List of religious texts

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The following is a non-exhaustive list of links to specific religious texts which may be used for further, more in-depth study.


Bronze Age

Pyramid texts from Teti I's pyramid. Hieroglyph Text from Teti I pyramid.jpg
Pyramid texts from Teti I's pyramid.

Ancient Egyptian religion

Sumerian religion

Babylonian religion

Canaanite religion

Classical antiquity

The Cippus of Perugia, 3rd or 2nd century BCE Cippo perugino, con iscrizione in lingua etrusca su un atto giuridico tra le famiglie dei velthina e degli afuna, 02.jpg
The Cippus of Perugia, 3rd or 2nd century BCE

Etruscan religion

Ancient Greek religion



Main texts:

Ritual texts:

Esoteric texts:

Historical texts:




East Asian religions


The Four Books and Five Classics:

The Thirteen Classics (I Ching, Book of Documents, Classic of Poetry, Rites of Zhou, Etiquette and Ceremonial, Book of Rites, The Commentary of Zuo, The Commentary of Gongyang, The Commentary of Guliang, The Analects, Classic of Filial Piety, Erya, Mencius)



Iranian religions

Yasna 28.1 (Bodleian MS J2) Bodleian J2 fol 175 Y 28 1.jpg
Yasna 28.1 (Bodleian MS J2)


Primary religious texts (the Avesta collection):

There are some 60 secondary religious texts, none of which are considered scripture. The most important of these are:

For general use by the laity:



The true core texts of the Yazidi religion that exist today are the hymns, known as qawls. Spurious examples of so-called "Yazidi religious texts" include the Yazidi Black Book and the Yazidi Book of Revelation, which are believed to have been forged in the early 20th century; the Yazidi Black Book, for instance, is thought to be a combination of genuine Yazidi beliefs and Western forgeries. [1] [2]

Indian religions


Akilattirattu Ammanai:

Arul Nool:


Ancient style of scripture used for the Pali Canon Tipitaka scripture.jpg
Ancient style of scripture used for the Pāli Canon

Theravada Buddhism:

The Chinese Diamond Sutra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of the Tang dynasty, or 868 CE. Jingangjing.jpg
The Chinese Diamond Sutra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of the Tang dynasty, or 868 CE.

East Asian Mahayana:

Tibetan Buddhism:



The Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna's counsel to Arjuna on the battlefield of the Kurukshetra. Bhagavad Gita, a 19th century manuscript.jpg
The Bhagavad Gita is Lord Krishna's counsel to Arjuna on the battlefield of the Kurukshetra.


In Purva Mimamsa:

In Vedanta (Uttar Mimamsa):

In Yoga:

In Samkhya:

In Nyaya:

In Vaisheshika:

In Vaishnavism:

In Saktism:

In Kashmir Saivism:

In Pashupata Shaivism:

In Shaiva Siddhanta:

In Gaudiya Vaishnavism:


In Lingayatism:

In Kabir Panth:

In Dadu Panth:






Amritbani Guru Ravidass Ji, the holy book contains the following hymns: Raga – Siri (1), Gauri (5), Asa (6), Gujari (1), Sorath (7), Dhanasari (3), Jaitsari (1), Suhi (3), Bilaval (2), Gaund (2), Ramkali (1), Maru (2), Kedara (1), Bhairau (1), Basant (1), and Malhar (3). The book contains 140 shabads, 40 pade, and 231 salok. [3] There are 177 pages in all of the book.


Illuminated Guru Granth folio with Mul Mantar(basic religion mantra) with signature of Guru Gobind Singh. Sri Guru Granth Sahib Nishan.jpg
Illuminated Guru Granth folio with Mul Mantar(basic religion mantra) with signature of Guru Gobind Singh.


Abrahamic religions

Bahá'í Faith


Christian Bible, 1407 handwritten copy Bible.malmesbury.arp.jpg
Christian Bible, 1407 handwritten copy


The contents of Christian Bibles differ by denomination.

Additional and alternative scriptures

Some Christian denominations have additional or alternate holy scriptures, some with authoritativeness similar to the Old Testament and New Testament.

  • The Unification Church includes the Divine Principle in its holy scriptures.
  • Gnostic Christianity rejected the narrative in Pauline Christianity that the arrival of Jesus had to do with the forgiveness of sins, and instead were concerned with illusion and enlightenment. Gnostic texts include Gnostic gospels about the life of Jesus, books attributed to various apostles, apocalyptic writings, and philosophical works. Though there is some overlap with some New Testament works, the rest were eventually considered heretical by Christian orthodoxy. Gnostics generally did not include the Old Testament as canon. They believed in two gods, one of which was Yahweh (generally considered evil), the author of the Hebrew Bible and god of the Jews, separate from a Supreme God who sent Jesus.
Latter Day Saint movement
1841, first European (London) edition of the Book of Mormon, at the Springs Preserve museum, Las Vegas, Nevada. 1841 Book of Mormon open to title page.jpg
1841, first European (London) edition of the Book of Mormon, at the Springs Preserve museum, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Liturgical books

Liturgical books are used to guide or script worship, and many are specific to a denomination.

