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Can teachings of Jesus and Buddha be combined into book?

Saint Frankenstein

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Premium Member
I'll answer your previous reply to me first, before I proceed to something else.

I might agree with you that the similarities are overplayed, but I acknowledge there are some there. Indeed, I said in my initial post you quoted that they are comparable, but didn't say identical. That was on purpose, because I know there are differences between them.

As for the Gerasene demoniac story. I know it would do no good to point this out to Christians, but most of the miracle stories are not intended to be literal. That becomes painstakingly clear when you know the origins of the miracle narratives. I can think of hardly a single miracle attributed to Jesus not able to be found in older sources- including Greek mythology.

The miracle in question: the Gerasene demoniac exorcism, is clearly from the Odyssey. It is a retelling of the Odysseus and Polyphemus episode, rather humorously- from beginning to end. Jesus gets into a boat and goes to that land. Why is that an important element of the narrative?

We are then told about the discourse Jesus allegedly enters into with the man. It is there we find our clues. Just as Polyphemus asked Odysseus who he was and he replied no man- Jesus asks the demoniac, who replies he is many. A very interesting turn about on the part of the gospel author, who doubtless was familiar with Homer.

The uncleanness that brought the man into his state, again mirrors Homer. Polyphemus ate all kinds of filth, bones, and human flesh we are told by the Greek poet. The Homeric narrative appears exorcistic in nature because Odysseus proceeds to make him vomit out all the filth, through the use of a predictable agent in these kinds of myths: wine.

We are even told that Polyphemus cries out in horror when he learns Odysseus's identity, that he knows who he is- the one foretold to come there and do it to him. "We know who you are. The holy one of God!"

As for the pigs- well is it a stretch to say rather, sheep? We are told Polyphemus kept sheep.

Most of Jesus's miracles can be explained in this way. His feeding of the thousands is Elisha's miracle in Kings, where we are told "there was some leftover, according to the word of the Lord". Likewise, Jesus's healing the woman with a hemorrhage and raising Jarius's daughter is a reworking of Elijah and the widow, whose son he raised.

The miracle aspects of the gospels are doubtful, and like Jefferson and others I question that dimension of them. Not the sayings though. There are good arguments for the sayings belonging to a man named Jesus.


Now to the other issue. @Phantasman is correct to compare Buddhism with Christian gnosticism in the way he did- though I'd question what he means by it to be certain. Buddhism agrees with his brand of gnosticism that nothing belonging to the paradoxical or ultimate: "Buddha-nature", can really be described in human terms fully. The teachings of the Buddha are called rafts. When some of the masters said the Buddha never spoke a word, this is what they mean.
I'm not buying it. Why would the writers of the Gospels pattern their stories after pagan myths, which they reviled? I'm not seeing the paralells in the Odyssey, either. Polyphemus is not possessed and Odysseus is not a demigod. I don't recall his sheep falling off a cliff, either.

Jesus's miracles sometimes being a retellong of miracles in the Hebrew Bible I can understand.
 

Buddha Dharma

Dharma Practitioner
Well you don't have to buy it, and I'll admit, it probably sounds farfetched to many raised in a Christian framework, which I was not. Do you think first century Jews were ignorant of Greek thought and cosmology? We're talking about the time period that produced Philo of Alexandria, who was arguably the most Hellenized Jew to ever live. He admired Platonism so much, he tried to syncretize it with Judaism and turn it into a working system. We also see in Josephus that the Jews were not ignorant of Greek belief. He writes against those Jews that adopted the Greek understanding of Tartarus and made it into Sheol.
 

Unveiled Artist

Veteran Member
Christianity seems to have become polarized. For example Christianity and science seem to be clashing; global warming being the most known example. There doesn't seem to be conflict with Buddhism and science with the dalia lama stating ''If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview''. Buddha and Jesus share similar teachings shown in links below. Could a book be made combining the two teachings with all of money going to good cause like world hunger or increasing amount of clean water? Only moral,and also Christian/Buddhist way for it to be made.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/12/opinion/our-faith-in-science.html
The Parallels of Jesus and Buddha. - Posts from the Path
Buddha-Christ.info: Jesus and Buddha: Numerous Similarities
I have made outline combining the two teachings.

