The Claim of a Supernatural Origin of the Founder
Buddha, in some later scriptures which abound in the marvellous is represented as a pre-existent heavenly being who, in connection with a prophetic dream of a queen, became her first-born child when she was forty-five years old.
Lao Tzu in documents dating a thousand years after his day is represented as having been born a fully matured Wise Old Boy or Philosopher, with white hair, who had been carried in his mother’s womb for seventy-two years, or for eighty-one years, according to different traditions.
Mahavira in a Jain document is represented as a pre-existent being who, in fulfilment of fourteen prophetic dreams, was supernaturally placed in his royal mother’s womb.
A virgin birth seems to be intimated in the case of Zoroaster. His mother was supernaturally glorified when she was an unmarried young woman of fifteen. Three future saviors in Zoroastrianism are predicted to be born of a mother who, similarly, is to be a virgin fifteen years old.
In the canonical New Testament of Christianity there are varying data concerning a divine origin of Jesus. Jesus represented himself as having come from God, whon he called father.
The Claim of Divine Revelation
The following may be specified as outstanding revelations of truth:
Hinduism – The immanence of the divine in the world; human society, a divinely ordained structure; union with the divine, the goal of existence.
Jainism – Self-renunciation, the condition of salvation; the ideal of a liberation of the spirit with subjugation of the flesh.
Buddhism – Selfishness as the root of misery; salvation through inner purity and self-discipline.
Confucianism – The essential goodness of human nature, as divinely implanted; religion as exercised in proper social relationships.
Taoism – Religion as exercised in humbly following the divine Way.
Zoroastrianism – Religion as involving active co-operation with a cosmic power of goodness in a struggle against evil.
Shinto – Nature to be recognized as a beautiful divine creation; religion as involving purity and also loyalty to the supreme authority.
Sikhism – Religion as discipleship of the One True God, with trust in His Name.
Christianity – The supreme power in the world is a perfect person; that He may best be conceived of and lived with as a Father-God; that He has been presented by His Son Jesus Christ; and that the supreme satisfaction of every human being consists in loving obedience to Him and in loving service to brother man.
Islam – Superlative satisfaction to be obtained through submission to an omnipotent God, who is not only a sovereign, but also a judge and rewarder.
The Claim of an Inspired Scripture
Living religions do possess definite sets of documents which are regarded unique divine truths which need to be known for salvation. For all of them claims have been made as pre-eminent above the rest of literature.
Hinduism – Vedas, book of knowledge.
Jainism – Angas, bodies of knowledge.
Buddhism – Tripitaka, three baskets of of teachings.
Sikhism – Granth.
Confucianism – The Five Classics and The Four Books.
Taoism – Tao-te-Ching, the canon of reason and virtue.
Shinto – Ko-ji-ki, the records of ancient matters and Nihon-gi, the chronicles of Japan.
Zoroastrianism – Avesta, the knowledge.
Judaism – The Old Testament.
Christianity – The New Testament.
Islam – Koran.