Every few years or so, a new article pops up around a BBC documentary claiming that Jesus was a Buddhist monk, and it’s starting to make the rounds again on social media.

I think it’s time I address the question.

Did you know, that you can download this article as PDF for free? If you gotta go, or would rather read it later, you can! It’s a great reference too!

Was Jesus A Buddhist Monk?

After watching the documentary, I have to admit that yes, it is intriguing, and a great exercise in thought. The BBC put in a lot of work to use similarities between what Jesus believed and what Buddhists believe, and even a bit of history between them to tie the narrative together, but it’s total nonsense.

People say it’s controversial, but it’s really not.

It’s only controversial to people who don’t know the truth of what they believe.

If we compare, Jesus vs Buddhism, the similarities, (for example, forgiveness), are all superficial at best.

When we get down to the meat of it, the fundamentals, what Jesus believed and what Buddhism teaches are incompatible.

In fact, Buddhism would have rejected Jesus, and Jesus rejected Buddhism on their core beliefs alone.

Here’s what I mean.

Jesus called himself God, (as part of the Triune God), that saves, but Buddhism is largely non-theistic in that no deity can “save” a person.

Buddhism also rejects the notion of a Creator that provides value for the world.

This means that Buddhism would have to categorically reject Jesus from even starting the path to becoming a monk, because not only did He identify Himself as God, but He identified as the Son of the Godhead who is the Creator and moral lawgiver for all of creation.

And just as Buddhism would have had to reject Jesus, Jesus would have rejected Buddhism.

Buddhism, while it is non-theistic in the saving role of God, it is a polytheistic faith.

On top of that, Buddhists believe that there is more than one path to enlightenment, which is actually an internal fight in Buddhism, because there are many forms of practice and they all disagree which one leads to Nirvana.

Jesus would have rejected Buddhism because polytheism is idolatry and if God brought judgement on His own people for that, why would He embrace it and become a monk of a belief system that makes Him to be a liar?

Answer. He wouldn’t.

Jesus would have also rejected Buddhism because He made it clear that there is only ONE way to salvation, and that was Him.

There are many biblical sources, but all of those points can be summed up in these verses.

John 14:6-7 – Jesus answered him, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him”.

[This is actually one of the biggest differences between Christians and Buddhists.

They can’t make up their minds on how to reach Nirvana, but Christians, for our many disagreements all believe that there is only one way – Jesus.

We have freedom to work out our own salvation, but all roads lead to Jesus.]

Continuing on, Buddhism teaches enlightenment and reincarnation, which is fundamentally different from what Jesus believed and preached – salvation and redemption.

Even the destinations of heaven and Nirvana are different.

Nirvana is a state of desireless-ness, and heaven is a place; a destination where a person reaches their most fundamental desire, eternity with Jesus.

The fundamental beliefs of Jesus and Buddhism are consistently opposed to each other.

The very essence and nature of Jesus Christ and His claims can be summed up with three verses.

John 3: 16-18 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”.

The book of John is only one of many examples that highlights why Jesus could not be, and ultimately would not become a Buddhist monk.

We cannot just look at superficial similarities.

Finally, I’ll add this.

All religions are superficially similar, but fundamentally different.

When it comes to matters like creation, sin, heaven and hell, God, salvation, origin, and the very nature of human beings, (to name a few), we begin to see where things like the documentary is only relied on the superficial and completely ignored the fundamental.

People have been trying to discredit Jesus for thousands of years. Fake bibles, fake interpretations, fake accounts, fake teachers, fake doctrines, and more… They all failed.

The documentary is a modern version of the same old attempt at deception, and I wholly reject it as such.

It’s a lie. A well-crafted, thought-provoking and interesting lie.

Do not be deceived.

Did you know, that you can download this article as PDF for free? If you gotta go, or would rather read it later, you can! It’s a great reference too!

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