Buddha vs Jesus

Let's get right to the list of "copycat" claims concerning Jesus and Buddha:

  1. Buddha was born on December 25th of the virgin Maya, and his birth was attended by a "Star of Announcement," wise men and angels singing heavenly songs.
  2. At his birth, he was pronounced ruler of the world and presented with "costly jewels and precious substances."
  3. His life was threatened by a king "who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him."
  4. Was of royal lineage.
  5. Taught in the Temple at age 12.
  6. Crushed a serpent's head (as was traditionally said of Jesus) and was tempted by Mara, the "Evil One," when fasting.
  7. Was baptized in water, with the "Spirit of God" or "Holy Ghost" present.
  8. Performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick, fed 500 men from a "small basket of cakes," and walked on water.
  9. Abolished idolatry, was a "sower of the word," and preached the "establishment of a kingdom of righteousness."
  10. Followers were obliged to take vows of poverty and to renounce the world.
  11. Was transfigured on a mount, when it was said that his face "shone as the brightness of the sun and moon."
  12. In some traditions, died on a cross.
  13. Was resurrected, as his coverings were unrolled from his body and his tomb was opened by supernatural powers.
  14. Ascended bodily to Nirvana or "heaven."
  15. Was called Lord, Master, Light of the World, God of Gods, Father of the World, Almighty and All-knowing Ruler, Redeemer of All, Holy One, the Author of appiness, Possessor of All, the Omnipotent, the Supreme Being, the Eternal One.
  16. Was considered a Sin Bearer, Good Shepherd, the Carpenter, the Infinite and Everlasting, and the Alpha and Omega.
  17. Came to fulfill, not to destroy, the law.
  18. Is to return "in the latter days" to restore order and to judge the dead.

A certain number of these have already been addressed by Glenn Miller of the Christian ThinkTank and Mike Licona of Risen Jesus. We'll make use of his material here and add in whatever else we find as this essay progresses in updates. Readers should particularly note Miller's material here noting that the exchange of ideas between the Indian region and Palestine was not significant: "In summary, the influence and dissemination of Hindu and Buddhist thought from India far enough west to make a difference simply had not occurred by the time of the arrival of Jesus of Nazareth on the scene."

>Mike Licona has also commented on this comparison. He did not offer many specifics, but in a former articles notes his email correspondence with Professor Chun-fang Yu, the Chair of the Department of Religion at Rutgers and a specialist in Buddhist studies. Licona listed the 18 similarities and Yu replied: "None of the 18 [are] correct. A few, however, have some semblance of correctness but are badly distorted." Only eight passed the latter test. Licona concludes concerning one source of the list:

Dr. Yu ended by writing, "[The woman you speak of] is totally ignorant of Buddhism. It is very dangerous to spread misinformation like this. You should not honor [her] by engaging in a discussion. Please ask [her] to take a basic course in world religion or Buddhism before uttering another word about things she does not know."

We will leave open as a challenge for any reader to provide documentation from primary Buddhist sources.

  1. Buddha was born on December 25th of the virgin Maya, and his birth was attended by a "Star of Announcement," wise men and angels singing heavenly songs.

    Miller notes that:

    ...[H]istory-of-religions scholar David Adams Leeming (writing in EOR, s.v. "Virgin Birth") begins his article by pointing out that all 'virgin births' are NOT necessarily such:
    "A virgin is someone who has not experienced sexual intercourse, and a virgin birth, or parthenogenesis (Gr., parthenos, "virgin"; genesis, "birth"), is one in which a virgin gives birth. According to this definition, the story of the birth of Jesus is a virgin birth story whereas the birth of the Buddha and of Orphic Dionysos are not. Technically what is at issue is the loss or the preservation of virginity during the process of conception. The Virgin Mary was simply "found with child of the Holy Ghost" before she was married and before she had "known" a man. So, too, did the preexistent Buddha enter the womb of his mother, but since she was already a married woman, there is no reason to suppose she was a virgin at the time

