Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, and Confucius - most successful during their lifetimes?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Iowa USA
Muhammad- invents religion, spreads it, is it’s prophet and leader, conquers vast swathes of territory, unites the Arab pagans, is recognised as a conquerer, has many wives and slaves.

Jesus- a renegade rabbi, more of a hippy “modern”(at the time) jew who had a cult following in his day... probably a Jim Jones or David Koresh type figure. Ignored by majority of Jews. Arrested and executed.

No contest.
Wouldn't the Hellenistic strain of Judaism be "modern" in the first century? Jesus could be represented as many things, but never as a Hellenist, so I was really at a loss to follow hippy "modern". Reforming the 613 or so ways to become unpure would be "fundamentalism" in today's parlance rather than "modern" a word that really isn't used in historical discussion about this era .... without further elaboration at least?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
But that was NOT in his lifetime. Christianity didn’t take of fir quite some time after his death. Even immediately after his death his small following were more a sect of Judaism than anything. In his lifetime he put a few rabbis noses out of joint, and got himself crucified.... doesn’t compare to Muhammad’s life.
Well the suggestion is that during the life of Jesus, Jesus directed his followers to spread Christianity worldwide.

The other point you bring up has been discussed on this board. That is to say should Jesus be labeled as a Christian or Jew? Where would that put Jewish folks if one is to label Jesus Jewish, does that mean Jews should view Jesus as there Lord and Savior? Similarly we see the issue of when some Muslims claim that David and Jesus were Muslims....does that mean Christians should view Jesus as a Muslim? Its an interesting conversation and thanks for the response.

Edric Streona

Ad Honorem
Feb 2016
Jesus was a Jew, that doesn’t put Jews in any conundrum that I see.
Jesus was seen as a messiah by some Jews in his life time, which after his death evolves into Christianity.
Why would it mean anything to them that he was a Jew? If they except him as their lord and savior then they are no longer Jewish and have become Christian.
If they think the Jesus was some Jewish hippy that thought God was his dad... then they remain Jews.

Lots of Muslims (like Jews, Christians, Hindus and other religions) claim lots of crazy nonsense. Fact is that Moses and Jesus can’t be Muslim as they existed centuries before Mohammed made up the Koran. Tbh I’ve never heard a Muslim claim them as Muslims only claiming them as earlier prophets of God.

Either way, In his lifetime Jesus had established a smallish following of Jews, had annoyed many Jewish temples and politicians, was arrested, whipped and killed. His brother kept a Jewish temple running to keep his teachings alive... but remained Jewish for several decades. Christianity (venerating Jesus as a martyr and son of god) doesnt evolve for another 30-40 years if I understand it correctly.

Muhammad had conquered, forcibly converted part of the Middle East by the time of his death. He had made a religion, used it to unite his people, spread it far and dies a suurounded by wives, children and followers after living a long life.

No contest.


Forum Staff
Apr 2010
T'Republic of Yorkshire
I reckon John, Paul, George and Ringo were more successful in their lifetimes.