Jesus and Buddha were both very influential people in the history of humanity. They both have many followers today and both claimed to have the truth. So what are the differences between Jesus and Buddha?
First, let’s look at who these people are.
Who is Jesus?
Jesus is believed to be the Savior, the Messiah of mankind. He is believed to be part of the Godhead Trinity, equal with the Father and Holy Spirit.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in present-day Palestine. He was a Galilean Jewish Rabbi who performed many, many miracles and healings throughout His ministry.
Christians believe that he was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament and that he was the son of God born as a man.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God himself, sent by God to free humanity from sin and its effects by sacrificing his own life. the Bible records that He was miraculously conceived through the Holy Spirit and born to a virgin girl.
His earthly father was a man named Joseph, who was engaged to Mary at the time Jesus was supernaturally conceived.
Jesus’s life, ministry, and teachings are contained in the Bible, the holy book of the Christians.
Jesus ascended to heaven after crucifixion, briefly returning to reveal Himself to over 500 believers. The Bible states that there will be a second coming of Jesus where He will rule and reign on the earth before creating a new heaven and new earth.
Who Was Buddha?
Buddha is the name or the title given to Siddhartha Gautama, a Hindu Prince who claims to have achieved enlightenment. He founded a religion called Buddhism.
Siddhartha was born in present-day Nepal roughly 500 years before Jesus Christ.
Siddhartha’s father gave him all the wealth and material things that money could bring. He was married to princess Yashodhara at an early age and had a son named Rahul.
Eventually, Siddhartha realized that material wealth was not the ultimate goal of his life and decided to lead the life of an ascetic.
Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) insisted that he was merely human. He believed that there is no almighty, benevolent God. He preached that desire was the root cause of suffering and that people should seek to eliminate desire.
Apparently, Siddhartha Gautama abandoned his wife and son to pursue enlightenment, even renouncing them publicly.
5 Differences Between Jesus and Buddha
1. Jesus Claimed to Be God; Buddha Claimed There Was No God
This is a major difference. Jesus claimed to be the very Son of God, one with God Himself (John 10:30).
Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, 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 have already bee fulfilled by his birth, life, death and resurrectionl.
Buddha remains highly revered and loved by his followers as a model of wisdom. But he never claimed to be God. In fact, Buddha claimed there is no God.
2. Jesus Was Born to Common Parents; Buddha Was Born in a Wealthy Family
Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary, from the line of David. Buddha was born in Nepal to King Suddhodana and Queen Maya. Buddha’s parents were royal and wealthy. Jesus’s earthly parents were young and common.
3. Jesus Never Sinned; Buddha Left His Wife and Son
The Bible states that Jesus was completely sinless, not only because he never sinned in his thoughts or actions, but because he was not conceived in sin.
His blood was the very blood of God, which is sinless. The blood of humanity has been contaminated with sin ever since Adam sinned in the garden (Romans 5:12).
Because Jesus was born of a virgin, the sinful blood of humanity was not passed on to him. The blood of a baby is only from the father, not the mother.
Buddha’s life was full of sin. He even abandoned and rejected His very own wife and son on his path to enlightenment. He never claimed to be sinless.
4. Jesus is Believed to be the Son of God; Buddha is Not Seen as a God
A major belief of Christianity is that Jesus is the very Son of God. In fact, according to the Bible, one must believe this to receive salvation.
Buddha’s followers do not consider him to be a god of any sort, of a human who was enlightened.
Buddhism teaches that Siddhartha Gautama was the enlightened one and that he obtained enlightenment through meditation, without any one else’s teachings.
Buddha’s teachings are meant to be the path to enlighten his followers, therefore some of his followers see him as higher than a god.
5. Jesus Said He is the Savior; Buddha Said We Save Ourselves
A fundamental teaching of Jesus was that He is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus said that no one could access the Father except through Him (John 14:6).
The Bible states that salvation cannot be found in any other way other than the Name of Jesus (Acts 4:12).
Buddha taught that humanity could achieve enlightenment by their own works. Jesus’s teaching is vehemently opposed to this idea. Jesus taught that the only way to obtain salvation is by believing in His work on the cross as a gift.
Buddha encouraged his followers to follow his teachings in order to find enlightenment. He did not believe in an omnipotent God or Creator.
6. Jesus Was Born of a Virgin; Buddha Had a Natural Conception
The Bible prophecies in the Old Testament and records in the New Testament that Jesus was born of a virgin. Joseph and Mary had not come together sexually before the time of Jesus’s conception.
The Bible records that an angel came to Mary and declared to her that the Holy Spirit would overshadow her and she would become pregnant supernaturally (Luke 1:35).
How Did Buddha and Jesus’s Life End?
Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead three days later. Christianity believes that Jesus is alive today, at the right hand of God (Ephesians 1:20).
Siddhartha Gautama is believed to have died by unintentional food poisoning or natural causes. His ashes are regarded as religious relics and have been distributed across dozens of tombs throughout Asia.