Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > Discussion > Story Research: Experts and Interviewees Wanted
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-07-2013, 10:29 AM   #1
Capeless
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 39
Capeless is on a distinguished road
Religious Canon (bibles, scriptures, etc)

...

Last edited by Capeless; 02-13-2013 at 01:44 PM.
Capeless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 02:05 PM   #2
Cath
Rawr
AW Moderator
 
Cath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Here. Somewhere. Probably.
Posts: 7,933
Cath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsCath is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Have you tried googling any of this? Some of the answers are definitely available with a basic google search.
__________________
Cath
www.cathsmith.com

"Many and various, strange and multitudinous are the friends that befriend me in this world, yet I never found one false or that did not surpass me in some virtue."
Wilfred Owen in a letter home.
Cath is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
cornflake
practical experience, FTW
 
cornflake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 5,991
cornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentscornflake is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capeless View Post
Hello my fellow primates,

I'm seeking assistance in tracking down official religious texts (bibles and the like) for all the major religions, and would like your recommendations as to which versions and/or translations are best...

According to Wikipedia, the 10 major (largest) religious groups are:
  1. Christianity
  2. Islam
  3. Hinduism
  4. Buddhism
  5. Folk religions
  6. Chinese folk religions (including Taoism and Confucianism)
  7. Shinto
  8. Sikhism
  9. Judaism
  10. Jainism
This is a good starting point.


My motives are to increase my knowledge and understanding as I've never given it much thought. Also, my WIP demands a deep understanding of the subject... I'll be playing God after all.


Thanks in advance
I don't know how you'd even begin to quantify 'best' translation or version of a religious text. Most preferences vary with denomination.
cornflake is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #4
ClareGreen
Onwards, ever onwards
 
ClareGreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: England
Posts: 667
ClareGreen is a shiny, shiny jewelClareGreen is a shiny, shiny jewel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capeless View Post
I'm seeking assistance in tracking down official religious texts (bibles and the like) for all the major religions, and would like your recommendations as to which versions and/or translations are best...
Which versions are 'best' is entirely a subjective thing, where versions exist at all (and not all of those 'religious groups' have religious texts). Some are deeply tied to a patron, or an agenda, or a period - the King James Bible, for instance, has all three, and yet is still widely regarded as 'the best' in certain circles.

Translations from the original language directly into the new language (presumably English) are to be preferred, of course. Other than that, I'm afraid there are no short-cuts. Only you can determine which is the best for yourself and your purposes - and some of what you've labelled as 'religious groups' are more defined by what they aren't than by what they are, and 'unified and organised' is part of what they aren't.
__________________
Weekend Warrior (Fantasy Division)
ClareGreen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #5
WriteKnight
Arranger Of Disorder
 
WriteKnight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: 30,000 light years from Galactic Central Point.
Posts: 1,730
WriteKnight has earned our admirationWriteKnight has earned our admirationWriteKnight has earned our admirationWriteKnight has earned our admiration
What you are asking for is a course on "Comparative Religions". Check to see if one is available at your local University.
WriteKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:43 PM   #6
Sarpedon
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 2,702
Sarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputation
There is only one official Koran (for Islam). A certain Caliph centuries ago decided which version was the correct one, and had all other ones destroyed. For the more serious reader, go on to read the Hadiths, a series of sayings attributed to Muhammed. As far as translations go, I don't have any comment. It is rather dry no matter what.

For Hinduism, there is a great variety of books to read, some of them are very entertaining. I recommend the abridged versions of the Mahabharata and Ramayana, as abridged and translated by the author Narayan. They are very short and readable. The non abridged versions run to several volumes, and some translations are tricky. This is to start with. Next, read the entire Bhagavad Gita, which is an exerpt from the Mahabharata, and contains the most 'religious' of the content of that epic book. This should be available anywhere. I do not recommend any of the translations from the Hare Krishnas, (AKA Krishna Conciousness Movement) as they are a modern sect, and if your goal is general knowledge, much of the commentary and 'explainations' they add are extraneous, and specific to their own beliefs, rather than reflective of how the book is viewed among mainstream Hindus. Any decent translation of the Bhagavad Gita is short and easily readable. For more advanced studies, you should read the Rig Veda and Upanishads. The Rig Veda is the oldest of the Hindu scriptures, and possibly the oldest scripture of a religion still practiced, so old that many of the gods mentioned are no longer worshipped, but it provides interesting context. As you read these books, you should reflect that they are the foundation, not a summary of Hinduism as practiced today, which is so diverse and manifold as to defy any attempt to summarize.

