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What divinely inspired/sacred texts have you read (in their entirety)?

  • I have completely read all works I feel are divine/sacred.

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  • I have completely read all works I feel are divine/sacred, plus some that others feel are.

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  • I havn't completely read all works I feel are divine/sacred, but have read others.

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  • I do not believe any works are divine/sacred, but have read at least one considered to be by others.

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  • I believe some works are divine/sacred, but have read none in their entirety.

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  • I don't believe any works are divine/sacred, and have not read any.

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are a lot of texts out there that are the basis of various people's sacred beliefs or are even believed to be the word of the divine him/her/them self(ves).

Often when people discuss religion, this is brought up as a defense in an argument, like "well it's in here so..." or "have you read it, how do you know it's not true if you haven't?" But with so many books out there that are so sacred to very many people, should we feel the need to read them all before deciding any particular one is *the* one? Or at the very least, wouldn't it be worthwhile to at least not only completely read, but try to gain a coherent understanding, as a whole, an entire book for if no other reason than it's cultural importance?

I've been meaning to read the Bible and Koran in their entirety for a long time. It really takes time. Especially if you are trying to really think about it and understand it. So far I've been doing what I suspect most people do, which is hear about an interesting section, go to it, and read just that, like a reference volume. Ironically, I am inspired by the many atheists out there who are very well-read in these areas (many who became so through seminary or other religious undertakings and then later came to doubt.)

I am thinking of an old Simpson's scene where Rev. Lovejoy asks Marge, "have you ever really sat down and read this thing?" Well, have you?
 

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That's a tough one, because as I read over the poll options, I started mulling how I define "inspired" and "sacred." There have been many books that have significantly impacted my life, and some had a clear level of inspiration in them. I helped write a confession of faith with a group of other mainly-Anabaptist young adults in December. The process of listening to each other, hashing out our views and creating something that reflected us was inspiring, and I believe that was of God.

My position has been that the Protestant Bible is my only "sacred text." I need to give that a lot more thought, obviously, because I'm unable to articulate why, even for myself. But then, it would help if I try to think about it at a time other than 3 a.m.

Oh yes, I've read the Protestant Bible completely through four or five times.
 

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I don't believe any works are truly divine/sacred, but I've still read bits and pieces of some that claim to be. So no, nothing in its entirety. Do I think I should? Nope! Even if I did sit down and read through the Bible (or the Koran or the Vedas or whatever), I probably wouldn't understand their true meaning as well as I would like to. These texts were written in a specific time in a specific culture in a specific language (or even in more than one language in the case of the Bible), and unless I study all those extensively beforehand, the true and complete meaning is not available to me. And the cost of learning all this is just too great. Therefore I prefer to concentrate on more current literature, which I find much more rewarding.

Fundies who claim that you need to sit down and read the whole Bible before you have the right to have an opinion on it should be forced to sit down and read the major works on cosmology, evolution or history of religion, with special attention to how fundie Christianity is responsible for atrocities like persecution and waging war against other beliefs/disbelief, and obstructing social and scientific progress. Just saying.
 

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I don't believe any works are divine/sacred, and have not read any.

I also don't feel you need to read a sacred text in it's entirety to have an opinion on it. OTOH I feel that it can provide valuble insight into the beliefs of others and I have read parts of the bible and would like to have read it all some day. But yes, it takes a LOOOONG time and I don't know if I'll ever really have the motivation to do so
 

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I have trouble figuring how people manage to get away with "the Bible is the work of God, so what's in it is true" and "the Bible says God exists, and as it speaks the truth, then God must exits". I've never heard anything more circular, and when I'm told one of the two above it usually gets on my nerves. Which doesn't really make me feel like reading it. To me it's just a big novel with religious sauce on it.
 

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Well to start with, I have read part of the bible. A very small part so not in entirety and I didn't find it all too exciting.

I am personally a buddhist, - I don't know about other buddhists - but I personally don't regard any written work as sacred. I am probably not being true to the dictionary description but I do not really care. To me any book written in any religion or philosophy or by JK Rowling is just a book or a written work on a particular topic written by a person man or woman.
 

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I read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Koran (translated)--the Book of Mormon because it was free, and the Koran just to know what was in it. I was going through a time of questioning my parents teachings. I came once again back to the Bible, this time for my own personal faith. I enjoyed the Book of Mormon. I come to understand the thinking of the faithful reading the Koran, but the Bible was what fit me.
 

