Free Essay

Jesus and Buddha

In: Film and Music

Submitted By Khamh
Words 2909
Pages 12
Buddha and
Christ

Similarities and Contrasts

A number of recent books have proposed the idea that Buddha and Christ are brothers in spirit. Close to the end of Living Buddha, Living Christ, Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh asserted, "When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa."

In his controversial book, Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings, New Testament scholar Marcus J. Borg asserted that both religious founders espoused a "world-subverting wisdom that undermined and challenged conventional ways of seeing and being in their time and in every time." Borg claims that both were teachers of wisdom, not only regarding "moral behavior, but about the 'center,' the place from which moral perception and moral behavior flow." Both, according to Borg, "were teachers of the way less traveled. 'Way' or 'path' imagery is central to both bodies of teaching."

In their article, "Are Jesus and Buddha Brothers?", by Carl E. Olson and Anthony E. Clark (This Rock, Volume 16, Number 5, May-June 2005), the authors note that Jesuit Father Robert E. Kennedy . . . holds Zen retreats at Morning Star Zendo in Jersey City. Further, "the St. Francis Chapel at Santa Clara University hosts the weekly practice of 'mindfulness and Zen meditation.' Indeed, the number of Buddhist retreats and workshops being held at Catholic monasteries and parishes is growing." The article also mentions additional books espousing this viewpoint: * Zen Spirit, Christian Spirit * The Place of Zen in Christian Life * Going Home: Jesus and Buddha As Brothers.

On a spiritual level are Jesus and Buddha quite similar? In this article we will look at this question broadly, covering the areas of moral behavior, spirituality, beliefs about the nature of reality and of God, the illusion/reality of sin and evil, and the degree to which variations from their teachings could be acceptable. Were Buddha and Christ quite similar in some of these areas but very different in others?

We will first look at this by comparing conservative Christianity and conservative (Theravada) Buddhism, in large part because these two systems are well-known and reasonably well-defined. Comparisons of liberal Christianity and other branches of Buddhism, covered in an appendix providing answers to frequently asked questions, will be presented in the next digest.

Overall Summary

There are many remarkable similarities between the teaching of Buddha and Christ, causing speculation that these two great religious leaders were somehow closely linked. Both espoused altruism, emphasizing that it is more blessed to give than to receive and that love is the best way to overcome hatred. Both taught the Golden Rule, and urged followers not to judge others.

There are also many intriguing parallels. Buddha reformed Hinduism; Jesus reformed Judaism. Each religion spread far more successfully outside their home country (India and Judea). Some branches of Buddhism evolved over centuries to become a highly ceremonial religion, with monks who withdrew from secular life, much like in Catholic monasticism.

Buddha urged people to lose self to gain Nirvana; Jesus exhorted people to lose self to gain eternal life through a personal relationship with him. Buddha emphasized the importance of ceasing existence as an individual to escape suffering; Christ offered the hope of a heaven where there would be no suffering.

