Chinese Stones indicate earlier Christian link?

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Chinese Stones indicate earlier Christian link?

Post#1 » Fri Dec 23, 2005 3:36 am

Stones indicate earlier Christian link?
By Wang Shanshan (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-22 06:34 ... 505587.htm

One day in a spring, an elderly man walked alone on a stone road lined by young willows in Xuzhou in East China's Jiangsu Province. At the end of the road was a museum that few people have heard of.

A Chinese theology professor says the first Christmas is depicted in the stone relief from the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220). In the picture above a woman and a man are sitting around what looks like a manger, with allegedly "the three wise men" approaching from the left side, holding gifts, "the shepherd" following them, and "the assassins" queued up, kneeling, on the right.

As he wandered into the dimly-lit gallery, he was stunned by what he saw. Was he standing, he asked himself, in front of the famous Gates of Paradise in Florence?

Wang Weifan, a 78-year-old scholar of early Christian history in China, said he saw images from Bible stories similar to those engraved in the doors of the Baptistry of St John. But in Florence he didn't.

Even so, the art objects could be more precious in their own way if the early Christian clues that Wang believes he detected can ever be confirmed. They are from the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25-220), China's parallel to the Roman Empire, and almost a millennium older than the gilt-bronze gates of Florence.

"There was Christmas. There was Genesis. There was Paradise Lost. They were on display, one by one, on 10 stone bas-reliefs excavated from an aristocrat's tomb in the Han Dynasty," said Wang, a professor of theology at the Jinling Theological Seminary in Nanjing, as he told his story to China Daily.

Before Wang's discovery tour to the Han Dynasty Stone Relief Museum in 2002, no one seriously believed that, merely 100 or so years after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, his teachings could have reached as far as to China.

There were myths. There was legend. But hardly any evidence.

But now Wang says the early Christian connection with China no longer seems entirely groundless. "It really happened," he said.

The reliefs were carved on the stone tablets from two tombs, discovered in 1995 at a place called Jiunudun, or "Terrace of Nine Women," in suburban Xuzhou. Many stone reliefs were found when tombs at the site were first excavated in 1954.

Art historians have long believed that the stone carvings portray the tomb owners in their life after death in ancient China. The styles and the themes were simliar to those found in Shandong Province.

But Wang has a different interpretation.

"The Bible stories were told on the stones in a kind of time sequence," he said.

One of the reliefs showed the sun, the moon, living creatures in the seas, birds of heaven, wild animals and reptiles - images that Wang linked to the Creation story in Genesis.

pg 2

"Another one depicted a woman taking fruit from 'the tree of knowledge of good and evil' and a snake biting her right sleeve," Wang said. "It also included the angel sent by God to guard the tree. That's similar to the 'Eve Tricked by the Serpent' story in the Bible."

The professor thought at first it was Judaism in which the owner of the tomb possibly believed, but what he saw in two of the stones changed everything.

"There were four fishermen in the picture," Wang said of an image in the eighth stone. "It reminded me of the story in the New Testament about Peter, Andrew, James and John, (four of Jesus' disciples) who were all fishermen."

And in the sixth stone, a woman and man are sitting around what looks like a manger, with three men approaching from the left side, holding gifts, and other men queued up, kneeling, on the right. In that scene, Wang said he saw the first Christmas.

The bas-reliefs followed the artistic style of early Christianity in the Middle East, Wang said.

"Some have decorative designs of the Arabic number 8, formed by two rare animals crossing their necks. They were almost the same as designs on Uruk oval seals found in the Euphrates River and Tigris River valleys in the Middle East," he said.

Scholars agree that the date of the tomb is in the mid-to late Han Dynasty period, which could be anywhere from about AD 100 to 220. And it seems equally clear that the aristocrat buried in it commissioned artisans to carve the scenes.

But could he have been a Christian?

If Wang's suspicions are right, the time of Christianity's arrival in China could be as early as the end of the 1st century, more than 500 years before the widely recognized date.

However, Wang's opinion is opposed by a number of Chinese historians, archaeologists and other scholars.

Christian history

Historians currently believe that Christianity had been introduced to China by the middle of the 7th century.

In evidence is a stone stele, about 2.75 metres tall, bearing inscriptions about an AD 635 meeting between a Nestorian Christian monk named Alopen from Syria and Chinese Emperor Taizong (599-649) of the Tang Dynasty (618-907).

The stele, excavated in 1625 in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, documented Taizong's approval to spread Christianity. Xi'an, called Chang'an in the Tang era, was the capital of one of the most open and prosperous dynasties in Chinese history.

pg 3

Nestorians were believed to be the first Western expatriates in China, according to Wang Meixiu, professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

But the Nestorians had little time to convert the Han. Emperor Wu Zong abolished Buddhism and other religions except Taoism in AD 845.

Christianity flourished to different extents three other times before the 20th century: during the Yuan (1271-1368), late Ming (1368-1644) and early Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, and after the First Opium War (1840-42).

