Who is Maitreya? Is Maitreya the antichrist?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

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Shea S. Michael Houdmann Supporter Got Questions Ministries
Maitreya is usually attributed to the name used in Buddhism for "a Buddha yet to come," though the origins of Maitreya are unclear and disputed. Although there is no scriptural evidence that the an...

July 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Mini Alex Harris
Buddhism arose in the 6th c BC at a time when the Jews had gone completely into captivity and they ceased to exist as a nation. They were God's Revelation of Himself to the whole world under the first covenant and the world staggered in darkness when they went into captivity. It was at this time that Buddhism arose as an agnostic religion and this form of Buddhism is often referred to as Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism. 

Buddhism was the dominant religion of the land of India in the 1st c AD, and at this time the Christian Gospel came to the land of India thru the apostle Thomas. Then under the influence of early Indian Christianity, Buddhism branched into a new form called Mahayana Buddhism. Thus in history we can see that Buddhism has two divisions, Hinayana and Mahayana - Hinayana which was propagated by Buddha, was an agnostic religion with no God, while Mahayana evolved with the concept of a divine savior. The Hinayana scriptures are in Pali, while the Mahayana writings are in Sanskrit. Since the first evidence of Sanskrit is 150 AD (epigraphy evidence), we can see that Mahayana Buddhism developed under the influence of early Indian Christianity.

An important development in Mahayana Buddhism was the belief in a Bodhisattva, or divine savior. Maitreya is the earliest Bodhisattva around whom a following developed around the 3rd century AD, and Maitreya is the only Bodhisattva accepted by all schools of Buddhism including the Theravada tradition.

Thus in Buddhism, many of the Christian thoughts can be observed which essentially is syncretism from early Indian Christianity. This is also true of Hinduism where a good example is the Gita which is written in Sanskrit. The Gita clearly portrays God taking the form of man for the salvation of the world, which is the heart of the Christian Gospel.

Thus it is of utmost importance that we understand the historical developments of the major religions around us so that we can be effective witnesses for Him in communicating the Gospel.

September 07 2014 4 responses Vote Up Share Report

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