Yet, for all of the above similarities, dramatic differences exist that seem insurmountable: * To Buddha, the existence or non-existence of God was not relevant to true spirituality. He avoided the question. Foremost in Jesus' teaching was that real faith in an omnipotent, omniscient, personal God was essential to receiving salvation. * Christ asserted his own divinity (i.e., equality with God). Buddha denied such divinity, seeing himself as simply being one of many enlightened ones. Christ asserted his own uniqueness and spiritual supremacy over all people and spiritual beings. * To Buddha many paths to eliminating the self were beneficial. Jesus claimed the only way to God was through him. * Buddha introduced a method for attaining enlightenment, by systematic, persistent effort. Jesus offered a personal relationship with himself, through faith in him, apart from works. Buddha claimed the highest goal was the elimination of suffering, while Jesus saw the highest goal as developing a love relationship with God and other people. Buddha asserted that man does not have a soul, while Jesus emphasized that the eternal soul of each person is of great value to a personal God. Buddha assumed reincarnation and many past lives, Christ proclaimed resurrection to eternal life after one life on earth. Buddha saw people as being the products of good and bad karma from their various past lives. Christ taught that each person was created by God to be a special person with a unique purpose and direction in life. * Jesus taught dualism (i.e., that reality consists of two opposite natures. He believed in the reality of good vs. evil, virtue vs. sin, and heaven vs. hell. Buddha taught that any appearance of dualism is an illusion, and is not part of ultimate reality, which he claimed had only one nature. * Buddha claimed that all sentient beings (i.e., people and animals) were nearly equal, except that people are capable of attaining enlightenment, whereas animals are not. Jesus emphasized a clear hierarchy among beings: God the Creator, then angels and demons, then people, then animals and plants, and finally, inanimate matter. * Buddha taught that truth lies within each person, while Jesus claimed that he was the truth. Jesus also believed that, since the Fall in the Garden of Eden, every person has a strongly ingrained lower nature that rebels against God and seeks its own way. * Buddha taught that all language is inherently inadequate. Jesus emphasized that the Word of God is powerfully relevant to all parts of life. * Buddha emphasized the disciplines of the mind and heart. Jesus advocated the gentle supremacy of the Spirit of God over each person's mind and heart.

Given all these dramatic differences, sincere efforts to follow both religions simultaneously are not truly feasible. If they are true to their beliefs, however, both Buddhists and Christians should treat one another as the Golden Rule would dictate: as each would prefer to be treated themselves—with mutual respect, empathy and compassion, and a desire to focus on mutual interests.

Answers to the following frequently asked questions will be provided in the next issue of the Digest: 1. What elements of Christianity are similar to Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths and The Noble Eightfold Path? 2. What are the primary differences between Liberal (Mahayana) and Conservative (Theravada) Buddhists? 3. What are the key differences between Liberal and Conservative Christians? 4. Can a Liberal Christian also be a Buddhist? 5. In what ways is hypocrisy a problem for Buddhists and Christians? 6. The type of Christianity described in this comparison is quite different from what I have observed to be, a religion based on rules and guilt. Have I missed something? 7. How does Christ Consciousness differ from the Jesus portrayed in the Bible? Is it compatible with Buddhism? 8. What does God think about someone being a Buddhist and a Christian at the same time?

Our goals in preparing this comparison of Buddha and Christ are: (1) to maintain a positive tone regarding each religion, whenever possible; (2) to reduce ignorance by fostering understanding; and (3) to encourage tolerance and compassion toward people with beliefs different than our own. Buddhism and Christianity are deep and comprehensive religions, and followers of each could stand to learn much from one another, regardless of whether or not they are trying to somehow merge the two in practice. For example, most Christians could stand to benefit from the example of Buddhists in terms of: 1. A more tolerant, respectful attitude toward those with different beliefs. 2. A range of proven practices in meditation. 3. A deeper respect for the Earth, and 4. A commitment to practicing self-denial.

Similarities in Ethics

In the area of ethics, it is quite easy to see many close parallels, because altruism is at the heart of the teachings of both Buddha and Christ.

Sources for the above Buddha quotes are:
Kaviratna, Harischandra, translator. 1980. Dhammapada, Wisdom of the Buddha. Theosophical University Press Online Edition

Buddha and Christ — Two Gods on the Path to Humanity. November 2003. ExoticIndiaArt.com

Parallel Sayings of Buddha and Christ. Heartland Sangha American Buddhism.
A list of general references appears at the end of this article.