Both Nestorians and the Catholics arrived in the second wave in the 13th century, and Christianity flourished again mainly among the ruling Mongols and the ethnic minority groups.

But its influence vanished soon after the Mongols retreated to the northern grassland when the Yuan Dynasty fell.

Catholic missionaries who arrived from the 16th to the 18th centuries converted a number of Han including a Chinese prime minister named Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), but their achievements failed to continue in the early 19th century for complicated reasons, Wang Meixiu said.

In the late 19th century, Christianity flourished for its fourth time in China with the arrival of Western colonialists.

St Thomas in Asia

But as it often happens, legends that do not go exactly in line with the official history have been handed down for millennia.

One of them concerns the arrival of Christianity in China in the 1st century, said Gu Weimin, historian and professor at Shanghai University, in his book "Christianity and Modern Chinese Society," published by Shanghai People's Publishing House in 1996.


According to the legend, St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles, left Jerusalem for Babylon and from there sailed to India. He landed in Cranganore, now called Kodungallur, on the southwestern coast of India, about 1,300 kilometres south of Bombay.

Legend says that after Thomas established a base of operations there, he headed for China. He was killed in India in AD 72 after he returned from the trip.

Both J. Xaveriana (1506-52) and Matteo Ricci (1552-1610), two of the most influential missionaries from the Society of Jesus, claimed in their writings that they found evidence supporting that Thomas had made his way to China successfully. They said they were quoting evidence from documents in Indian and Roman churches, Gu said.

"If St Thomas really made it, he should have left some clues for us to find," he added.

The controversy

One of those clues could be the 10 stone bas-reliefs in the aristocrat's tomb, which, archaeologists have determined through various methods including carbon dating, was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty.

"The owner of the tomb, about whom little has been known, was probably a Christian, though he was not necessarily converted by St Thomas or his disciples," Professor Wang Weifan said.

"It was natural that people had a statement made in their tombs of their identities," remarked Qi Tieying, president of the Yanjing Seminary in Beijing. "It happened that Christians usually buried a copy of the Bible with them.

"The tomb owner probably commissioned artisans to make the beautiful stones stating his beliefs."

Other scholars, however, doubt Wang Weifan's opinion. About Wang's linking the reliefs to the Bible stories. Zhu Qingsheng, professor at Peking University, said: "Stone reliefs from the Han Dynasty can be interpreted in too many ways because they are all vague and dim."

And Xin Lixiang, director of the department of archaeology at the National Museum of China, was more direct.

"Fancy those stones having anything to do with Christianity!" he said. "I am more than familiar with those reliefs in the Jiunudun Tomb and cannot imagine their telling the Bible stories. It's impossible."

Other Chinese theological researchers also thought the Nanjing-based professor's interpretation "hard to believe."

"Why was such an evidence of early Christianity was found only in Xuzhou?" said Wang Meixiu, of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The city lies inland, away from the ancient route of communications between the East and West. How could the ancient Christians travel there without leaving any trace in those towns along the route?"

Xin cited a parallel in the arrival of Buddhism to China.

"As often was the case, foreign religions first arrived in China through international transportation," he said. "There were recent pieces of evidence of the arrival of Buddhism during the Han Dynasty, also earlier than it is commonly thought. But they were all collected from excavation sites in coastal cities, such as Lianyungang and Yinan, both on the East China Sea. Little, so far as I know, could be obtained from Xuzhou, which is more than 250 kilometres away from the sea."

pg 5

Besides their location in an inland city, the date of the reliefs is also problematic when considered as evidence of the arrival of Christianity, according to Tong Xun, professor at Beijing Union University.

"The timing of the 1st century is too early to be true," she said. "Christianity was far from being well-established then. Even at its place of origin, it spread mainly among the disadvantaged people in society."

Despite the many objections of the other scholars, Wang's discovery will definitely arouse the interest of historians in the Chinese Christian community, who will take up the research, said Qi, of Yanjing Seminary.

"They are not going to say no to Professor Wang without making investigations, because he is the 'flagship' historian in the Chinese Christian community," Qi said. "He is a master not only of the Christian history in China, but also of Chinese art and culture.

"There could be an earthquake in the world's Christian community and probably outside it if Professor Wang is right.

"World history could be rewritten."

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Post#2 » Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:41 pm

By Harold A Covington ... stors.html

Political correctness has gotten a slap in the face recently from a number of archaeological discoveries in the Orient which indicate that the founders of many Eastern civilizations, which are so revered by trendy New Age types who despise anything White and European, were in fact racial Aryans. One famous example is the country of Iran, which takes its ame from its original conquerors; until 1978 one of the many formal titles of the Shah was "Lord of the Aryans."

It has long been known that around the first century A.D. the northwestern part of China was inhabited by a Caucasian people who spoke a language called by scholars Tocharian. In the early part of this century, French and German archaeologists excavating in the northwest provinces discovered extensive written manuscripts in this language, and when they cracked the code, so to speak, they were astonished at the similarities between this supposedly isolated Oriental tongue and ancient Germanic and Celtic languages.

