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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:44 pm 
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Buddhism 101 & Christian Apologists

Some years ago, a Christian apologist took short quotes from my book The Christ Conspiracy, cold-called up a few professional scholars, read these brief excerpts to them, and recorded the experts' opinions. He then published a couple of articles claiming to have debunked my book and the entire thesis that Jesus Christ is a mythical character along the same lines as the Greek and Roman gods such as Hercules and Jupiter. Since then, this handful of quotes from scholars has been used by Christian apologists and others in articles, blogs, videos and radio shows to run down my work.

As I have demonstrated repeatedly since these quotes were first bandied about, my thesis remains intact, and the bulk of my contentions have been verified by other sources. Indeed, the first thing one needs to understand about this debacle is that these detractors who are professing expertise on my work have never actually read it. This point needs to be emphasized, because the apologists are making pretenses as if these particular scholars have read my work and are experts at it. They are not. These professional scholars did not bother to check out where the brief information they were spoonfed came from; they knew nothing about my sources. They simply assumed in a kneejerk reaction that I (my sources) was completely wrong and that I therefore had "no knowledge" of the subject matter I was writing about, which was the essence of their derogatory remarks. One scholarly detractor who has never read my work nevertheless claimed I "need a course in Religion 101." As we shall see, it seems that many such scholars are in reality themselves stuck in Religion 101, not having all the pieces of the puzzle at their disposal.

In a perfect world devoid of a priori assumptions and biases, one would imagine that, upon hearing the brief - and fascinating - excerpts culled from my thousands of pages of work, a curious scholar would want to know exactly where this information came from, rather than immediately dismissing it and unprofessionally making derogatory comments about another's work they have not even read. So it often goes within the ivory halls of academia, apparently - which is one major reason I did not pursue that course to its ultimate expression. If I had gone that route, this information likely would never have made it to the masses in the way it did, with over 100 million exposures to the thesis in the movie "Zeitgeist," as a major example.

As concerns Buddhism in specific, after being read the 18 points regarding Buddha in "The Characters" chapter of Christ Con (109-110), a Chinese professor claimed that most of them were wrong and made derogatory and hostile remarks about my person, having not bothered at all to inquire where this information came from, even though there are 21 footnotes carefully citing all my sources. Nevertheless, from what I can gather of the exchange, she immediately assumed that I had just made them all up, with no basis at all, and she then made an ad hom attack against me personally. Again, this ad hom personal attack has since been used on the internet and in writing to harass me and "disprove" the entire Jesus myth thesis.

"The Characters" - the Achilles Heel?

This entire debacle, from the scholars' remarks to the gleeful use of them to debunk me, serves to illustrate just how threatening is that one chapter in my book entitled, "The Characters." Numerous articles, videos and so on have been dedicated in the past decade since the release of Christ Con to debunking these striking parallels and correspondences between ancient gods and godmen, essentially showing how unoriginal is the Christ myth. The rest of the work, however, goes largely ignored, although I personally have developed upon several of the other aspects of the Jesus myth in my other books and writings.

Nevertheless, the fracas over these parallels reveals that they represent the real Achilles heel, so to speak, of Christian history. Even in ancient times, various important parallels were pointed out by Christian apologists themselves such as Justin Martyr and Tertullian.

In this regard, then, it is important to verify these parallels and not to rely on hostile and unprofessional reactions on the part of scholars or the unfounded contentions by biased Christian apologists. That activity is precisely what I have dedicated the past decade to doing, along with bringing out many other aspects of Christian history, comparative religion, mythology and astrotheology.

As concerns Buddhism in particular, since I wrote The Christ Conspiracy, I have also compiled much more information - it is useful for readers to realize that I provide copious quotes from an abundance of sources - on this subject demonstrating both that "the Buddha" is a patently mythical figure and that his "life" does indeed resemble that of Jesus in many pertinent aspects. A handful of the contentions in Christ Con were not entirely sustainable, although I personally did not originate them but was citing the work of others, many of whom were themselves highly credentialed - much more so, in fact, than numerous of my detractors.