We can summarize the above by listing the following areas of close agreement between Buddha and Christ: * Altruism * The Golden Rule * Don't judge others * Love your enemies * Overcome hate with love * More blessed to give than to receive * Avoid being religious for show * Avoid dull repetition

Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path includes a number of elements that are very similar to comparable parts of Christianity: * Right Speech: Do not lie or bear false witness. Do not use harsh or idle words. * Right Action: Do not harm anyone or steal from them. Abstain from sexual misconduct. Do not drink enough to become intoxicated. * Right Livelihood: Only engage in legal and peaceful ways of making a living. Do not be associated with prostitution or selling intoxicants or poisons. * Right Effort: Devote your mental energy to wholesome goals and activities. * Right Mindfulness: Try to see things objectively without jumping to conclusions. * Right Concentration: Be single-minded.

Significant Parallels

As additional areas of similarity, both denounced the emptiness of secular life, and advocated "a way less traveled," as Marcus J. Borg had noted. There are also many parallels between Buddha and Christ beyond the field of ethics, as summarized in the following chart.

Significant Differences

There are many critical areas where the beliefs of conservative Buddhists and conservative Christians are essentially opposite. It is because of these areas that a substantive synergy of these two religions is inherently not possible. In the discussion below, these areas have been broken down into separate topics, including Ethics, Spirituality, The Nature of Reality (Metaphysics), Theology, Sin and Evil, Liberation, Accessibility to All, One Way or Many Paths?, and Views of One Another.

In this analysis, every effort has been made to present each religion in a positive light, consistent with the beliefs of conservative practitioners of that religion. When it comes to the problem of hypocrisy, however, the phenomenon cannot be described in a positive light regarding any religion.

Once a clear picture has been drawn of the beliefs of conservative Christians and Theravada (conservative) Buddhists, ways that liberal Christians differ from Buddhists are discussed.

Ethics

While there are many ways ethics taught by Buddha and Christ are very similar, there are areas where there are clear differences.

Spirituality

The spiritual emphases of conservative adherents are quite different.

The Nature of Reality (Metaphysics)

The basic views about the nature of reality of conservative practitioners of these two religions appear to be irreconcilable.

Dualism or non-dualism (monism)? Each person's view on this determines where they will look for truth. Dualists look for truth outside of themselves, to a sacred book, or to a specific church, or by direct appeal to a personal God far superior to themselves. Those who are not dualists look for truth within themselves, since they believe they are part of a universal whole.

The life and worship of a dualist is rich and varied. It involves the interaction of a human being with a soul and personality and a personal God who loves them and desires to be positively involved in their life. Often, though, the extent of that interaction is dramatically reduced because God normally interrelates with each person only to the extent that they desire His presence.

If someone who is not a dualist believes in God, that God is impersonal. Hence the degree of richness of religion as an exercise of man relating to God is much greater for the dualist than for the non-dualist, much as life in a world with both men and women is much richer than one in a society consisting only of men or only of women. The apostle Paul referred to the church as the bride of Christ. (Ephesians 5:23-32)

Buddhism has not inspired great works of music, such as Handel's Messiah or Bach's B Minor Mass, or the large body of hymns and songs of worship present within Christianity. Such works are expressions of the interaction of people with personality and a personal God. The chants and meditations of Buddhists are designed to help them to transcend self, and to diminish personal identity.

Theology

The basic beliefs of conservative Christians and Buddhists regarding the existence and nature of God are fundamentally at odds.

Sin and Evil

The central beliefs of conservative practitioners of each religion about the existence and nature of sin and evil are radically different.

Liberation

Though there are many parallels in their views of the need for liberation and the way(s) to achieve it, in each aspect of this there are substantial differences as well.

Accessibility to Liberation

One Way or Many Paths?

The degree to which variations from orthodox teachings could be acceptable is strikingly different.

For many people, the notion that there is only one valid way to God is upsetting. It seems strikingly narrow, so it should be rejected on that basis alone. On the other hand, the majority of human beings believe that there is only one true God—since this belief is common to Jews, Christians and Muslims. If there is only one true God, it would hardly be unnatural for God to provide just one way to know Him. After all, there is only one version of the laws of physics, and they apply without variation throughout the entire universe. So the real problem is people believing that their religion provides the one true way, while also having an attitude of judging people following other religions. If Christianity brings people into relationship with the one true God, then it should make Christians very humble and compassionate toward people with different beliefs. Many Christians are like that, yet they are not the ones that are highlighted in the media and press. Instead, people who dislike Christianity and its "one way" claim often take the opportunity to portray Christians as hypocrites, rather than drawing attention to a Mother Teresa or common, humble Christians.

