World Religions: The Buddha and the Christ

Ken Samples is producing a series of posts on world religions as he writes a new book on the topic. This post compares Buddha to Christ. Read to the end to find links to related posts comparing other founders of world religions to Jesus Christ.


Among the world’s great religious leaders, only two had such a profound impact that contemporaries inquired as to the very nature of their being.1 People wondered whether Siddhartha Gautama (the Buddha) and Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ) were more than mere human beings. While both are known as great teachers and profound souls, the identity, mission, and message of these two men couldn’t be more different.

The Buddha

Like Christianity, the religion of Buddhism is traced to a single individual. That person is Siddhartha Gautama (c. 563–480 BC). While mixtures of myth and legend make it impossible to completely reconstruct the life of the Buddha, there is a historical core of information known about him.2

Siddhartha was born into the Indian Sakyas clan in the sixth century BC in Nepal, near its border with India. Siddhartha’s father was the feudal lord of the Sakyas people and created a…

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One response to “World Religions: The Buddha and the Christ

  • Clarke Morledge

    A nice little “shout out” from Ken Samples, I see!! Woo-hoo!

    I highly recommend the Winfried Corduan, Neighboring Faiths, book that Samples references for his material. It is a great survey of religious traditions written from an evangelical Christian viewpoint. If I had to pick one book on this topic, this would be the one.


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