Buddha's Birthdate

For example, the contention that Buddha was born on December 25th - the end of the three-day winter-solstice period - originated not with me but with a biblical scholar named Ernest de Bunsen in The Angel-Messiah of the Buddhists, Essenes and Christians. In my follow-up work to Christ Con, Suns of God, I provide a lengthy quote from de Bunsen (352-354) showing his indepth analysis of this issue, wherein he is very scholarly and scientific, not just "making things up," to demonstrate a possible astronomical basis for his contention of Buddha being born on December 25th. As part of this analysis, de Bunsen remarks, among much else:

Image

(von/de Bunsen, Ernst, The Angel-Messiah of Buddhists, Essenes and Christians, Longmans, Green and Co., London, 1880, p. 23.)

Although current scholarship ignores this debate, claiming that "the Buddha" was truly a historical figure who most definitely had a birth day, which is traditionally celebrated in April or May - based on phases of the moon, revealing its astrotheological connection - one would think that a curious individual, rather than immediately dismissing this contention because of a priori assumptions and biases, might wish to follow up with it, as I have done in Suns of God, revealing some extremely fascinating information. Moreover, as de Bunsen shows, this material is based on ancient texts as well as modern science of the time. Although he was a peer-reviewed scholar of his day, de Bunsen's work in this regard did not make it into the mainstream, for what seems to be in significant part because of a Christian bias that to this day does not want this material to surface. On the contrary, because of such bold research, 19th-centuries scholars such as de Bunsen have likewise been run down and derogated, although many of these scholars' writings on the subject produced some very important results within the field of comparative religion and mythology that have been passed along into the mainstream and become part of the field as taught widely within the halls of academia.

As concerns the birthday of "the Buddha," in Suns of God I dedicate several pages to the issue that reveal the mythical nature of the main characters of Buddhism, with "the Buddha's" birth celebrated at different times of the year in different places and eras. As I state in Suns of God (350-351):

Quote:
To reiterate, Buddha is not an historical personage whose story is concretized but, like Krishna, essentially represents a personification of the sun. Moreover, as we are not dealing with one man but numerous "Buddhas," it is not surprising to find many traditions concerning his birthday or birthdays. Indeed, as was also the case with Krishna, Buddha’s birthday falls on different days in different years and places. In Laos, a festival to commemorate the "birth story" of the Buddha called "Bun Pha Wet" is held on January 29th and other days in different villages. Sakyamuni Buddha’s birthday is celebrated on April 8th in Japan and Korea, and on May 7th in Vietnam. The birthday of "the Buddha" is often observed on May 3rd or May 7th, although the "actual day" is claimed to be May 11th as well. It is also celebrated on May 22nd in various places. In the Mahayana tradition, it was observed on May 10th in the year 2000. In the Theravadic tradition, the date was May 17th, and in the Hinayana tradition, it was the 18th of May. In 2001, Sakyamuni’s birthday fell on April 30th.

In some places and years, May 17th is the birth, enlightenment and death of "the Buddha." Within Japanese Zen Buddhism, Buddha's enlightenment day is celebrated on December 8th, "but the Festival of the Enlightenment is on December 25th." In Chinese Zen, or Ch'an, Buddha's enlightenment day is January 14th. In Tibet, Buddha's birth and enlightenment day is celebrated on June 16th.

In addition to these various celebrations are the birthdays of numerous other Buddhas: For example, February 10th is "Samadhi Light Buddha's Birthday," and September 19th is the "Burning Lamp Buddha of Antiquity's Birthday." The "Medicine Master Buddha's Birthday" is variously October 26th or November 18th. In China, February 2nd is the birthday of Buddha Dipamkara. The Amitabha Buddha of Infinite Light was born on December 12th. As we have seen, "Amitabha" is another name for Abidha, the sun god, which is appropriate for "the god of boundless light."

In Suns of God, I show that the figure depicted as "the Buddha" possesses numerous solar attributes and is likely a sun god or an epithet of the God Sun, so to speak, which I discuss in detail in my book. As we can see, within this mythical Buddhistic tradition appear pertinent solar festivities, such as December 8th being the day of Buddha's enlightenment, with the actual "Festival of Enlightenment" celebrated on December 25th. December 12th as the birthday of the Amitabha Buddha of Infinite Light is appropriate in consideration of the awakening of the sun at this time. As demonstrated in my 2010 Astrotheology Calendar, it is not only December 21st, 22nd or 25th that have been celebrated as the time of the winter solstice and the sun's returning strength but also virtually the whole of December that represents this enlightening time of the year.

