The Teachings Of The Buddhist Scholars Essay
1 Cor. 15: 3-24
Abraham Philip, Ph.D.
In 1960, the famous Protestant theologian Paul Tillich visited Japan to meet with some Buddhist scholars. During a conversation with them in Kyoto, he asked: “If some historian should make it probable that a man of the name Gautama never lived, what would be the consequence for Buddhism?” The Buddhist scholars replied by saying that it did not matter if Gautama Buddha lived or not. They added, “According to the doctrine of Buddhism, the dharma kaya [the body of truth] is eternal, and so it does not depend upon the historicity of Gautama.” In essence, these Buddhist scholars maintained that the teachings ascribed to Buddha can stand on their own merit even if Buddha had never lived or taught.
This is not the case with Christianity. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Apostle Paul categorically affirms that the historicity of Christ and His resurrection are the essential pillars of the Christian faith. He says that the edifice of Christianity stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Christ had not risen, says Paul, our preaching is useless, our faith is in vain, and we have no forgiveness of sin. No wonder, the early apostles preached the resurrection of Christ everywhere they went. The centrality of the apostolic proclamation or kerygma was the resurrection of Christ.
In this resurrection chapter, Paul deals with three aspects of Christ’s resurrection. First, we learn of the evidence of Christ’s…