How Can the Chinese Dynasties Extend Back Many Thousands of Years?
by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,
being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20)
I was lecturing on the Biblical and scientific evidence for recent creation to a university audience in Hong Kong, China, when a scholar raised the objection: "The Chinese have a documented history going back many thousands of years, much earlier than your dates for creation and the Flood. We have known dynasties and named rulers. The Bible must be wrong."
The solution lies in an examination of the earliest Chinese dynasties. Actually, precisely documented dynasties go back only to about 2000 B.C. The first true dynasty was founded about 4000 years ago by a leader remembered for having "sweetened the waters," making the land habitable after wide-spread flooding. The ten listed dynasties before that, however, were of a different sort, with very long lives and questionable details attributed to them. From a Biblical viewpoint, as did all of humanity, the Chinese descended from Adam, then Noah through the Tower of Babel incident. The amazing "Table of Nations" in Genesis 10, which chronicles the language groups and their destinations, mentions the "Sinite people" in verse 17, which probably became the Asian groups.The Asian people descended from language groups migrating away from the Tower of Babel after God confounded their languages. In all likelihood, the well-documented dynasties date to that event, while the prior ones were faded memories of pre-Flood patriarchs, preserved as legends.
Doesn't this "Back to Genesis" history have the ring of truth about it? Biblical chronologies place the Babel incident at 4200 or so years ago. Many of the expelled groups took with them technological knowledge which they put to use in their new homelands. History documents the fact that several major cultures sprang into existence seemingly from nowhere at about the same time—the Egyptians, the Sumerians, the Phoenicians, the Indians, as well as the Chinese—and each possessed a curious mixture of truth and pagan thought, as would be expected from peoples only briefly separated from Noah and his teachings as well as the star worshipping/pyramid building heresy of Nimrod at Babel.
Interestingly, each group mentioned above lists 10 patriarchs in their pre-history, just as does Genesis. Individual leaders would guide their growing language groups to a new land, bringing both technology and a history with them. Each had personal knowledge of the Flood and pre-Flood days, having learned from Noah, his sons, or their early descendants. The Asian leader evidently gained prominence when he engineered the draining of swampy land left saturated by leftover flood waters. His following dynasty commenced about the time of Abraham, about 2000 B.C., and the memories of long-lived patriarchs of pre-Flood days became early dynasties.
Details in ancient history are necessarily scarce, and proposed origins must be considered tentative. But the fact is, Biblical history is correct. All peoples descended from Adam, then Noah through the Tower of Babel incident. We shouldn't be surprised when we find cultural and historical memories of the "Back to Genesis" truth.
Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2001. How Can the Chinese Dynasties Extend Back Many Thousands of Years?. Acts & Facts. 30 (2).