Catholic liturgical books:

Protestant liturgical books:

Doctrines and laws

The Bible (left) and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (right) serve as the pastor of the Christian Science church. Bible and science and health.JPG
The Bible (left) and Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (right) serve as the pastor of the Christian Science church.

Various Christian denominations have texts which define the doctrines of the group or set out laws which are considered binding. The groups consider these to range in permanence from unquestionable interpretations of divine revelations to human decisions made for convenience or elucidation which are subject to reconsideration.



11th century North African Qur'an in the British Museum IslamicGalleryBritishMuseum3.jpg
11th century North African Qur'an in the British Museum

The five universally acknowledged messengers ( rasul ) in Islam are Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus and Muhammad, [10] each believed to have been sent with a scripture. Muslims believe David (Dāwūd) received Psalms ( Zabur ) [11] (cf. Q38:28); Jesus (Īsā) the Gospel (Injil); Muhammad received the Qur'an; Abraham (Ibrahim) the Scrolls of Abraham; and Moses (Mūsā) the Torah ( Tawrat ). [12]

Sunni Islam

Shia Islam

  • Quran
  • Nahj al Balagha
  • Al Sahiyfa al Sajadiyya
  • Hadith books (The Four Books): Kitab al-Kafi, Man La Yahduruhu al-Faqih Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Al-Istibsar.
  • Other Hadith books (discourses of Prophet Muhammad and his household), like Bihar al-Anwar , Awalim al-Ulum; and Tafsirs, such as Tafsir al-Burhan and there is more than fifty large and small Hadith books
    • Prayer books and Ziyarat such as Mafateh al Jinan and Kamel al Ziyarat.
  • Books on biography of Prophet Muhammad. There are thousands of biographies written, though unlike the Hadith collections, they are usually not accepted as canonical religious texts. Some of the more authentic and famous of them are:
    • Al-Sira Al-Nabawiyya.
    • The Making of the last prophet by Ibn Ishaq
    • The Life of Prophet Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq
    • Sira Manzuma.
    • al-Mawahib al-Ladunniya.
    • al-Zurqani 'ala al-Mawahib.
    • Sirah al-Halabiyya.
    • I'lam al-Nubuwwa.
    • Madarij al-Nubuwwa.
    • Shawahid al-Nubuwwa.
    • Nur al-Safir.
    • Sharh al-Mawahib al-laduniyya.
    • al-Durar fi ikhtisar al-maghazi was-siyar.
    • Ashraf al-wasa'il ila faham al-Shama'il.
    • Ghayat al-sul fi Khasa'is al-Rasul.
    • Ithbat al-Nubuwwa.
    • Nihaya al-Sul fi Khasa'is al-Rasul.
    • Al Khasais-ul-Kubra, al-Khasa'is al-Sughra and Shama'il al-Sharifa.
    • al-Durra al-Mudiyya.




Mevlevi Order


A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service Torah and jad.jpg
A Sefer Torah opened for liturgical use in a synagogue service

Rabbinic Judaism


Non-rabbinic Judaism

Karaite Judaism
  • The Tanakh
Jewish Science
  • The Tanakh
  • Jewish Science: Divine Healing in Judaism

Rastafari movement


Pre-Columbian Americas

Aztec religion

Maya religion

Ethnic religions

Bon (autochthonous religious tradition of Tibet)

Old Norse religion





New religious movements


The ACIM Movement

The writings of Franklin Albert Jones a.k.a. Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj

Aetherius Society



Creativity Movement

The writings of Ben Klassen:







Meher Baba


Oahspe Faithism



The writings of Raël a.k.a. Claude Vorilhon:


Religious Science






Unarius Academy of Science



See also


  1. Eastern Orthodox also generally divide Baruch and Letter of Jeremiah into two books instead of one. The enumeration of the Books of Ezra is different in many Orthodox Bibles, as it is in all others: see the naming conventions of the Books of Esdras.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Apocrypha</span> Works of unknown authorship or of doubtful origin

Apocrypha are written works, often of unknown authorship or doubtful origin. In Christianity, the word apocryphal (ἀπόκρυφος) was first applied to writings which were to be read privately rather than in the public context of church services -- edifying Christian works which were not considered canonical Scripture. In the wake of the Protestant Reformation, the word apocrypha came to mean "false, spurious, bad, or heretical".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bible</span> Collection of religious texts

