- Both Buddha and Jesus were baptized in the presence of the "spirit" of God. 54
- Both went to their temples at the age of twelve, where they are said to have astonished all with their wisdom.55
- Both supposedly fasted in solitude for a long time: Buddha for forty--seven days and Jesus for forty.56
- Both wandered to a fig tree at the conclusion of their fasts 57
- Both were about the same age when they began their public ministry:
- "When he [Buddha] went again to the garden he saw a monk who was calm, tranquil, self--possessed, serene, and dignified. The prince, determined to become such a monk, was led to make the great renunciation. At the time he was twenty--nine years of age...".58
- "Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age." (Luke 3:23).
- Both were tempted by the "devil" at the beginning of their ministry: To Buddha, he said: "Go not forth to adopt a religious life but return to your kingdom, and in seven days you shall become emperor of the world, riding over the four continents."59
- To Jesus, he said: "All these [kingdoms of the world] I will give you, if you fall down and worship me" (Matthew 4:9).
- Buddha answered the "devil": "Get you away from me."60
- Jesus responded: "...begone, Satan!" (Matthew 4:10).
- Both experienced the "supernatural" after the "devil" left:
- For Buddha: "The skies rained flowers, and delicious odors prevailed [in] the air."61
- For Jesus: ".angels came and ministered to him" (Matthew 4:11).
- The multitudes required a sign from both in order that they might believe.62
- Both strove to establish a kingdom of heaven on earth.63
- Buddha "represented himself as a mere link in a long chain of enlightened teachers."64
- Jesus said: "Think not that I have come to abolish the law, and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17).
- According to the Somadeva (a Buddhist holy book), a Buddhist ascetic's eye once offended him, so he plucked it out and cast it away.65
- Jesus said: "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out, and throw it away;." (Matthew 5:29).
- "Buddha taught that the motive of all our actions should be pity or love of our neighbor."66
- Jesus taught: "...love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44).
- Buddha said: "Hide your good deeds, and confess before the world the sins you have committed."67
- Jesus said: "Beware of practicing your piety before men to be seen by them;." (Matthew 6:1) and "Therefore confess your sins one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed..." (James 5:16).
- Both are said to have known the thoughts of others:
- "By directing his mind to the thoughts of others, [Buddha] can know the thoughts of all beings."68
- "Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: `Why do you think evil in your hearts?' " (Matthew 9:4).
There is every reason to believe that the Pitakas [sacred books containing the legends of Buddha] now extant in Ceylon are substantially identical with the books of the Southern Canon, as settled at the Council of Patna about the year 250 B.C. As no works would have been received into the Canon which were not then believed to be very old, the Pitakas may be approximately placed in the fourth century B.C., and parts of them possibly reach back very nearly, if not quite, to the time of Gautama (Buddha) himself.46Samuel Beal, Nineteenth-Century Professor:
We know that the Fo-pen-hing [legends of Buddha] was -translated into Chinese from Sanskrit (the ancient language of Hindostan) so early as the eleventh year of the reign of -Wing-ping (Ming-ti) of the Hans Dynasty, i.e., 69 or 70 A.D. We may, therefore, safely suppose that the original work was in circulation in India for some time previous to this date.47.Ernest de Bunsen, Nineteenth Century:
These points of agreement with the Gospel narrative arouse curiosity and require explanation. If we could prove that they [the legends of Buddha] were unknown in the East for some centuries after Christ, the explanation would be easy. But all the evidence we have goes to prove the contrary....48
“With the remarkable exception of the death of Jesus on the cross, and of the doctrine of atonement by vicarious suffering, which is absolutely excluded by Buddhism, the most ancient of the Buddhistic records known to us contain statements about the life and the doctrines of Gautama Buddha which -correspond in a remarkable manner, and impossibly by mere chance, with the traditions recorded in the Gospels about the life and doctrines of Jesus Christ....” 49Max Muller, Nineteenth--Century Professor:
“Between the language of Buddha and his disciples, and the language of Christ and his apostles, there are strange coincidences. Even some of the Buddhist legends and parables sound as if taken from the New Testament, though we know that many of them existed before the beginning of the Christian era.” 50Kenneth Scott Latourette, Twentieth Century:
“Approximately five centuries older than Christianity, by the time of the birth of Christ, Buddhism had already spread through much of India and Ceylon and had penetrated into Central Asia and China.”51M. L'Abbe Huc, Nineteenth--Century Missionary Apostolic:
“The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in Christianity.” 52T. W. Doane, Nineteenth Century:
“...nothing now remains for the honest man to do but acknowledge the truth, which is that the history of Jesus of Nazareth[,] as related in the books of the New Testament, is simply a copy of that of Buddha, with a mixture of mythology borrowed from other nations.” 53FOOTNOTES:
46. Rhys Davids, Buddhism: Being a Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Gautama, the Buddha (London,1894), p. 10
47 Beal, The Roamantic Legends of Sakya Buddha fron the Chinese Sanskrit (London, 1875), p. vi..
48. Ibid,pp. viii-ix.
49. De Bunsen, The Angel Messiah of Buddhists, Essenes and Christians (London, 1880), p. 50.
50. Muller, Introduction to the Science of Religion (London, 1873), p. 243
51. Latourette, A History of Christianity (New York, 1975), p. 274.
52. Huc, Christianity in China, Tartary, and Thibet (London, 1857), p. 327.
53. Doane, p. 302.
54. De Bunsen, p. 45; Matthew 3:16.
55. Ibid, p. 37; Luke 2:41--48.
56. Arthur Lillie, Buddha and Early Buddhism (London, 1881), p. 100, Matthew 4:2.
57. Hans Joachim Schoeps, An Intelligent Person's Guide to the Religions of Mankind (London, 1967), p. 167; Matthew 21:18--19.
58. Encyclopedia Americana (New York: Rand McNally and Co., 1963), vol. 4, p. 672.59. Moncure D. Conway, The Sacred Anthology (London, 1874), p. 173.
60. De Bunsen, p. 38.
62. Muller, Science, p. 27; Matthew 16:1.
63. Beal, p. x; Matthew 4:17.64. Muller, Science, p. 140.
65. Ibid., p. 245.
66. Ibid., p. 249.
67. Ibid., p. 28.
68. R. Spence Hardy, The Legends and Theories of the Buddhists Compared with History and Science (London, 1866), p. 81.