2. The Ancient "GOD-MEN"
Let us now concentrate on the nature of this "pious fraud" to which the Church fathers themselves confessed. The startling and little--known truth is that the authors of the New Testament noted the far--reaching influence of the "god--men" Krishna (ninth century B.C.E.) and Buddha (sixth century B.C.E.), both of whom had millions of loyal followers at the beginning of the common era, and simply reworked these legends to incorporate Jesus.
Krishna and Jesus
John P. Lundy, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:
If we may believe so good an authority as Edward Moor (author of Moor's "Hindu Pantheon" and "Oriental Fragments"), both the name of Crishna, and the general outline of his history, were long anterior to the birth of our Savior, as very certain things, and probably extended to the time of Homer, nearly nine hundred years before Christ, or more than one hundred years before Isaiah lived and prophesied.16
J. B. S. Carwithen, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:
Both the name of Crishna [sic] and the general outline of his story are long anterior to the birth of our Savior; and this we know, not on the presumed antiquity of the Hindoo records alone. Both Arrian and Strabo assert that the god Crishna was anciently worshipped at Mathura, on the river Jumna, where he is worshipped at this day. But the emblems and attributes essential to this deity are also transplanted into the mythology of the west.17
T. W. Doane, Nineteenth Century:
In the Sanskrit Dictionary, compiled more than two thousand years ago, we have the whole story of Crishna, the incarnate deity, born of a virgin, and miraculously escaping in his infancy from Kansa, the reigning monarch of the country.18
Monier Williams, Nineteenth--Century Professor:
...the religious creeds, rites, customs, and habits of thought of the Hindus generally have altered little since the days of Manu [in] 500 B.C.19
George W. Cox, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:
...Practically, the myths of Crishna seems to have been fully developed in the days of Megasthenes [fourth century B.C.], who identifies him with the Greek Hercules.20
1) Both were preceded by a "forerunner" born a short time before them.21
2) Each was born in a city away from home where his father was on tax business.22
3) Krishna was born in a cave.23
Jesus was born in a stable (Luke 2:7). However, Quintus Tertullian (third century), St. Jerome (fourth century), and other Church fathers claimed that Jesus, too, was born in a cave.24
Frederick W. Farrar, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:
That the actual place of Christ's birth was a cave is a very ancient tradition, and this cave used to be shown as the scene of the event even so early as the time of Justin Martyr (A.D. 150).25
4) In infancy, both Krishna and Jesus were sentenced to death by kings who viewed them as pretenders to the throne. Due to this threat:
Krishna's father was warned by a heavenly voice "to fly with the child to Gacool, across the river Jumna.26
Jesus' father was warned in a dream, "...rise and take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt..." (Matthew 2:13).
5) One of these kings then ordered "the massacre in all his states of all the children of the male sex during the night of the birth of Crishna."27
The other, Herod, "...sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem, and in all that region, who were two years old or under..." (Matthew 2:16).
6) One of both Krishna and Jesus' first "miracles" performed as adults was the curing of a leper.28
7) Urged by Krishna to make a request, a man replied: "`Above all things, I desire to have my two dead sons restored to life.' Immediately they were brought to life and came to their father."29
"While [Jesus] was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying: `My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live....' But when the crowd had been put aside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose" (Matthew 9:18, 25).
8) Either a poor cripple or a lame woman came with "a vessel filled with spices, sweet scented oils, sandalwood, saffron, civet, and other perfumes, and made a certain sign on [Krishna's] forehead, casting the rest upon his head."30
"Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him with an alabaster box of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on his head, as he sat at the table" (Matthew 26:6--7).
9) Both washed the feet of their disciples.31
10) Both had a beloved disciple.32
11) Krishna said: "Let him, if seeking G-d by deep abstraction, abandon his possessions and his hopes, betake himself to some secluded spot, and fix his heart and thoughts on G-d alone."33
Jesus said: "But when you pray, go into your room and close the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:6).
12) Krishna said: "I am the light in the sun and the moon, far, far beyond the darkness. I am the brilliancy in flame, the radiance in all that's radiant, and the light of lights."34
Jesus said: "I am the light of the world, he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12).
13) Krishna said: "I am the sustainer of the world, its friend and Lord. I am its way and refuge."35
Jesus said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me" (John 14:6).
14) Krishna said: "I am the Goodness of the good; I am Beginning, Middle, End, Eternal Time, the Birth, the Death of all."36
Jesus said: "Fear not, I am the first, and the last, and the living one; I died, and behold I am alive for evermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades" (Revelations 1:17--18).
15) Both "descended" to hell.37
16) Both "ascended" to heaven before witnesses.38
17) Both are said to have been G-d incarnate:
"Crishna is the very Supreme Brahma, though it be a mystery how the Supreme should assume the form of a man."39>
"Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion; He manifested in the flesh..."(I Timothy 3:16).
18) Before death, Krishna was pierced with an arrow40 and Jesus with a spear (John 19:34).
