The Miracle of the Ancient Buddhist Scrolls

From the point of view of history, Christianity and Islam have certain advantages over Buddhism. Both Jesus and Mahomed lived in cultures where writing was well-known and widely used. Writing was almost certainly unknown in India during the Buddha’s lifetime and did not come into use for perhaps 150 years after his passing. Of course this does not mean that the Buddha’s words were not faithfully preserved. The Vedic brahmans had already perfected techniques of oral transmission that were extraordinarily accurate and it was these very techniques that the first few generations of Buddhist monks, many of who were brahmans, used to preserve and pass on the Buddha’s words.



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