    Later Miller adds:

    Buddha was born of the virgin Maya. [We have already seen the radical differences here, and the data that his mom was married before his conception counts against the factuality of this. There ARE later traditions, however, that assert that she had taken vows of abstinence even during her marriage, but it can be understood (so in EOR) to refer only to the time of that midsummer festival. The first and finest biography of the Buddha, written by Ashvaghosha in the 1st century, called the Buddhacarita ("acts of the buddha") gives a rather strong indication of her non-virgin status in canto 1:
    "He [the king of the Shakyas] had a wife, splendid, beautiful, and steadfast, who was called the Great Maya, from her resemblance to Maya the Goddess. These two tasted of love's delights, and one day she conceived the fruit of her womb, but without any defilement, in the same way in which knowledge joined to trance bears fruit. Just before her conception she had a dream." (WR:BS:35).]
    "The oldest accounts of Buddha's ancestry appear to presuppose nothing abnormal about his birth, and merely speak of his being well born both on his mother's end and father's side for seven generations back. According to the later legend he is born not as other human beings, but in the same was as a universal king he descends from the Tusita heaven by his own choice, and with this his father is not concerned. This is not properly a virgin birth, but it may be called parthogenetic, that is, Suddhodana was not his progenitor." WR:LBLH:36]

    Dr Yu added: "Queen Maya was Buddha's mother but she was declared to be a virgin. Rather, she conceived the Buddha after dreaming a white elephant entering her right side in the dream. Buddha was born on the 8th day of the lunar 4th month."

    A reader has noted that Jerome in Against Jovinianus Book 1 stated that among the Gymnosophists of India, there was a tradition of Buddha being born from a virgin. But the data clearly shows Jerome to have been either misinformed or else reporting a later tradition, perhaps influenced by Christian missions which had by then penetrated considerably into India (See Martin Palmer, Jesus Sutras).

    The "wise men" may correspond with the 108 Brahmins noted below, however, in which case we have an example of a far over-generalized match.

  2. At his birth, he was pronounced ruler of the world and presented with "costly jewels and precious substances."

    Dr. Yu responds: "At birth he took seven steps and declared that this would be his last birth and he would be the most honored one in the world." Once again Acharya's source is not a primary Buddhist document, but Doane. Another item on an academic website here says: "Five days after [birth], the king arranged a naming ceremony for his son in which the name 'Siddhattha' (literally 'having the wish fulfilled') was chosen as token of his wish (for a son) having been fulfilled. During the ceremony 108 distinguished Brahmins were invited to have a meal in the palace and also to determine the characteristics and destiny of the royal infant. Of the 108 Brahmins, all but one, having seen all the major and minor characteristics of a great man on the royal infant, predicted that should the infant choose the secular life when he grew up, he would be a Universal King or ruler of the world, but in case he should prefer a religious life instead, he would certainly become the greatest religious founder of the world."

    Note that this "ruler of the world" bit was a prediction, an office of political import, and was an alternative that the Buddha rejected.

  3. His life was threatened by a king "who was advised to destroy the child, as he was liable to overthrow him."

    A better source, the Introduction to World Mythology by Whittaker [79-80] reports rather that Buddha was prophesied to leave the palace of his father the king and become a holy man, and was kept in seclusion in a vain attempt to avoid this fate. It is when Buddha "escaped" this seclusion that he saw the sights of poverty and suffering that inspired him. A reader does note:

    In the Abhinish Kramana Sutra King Bimbasara's servants suggest that he kill Buddha. However, Bimbasara totally rejects this and does not go through with it. "The Romantic Legend of Sakya Buddha: A Translation of the Chinese Version of the Abhiniskramanasutra". By Samuel Beal. pages 103-104.
  4. Was of royal lineage.

