Who was the Chinese emperor during the time of Jesus?
Emperor Guangwu of Han
The Case of Christ and the Chinese Emperor
Author Bleaux 4 years ago
Emperor Guang Wu reigned during the time of Christ’s death and resurrection. The fact that he and astronomers knew Christ was God is shown in Chinese historical records dated around A.D 31.
“Yin and Yang have mistakenly switched, and the sun and moon were eclipsed. The sins of all the people are now on one man. Pardon is proclaimed to all under heaven.” History of Latter Han Dynasty, Volume 1, Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu, 7th year.
“In the day of Gui Hai, the last day of the month, there was a solar eclipse. [The emperor] avoided the Throne Room, suspended all military activities and did not handle official business for five days.” History of Latter Han Dynasty, Vol. 1, Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu, 7th year”.
Another historical record says:
“Eclipse on the day of Gui Hai, Man from Heaven died”. History of Latter Han, Annals, No. 18, Gui Hai.
As we know, when Christ died there was darkness that covered the earth.
“From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.” Mark 15:33.
Three days after the eclipse this was recorded by Chinese astronomers:
“During the reign of Emperor Guang Wu, on the day of Bing Yin of the fourth month of Jian Wu, a halo–a rainbow–encircled the sun.” History of Latter Han, Annals No. 18, Gui Hai.
Christ’s resurrection also apparently caused a celestial event that was observable.
It is clear that Christ did not hide Himself from the Chinese people. I always found it odd that the far east is never mentioned in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit sent Paul and the apostles of His church throughout the ancient world to preach the Gospel, yet it always seemed that ancient China was overlooked. It was never overlooked. God knew that the Chinese people already saw the signs in the heavens.
The Chinese people recognized the King was born before the people of Israel did. They mourned His death when others were cheering. They recognized that something miraculous was occurring on the earth before it had ever been made public. God is not confined to our knowledge or our understanding of how He works. God has been revealing Himself for generations to the generations and He will continue to do so.
Did emperor Guangwu really mention Jesus’ atonement? Is there any evidence for it’s authenticity? (Christian answers please) Source: History of the Latter Han dynasty, Volume 1, Chronicles of emperor Guangwu, 7th year
studied history from early age in English, + Chinese for over 40 years.Upvoted by C.J. Skamarakas, PhD History (2009)Author has 3.1K answers and 10M answer views11mo
Restricting your answers to “Christians answers please” indicates that you want to hear what you want to hear. Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear, or do you want to know about the Emperor Guangwu? Anyway, I was baptized as a Christian (Lutheran, Missouri Synod) so that should count for something.
Would it be unchristian if I said I get impatient with sloppy scholarship? Volume 1 of the History of the Later Han goes up to only year 5; year 7 is in Volume 2.
Year 7 was 31 CE, so there is some doubt as to whether the crucifixion had taken place by then or not. Even if it had, it would be quite remarkable if the news spread from Jerusalem to Changan so quickly. Fifteen hundred years later, it took official Church correspondence at least seven years to reach Macao from Italy on well established trade routes, under the auspices of the Catholic Church (reference Father Matteo Ricci).
Anyway, out of the goodness of my heart, I have copied the entirety of Year 7 for your reference: 七年春正月丙申詔中都官三輔郡國出繫囚非犯殊死皆一切勿案其罪見徒免為庶民耐罪亡命吏以文除之又詔曰世以厚葬為德薄終為鄙至于富者奢僭貧者單財法令不能禁禮義不能止倉卒乃知其咎其布告天下令知忠臣孝子慈兄悌弟薄葬送終之義二月辛巳罷護漕都尉官三月丁酉詔曰今國有眾軍並多精勇宜且罷輕車騎士材官樓船士及軍假吏令還復民伍公孫述立隗囂為朔寧王癸亥晦日有食之避正殿寑兵不聽事五日詔曰吾德薄致災謫見日月戰慄恐懼夫何言哉今方念愆庶消厥咎其令有司各修職任奉遵法度惠茲元元百僚各上封事無有所諱其上書者不得言聖夏四月壬午詔曰比陰陽錯謬日月薄食百姓有過在予一人大赦天下公卿司隸州牧舉賢良方正各一人遣詣公車朕將覽試焉五月戊戌前將軍李通為大司空甲寅詔吏人遭饑亂及為青徐賊所略為奴婢下妻欲去留者恣聽之敢拘制不還以賣人法從事是夏連雨水漢忠將軍王常為橫野大將軍八月丁亥封前河閒王邵為河閒王隗囂寇安定征西大將軍馮異征虜將軍祭遵擊卻之冬盧芳所置朔方太守田颯雲中太守喬扈各舉郡降是歲省長水射聲二校尉官
You can easily see that there is nothing there about surprising news from the distant west. The emperor discussed burials and human trafficking, and blamed himself for an eclipse, but other than that, it was a pretty quiet year.
UPDATE: Now I see where the problem arises.
First, let me explain that Chinese rulers always considered that they were personally responsible for maintaining the harmony across the land, both man and nature (at least the good rulers did).
Very early records, dating back to the Neolithic and originally passed down orally, quote various rulers as saying that all the faults: earthquakes, droughts, floods, eclipses, were all “my own personal responsibility” 在予一人: literally, word for word, “on me one person.”
Something you see again and again in the histories, for thousands of years, that the emperor would quote this well known line; as often as not, it would be followed by proclaiming an amnesty. (Chinese Christians speak of 贖罪 for atonement, not 赦 amnesty. They are different words.)
So in 31 AD, the year in question, there was an eclipse: May 10, 31 AD. The emperor said that this was a sign that yin and yang were out of kilter, because the moon had come so close to the sun that there was a solar eclipse (食/蝕). The emperor took this personally, and said This is my own personal responsibility. As part of the SOP, he proclaimed an amnesty.
Any idea that this phrase refers to Jesus and atonement displays a severe lack of knowledge of Chinese literature, philosophy, history, and basic Chinese grammar.