As far as the Chinese classics, these are widely and well translated for the most part. The Tao Te Ching is, in my opinion, the most accessible religious work ever written. Simple, beautiful and poetic. the writings of Confucious, the Analects and the Great Learning, are dry and more scholarly, but readily available. More advanced learners will want to read Mencius (Meng Tzu). As far as Chinese 'folk' religions, again they are too diverse to properly summarize, though all have been heavily influenced by Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

Buddhism is also difficult. In college, I read an anthology called 'Buddhist Mahayana Texts' which contained certain versions of the story of the Buddha's life. Next I read the Pali Canon, so called because that is the language in which it is written, which is a multi volume work which collects the Buddha's sermons. Since he travelled around preaching, many of the sermons are repeatetive. However, both of these are writings of the Mahayana tradition. The Therevada tradition has its own texts, which I have not read. For Zen Buddhism, there are various collections of the writings of various Zen masters, the most prominent of whom was Joshu. I don't have much guidance to offer here. Tibetan Buddhism is also challenging. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is probably the most canonical, but there are a huge variety of other writings which I am not qualified to judge.

If you are feeling ambitious, you might try the Zend Avesta, the holy book of Zorastrianism. This is not a major religion any more, but used to be, and heavily influenced several other religions. It is very dull reading, however.
Sarpedon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:47 PM   #7
King Neptune
God of the Oceans
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Earth
Posts: 1,838
King Neptune is a splendid one to beholdKing Neptune is a splendid one to beholdKing Neptune is a splendid one to behold
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capeless View Post
Hello my fellow primates,

I'm seeking assistance in tracking down official religious texts (bibles and the like) for all the major religions, and would like your recommendations as to which versions and/or translations are best...

According to Wikipedia, the 10 major (largest) religious groups are:
  1. Christianity
  2. Islam
  3. Hinduism
  4. Buddhism
  5. Folk religions
  6. Chinese folk religions (including Taoism and Confucianism)
  7. Shinto
  8. Sikhism
  9. Judaism
  10. Jainism
It is one way to start, but it won't work for all, because there are no specified scriptures for all of these. Folk religions by their natures have no scritpures. I find it odd that Confucianism and Taoism would be lumped with folk religions.
But to actually answer the question in part: There is no "best translation" of the Bible. I don't believe that there is a single best translation of the Koran or the Torah either. You might ask some clergy people which translations are best.
There are a number of different texts that could be considered the scriptures of Hinduism, but which ones are important seem to be matters of opinion. Buddhism also has several texts that are basic scriptures of different branches of it, so you probably should invedtige Buddhism.
For Chinese religions you should find the works ofLao Tse and Confucius.

Actually, it is pointless for you to bother reading the scriptures until you find out what they are. Read the articles about the various religions, then decide what you want to read about them, or whether you do. There are good books on comparative religion that would explain the basics for you. Reading the original texts can be frustrating, because they have been interpreted over the millennia.
King Neptune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
Sarpedon
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Minnesota, USA
Posts: 2,702
Sarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputationSarpedon has a golden reputation
Actually, WriteKnight had the best idea, take a college course, and, if you don't wanna, find a college course that teaches what you want to know about, and get its reading list, and read those on your own.
Sarpedon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 06:27 PM   #9
Torgo
Formerly Phantom of Krankor.
AW Moderator
 
Torgo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,618
Torgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsTorgo is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I don't take any theological position on translations of the Bible, not being religious myself, but I think you have to consider the King James version. It's so influential in English language and letters.
Torgo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 09:12 PM   #10
WeaselFire
Benefactor Member
 
WeaselFire's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Floral City, FL
Posts: 1,816
WeaselFire leaves trails of profuse coolnessWeaselFire leaves trails of profuse coolnessWeaselFire leaves trails of profuse coolnessWeaselFire leaves trails of profuse coolnessWeaselFire leaves trails of profuse coolness
Having taken Comparative Religions in school (and another class called The Bible as History) I can tell you it's worth it. Though you'll likely only get a half dozen religions or so, you'll find all the similarities between them (all religions have, at their core, the mandate to be nice). There are plenty online now, but you can easily order the textbooks, or even many other books, for the learning you'd get.

Heck, you could spend a lifetime comparing Christianity to Christianity...

