What Holy Books Have You Read?

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Glen D 3 weeks, 5 days ago.

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  • #33784

    Ivy
    Participant

    Which holy books have you read? And what do you think of each of them?

    #33785

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I haven’t actually read any of them, but I find that they are a rich source of practical moral advice for ordinary people.  I’ve found a lot of material in them to use in my book about morality and ethics.  Specifically, the Bible, the Koran and the Buddhist texts.

     

    #33789

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Lets see…

    As a kid i read a few funny books.

    I read the daily racing form religiously and refer to it as the bible.

    #33790

    JadeBlackOlive
    Participant

    None, no books are holy….they’re just books.

    #33792

    Bio Bill
    Participant

    On the Origin of Species  by Charles Darwin.

    #33849

    I might try to read “Bible The” but it seems very repetitive.

    #33866

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    Bible, The obviously needs to be read with a Thesaurus and dictionaries in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Latin, because there are ‘way more references to slavery and sex than it mentions here.  The Hebrews frequently referred to the sex act as “to know,” to the genitals as “feet,” and, of course, referred to non-stop daisy-chains of “begatting.”  A fetus was referred to as a “thigh”.

    Slaves were referred to as “manservants” and “maidservants,” slavery was referred to as “bondage,” and “servitude.”

    And of course, the numbers of “goods” and “bads” doesn’t reveal the actual presence and proportion of these, unless the ones who wrote the books were psychopaths.

    There was only one “Raca” (meaning “useless one”) in The Holy Bible, but the entire text could qualify to fit that descriptor. 😁

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Grammar
    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  TheEncogitationer. Reason: Spelling and punctuation
    #33869

    TheEncogitationer
    Participant

    Reg,

    Oh, and there was only one reference to “Abba” (meaning “father.”)  Small wonder the Swedes are so secular.

    👱‍♂️👱‍♀️👨‍🍳 “Ee deesh vur de Grim Fairy Tales, mit no ‘Dancing Queen’ or ‘Waterloo.’  No goot!”

    #33870

    Glen D
    Participant

    There’s no such thing as a holy/sacred book.  However, there are lots which are considered holy book.

    Below are the few of which I’ve read at least part:

    The Old and New Testaments.

    The Quran.

    Parts of the Mahabharata. Specifically the Bhagavad Gita

    Parts  of The Rig Veda .

    Parts of the Upanishads.

    (the Indian texts are revered. Hinduism has no equivalent the Christian  Bible)

    Not sure if these two qualify :  The epic of Gilgamesh (Sumerian) and  bits of The Popul Vuh. (Mayan)

    Without exception all sacred books reflect the society which invented them. If one wants to begin to understand a society/people/culture, it’s a good ideas to  read their  sacred books.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Glen D.
    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by  Glen D.
    #33873

    Ivy
    Participant

    I find it kind of amusing the way people need to clarify the fact that they aren’t actually holy books they’re just books. 😂 …

     

    I am pretty curious to know, if you have not read any of the books in question, how is it that you came about deciding that they were not worth reading?

    #33874

    JadeBlackOlive
    Participant

    I had enough of those books shoved in my face as a kid….I am totally not interested in willingly reading them. As for ”holy”, I don’t see holy in any of them. Paper, ink, print, binding, etc, like most books. Big deal.

    #33876

    jakelafort
    Participant

    Reading mythology is a waste of time for me. We observe every culture to have mythology borne of ignorance and devoid of empiricism. The path to truth is not the “revealed” truth of prophets and apostles, nor is it the regurgitation of various mythology assimilated by subsequent cultures with its barbaric morality.

    In the same way a dater may reject a potential date based on profiling, or a handicapper may reject upon cursory examination a prospect to win a race; so it is that the nature of purportedly holy books is enough to safely eschew its contents although it may serve well to start a fire under the stars.

    #33878

    Unseen
    Participant

    I took an Asian Religions graduate-level course way back when (I’m almost 72 now, so you can imagine it was round about 50 years ago), and we had readings in the primary text of most of them. Buddhism has a lot of variations and we covered the main branches of mahayana and hinayana as well as certain schools like Tibetan Buddhism and Zen. Religion in India is very complicated. Hinduism alone can be viewed as a single religion or a collection of similar religions. There are prominent non-Hindu religions in India such as Sikhism and Jainism. We studied Chinese religions separately, including Confucianism, Taoism, and Chan (Chinese version of Zen). We didn’t study any Abrahamic faiths in that particular class so no Asian Islam, Judaism, or Christianity, even though those religions all have presences in Asia.