How could the humble Jesus be so arrogant as to claim to be the only way to God? This is a very troubling saying, unless Jesus was God himself and he was just stating the truth succinctly. According to the Gospel accounts, Jesus claimed to be God many times, precluding the option that he was just a great teacher or prophet. Instead, we are left with two choices: he was either who he said he was, or he was insane. And so, each person is confronted with deciding which of these is true, unless one takes the view that early Christians were conspiring to put words inaccurately into the mouth of Jesus as they were finalizing the New Testament. If that were what had occurred, however, it is very unlikely that such conspirators would have died defending their faith in the divinity of Christ, when they could have been spared from death by renouncing him.

Views of One Another

How do Buddhists typically view Christians and vice versa?

While both religions teach love and compassion for those with different beliefs, this can be difficult to achieve, given the substantial differences between Buddhism and Christianity.

Who Was Jesus?

Jesus as Buddhists view him is dramatically different than the Jesus that Christians believe in.

Summary of Key Differences

In summary, the areas of greatest substantive contrast between conservative Buddhists and Christians are:

If all that is important is ethics, where both religions emphasize altruism, then one can simultaneously be both a Buddhist and a Christian. However, each of the above differences can be sources of considerable tension and likely disagreement, making reconciliation quite problematic.

General Sources

In addition to the sources listed below the Similarities in Ethics table, the following general sources were drawn upon heavily in preparing this analysis:

Borg, Marcus J., ed., et al. 1997. Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings. Berkeley: Ulysses Press.

Chambers, Oswald. 1992. My Utmost for His Highest. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Pub. October 5 reading.

Christ versus Buddha. This Rock. Vol. 16, Num. 5, May-June 2005.

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 1997. Living Buddha, Living Christ. New York: Riverhead Books.

Olsen, Carl E., and Anthony E. Clark. 2005. Are Jesus and Buddha Brothers? If so, there’s a serious family feud. This Rock. Vol. 16, Num. 5, May-June 2005.

Smith, Huston. 1958. The Religions of Man. New York: Harper & Row

Valea, Ernest. Are all religions heading toward the same goal? ComparativeReligion.com

Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NKJV) are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)

Wikipedia articles on the topics of Buddhism, Gautama Buddha, Theravada, Mahayana, Nirvana, Enlightenment and Meditation.

Finally, all commentary about Buddhism was reviewed by a Buddhist lama (who shall remain anonymous) for its fairness and accuracy.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Jesus and Buddha

...particular religions - Christianity and Buddhism - were developed in different parts of the world and under different circumstances. But each religion is based upon the teachings and life of a great man. When one compares the life of Buddha with the life of Jesus, one finds that the two share many things in common. This essay compares and contrasts the lives of Buddha and Jesus in two areas where they share similarities: conception and birth. The birth of Jesus was revealed to his mother, Mary, by the angel Gabriel, who prophesized, "The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:32-33). Similarly, Queen Maya, the mother of the Buddha, had a vision in which she was carried by the gods to a sacred place and Buddha entered her womb. Both births were in unusual places, which the mother of the child had to travel to. Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, many miles from his hometown of Nazareth. Mary laid him in a manger. Buddha was born in a grove of sala trees at which his mother stopped while traveling from her home to her native city . Jesus' birth was accompanied by divine signs, such as choirs of angels and a new star. Three wisemen visited Jesus sometime in his infancy, worshipping him and presenting him with luxurious gifts. Siddhartha's birth was announced by the earth and heavens singing his praises. Siddhartha was also visited by a total of one hundred......