19) Both were crucified:
John P. Lundy, Nineteenth--Century Reverend:
I object to the crucifix because it is an image, and liable to gross abuse, just as the old Hindoo crucifix was an idol.41
Dr. Thomas Inman, Nineteenth--Century:
Crishna [sic], whose history so closely resembles our Lord's, was also like him in his being crucified.42
20) When Krishna died, it is said that a black circle surrounded the moon, the sun was darkened at noon, the sky rained fire and ashes, and spirits were seen everywhere.43
When Jesus died, the sun was darkened from the sixth to the ninth hour, graves were opened, and saints rose and entered the city (Matthew 27:45, 51--52).
21) Both were "resurrected."44
22) "Krishna will return in the end days as an armed warrior, riding on a winged white horse. He will destroy the wicked then living. The sun and the moon will be darkened, the earth will tremble, and the stars will fall."45
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days [following Jesus' "return"] the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken" (Matthew 24:29).
Buddha and Jesus
T.W.Rhys Davids, Nineteenth-Century Professor:
There is every reason to beleive 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.46
Samuel 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
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
Ernest de Bunsen, Nineteenth Century:
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....49
Max 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.50
Kenneth 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.51
M. 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.52
T. 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.53
1) Both Buddha and Jesus were baptized in the presence of the "spirit" of G-d.54
2) Both went to their temples at the age of twelve, where they are said to have astonished all with their wisdom.55
3) Both supposedly fasted in solitude for a long time: Buddha for forty--seven days and Jesus for forty.56
4) At the conclusion of their fasts, they both wandered to a fig tree.57
5) 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).
6) 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).
7) Buddha answered the "devil": "Get you away from me."60
Jesus responded: "...begone, Satan!" (Matthew 4:10).
8) 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).
9) The multitudes required a sign from both in order that they might believe.62
10) Both strove to establish a kingdom of heaven on earth.63
11) 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).
12) 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).
13) "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).
14) 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).
15) 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
"But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: `Why do you think evil in your hearts?' " (Matthew 9:4).
16) After "healing" a man born blind, Buddha said: "The disease of this man originates in his sinful actions in former times."69
"As [Jesus] passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples said to him: `Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?' " (John 9:1--2).
17) Both were itinerant preachers with a close group of trustees within a larger group of disciples.70
18) Both demanded that their disciples renounce all worldly possessions.71
19) Both sent their disciples on missionary assignments:
"The number of the disciples rapidly increased, and Gautama sent forth his monks on missionary tours hither and thither, bidding them wander everywhere, preaching the doctrine, and teaching men to order their lives with self--restraint, simplicity, and charity."72
"And [Jesus] called to him the twelve [apostles], and began to send them out two by two....So they went out and preached that men should repent" (Mark 6:7, 12).
20) Both had a disciple who "walked" on water:
To convert skeptical villagers, Buddha showed them his disciple walking across a river without sinking.73
"He said: `Come.' So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus, but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out: `Lord, save me!' " (Matthew 14:29--30).
21) "One day Ananda, the disciple of Buddha, after a long walk in the country, meets with Matangi, a woman of the low caste of the Kandalas, near a well, and asks her for some water. She tells him what she is, and that she must not come near him. But he replies: `My sister, I ask not for your caste or your family, I ask only for a draught of water. She afterwards became a disciple of Buddha."74
"There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her: `Give me a drink.' For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him: `How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?' For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans" (John 4:7--9).
22) Each repeated a question three times:
"The Buddha next addressed the bhikkhus and requested them three times to ask him if they had any doubt or question that they wished clarified, but they all remained silent."75
"[Jesus] said to him the third time: `Simon, son of John, do you love me?' Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time: `Do you love me?'..." (John 21:17).
23) Both received similar receptions:
"The people swept the pathway, the gods strewed flowers on the pathway and branches of the coral tree, the men bore branches of all manner of trees, and the Bodhisattva Sumedha spread his garments in the mire, [and] men and gods shouted: `All hail.' "76
"And they brought the colt to Jesus, and threw their garments on it; and he sat on it. And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields" (Mark 11:7--8).
24) Both had an archrival:
"[Buddha's] chief rival was Devadatta, a cousin of the Buddha, who is represented as being jealous of his influence and popularity, and as repeatedly seeking to compass his death."77
"While [Jesus] was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying: `The one I shall kiss is the man; seize him!' And he came up to Jesus at once, and said: `Hail, Master!' And he kissed him" (Matthew 26:47--49).
25) Before his death, Buddha said to his disciple: "Ananda, when I am gone, you must not think there is no Buddha; the discourses I have delivered, and the precepts I have enjoined, must be my successors, or representatives, and be to you as Buddha."78
Before his "ascension," Jesus said to his disciples: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Matthew 28:19--20).
26) When Buddha died: "The coverings of [his] body unrolled themselves, and the lid of his coffin was opened by supernatural powers."79
When Jesus died: "And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the L-rd descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it" (Matthew 28:2).
27) "In the year 217 B.C. Buddhist missionaries were imprisoned for preaching; but an angel, genie or spirit came and opened the prison door, and liberated them."80
"They arrested the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the L-rd opened the prison doors and brought them out" (Acts 5:18--19).
