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Shang Ti

Shang Ti (上帝) or "Lord of Heaven" is the name of the supreme deity worshipped by the ancient Chinese, especially during the Shang and Zhou dynasties. He was thought to be supreme over the lesser gods of the sun, moon, and other parts of nature, and guided the affairs of Heaven, Earth, and people.

Worship of Shang Ti included offering human sacrifices, although by the time of the Zhou dynasty, the Zhou emperor was the only person deemed worthy to offer such sacrifices. As time went on, the ruling class decided that the common people were not worthy to worship Shang Ti, and so their attention shifted to the lesser gods, and eventually to other religions and philosophies such as Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Today, Shang Ti is generally almost forgotten.


Shang Ti (上帝, pinyin Shàngdì) is the phrase used to refer to God in the southern edition of the Chinese (Mandarin) Union Version of the Christian Bible. The Protestant missionaries in northern China in the early 20th century preferred the alternative 神 (pinyin Shén), and another edition was printed thus. Chinese Catholics used the term tien chu[?] to address God.



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