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Re: [Synoptic-L] Prodigal Son and Buddhism

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  • Jack Kilmon
    I don t know about Wang Shi but I think the parable of the prodigal son may be autobiographical, at least partly. Jack ... From: E Bruce Brooks Sent: Sunday,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 5, 2011
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      I don't know about Wang Shi but I think the parable of the prodigal son may
      be autobiographical, at least partly.

      Jack

      -----Original Message-----
      From: E Bruce Brooks
      Sent: Sunday, September 04, 2011 11:22 PM
      To: GPG
      Cc: Synoptic
      Subject: [Synoptic-L] Prodigal Son and Buddhism

      To: GPG (Synoptic)
      On: Prodigal Son and Buddhism
      From: Bruce

      We had been mentioning the possibility (bearing in mind Derrett's and other
      suggestions) that Luke's Prodigal Son parable had Indian origins. I had
      concluded that typologically the Lotus Sutra version was later than Luke,
      and was more likely to reflect movement in a West > East direction rather
      than otherwise. On the other hand, if an older version of the Lotus Sutra
      story could be found, that might change things.

      A colleague on the other side of the hill has just pointed out a little
      noticed version, in a late text but bearing marks of linguistic earliness.
      Here it is:

      佛告迦�~。今���f譬。如巨富�L者。唯有一子。�S乳母行。於大�中亡失所在。�L者�R
      �K作是思惟。我唯一子久已亡失。更�o�N子。父母�H�佟H粑乙坏┙K�]之後。一切�物
      王悉取去。於思惟�。本所失子。�[行乞求。到其本家。而不自知是其父舍。所以者
      何。幼少失故。父��R之。而不言子。

      所以者何。�]怖走故多�c�物。而�Z之言。我�o子息。�槲易髯印N�宛N行。

      彼子答言。不堪住此。所以者何。住此常苦如被�M�`。

      �L者�^言。汝欲何作。

      子�痛鹧浴��除��x放牧田作。

      �L者念言。此子薄福。我��知�r。且�S彼意。即令除�S。

      其子久後。�大�L者五欲自�省P纳�欣�贰W魇撬嘉�。�大�L者。�r�哀�{多�n���。
      以我�樽印W魇悄钜选2磺谧�铡�

      �L者�已。作是思惟。如是不久。必�槲易印J�r�L者。�じ嬷�曰。汝今云何起��心
      想。不勤作�铡�

      彼即答言。�欲作子生如是心。

      �L者言善。我是汝父。汝是我子。我��汝父。而汝不知。所有�觳叵ひ愿度辍l洞蟊�中
      唱如是言。此是我子。我失�砭谩=裼鲞�家。而不自知。我命�樽印6��筒豢稀=袢兆�
      求�槲易髯印�

      迦�~。如彼�L者。方便�T引志意下劣子。先令除�S。然後付�。於大�中唱如是言。此
      本我子。亡失�砭谩=裥易�怼�槲易髯印�

      It seems to me that though this is a plausible antecedent to the Lotus Sutra
      version, it does not offer a more plausible source for the Luke parable.
      Any other suggestions?

      Bruce

      [E Bruce Brooks / University of Massachusetts at Amherst]



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