Many early Christian theologians noted the extreme similarity
between Christianity and other religions such as Hinduism. a
henotheistic religion, Mithraism an ancient Pagan religion,
Eusebius of Caesarea (circa 283-371 CE) wrote: "The religion of
Jesus Christ is neither new nor strange."1
St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) wrote: "This, in our day,
is the Christian religion, not as having been unknown in former times,
but as having recently received that name." 2
Some early Christian leaders attributed the similarities between
Christianity and earlier religions to a trick of
Satan. They felt that Satan had created many crucified saviors, born of
virgins, before Jesus in order to discredit Christianity's uniqueness.
Others attribute the similarities to coincidence.
Conservative Christians generally believe in the
inerrancy of the Bible, and that the authors of the
Bible were inspired by God. Thus, the Gospel of
John is absolutely accurate when it presents Jesus Christ as a
supernatural being, the Son of God, who was present at the creation of the
universe, is the savior of humanity, and who came to earth so that
believers "might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
(John 10:10 KJV). Any similarity to legends about Krishna are either
forgeries, or coincidences. There was no possibility of the incorporation into the Christian
Gospels of legends about the life of Krishna. The points of
similarities must have resulted from other influences. There is no
Krishna-Christ linkage; the topic is ridiculous; it is not even worth
investigating. It is blasphemy to suggest such a connection.
Some skeptics have suggested that Yeshua of Nazareth (a.k.a.
Jesus Christ by most Christians) and Krishna, the second person of the
Hindu trinity, are the same person. It is rather
obvious that that they are not. Jesus appears to have been born in
Palestine during the last
decade BCE, whereas Krishna is dated many millennia earlier,
Some liberal religious historians have raised the possibility
that stories of Jesus' birth, ministry, execution, and resurrection were
copied, at least in part, from Krishna's life.
Many progressive Christians feel that a Hindu source for many of
the events in Jesus' life is a topic is worth studying. Many
belief systems, including Hinduism, permeated the Mediterranean region in the 1st
century CE. There were various male heroes within Egyptian, Greek,
Indian, Roman and other pantheons
of Gods, whose role was to be saviors to humanity -- much like Jesus. In order to compete with
those religions, Christianity would have had to describe Jesus in terms that
matched or surpassed the legends and myths of other religions. Otherwise, it would not have survived. The authors of the gospels may
well have picked up themes from other sources and added them to their
writings in order to make Christianity more credible to a religiously diverse world,
most of which worshiped multiple Gods and Goddesses. By isolating and
removing such foreign material, we might be able to get a
clearer picture of what Jesus taught and how he lived.
If a strong Krishna - Christ link exists, what is left of Christianity?
If one were to delete from the Gospels the events in Jesus' life that seem to
originate in Krishna's story, one would basically end up with a story of:
A very human, itinerant, Jewish, rabbi-healer.
A teacher who largely followed the teachings of Hillel -- a liberal
Jewish rabbi from the 1st century BCE.
An observant Jew who had a special
relationship with God -- a kinship so close that Jesus referred to God by the
familiar term "Abba."
This is very close to the
image of Jesus uncovered by many liberal theologians, in their quest for the
A few skeptics claim that Yeshua of Nazareth was a purely mythical character.
A few others
believe that he was a real individual who lived in perhaps the 2nd or
BCE. But there is a near consensus that Yeshua of Nazareth was born
in Palestine circa 4 to 7
Beliefs about his nature and role differ:
Most Christians believe that he is the Son of God, the second
personality in the
Trinity. He spent a relatively short period preaching and healing (one
year mainly in the Galilee according to the synoptic gospels; three years
mainly in Judah according to the Gospel of John). He was executed,
resurrected and ascended into heaven. Conservative Christians believe that
the normal destination for human beings is eternal punishment in
Hell; only a relatively small percentage of
people who have repented of their sin and have trusted Jesus as Lord and
Savior will escape this fate.
Muslims believe that Jesus was, after
Muhammad, the greatest of prophets. Jesus was
neither crucified nor resurrected; he ascended bodily into heaven without
having first died. They believe that God would not have allowed his
prophet to die an ignoble death by crucifixion. Various traditions
within Islam hold different beliefs. Two are: that Jesus substituted
Judas Iscariot for himself on the cross, or that God intervened and
removed Jesus from Roman captivity before the crucifixion took place. They regard God as being single and
indivisible. The Christian Trinity of three persons is rejected as the
blasphemy against God.
