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8/8/09

Buddha and Jesus

Please welcome today’s guest blogger Marcus McElhaney, author of the fascinating blog What Had Happen’ was…..

He will be considering whether there are likenesses between Buddha and Jesus and away we go…

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Well what about the Buddha and Jesus? How similar is Jesus to Buddha? Let's examine this question in light of the following article which I will attempt to summarize: Was the story of Jesus stolen from Buddha? (Part 2)Some people who want to argue that Jesus is at best based on the same archetype as the Buddha or at worst a complete rip-off on Buddha like to uses the following parallels. Let's look at them one at time:
1. Buddha was born on December 25th of the virgin Maya, and his birth was attended by a "Star of Announcement," wise men and angels singing heavenly songs.

Jesus was not born on 12/25. It's pointless to make the comparison. Buddha's mother was not a virgin because she was a married woman. Even if you grant her the status of conception without her husband's involvement, she was not a virgin.




Mariano’s addendum:
[The traditional claim is that Buddha’s mother dreamed of an elephant entering her side and that when she gave birth the Buddha exited her body from her side.]
2. At his birth, he was pronounced ruler of the world and presented with "costly jewels and precious substances."

Buddha was not prophesied to be a king, as his father wanted, but a holy man.


Mariano’s addendum:
[It is noteworthy that there are two stories about how and when Siddhartha Gautama (or Gotama) became a Buddha, when he reached enlightenment.
One is that when he was born he took a few steps and spoke; basically announcing his knowledge of the whole cycle of reincarnation and that he was at the tail end.
The other is that this enlightenment did not occur until much later in life whilst meditating under a bodhi tree.]

3. His life was threatened by a king "who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him."

The king that threatened Buddha's life was his father and it was because he wanted a son to succeed him but it was predicted that Buddha would not follow that path.
4. Was of royal lineage.

Ok, so both Buddha and Jesus were of royal lineage.


Mariano’s addendum:
[Even this is questionable since his father was more like a clan leader an elected chief of a tribal confederacy.]

5. Taught in the Temple at age 12.

There is no story of Buddha doing this at age 12.
6. Crushed a serpent's head (as was traditionally said of Jesus) and was tempted by Mara, the "Evil One," when fasting.


There is no record of Buddha or Jesus crushing a serpent's head. The prophecy in Genesis of Jesus is symbolically foretelling Jesus' triumph on the cross. There is no such record of Buddha. No parallel here either.


Mariano’s addendum:
[It is traditionally claimed that Buddha died on a bed due to food poisoning or simply from old age—80 years.]



7. Was baptized in water, with the "Spirit of God" or "Holy Ghost" present.

There is nothing close recorded about Buddha. Nothing.
8. Performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick, fed 500 men from a "small basket of cakes," and walked on water.

Jesus fed 5,000 men in addition to women and children. There is no record found of Buddha feeding 500 with a basket of cakes.
9. Abolished idolatry, was a "sower of the word," and preached the "establishment of a kingdom of righteousness."

Jesus did not have to deal with idolatry. The Jews had that lesson down pat. Don't forget that Jesus and Buddha preached radically different views of what a kingdom of righteousness is and how a person gains access to it. Jesus taught that we have access to that kingdom through him. Buddha taught that we get there through personal enlightenment and successive reincarnated lives.
10. Followers were obliged to take vows of poverty and to renounce the world.

Nowhere does Jesus teach that you have to take a vow of poverty and retreat from the world in order to follow Him. He told one man in one particular situation at one particular time to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus. He never told anyone else and it was what that man needed. You can tell because that man, known as the rich young ruler, loved his possessions above all else.
11. Was transfigured on a mount, when it was said that his face "shone as the brightness of the sun and moon."

I've got to quote this one verbatim because the only way you can get this out of Buddhist tradition is to define "transfiguration" so broadly that the term looses all meaning.

Transfiguration. In Buddhism, when an individual practitioner reaches a high degree of realization in his or her spiritual evolution, the transformation can manifest itself at the physical level, as well. We find such stories about the Buddha in the sutras.
They begin when Buddha's disciples notice a physical change in his appearance. A radiance shines from his body. Then one of the disciples asks the Buddha, "I see these changes in you. Why are these changes taking place?" These parables are similar to the Gospel passages on the Transfiguration when Jesus' face is suddenly glowing.