Words: 413 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Jesus Versus Buddha

...Jesus and Buddha are founders of two of the largest religions in the world. Both of them desire of making the world better, letting people love together, and giving happiness to all the people in the world. However, Christianity unlike Buddhism is unique in that it strips us of our self-righteousness by exposing our sinful nature, and causes us to see that our only hope is for God to reach down to us in mercy. Buddhism is the belief system of those who follow Buddha, the Enlightened One. It was founded as a form of atheism. It is the world’s fourth largest religion. The founder of Buddhism was Siddhartha Gautama, a prince from northern India near modern Nepal who lived about 563–483 B.C. It is the world’s fourth largest religion; with adherents of 613 million worldwide and one million in the United States. Buddhists regard the United States as a prime mission field, and the number of Buddhists in this country is growing rapidly due to an increase in Asian immigration, endorsement by celebrities such as Tina Turner and Richard Gere, and use in major movies such as Siddhartha, The Little Buddha, and What’s Love Got to Do with It? Buddhism is related to the New Age Movement and may to some extent be driving it. Certainly Buddhist growth is benefiting from the influence of New Age thought on American life. Buddhism is an impersonal religion of self-perfection, the end of which is death, not life. The Buddhist belief system is in the Four Noble Truths, the Noble......

Words: 909 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Jesus and Buddha

...1. Answer questions from page 40: 1, 2, 3, and 4 Are each of the following control names legal of illegal? If a name is illegal, indicate why. txtUserName- this is legal because the order is correct 200lsales- this is illegal because it starts with the number lblUser Age- this is illegal because there is a space between User and Age txtName/Address-this is illegal because there is a (slash) / between Name and Address btnCalcSubtotal- this is legal because the order is correct What type of control does each of the following prefixes usually indicate? Btn-Button lbl- Label txt-TextBox For each of the following controls, make up a legal name that conforms to the standard control name convention described in this chapter. A TextBox control in which the user enters his or her last name- txtLastName A Button control that when clicked calculates an annual interest rate- btnCalcInterRate A Label control used to display the total of an order- lblDispTotalOrder A Button control that clears all the input fields on a form- btnClear The following control names appear in Visual Basic application used in a retail store. Indicate what type of control each is and guess its purpose. txtPriceEach- TextBox indicates each price txtQuantity-TextBox indicates Quantity txtTaxRate-TextBox indicatesTax Rate btnCalcSale-Button Calculates the Sale lblSubTotal- Label indicates Sub Total lblTotal – Label indicates Total 2. Answer the following questions from page 39:...

Words: 1231 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Comparative Religions

...Contrast: Buddhism and Christianity Comparative Religions, HUMN 448 Buddhism and Christianity are both popular religions with many followers, and both have had an impact on the history of the world. While these religions have both subtle and drastic differences, they also have similarities of the same manner. To see these similarities, we will compare and contrast three sets of articles. The first is an examination of the early lives of both the Buddha and Jesus. The second set is a comparison of “The Lost Son” parables, and the third set is a comparison of the Buddha’s last words and the interpretation of Jesus’ death in the book of Acts. These examinations of Buddhism and Christianity will help to show just how similar the two religions are, for all their differences. First, we examine and analyze the early lives of the Buddha and Jesus. For the early life of the Buddha—the beginning of his mission—we turn to a story called “The Four Passing Sights.” For the beginning of Jesus’ mission, we read Mark 1:1-13. The Buddha began life as Siddhartha, son of a king. At his naming ceremony, priests foretold that he would grow to be either 1) a world ruler if he followed his father’s footsteps; or 2) a world teacher if he were exposed to the sight of suffering. And so Siddhartha was kept in the palace, surrounded by servants and finery, and was never exposed to the world outside. He asks his father’s permission to go to a nearby park, and his father allows him after going to......