    Dr. Yu wrote: "Buddha was a prince, the son of a king of a small kingdom in northern India or Nepal (his birthplace, Lumbini, has been claimed by both Nepal and India as being located in their territory." This one therefore has a semblance of truth but is so vague and generalized as to be worthless. Jesus of course was descended from David, but by that time so were tens of thousands of other Jews. By the same token I may be of "royal lineage" because I am descended from Ottoman Turks!

  5. Taught in the Temple at age 12.

    The academic site above says, "When Siddhattha grew up and reached his childhood, the king, following the royal tradition of the times, had his son educated, under the most famous teacher available by the name of Visvamitta, in all the martial and administrative arts and disciplines befitting one, whom he intended was to become a world-ruler, as predicted by the 107 Brahmins. At the age of 15, Siddhattha was able to absorb whatever had been taught him by his able teacher. In a display of his prowess in archery amidst his relatives, he was regarded as unequalled. Even in other arts and branches of knowledge he came out the top of other competitors, --to the rapt amazement of all who witnessed the events."

    Wrong age, and no Temple.

  6. Crushed a serpent's head (as was traditionally said of Jesus) and was tempted by Mara, the "Evil One," when fasting.

    Miller notes:

    Strangely enough, even though this is commonly associated with the Messianic figure in the OT from Genesis 3, there is no point of contact with the NT portrayal of Jesus. The history-of-religions field, however, argues that this pervasive theme could be related to some primeval religious revelation/insight.

    A reader adds:

    A medieval history of Kashmir by a Hindu named Kalhana states "Even Jina (Buddha) slew a great snake which killed living beings." (Rajatarangini Book 8 verse 2234) However, Stein, who translated this text, notes about this comment that "I have not been able to trace the Buddhist legend here alluded to." (Source: Kalhana's Rajatarangini: A Chronicle of the Kings of Kasmir, Translated, With an Introduction, Commentary, & Appendices by M.A. Stein". Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi, Varanasi, Patna. first edition made in 1900 and reprints Delhi 1961, 1979. In two volumes. cited from volume 2 page 172. and note 2234 at bottom of 172.)

    The same reader has noted of the Temptation of Buddha:

    The Buddha was alone and in solitude and meditation when [tempted]. I do not think that he was out in a desert, although some versions may differ on which type of area he was in at the time. However, there is a very strong similarity between the temptation of Jesus and the story of the Exodus...the Oxford Bible Commentary [says]: "Like Israel Jesus is tempted by hunger (Ex. 16:2-8), tempted to put God to the test (Ex. 17:1-4; cf. Deut 6:16), and tempted to idolatry (Ex. 32). On each occasion he quotes Deuteronomy - from Deut 8:3 in v. 4, from Deut 6:16 in v. 7, and from Deut 6:13 in v. 10. Unlike Israel, Jesus neither murmurs nor gives in to temptation. Although the forty days of temptation are the typological equivalent of Israel's forty years of wandering, they have also rightly reminded Irenaeus, Augustine, Calvin, and many others of Moses' fast of forty days and forty nights (Ex. 24:18). As in Mt 2, so also here: the Israel typology exists beside the Moses typology. In line with this, when the devil takes Jesus to a very high mountain to show him all the kingdoms of the world (v. 8), one may think of Moses on top of Pisgah, for, among other things, not only does v. 8 use the language of Deut 34:1,4 LXX, but Jewish tradition expands Moses' vision so that it is of all the world. See further Allison (1993: 165-72)." Oxford Bible Commentary page 851, edited by John Barton and John Muddiman, Oxford University Press 2001.

    Dr. Yu added: "Mara tempted him before his enlightenment but was defeated." Whittaker [80] adds that Mara was a demon (an "evil one" but no evidence of the words as a title) and tempted Buddha with fear and then with pleasure. Buddha eventually achieved "insight into all his former existences" and came up with the Four Noble Truths.

