A Comparative Study of the Lives and Thoughts of Gautama and Jesus, by Dwight Goddard. Buddhism began and flourished half a millennium before Jesus was ever born. Five hundred years is a long time for a religion to grow, so Jesus could have easily been influenced by Buddhist teachings as proposed by this book. There were many years in the life of Jesus that remain unaccounted for. Goddard reveals evidence that the Essenes, of whom Jesus had contact with and may have been a member himself, had strong Buddhist influences. This book reveals, quite surprisingly at times, that the parallels between Jesus and the Buddha are more than just coincidence.