Words: 2174 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Comparing Ancient Religions

...that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness. Upon his realization of the “pain of illness,” Siddhartha left home. He began to explore dissimilar traditions and religions (Duiker and Spielvogel 46). Daily, he made a practice to search for and explore difference ideas, philosophies, in search of finding the key to human happiness. Through meditation he finally found 'the middle path’ and was enlightened. “By observing the activities of mankind in real life, the Buddha mastered the principles of human behavior. He then taught the two characteristics of the Middle Path” (Buddhism - The Middle Path). What is Christianity? When discussing Christianity and defining what is a “true Christian” or “which definition is correct” there are several different definitions and versions as to describe Christianity. Therefore, for the purpose of this essay, I will focus on the movement of early Christianity. “To many in the very early Christian movement, a Christian was defined as a person who was baptized and proclaimed ‘Jesus is Lord’. Their definition perspective (you are overusing the word “definition.” People did “define” things back then) was ‘true’ to them because it agreed with their understanding of their religious belief at a...

Words: 879 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

The Budda & the Christ

...The Buddha and The Christ During the course of the semester, our class has covered the many religions in the world. Two of the religions are Buddhism and Christianity. In Phillip Novak’s book, The Worlds Wisdom, the founders of these two religions are covered. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as the Buddha, was the creator of Buddhism. On the other hand, Jesus of Nazareth, also known as the Christ, constructed the religion of Christianity. Although the Buddha and the Christ never encountered each other, there are some similarities both religions. However, there are also differences that put the religions in a distant context The origins of the Buddha and the Christ share some similar aspects. The births of the founders are from a virgin mother. For example, the mother of Jesus was Mary, who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit. Also, the mother of Siddhartha was Maya, while before her conception had a dream about an, “elephant enter her body without causing her any pain” (Novak 50). In addition to the virgin mothers, the two had at least one wise man visit them after birth. For example, the Buddha had a great seer named Asita visit the palace. Likewise, the Christ had three wise men visit him at his manger. Supplementary, the pair embarked to the forest where they experienced starvation and pursued salvation. For example, the Buddha withdrew from the palace against his father’s wishes in order to free himself. While in the woods he tested starvation but realized it was......

Words: 526 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Christianinty vs Buddhism

...Essay topic: Compare and contrast the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama as the founder of Buddhism with either the teachings of Jesus as the founder of Christianity or Muhammad as the founder of Islam. Guidelines: In topic 8 we deal with New Religious Movements and the fact that each of the major world religions was once a New Religious Movement. In topic 9 we dealt with the role of the founder in New Religious Movements. Use the material of topics 8, 9, 10 and 11 to present an overview of the teachings of the founder in the two traditions. What are the similarities and differences in the teachings of these two founders? Word Count: 2746 Virtually every major Christian doctrine is denied in Buddhism and vice versa, yet many consider that there are similarities between the two religions. From looking at the founding figure of each, it is clear that these two religions emerged from two vastly different times and each taught opposing values for their followers to abide by. Although there are some values and ideas that the founders both taught as important, the major aspects of the religions differ greatly and suggest that following the other religion will only result in suffering or eternal punishment. By examining the founding figure of each of the religions and how each began, it illustrates the opposing ideas of each religion. The initial similarity of the two religions is that both of the founding figures existed in the flesh and lived among their followers and......

Words: 3128 - Pages: 13

Free Essay

General Religion

...Christians believe that: * Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. * Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. * God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins. * There is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God: God the Father, God the Son, the Holy Spirit * One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection). * The Christian holy book is the Bible, and consists of the Old and New Testaments. * Christian holy days such as Easter and Christmas are important milestones in the Western secular calendar * Priests and Ministers shines the holy light in Churches which give the worshippers hope in the world. Background of the birth and death of Jesus Christ The traditional story of Jesus tells of his birth in a stable in Bethlehem in the Holy Land, to a young virgin called Mary who had become pregnant with the son of God through the action of the Holy Spirit. The story of Jesus' birth is told in the writings of Matthew and Luke in the New Testament of the Bible. His birth is believed by Christians to be the fulfilment of prophecies in the Jewish Old Testament, which claimed that a Messiah would deliver the Jewish people from captivity. Jesus' ministry After the story of his birth, little is known about Jesus until he began his......

