A Reader Writes:
In Cioccolanti’s book “the last words of Buddha” he raises eye opener Buddha teachings but does not specifically identify the source of his referenced material from Buddhist literature. Have you verified the source of this particular article? this Kampee Khon reference?

My Response:
I’m no expert on comparative religions. Nor do I think that all religions except my own belong to the ‘refuse of history.’ Left to my own devices, I probably would have drifted into quasi-Taoism like so many in my generation. I liked its gentle, ephemeral nature and its whimsical approach to the divine. But revelation intervened. I had an encounter with God – there is no other way to say it – and it changed my life.

So with my early interest in Eastern religions I have done a fair bit of research, and I would ask you to consider the following:
1. Many religions have myths involving the sacrifice of God’s son to atone for sins in one form or another. It is not inconceivable that such myths were prevalent in the East before the arrival of Buddhism and have survived and been syncretised into Buddhist teachings
2. Gautama (Buddha’s birth name) is actually Persian in origin. There was briefly (two years) a Persian ruler by the name of Gautama.
3. Jewish teaching, including most of what is now the Old Testament, arrived in Persia with the Jewish exiles following their captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem about two hundred years before the birth of Buddha. Such teaching would have included the prophecy about the suffering Saviour of the world, including His wounds (cf. Psalm 22, Isaiah 53).
4. Even if Buddha’s natal family did not have Persian ties, the cross pollination of such important religious matters as the Torah contained could not have failed to be widely disseminated in cultures that were centered around their belief in the nature of the divine.

So to answer your question: no, I do not have concrete proof of the assertion, and since I do not read Khymer, am not likely to find it. However, given all that I have noted above, it does strike me as possible on a number of counts. God is not only fair, He will be seen to be fair when He reveals all to us on the Day of Judgement. Surely He has not left Himself without a witness prior to His appearing in bodily form in 30 A.D. on the streets of Jerusalem. The Torah/Old Testament is full of hints, revelations and prophecies concerning His appearing and His ministry while on earth. It seems most reasonable to me to assume that He has done likewise in other cultures and teachings, including Buddhism.

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