Now the PC academic and scientific establishment who want to rewrite history to make it "Afrocentric" and get rid of "dead White European males" have gotten another kick in the pants from the truth. Recent excavations in the Tarim Basin in Xinjiang province have uncovered more than 100 naturally mummified corpses of people who lived there between 4,000 and 2,400 years ago, indicating that the Aryan incursion into Asia was in fact far earlier and far more extensive than anyone previously believed. The bodies were amazingly well preserved by the arid climate, and according to the New York Times "...archaeologists could hardly believe what they saw."

The mummies had long noses and skulls, blond or red hair, thin lips, deepset eyes, and other unmistakably Aryan features. Dr. Victor H. Mair of the University of Pennsylvania said, "Because the Tarim Basin Caucasoid corpses are almost certainly representatives of the Indo-European family, and because they date from a time period early enough to have a bearing on the expansion of the Indo-European people from their homeland, it is thought that they will play a crucial role in determining just where that might have been."

[NB.- My own understanding is that the ancient homeland of our people was by the shores of Lake Baikal in what is now Russia, from whence we began our migrations untold millennia ago when we were all one nation known as "The Children of the Sun". As to where we came from before we were hanging around the lake---I have my own theory, but that's another story, which I won't get into now for a variety of reasons.]

One such mummy of a teenaged girl with blond hair and blue yes, found in a cave, has become quite a tourist attraction in Beijing. She has been nicknamed "The Lady of Tarim" and she is on display to throngs of museum visitors in the Chinese capital. Apparently she was a princess or a priestess of some kind over 3,000 years ago, for she was buried in fine embroidered garments of wool and leather, along with beautiful jewelry, jars and ornaments of gold, silver, jade and onyx. Her remains are in such a remarkable state of preservation that the dead girl looks as if she were just sleeping.

"Diffusionism can now be taken seriously again," chortled one historian, Michael Puett of Harvard. Diffusionism is the theory that the ostensibly advanced Middle Eastern and Oriental civilizations of the ancient world all benefited from contact with Aryan migrants, merchants, wandering tribes, etc. and acquired much of their knowledge and attributes from these contacts; this theory can actually explain quite a lot about history, from the Indo-European roots of the Hindustani language to the Quetzalcoatl legend of the Aztecs to the mysterious ruins of Zimbabwe which were so clearly never built by blacks.

Diffusionism has been replaced over the past twenty years by the new, Politically Correct dogma of "independent invention", which holds that there was no contact at all between White people and any Asian or pre-Columbian civilization, or if there was it was bad because all White males are "imperialist exploiters". The PC theory teaches that EVERYTHING in ancient non-White societies was invented by the indigenes, EVERYTHING WITHOUT EXCEPTION, no ideas or influence from European contact, nothing good or beneficial at all even if there was any White contact, which there wasn't because White males are not the world-exploring hotshots they are supposed to be, so there! I guess we made up Leif Ericson and Columbus was really a monkoid. Don't laugh---I have heard both of those idiocies advanced seriously by "Afrocentric historians".

(The PC eggheads also claim that Columbus was a Jew. Yeah. Right. Ferdinand and Isabella, who had just finished expelling the Jews from Spain in 1492, then proceeded to hock the queen's jewels to finance a major nautical expedition by a Jew. What's wrong with this picture?)

According to the independent invention theory, the list of things non-Whites have independently invented includes the dozens of Asiatic dialects from Hindu to Punjabi to Uighur, all clearly based on a common Aryan root language---pure coincidence, say the PC profs! The agricultural techniques of the Aztecs and Incas such as crop rotation and terrace farming, so similar to ancient Roman and medieval European practices---bah, say the intellectual gangsters of liberalism, the Indians made it up themselves! The Mayan pyramids and calendar and astronomy, almost duplicates of Greek and Egyptian knowledge (Egyptians who were NOT in any way, shape or form negroes!)---those are all products of the brilliant Maya civilization alone, according to the official line. The same Mayas' predelictions for cannibalism and sacrificing young children by drowning them in sacred wells is ignored.

The blue eyes and broken Welsh language of Missouri's Mandan Indians; the Celtic-style megaliths and stone round towers of New England; the Viking ruins of L'Anse Aux Meadow in Newfoundland; the runic inscriptions on Connecticut's Dighton Rock and the Minnesota Kensington stone; Shaka the Zulu's organization of his impis based on Napoleon's system which he got from a French hunter and trader who was a Napoleonic veteran; the stone ruins of Zimbabwe so utterly unlike anything ever found anywhere else in black Africa and resembling nothing so much as a Bronze Age Celtic fort; the long Aryan features of the Easter Island statues---nyet, no, nada, nein, no way! According to the left-wing academic establishment, NOTHING was ever learned by non-Whites from contact between Third World cultures and Aryan man.

How PC academia will explain away those hundred blond-haired, blue-eyed mummies from China I don't know, but I'm sure it will be good. Looks like us Children of the Sun got around in the old days!

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