THE BUDDHIST DIMENSION OF JOHN J. D UNCAN M. D ERRETT Summary Many features of the Fourth Gospel have hitherto found no source and commen- tators are con ned to imagination. Meanwhile Buddhists’ use of Greek, Roman and Jewish materials is established. It turns out, from a close examination of twelve in- stances, that Buddhist traditions, found in H ¯ ‡ nay ¯ ana and Mah ¯ ay ¯ ana sources, contem- porary in essence with St John, offered the latter an opportunity to make his gospel attractive to contemporary targets of Buddhist missions, groups for whom Moses was not a commanding gure. Buddhists would recognise Jesus, already known from “syn- optic” or para-synoptic materials, as a Bodhisattva, now a Buddha, who like Gautama promised a Paraclete, strongly resembling Maitreya in character and function. Introduction Compiled between AD 90 and (at the latest) 150, 1 the Fourth Gospel contains elements of unknown origin, and they are important. Such novelties, foreign to the synoptics, have no genuine Jewish or Greek background. No allusions to the Old Testament, synoptic precedents, or rabbinical traditions, however frequent, 2 determine this stratum. Alleged Mandaean and Hermetic parallels cease to convince. Post- biblical
Numen – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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