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The scriptures of the world religions

The religious experience of mankind is condensed in the holy scriptures of the world religions. In the belief of the religions, the texts often have divine origins: God himself wrote the text, dictated the chosen people or inspired them to individual people. Many works contain instructions on the ethical conduct of life and commandments on social order.

However, the lyrics did not fall from heaven. As historical research shows, the writing of religious literature was often preceded by an oral tradition, in some cases for centuries. Due to their authority, nothing more may be changed or added to the sacred texts.

Torah and Talmud: The basic writings of Judaism document the history of God with the people of Israel. They are the cultural and religious memory of the Jews. The Torah (teaching) contains the five books of Moses. The Talmud (instruction), which was completed around 500 AD, explains the Torah. The Torah developed from songs, commandments and prayers since the early days of Judaism more than 3,000 years ago. A collection of Hebrew texts with the prophets, psalms and other texts was completed in AD 100.

Bible: The Bible with its division into the Old and New Testament is the holy scripture of all Christians. Up to the fourth century, the main texts of Judaism and the accounts of the life of Jesus (Gospels) and his message of salvation about God's closeness to people were combined in the "Book of Books". The history of Christianity does not begin with the Bible. In the New Testament, which was written in the first century after Christ, the first Christians testify to their belief in the grace of God mediated through Jesus Christ.

Koran: The basic spiritual scripture of Islam originated in the first half of the seventh century AD in the west of the Arabian Peninsula. According to the belief of the Muslims, this is the final message of God to mankind. This is said to have been revealed to the Prophet Mohammed (around 570 to 632 AD). In the 114 chapters (suras) of the Koran (recitation book), Jewish and Christian influences can also be recognized.

Pali Canon and Sutras: In Buddhism, especially texts are sacred that contain the teachings of the Buddha (around 560 to around 480 BC) about overcoming suffering. The older Theravada Buddhism is based on the Pali canon. The collection, written in an old Indian dialect, was created from the third century BC and contains, among other things, rules of the order and speeches. The more recent Mahayana Buddhism also refers to sutras (guiding principles) with teachings of the Buddha that were created between 100 before and 500 after Christ.

Vedas: Hinduism is a collective term for the rich variety of religious ideas of the Indian subcontinent. The Vedas (sacred knowledge) in Sanskrit, written around 1,000 BC, are a Hindu basic script. They are considered to be the oldest books in the library of mankind. The Upanishads emerged from around 800 BC. The Mahabharata epic, composed between 400 BC and 400 AD, with over 100,000 double verses, is considered to be the most extensive poetry in world literature. This also includes the Bhagavadgita, India's most famous and influential scriptures.

Tao Te King: The Chinese Tao Te King of life in harmony with the laws of nature is attributed to the legendary Saint Lao Tzu in the tradition of Taoism. The philosopher is said to have lived in the fourth or third century BC. Part of China's Taoist wisdom literature is also the I Ching, or “Book of Changes”, which is highly regarded in the West. The oldest parts of the oracle book are said to date from the 7th century BC.

New religions: New religious movements have also emerged in the past two centuries. It often starts with the publication of a scripture that is holy for the respective community. For example the "Book of Mormon" of the Mormons - the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". According to Mormon belief, it is based on visions and the translation of ancient characters by the founder of the religion, Josef Smith (1805-1844). (Source: epd)


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