An obscure Jewish preacher and a humble Hindu philosopher changed humanity forever with teachings that would lay the foundation for western and eastern society. The religions of Christianity and Buddhism began slowly as an alternative to the polytheistic religions of the Roman and Chinese Empires. The religions developed at approximately the same time within two remotely located cultures. On the surface Christianity and Buddhism appear to share common time periods, origins, and teachings; however, the similarities are only skin deep.
The flowering faiths of Christianity and Buddhism rose during the same period in history, however; the early teachings of Buddhism predate early Christian teachings. For example, Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha, lived three to five centuries before Jesus. In addition, Buddha lived to the age of 80, more than double that of Jesus. .
Although rooted in different cultures, the two faith's origins have much in common. The political turmoil and uncertainty of the Roman Empire in the west, and the Chinese Empire in the east, turned people to religion for security. The two major empires of the time crumbled as the two religions flourished. Furthermore, both religions were products of the reformation of older world faiths. Judaism formed the basis for Christianity, where as, Hinduism formed the basis for Buddhism. History also reveals striking similarities and differences in the lives of Jesus and Buddha. Miraculous tales, miracles, and legends surround the lives of both. For instance, legend has it that Buddha .
was born miraculously from the right side of his mother. In contrast, the story of Jesus portrays his birth from a virgin mother. .
The teachings of Jesus and Buddha carried a similar ethical message. Both religions taught a message of compassion, humility, and good conduct; however, the .
religions differed on the true meaning of life.