Is it possible that other historical figures like Buddha and Krishna could be prior incarnations of Jesus? Note I'm specifically asking if Christ said it was exclusive, not other Biblical texts.


No, Christ never said it was His first time on earth. As a matter of fact, many denominations believe that he appeared several times in Old Testament Scripture, often referred to as the Angel of the Lord.

As far as whether Buddha or Krishna could be prior incarnations, it would go against everything Jesus taught. The teachings of these other religions are very different from Christianity. Christianity is quite unique in several ways, and certainly isn't compatible with Buddhism (which emphasizes man's journey to enlightenment) or Hinduism (a pantheistic religion). The idea that these figures could be "other appearances of Christ" would need to completely ignore huge differences in philosophy, and teachings on the nature of man, and man's relationship to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (a completely different God than the gods of non Abrahamic religions).

  • And even if you could get past all of that (and what @David said is a lot to get past!), in the case of the Buddha, he would have been horrified at the thought, since he did not claim to be (or want to be presented as) a god. I think a big question would be "why would you even see the two as related, save that they are both important religious figures?". Jul 6 '13 at 22:48
  • @David could you expand on what Christ spoke of that would contradict the teachings of Krishna, In reading the New Testament, Gita, and Dhammapada I have a very difficult time identifying the significant deltas.
    – Neel
    Jul 7 '13 at 4:55
  • @Timothy to answer your big question, I would say that I'm not sure, except to say that I feel the assumption of them not being connected may be flawed.
    – Neel
    Jul 7 '13 at 4:58
  • 1
    @Neel, that's a great question right there -- what of Christ's teachings contradict the teachings of Krishna.
    – Joe
    Jul 7 '13 at 17:54
  • @Neel while there is some significant overlap in the Gita, you'll notice that the ultimate calling is to detached action related to duty. Arjuna is a warrior, therefore Arjuna should fight -- even against his kinsmen. This is on its head from Christ's call to a very passionate form of action in response to "loving God with one's heart, soul, mind and strength" and "loving your neighbor as yourself." Moreover, the goal is to be released from reincarnation and rejoin with the Ultimate Reality, as opposed to being restored to one's true identity and dwelling with, but not being subsumed by, God. Jul 7 '13 at 18:50

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