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The Buddhist Dimension of John

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Many features of the Fourth Gospel have hitherto found no source and commentators are confined to imagination. Meanwhile Buddhists' use of Greek, Roman and Jewish materials is established. It turns out, from a close examination of twelve instances, that Buddhist traditions, found in Hīnayāna and Mahāyāna sources, contemporary 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 figure. Buddhists would recognise Jesus, already known from "synoptic" or para-synoptic materials, as a Bodhisattva, now a Buddha, who like Gautama promised a Paraclete, strongly resembling Maitreya in character and function.


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