Academia Drops the Ball


Without all of this information, a wave-of-the-hand dismissal of this parallel may be understandable if someone were to call you up out of the blue and read one sentence about "Buddha" being born on December 25th - understandable, unless you are a professional scholar, of course. Again, one would think that a curious scientist would want to know where this fascinating information comes from and to do follow-up research on his or her own, rather than simply providing a kneejerk, dismissive and derogatory reaction. Being just such a curious scientist in this fascinating field, I have gone ahead and done this follow-up research, providing much of it in Suns of God as well as my other books.

In the same manner, I have done likewise with other major contentions concerning Buddha and Buddhism in Christ Conspiracy, providing extensive analyses in my follow-up book Suns of God. More on the subject will also be found in my forthcoming book The Christ Myth Anthology, a lengthy excerpt of which can be found as my "Origins of Christianity" ebook online. In reality, in this "Origins" excerpt, I was able to demonstrate many of these same parallels found in Christ Con, using completely different sources, including some of the most modern scholarship in the subject.

A discussion about one of these contentions may be found in the "Origins" thread on this forum, demonstrating the degree of accuracy to which I continually strive. As we can also see from remarks there, my knowledge of Buddhism is hardly stuck in "Religion 101," as some of these scholars themselves seem to be. Indeed, in reviewing the remarks of one critic that I am completely ignorant of the subject of Buddhism, a Buddhist scholar who actually knows my work rejoined that, based on her comments, the critic herself appears to know only about the Chinese and not the Sanskrit and other Indian sources of Buddhist lore. Certainly, she does not know the sources that I have been studying and have included in Suns of God as well as The Christ Myth Anthology. For example, in my recent online article "The 'Historical' Buddha?", excerpted from Suns of God, I bring forth the scholarship of Christian missionary and scholar R. Spence Hardy, who lived in India and Ceylon/Sri Lanka and studied numerous - some 465 - Indian Buddhist texts in their original languages. My more modern sources likewise read Sanskrit, Pali and so on, and reflect the ancient Buddhist tradition of India, where Buddhism originated. Limiting oneself to just Chinese or Japanese Buddhism will not produce the same results and expertise, obviously. Hence, one ignorant of the Indian tradition may find a number of the contentions in my work on Buddhism to be unknown to him or her, causing him or her to have a dismissive reaction. It is just this sort of uninformed reaction we are seeing in these detractor articles, videos, etc., by Christian apologists.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:59 pm 
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Of course, all of this originated from Mike Licona's review of Christ Conspiracy from 2001. And here's what Acharya had to say that review -
Quote:
"First of all, Mike Licona is not a credible individual, as his stated life's mission is to 'prove' that a Jewish man was 'the' God of the cosmos, and was born of a virgin and raised from the dead - a ridiculous premise that is unprovable.

"Secondly, Licona's methodology of 'debunking' my work included making random phone calls to professors, reading them a couple of sentences taken out of context, such that they pronounced my book to be 'ridiculous' and made other disparaging comments about my person, and then hanging up. As an example of this unethical behavior of Licona - during which time he apparently also identified some of these 'ridiculous' sentences as mine when they were not - we received the following response from one of his main 'sources' in his attempts at discrediting me, Professor Edwin Bryant.

When we asked Prof. Bryant about this affair concerning Licona, my work and Bryant's derogatory comments, Bryant responded as follows:

"'I somewhat remember receiving a phone call from someone sometime back requesting my views on Krishna in connection with a book he was critiquing. I had no time or interest to read the book to which he was referring, nor was I criticizing the book itself, as you suggested in a previous email since, not having read it, I had no grounds to do so. As a scholar of the Krishna tradition, I felt duty-bound to answer his questions, which I did, and gave my opinion of the views he represented to me regarding Krishna's supposed crucifixion. There are no traditional sources indicating Krishna or any avatara of Vishnu was crucified. If western authors from (I assume) the colonial period have published claims that there are alternative folk narratives that do represent such a version of events, then the onus is on them to provide specific references to these sources if they are to be taken seriously by scholars.

"'best wishes, Edwin Bryant'


"Obviously, Licona was not as cozy with these scholars as the impression he gives in order to depict himself as an authority. Nor did he give much a disclosure concerning my arguments, which Bryant acknowledges he has never read. Moreover, again, my book "Suns of God" goes into greater detail regarding this issue in particular, much of which data I would think would be fascinating to a "scholar of the Krishna tradition." In specific, I address the assertion concerning the depiction of Krishna as 'crucified' or in cruciform.

