Christian history in China

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by Helen, Apr 12, 2003.

  1. Helen

    Helen
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    not sure where to put this, but cleaning out old emails and such this morning, I came across the following, which I think might be of interest to some here:

    http://www.chinaartnetworks.com/news/show_news.php?id=1369

    Christian Designs Found in Tomb Stones of Eastern Han Dynasty

    [2002-08-02] Studies show that as early as 86 A.D., or the third year under the reign of "Yuanhe" of Eastern Han, Dynasty Christianity entered into China, 550 years earlier than the world accepted time.

    When studying a batch of stone carvings of Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.) stored and exhibited in the Museum of Xuzhou Han Stone Carvings, Christian theology professor Wang Weifan was greatly surprised by some stone engravings demonstrating the Bible stories and designs of early Christian times.

    Further studies showed that some of these engravings were made in 86 A.D., or the third year under the reign of "Yuanhe" of Eastern Han Dynasty, 550 years earlier than the world accepted time of Christianity's entrance into China.

    The 74-year-old professor, who is also a standing member of the China Christian Council, showed reporter a pile of photos of Han stone carvings and bronze basins taken by him. He also compared the designs on them with that of the Bible, composed of fish, birds, and animals demonstrating how God created the earth.

    Designs on these ancient stones displayed the artistic style of early Christian times found in Iraq and Middle East area while bearing the characteristics of China's Eastern Han times.

    The stone carvings, being important funeral objects, are mainly found in four cities, and Xuzhou is one of them. It is reported that by now more than 20 intact Han tombs have been found, from which nearly 500 pieces of engraved stones were discovered.

    It is globally accepted that Christianity was first carried into China by a Syrian missionary Alopen in 635 A.D. the ninth year under the reign of "Zhenguan" of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.).

    Some experts once raised doubts that Christianity may have entered China in an early time as the Eastern Han, but lack evidence. Nevertheless, professor Wang's discovery serves to strongly back up the theory and the earlier works of his own. By PD Online Staff Member Li Heng [From: CL2000.com]
     
  2. Frogman

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    This is very interesting and I would think as much pertinent to this forum as possible. Thanks for the link!!

    I become interested in China and have a class at Western on Modern China and Japan. While we did not begin study until the 1500's the text does begin back in the ancient period this article discusses. I have not found a reference to Christianity in China until the Portuguese arrived. This article seems to show otherwise, I think it is significant that each successive dynasty would rewrite history in an attempt to validate their coming to power and show a heavenly mandate for continuing. This fact would a possible reason why any mention of Christianity has been lost til now. The new religion would certainly have been considered to be a departure from tradition and could have been subject to interpretation by successive dynasties as the reasoning needed to prove their rebellion against the current administration.

    Thanks.

    Bro. Dallas
     
  3. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946
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    Helen... I really enjoyed that thanks for posting it... Brother Glen [​IMG] & Sister Charlotte [​IMG]
     
  4. rsr

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    I cut my teeth on East Asian history, along with Russian history.

    Here's a link to Books & Culture, a publication of Christianity Today:

    CHRISTIANITY IN CHINA
     
  5. Frogman

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    Very Good Article rsr. This shows the drift among men that when men fear God will not work among his people, they should rather stay home and not engage in missionary works. It is because God has a people that missionary work does succeed, but to bury the Gospel beneath cultural traditions in order to gain acceptance is not success, except by worldly standards.

    Thanks for the link.

    God Bless.
    Bro. Dallas
     

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