Jesus: The Lost Years

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Jesus: The Lost Years

I've been researching the lost 18 years of Jesus, which the New Testament pretty much skips over. I found some vague references in Luke 2:52 about how he advanced in wisdom, etc.

 There is text saying that he spent time in Egypt which was the western end of the silk road. This could have lead to Jesus travelling East to learn more of the Buddhist teachings.

 Does any one have some information about what might have happened to Jesus during this time? I've heard that he travelled the Middle East, in to India and then possibly to China or Tibet. This leaves a possibility to the fact that Jesus was actually influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism or other Asian beliefs. It also can explain why so many of the teachings of Jesus (like the Sermon on the Mount) parallels the Buddha's teachings.

Thanks!

 

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I've been researching the lost 18 years of Jesus, which the New Testament pretty much skips over. I found some vague references in Luke 2:52 about how he advanced in wisdom, etc.

 

Personally, I'd say the most likely answer is that the later stories skip over those years for two reasons: (i) nothing much happened in them that was relevant to the theological purposes of the gospel writers (they weren't writing biographies after all) and (ii) not much of any signficance happened in them at all.  Several chapters or even one chapter about how for several years Jesus got up at dawn, worked as a carpenter and went to bed after sunset, only to do it all again the next day, over and over again, would be dull.  And irrelevant.

 Why people think these year must have been full of exotic travel and adventures in distant lands is a mystery.  Why assume anything like this?  What Galilean peasant ever did these things?  Jesus isn't even depicted doing these things in the years that are described.

This assumption strikes me as unlikely fantasy.

 

Quote:
There is text saying that he spent time in Egypt which was the western end of the silk road. This could have lead to Jesus travelling East to learn more of the Buddhist teachings.

 There are later legends (much, much later) that say he went to all kinds of places.  The fact that those legends arise in the very places they say he went to (Britain, India etc) means you don't have to be a genius to work out why and how they arose.  To assume they are in any way historical would be really, really naive.

 

Quote:
Does any one have some information about what might have happened to Jesus during this time? I've heard that he travelled the Middle East, in to India and then possibly to China or Tibet.

 See above - we have as much reason to think he went to Tibet as we have to think he went to Finland: ie none at all.

 

Quote:
This leaves a possibility to the fact that Jesus was actually influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism or other Asian beliefs. It also can explain why so many of the teachings of Jesus (like the Sermon on the Mount) parallels the Buddha's teachings.

Most of his teachings have no parallels in Buddhism etc at all and are clearly Jewish in origin.  Any other parallels are more easily explained by the fact that he was a human talking to humans.  "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" is not an amazing insight and is not unique to Christianity or Buddhism.  It's plain common sense and it underlies just about any human system of ethics.  There's no need to assume any contact between Jesus and Buddhism to "explain" such an commonplace parallel.

 

 

"Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it."
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Ebionite wrote: Personally,

Ebionite wrote:
Personally, I'd say the most likely answer is that the later stories skip over those years for two reasons: (i) nothing much happened in them that was relevant to the theological purposes of the gospel writers...Why people think these year must have been full of exotic travel and adventures in distant lands is a mystery.  Why assume anything like this?

I appreciate your personal opinion on this, thanks for posting.

Ebionite wrote:
What Galilean peasant ever did these things?

I don't believe peasant is the correct term you are looking for as a peasant is a European term used to describe a person who is: "A peasant, derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, the countryside or region, which itself derives from the Latin pagus, country district, is an agricultural worker with roots in the countryside in which he or she dwells, either working for others or, more specifically, owning or renting and working by his or her own labour a small plot of ground. The term peasant today is sometimes used in a pejorative sense for impoverished farmers."

Jesus was far from being a peasant.

Ebionite wrote:
...This assumption strikes me as unlikely fantasy....There are later legends (much, much later) that say he went to all kinds of places.  The fact that those legends arise in the very places they say he went to (Britain, India etc) means you don;t have to be a genius to work out why and how they arose.  To assume they are in any way historical would be really, really naive... we have as much reason to think he went to Tibet as we have to think he went to Finland: ie none at all....