    #33879

    Ivy
    Participant

    @unseen,

    Very cool! Thank you for answering my question without some kind of sarcastic undertone. I have also been interested in reading up about Asian religions. I know very little to nothing about any of them except for bits and pieces here and there that I’ve heard throughout the years.…

    #33882

    Davis
    Moderator

    I read the Old Testament, which to be honest is a fairly fascinating read. There are a few adventure stories, a kind of strange historical chronicle, the schizophrenic insanity of a murderous God doing cruel barbaric things to entire cities, lists of really disturbing laws and in a couple books a singular obsession with the sexual lives of others. Throughout it you find a dripping patriarchal bronze age attitude of superstitious uneducated unworldly people living in an extremely hostile world. A few of the books slightly touch on the philosophical (even the stupid book of Job) and there is poetry in there. It is over all a pretty crazy book that should have not safe for children warnings written on it considering the violence, misinformation, graphic sex and endless adult themes.

    The new testament is a mix of the strange adventures of Jesus (four different versions of it), an epilogue, a bunch of letters the guy who pretty much crafted the religion wrote inventing all sorts of shit he couldn’t possibly know Jesus said or did while throwing in lots of threats if you don’t believe and rewards for believing. In equal parts he praises the love and good message from Jesus and reiterates the harsh and controlling laws you must follow (including the subjugation of women, the approval and slavery and yada yada). It is fascinating to read because it is clear he is saying whatever it takes to spread his religion.

    The Quran is all of the above only in completely different proportions. There is a little bit of adventure and a little bit of regurgitation of the creation myth and some biblical stories, but honestly it is about 50% threatening you with fire if you don’t believe, calling those who question the junk in the book stupid moronic idiots, assuming those who don’t believe want to destroy Islam and repeat ad nauseum how much proof there is in that book that God is real even though there is literally not one shred of proof in those pages. A good chunk of it is harsh barbaric laws obsessing over controlling women, people’s sex lives and long lists of vicious punishments for breaking even petty rules. The rest of the book is just praising the magnificence of Mohammed’s imaginary fictional creation the great Allah. About 10% of it tells us how compassionate, forgiving and merciful Allah is despite listing countless examples of his rage, delight in roasting sinners for eternity, wiping out towns, encouraging mass rape after war and sadistic punishments. It is, without a doubt nauseating to read because it has all the terrible stuff from the OT and NT but so much more of the smashing you over the head with Allah propaganda, threats, harshness and fanatic zeal.

    The Buddhist canon has literally thousands of texts which number so many pages it would take all your free time for a decade to read it. I’ve read a cross section of it. Most of it is a reiteration of the basic tenets of Buddhism, some chronicles, a handful of adventure stories, some mythical supernatural garbage and quite interestingly a fairly interesting investigation of humanity, psychology and politics, at least insightful for its time. Only there’s a little too much folk wisdom in there is spoils it and a LOT of it is really repetitive and even technical. There can be endless lists of the steps of ceremonies or the lineage of Lamas. There are unpleasant bits but they are uncommon enough to make reading it mostly pleasant if not pretty boring.

    Hindu texts can actually contain even more insight, especially primitive theories of consciousness, psychology, human nature etc. The stories are a lot more interesting than those in the bible and the epic stories are compelling to read. There is also a lot of technical junk as with Buddhism and tedious boring lists. A few disturbing things but it is, again, no where near as heavy as the Bible or Quran.

    I read some Zoroastrian texts. There isn’t much of it but it is sort of like a proto bible only a little more interesting.

    If you read the Iliad you’ll see Greek God’s, a description of many of them and their petty feuds and constant interference in the Trojan war. Even though it isn’t a holy text, it is still religious in a sense and FAR more interesting than any of the others texts I’ve mentioned so far.

    Some Taoist texts are similar to Buddhist ones with some prayer texts, a little history, corpus of the Gods (for Taosits who believe in them), quite a bit of speculation on human nature and some tedious boring texts. The Tao te Ching is a beautiful book to read, especially since there is so little of supernatural claims or Gods. It’s full of insight, a bit of cheesiness and some not so great insights but in any case I loved reading it repeatedly when I was younger and Benjamin Hoff’s extremely entertaining book “The Tao of Pooh” where he explains most of the non-supernatural concepts of Taosim (lets say it is folk wisdom) through the characters of Winnie the Book. A really fun read (even if it has a little folk-psychology in there).

    My favourite religious book is “The conference of the Birds” by Attar. A Sufi Persian midaevil Muslim he wrote a poem about some Birds who heard stories of there being a creator and debate whether to take a perilous voyage to see him. After the head bird tells stories to motivate them to go they pass through several metaphorical valleys and arrive only to be told the creator won’t see them. When they finally get to see the creator the few birds that make it, now dishevelled and without feathers are shown a mirror only to find “that is their creator”. They then turn into pure being. There are two interpretations of what the mirror is. The Muslim one is that God is a huge mirror and there is a little piece of it in every person’s heart (silly huh?) The secular interpretation of it is that God is just a creation by man and the great answer they were looking for were right in front of one another only they needed to look in a mirror to see it. God is just a reflection of humanity (a construct). If you get a good modern translation it is a truly truly lovely read.

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