Remarkably resemblance between Dharmaguptaka's Buddha's Genealogy and Matthew’s Jesus' Genealogy

What do you think about the story given by Dharmaguptaka’s Vinaya Prologue of their Skhandhaka about the Buddha’s genealogy, I found it to be strikingly similar to what given in Matthew 1, including the stories about how the poweful kings of their times receive the news of the newborn child’s prediction.

  1. The Genealogy of Buddha Gotama

Thus have I heard, thus has it been told to me. In the ancient past, the very first king to appear in the world was named Mahāpuruṣa, and he was chosen by the people. This king had a son who became King Kalyāṇa. King Kalyāṇa had a son named Roci. King Roci had a son named Upoṣadha. King Upoṣadha had a son named Māndhātṛ. King Māndhātṛ had a son named Cāru. King Cāru had a son named Upacāru. King Upacāru had a son named Muci. King Muci had a son named Mucilinda. King Mucilinda had a son called Baihirṣi. King Baihirṣi had a son called Śakada. King Śakada had a son named Ruci. King Ruci had a son named Suruci. King Suruci had a son called Prāṇa. King Prāṇa had a son named Mahāprāṇa. King Mahāprāṇa had a son named Kuśa. King Kuśa had a son named Mahākuśa. King Mahākuśa had a son named Sudarśana. King Sudarśana had a son named Mahāsudarśana. King Mahāsudarśana had a son named Aśoka. King Aśoka had a son named Dīpa. King Dīpa had a son named Līna…. King Mahāsujāta had a son called Ikṣvāku. King Ikṣvāku had a son named Urada. Urada had a son named Gaura. Gaura had a son named Nirpura. Nirpura had a son named Siṃhahanu. Siṃhahanu had a son named Śuddhodana. Śuddhodana had a son called Bodhisattva [Gautama], and Bodhisattva had a son named Rāhula.

  1. The Genealogy of Jesus Christ

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abijah begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ.

  1. King Bimbisāra hears about the child’s prediction:

At this time, Bimbisāra, the king of Magadha, was concerned about neighboring countries and sent military patrols to various regions. He heard from those patrols that in the northern borderlands near the Himalayas, a son was born to parents of pure lineage belonging to a noble family in the Śākya clan. The child was endowed with the thirty-two hallmarks of a great man, and fortune-tellers had made the prediction described above. A member of the patrol approached the king and said, “May it be known to Your Majesty that in the northern borderlands near the Himālayas a son has been born to parents of pure lineage belonging to a noble family in the Śākya clan. The child is endowed with the thirty-two hallmarks of a great man,” and related the above account. He continued, “I recommend that Your Majesty find an expedient way to eliminate him. Otherwise he may bring harm to Your Majesty in the future, resulting in loss of territory and ruin of the kingdom.” The king replied, “There is no need to eliminate him. If he does not go forth, he will be anointed as a kṣatriya Wheel-turning Universal Monarch, a Chakravartin. Possessing the seven treasures, he will rule the four continents with ease, acting without weakness. In this case, I shall render service to him as a loyal subject. “Should he go forth to pursue the path, he will become an Arhat, Fully enlightened. He will teach people the Dharma, which is good in the beginning, middle, and end. In this case, I shall become his disciple.”

  1. King Herod hears about the Jesus:

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:
‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was.

Hi @BuddhistZoologist

I like your post, but I think the comparison is too far-fetched.

The Gospel of Matthew was written for a Jewish audience and the intent of the genealogy was to make Jesus fit the predictions of the Jewish scriptures of the future messiah: Direct descent from King David, a certain number of generations from major events in the Jewish history etc. And the “begots” were very common in antiquity as the usual style of proof of ancestry (which was very important).

Similarly I believe that it is not a surprise that as a rule, kings and regents of all places in antiquity have always been afraid from spiritual leaders or different religious sects getting to powerful.


The Dharmaguptakas, it seems, originated in the north-west under Greek rule, and I believe their founder was of Greek descent, and probably lived a century or two before Christ.

Which begs the question: given that we know that Buddhists and Greeks lived together for a large region for a long period of time, why is there so little evidence of a genuine dialogue between them? Even the Milindapanha, where a Greek king debates with a Buddhist monk, is concerned solely with interpretations of Buddhism and says nothing about Greek philosophy.

There’s no particular historical reason why these narratives should not have influenced each other, but at the same time, I think more details are need to establish that this is more than a generic similarity.

Consider today, when stock accounts such as newspaper reports, biographies, and the like often follow similar patterns. Such things get absorbed as “the way” to tell that kind of story.


Mythical genealogies of kings goes all the way back to the first kings in Mesopotamia. The Sumerian king lists were composed before 2000 BC. The later versions claimed to go back to the beginning of humanity, from the times before the great flood, and some of the legendary kings were depicted to reign for thousands of years. The Buddhist legends are very similar in format and also begin with the time after a great cataclysm.

Another curious thing is that the Sumerian word for king (lugal) literally meant “great man.” That literal meaning is equivalent to the Buddhist term S. mahāpuruṣa, which is associated with the myth of the wheel-turning king.

Myself, I think Christians were creating their own versions of many of these Middle Eastern and South Asian mythologies that had existed for a very long time before them. Greek, Persian, and Indian religions were combined into a syncretic mashup in the Gandhara region (modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan) during the Kushan empire. So, to me, early Christianity is a syncretic religion that combined elements of other older religions, similar to Manichaeism.


(And I believe, although cannot prove, that the epic of Gilgamesh was a decisive influence on the Buddhist conception of the “great Man”: he undertook two quests, one worldly to establish empire, the other spiritual to overcome death.)