Talk about assumptions... besides I never said any thing about Finland or Britain. I'm talking about the connection between the Middle East and India/Asia. It is an indisputable fact that the silk road as well as other trade routes went straight to or near cities where Jesus traveled or lived; Egypt, Jerusalem, etc. It is known that at least one Mediterranean leaders converted to Buddhism. Buddhist and Hindu coins have been found in the Middle East, N Africa and Europe. This indicates that travellers from either those areas went to the Far East and India or travellers from those area came to the West. There are also coins, of Mediterranean creation, with Hindu and Buddhist markings on them, which also indicates that these influences existed. To say Jesus did not have any influences from other beliefs is truly naive.

Ebionite wrote:
Most of his teachings have no parallels in Buddhism...

Most? So are you admitting there are 49.99% of his teachings that do parallel Buddha? It is a indisputable fact that Buddha existed over 550 years before Jesus.

Ebionite wrote:
etc at all and are clearly Jewish in origin.  Any other parallels are more easily explained by the fact that he was a human talking to humans. Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you; is not an amazing insight and is not unique to Christianity or Buddhism.  Its plain common sense and it underlies just about any human system of ethics.  Theres no need to assume any contact between Jesus and Buddhism to explain; such an commonplace parallel.

I don't dispute the fact that many of his teachings are from Jewish origin. I'm talking about the "Golden Age" of mankind. There are a number of religion leaders which appear about this time. They all were influenced by various religions and it stands to reason that Jesus was not an exception to this human trait. It is very reasonable to think that Jesus was influenced by more than just Jewish faith.

To say that these similarities are "human talking sot humans" or "plain common sense" undermines Christians. What you are saying is that Jesus had no divine inspiration or connection with "god". It's like saying, "Oh, do unto others..." is common sense. Every one should know this...

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

Ebionite wrote:
What Galilean peasant ever did these things?

I don't believe peasant is the correct term you are looking for as a peasant is a European term used to describe a person who is: "A peasant, derived from 15th century French païsant meaning one from the pays, the countryside or region, which itself derives from the Latin pagus, country district, is an agricultural worker with roots in the countryside in which he or she dwells, either working for others or, more specifically, owning or renting and working by his or her own labour a small plot of ground. The term peasant today is sometimes used in a pejorative sense for impoverished farmers."

Jesus was far from being a peasant.

 He was?  What makes you think that?  He was the son of a carpenter who grew up in a very small village of only a few families, who were all farmers.  So what does that make him if not a peasant?  Read John Dominic Crossan's The Historical Jesus: The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant for a careful analysis of Jesus in his social context.  He was definitely a peasant. 

Quote:
Talk about assumptions... besides I never said any thing about Finland or Britain.

 You talked about some very late legends about what Jesus may have done in those years.  There are many such legends, including ones about him living in Britain for a while.  The fact that these legends arose many centuries later and that they arose in the regions that they say he visited indicates very strongly that they can't be taken as being anything other than later folktales.

So, as I said, there's as much evidence of him visiting India or Tibet as there is of him visiting Finland: ie none at all. 

Quote:
I'm talking about the connection between the Middle East and India/Asia. It is an indisputable fact that the silk road as well as other trade routes went straight to or near cities where Jesus traveled or lived; Egypt, Jerusalem, etc.

This is indeed a fact.  It's also a fact that most people who lived in these areas didn't travel on any of these trade routes, especially peasants like Jesus.  How much he was influenced by ideas coming west along those routes is hard to say, but to simply assume he was influenced is not good enough - you need some good evidence that he was.  We know the impact of Buddhism on the Mediterranean was fairly minimal and its influence on devout Jews like Jesus, who weren't exactly people who dabbled in foreign religions, would be about as close to zero as you can imagine. 

 

Quote:
It is known that at least one Mediterranean leaders converted to Buddhism.

 It is?  Who?

 

Quote:
Buddhist and Hindu coins have been found in the Middle East, N Africa and Europe. This indicates that travellers from either those areas went to the Far East and India or travellers from those area came to the West.

