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Category:Sacred Texts

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A scroll of the Torah, which forms a portion of the Tanakh; within the  Jewish tradition, such scrolls are traditionally hand lettered on parchment and are not to be touched with the hands; instead, when they are read aloud during a service, the text is followed by means of a yad or "Torah pointer."
A scroll of the Torah, which forms a portion of the Tanakh; within the Jewish tradition, such scrolls are traditionally hand lettered on parchment and are not to be touched with the hands; instead, when they are read aloud during a service, the text is followed by means of a yad or "Torah pointer."

Sacred Texts are scrolls and books that are used within various Religious Traditions to educate the clergy, bring theological, cosmological, prophetic, and moral topics before both clergy and laity, and to describe the character and the life histories of notable deities, angels, progenitors, ancestors, and heroes. Sacred texts also have a place in many magical traditions, both as templates for the creation of while spell casting, and in a form of divination or prophecy known as bibliomancy. The creation and distribution of these texts may be open to the public or limited only to the clergy. They may contain accounts of the creation of the world, the origins of life and death, accounts of the doings of holy deities, tales of the lives of people of cultural significance, genealogies of ancestors, and, very often, teachings of moral laws, sometimes in the form of directives or commandments from a deity or a wisdom teacher.

In addition to their religious or scriptural value, many ancient sacred texts have long found popular favour for use in bibliomancy, which is a form of divination or fortune telling conducted by means of a book.

A hand-lettered and illustrated fragment of the Ramayana, an ancient Hindu scripture
A hand-lettered and illustrated fragment of the Ramayana, an ancient Hindu scripture
Fragment of a hand-lettered and illustrated portion of Taoist scripture known as the Tao De Ching
Fragment of a hand-lettered and illustrated portion of Taoist scripture known as the Tao De Ching

Contents

What Are the Sacred Texts?

An illustrated and hand-lettered Bible; these rare Christian books, each one unique, are often referred to as illuminated manuscript Bibles
An illustrated and hand-lettered Bible; these rare Christian books, each one unique, are often referred to as illuminated manuscript Bibles
An Akkadian cuneiform tablet of the Atra-Hasis, a Babylonian scripture whose text includes accounts of both the creation of the world and an ancient flood or deluge
An Akkadian cuneiform tablet of the Atra-Hasis, a Babylonian scripture whose text includes accounts of both the creation of the world and an ancient flood or deluge
In this illustrated and hand lettered fragment of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the soul of Ani, shown as a bird with a human head, meets two of the netjeru and watches as the  jackal-headed Anubis weighs his heart against the feather of Maat, goddess of truth, justice, and balance
In this illustrated and hand lettered fragment of the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the soul of Ani, shown as a bird with a human head, meets two of the netjeru and watches as the jackal-headed Anubis weighs his heart against the feather of Maat, goddess of truth, justice, and balance
The old family Bible in which the names of one's ancestors and descendants have been recorded is a powerful source of guidance from Christian scripture during bibliomantic divination or fortune telling
The old family Bible in which the names of one's ancestors and descendants have been recorded is a powerful source of guidance from Christian scripture during bibliomantic divination or fortune telling
The I Ching or Book of Changes in a Chinese-language edition; this ancient Confucian text is consulted both for its wisdom and as a tool of divination
The I Ching or Book of Changes in a Chinese-language edition; this ancient Confucian text is consulted both for its wisdom and as a tool of divination
Fragment of a hand-lettered and illustrated portion of the Mahabharata, depicting the battle of Kurukshetra, during the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, a part of which is the Hindu scripture, the Baghavad Gita
Fragment of a hand-lettered and illustrated portion of the Mahabharata, depicting the battle of Kurukshetra, during the war between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, a part of which is the Hindu scripture, the Baghavad Gita
A hand-lettered and illustrated ornamental Quran, the primary scripture of Islam
A hand-lettered and illustrated ornamental Quran, the primary scripture of Islam

Not every religion has a written tradition, and even those that do have one may not recognize specific texts as sacred. Among those that do affirm the sacredness of specific texts, there are cultural variations within religions as to which texts are considered sacred by established clergy. Some of the most common of these cultural variables include affirming a text to be sacred only in its original language, and/or only n one specific translation into another language, and/or only if it is hand-written by a clerically approved scribe, and/or permissible to printed for mass distribution. Because of these variable beliefs within the many religions of the world, any listing of sacred texts will be incomplete.

Popular Sacred Texts

As noted, there is no definitive list of sacred texts, but here are some which find popular use in the religions of the world.

Atra-Hasis

Baghavad Gita

The Baghavad Gita ("Song of God") is the most popular of the many sacred texts of the Hindu religious traditions; written sometime between the fifth and second centuries BCE, it is a 700-verse narrative that forms chapters 23–40 of the epic Mahabharata and consists of a dialogue between Prince Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna as they discuss the philosophical and spiritual duties of a warrior. (Read More ...)

Bardo Thodol

The Bardo Thodol ("Liberation Through Hearing During the Intermediate State"), also known as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, is the best-known portion of a large Nyingma Buddhist body of work whose name in English is "The Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation Through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Deities," attributed to Karma Lingpa (1326–1386); it deals with the journey of the soul after death. (Read More ...)

Bible

Book of Psalms

The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 ancient Hebrew poems or songs employed in a variety of spiritual, magical, medical, and social circumstances; it forms one of the most loved portions of the Jewish Bible or Tanakh (Read More ...)

Book of Mormon

Book of the Dead

Daozang

Dhammapada

Hadith

I Ching

The I Ching or Book of Changes is an ancient Chinese method of divination, widely considered to be a sacred text within theConfucian andTaoist traditions; the recitation of these portions of scripture is undertaken to bring divine aid in certain situations. (Read More ...)

Midrash

The Midrash is a collection of commentaries on the Bible composed by prominent Jewish rabbis between 400 and 1200 CE. (Read More ...)

Odù Ifá

Puranas

Quran

Ramanaya

Surahs

The Surahs are the 114 chapters of the Quran, the sacred text of Islam; ; the recitation of these portions of scripture is undertaken to bring divine aid in certain situations. {Read More ...)

Talmud

The Talmud is the primary source of Jewish religious law and theology; it is divided into 63 tractates, each devoted to a different subject. (Read More ...)

Tanakh

Tao Te Ching

Tripitaka

The Tripitaka is the general descriptive term for the Buddhist scriptures the originals of which were composed between 550 BCE and 1 CE, when they were written down; these scriptures contain three 'baskets' or components, made up of the monastic rules, the sermons of the Buddha, and the reflective psychological and philosophical analyses of Buddhist doctrine. (Read More ...)

Upanishads

The Upanishads are the most recent of the ancient Vedas of India, pertaining to religious knowledge, meditation, and philosophy and considered among the most important of Indian writings and central to spiritual life. (Read More ...)

Vedas

The Vedas are the most ancient scriptures in India, comprised of four parts consisting of benedictions and mantras, liturgies and ceremonies, commentary thereon, and philosophic and instructional essays on meditation and spiritual knowledge; they are written in Vedic Sanskrit, and are supposed superordinary, revealed these wise sages after intense meditation, or provided by the god Brahma. (Read More ...)

Subcategories

This category has the following 3 subcategories, out of 3 total.

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