jiàohuì ‘the Tiānzhǔ Church’. (Which is ironic, since Protestantism is more often the one that is labelled as 基督教 Jīdūjiào ‘Christianity’ in China!) The end result was that different Bible translations could not even agree on how to render God’s name. In an effort to resolve these differences, there was a compromise term coined in the 1980s Today’s Chinese Version of the Bible: 上主 Shàngzhǔ.

That being said, there is still some disagreement as to what Shàngdì really is. While there is certainly the idea of Shàngdì as the sole god of the ancient Chinese, there are also some who interpret Shàngdì as a sort of collective of the imperial ancestral spirits; others think that he is a or the high god (with his name being used as a metonymy for all deities as a whole), but not necessarily the only god; still others hold that Shangdi was conceived of as the god who ruled over the sky or is the sky (thus explaining the name Tiān), while the earth is ruled over by Houtu (后土 ‘Sovereign Earth’). So while I agree with the observation that Shangdi is somewhat close to our concept of God, I still am not sure and have some reservations as whether to view Heaven worship in a Judaeo-Christian monotheistic lens, as opposed to say, a henotheistic (mainly worshipping only one god but also recognizing the existence of other gods, who may or may not be worshipped as well) or monolatrous (recognizing many gods but consistently worshipping only one deity) perspective.

On a second (or even third) thought, aren’t these characters too “young” for such comparison? I mean… each big civilization had their “paleo” alphabet first. Then, supposedly these hanzi “evolved” over time to get the current, final form much much later :frowning:
Also, Chinese “Gods” seem to be linked to the ruling Dynasty, and the ruling dynasty back that time was the “Shang” Dynasty, so Shang Ti, following that logic, would probably be the “Shang” Dynasty’s God, but the fact is that after the Shang Dynasty left the government, their successor gradually “replaced” the “Shang Ti” worship to “Tien” :shrug:
The Chinese Taoism indeed has many parallel stories to the Bible, but apparently these stories didn’t exist until much later, when they already had contact with the western world… :frowning:

Exactly what I’m talking about before. You also had to remember that the Chinese (and later, other users of the script like the Japanese) were, and on a lesser extent, are constantly new characters as time passes (many of which are not even regularly used anyway).

Also, Chinese “Gods” seem to be linked to the ruling Dynasty, and the ruling dynasty back that time was the “Shang” Dynasty, so Shang Ti, following that logic, would probably be the “Shang” Dynasty’s God, but the fact is that after the Shang Dynasty left the government, their successor gradually “replaced” the “Shang Ti” worship to “Tien” :shrug:

The Chinese character for Shang (the dynasty) is 商, different from the shang of Shangdi, which is 上. The two when transliterated into the Roman alphabet (either in Pinyin or in Wade-Giles) look similar on paper, but they are pronounced differently: 上 is shang5 while 商 is shang1 in Mandarin (the numbers indicate tone marks - 1 indicates the flat or high-level tone, while 5 indicates a neutral tone).

上 in Mandarin is typically tone four, the falling tone, as in the name of the city, 上海, which is transliterated as Shànghǎi in pinyin.

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