That's a no brainer.  But that doesn't mean the idea of a devout Jewish peasant dabbling with Hinduism makes any more sense. 

Quote:
Most? So are you admitting there are 49.99% of his teachings that do parallel Buddha? It is a indisputable fact that Buddha existed over 550 years before Jesus.

 Yes, but so what?  What evidence do you have that this devout Jew was influenced by a religion that he would have regarded as pagan superstition and idolatrous nonsense?  He wasn't a New Age hippy - he was a devout Jew.  Devout Jews in this period didn't dabble with chakras.

 

Quote:
I don't dispute the fact that many of his teachings are from Jewish origin.

"Many" of them?! Are you kidding?

 

Quote:
I'm talking about the "Golden Age" of mankind. There are a number of religion leaders which appear about this time.

 Define "about this time".  "About" what time?  The Buddha lived centuries before Jesus.  Muhammed lived about as many centuries after him.  Who are these religious leaders who appeared "about this time"?

Quote:
They all were influenced by various religions and it stands to reason that Jesus was not an exception to this human trait.

 That doesn't stand to reason at all - again: he was a devout Jew.  That's about as exclusive and narrowly defined a religion as you can get.  To think he was some kind of Buddhist is fantasy.

Quote:
It is very reasonable to think that Jesus was influenced by more than just Jewish faith.

 See above.  And if he was influenced by other religions at all they are far more likely to be ones that were (i) closer to home and (ii) ones that we know influenced the Judaism of his time (and that definitely doesn't include Buddhism or Hinduism)

 

Quote:
To say that these similarities are "human talking sot humans" or "plain common sense" undermines Christians.

Yes.  And? You do realise you're talking to an atheist on an atheist discussion board don't you?

 

Quote:
What you are saying is that Jesus had no divine inspiration or connection with "god".

 Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  See above re atheists and atheist discussion boards.

 

Quote:
It's like saying, "Oh, do unto others..." is common sense. Every one should know this...

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  I have a three year old nephew who grasps this concept so it's not like its something too deep and profound.  It's common sense and the basis for all social living.  So of course you find it in Buddhism, and Christianity, and Judaism (in Leviticus to be exact).  And in just about any other writing by humans about how to live with other humans.  It's common sense. 

"Any fool can make history, but it takes a genius to write it."
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Ebionite wrote: Oh, do unto

Ebionite wrote:
Oh, do unto others..." is common sense. Every one should know this...

Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying.  I have a three year old nephew who grasps this concept so it's not like its something too deep and profound.  It's common sense and the basis for all social living.  So of course you find it in Buddhism, and Christianity, and Judaism (in Leviticus to be exact).  And in just about any other writing by humans about how to live with other humans.  It's common sense. 

Thanks for the info and your opinions. I'll have to look else where for the facts.

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digitalbeachbum

digitalbeachbum wrote:

I've been researching the lost 18 years of Jesus, which the New Testament pretty much skips over. I found some vague references in Luke 2:52 about how he advanced in wisdom, etc.

There is text saying that he spent time in Egypt which was the western end of the silk road. This could have lead to Jesus travelling East to learn more of the Buddhist teachings.

Does any one have some information about what might have happened to Jesus during this time? I've heard that he travelled the Middle East, in to India and then possibly to China or Tibet. This leaves a possibility to the fact that Jesus was actually influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism or other Asian beliefs. It also can explain why so many of the teachings of Jesus (like the Sermon on the Mount) parallels the Buddha's teachings.

Thanks!

 

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal explains it all very well. Maybe not completely historically accurate, but one of the funniest books I've read.   

“Philosophers have argued for centuries about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, but materialists have always known it depends on whether they are jitterbugging or dancing cheek to cheek" -- Tom Robbins


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Renee Obsidianwords

Thanks for the info!

 Since most major religious groups reject the gospel of thomas I have rejected it also, but not because I believe or disbelieve it. The religious groups that reject it don't consider it authoritative and their fore is considered not factual. 

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Vessel wrote: Lamb: The

Vessel wrote:

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal explains it all very well. Maybe not completely historically accurate, but one of the funniest books I've read.   