    A site linked above adds: "Neither the attack of the demon Mara, nor the attraction of his daughters, nor the rush of an army of hideous devils could sway Buddha from his meditations, and when Mara used his final weapon, a fiery discus, and flung it at the monk's head, it turned into a canopy of flowers. For five weeks Buddha remained under the tree, while all his previous lives were revealed to him, and then the mighty tempest occurred, but Muchalinda, king of the Nagas, protected the monk by wrapping his serpentine body around the youth."

    The similarity to Jesus ends in that both were tempted -- as we all are on a daily basis.

  7. Was baptized in water, with the "Spirit of God" or "Holy Ghost" present.

    Acharya's source: Doane once again. The academic site here relates the only thing I have found close to this:

    The successful culmination of his long quest came on the fullmoon day of Vesakha lunar (sixth) month when, in the cool, opalescent morning, he seated himself under the shade of an Assattha tree some distance from Nerajar river. At that moment a young girl by the name of Sujt, daughter of the wealthy village headman of the district of Uruvel Sennigama, had a dish of rice gruel meticulously prepared. She placed it on a golden tray, intending to offer it as obligation to a tree-god in accordance with the tradition of her religious belief. Carrying the tray to the Assattha tree, she saw the great recluse seating himself there in meditative silence, looking radiant and dignified like a celestial being himself. Concluding that he was the tree-god, she was deeply impressed and, placing the golden tray before him, expressed and, placing the golden tray before him, impressed her wish to offer him the tray along with the rice gruel thereon. After the girl had left, the prince-monk accepted the offer and proceeded to the landing place nearby. He took a bath in the river before partaking of the rice gruel. Thereafter he floated the tray down the river and retired for the rest of the day in the Sla grove by the riverside.
    The Teaching of Buddha

    Some see a comparison between the account of the Prodigal Son and a Buddhist tale; see here. Note the vast difference in treatment. A reader has added: Edwin Yamauchi, a distinguished professor of ancient history at Miami University in Ohio claims that the first biography of the Buddha was written in the first century. Kenneth Ch'en claims that the Pali (1st-cent BC) contains stories of the Buddha....The prodigal son story was certainly unique in the first century and it is fair to say that the New Testament had it first. Tekton reader Glenn Niblock has also given us permission to use some of his comments below on this subject. Our thanks to Mr. Niblock for his contribution!

    Perhaps it would be useful to contrast the teachings of Buddha with those of Christ. Consider two parables, first one of Buddha and then one of Christ:

    II 2. Buddha said: "I will tell you another parable. Once upon a time the only son of a wealthy man left his home and fell into extreme poverty.

    When the father traveled far from home in search of his son, he lost track of him. He did everything to find his son, but in vain.

    Decades later, his son, now reduced to wretchedness, wandered near where his father was living.

    The father quickly recognized his son and sent his servants to bring the wanderer home; who was overcome by the majestic appearance of the mansion. He feared that they were deceiving him and would not go with them. He did not realize it was his own father.

    The father again sent his servants to offer him some money to become a servant in their rich master's household. The son accepted the offer and returned with them to his father's house and became a servant.

    The father gradually advanced him until he was put in charge of all the property and treasures, but still the son did not recognize his own father.

    The father was pleased with his son's faithfulness, and as the end of his life drew near, he called together his relatives and friends and told them: 'Friends, this is my only son, the son I sought for many years. From now on, all my property and treasures belong to him.'

    The son was surprised at his father's confession and said: 'Not only have I found my father but all this treasure and property is now mine.'

    The wealthy man in this parable represents Buddha, and the wandering son, all people. Buddha's compassion embraces all people with the love of a father for his only son. In that love he conceives the wisest methods to lead, teach and enrich them with the treasure of Enlightenment."

    Christ's teaching on the Prodigal Son

    And He said, "A certain man had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, 'Father give my the share of the estate that falls to me.' And he divided his wealth between them.

    "And not many days later the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country and he began to be in need.