"Please also see my rebuttal of Licona vis-a-vis my work -

"'It is obvious that apologist Licona's main tactic in refuting The Christ Conspiracy is to attack my credibility, constantly misrepresenting statements from my book and website in order to make me look absurd. Such is a classic tactic of apologists and other used-religion salesmen attempting to sell their shoddy goods to an unsuspecting public. Apologists are not generally trained to think independently or to refute facts but to assail the credentials and credibility of the individual who does not buy such shoddy goods. In other words, don't bother them with the facts or the science, they will simply retort that your hair is the wrong color or you will be punished by God or some other playground rubbish.'

"In any event, even if a few assertions from my work are shown to be in error, and I admit to being fallible, the general premise - to wit, Jesus Christ is as mythical as Hercules - remains sound and unrefuted."
- Acharya S

Acharya regarding Mike Licona - http://www.truthbeknown.com/licona.htm

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 Post subject: Buddha as Carpenter
PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 10:07 pm 
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Buddha as Carpenter

One of the contentions claimed to be wrong is that Buddha was "the carpenter." I have cited that claim from the work of R. Spence Hardy, a Christian missionary to Sri Lanka extremely well versed in Buddhist lore, having read and translated numerous texts in a variety of languages. Indeed, we discover that Buddha is called a carpenter in a number of Jataka tales or stories about Buddha's previous births.

I tried to link the image directly, but I kept getting an error message. Here's the link:

Buddha as Carpenter

And so on throughout the list, for which I can provide similar snapshots to demonstrate that these contentions did not begin with me but, rather, with other learned individuals.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 11:37 pm 
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Acharya,

Excellent Job! Also we get lost in modern translations. The Greek word for "carpenter" is Tekton and the Buddha (in jaTAKA-from Jata but also wordplay on Pali taccha) was first called carpenter by the word Taccha (Tekton-Taccha), but again we have multiple relevant meanings as taccha is another word for the proper name of the Buddha 'Siddhatha, or he who is bent on the goal.

Before the said of time of Jesus there was not a single religious metaphor in India which Buddhism had not hijacked. The Vedic sun was called 'mitra' or friendly, as is the future Buddha. The pun on sun/son may show it to come from the Scythian, in which we could suspect sun to be from Sans. sunna and sun to be from Zunya, or the great emptiness, a name for the absolute(in space/emptiness). In Buddhism it may also represent the "gone" Buddha as a ridderless white horse (note not just seen in REV, but many other traditions, Buddha's horse was later Odin's, much more in my book, Who was first called "God" Buddhist influence on the Goths ). U>S. presidents are burried with the same ridderless horse (I don't believe they are white), a tradition which is said to come from Gengis Khan but, in art, is first seen in Buddhist Afghanistan and Pakistan around 2000 years ago.


First mention of Jesus' birth was in Egypt, not only home to the Buddhist Therapeutae but also Scythians aided by the good king Darius. These Scythians were of the same sort as the Buddhsit Kanishka and his head propagandist/poet who states many times that the Buddha was born when the sun is born, i.e. when it begins its climb. This Buddhist belief was so popular that traces of it are even seen in a later, but early, recension of the Pali cannon.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:36 pm 
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Small correction, taccha-rita, not taccha, is synonomous with siddatha. Taccha can also mean truth.

It is not surprising to see that Buddhist fables were known in the west around the said of time of Jesus, many examples of such a spread can be shown, such as in the fables of Aesop. There was a similar spread to the far east were there was a Buddhist fable about the Buddha, as a Bodhisattva, who was a fishermen that threw back a good fish. Another example is the story of the Bodhisattva as Mahajanaka who was known as a "son of a widow" who was actually, unknown to him, the son of a great king (similar parable in the Lotus sutra). The previous theme is found paralleld in several ancient traditions but shows its Buddhist origin by being found also with the Moors, or Mors (spread to the Masons) , who were first the Buddhist Mauryas who were like the Tibetans, Chinese, and those of Sri Lanka whose kings invented a blood relation between them and the Buddha. Even today many Mors recieve the title "son of a widow".


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:08 am 
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Thanks, Dan.

By the way, the word "tekton" in modern Greek means...FREEMASON!

How d'ya like them apples?