 

I'm adding it to my wish list! Thanks!

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digitalbeachbum wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:
Thanks for the info and your opinions. I'll have to look else where for the facts.

 That sounds more like "Your info and opinions don't fit with my presuppositions so I'm going to ignore them and only accept evidence that fits with the conclusion I've already come to."

That's not how you study history.

 

Quote:
Since most major religious groups reject the gospel of thomas I have rejected it also, but not because I believe or disbelieve it. The religious groups that reject it don't consider it authoritative and their fore is considered not factual.

 It's generally considered too late and too divorced from the earliest sources of information about Jesus to be used as a guide for any historical information about Jesus.  And you've just confused the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas - two different texts, with the latter much later and far more fanciful than the former.

But if you're going down the New Ager's path of only accepting information, however bad or irrelevant, that fits with the conclusion you've already drawn then I suspect I can be of no further use to you.

I'd still like to know the name of this Mediterrenean leader who converted to Buddhism though.

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Maybe there is a "gap"

Maybe there is a "gap" because no such person existed.

Why manufacture such detial about a mythical figure when the meat of the myth is good enough?

Too bad stupidity isn't poisonous.


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YEAH , Jesus / Buddha ! 

YEAH , Jesus / Buddha !  Smile    Hi GOD !


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Omnibus wrote: Maybe there

Omnibus wrote:

Maybe there is a "gap" because no such person existed.

Why manufacture such detial about a mythical figure when the meat of the myth is good enough?

 

Because both the original poster and I belong to the majority who agree with most scholars and historians - Christian, Jewish, atheist and otherwise - who accept that a historical Jesus is the best and least contived explanation of how the later stories about him arose.

Feel free to belong to the tiny minority who disgaree.

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Ebionite wrote: Because

Ebionite wrote:
Because both the original poster and I belong to the majority who agree with most scholars and historians - Christian, Jewish, atheist and otherwise - who accept that a historical Jesus is the best and least conceived explanation of how the later stories about him arose.

Feel free to belong to the tiny minority who disagree.

I'm not really surprised, but you obviously didn't read my "quote" in my signature.

I believe there is a rational explanation to every thing. Science can prove any thing eventually, given enough time and information. I believe that if scholars or researchers can produce collaborating evidence (and not circumstantial) then in all likelihood it is true.

I believe in the Four Noble truths. I believe them to be factual and provable. I follow the Eight Fold Path (to the best of my ability).

I do not believe Buddha was any thing more than a normal human being who figured shit out.

All the folk lore which is spoken about with the Buddha is shit.

I do not believe in miracles, ghosts, little green men and all religions are made up bullshit to scare people.

I view "Jesus" in one of three ways:

1) There was a person named Jesus who was part of a group of anti-Roman rule with a few core followers..blah blah.

This person named "Jesus" was an iconic figure head who was charismatic. Because of the time frame this person existed the "miracles" performed were seriously exaggerated. Myths or fables were created much like Buddha, Robin Hood, Daniel Boone or many other legends.

Jesus never walked on water. Jesus never healed the sick. Jesus never resurrected from the dead, himself or any others. He was human like all of us and he wasn't any thing special.

All the stories we know today were made up stories which were adapted from other fables and myths like the Egyptians or Buddhism. The people of the time needed a "hero" because of all the shit they were taking from the Romans and other ruling class (Jews).

Jesus was not a Caucasian male. He was either dark skinned or totally negro.

2) There was no person named Jesus. All the stories we know today were made up stories which were adapted from other fables and myths like the Egyptians or Buddhism. The people of the time needed a "hero" because of all the shit they were taking from the Romans and other ruling class (Jews).

3) Two Words: Robot Chicken

I personally have not seen any overwhelming, collaborating evidence which shows a person by the name of Jesus ever existed in the way the "Bible" represents him.

I personally believe that there is a slim chance that option #1 is true, but lets face the facts, the Christian Bible is a bunch of hooey. So I'm going to say #2 is more likely.