Jeff
WeaselFire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 10:32 PM   #11
Siri Kirpal
Swan in Process
 
Siri Kirpal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In God I dwell, especially in Eugene OR
Posts: 5,060
Siri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSiri Kirpal is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Okay, first off, there are more Sikhs worldwide that practitioners of Shinto. I think it's Sikhism, Judaism, Shinto, as far as order goes.

The Sikh "holy book" is the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. (But truthfully, it's our living Guru, so we don't actually like to call it a book, though it takes that form.) Most of the translations are pretty bad English. The most literal is by Manmohan Singh. There's a version in pretty good English online through www.sikhnet.com, I think. But I'm not sure if you can download the whole thing or just one poem at a time. (The whole thing is poetry.)

If you have questions about Sikhism, feel free to ask me. Either here or by PM or in the Comparative Religion section of the forum

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
__________________
"The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."
Siri Kirpal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:06 AM   #12
BRDurkin
Trigger-Happy Pyromaniac Writer
 
BRDurkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Lakeview, OR
Posts: 751
BRDurkin is a shiny, shiny jewelBRDurkin is a shiny, shiny jewel
For Christianity, I would actually recommend two versions. The first being the King James Version, simply because there is so much history behind it, and--as an English major myself--it contains some of the most beautiful examples of the English language in a religious context. For a more modern and easier to understand version, the New International Version has long been popular and widely accepted, at least in the USA.

On a side note--and this may be further than you want to go in your research-- the book "God's Secretaries" by Adam Nicolson provides an excellent in-depth study of the religious, political, and literary motivations behind the creation of the King James Bible. It's also a good look at England in the early 1600s, which played a big role in the development of modern Christianity in America as well as England.
__________________
Latest Blog Post - Finally! (01-27-14)

Twitter

WIPs:
Kricket's Key - 65,525/90,000 (Steampunk Fantasy)

Into the Shade - 27,849/75,000 (Military Sci-Fi Thriller)

"Abyss" - Sci-fi Short for Kindle
BRDurkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:09 AM   #13
Lehcarjt
Been here, Done this.
 
Lehcarjt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: N. Calif
Posts: 1,021
Lehcarjt has earned our admirationLehcarjt has earned our admirationLehcarjt has earned our admirationLehcarjt has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by King Neptune View Post
Actually, it is pointless for you to bother reading the scriptures until you find out what they are. Read the articles about the various religions, then decide what you want to read about them, or whether you do. There are good books on comparative religion that would explain the basics for you. Reading the original texts can be frustrating, because they have been interpreted over the millennia.
Ditto to this. I can't imagine reading the Bible as a way to a short-hand understand Christianity.
__________________
www.racheltaylorwrites.com
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." Hans Hofmann
Lehcarjt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #14
RichardGarfinkle
Shipping Tropos
AW Moderator
 
RichardGarfinkle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Around a star
Posts: 7,502
RichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsRichardGarfinkle is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Angry

While it wasn't on the list, I'd suggest the Avesta which are the holy texts for Zoroastrianism. They can be found online at http://www.avesta.org/

Buddhist texts are all over the place, but vary considerably between the various forms of Buddhism.

And as for that general listing, calling Taoism and Confucianism Chinese folk religions is rather like calling philosophy and Christianity European folk religions.
__________________
Evolution: Survival of that which fits well enough, enough times in enough situations.

Overdue Considerations -- my blog


Now on Smashwords
RichardGarfinkle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:26 AM   #15
Sarita
PBS Mind/MTV World
 
Sarita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: PSU
Posts: 8,875
Sarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSarita is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by WriteKnight View Post
What you are asking for is a course on "Comparative Religions". Check to see if one is available at your local University.
Here are some of the textbooks that Penn State World Religion Intro Courses require:

Illustrated World Religions

Anthology of Eastern Religions

Caravan

Life in Biblical Israel

Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

Exploring the Bible

HarperCollins Study Bible

Buddhism: A Concise Introduction

The Jewish Bible

Early Christianity: A Brief History

The Formation of Islam

Muhammad
__________________
~Sara

Winter is on my head, but eternal spring is in my heart.~ Hugo
Sarita is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 08:54 AM   #16
AKyber36
practical experience, FTW
 
AKyber36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 226
AKyber36 is on a distinguished road
For Shinto, you might want to check out one of the most influential texts called the "Kojiki."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kojiki

http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/kj/index.htm
__________________
Current WIP: Untitled short story - 5,663 words
Four Stars, No Stripes (working title) - 31,175 words (On hiatus)
AKyber36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 07:47 PM   #17
Mark Moore
practical experience, FTW
 
Mark Moore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Homosassa, Florida
Posts: 685
Mark Moore is well-respected
I can't say anything about the other religions, but, for Christianity, here are some tips:

1) Avoid the King James Version. Seriously. It's antiquated, and it's more a revision of previous English translations than a translation in its own right.

