This is what it comes down to – there is no material evidence today, of the so-called ‘Luling Iron Cross’ – or the ‘couplet’ said to accompany it. Therefore, the provenance of both objects cannot be established. In other words, there is no ‘evidence’ that such a Cross (or ‘Couplet’) existed. As such, I cannot make any definitive statement about its historicity.
All we can do is speculate, as all we possess is a brief historical document from the 14th century CE (telling a story about a ‘Cross’ dating to the 3rd Century CE) – and a copy of the ‘Couplet’. There is not even a proper description of the size, shape or ‘dimensions’ of the ‘Cross’, as all the Chinese language records are oddly ‘vague’ and ‘non-descript’. Was it a Saltyre type ‘cross’ (X) as found on the Stars and Bars of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865) – or the St Andrew Flag of Scotland? Or, was it a plus sign (+) type ‘cross’ similar to the number ‘ten’ ideogram (十 – Shi) within the written Chinese language? We simply do not know.
Although it is true that the term ‘cross’ today is written in the Chinese language as ‘十字架’ (十字架 – Shi Zi Jia) – there is no reason to assume that this was the expression used during the 3rd or 14th centuries! Furthermore, I am informed that even if ‘十字架’ is used within Chinese language texts – it is today simply a generic term for two crossed-bars that can be arranged in any orientation. This suggests that we cannot automatically assume that a ‘modern’ Christian ‘Cross’ is being referred to.
My personal opinion is that as ‘Crosses’ were not yet being widely used within Palestine by Jewish-Christians, I see no reason to assume that a ‘Crusader-era’ Cross would a) exist during the 3rd century CE, or b) have been transported to China as an ‘act of faith’ and ‘conversion’! All these (hideous) aspects of Christian belief would not infest the teachings of Christ for many centuries to come. As I have said elsewhere, even the 8th century CE (Nestorian) Christian (stone) monuments preserved within China do NOT possess a single example of a ‘Cross’!
The ‘Couplet’ was probably composed during the 14th century CE to placate and interest the ‘new’ Sun Wu Emperor – a peasant who had overthrown the (foreign) Yuan Dynasty and re-established Chinese rule of China (during the Ming Dynasty)! This Emperor apparently liked poetry and particularly favoured ‘Couplets’ – so perhaps an over-zealous Minister (who had heard of ‘Christianity’) decided to fabricate the ‘finding’ of a ‘Cross’ (also constructed during the 14th century) – which soon had to go ‘missing’ so as to prevent any serious investigation of the matter – and the entire fabrication being found out! Heads would have rolled!
PS: The vulgarisation of the English language by the ignorant Americans is killing our native tongue! Take ‘Saltyre’, for instance, nearly every dictionary takes the American spelling of ‘Saltire’ as the norm! Racist f’cks!