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Ebionite wrote: That sounds

Ebionite wrote:
That sounds more like "Your info and opinions don't fit with my presuppositions so I'm going to ignore them and only accept evidence that fits with the conclusion I've already come to."

That's not how you study history.

No. I actually don't believe what you have posted.  I find what you have posted to be an opinion, not factual. Also the link you provided was a link to a book which appears to be hypothetically based.

Ebionite wrote:
And you've just confused the Gospel of Thomas with the Infancy Gospel of Thomas - two different texts, with the latter much later and far more fanciful than the former.

No, I actually understood the difference, but I created my response to be a blanket reply to cover every thing about "Thomas".

Ebionite wrote:
But if you're going down the New Ager's path of only accepting information, however bad or irrelevant, that fits with the conclusion you've already drawn then I suspect I can be of no further use to you.

See above.

Ebionite wrote:
I'd still like to know the name of this Mediterranean leader who converted to Buddhism though.

I don't have all my research here with me and this reply will need to be finished when I get home. I also must correct that I posted incorrectly "Mediterranean", when I meant to say "Greek".

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Omnibus wrote: Maybe there

Omnibus wrote:

Maybe there is a "gap" because no such person existed.

Why manufacture such detial about a mythical figure when the meat of the myth is good enough?

I love your sig. HAHAHAHA!

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   yeah Renee, all those

   yeah Renee, all those "gnostic" books are quite telling. Everyone should know, and all of buddha too. Why don't they?  Frown

, did I tell you I have a crush on you? (I did) , thanks for your picture and wild hair, you are a doll, really .... but if it wasn't for your wonderful mind I would say nothing at all.

 Smart gals make this old man proud. Thanks.

Okay, back the subject, .... sorry I forgot what it was Laughing  umm , yeah something about god .... giggles , damn this is actually a serious wonder?

, okay me sorry. Good Luck .... that Sky Daddy of Abe ain't a friend, obvioulsy .... he's to busy fussing ....      

 


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digitalbeachbum wrote:

digitalbeachbum wrote:
I'm not really surprised, but you obviously didn't read my "quote" in my signature.

 Your sig's quote says nothing about and has no relevance to the question of whether or not a historical Jesus existed, so why you're bringing it into the discussion is a mystery to me. 

Quote:
I personally believe that there is a slim chance that option #1 is true, but lets face the facts, the Christian Bible is a bunch of hooey. So I'm going to say #2 is more likely.

I personally believe that #2 requires too many contrived twists and turns and that #1 is a much more simple and therefore a much more likely explanation.  And I agree that the Christian Bible is a bunch of hooey.

Judging purely from your earlier posts I got the impression that you did believe in a historical Jesus.  It seems my impression was wrong.  Fine by me.  Either way, your assumptions that Jesus "must" have travelled widely or "must" have been influenced by exotic, non-Jewish religions are not well-founded.

 

Quote:
No. I actually don't believe what you have posted.

Okay.  Whatever.

Quote:
I find what you have posted to be an opinion, not factual.

I state in the very sentence you're responding to here that they were my opinions, though I'd argue they are well-founded on facts and evidence.  They are not founded, as your position seems to be, on an assumption that certain things "must" have happened.  Since that same assumption is also your conclusion, you've fallen into the New Ager trap of starting with what you'd like to believe and then triumphantly returning to where you started.  You can "prove" anything that way.

Quote:
Also the link you provided was a link to a book which appears to be hypothetically based.

The first half of Crossan's book looks at evidence regarding peasants in the eastern Mediterranean and compares that information to what the gospels say about Jesus' social context.  Using that evidence, it makes a very solid case for Jesus' status as a peasant.  I suggest you read his book before dismissing it, since the relevant section is not "hypothetically based" at all - it's based on good, solid, historical evidence and sound argument.

You, on the other hand, have simply stated that Jesus was "far from being a peasant" and have backed this assertion up with absolutely nothing.  I'd go into some detail on the evidence which supports the (generally accepted) idea that he was a peasant, but I'm currently travelling in Norway and my book collection is on the other side of the planet.  But I note you still haven't answered my question about how the son of a carpenter who lived in a one donkey village inhabited by peasants could be anything other than a peasant himself.  What else could he be, an urban sophisticate?