28) Both men's disciples are said to have been miracle workers.81
Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus
1) Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus all claimed to be of royal descent:
"Crishna, in the male line, was of royal descent, being of the Yadava line, the oldest and noblest in India."82
"The ancestry of Gautama Buddha is traced from his father, Sodhodana, through various individuals and races, all of royal dignity, to Maha Sammata, the first monarch of the world...."83
Jesus' genealogy consists mostly of kings (Matthew 1:6--16), and he is traced back to Adam, the first man (Luke 3:38).
2) All are said to have been born of a virgin, and Buddha and Jesus through the holy spirit.84
3) All were declared divine at birth:
Following the Buddhist tradition,85 Matthew records that wise men proclaimed the infant Jesus divine. (Matthew 2:1, 11).
Following the Hindu legend,86 Luke records that shepherds came to the infant Jesus (Luke 2:15).
4) "Celestial bodies" announced all three men's births.87
5) When each was born, "angels" sang in heaven:
For Krishna, they sang: "In the delivery of this favored woman, all nature shall have cause to exult."88
For Buddha, they sang: "Today, Bodhisatwa is born on earth, to give joy and peace to men and Devas [angels], to shed light on the dark places, and to give sight to the blind."89
For Jesus, they sang: "Glory to G-d in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill among men" (Luke 2:14).
6) Upon their births, all were supposedly presented with gifts:
Krishna received sandalwood and perfumes.90
Buddha received gold, frankincense, and myrrh.91
Jesus received costly jewels and precious substances (Matthew 2:11).
7) All were supposedly miracle workers.92
8) All were "transfigured" before witnesses:
For Krishna: "All in an instant, with a thousand suns, blazing with dazzling luster, so beheld he the glories of the universe collected in the one person of the G-d of gods."93
For Buddha and Jesus, this occurred on a mountain:
"A flame of light encircled Buddha's head and shone as the sun or moon."94
"And [Jesus] was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light" (Matthew 17:2).
9) All are said to be part of a trinity.95
10) They all "relieved" others of sins.
Krishna said: "Then be not sorrowful, from all your sins I will deliver you...."96
Buddha said: "Let all the sins that were committed in this world fall on me, that the world may be delivered."97
Of Jesus it was said: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us" (Ephesians 1:7--8).
11) All were acclaimed as the Creator:
Krishna said: "I am the Lord of all created things"98 and "Mankind was created by me of four kinds, distinct in their principles, and in their duties; know me then to be the Creator of mankind, uncreated, and without decay."99
"Buddha, the Angel messiah, was regarded as the divinely chosen and incarnate messenger, the vicar of G-d, and God Himself on earth."100
"[Jesus] is the image of the invisible G-d, the first born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers, all things were created through him and for him" (Colossians 1:15--16).
12) All will "judge" the dead.101
Jesus' titles were:
Christ (Matthew 11:2)
Messiah (John 4:26)
Son of G-d (Mark 1:1)
Only Begotten (John 3:18)
Lord (John 14:5).
The following passages from the New Testament confirm that the Gentiles firmly believed in "god--men" in the beginning of the common era.
Concerning a magician:
They all listened to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, "This man is that power of G-d which is called Great."
When King Herod made a speech:
The people shouted: "The voice of a god, and not of a man!"
And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian: "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!"
Although Paul explained that they were not gods:
With these words they hardly restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.
When the people saw that Paul did not die after being bitten by a viper:
...they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.
Consequently, the authors of the New Testament searched the Hebrew Bible for passages to corroborate their newly formulated "legends" of Jesus and to "prove" that he was the long--awaited Messiah. The doctrine of a god--man messiah born of a virgin, crucified for the sins of others, and then resurrected was completely foreign to Judaism, however, and nowhere even hinted at in the Hebrew Bible. Therefore, these authors took verses out of context, misquoting and mistranslating enough to turn them into "Messianic predictions." They then wrote their "biographies" of Jesus with these "prophecies" before them.
The following illustrates this technique of "pious fraud":
When Krishna was born, his father is said to have fled with him from the king, who sought the infant's life (see page 26, no. 4). The New Testament transferred this legend to Jesus:
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the L-rd appeared to Joseph in a dream and said: "Rise and take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there till I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him. And he rose and took the child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the L-rd had spoken by the prophet: "Out of Egypt have I called My son."
However, when one reads the original Hebrew verse in context, it is clear that this "son" is the Jewish nation (Israel):
When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called My son. The more [the prophets] called them, the more they went from them; they sacrificed to the Baalim, and burned incense to idols.
Not only does the New Testament misquote the Hebrew Bible, it resorts to imaginary quotations. For example:
And [Jesus] went and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled: "He shall be called a Nazarene."
Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying: "And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set, by some of the sons of Israel, and they gave them for the potter's field, as the L-rd directed me."
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me, and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said: `Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.' "
Or do you suppose it is in vain that the Scripture says: "He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us"?