Words: 1819 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Jesus and Muhammad Paper

...Jesus & Mohammed Paper Catherine A. Johnson HUM/130 Religions of the World September 21, 2014 Roy Shaff Jesus & Mohammed Paper The two most influential men in religious communities and throughout the nation are Jesus and Muhammad. Many individuals are followers of these men for reasons of their own particular beliefs and rituals. Nations have used their words as the foundation of their countries cultures and laws. During the 1st century Jesus’s teachings to the world’s inhabitants were the root of beliefs. At the beginning of the 7th century, Muhammad’s words are most familiar as teachings were sacred among his followers. Who were these men and what changes did they make to our world; that people today compare them to one another. Today, 1.8 billion Muslims revere Muhammad as one of the great prophets. Whose name is well known in the Arab lands, for the reason of uniting a disparate group of nomad Arabs into a powerful force for their God; six hundred years earlier, a man by the name of Jesus Christ was known as the greatest of all prophets. In just three short years Jesus Christ had changed the world with his presence. Within a few generations after he left earth, the power and might of the Roman Empire was enveloped by the phenomenon of Christianity, and today it is the world’s largest religion with over 2 billion followers. Life of Jesus Christ In an obscure village in the Roman province of Palestine, Jesus Christ was born about 6 B. C. in Bethlehem.......

Words: 1447 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Sacred Texts

...share some major points of difference. Circa 500 BCE, a prince named Siddhartha Gautma sat under a tree discovering peace and Buddhism. The religion in which everyone is socially equivalent. On the other hand, Jesus invented Christianity which revolves around respecting your God, yourself and others. To better understand how Buddhism and Christianity are similar, you should compare the Eightfold Path and the 10 Commandments. Buddhism and Christianity both share similar concepts, such as their God(s) and morals. E.G., Buddhism and Christianity believe in one or several omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Gods. Ergo, they are extremely loyal and respectful to that God or those Gods. In Buddhism, they believe in Buddha and some other Hindu Gods. In Christianity, they believe in Jesus (whom is practically God). Christianity is monotheistic because they only believe in one God, unlike Buddhism whom believes in several Gods. However, both of the Gods that they believe in were once mortals. Buddha was Siddhartha Gautma, until is changed his name to Buddha. Jesus once was mortal and when he died and rose, he was seen as God. People called Jesus the Messiah, which meant savior, which is like how Siddhartha was known as Buddha. Each savior had their own teachings also. Jesus' teachings were known as the Gospels while Buddha's teachings were known as Tripitaka. Correspondingly, the two religions believe in similar books and ways of life. Each religion has a set of codes and......

Words: 626 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Religion in Health and Social Care

... |Christianity |Buddhism | | | | | | | |General Beliefs/ Symbols |There is only one God. |There is not any God: Buddha was a man. | | | |God created the universe. |Abandon of privilege to true nature of life. Monks are | | | |Jesus, the son of God died on the cross to save mankind |expected to live in the most extreme poverty. | | | |from death and sin. |Tradition of personal spiritual development. | | | |They believe in the Trinity-God the father, son and the |The 3 Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha). | | | |Holy Spirit. |The 5 Moral Precepts. | | | |There is life after earthly death and they will join God |The 5 Parts of a Person. | | | ...