Some have contended that Aesop was Buddha. Of course, that would presume there was a "historical" Buddha to be Aesop. Certainly someone told the fables, but, as we know, there have been many buddhas, both real and mythical.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:39 am 
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Acharya,

O' yha, tekton=freemason, I knew that :roll:
Just kidding, you're right about many mythical Buddhas and (pre-Siddhartha) men who have taken the title Budha. I believe the compilers of Aesop's fables drew from Greek, Buddhist, and standard Indian fables, some of which the Buddhists (cult around Siddhartha) borrowed.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Michael Lockwood's Buddhism's Relation to Christianity, reviewed by D.M. Murdock/Acharya S

Following are some excerpts from a massive review/study I've done of Dr. Michael Lockwood's book Buddhism's Relation to Christianity, which I will be publishing in its entirety in a Kindle ebook and possibly a small hard-copy edition as well. Needless to say, I've never written such an enormous book review before, but this tome is one of the most important in the entire body of mythicist literature. Both Drs. Lockwood and Christian Lindtner have peer-reviewed my document, providing corrections and additions for accuracy. I have Lockwood's permission to reproduce his work in my review and to make my ebook available on Kindle.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3
Buddhist Parallels in Sculpture 5
What is ‘pre-Christian?’ 5
Tales of the Buddha 5
Miraculous Birth 5
Master and Disciples 6
The Visit of the Sage 6
Temptation by the Evil One 6
Walking on Water 6
Buddhist Parallels in Inscriptions 8
Medical Missionaries 8
Buddha Becomes a Christian Saint 10
The Saints are Gods of Other Cultures 10
Parable Parallels 12
The Lotus Sutra 12
The 500 Brothers 13
Parallel Sayings 14
Firsts Established by Buddhism 15
Buddhist Sexism 15
Were the Therapeuts of Egypt Buddhists? 16
Angels and Saints 17
The Two Thieves 17
Pythagoras and Apollonius of Tyana 17
Indians in the Mediterranean 18
From Alexandria to Sri Lanka 18
Relics and Confession 19
The Calling of Councils 19
Printing of Scriptures 19
Alms-Giving 20
The Historicity of Jesus 21
Jesus Mythicism 21
Buddhist and NT Scholars 22

In the field of Christian-origins studies runs a persistent subcurrent that raises up the subject of comparative religion and mythology. This enduring thread has been part of what is called “mythicism,” the work of the “Mythicist School,” which represents part of what is called the “History of Religions School” as well. The research and scholarship in this subject are substantial, dating back hundreds to thousands of years, depending on the figures or groups being studied.

The discipline of mythicism or mythicist school has produced some interesting and often outstanding scholarship, which was begun centuries ago but which has enjoyed a resurgence in the past couple of decades. In specific, the history of religions school included mythicist scholarship which focused on the origins of Christianity from the perspective that “Jesus Christ” as found in the New Testament ranks as a mythical figure. Now we can add to this important body of scholarship the anthology Buddhism’s Relation to Christianity by Dr. Michael Lockwood, a professor of philosophy for 32 years in India.

Buddhism’s Relation to Christianity is divided into nine sections, providing comparisons between Buddhist and Christian doctrines, traditions and rituals. The book highlights ancient artifacts and texts—primary sources—that provide evidence of parallels between the two religions, including not only the doctrines but also the sayings, deeds and other “biographical” details concerning the religions’ purported founders. Taken together, the evidence provided by Lockwood is very suggestive, if not conclusive, that one of these religions influenced the other, directly or indirectly. As Lockwood (4) remarks, “There are many parallels between Buddhist doctrine and Christian doctrine.”

The nine sections of the book comprise discussions of the following:

1. Examples of scholarship on Buddhist and Christian parallels;
2. Buddhist sculpture paralleling Christian gospel episodes;
3. Buddhist inscriptions with parallels to Christian doctrines;
4. Buddha’s remake as a Christian saint, Josaphat;
5. Buddhist parables with parallels to Christian parables;
6. Parallels between the purported sayings of Buddha and Christ;
7. Priority of Buddhist innovations over similar Christian doctrines;
8. The historicity of Jesus; and
9. Theories vis-à-vis Buddhist, Judaic and Egyptian origins of Christian doctrines and traditions.

The first section of Lockwood’s book lists several works from 1828 to 2009 that explore the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, including studies by Arthur Schopenhauer, Max Müller, Richard Garbe, Zacharias Thundy, Elmar Gruber and Holger Kersten, Christian Lindtner and yours truly. There are many more such works, in English and other languages such as German, a fact not lost on Lockwood, who incorporates important European scholarship at several points...

