The main difference between Jesus and Buddha is pretty clear from the get-go:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh. He is fully human and fully God at the same time. His appearance on this earth was foretold with hundreds of Old Testament prophecies, 300 of which were fulfilled by his birth, life, death and resurrection in 1st century Israel.
Siddhartha Gautama, or Buddha, was a mere mortal man who abandoned his wife and son to pursue enlightenment. His ashes are regarded as religious relics and have been distributed across dozens of tombs throughout Asia.
Here are some more details on Jesus vs Buddha:
Jesus Christ has had the biggest impact on planet earth of any figure in the history of mankind. His tomb -in Jerusalem- is empty.
He performed many miracles, backing up his Many Blatant Claims to be God, and he confounded his adversaries with the wisest words ever said.
Buddha remains highly revered and loved by his followers as a paragon of wisdom. But he never claimed to be God. In fact, Buddha claimed there is no God.
Jesus was -and still is- worshipped as God by billions, beginning with his own disciples.
Almost all of his closest disciples chose horrible early deaths rather than comply with the authorities who demanded they remain silent about that which they had seen with their own eyes.
His biggest adversaries were the Pharisees, who tried to trap him by asking him wise questions. He turned the tables on them every time and made them fall into their own traps.
And what did they see? A man who claimed to be God and backed it up with evidence. He raised the dead -on multiple occasions. He himself died and rose again after foretelling his own death and resurrection.
There were many eyewitnesses who saw him die on the cross and then saw him alive again. Over 500 saw him at one time in the flesh after his resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
And Buddha? He’s still dead. No miracles. No prophecies. No resurrection.
But -for Buddha- it goes from bad to worse:
If there’s no God, where did a fine-tuned, life-supporting universe come from? You won’t get the answer from Buddha. That’s for sure.
To put it simply, Jesus is God, while Buddha was just another sinful human being.
However, Jesus and Gautama Buddha are often compared because they are regarded as the major proponents of Christianity and Buddhism, respectively.
There might be a few similarities between Jesus and Gautama [Siddhartha] Buddha.
But the truth is there couldn’t be two more different people.
Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of the Father. He is the creative member of the Trinity who made the heavens and the earth. (Col 1:16)
He became incarnate being born of the Virgin Mary, died, rose again and ascended into heaven in the presence of eyewitnesses (2 Peter 1:16).
Buddha, on the other hand, was a spoiled man who lived in luxury and abundance as a member of a royal family before opting for an ascetic life.
He was just a man who was lost without knowing God, which pushed him to look for enlightenment.
Did he find it? When you examine his life… Not really.
Did Buddha achieve nirvana? Some people say so. But how would you know? If Atheism is really true, there would be no meaning, no purpose, no good, no evil. So why even try to achieve nirvana?
Let’s put it another way. As perhaps the most famous atheist of our time said:
But here’s a problem for both Buddha and Dawkins. Ever since Isaac Newton derived his Laws, we know we live in a cause-and-effect universe.
So every effect has a cause. And since then we have scientific confirmation that the Universe had a beginning.
Space, time, energy and matter all came into existence at the same time. This means that whatever [or whoever] caused them is outside of space, time, energy and matter.
There is another problem for both Buddha and Dawkins. Morality.
Buddha was concerned about the evils he saw -same as Dawkins. While claiming in the same quote (above) that evil does not exist, Dawkins contradicts himself by complaining about the suffering of animals and humans alike and how there is no justice.
Buddha -once he got outside the walls of the palace he was born in -was deeply moved by the sight of people suffering -as we should all be.
But for both of them, there’s another predicament.
If there is no God, there is no morality. You see, in order to assume evil exists, you must assume good exists because evil cannot exist without good.
But in order to tell the difference, you must assume a moral law. This leads to the existence of a moral lawgiver, since laws can only come from a lawgiver.
If there is no moral lawgiver, there can be no moral law. So this is just one way the atheism of both Buddha and Dawkins totally self-destructs.