Words: 657 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Christianity vs Buddhism

...This paper is a comparison between two very different religions. Specifically Christianity and Buddhism. Coming from opposite sides of the globe these two religions could not be any farther apart in any aspect. I will discuss who Christ is for Christians and who Buddha is for Buddhists. I will also get into the aspects of charity, love, and compassion in both religions and I will be looking at the individual self and how christians see resurrection where the buddhists feel about the afterlife. One thing to keep in mind is that the two religions are very different but they seem to have a very similar underlying pattern. Both believe that there was a savior of their people, Buddha and Christ, and both believe that there is something good that happens to us when our time is done here on earth. This is a very generalized summarization but in order to go in to depth I need to explain the two religions more to fully convey this theory.  The Christian religion, like all other religions has its strengths and weaknesses in our modern society. Perhaps the strengths out weight the weaknesses as this is one of the largest religions in the world. Hundreds of people follow the Catholic/Christian religion yet still a greater number follow yet other religions. Perhaps this is because they see the weaknesses or perhaps it is simply because their parents have taught them that it is a sin to follow this religion. The Christian religions do however present much more of an appealing......

Words: 2080 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Religon

...This paper is a comparison between two very different religions. Specifically Christianity and Buddhism. Coming from opposite sides of the globe these two religions could not be any farther apart in any aspect. I will discuss who Christ is for Christians and who Buddha is for Buddhists. I will also get into the aspects of charity, love, and compassion in both religions and I will be looking at the individual self and how Christians see resurrection where the buddhists feel about the afterlife. One thing to keep in mind is that the two religions are very different but they seem to have a very similar underlying pattern. Both believe that there was a savior of their people, Buddha and Christ, and both believe that there is something good that happens to us when our time is done here on earth. This is a very generalized summarization but in order to go in to depth I need to explain the two religions more to fully convey this theory. The Christian religion, like all other religions has its strengths and weaknesses in our modern society. Perhaps the strengths out weight the weaknesses as this is one of the largest religions in the world. Hundreds of people follow the Catholic/Christian religion yet still a greater number follow yet other religions. Perhaps this is because they see the weaknesses or perhaps it is simply because their parents have taught them that it is a sin to follow this religion. The Christian religions do however present much more of an appealing......

Words: 2077 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Compare And Contrast The Spread Of Christianity And Buddhism

...world. Both religions are offshoots of other religions. Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire after Jesus had died and the Jews wanted a messiah to help them. Buddhism spread through Southeast Asia because during the time of the fall of the Han Dynasty people went to Buddhism as a comfort religion. The two religions have different ways to reach salvation. In both religions, Jesus and Buddha never wrote down their teachings and the spread of their teaching was through their disciples and or missionaries. Christianity is an offshoot of Judaism and Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism. In Christianity, Jesus was born a Jew and lived as a Jew for many years of his life. Jesus followed and worshiped the Jewish law. Just like in Judaism, Jesus emphasized God’s love and teachings of the need of morality, justice, and do good work for others, but because Jesus claimed to be the messiah everything changed. Buddhism is an offshoot of Hinduism...

Words: 625 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Comparative Religion Final Exam

...Comparative Religion Final Exam 3. Compare the ways that Eastern and Western religions deal with the animal world.  To what extent do these practices reflect a respect for life? Western revealed religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, human nature has a set of external checks and balances. Eastern religions, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, more focus on improving the self-cultivation. Human beings should be kings upon the animals’ world in western religions. When God created the real world, God created animals, but all the animals don’t have the intelligence, but the human beings have the intelligence, so God created human, let them control the animals’ world. Because only people worship their God, only people can communicate with the God. People always use the animals to offer up a sacrifice in these three religions. In eastern religions, people are living with all the animals, and all the human beings and animals need to be focus the rule “coming again and again”. In Buddhism, Buddhists pursue nirvana and assert that Elysium is the final destination, so people cannot kill the animals, just because they are all have life, everything which was alive, that cannot be killed, should be respected. In Taoism, Lao Tzu said, “when people was born, they are so kind.” So in these three religions in eastern, people always respect the animals, and make a balance of the nature world. In eastern religions, they believe in saints’ conscientious. But in......

Words: 1016 - Pages: 5