Ok, I know this one is a stretch, but stay with me here.
The Magi who came from the East following the star of Bethlehem were disciples of Daniel, the Old Testament Prophet.
How do we know this? Because we read that Daniel stayed behind when the Babylonian/Persian captivity was over. We also know that Daniel was leading a school of mystics during the reign of Nebuchadnezzer and continued to teach disciples under the Persian rulers.
This is why those Magi knew about the signs of the birth of the Messiah which were revealed to Daniel in a dream in Daniel 9:
“From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One [the Messiah], the ruler comes, there will be seven “sevens”, and sixty-two “sevens”…after the sixty-two “sevens” the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing.” [Dan. 9:25-26]
So, this is why Daniel’s students “from the East” would have been looking forward to the birth of the Messiah, as foretold to them by their teacher. [NOTE: Babylon is/was directly East of Jerusalem as the crow flies]
Why do I believe those Magi also brought with them a scroll that contained the teachings of the Buddha?
First of all, because it explains why so many of the teachings of Jesus overlap with those of the Buddha.
Buddha was born about 600 years prior to Jesus. So, his teachings would have already had plenty of time to develop and become distributed throughout Asia.
Those Magi, Daniel’s students, were “wise men” which means they were eager to learn and motivated to seek out wisdom from a variety of sources.
So, it’s not beyond imagination that those Magi were well-acquainted with the teachings of the Buddha. And it’s not a stretch to think that one of them might have carried with him a scroll of those teachings.
For example, I did some digging and found out a few more details:
*Early Buddhists were known for their missionary zeal.
*The Silk Road of the First Century connected India, Asia, Persia and Jerusalem with one another.
*The Roman historian Philo records the presence of Buddhist monks in Egypt during the life of Jesus.
*Buddhists settled in many settlements within the Roman Empire, including Judea.
This map [see below] shows the trade routes between India, Persia and Jerusalem in the First Century:
Now, I know that this all sounds pretty hypothetical and super-sketchy, but it’s something I’ve been wondering about recently and I thought it would be interesting to see what you – my dear readers – might think of this theory.
I must also point out that none of this threatens the truthfulness of the teachings of Jesus. Whether God revealed these teachings to Buddha or to Jesus – or both – simply proves that God is no respecter of persons and anyone who truly seeks after wisdom and truth with their whole heart can expect to receive the same from God.
Truth is truth. All truth is God’s truth. Whether Jesus says it, or Buddha says it, or both say it. In fact, if both Jesus and Buddha affirm many of the same truths, this only strengthens the notion that the same God is speaking through both of them.
I’m interested in doing more research to see how far and wide the teachings of Buddha may have spread prior to Jesus and if it’s possible that wise men from Persia would have access to those teachings around the time of Christ’s birth.
Agree? Disagree? I’m eager to hear your thoughts.
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