Buddha teachings Buddhism vs Christianity - similarities, differences
[similarities, differences]
Buddhism, Buddhist teachings

Home > World Faiths > Buddhism > Buddhism vs Christianity - similarities, differences
 Site Map | Archaeology | History | Historical Biography | Quotations & Quotes | Social Psychology | Download 

Buddhism vs Christianity
similarities, differences

In the tolerant and enquiring times in the West over recent decades many people have become interested in other faiths than Christianity and in Buddhism in particular.

To some people Buddhism appeals because of its promises of calm and enlightenment where traditional "Creationist" Christianity has come to be intellectually regarded, by many, as having been discredited by the challenge of alternative explanations of Human Existence such as the Darwinian Theory of Evolution.
Non "Creationist" Eastern Mysticism being less open to such intellectual criticism.

Investigations into the diffences and similarities between Buddhism and Christianity show marked differences in doctrinal outlook BUT close similarities in their "Central" teachings abouit spirituality.

As to Doctrinal Outlook:-

There is no "God" in Buddhism equivalent to the Christian God - minor gods and godesses (of Mercy etc.) do appear however. The Buddha is viewed as having been a, remarkable, Human Being who had attained unto Enlightenment and who, out of boundless compassion, had sought to offer guidance to all sentient beings in order to save them from their sufferings.
Personal mortality is followed by reincarnations after better or worse "rebirths" depending upon merit attained in previous lives.
Buddhism's goal in the attainment of Nirvana a state where cravings, desires and even "egos" cease and where, because of the associated merit, one can hope to be freed from the endless chain of rebirths into suffering lives.

There is a personal God in Christianity.
Personal mortality is followed by judgement by God.
One of Christianity's goals is the attainment of eternal life with God. A reward that is seen as being only available to those who have faith in Jesus Christ, and are made righteous by Him.

Given these substantial differences in doctrine the close similarity between Buddhist and Christian "Central" Spiritual Teachings is perhaps surprising!
Brief resumes of such "Central" Spiritual Teachings from Buddhism and Christianity are set out below:-

Wisdoms & Insights

Many wisdom quotes that demonstrate the Depth of Insights that are recognised by several Buddhist sources are available in the Dhammapada and also in The Lotus Gospel.

Disdain for Material Things
  He who lives looking for pleasures only, his senses uncontrolled, immoderate in his food, idle, and weak, Mara (the Tempter) will certainly overthrow him, as the wind throws down a weak tree. He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses well controlled, moderate in his food, faithful and strong, him Mara will certainly not overthrow, any more than the wind throws down a strong mountain.

Dhammapada V. 7-8

A Distrust of Intellect
  They pass from generation to generation ,
Poor in virtue and of little happiness,
Oppressed by all the sorrows
And dwelling in the thickets of debate,
Such as, Existence? or Non-existence?
Relying on their propositions,
sixty-two in number,
They become rooted in false philosophy,
Tenacious and unyielding,
Self-sufficient and self-inflated,
Suspicious, warped, without faith.
During thousands and milliards of kalpas
Such hear not the name of Buddha,
Nor ever learn of the truth.

from The Lotus Gospel

A Yearning for Divine Edification
  Wise people, after they have listened to the laws, become serene, like a deep, smooth still lake.

Dhammapada V. 82

  The disciples of Gotama are always well awake, and their mind day and night always delights in compassion.

Dhammapada V. 300

Purity of Heart
  All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

Dhammapada V. 1-2

  He who controls his hand, he who controls his feet, he who is well controlled, he who delights inwardly, who is collected, who is solitary and content, him they call a bhikshu. The bhikshu who controls his mouth, who speaks wisely and calmly, who teaches the meaning and the law, his word is sweet. He who dwells in the law, delights in the law, meditates on the law, follows the law, that bhikshu will never fall away from the true law. Let him not despise what he has received, nor ever envy others: a mendicant who envies others does not obtain peace of mind. A bhikshu who, though he receives little, does not despise what he has received, even the gods will praise him, if his life is pure, and if he is not slothful.

Dhammapada V. 362-366

  Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth! Speak the truth, do not yield to anger; give, if thou art asked for little; by these three steps thou wilt go near the gods.

Dhammapada V. 223-224

Communion with God
  There is no "God" in Buddhism!!!
That being said - those who make spiritual progress through following the teachings of Buddha are often held to attain to states of trancendent calm and of Enlightenment.

  The bhikshu, full of delight, who is calm in the doctrine of Buddha will reach the quiet place (Nirvana), cessation of natural desires, and happiness.

Dhammapada V. 381

Our extensive Spiritual and Poetry insights quotations pages are FULL of examples of how such profound truths are recognised, and applauded, by a Spiritual-Poetical aspect that seems to be innate to Human Nature.

page divider

Wisdoms & Insights

Quotations that demonstrate the Depth of Insights that are recognised by Christian sources are set out below. They are sourced from the Bible and also from the works of Thomas a Kempis whose "Of the Imitation of Christ" ranks as the second most widely read christian text after the Bible itself.

A Disdain for Materialism
  Some have Me in their mouths, but little in their hearts.
  There are others who, being enlightened in their understanding and purified in their affection, always breathe after things eternal, are unwilling to hear of earthly things, and grieve to be subject to the necessities of nature; and such as these perceive what the Spirit of Truth speaketh in them.
  For it teacheth them to despise the things of the earth and to love heavenly things; to disregard the world, and all the day and night to aspire after heaven.

Thomas a Kempis

A Distrust of Intellect
  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

St. Paul

A Yearning for Divine Edification
  It is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
  ...the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

St. Paul

  Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

St. John

Purity of Heart
  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

St. Paul

  Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whomsoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.


  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

St. James

Our extensive Spiritual and Poetry insights quotations pages are bursting at the seams with examples of how profound truths are recognised, and applauded, by a Spiritual-Poetical aspect that seems to be innate to Human Nature.

page divider

Our web site features several pages on World Faith mysticism featuring key quotations from Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism.

Links to our pages about "Central" Spiritual Insights from the major World Faiths are available here:-

Please click on these links to review
quotations about "Central" Spiritual Insights
drawn from sources as indicated :-

Christian Mysticism Islamic Mysticism
Jewish Mysticism Hindu Mysticism
Buddhist Mysticism Taoist Mysticism
Sikh Mysticism

Please click on the following link to review
quotations about "Central" Poetry Insights:-

"Central" Poetry Insights

page divider

Introductory quotations
Life of Buddha
Buddha teachings
Sermon at Benares
Spirituality & the wider world
Proof of the Existence of God?



  Hot Hot Hot  

Start of Buddhism vs Christianity
similarities, differences