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Was #Jesus based on #Buddha?
Um, #NO, and here is why:
#Debunking #Ahead
Siddhartha Gautama, aka Buddha, was a historical figure. However, the exact time period in which he lived is up for grabs (he may have been born in the 7th, 6th or 5th century BC, we don’t know for sure, though the scholarly consensus places it in the latter). One reason why this
the case is because Buddha’s teachings and biographies were written down centuries after he died. Indeed, Buddha’s teaching were passed on orally until the first century AD, when it was written down, becoming the Pali Canon (aka Tripitaka). Now Buddha died between 410-370 BC, so
we are talking about a long time between the historical Buddha and his earliest biographies and written scriptures. That is a LOT of time for legends and myths to be added into the Buddha’s historical account, and sure enough scholars agree that this indeed was the case. Other
Buddhist scriptures abound, but these two are late (“Questions of King Milinda”, 1rst century AD. “The Way to Purity”, 5th century AD. “The Summary of the Meaning of Higher Teaching”, 11th century AD). Buddha’s first Biography, the “Buddhacarita”, was written in the second
century AD.
Now, compare these dates for these Buddhist texts again:
Tripitaka: 1rst century AD
“Questions of King Milinda”, 1rst century AD
“Buddhacarita”, 2nd century AD
“The Way to Purity”, 5th century AD
“The Summary of the Meaning of Higher Teaching”, 11th Century AD.
Why is this significant?
Jesus died in 30-33 AD.
The Gospels were also originally in oral form, but where turned into written accounts only a few decades after Christ. They were written in the 1rst century (earliest Mark (60-70 AD), the latest John (70-90’s AD)
And remember: The
gospels were not just a collection of Christ’s teachings; they were also biographies.
Buddha’s first biography? 2nd century AD.
Who is borrowing from who?
Now, to be fair, there is an early inscription about Buddha that has bearing on our subject, but as we are about to see, it
does not support the idea that Jesus was based on Buddha.
Indeed, much of the so-called similarities between Jesus and Buddha are downright daft, when you look more closely.
Virgin Born?
Well, later accounts seem to argue for a sexless birth, but one has to remember that
Buddha’s Mom, Maya, was married to King Suddhodana at the time of Buddha’s conception. Indeed, she had been so for years, so we can’t really claim that she was a virgin (what do husbands do with their wives now and again? Give you a hint: involves a bed, getting naked and moans!)
Indeed, the “virgin” idea was a later invention, not part of the original story of Buddha. According to the tale, on the night that Buddha was conceived, Buddha’s spirit appeared to Maya in a dream. He had the form of a white elephant floating on a rain cloud. He circled the
queen three times and then went inside her womb. Though this story dates in Buddhist Literature to the 5th century AD, there is inscriptional evidence from the 3rd century BC that seems (repeat “seems”) to depict this account.
However…the earliest account of this story only
indicates that this was a dream, a sign that Maya was pregnant with the Buddha. Later Buddhist sources made this event more literal, that Maya didn’t conceive Buddha through sex. But this was a later tradition, and it postdates Christ considerably. Indeed, numerous sources state
that King Suddhodana was indeed his father, i.e. biological father.
Either way you look at it…no virgin birth.
Maya and Mary sound similar? Mary is based on Maya?
Mary was a Roman era peasant girl. She had descent from King David, but she was no royal. Maya was an Indian Queen.
And the name Mary isn’t based on Maya; it’s the Greek form of the Hebrew word “Miryam”!
Wise men? Buddha’s father was a king. It paid to have wise men working for you, as most rulers did. Big deal. Its not like they had to travel far to see the newborn buddha (Buddha and these
“wise men” were in the same palace!). Plus, they don’t offer Buddha gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Next?
Incarnate god?
Though some Buddhists worship him as a god, he is not considered a god in mainstream Buddhism. Indeed, he is a Bodhisattva, an “Enlightenment Being”,
all of which eventually become a Buddha/receive enlightenment and escape the cycle of death and rebirth. Remember, in both Buddhism and Hinduism (the latter the religion of his homeland), reincarnation was a given. In Hinduism, he is said to be one of the Avatars of Vishnu, but
this was not what Buddha taught.
Crucified? Resurrected?
No and no.
He actually died of food poisoning (courtesy of a meal by a smith named Cunda). Though he attained “Nirvana”, he didn’t physically resurrect.
Miracle worker? So were a lot of religious figures (Moses,
Zoaraster, Elijah, Elisha), gods and other supernatural beings. Big deal.
Tempted by a demon? He was tempted by a demon named Mara, but the temptation has little resemblance to that of Christ.
A king wanted to kill him when he was a baby?
Nope, try again.
Taught religious leaders as a 12 year old?
No, he was said to be a very quick learner. When he was 12, it was predicted that he would become an ascetic if he saw death, sickness, old age, or a recluse.
Miraculously fed a multitude with a basket of cakes?
Do we really have to go on?
“The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology” by Arthur Cotterell, and Rachel Storm, pages 355, 360-61, 368-69, 386, 412-415
“Encyclopedia of Gods” by Michael Jordan (Not to be confused with Michael Jordon, the American god of Basketball), page 48
“AMG’s Encyclopedia of World Religions, Cults & the Occult”, by Mark Water, pages 214-15, 218-19
“The Case for the Real Jesus” by Lee Strobel, pages 181-82, 292
“Historical Atlas: A Comprehensive History of the World” (Chief Consultant Dr Geoffery Wawro), pages 106-07
(compare with pages 84-85)
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