Tales of the Buddha

Various stories about “the Buddha” date to at least the sixth century BCE, and the sculptures provided by Lockwood represent scenes from his alleged life that are often based on texts dating to early Christian or pre-Christian times. Hence, it is impossible or unlikely for these Buddhist stories to have been copied from Christianity.

For example, the relief from Borobudur of the “Bodhisattva’s first day of school” (Lockwood, 33) dates from the eighth century AD/CE; yet, the text in which this story appears, the Lalitavistara Sutra, dates to the third century AD/CE at the latest.

Miraculous Birth

So-called Christian motifs found in Buddhist sculpture include Buddha’s miraculous conception and birth, through the side of Queen Maia, whom St. Jerome (Adv. Jov. 1.42) explicitly styled a “virgin”:

Quote:
To come to the Gymnosophists of India, the opinion is authoritatively handed down that Budda, the founder of their religion, had his birth through the side of a virgin.

The debate as to whether or not Buddha’s mother was perceived by Buddhists as a “virgin” rages on, but Jerome’s contention—which implies the doctrine’s antiquity—would not be surprising, in consideration of the fact that the virgin-mother motif predates Christianity by millennia, as found in Egypt and in India, appearing several times in the Mahabharata, for example.

Temptation by the Evil One

Yet another “Christian” motif that appears within Buddhism is the temptation of the supernatural savior by the evil being. Discussing the temptation of Buddha by the “demon” Mara, Lockwood (37) remarks:

Quote:
The Gospel of John makes no mention of the temptation of Jesus by the devil. In fact, this gospel rules this episode out as a possibility, as Jesus is said, in this account, to proceed immediately after his baptism, to enlisting five men as his first disciples, and then on to performing miracles and preaching. (The Buddha also had five disciples in the beginning of his preaching the Dharma.)

As we can see, not only are there important differences between the Christian gospels, indicating their fictional nature, but also the correspondences between Buddhism and Christianity are pronounced. In this instance, we read of two such parallel motifs: The temptation and the five initial disciples, both of which must have emanated from Buddhism to Christianity, in such a scenario of transference or “borrowing.”

Walking on Water

Another motif well represented in Buddhist literature and artifacts such as a stone carving from Sanchi (1st cent. BCE) depicts the godman or his disciple(s) walking on water (Lockwood, 40). Both Buddha and Jesus, along with chosen disciples, are portrayed as walking on water, but the Buddhist tale clearly predates the Christian one, by many decades if not centuries.

Obviously, we cannot accept scientifically these supernatural water-walking miracles as historical fact, and the motif’s inclusion in both the Buddhist and Christian narratives serves as a further indication of their fictional nature. Indeed, the miracle of walking on water may be found in other cultures as well, some of them clearly pre-Christian and often symbolizing solar entities or sun gods, as a reflection of the sun’s rays on the water.

Regarding the antiquity of the water-walking motif, Lockwood (40) remarks:

Quote:
In India, accounts of the paranormal ability of walking on water are as old as the ancient epic, Mahabharata—long before the time of the Buddha.

Concerning these various parallels, Lockwood (42) quotes Dr. William N. Brown’s conclusion:

Quote:
…To find this sort of most recondite handling of miraculous material at all in two separate bodies of religious literature should arouse suspicion, but to find it…attached to similar stories seems to me compelling testimony that the two stories are genetically connected.

As Lockwood has shown further in this section, many such aspects from Christianity can likewise be found in Buddhist sculpture.

Buddhist Parallels in Inscriptions

Section Three concerns the inscriptions of famed Indian Buddhist king Ashoka or Aśōka (fl. 262-239 BCE), who sent out Buddhist missionaries to “all parts” of the known world. The traces of the missionaries can be found, evidently, all the way to Great Britain, although the extent of this reach remains a matter of debate.

