Wednesday 1 December 2010

Concordia-style credibility?

The Missouri Synod's Concordia Publishing House has some truly different titles on offer, and is now - progressive little beavers that they are - pushing them as Kindle editions. How 'bout this little gem called The Discovery of Genesis?

This linguistic analysis of the Chinese language suggests the ancient Chinese were well aware of the God of Abraham. Readers will discover the possibility that the Chinese were a remnant of the Tower of Babel dispersion. The authors start with the observance of some astonishing points of correspondence between certain characters in the Chinese language and elements of the Genesis account of man's early beginnings. They go on to analyze dozens of the ideographic pictures that make up words in the Chinese language. The evidence they compile supports the thesis that the ancient picture writing of the Chinese language embodies memories of man's earliest days. The characters when broken down into component parts, reflect elements of the story of God and man recorded in the early chapters of Genesis. Man and woman, the garden, the institution of marriage, the temptaton and fall, death, Noah's flood, the tower of Babel - they are all there in the tiny drawings and strokes that make up the Chinese characters. 

Well, there you go! The brilliant authors are C. H. Kong and Ethel Nelson, and this outstanding text first saw the light back in 1979. 1979! Mind you, Concordia's recycling programme can dig even deeper into history; it still publishes The Flood by Alfred Rehwinkel. That one tracks back to 1957, and the first edition earlier yet. I had that one on my shelf as a teenager back in (mumble, mumble.)

So, which imprints do you most trust and distrust? When I'm cruising the shelves at Church Stores in Ellerslie, the first thing I usually look for isn't the title but the publisher. IVP, Fortress, WJK, Baker, Eerdmans, Paulist, Polebridge, Thomas Nelson, SPCK... Some leap off the shelf into my hands, others I wouldn't touch with the proverbial barge-pole.

Concordia titles are pretty rare at Church Stores, which is a mercy. But I always flick through them anyway. Laughter is, as the nice people at Readers' Digest have always insisted, the best medicine.


  1. "...the Chinese were a remnant of the Tower of Babel dispersion."

    ....wut? No, seriously, what? Thanks to the Bering Land-Bridge (extant four thousand years before the YECkheads' history gets started), First Nations' and Native Americans' archaic dialects bear more resemblance to the Old Chinese/Sinophone linguistic evolution. Most of the languages of Europe, Africa, and India are the same, each starting out with a root language, and evolving along a common linguistic path. Which, given the globalization of society, is converging towards a worldwide lingua franca of various forms of English.

    So, "the tower of Babel" story is meant to have another moral entirely...because real life, and REAL history, shows it to be happening in reverse.

  2. The Tower of Babel story kind of illustrates that you can't build a tower to reach heaven. It also goes a long way in saying that climbing a mountain is not going to help you reach heaven either.

    Take note of that all ye who climb Mt. Ararat and Mt. Sinai to reach God. We've already flown past the blue sky dome up there and there's no heaven on top of it.

  3. Thiel has been blabbering for some time now about how the Chinese written language script has Hebrew origins.