Pastor Mark Ng of New Creation Church Tells Myths about Chinese Characters – By Asher Chee (Dated 17 Feb 2021)
In his Chinese New Year sermon on 14 Feb 2021, Pastor Mark Ng claims that there are Bible truths encoded in some Chinese characters because the ancient Chinese supposedly knew about the God of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He then went on to explain the supposedly-encoded Bible truths in some Chinese characters.
Notice that Pastor Mark’s claims are based on the assumption that the Chinese characters that we use today were the same characters which the ancient Chinese people used. However, it is common knowledge among Chinese people that the Chinese characters that we use today were completely unknown to the first writers and readers of Chinese characters, since they used an earlier form of Chinese characters, known as Oracle Bone Script (甲骨文).
This fact alone is enough to disprove every explanation of Chinese characters which Pastor Mark gives in his sermon, but for the sake of one example, let us consider what Pastor Mark says about the Chinese character 福 Fú:
Excerpt of Pastor Mark Ng’s Sermon:
(Click to watch)
Here are the various ways which the Chinese character 福 Fú was written in Oracle Bone Script:
Notice how none of the variants of the Oracle Bone Script 福 Fú character support Pastor Mark’s claim about the Chinese character 福 Fú. Unlike the modern 福 Fú character, the Oracle Bone Script 福 Fú character did not contain components which signified “one”, “person”, “garden”, or “God”. Therefore, contrary to Pastor Mark’s claim, the ancient Chinese people would not have perceived that the 福 Fú character signified anything close to “one man in the garden with God”.
So then, what was the original significance of the Oracle Bone Script 福 Fú character? Here is a textbook entry which express the findings of Chinese archaeologists and historians:
The Oracle Bone Script 福 Fú character depicts two hands holding a large wine jug before an altar (示), asking God to grant blessing. Later on, it lost the hand shape, and gradually evolved into its current form.
Notice how the component 礻 in the modern 福 Fú character, which Pastor Mark identifies as signifying God, actually represented an offering altar in the Oracle Bone Script character.
Here is how the 福 Fú character looked like later on in Chinese history, in Bronze Script (金文):
Notice how, even at this point of Chinese history, the 福 Fú character still retained the jug shape. It was only much later on in Chinese history that the jug shape in the Bronze Script 福 Fú character became separated into the elements 一, 口, and 田, resulting in how the 福 Fú character looks today.
Therefore, contrary to Pastor Mark’s claim, the 福 Fú character did not originally signify, “One man in the garden with God”, since it is based on the modern 福 Fú character—which the earliest writers and readers of Chinese characters did not use!
Why would Pastor Mark make such claims about the Chinese language which are so demonstrably false? Whatever the reason may be, the Bible warns us to stay away from myths, since they can be used to lead people away from the true Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:4; 4:7).