Lockwood’s anthology includes a survey of Ashokan texts, such as the rock edicts from Erragudi, Andhra Pradesh, in which the emperor clearly states, referring to the “conquest through Dharma” or Buddhist practices:

Quote:
And such a conquest has been achieved by the “Beloved of the Gods” not only here [in his own dominions] but also in the territories bordering [on his dominions], as far away as [at the distance of] six hundred Yojanas, [where] the Yavana king named Antiyoka [is ruling and where], beyond [the kingdom of] the said Antiyoka, four other kings named Tulamaya, Antikeni, Maka and Alikasundara [are also ruling], [and] towards the south, where the Codas and Pandyas [are living], as far as Tamraparni. (Lockwood, 51)

Lockwood (53) notes that “Antiyoka” is Antiochus II (fl. 261-246 BCE), the Greek ruler of the Seleucid Empire, and “Tulamaya” is Ptolemy II Philadelphius (fl. 285-247 BCE), while “Antikeni” is Antigonas Gonatas of Macedonia (fl. 277-239 BCE), “Maka” is Magas of Cyrene (fl. c. 288-258 BCE), and “Alikasundara” is Alexander II of Epirus (fl. 272-255 BCE).

As Lockwood demonstrates by including several other such inscriptions, the same proclamation can be found in multiple places around the relevant area, providing further evidence of Buddhism’s migration into the Near East, Greece, Egypt and Africa during the third century BCE.

Well, there's much, much more, but just enjoy that for now!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:14 am 
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Acharya, I'm confused. This is what I understood from what you wrote:
1. Your review of Lockwood's book will be published on Kindle, and possibly in a hardback limited edition
2. You have arranged to publish Lockwood's book in a Kindle edition because it is so important
Is this correct?

How many pages is your "review"? It'd have to be many, many pages to justify a hardback edition, would it not?


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:37 pm 
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Hi there -

Thanks for the interest and query.

Sorry for the misunderstanding - I have tweaked the language in the last sentence of the first paragraph above for further clarification. To wit, I have not arranged for Lockwood's book to be published on Kindle. I have gotten permission from Lockwood for my review of his book to be published on Kindle. At this time, Lockwood's book is difficult and costly to obtain, published in India and not available on Google Books. Much of it is in the public domain already, so he is happy to have people know what it contains via my ebook. We have discussed re-issuing his book under Stellar House, and that may still occur.

In the meantime, yes, I mentioned that my ebook/review is very lengthy, some 60 8.5x11" pages total, of which I will be releasing the 20+-page section in question here as a PDF in order to raise funds for my work. People are always asking me for hard-copy editions of my work, so I have pondered making a small paperback of the full review.

If it makes it easier to comprehend, one could say I have written a study guide for Lockwood's book that will be available to the public for a small price. This study guide contains my detailed commentary on this important subject of Buddhism's evident relationship to Christianity and probable influence thereupon.

Gnarlyathotep wrote:
Acharya, I'm confused. This is what I understood from what you wrote:
1. Your review of Lockwood's book will be published on Kindle, and possibly in a hardback limited edition
2. You have arranged to publish Lockwood's book in a Kindle edition because it is so important
Is this correct?

How many pages is your "review"? It'd have to be many, many pages to justify a hardback edition, would it not?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:03 am 
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Okay, so my ebook/review/study guide is now available, for a donation that will help me continue my work.

Here is the link:

Buddhism's Relation to Christianity

Here is a related Examiner article:

New research reveals Christianity's Buddhist roots

Here's the new cover image:

Image

Like I say, this is a "smoking gun" in Christian origins. There are several such.

Also note Lockwood is averring that much Egyptian religion was transmitted into Buddhism via the Buddhistic monks at Alexandria, brought back to the Eastern regions. We cannot rule out India, however, for some of these very old traditions dating back even further, perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago, if not earlier.

World's oldest religion honors Mother Goddess and nature

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 1:11 am 
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One query...

Would it not be more appropriate if the title was 'Christianity's Relation to Buddhism' since Buddhism obviously predates Christianity at least as an organised religion?


Acharya wrote:
Okay, so my ebook/review/study guide is now available, for a donation that will help me continue my work.

Here is the link:

Buddhism's Relation to Christianity

Here is a related Examiner article:

New research reveals Christianity's Buddhist roots

Here's the new cover image:

Image

Like I say, this is a "smoking gun" in Christian origins. There are several such.

Also note Lockwood is averring that much Egyptian religion was transmitted into Buddhism via the Buddhistic monks at Alexandria, brought back to the Eastern regions. We cannot rule out India, however, for some of these very old traditions dating back even further, perhaps as early as 10,000 years ago, if not earlier.