Quote:
No, I actually understood the difference, but I created my response to be a blanket reply to cover every thing about "Thomas".

 That doesn't make any sense.

Quote:

I don't have all my research here with me and this reply will need to be finished when I get home. I also must correct that I posted incorrectly "Mediterranean", when I meant to say "Greek".

That makes a considerable difference.

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   Jesus knew everything,

   Jesus knew everything, he flew around the world, ( in his mind, or whatever ) then reported to his jew family tribe, and the big city bosses then killed him. A simple story.


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Ebionite wrote: I

Ebionite wrote:
I personally believe that #2 requires too many contrived twists and turns and that #1 is a much more simple and therefore a much more likely explanation.

I can agree that both are possible, but #2 is no different that stories of Santa Claus, Buddha or even the way some people believe President Bush is a great president. OK. There might be some one named Jesus, but all the stories about him are totally, 100% fabricated.

Ebionite wrote:
And I agree that the Christian Bible is a bunch of hooey.

I can definitely agree with you on this.

Ebionite wrote:
Judging purely from your earlier posts I got the impression that you did believe in a historical Jesus. It seems my impression was wrong. Fine by me. Either way, your assumptions that Jesus "must" have travelled widely or "must" have been influenced by exotic, non-Jewish religions are not well-founded.

I believe there might be a chance for a Jesus to have existed, but nothing like the Christian Bible makes him out to be. I do lean more towards 100% of the stories of Jesus to be totally false.

If there was a Jesus, did he travel or was he influenced by other belief systems such as Buddhism? The Bible doesn't give much information so what other angles of approach can one take?

In my research there are two main possible answers:

1) Jesus went to a county that was influenced already by Buddhism and he studied this belief.

2) Jesus stayed in the Middle East or N. Africa and was influenced by travelers coming from China and India.

Ebionite wrote:
Using that evidence, it makes a very solid case for Jesus' status as a peasant. I suggest you read his book before dismissing it, since the relevant section is not "hypothetically based" at all - it's based on good, solid, historical evidence and sound argument.

I will check to see if the local library has a copy.

Ebionite wrote:
You, on the other hand, have simply stated that Jesus was "far from being a peasant" and have backed this assertion up with absolutely nothing.

By definition Jesus was not a peasant. A farmer? OK. Carpenter? OK. Peasant? No.

In today’s times, we might call a poor farmer a peasant, but back then if they were a poor farmer working on their own land, reaping the benefits of their work, they were not peasants.

In order for Jesus to be a peasant he must have been working on land he didn’t own/rented or he was working on land owned by him or the family and a portion of their crop went to the land owner.

Ebionite wrote:
I'd go into some detail on the evidence which supports the (generally accepted) idea that he was a peasant, but I'm currently travelling in Norway and my book collection is on the other side of the planet. But I note you still haven't answered my question about how the son of a carpenter who lived in a one donkey village inhabited by peasants could be anything other than a peasant himself. What else could he be, an urban sophisticate?

Well, if he did walk on water and raise the dead then I’d agree that he was very hip on technology!

Ebionite wrote:
That makes a considerable difference.

Yes, it makes a huge difference.

The leader I wanted to speak about was Menander I. He was one of eight Greek leaders I have found to have been influenced by Buddhism. He is the only one I have found so far that was noted to have actually converted from Greek Mythology to Buddhism around 150BC.

He had coins stamped and there are saved writings of his following of Buddhism, but none of the others have such evidence left behind. I found talk about an Egyptian and Turkish leaders who were either influenced or converted to Buddhism, but I’ve yet to find collaborating evidence.

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This reminds me of some

This reminds me of some comedian I heard during the 1980s who mentioned the Jesus story pretty much skips from baby to adult. Why don't they talk about whhen he was a teenager:

 

Mary "Jesus, close the door! Were you born in a barn?"

Jesus "...YEAH!!!!"

 

Jesus (to Joseph): "You can't tell me what to do, you're not my real dad anyway!"

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