Do Buddhists believe in Jesus?

In Blog, Buddhism, Christianity by Alice0 Comments

A lot of religions have some regard of Jesus Christ as being a holy man, wise and enlightened in spiritual things. Many stop short of declaring that he was the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. Buddhism which is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama does not provide a single view about Jesus.


There are three things that Buddhists believe when it comes to Jesus Christ:

1) That he was an enlightened man

Most Buddhists respect Jesus’ compassion and self-sacrifice. These are to Buddhists the keys to enlightenment.

1) He taught with wisdom

Many teachings of Jesus align with Buddhist precepts. Teachings that are related to loving your neighbour as well as the importance of being kind and forgiving are in line with Buddhist teachings. Some Buddhists like Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dali Lama have recognised Jesus as a Bodhisattva. However, Jesus might be a wise teacher, Buddhists cannot regard him as having divine wisdom because they do not believe in a divine being.

3) He was a Holy man

To be a Bodhisattva, you would have to have a level of holiness. The current Dalai Lama often speaks of Jesus as a holy man who is not above the Buddha himself.

Having said that, the question still begs an answer: Do Buddhists believe in Jesus as Christians do? The answer is that Buddhism accepts a Jesus Christ that should by all accounts be like Buddha in order to be divine, but that cannot happen because the Christian believe in a divinity that comes directly from God and is of God. He might show all the characteristics that Buddhists aspire to but the idea of a man being a personal savior goes against Buddhist teachings. For one thing Buddhists do not believe in a person, let alone one that needs to be saved. Buddhists believe we all should be able to save ourselves from whatever perceived bondage we are under.

Buddhists cannot agree with some of Jesus’ teachings like repentance and teachings about a loving and infinite creator who also happens to be the Father. A created who has moral demands, judges and punishes those who go against him. Jesus does not subscribe to the Buddhist precept of self-perfection because he teaches that spiritual enlightenment only comes from him. Buddhists do not believe in a God. They are clear that the Buddha was a man who reached enlightenment all by himself. Buddhism has no doctrine that talks about miracles whereas Christianity is a miraculous religion with Jesus being the performer of many miracles. His entire life from birth until his death was miraculous.

In Conclusion

Buddha and Jesus Christ are exemplary figures in the Christian and Buddhist faith but, Buddhists cannot believe in Jesus Christ as he is presented in the Christian faith. They can acknowledge him as a man and not the son of a God because in Buddhism there is no God. He cannot be the savior, a redeemer who forgives sin and bestows new lives and blessings to those who follow him. Jesus might have lived somewhat within the precepts that a devout Buddhist would have ascribed to but that is as far as that acknowledgement of his goes. There is no God, there can be no personal savior, enlightenment cannot be given and so Jesus Christ could very well be a mythical feature. The story of a man you tell to your kids when you want to teach them about love and self sacrifice but nothing more.

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