Religion has been around for as long as humans have existed. It has evolved over the years, but the belief in gods and deities is an ancient tradition and dates back thousands of years. The proof of this is seen in religious texts discovered by experts and specialists. Religious texts profoundly influence the development of world civilization and thought. Here is the list of top 10 largest religious books.
Top 10 Largest Religious Books:
Bhagavad Gita is often referred to as The Gita. It is the sixth book of the Mahabharata, one of India’s most famous epic poems and occupies chapters 23 to 40. It is uncertain exactly when the Gita was composed but a number of scholars suggest it was completed around 200 BCE. The Gita is considered one of the main holy scriptures for Hinduism. The Gita describes the dialogue between Arjuna, one of five Pandava princes, and the Hindu deity Krishna, who in this epic serves as Arjuna’s charioteer. Arjuna and his brothers have been exiled from the kingdom of Kurukshetra and cut off from their rightful heritage by other members of the family. The Gita recounts their struggle to reclaim the throne, which requires that Arjuna wage war against his own relatives.
The story begins on the plains of Kurukshetra, where Arjuna, a famed archer, is about to fight, however, he hesitates. He sees against him friends, teachers, and kin, assembled to fight and believes that to fight and kill these men would be to commit a grave sin and it would bring nothing good even if he were to win the kingdom back. Krishna rebukes him for his cowardice. As Arjuna is from the warrior caste and warriors are meant to fight but then Krishna presents a spiritual philosophy to battle his enemies,. The discussion comprehends karma, jnana and bhakti yogas, as well as the nature of divinity, humankind’s ultimate destiny, and the purpose of mortal life.
The Holy Bible
The Holy Bible is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sacred to Christians, Jews, Samaritans, Rastafari and others. The Bible is in the form of an anthology. It is a compilation of texts of a variety of forms that are all linked by the belief that they are collectively revelations of God. The texts include historical accounts, hymns, prayers, proverbs, parables, didactic letters, poetry, and prophecies. Believers consider the Bible to be a creation of divine inspiration.
The Christian Bible consists of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Hebrew Bible only includes the books known to Christians as the Old Testament. The arrangements of the Jewish and Christian principles differ greatly. The Old Testament is the first major division of the bible and sacred scripture of Judaism. It is made up of 3 parts , the first part is law which is also known as Torah or Pentateuch. The first five books are named as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
These books recount the origin of the world, the relations that we carry in this world and different rules and regulations that govern the religious beliefs and thoughts. The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian Bible. It consists of 72 books that form the foundations of the christian belief. The New Testament includes the saying of Jesus, His life and His work, the life story of Jesus, His death and the resurrection of Jesus, which is now celebrated as Easter. The Testament also consists of instructions for nonbelievers for converting their religion and performing rituals, blessings and baptisms.
The Book Of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter-Day Saint movement besides the Bible. According to Latter-Day Saint theology, the book contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from 2200 BC to AD 421. The book was first published in March 1830 in Palmyra, New York by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi. Latter-Day Saint movement regards the text primarily as scripture, and secondarily as a historical record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Many mainstream archaeologists, historians and scientists do not consider the Book of Mormon to be an ancient record of actual historical events. Followers believe that it is a divinely inspired work revealed to and translated by the founder of their religion, Joseph Smith.
The Book of Mormon is similar to the Bible in its length and in its division into books named for individual prophets. The book recounts the history of a group of Hebrews who migrated from Jerusalem to America about 600 BCE,. The group was led by a prophet, Lehi. They multiplied and eventually split into two groups. One group was the Lamanites, they forgot their beliefs, became heathens, and were the ancestors of the American Indians. The other group was the Nephites, who developed culturally and built great cities but were destroyed by the Lamanites about 400 BCE. Before that happened, however, Jesus had appeared after his Ascension and taught the Nephites.
The Book Of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer is the short title of many prayer related books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christian churches that were historically related to Anglicanism. The original book was published in 1549 during the reign of Edward VI. The book published in 1549 was the first prayer book to include the complete forms of service for daily and Sunday worship in English. The prayer book contained Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, the Litany, and Holy Communion and also the occasional services in full: the orders for Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, prayers to be said to the sick, and a funeral service.
The book was revised in 1552, again in 1559, 1604 and 1662 with minor revisions. The prayer book of 1662 has continued as the standard liturgy of most Anglican churches of the British Commonwealth. However, the book’s fourth revision was published in 1979 in both traditional and modern language. Outside the Commonwealth most churches of the Anglican Communion have their own variations of the English prayer book.
The Quran, also spelled as Qur’an or Koran, is the sacred religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be a revelation from God. The scripture is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is organized in 114 chapters. According to Islamic belief, the Quran was revealed by the archangel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad in the West Arabian towns Mecca and Medina. Beginning in the month of Ramadan in 610 and ending with Muhammad’s death in 632 CE.