The Bible is a collection of religious texts or scriptures that are held to be sacred in Christianity, Judaism, Samaritanism, and many other religions. The Bible is an anthology – a compilation of texts of a variety of forms – originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek. These texts include instructions, stories, poetry, and prophecies, among other genres. The collection of materials that are accepted as part of the Bible by a particular religious tradition or community is called a biblical canon. Believers in the Bible generally consider it to be a product of divine inspiration, but the way they understand what that means and interpret the text can vary.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deuterocanonical books</span> Books of the Bible which are considered non-canonical by Protestant denominations

The deuterocanonical books are books and passages considered by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, and the Assyrian Church of the East to be canonical books of the Old Testament, but which Protestant denominations regard as apocrypha. They date from 300 BC to 100 AD, mostly from 200 BC to 70 AD, before the definite separation of the Christian church from Judaism. While the New Testament never directly quotes from or names these books, the apostles most frequently used and quoted the Septuagint, which includes them. Some say there is a correspondence of thought, and others see texts from these books being paraphrased, referred, or alluded to many times in the New Testament, depending in large measure on what is counted as a reference.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Testament</span> Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. The New Testament's background, the first division of the Christian Bible, is called the Old Testament, which is based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible; together they are regarded as sacred scripture by Christians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Old Testament</span> First division of Christian Bibles

The Old Testament (OT) is the first division of the Christian biblical canon, which is based primarily upon the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, a collection of ancient religious Hebrew and occasionally Aramaic writings by the Israelites. The second division of Christian Bibles is the New Testament, written in the Koine Greek language.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mass (liturgy)</span> Type of worship service within many Christian denominations

Mass is the main Eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church, Western Rite Orthodoxy, Old Catholicism, and Independent Catholicism. The term is used in some Lutheran churches, as well as in some Anglican churches. The term is also used, on rare occasion, by other Protestant churches.

Sola scriptura, meaning by scripture alone, is a Christian theological doctrine held by most Protestant Christian denominations, in particular the Lutheran and Reformed traditions of Protestantism, that posits the Bible as the sole infallible source of authority for Christian faith and practice. The Catholic Church considers it heterodox and generally the Orthodox churches consider it to be contrary to the 'phronema' of the Church.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Book of Tobit</span> Deuterocanonical (apocryphal) book of Christian scripture

The Book of Tobit, also known as the Book of Tobias or the Book of Tobi, is a 3rd or early 2nd century BC Jewish work describing how God tests the faithful, responds to prayers, and protects the covenant community. It tells the story of two Israelite families, that of the blind Tobit in Nineveh and of the abandoned Sarah in Ecbatana. Tobit's son Tobias is sent to retrieve ten silver talents that Tobit once left in Rages, a town in Media; guided and aided by the angel Raphael he arrives in Ecbatana, where he meets Sarah. A demon named Asmodeus has fallen in love with her and kills anyone she intends to marry, but with the aid of Raphael the demon is exorcised and Tobias and Sarah marry, after which they return to Nineveh where Tobit is cured of his blindness.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New Testament apocrypha</span> Writings by early Christians, not included in the Biblical Canon

The New Testament apocrypha are a number of writings by early Christians that give accounts of Jesus and his teachings, the nature of God, or the teachings of his apostles and of their lives. Some of these writings were cited as scripture by early Christians, but since the fifth century a widespread consensus has emerged limiting the New Testament to the 27 books of the modern canon. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches generally do not view the New Testament apocrypha as part of the Bible.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sacred tradition</span> Foundation of Christian doctrinal and spiritual authorities

Sacred tradition is a theological term used in Christian theology. According to the theology of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian churches, sacred tradition is the foundation of the doctrinal and spiritual authority of Christianity and of the Bible. Thus, the Bible must be interpreted within the context of sacred tradition and within the community of the denomination.

Prima scriptura is the Christian doctrine that canonized scripture is "first" or "above all" other sources of divine revelation. Implicitly, this view suggests that, besides canonical scripture, there can be other guides for what a believer should believe and how they should live, such as the Holy Spirit, created order, traditions, charismatic gifts, mystical insight, angelic visitations, conscience, common sense, the views of experts, the spirit of the times or something else. Prima scriptura suggests that ways of knowing or understanding God and his will that do not originate from canonized scripture are perhaps helpful in interpreting that scripture, but testable by the canon and correctable by it, if they seem to contradict the scriptures. Prima sciptura is upheld by the Anglican, Methodist and Pentecostal traditions of Christianity, which suggest that Scripture is the primary source for Christian doctrine, but that "tradition, experience, and reason" can nurture the Christian religion as long as they are in harmony with the Bible.

