The biblical ‘Lineage Tree’ and its Buddhist parallel

On my publishing website can now be found a scholarly paper by Dr. Michael Lockwood, a philosophy professor in India for over 30 years, entitled:

“Jesse’s ‘Lineage Tree’ and Its Buddhist ‘Branch'”

In this article, Lockwood provides primary source evidence that the story of the biblical figure Jesse’s “sprout” (Isaiah 11:1) has its parallel within Buddhist lore. This study is one of a larger body of work by Lockwood that includes a tome entitled Buddhism’s Relation to Christianity. I have a massive review of that book in draft form that, alas, must wait until the New Year. I consider Lockwood’s book one of the most important in mythicist studies, which is why I composed such an enormous review of it.

Says Lockwood:

Images of scenes from the Hebrew Bible are not too common in Christian Churches. However, those illustrating Jesse’s “Lineage Tree”, because of its connection with Jesus, are the most numerous. It is interesting to note that these images began to appear in Christian art, especially in Europe, around the 11th century CE, the same period when the Buddhist “Lineage Tree” images were also coming into prominence.

In the Basilica of St. Quentin, France, the remarkable carving of the Reclining Jesse with his “Lineage Tree” growing up out of his navel area would immediately make anyone familiar with Indian iconography to think of the images of the Reclining Vishnu “Padmanäbha” with a lotus flower growing up from his navel, providing a seat for the smaller, sitting image of the creator god (Demiurge) Brahmä! Christianity has certainly borrowed from India in the creation of the St. Quentin image! The “navel” theme of Vishnu Padmanäbha can be traced back to literary images in the Rig-Vëda which, long before the prophet Isaiah and the Hebrew Bible, praise the all-encompassing creator-God, Viåvakarma (sometimes identified with Brahmä).

It should also be noted that this foliage ideology can be found in similar detail in the Mesoamerican “World Tree” religious concept, as well as that of other cultures. In this same regard, in the (post-conquest) Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, the maize god is designated, among other epithets, as the “tender green shoot born in heaven,” likewise reminiscent of the biblical messiah as the “shoot of Jesse.”

From the Temple of the Foliated Cross at Palenque, Mexico

© 2014 Freethought Nation, Acharya S, D.M. Murdock & Stellar House Publishing
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