Muslims regard the Quran as Muhammad’s most important miracle and a proof of his prophethood. The Quran is a culmination of series of divine messages that were revealed to Adam, including the Tawrah (Torah), the Zabur (Psalms) and the Injil (Gospel). The word Quran occurs some 70 times in the text itself, and other names and words are also used to refer to the Quran.
The Quran is subdivided into 114 chapter like units called “sūrahs”. Many passages of the Quran are devoted to explaining the eschatological judgment through which God will consign each human being to paradise or hell and depicting the ensuing rewards of the saved and torments of the damned. The Quran also includes narratives of some biblical persons, such as Adam, Moses, Jesus, and Mary.
Ramayana is one of the two major great epic poems of ancient India, the other being the Mahabharata. The Ramayana was composed in Sanskrit by the poet Valmiki, likely not before 300 BCE. Ramayana consists of some 24,000 couplets divided into seven books.
The poem tells the tale of the royal birth of the god Rama in the kingdom of Ayodhya, his guardianship under the sage Vishvamitra, and his success in bending Shiva’s mighty bow at the bride-groom tournament of Sita, the daughter of King Janaka, thus winning her for his wife. When Rama is banished from his position as heir to the kingdom he retreats to the forest with his wife and half brother, Lakshmana, to spend 14 years in exile.
There Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka, captures Sita and takes her to his capital while Rama and Lakshmana were pursuing a golden deer that was sent to the forest to mislead them. Sita unwaveringly rejects Ravana’s attentions, and Rama and his brother set out to rescue her. They enter into alliance with Sugriva, the king of the monkeys, and, with the assistance of the monkey-general Hanuman and Ravana’s own brother, Vibhishana, they attack Lanka.
Rama slays Ravana and rescues Sita, but she undergoes a trial by fire in order to clear herself of suspicions of infidelity. When they return to Ayodhya, Rama learns that the people still question the queen’s innocence, and he banishes her to the forest. In the forest she meets the sage Valmiki the author of the Ramayana and at his refuge gives birth to Rama’s two sons. The family is reunited when the sons come of age. However, Sita, after again protesting her innocence, goes back to the mother earth, who opens up and swallows her.
The Torah is a sacred text in Judaism. It is the substance of divine revelation to Israel, the Jewish people. The meaning of “Torah” is often restricted to signify the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). It is also called the Law or the Pentateuch, in Christianity. These are the books traditionally attributed to Moses, the recipient of the original revelation from God on Mount Sinai.
The written Torah is preserved in all Jewish synagogues on handwritten parchment scrolls that reside inside the ark of the Law. The readings from the Torah are a significant part of Jewish liturgical services. The term Torah is also used for the entire Hebrew Bible. Since for some Jews the laws and customs were passed down through oral traditions. These oral traditions are part and parcel of God’s revelation to Moses and comprise of the “oral Torah.”
The Tripiṭaka is the traditional term for the sacred Buddhist text. Tripitaka consists of a basket of Buddhist teaching. The teachings explain the relation between the external soul and the internal soul. It is followed in China. The Tripiṭaka was composed between about 550 BC and about the start of the common era. It was probably written down for the first time in the 1st century BC. The Dipavamsa states that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura the monks who had remembered the Tripiṭaka and its commentary orally wrote them down in books, because of the threat posed by famine and war.
The Mahavamsa also refers briefly to the writing down of the principles and the commentaries at the time. Each Buddhist sub-tradition had its own Tripiṭaka for its monasteries, written by its sangha. Each set consists of 32 books, in three parts or baskets of teachings: Vinaya Pitaka (“Basket of Discipline”), Sutra Pitaka (“Basket of Discourse”), and Abhidhamma Piṭaka (“Basket of Special [or Further] Doctrine”). The surviving Tripiṭaka literature is in Pali, with some in Sanskrit and other local Asian languages.
Kojiki; Records Of Ancient Matters is japanese sacred text for the religion of Shintō. The Kojiki is an important documentation for ceremonies, customs, divination, and magical practices of ancient Japan. The book includes myths, legends, and historical accounts of the imperial court from the earliest days of its creation up to the reign of Empress Suiko (628).
Much of Shintō religion is based on interpretations of the mythology contained in the Kojiki. The book was written using Chinese characters to represent Japanese sounds, inasmuch as there were no means invented for recording Japan’s spoken language . The religious and ethical values and morals of the Kojiki were rediscovered and reevaluated by Moto-ori Norinaga. He wrote the complete “Annotation of the Kojiki” in 49 volumes. The Kojiki was first translated into English in 1882.
Tao-Te-Ching is the religious sacred text of the religion Taoism in China. The text was written around 6th century B.C and was translated in English translation around 19th century. The text widely spread to east Asia and is among the most translated works in the history of world literature. When it first spread the text was interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts. It consist of 81 chapters and poems. It describes the way of life and the freedom for desire.
The Tao-Te-Ching, together with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for philosophical and religious Taoism. The text also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, such as Legalism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, which were interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was first introduced to China. Several artists, poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used Tao-Te-Ching as a source of inspiration.