    "And he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.

    "But when he came to his senses he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 'I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."'

    "And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.

    "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.' And they began to be merry."

    There is more to this parable: we can learn much from the relationship of the older son to the father and to the younger son but this part of the story of the prodigal illustrates the differences between Buddhism and Christianity. Consider the contrast of the story of the prodigal son with the teaching of Buddha.

    • In Buddha's story the son leaves but there is no apparent wrong in his leaving and the behavior that brings him to poverty is unstated. He might simply have had bad luck.
    • In Christ's story the son rebels and wants his inheritance far ahead of schedule. His behavior was by Jewish standards of the day egregiously sinful and wrong. Even so, the father gives him his inheritance. The son then compounds his error by continuing in his sin until he has dissipated his inheritance and is starving.
    • Upon his return, Buddha's young man does not confess his wrong acts. Perhaps there weren't any. Christ's prodigal confesses his wrongdoing.
    • In Buddha's story the father does not immediately go to the son and proclaim his return. Instead he sends his servants whom the son does not recognize. He waits and observes, and only as he nears death does he announce his identity to his son and give him his inheritance.
    • In Christ's parable, the father runs to the son, embraces him. The son repents and confesses his wrongdoing. The father immediately forgives the errant son, and immediately begins a celebration of his son's return. [Editor's note: By the social mores of the day, the father's behavior was in fact even more radical than we can understand. To lift one's robes and run as the father did was considered excessive. He was, in fact, rushing to keep the villagers from stoning or killing the young man as he entered the city. The young man had committed an extremely serious social crime and dishonored his family and his people. The father was in effect risking his life for his son. -- JPH]
    • In the Book of Buddha it is said that Buddha is represented by the father, who in compassion for all humans, conceives the wisest means of teaching. Buddha's story is of a cool intellectual compassion that permits the continued separation of father and son. It is silent on the question of sin and forgiveness of sin.
    • In Christ's story, God is represented by the father, and his defining characteristic is his love for this wayward son. Christ speaks of love, sin and forgiveness, and the immediate unconditional acceptance of the repentant sinner. His love is manifested in the grace, the unmerited favor, bestowed upon his son.
    • Christ emphasizes grace, and life. Wisdom is not excluded but is secondary to love. This is amplified in the writings contained in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 13, St. Paul says: "And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, but do not have love I am nothing."

    The contrast is stark. With Buddha one must work out one's own salvation, to become one's own god. With Christ, even the worst sinner may obtain God's grace and even at the very last moment of life, by accepting the gift of Christ and his sacrifice

  8. Performed miracles and wonders, healed the sick, fed 500 men from a "small basket of cakes," and walked on water.

    I can find no evidence so far for the "basket of cakes" story, which is the only specific given; general miracle-working and healing is a universal of religious traditions, and does not bear any noteworthiness. There is a story of someone walking over a stream to see Buddha teach that is sometimes compared to Peter; it is recounted on a now defunct website as follows:

    SOUTH of Savatthi is a great river, on the banks of which lay a hamlet of five hundred houses. Thinking of the salvation of the people, the World-honored One resolved to go to the village and preach the doctrine. Having come to the riverside he sat down beneath a tree, and the villagers seeing the glory of his appearance approached him with reverence; but when he began to preach, they believed him not. When the world-honored Buddha had left Savatthi Sariputta felt a desire to see the Lord and to hear him preach. Coming to the river where the water was deep and the current strong, he said to himself: "This stream shall not prevent me. I shall go and see the Blessed One, and he stepped upon the water which was as firm under his feet as a slab of granite. When he arrived at a place in the middle of the stream where the waves were high, Sariputta's heart gave way, and he began to sink. But rousing his faith and renewing his mental effort, he proceeded as before and reached the other bank. The people of the village were astonished to see Sariputta, and they asked how he could cross the stream where there was neither a bridge nor a ferry. Sariputta replied: "I lived in ignorance until I heard the voice of the Buddha. As I was anxious to hear the doctrine of salvation, I crossed the river and I walked over its troubled waters because I had faith. Faith. nothing else, enabled me to do so, and now I am here in the bliss of the Master's presence." The World-honored One added: "Sariputta, thou hast spoken well. Faith like thine alone can save the world from the yawning gulf of migration and enable men to walk dryshod to the other shore." And the Blessed One urged to the villagers the necessity of ever advancing in the conquest of sorrow and of casting off all shackles so as to cross the river of worldliness and attain deliverance from death. Hearing the words of the Tathagata, the villagers were filled with joy and believing in the doctrines of the Blessed One embraced the five rules and took refuge in his name.

