Book of the Latter Han Dynasty

Christs Death in Chinese Texts- Overview

There is some controversy over a set of passages from an ancient text in the Chinese History of the Latter Han Dynasty, Volume 1 Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu, 7th year.

It is believed y some that the Chronicles of Emperor Guang Wu describes the effects of death of Christ  as written in Matthew. That the darkness described was experienced and written about in China,in the Han Dynasty Annals. 

From noon until three o’clock it was dark over all the land…Then Jesus gave another loud cry and gave up His spirit and died.” - Matthew 27:45,50 

Chinese Text


Roughly Translated:

"In the fourth month of summer, the imperial edict said: "The yin and the yang are wrong, the sun and the moon are thinly eclipsed. The people have a fault, in the I one, amnesty world. The government, the Secretary, the Secretary, the state shepherd to choose a good, virtuous, square and righteous each, sent to the public car, I will see the test. The name of the gate is "Gong Che". The name was given to the place where the bus was located. The official Han Yi said: "the public car in charge of the temple of the horse door, the world's top matters and recruitment are led by the."

Other Translations state:

“Summer, fourth month [of the year], on the day of Ren Wu, the imperial edict reads, “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.” 

Hou Han Shu Southern Song Shaoxing 

1131 - 1162 edition

Researchers state that the time frame of the 7th year of Guang Wu as stated in this text would have put this event in the fourth month of 31 A.D. 

Christs Birth

A sign is said to have appeared in the sky just before the birth of Christ in the Chinese book of 'Treatise on Astronomy.'

“ 二年二月,彗星出牽牛七十餘日。傳曰: ‘彗所以除舊佈 新也. 牽牛,日、月、 五星所從起, 歷數之元, 三正之始。 彗而出之,改更之象也。其出 久者,爲其事大也.”

(漢書, 卷二十六, 天文志第六) Book of Han 《漢書》 卷二十六 天文志 - Volume 26: Treatise on Astronomy - starts at 2nd to last paragraph

Roughly Translated

“In the second month of the second year [of Jian Ping, emperor of that time], the comet was out of Altair for more than 70 days…It is said, ‘Comets appear to signify the old being replaced by the new.’ Altair, the sun, the moon and the five stars are in movement to signify the beginning of a new epoch; The beginning of a new year, a new month and a new day…The appearance of this comet undoubtedly symbolizes change. The extended appearance of this comet indicates that this is of great importance.” 

- Astronomy Records of the Book of the Han Dynasty