Many of the followers of Jesus founded the Jerusalem Church circa 30 CE
under the leadership of James the Just -- a brother of Jesus. They are often
referred to as Jewish Christians. They appear to have
believed that he was a Jewish reformer, teacher, prophet, and native healer,
but not a deity
In the early Christian movement, Gnostic
Christians believed that Jesus was a spirit being, who only appeared
to be a person in the flesh.
Over centuries, the Jewish Christians were largely exterminated during the
attack by the Roman Army on Jerusalem; the rest were scattered. The Gnostics
were almost entirely tracked down and eliminated. The legacy of Paul coalesced
into the Catholic Church who determined by majority vote at the council of
Nicea that Jesus was God.
About Krishna (a.k.a. Chrishna):
Krishna was born, lived and died at least 14 centuries before Yeshua. Estimates of his birth date vary. Some are 1477, 3112,
3600, 5150, and
5771 BCE. 3,4 As a minimum, he is believed to have been on
Earth at least 14 centuries before Jesus. Thus, if there has been any migration
of beliefs between Hinduism and Christianity, the source is Hinduism.
Hindus believe that whenever profound evil spreads widely throughout the earth, the
Supreme Being comes to earth in the form of a human person "in order to uproot
vice and to establish virtue so that the earth may get rid of sinners." 5 Lord Krishna was just such an incarnation:
"Krishna is the ninth 12 and the complete incarnate of Vishnu, the Godhead of the Hindu
Trinity of deities. Of all the Vishnu avatars he is the most popular, and
perhaps of all Hindu gods the one closest to the heart of the masses...Krishna
was dark and extremely handsome. The word Krishna literally means 'black', and
black also connotes mysteriousness...Whether he was a human being or a
God-incarnate, there is no gainsaying the fact that he has been ruling the
hearts of millions for over three millennia. In the words of Swami Harshananda,
'If a person can affect such a profound impact on the Hindu race affecting its
psyche and ethos and all aspects of its life for centuries, he is no less than
God' ." 6
He is believed to have died at the advanced age of 125. "In his final days on
earth, he taught spiritual wisdom to Uddhava, his friend and disciple, and
ascended to his abode after casting off his body, which was shot at by a hunter
named Jara." 7
Are Jesus and Krishna the same individual?
For reasons noted above in the Overview, that is
many individuals raise the possibility that the Gospels' description of Jesus' life was derived, at
least in part, from Krishna's life story, and from the myths of other god-men.
Stephen Van Eck writes:
"Then there is the Hindu epic, the
Bhagavad-Gita, a story of the second person of the Hindu Trinity, who took
human form as Krishna. Some have considered him a model for the Christ, and
it's hard to argue against that when he says things like:
'I am the beginning, the middle, and the end' (BG 10:20 vs.
Rev. 1:8 ).
His advent was heralded by a pious old man named Asita, who could
die happy knowing of his arrival, a story paralleling that of Simeon in
Luke 2:25 .
Krishna's mission was to give directions to 'the kingdom of God'
(BG 2:72), and he warned of 'stumbling blocks' along the way (BG 3:34;
1 Cor. 1:23
; Rev. 2:14).
The essential thrust of Krishna's sayings, uttered to a beloved
disciple, sometimes seems to coincide with Jesus or the Bible. Compare:
'those who are wise lament neither for the living nor the dead'
(BG 2:11) with the sense of Jesus' advice to 'let the dead bury their
own dead' (Matt.
Krishna's saying, 'I envy no man, nor am I partial to anyone; I
am equal to all' (BG 9:29) is a lot like the idea that God is no
respecter of persons (Rom.
And 'one who is equal to friends and enemies... is very dear to
me' (BG 12:18) is reminiscent of 'love your enemies' (Matt.
Krishna also said that 'by human calculation, a thousand ages
taken together is the duration of Brahma's one day' (BG 8:17), which is
very similar to 2
Peter 3:8." 10
To which might be added:
Krishna's saying, 'I envy no man, nor am I partial to anyone; I am equal to all' (BG 9:29),
whic resembles the concept that God is no respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11 ; see also Matt. 6:45 ).
Author Kersey Graves wrote a book in 1875 which lists 346 "striking
analogies between Christ and Chrishna." 11 A selection of the
precise matches between Yeshua's and Krishna's life is listed in a
Earl Doherty, "The Jesus Puzzle. Did Christianity Begin with a
Mythical Christ? : Challenging the Existence of an Historical Jesus,"
Canadian Humanist Publications, (1999).Read
reviews or order this book.