    The contact points here are minimal and the purposes of the stories vastly different. A reader also pointed out something from a site now defunct:

    "After the third question, the Buddha replied that there were three kinds of supernormal levels:

    1. The marvel of supernormal power to appear as many persons, to pass through walls, to fly through the air, walk on water. All these are physical actions the ordinary people cannot perform.

    2. The supernormal power to read other people's minds.

    3. The supernormal power to be able to guide people according to their mental development, for their own good, using suitable methods to fit these people.

    The first two supernormal powers if displayed for their own sake in order to impress people, are no different from the performance of magicians. A Bhikkhu who practices such worldly miracles is a source of shame, humiliation and disgust. Such actions may impress and win converts and followers, but they do not bring Enlightenment to help them put an end to suffering.

    The third kind of supernormal power though which may be called a 'miracle' helps people to get rid of suffering. This is the only supernormal power that is fit to be practiced.

    The only miracles that should be performed are these: when you see a man full of passion, craving and greed and you teach him to free himself from passion, craving and greed; when you see a man is a slave to hatred and anger, you use your powers to help him control his hatred and anger; when you come across a man who is ignorant and who cannot see the true nature of the world (everything in this world is impermanent, sorrowful and egoless) and you use your powers to help him overcome his ignorance. These are worthy 'miracles' you can perform.

    This advice to Kevaddha was also extended to the Vinaya rules that forbid monks from performing miracles to impress people and gain converts, without helping them to be enlightened. This was clear in the case of Pindola.

  9. Abolished idolatry, was a "sower of the word," and preached the "establishment of a kingdom of righteousness."

    Miller writes of the "idolatry" portion:

    Not only is this HIGHLY questionable, given the various deities/tantric deities/manifestations in many of the forms of Buddism(!), but it can also be pointed out that Jesus never did this. Idolatry as a heresy was legally abolished in the Law of Moses, but was practically eradicated in the Exile. Some of Buddhism is atheistic; some of it has thousands of spirits/deities. Indeed, the 1st-century Buddhist biographer cited above from WR:BS, in canto 21 ("Parinirvana"), in describing the events that happened at the death of the Buddha, says this: "But, well established in the practice of the supreme Dharma, the gathering of the gods round king Vaishravana was not grieved and shed no tears, so great was their attachment to the Dharma. The Gods of the Pure Abode, though they had great reverence for the Great Seer, remained composed, and their minds were unaffected; for they hold the things of this world in the utmost contempt."
  10. Followers were obliged to take vows of poverty and to renounce the world.

    Dr. Yu commented: "His followers were monks who lived in monasteries and observed chastity and non-attachment." We may note in response that vows of poverty and such are characteristics of later, monastic Christianity -- not of the Jesus movement.

  11. Was transfigured on a mount, when it was said that his face "shone as the brightness of the sun and moon."

    This is "right" only if you define "transfiguration" as loosely as you need to, as is done by one Buddhist site (now defunct):

    Transfiguration. In Buddhism, when an individual practitioner reaches a high degree of realization in his or her spiritual evolution, the transformation can manifest itself at the physical level, as well. We find such stories about the Buddha in the sutras. They begin when Buddha's disciples notice a physical change in his appearance. A radiance shines from his body. Then one of the disciples asks the Buddha, "I see these changes in you. Why are these changes taking place?" These parables are similar to the Gospel passages on the Transfiguration when Jesus' face is suddenly glowing.