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As far as what's from my personal faith, I have read the Bible (both the Catholic and Protestant versions) several times through.

From other people's faiths I have read the Koran, good chunks of Buddhist texts, most of the Book of Mormon except for a few books (many of my close friends are mormon), and, um... that's it, I guess. I think I've spent more time reading about other peoples' religions than actually reading the texts they consider holy or instructive.
 

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I am reading the bible cover to cover for my new years res. I have read it before but skipped some parts like numbers,proverbs. I have read the Book of Mormon through many times and The Tao Te Ching. I have read The Quran but had trouble finishing it so need to go back and read it again. Sometime I want to read the Bhagavad Gita. It is getting hearder to find time to read and study since the kids are getting older. It is easy to read while cuddling a baby. Older kids want to play all the time.
 

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I have read the Bible (including the Apocrypha), the Koran, the Mahabharata, some of the Buddhist Sutras and some of the Dead Seas Scrolls in their entirety, and as to oral tradition I've researched and and read religious stories from the Greeks, Persians, Australian Aboriginals and Norse primarily, but not exclusively.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indian Summer View Post

people who are interested in this subject should also read the major works on cosmology, evolution or history of religion, with special attention to how various religions and philisophies are sometimes responsible for atrocities like persecution and waging war against other beliefs/disbelief, and obstructing social and scientific progress. Just saying.
I've read a lot of these too, with particular attention to astronomy and quantum theory. My corrections to how I personally interpret your statement are in magenta.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiz View Post

I've read a lot of these too, with particular attention to astronomy and quantum theory. My corrections to how I personally interpret your statement are in magenta.
That's not exactly what I meant, though. I don't mind at all if someone is simply interested in one (or more) of these (allegedly) holy texts. But if this person also claims that a certain text gives a correct account of something, for example, how the world and the universe came into being, or how humans and life in general came into being, and is rejecting scientifically based counter-arguments with quasi-science and/or circular arguments ("God created humans because it's written in such and such Bible verse"), then I really think they need to educate themselves about how all this is explained by science.
 

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And I'm wondering, why read "sacred" things when you're looking into different visions of the world? Philosophers have done it too, and I'd trust their word better because they didn't claim to be infallible, they weren't trying to get you to enroll in their religion, and they didn't pretend to be any superior entities or persons. In fact, they took the responsibilities of their work instead of having it interpreted, translated, modified, censored etc. After centuries, nobody knows who wrote what in the Bible. If any of them was a drunk or just crazy when they wrote it, nobody's gonna find out about it.
 

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Why not real philosophical texts, religious texts and scientific texts? Personally, when I read the texts mentioned it was for two reasons, one to give me something to do on the train of a morning, and two (and by far the most important reason) to understand just a little bit more about the religions that certain people follow.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahkoon View Post

And I'm wondering, why read "sacred" things when you're looking into different visions of the world? Philosophers have done it too, and I'd trust their word better because they didn't claim to be infallible, they weren't trying to get you to enroll in their religion, and they didn't pretend to be any superior entities or persons. In fact, they took the responsibilities of their work instead of having it interpreted, translated, modified, censored etc. After centuries, nobody knows who wrote what in the Bible. If any of them was a drunk or just crazy when they wrote it, nobody's gonna find out about it.
Maybe some of the sacred texts are a sort of world philosophy. I know that many adherents of the associated religions would find that a distasteful thing to say, but I'm not so sure it's inaccurate.

I've worked my way through the Bible many times, along with the Qur'an (English translation) and much of the Tanakh (mostly because much of it corresponds with the Bible). I do feel it can be valuable if you're going to debate with someone of a particular religious persuasion, to be knowledgeable of their teachings. Many "flavors" of various religions, particularly the big 3 monotheistic faith, have teachings that don't appear to be rooted in their own sacred texts, or are open to broad interpretation.
 

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I'm an atheist of Jewish birth. I haven't even read the entire Torah (first 5 books of the Christian Bible) yet. I'm actually working on it, though. I'm also planning to read the Bible and Koran some day, just to get a better understanding of other people's views. And The Analects of Confucius is on my list, too. If I ever finish all of those, then I'll worry about what to add to that list.

--Fromper

 
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