Society

Sacred Texts Of Major World Religions

Almost every school of religious thought and belief has its own central texts to guide its followers.

Religious texts are those sacred and central to the teachings of almost every given religion. They are significant as these texts convey spiritual truth, establish connection with the divine, foster communal identity, and provide the promotion of mystical experiences and spiritual practices.

Significant Religious Texts of Major Religions

Baha'i Faith: The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys

These are two distinct texts of the Baha’i faith written that were by Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i faith. The Seven Valleys, written in the year 1860 in Baghdad, explains the journey of the soul through seven stages of life that focus on finding the right path. The Four Valleys, written in the year 1857 in Baghdad states qualities of the mystical wayfarers as the observance of laws of religion, journey to God by using logic and reason, with love of God and journey through reason, obedience and inspiration.

Buddhism: The Tipitaka

The Tipitaka was written around 1st century BCE, and is authoritative mainly in the Theravada Buddhism. Their focus is on the dress code, certain dietary rules to be followed, and the teachings of the Buddha.

Christianity: The Bible

The Bible is considered divine inspiration that records the relationship between God and humankind. The sacred text dates back to 4th Century from when copies have been preserved in the Vatican Library, and includes the holy writing related to Jesus. It is regarded by Christians as the inerrant word of the God.

Hinduism: The Vedas and The Upanishads

The Vedas in their written form were compiled around 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. It includes the original texts known as Mantra and the commentary portion as Brahmana. It includes four Vedas with teachings, like the procedures of wedding in the Rig Veda, sacrificial rites in the Yajur Veda, chanting of songs of praise in the Sam Veda, and philosophical and political issues are a part of the Atharva Veda. The Upanishads, also known as Vedanta, are considered as ends of Vedas, and are spiritual contemplation of the same.

Islam: The Quran and The Hadiths

The Quran in Islam is regarded as the word of God that is revealed to Muhammad, and the Hadiths contains the saying of the Muhammad and his followers, as this is a kind of narrative. These are authoritative texts in Islam.

Jainism: The Agamas

The Agamas are based on the tirthankara, which is itself related to the body of doctrines that come through authoritative teachers. These are fixed truths and a tradition without any discernible origin.

Judaism: The Tanakh and The Talmud

The Tanakh is a collection of Jewish texts, and some of its source material serves as the basis for the Christian Bible's Old Testament. Many of the same divine teachings from the Bible are recorded in it. In the Talmud, rabbinic teachings are described which tell about the meaning of work and the prohibition of different types of work.

Shintoism: The Kojiki

This text, first translated into English in the year 1882 and first written in Japanese, is a record in the Shinto religion which explains the customs, ceremonies, and magical practices followed in Japan by Shintos.

Sikhism: The Guru Granth Sahib

This sacred text, first compiled between the years 1563 and 1606 by Guru Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, also includes the teachings of 13 Hindu Bhakti movements’ saints, and two from Islam.

Taoism: The Dao De Jing

It is a Chinese philosophical text, authored by Laozi in the 6th Century B.C.E. The Dao De Jing denotes many of the most important philosophical teachings of the religion in 81 chapters.

Wicca: The Book of Shadows

The text includes magical rituals found in the Neopagan religion known as Wicca. The Wicca movement proliferated in early 20th Century England, and has now spread across large parts of the English-speaking world.

Zoroastrianism: The Avesta

The Zoroastrian Avesta includes the law, teachings, and liturgy from the prophet Zarathushtra, and includes hymns, prayers, and minor texts.

Most Sacred Texts Of Major World Religions

ReligionsMost Sacred Text(s)
Baha'i The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys
Buddhism Tipitaka
Christianity Christian Bible
Hinduism The Vedas and The Upanishads
Islam The Quran and The Hadiths
Jainism The Agamas
Judaism The Tanakh and The Talmud
Shintoism Kojiki
Sikhism Guru Granth Sahib
Taoism Dao De Jing
Wicca The Book of Shadows
Zoroastrianism The Avesta

More in Society