12. In some traditions, died on a cross.

The Bible writers unanimously agree that Jesus died on a cross. No where do we see that of Buddha.

13. Was resurrected, as his coverings were unrolled from his body and his tomb was opened by supernatural powers.
14. Ascended bodily to Nirvana or "heaven."

There is no record of Buddha being resurrected. His body was cremated.
15. Was called Lord, Master, Light of the World, God of Gods, Father of the World, Almighty and All-knowing Ruler, Redeemer of All, Holy One, the Author of Happiness, Possessor of All, the Omnipotent, the Supreme Being, the Eternal One.
16. Was considered a Sin Bearer, Good Shepherd, the Carpenter, the Infinite and Everlasting, and the Alpha and Omega.

There is no Buddhist documents or tradition that supports Buddha atoning for anyone's sins. Don't forget the ideas of sinfulness and atonement are foreign to Buddhism.

17. Came to fulfill, not to destroy, the law.

No way you can equate Jesus and Buddha. No one would conclude that Buddha was pushing the Torah, would they? Let alone fulfilling it perfectly as Jesus did.

Mariano’s addendum:
[In fact, Buddhism is, in a manner of speaking, a cult of Hinduism as the Buddha flatly rejected certain Hindu tenets.]
18. Is to return "in the latter days" to restore order and to judge the dead.

Christians believe that the same Jesus who walked the earth will physically return. Buddhism teaches something really different.


Dr. Yu confirmed:
The Future Buddha called Maitreya ("The Friendly One") will be born as a human in the future just as the Buddha some 2500 years ago and revive the religion and bring peace to the world.

As anyone can see there is no way to equate Buddha with Jesus. No way. They are too different. Too dissimilar and even disagree and conflict. They both can't be right. Each of us must evaluate the evidence and decide which if either is true. I challenge everyone to do that. I've done that and the only logical conclusion is that Jesus is everything the Bible says He is!

Mariano’s addendum:
[Note that while the Buddha’s life span in generally 563 BC to 483 BC Buddhist scripture, including records of his life, were not put into writing until about 400 years after his death.

How do we even know that such a personage ever lived?
The pseudo-skeptic does not care since they will instantly accredit anything which they consider as a challenge to Christianity.

What is the time of the events of Buddha’s life until the time the event was recorded?
What is the time of the recording until the time of the earliest manuscript?
How many manuscripts are there?
How do they compare?
The pseudo-skeptic does not care about these and many other relevant questions since they will instantly accredit anything which they consider as a challenge to Christianity.

Considering the timing of the writing of Buddhist scriptures one might as well claim that Buddhists modified the tales of Buddha to match those of Jesus (even though similarities are slight to non-existing).

Lastly, Buddha was perhaps best described as an atheist while Jesus was, well, most certainly not.]

5 comments:

  1. No 'Pseudo skeptic' here. Both accounts were written long after the events. And there are no preserved original writings of either.

    Its logical and obvious that both myths were based on ordinary men. The subsequent followers embellished, then canonized the embellishments.

    I find it amusing that you can so easily dismiss one religion without realizing the same criticism falsify your own.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Bart
    Both accounts were written long after the events.
    How long exactly?
    And there are no preserved original writings of either.
    This is true for all Greek, Roman and Jewish writings of that times. You find none of them reliable?

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is nothing more then using a double standard and projecting that flaw onto others.

    The amount of time between the writing of the biblical texts and the events it describes are not even close to the time difference between buddha and his writings being made.

    Well since being written after things happen makes them false then obviously world war 2 never happened neither did the civil war or any other superstitious nonsense embellished by people afterwards.

    I just read a book about World War 2 and well since it was written a few years ago and world war 2 happened long before then it obviously was completely embellished and the people were just mythical characters. Hitler? Just an embellished and mythical character obviously. Why cant historians use logic and science to see the truth?

    ReplyDelete