I am facing a little persecution from my family, who are trying to convince me that Hinduism came earlier than Christianity. However, I defended my faith, as I believe that my God is living. I was unable to give any facts and figures to them or even the dates, as they came up with a list of the similarities between our Lord Jesus and their lord Krishna. I am copying the argument below. Please suggest a book or a site where I can find the appropriate details. Author Kersey Graves (1813-1883), a Quaker from Indiana, compared Yeshua's and Krishna's lives. He found what he believed were 346 elements in common within Christian and Hindu writings. That appears to be overwhelming evidence that incidents in Jesus' life were copied from Krishna's. However, many of Graves' points of similarity are a real stretch. He did report some amazing coincidences, however, and I have selected a few:
6 & 45: Yeshua and Krishna were called both a God and the Son of God.
7: Both were sent from heaven to earth in the form of a man.
8 & 46: Both were called Savior, and the second person of the Trinity.
13, 15, 16 & 23: His adoptive human father was a carpenter.
18: A spirit or ghost was their actual father.
21: Krishna and Jesus were of royal descent.
27 & 28: Both were visited at birth by wise men and shepherds, guided by a star.
30 to 34: Angels in both cases issued a warning that the local dictator planned to kill the baby and had issued a decree for his assassination. The parents fled. Mary and Joseph stayed in Muturea; Krishna's parents stayed in Mathura.
41 & 42: Both Yeshua and Krishna withdrew to the wilderness as adults, and fasted.
56: Both were identified as 'the seed of the woman bruising the serpent's head.'
58: Jesus was called 'the Lion of the tribe of Judah.' Krishna was called 'the lion of the tribe of Saki.'
60: Both claimed: 'I am the Resurrection.'
64: Both referred to themselves having existed before their birth on earth.
66: Both were 'without sin.'
72: Both were god-men: being considered both human and divine.
76, 77, & 78: They were both considered omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
83, 84, & 85: Both performed many miracles, including the healing of disease. One of the first miracles that both performed was to make a leper whole. Each cured 'all manner of diseases.'
86 & 87: Both cast out indwelling demons, and raised the dead.
101: Both selected disciples to spread their teachings.
109 to 112: Both were meek, and merciful. Both were criticized for associating with sinners.
115: Both encountered a Gentile woman at a well.
121 to 127: Both celebrated a last supper. Both forgave their enemies.
128 to 131: Both descended into Hell, and were resurrected. Many people witnessed their ascensions into heaven.
Your help is appreciated. -- Sachin Joshi
You are right, some of these are stretched! Others are not based on any fact in the Bible at all. Some parallels are entirely natural: selecting disciples for the spread of the faith, for example. I find nothing in this list surprising or disturbing.
The fact is, there are a few remarkable parallels to the Christ story in all religions. It's as though God were preparing people long in advance. C. S. Lewis made the same point about the pagan religions. Greek, Roman, Syrian, and Norse religions--to name but a few--had their own stories of sacrifice, virgin births, miracles, deaths, and resurrections.
Yet Jesus is very different to Krishna. He was morally perfect. He did not flirt with the cowgirls at midnight! It is false to claim that the Hindu scriptures show the sinlessness of Krishna. Moreover, whereas the mythology surrounding the Lord Krishna is fictitious, the "mythology" surrounding the Lord Jesus is true!
Finally, as you reach out to many Hindus, I would encourage you to become more familiar with as many of the Hindu scriptures as possible. Not just the Bhagavad Gita, but also the great national epics like the Mahabharata. Read a religion book that illuminates and compares all world religions. If you have my book Compelling Evidence, chapter 11 will get you started.
In short, there is no evidence whatsoever that the gospel of Christ is based on the stories about Krishna. The parallels are only that--parallels. Let's be careful lest we fall victim to what some scholars call "parallelomania."
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