2) As for a good English translation, the New American Standard Bible is readable and has plenty of footnotes for explanations or possible alternate interpretations.

3) Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Prottie Bibles differ in the ordering of books of the Old Testament and which books are included. Catholics consider most of the books of the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament done in the first century BC) canon, and Eastern Orthodoxy includes even more, though there are still some books (such as Third and Fourth Macabees) that neither denomination consider canon (although they are available, and you can read them separately). Some of the Greek versions of books are longer (added scenes, etc.), so Catholic Bibles have these "director's cut" versions.

4) Despite being Catholic, I actually don't have a Catholic Bible. When I was in Sunday school, getting ready for Confirmation, they gave us the Good News Bible in Today's English Version (a translation from circa 1960s, which has since been replaced by a new translation). It's more of a paraphrase than a literal translation, and it's very modern in some of its translation decisions. It's more, I dunno, "everyday languagey". Also, the Prottie version of the Old Testament canon is used. The additional books that Catholics consider canon (as well as the directors' cuts) are included in a section after the OT called Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha, and the Eastern Orthodox canon is included after those in a section called "Some additional books".

5) Protties have different versions of familiar hymns than Catholics. A while ago, I went to a memorial service for one of my coworkers at a generic independent church with no obvious denomination. I flipped through their music issue. I saw that they had a few familiar hymns in common with Catholics (mostly Christmas songs), but some of them had different lyrics. It blew my mind that their version of "Silent Night" has completely different lyrics than the Catholic version. Our version goes "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright." Their version goes "Silent night, holy night, all is dark, save the light." Also, "Joy to the World" hasa completely unfamiliar verse, and another hymn (I forget which) includesa verse that seems to be stolen from "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel". Definitely bizarre.
__________________
Complete:

Becoming a Hero (10 stories)

WIP:

Vanity City #01 (2939/20000)
The New Girl (5047)
I Can Kill You With My Brain (238)
Vampire Killer #04 (of 08) (4385)
Blackjack Jill #04 (of 10) (303)
Destined #04 (of 10?) (editing)

Cute girls must not die in fiction!

Amazon Author Page Facebook Twitter YouTube
Mark Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 09:05 PM   #18
ClareGreen
Onwards, ever onwards
 
ClareGreen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: England
Posts: 667
ClareGreen is a shiny, shiny jewelClareGreen is a shiny, shiny jewel
Just a quick note, Mark - there are many and various Protestant denominations, and just because one generic Protestant church of no obvious denomination has a hymn different doesn't mean they all do.

Unlike the Catholic church and its monolithic nature when viewed from outside, all the various Protestant churches have in common is that at one point their predecessors said 'We were Catholic and we are not any more'. There are a few things that most of them hold with in general principle, but not even all those are held by all Protestant churches, so in reality, 'Not Being Catholic Now' is about it - from that point, they've gone in radically different directions in different places and at different times. 'Protestant' covers the Anglicans, the Baptists and the Methodists (and those three were just in my home village in England). It also covers the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Adventists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, and so on and so forth ad almost infinitum.

As to the hymn, several different denominations of Protestantism sent people to the new World, who then split even more once there. That hymn may simply be a different translation from the original German, one that didn't catch on quite so well as the one I know from the (Protestant, Church of England) hymnbook I grew up with, which matches yours for those few lines at least.

(And this is why I said that only the OP could determine what the 'best' is. I agree with you, though, the King James is best avoided, but personally I really didn't like the Good News.)
__________________
Weekend Warrior (Fantasy Division)
ClareGreen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2013, 10:27 PM   #19
Pup
.
 
Pup's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 364
Pup is a shiny, shiny jewelPup is a shiny, shiny jewel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Moore View Post
It blew my mind that their version of "Silent Night" has completely different lyrics than the Catholic version. Our version goes "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright." Their version goes "Silent night, holy night, all is dark, save the light."
What ClareGreen said. I was raised singing Protestant hymns, and never heard "all is dark, save the light." It was always "all is calm, all is bright."
Pup is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 03:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.