Gold knowledge sutra means teachings from Buddhist scripture,sutt a is Pali version of it.
"Like testing gold , upon being scorched, cut and rubbed,
My word is to be adopted by monastics and scholars Upon analyzing it well, Not out of respect [for me]"
https://trans4mind.com/personal_development/buddhist/doubtAndScepticism.htm
New Testament*1
Gospel of Thomas*2
Link to two translations of it below

Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin Translation) -- The Nag Hammadi Library
The Gospel of Thomas’s 114 Sayings of Jesus - Biblical Archaeology Society/
1*The New Testament generally follows Buddhist principles such as bless and pray for your enemies, overcome evil with good,fruits of spirit like joy, peace,love,etc. However it does reference the old testament;saying Jesus came to fulfill old law. While Old Testament does have some good stuff like constantly saying to treat poor well; it overall doesn't fit Buddhist and Christian principles. Examples in Old Testament include Old Testament laws like death penalty for violating Sabbath. Stories like everyone down to infants being killed after Jericho fell also violate Buddhism. Leaders in Old Testament like Moses and David differ from Buddhism; with 3,000 people killed in the Golden Calf story and David killing women in raids. Also while most of New Testament fits Buddhist and Christian principles by having a loving God; there are some books most notably Revelations that contradicts that. Should all or some of New Testament be included then? Possible compromise is to have passages from New Testament that fit Buddhist principles like fruits of spirit, definition of love in 1 Corinthians, pray for and bless one's enemies,etc included.
2*Found by an Egyptian peasant in 1945. Authenticity of this Gospel has been disputed. Gospel generally reflects Buddhist principles with verse 3 saying Jesus said, "If those who lead you say to you, 'See, the kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

Scientific method sutra ;Sanskrit for Buddhist scripture, Sutta is Pali version of it.
''Come Kalamas. Do not believe something because you hear it frequently; nor because people have always done it that way; nor upon rumour; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon incomplete evidence; nor upon what is obvious; nor upon clever, but wrong reasoning; nor upon something that accords with your pet ideas; nor upon another's impressive ability; nor because your teacher says so. Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are bad; these things are blameable; these things are censured by the wise then do not follow these principles. They will not help you. Abandon them!
But when, Kalamas, you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blameable; these things are praised by the wise; If you follow these teachings, they lead to benefit and happiness. So follow them and practice them.''
https://trans4mind.com/personal_development/buddhist/doubtAndScepticism.htm
4 noble truths
8 fold path
3 essences of life
3 crown jewels/refuge
5 hindrances
5 clinging aggregates
10 fetters

Thoughts on Buddhism Contents
http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/buddhism/beliefs/fournobletruths_1.shtml
Self defense/love sutra
''Even if thieves carve you limb from limb with a double-handed saw, if you make your mind hostile you are not following my teaching.''
''In times of war Give rise in yourself to the mind of compassion,
Helping living beings Abandon the will to fight.''
''Hatred does not ever cease in this world by hating, but by love; this is an eternal truth... Overcome anger by love, overcome evil by good, overcome the miser by giving, overcome the liar by truth."

BBC - Religions - Buddhism: War
http://postsfromthepath.com/sustainable-happiness/the-parallels-of-jesus-and-buddha.html
Golden rule sutra
"Hurt not others with that which pains yourself."
http://www.theharmonyproject.org/buddhism.html
Metta love meditation/prayer
This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness, And who knows the path of peace:Let them be able and upright, Straightforward and gentle in speech.Humble and not conceited, Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful, Not proud and demanding in nature.Let them not do the slightest thing That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety, May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none, The great or the mighty, medium, short or small, The seen and the unseen,Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,May all beings be at ease!
Let none deceive another,Or despise any being in any state. Let none through anger or ill-will Wish harm upon another.Even as a mother protects with her life Her child, her only child,So with a boundless heart Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world Spreading upwards to the skies,And downwards to the depths; Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down Free from drowsiness,One should sustain this recollection.This is said to be the sublime abiding:
By not holding to fixed views,The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision, Being freed from all sense desires,Becomes in unity with all things.

