The Many Similarities Between Jesus and Buddha

Catherine Giordano

Was Jesus the Second Coming of Buddha?

Christians often say Jesus Christ was unique—the story of his life and his teachings were something totally new. This is not true. The story of Jesus, as told in The Holy Bible, appears to be strongly influenced by many different traditions–Jewish, pagan, and Eastern traditions–most notably Buddhism. There are many similarities between Buddha and Jesus Christ.

Before I go any further, I need to state that Jesus probably did not exist so when I speak of Jesus I am speaking of the stories about the fictional character of Jesus that are told in The Holy Bible.

 

I also need to state that while Gautama Buddha was probably an actual person (born about 600 years before the time of Jesus in the region of India now known as Nepal), there are many myths that have become attached to his story. However, Buddha, himself, did not proclaim himself a deity or make any claims of miracles.

 

Although Buddha and Jesus are separated by 600 years and by about 3000 miles their stories and teachings have many similarities. So I ask: Were Jesus and Buddha brothers by another mother? Could Jesus be the reincarnation of Buddha? Could Jesus be the second coming of Buddha?

 

There are two possible explanations for the similarities.

One is the great-minds-think-alike theory which states that the same story arises independently at different times and in different cultures.
The other explanation is the there-is nothing-new-under-the-sun theory which states that early stories influence and/or become incorporated into newer stories. (This is known as syncretism.)
I subscribe to the latter theory.

 

Were the writers of The Holy Bible aware of Buddhism?

Although the distance between the homelands of Jesus and Buddha was great, there was plenty of contact between the two areas and 600 years for ideas to spread. Both trade and the wars of the ever-expanding Roman Empire facilitated contact.

There is also the possibility that ideas “met halfway.” It did not require one person to traverse the 3000 miles. The ideas could have been passed along like the Olympic baton.

There is a lot of evidence of trade between the two regions. There are various overland routes stretching from China, Asia, Arabia, and Europe, some going back as far as 1500 BCE. These routes were known as The Silk Road (or Silk Route), the Incense Route, and the Spice Route. The transport of goods along these routes relied mainly upon pack animals (camels) and river boats. Goods were also transported by boats across the Indian Ocean.

There are cuneiform tablets dating to 2400 BCE describing shipments of cotton cloth, spices, oil, grains, (and even peacocks) which arrest to this trade. Even the Holy Bible attests to this trade with the story of The Three Wise Men from the East traveling by camel with gifts of frankincense and myrrh.

You can be sure more than goods were being exchanged. Ideas also traveled these routes. The Buddhist ideas were undoubtedly among the ideas being spread, especially since Buddhist monks had a tradition of missionary zeal.

Buddhism does not reject other creeds and religions. Thus, Buddhist ideas could be easily blended with whatever local religious beliefs the monks encountered. Buddhist settled into many areas of the Roman Empire, including Judea. The historian/philosopher Philo, who lived during the time of Jesus, recorded the presence of Buddhists in Egypt.

It is quite likely that the authors of The Holy Bible were aware of both Buddha and Buddhist ideas.

 

Of course, there are many differences as well.

 

Source : https:// owlcation. com

Catherine Giordano is a writer and public speaker who often writes and speaks on topics related to science, philosophy, and religion.