We all know the true moral lawgiver. He’s the one true God. The God of the Bible. Atheists have to steal morality from God to make their point. Take a look at this great book by Frank Turek Stealing from God. [paid Amazon link]
If we need enlightenment the best place to start is with a personal relationship with the Lord.
People falsely try to compare our Lord and Savior to a mortal named named Siddhartha Guatama (Buddha). Others claim Buddha’s teachings somehow influenced the Bible since Buddha was born before Jesus.
But remember there were already hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament already written before Buddha. And Jesus Christ has always existed as the eternal Son of the Father in the Holy Trinity.
Here’s an amazing laminated booklet called 100 Prophecies [paid Amazon link] that I use for witnessing and evangelism. It lists 100 prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus Christ.
But hey, what did Jesus say about Buddha?
Jesus didn’t specifically mention Buddha who was born about 630 years before the Messiah in 632 BC. (It’s quite interesting to note that Muhammad died almost exactly 600 years after the resurrection of Christ in AD 630.)
However, Christ did say quite a few things about false teachers and false messiahs:
Read more below to find out about the massive differences between Jesus and Buddha!
Are Buddha and Jesus the Same?
Jesus and Buddha are not the same in any way, nor do they have much in common.
Their lives were different, their teachings were different and above all – one is God in the flesh (Jesus) and the other was a mere man (Buddha).
Or in short, Jesus and Buddha are very, very different.
Here’s a list of some of the main differences between them:
|Born in a manger to poor parents (his human father was a carpenter).||Born in a wealthy family (his father was a ruler and his mother a princess).|
|Never knew a woman nor was married.||Married a princess when he was 16.|
|Never committed a single sin during His entire earthly ministry.||Left his wife and son to become a wandering ascetic.|
|Told his followers to go and make disciples of all nations and that He will be with them always, to the end of the age.|
Told his followers prior to dying to follow no leader.
|Was conceived by the Holy Ghost, being fully human and fully God at the same time.||Was born as a mere man and died as such.|
|Claimed to be God.||Claimed that there is no God.|
|Taught that no man could know the Father except through him.||Taught that fulfilment comes through emptiness.|
Siddhartha Guatama was simply a guy who wanted to reach enlightenment. He tried meditation and fasting and emptying himself of all desires.
He was trying to fill the inner void of living by performing rather than acknowledging the Living God.
Buddha believed we can all be gods if we reach a certain level of enlightenment. So he believed we can achieve godhood by our works. Yet at the same time he claimed there is no God.
But Jesus Christ was sent by God the Father because “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and we cannot save ourselves. The only way to heaven is by repenting from our sinfulness and believing in the work Jesus Christ performed on the cross by dying for our sins in our place.
And as Jesus also said “I and the Father are One.”
Don’t forget this warning of Peter:
We’re in a spiritual battle and we need to be as wise as serpents yet as gentle as doves.
While the teachings of Buddha display profound ignorance of heavenly realities, the people who teach them might not have learned the many ways the Bible has withstood the test of time.
So many sincere people were unaware of the truth, but once they learned it, they received it with joy!
That’s why we need to pray without ceasing and put on the full armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:13 ESV)
Now let’s look at the huge differences in the teachings of Jesus and Buddha.
How Would You Compare the Teachings of Buddha and Jesus Christ?
Although for Jesus and Buddha there might be some similarities, there are truly massive differences between them.
And it’s not just about who they are (were in the case of Siddhartha Guatama). There’s a striking difference in their teachings as well.
Here are some of the main quotes from Siddhartha Guatama and how they stack up against the words of Christ as recorded in the four Gospels:
|“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”||“I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 ESV)|
It’s pretty clear here that Buddha and Jesus Christ have two very different views.
It’s a logical possibility for them to both be wrong, since these two statements are diametrically opposite. But it’s logically impossible for them to both be right.