World's oldest religion honors Mother Goddess and nature

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Janani Janmabhoomishcha Swargadapi Gareeyasi - Being near to your mother in your motherland is better than being in paradise

Ekavarnam yatha dugdham binnavarnasu dhenushu | tataiva dharmavaichitryam tatvam ekam param smritam ||
Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:04 am 
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I'm afraid I'm not getting the subtlety. You are related to your mother, and your mother is related to you. There's no temporal precedent there, at least not in English. Christianity is related to Buddhism, and Buddhism is related to Christianity.

In any event, be sure also to see my blog post here:

Buddhism's Relation to Christianity

I've included the following information in the ebook:

Quote:
Page 15:

In this regard, there does indeed exist evidence that Jews were influenced by Indian religion. In Against Apion (1.22/1.179), Jewish historian Josephus (37-c. 100 AD/CE) recounts the words of Clearchus of Soli (fl. 320 BCE), who told the story of his master Aristotle's conversation with a Jewish man from "Celesyria" or Syria. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) supposedly stated that the man told him these Syrian Jews "are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are named by the Indians Calami, and by the Syrians Judaei, and took their name from the country they inhabit, which is called Judea..."

Hence, at least three and a half centuries before the common era there were purportedly Indian “Jews” in Syria, whose institutions and communities may have welcomed readily the missionaries from Ashoka a few decades later.

Page 16:

• Testimony in Josephus that the Jews were descendants of Indian philosophers.

I also include the original Greek of Josephus for this important contention.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:19 am 
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Oh Sure, If X is relation of Y then Y is also related to X. But I am presuming that the word 'Relation' is used here to emphasize the similarities between X and Y. But nevertheless it is an interesting thing. As you rightly say, I could be speaking an English which is essentially a grammatically correct translation of an Indian language spoken in my mind first, but which may not really convey the same meaning as it does in our language. To take your own example, normally in Indian languages, we will not say that my mother takes after me or that my mother's features resemble that of mine but the other way round.

Languages ! :roll:

Acharya wrote:
I'm afraid I'm not getting the subtlety. You are related to your mother, and your mother is related to you. There's no temporal precedent there, at least not in English. Christianity is related to Buddhism, and Buddhism is related to Christianity.

In any event, be sure also to see my blog post here:

Buddhism's Relation to Christianity

I've included the following information in the ebook:

Quote:
Page 15:

In this regard, there does indeed exist evidence that Jews were influenced by Indian religion. In Against Apion (1.22/1.179), Jewish historian Josephus (37-c. 100 AD/CE) recounts the words of Clearchus of Soli (fl. 320 BCE), who told the story of his master Aristotle's conversation with a Jewish man from "Celesyria" or Syria. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) supposedly stated that the man told him these Syrian Jews "are derived from the Indian philosophers; they are named by the Indians Calami, and by the Syrians Judaei, and took their name from the country they inhabit, which is called Judea..."

Hence, at least three and a half centuries before the common era there were purportedly Indian “Jews” in Syria, whose institutions and communities may have welcomed readily the missionaries from Ashoka a few decades later.

Page 16:

• Testimony in Josephus that the Jews were descendants of Indian philosophers.

I also include the original Greek of Josephus for this important contention.

_________________
Janani Janmabhoomishcha Swargadapi Gareeyasi - Being near to your mother in your motherland is better than being in paradise

Ekavarnam yatha dugdham binnavarnasu dhenushu | tataiva dharmavaichitryam tatvam ekam param smritam ||
Just as milk is of only one colour though obtained from cows of different colours so also the peculiarities of different religious thoughts lead to the same one ultimate truth - Mahabharatha


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:50 pm 
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Quote:
To take your own example, normally in Indian languages, we will not say that my mother takes after me or that my mother's features resemble that of mine but the other way round.

Yes, it's the same in English: "Takes after" implies the object precedes the subject, as the word "after" clearly indicates. But that's a different connotation than just the plain word "relation," which does not denote precedent. One could, however, say that a mother "resembles" her child, as that word too does not connote precedent necessarily. "To resemble" simply means "to be like or similar to." One can say, "My mother and I resemble each other," but not "My mother and I take after each other." (Unless, of course, you and your mother are solar entities who are cyclical. :shock:)

In this case, the word "Buddhism" comes first because the book is providing Buddhist evidence, such as texts, inscriptions and sculpture. If it were presenting Christian evidence, it would be more appropriate to put "Christianity" first.

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