    Note that the transfiguration here has to do with an inward change available to all men, whereas Jesus was transfigured with the Shekinah glory of God.

  12. In some traditions, died on a cross.

    We have yet to see any example of such a tradition, much less documentation from primary Buddhist documents.

  13. Was resurrected, as his coverings were unrolled from his body and his tomb was opened by supernatural powers.
  14. Ascended bodily to Nirvana or "heaven."

    Miller notes: "Buddha did not experience a bodily resurrection from physical death." He also adds:

    This is a misunderstanding of the Buddhist teaching on Nirvana. It is not a 'place' nor is 'ascension' (especially BODILY, VISIBLE, and HISTORICAL ascension as in the life of Christ) a relevant concept. This is another example of imprecise and misleading language. The Buddha is said to have traversed (on his death-couch) all nine of the trance levels--twice, and then his body was cremated (WR:BS:64-65; WR:BIG:42)].

    And Dr. Yu adds: "When he died, his body was cremated. He was not reborn again but said to be in Nirvana."

    A reader who is researching this for us also adds, referring to a painting showing this (another defunct site, though):

    Now although the painting of the resurrection scene dates to around 1100 AD, it depicts the resurrection of the Buddha from a Buddhist text known as the Mahamaya Sutra which is much earlier. It probably was originally written in India in Sanskrit, and taken to China, where it was translated into Chinese. I doubt that the original Sanskrit survives, but the Chinese translation does. I checked an English translation of the Chinese Buddhist cannon, and a note says that the Mahamaya Sutra was "Translated by Than-kin of the Northern Tshi dynasty, AD 550-577." So the Sutra must have been written at least a century before the year 550 AD. This describes the resurrection of the historical Buddha. The important thing that I found was that the sutra also goes by the name "Sutra of Buddha's ascent to the Trayastrimsa heaven to preach the law to his mother." As the web site says, the Buddha then laid back down in the coffin and closed the lid. The Chinese researcher looked at the original of the Chinese translation of the work.

    [My sources were] "A Catalog of The Chinese Translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka, The sacred Cannon of the Buddhists in China and Japan" by Bunyiu Nanjio, Reprint of the Edition Oxford 1883, Biblio Verlag, Osnabruck 1988. pages 94-95, Catalog entry # 382.
  15. Was called Lord, Master, Light of the World, God of Gods, Father of the World, Almighty and All-knowing Ruler, Redeemer of All, Holy One, the Author of Happiness, Possessor of All, the Omnipotent, the Supreme Being, the Eternal One.
  16. Was considered a Sin Bearer, Good Shepherd, the Carpenter, the Infinite and Everlasting, and the Alpha and Omega.

    To this skein of titles, Dr. Yu merely responded: "He is called Lord and Tathagata ('Thus Come')." We also see the title "World-Honored One" and "Blessed One" above. The rest of these titles are so far conspicuously absent and we challenge anyone to find these in primary Buddhist documents.

  17. Came to fulfill, not to destroy, the law.

    A site linked above says that Buddha traveled the world "preaching the law." That's as close as it gets, and it obviously isn't the Jewish law in question.

  18. Is to return "in the latter days" to restore order and to judge the dead.

    Miller notes:

    The single alleged prophecy of Buddha's coming applied only to a FUTURE Buddha (Maitreya), NOT the historical one (WR:BS:237ff); the prophetic stream from which Jesus stepped is rich, varied, prior to Him, and established BEFORE His arrival.

    Dr. Yu confirmed: "The Future Buddha called Maitreya ("The Friendly One") will be born as a human in the future just as the Buddha some 2500 years ago and revive the religion and bring peace to the world."