So which one should you believe? Well, I’m going with the one who rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
And I’m going with the Bible -which has been proven right so many times that it has been compared to an anvil that has worn out many hammers.
Believing in the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. Don’t be deceived by false teachers who say otherwise.
|“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”||“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)|
You know what they say “live for the moment”, “you only live once” etc.
It’s all about the now and the present moment… who cares about eternity, right? Wrong!
This life and our sinful bodies have an expiration date and the present moment will only last so long.
Only Christ can quench our eternal thirst by giving us eternal life if we believe in Him.
And no, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t to enjoy your life (in a God-pleasing way).
But what this life has to offer is only temporary and you will always thirst for more as you’re only feeding the flesh, but you’re not edifying your spirit.
|“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”||“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)|
Siddhartha Guatama says that you deserve your own love and affection.
Hmmm, but what does Christ i.e. God in the flesh say?
The first and greatest commandment that we have to is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind.
We’re also commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.
The current worldwide trend of loving our own selves and all the obsession with “me, me, me” is very Buddhist-like.
Guess what it also is? Disobedience to the Most High God.
This isn’t implying that we should degrade ourselves. It means that our number one priority should be to love God.
We also have to love our neighbors as ourselves. Implicit in this command is that we should treat ourselves well in the first place. Otherwise how can you treat your neighbor well without also treating yourself well?
Who is First? Buddha or Jesus Christ?
Since Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, one-third of the Holy Trinity, He is first.
Jesus is God, He is the One Who created everything in existence:
“He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:2-3 ESV)
Christ is the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13 ESV). So if Jesus created all things as the Bible said -and if he is God just as he claimed…
You see, Jesus isn’t just a man, like this fellow Siddhartha Gautama later known as Buddha.
He is the eternal Son of God, Yeshua Hamashiach, the Lion of Judah.
So if He created everything and nothing was made without Him… this means that Jesus also created Siddhartha Gautama.
Yes, Buddha was born 600 years before Jesus Christ, but Christ has always been God, so he was never created.
Just think about it for a second. Somebody who never had a beginning never needed to be created.
Or let’s put it this way; Since Jesus Christ always existed, he never needed to be created.
And you’re probably wondering why God created someone who would go on to pave the way for a false religion like Buddhism? Just remember that people ask the same question about Lucifer.
Only God knows because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 ESV).
[Note that God did not create Satan. He created Lucifer. Lucifer (angel of light) became Satan (adversary) by his own rebellion.]
Just remember that everything happens according to the perfect plan and will of the Living God and the believer has the full assurance that everything will be made right and one day He will wipe away every tear.
Next time someone asks you “But who came first, Buddha or Jesus?” – use this answer to show them the truth.
Can you believe in Buddha and Jesus?
You can’t believe in both Jesus and Buddha at the same time. They are diametrically opposite.
Jesus has laid out the answer to this perfectly:
You either believe in the Lord Jesus Christ or you don’t. There’s no middle ground or in-between.
You’re either hot or cold for God.
And since Buddha was only a man, believing in him is completely pointless.
The Only Living God is a jealous God and as previously mentioned, we’re commanded to love Him with all our heart, mind and soul. And since the evidence of his Lordship is so abundant, it’s easy to do!
Clearly, Jesus and Buddha are incredibly different.
Their way of life, teachings and everything in-between is totally opposite.
But above all, the primary difference between the two is the fact that Jesus is God in the flesh, while Buddha was a mere man.
Thus, Buddha is not worthy of praise as only Jesus (God) is.
This person was just someone who happens to be the forefather of the popular false religion known as Buddhism.
However, all of this is to be expected as we wage a spiritual battle.
Remember that we’re not fighting flesh and blood, but we’re battling the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12 ESV).
Give all glory to the Lord, always and don’t worship man or false teachings.
Because we know that all things work together for good, for those who are called according to God’s purpose (Romans 8:28 ESV).