Summary of Similarities and Differences

Jesus

The Buddha

Mother was a virgin

Mother not a virgin

Parents were humble folk

Parents were from the elite class

Had several siblings

Had no siblings

Never married

Married

Had no children

Had one son

Future greatness predicted by a wise man

Future greatness predicted by a wise man

Started teaching at age 28 or 29

Started teaching at 35

Tempted by the Devil

Tempted by the Mara (or negative mental states)

Believed in God

Did not accept the existence of God

Rejected in his hometown

Accepted in his hometown

Used parables in his teachings

Used parables in his teachings

Taught that everyone is born sinful

Taught that everyone is born conditioned by either their good or bad past kamma

Taught that there is one earthly life

Taught rebirth, a succession of earthly lives

Taught that heaven and hell are eternal

Taught that heaven and hell are impermanent

Taught that heaven is a reward and hell a punishment

Taught that heaven and hell are self-created states

Implied that there is an eternal soul

Rejected the idea of an eternal self or soul

Taught that salvation is achieved by faith through God’s grace

Taught that liberation is achieved through insight and wisdom

Taught to communicate with God through prayer

Emphasised meditation and taught numerous meditative techniques

Taught nothing concerning the treatment of animals

Taught that all sentient life is worthy of respect

Condemned wealth and the wealthy

Taught that wealth ethically earned and intelligently used is a blessing

Had a disciple who turned against him

Had a disciple who turned against him

Taught that his Gospel is the only way to salvation

Taught that his Dhamma is the best but not the only way to liberation

Opposed the priestly class and provoked their hostility

Opposed the priestly class but made many followers from it

Attracted numerous disciples

Attracted numerous disciples

Did not establish a monastic order

Founded a monastic order

Taught an ethic based on love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness

Taught an ethic based on love, compassion, kindness and forgiveness

Performed numerous miraculous healings

Nursed the sick and healed them by ordinary means

Taught the imminent destruction of the world by God

Taught that after many eons the world would disintegrate and then re-evolve

Executed at age 30 or 31

Died naturally aged 80