Loving kindness, metta
The Metta Sutra » The Buddha Center/
Acts of service sutra
http://www.hinduwebsite.com/buddhism/service.asp
Right conduct sutra
By developing what habit, what conduct, what actions may man be correctly established in and arrive at the highest goal?
"He should respect his elders and not be envious of them. He should know the right time for seeing his teacher. [1] If a talk on Dhamma has started he should know the value of the opportunity and should listen carefully to the well-spoken words. [2]
"When the time is right let him go to his teacher's presence, unassuming, putting aside stubbornness. Let him keep in mind and practice what he has learned: the meaning and the text of the Teaching, self-control and the other virtues of the Holy Life. [3] Delighting in the Dhamma, devoted to the Dhamma, established in the Dhamma, skilled in investigating the Dhamma, [4] let him not indulge in talk harmful to the practice of Dhamma. Let him be guided by well-spoke Abandoning the uttering of laughter and lamentations; giving up anger, fraud, hypocrisy, longing, conceit, violence, harshness, moral taints and infatuation; let him live without pride, self controlled. Understanding is essential for listening to a well-spoken word. Learning and understanding are essential to meditation, but a man who is hasty and heedless does not increase his wisdom and learning Those who are devoted to the Dhamma made known by the Noble Ones (ariya) are unsurpassed in speech, thought and action. They are established in peace, gentleness and concentration, and have reached the essence of learning and wisdom."
Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
Kimsula sutra
Ignorance sutra
''I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!""Yes, lord," the monks responded.
The Blessed One said, "Monks, ignorance is the leader in the attainment of unskillful qualities, followed by lack of conscience and lack of concern. In a unknowledgeable person, immersed in ignorance, wrong view arises. In one of wrong view, wrong resolve arises. In one of wrong resolve, wrong speech... In one of wrong speech, wrong action... In one of wrong action, wrong livelihood... In one of wrong livelihood, wrong effort... In one of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness... In one of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration arises."Clear knowing is the leader in the attainment of skillful qualities, followed by conscience and concern. In a knowledgeable person, immersed in clear knowing, right view arises. In one of right view, right resolve arises. In one of right resolve, right speech... In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration arises."
Complete Sutra Collection » The Buddha Center/
Avijja sutra
Rest in next post(s)


No. Unless for informational or probably spiritual guidence and theology. Religiously, the key foundation separate the two by a long shot: one god/creater vs many gods/no creator. One god/all powerful vs many gods/various characteristics some shared by humans others do not.

Similar virtues: peace, love, etc different foundations thereby different deeper definitions of those values.
 

Buddha Dharma

Dharma Practitioner
In a sense, I suppose I should be grateful for my agnostic upbringing. It allowed me to question and decide everything for myself concerning the religion of the masses: Christianity. Saying something doesn't theologically compute really has little effect on me. Theology and cultural borrowing are not necessarily connected.
 

Phantasman

Well-Known Member
Well, he certainly did nothing to stop them. He's the one who sent them into the pigs in the first place.
Jesus did as Legion asked.

Lukes version:
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Jesus saw one spirit of man more important than the swine who has no spirit.

I believe the compassion was well guided. One man is much more to God than all of the animals. Of course, there are those who see the complete opposite.
 

Saint Frankenstein

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Premium Member
Jesus did as Legion asked.

Lukes version:
30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
31 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

Jesus saw one spirit of man more important than the swine who has no spirit.

I believe the compassion was well guided. One man is much more to God than all of the animals. Of course, there are those who see the complete opposite.
Hence I was correct about Jesus not really caring about animals or teaching compassion towards them. Your views are a good example. I do find it interesting that Jesus cared what a demon wanted. Strange. He could've just sent them back into the abyss they came from. But he chose to let some animals be tormented instead. Sounds sadistic. Shame on Jesus.

I have seen pro-animal rights Christians argue that story away. I'm not convinced but I hope that they are right. Christians do not have a good track record with animal welfare and that needs to continue to improve.
 
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Lotus Jewel

Student of the Shakyamuni
Christianity seems to have become polarized. For example Christianity and science seem to be clashing; global warming being the most known example. There doesn't seem to be conflict with Buddhism and science with the dalia lama stating ''If science proves some belief of Buddhism wrong, then Buddhism will have to change. In my view, science and Buddhism share a search for the truth and for understanding reality. By learning from science about aspects of reality where its understanding may be more advanced, I believe that Buddhism enriches its own worldview''.
One of the things that makes Orthodox Christianity and Mahayana Buddhism different is that all Buddhist teachings are provisional from the Mahayana perspective.

Buddhist teachings aren't 'sacred dogma'. The teachings can only point an individual who needs them toward Nirvana. The teachings do not capture Nirvana, which is impossible to do in human writing.

This is a little different than how Orthodox Christianity approaches their scriptures. God may be ultimately unknowable to the Orthodox Christian, but they believe that scripture conveys something of God.

As such, Christian teaching is not usually said to be merely provisional. Instead, Christians get into debates about how literally their scriptures ought to be interpreted when considering science, and how far an individual Christian should be willing to accept scientific explanations in light of that.

Christianity and Buddhism are ultimately different in how their teachings are approached, and this is what causes the difference in attitude toward science.
 
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Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
Could a book be made combining the two teachings ..
No. There can be no God or soul in Buddhism, no Son of God or prophets, no heaven or hell, no rebirth or rising again, no end of days or judgment, no Adam or Eve, no serpent or Satan, no Noah or flood. Will Christians like to abandon these?
It is a Christian subterfuge, or a Buddhist subterfuge, a quest for numbers, a wolf in sheeps clothing, making fool of one or the other.
 
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