<i>Sunan Abu Dawood</i> 9th-century collection of Islamic hadith

Sunan Abu Dawood is one of the Kutub al-Sittah, collected by Abu Dawud al-Sijistani (d.889).

<i>Antilegomena</i> Written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed

Antilegomena are written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed. Eusebius in his Church History used the term for those Christian scriptures that were "disputed", literally "spoken against", in Early Christianity before the closure of the New Testament canon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biblical apocrypha</span> Collection of ancient books found in some editions of Christian Bibles

The biblical apocrypha denotes the collection of apocryphal ancient books thought to have been written some time between 200 BC and AD 400. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches include some or all of the same texts within the body of their version of the Old Testament, terming them deuterocanonical books. Traditional 80-book Protestant Bibles include fourteen books in an intertestamental section between the Old Testament and New Testament called the Apocrypha, deeming these useful for instruction, but non-canonical. To this date, the Apocrypha are "included in the lectionaries of Anglican and Lutheran Churches". Anabaptists use the Luther Bible, which contains the Apocrypha as intertestamental books; Amish wedding ceremonies include "the retelling of the marriage of Tobias and Sarah in the Apocrypha". Moreover, the Revised Common Lectionary, in use by most mainline Protestants including Methodists and Moravians, lists readings from the Apocrypha in the liturgical calendar, although alternate Old Testament scripture lessons are provided.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Development of the Old Testament canon</span> Development of the Old Testament canon

The Old Testament is the first section of the two-part Christian biblical canon; the second section is the New Testament. The Old Testament includes the books of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) or protocanon, and in various Christian denominations also includes deuterocanonical books. Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Protestants use different canons, which differ with respect to the texts that are included in the Old Testament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Catholic Bible</span> Catholic Church canon of Bible books

The term Catholic Bible can be understood in two ways. More generally, it can refer to a Christian Bible that includes the whole 73-book canon recognized by the Catholic Church, including some of the deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament which are in the Greek Septuagint collection, but which are not present in the Hebrew Masoretic Text collection. More specifically, the term can refer to a version or translation of the Bible which is published with the Catholic Church's approval, in accordance with Catholic canon law.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Liturgical book</span> Christian prayer book

A liturgical book, or service book, is a book published by the authority of a church body that contains the text and directions for the liturgy of its official religious services.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luther's canon</span> Biblical canon attributed to Martin Luther

Luther's canon is the biblical canon attributed to Martin Luther, which has influenced Protestants since the 16th-century Protestant Reformation. While the Lutheran Confessions specifically did not define a biblical canon, it is widely regarded as the canon of the Lutheran Church. It differs from the 1546 Roman Catholic canon of the Council of Trent in that it rejects the deuterocanonical books and questions the seven New Testament books, called "Luther's Antilegomena", four of which are still ordered last in German-language Luther Bibles to this day.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Biblical canon</span> Texts regarded as part of the Bible

A biblical canon is a set of texts which a particular Jewish or Christian religious community regards as part of the Bible.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Development of the New Testament canon</span> Set of books regarded by Christians as divinely inspired

The canon of the New Testament is the set of books many modern Christians regard as divinely inspired and constituting the New Testament of the Christian Bible. For historical Christians, canonization was based on whether the material was from authors socially approximate to the apostles and not based solely on divine inspiration – however, many modern scholars recognize that the New Testament texts were not written by apostles. For most, it is an agreed-upon list of 27 books that includes the canonical Gospels, Acts, letters attributed to various apostles, and Revelation, though there are many textual variations. The books of the canon of the New Testament were written before 120 AD. Although the list of what books constituted the canon differed among the hundreds of churches in antiquity, according to ancient church historian Eusebius there was a consensus that the same 27 books constituting the canon today were the same 27 books generally recognized in the first century. For the Orthodox, the recognition of these writings as authoritative was formalized in the Second Council of Trullan of 692. The Catholic Church provided a conciliar definition of its biblical canon in 382 at the (local) Council of Rome as well as at the Council of Trent of 1545, reaffirming the Canons of Florence of 1442 and North African Councils of 393–419. For the Church of England, it was made dogmatic on the Thirty-Nine Articles of 1563; for Calvinism, on the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1647.


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  2. Omarkhali, Khanna. "Kitāb al-Jilwa". Encyclopedia of Islam, Third Edition. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_35639.
  3. "JaiGurdev. Ravidassia Religion, Dera Sach Khand Ballan, jalandhar punjab india". Archived from the original on 2017-07-16. Retrieved 2020-08-12.
  4. Angell, Stephen W (2015), "Renegade Oxonian: Samuel Fisher's Importance in Formulating a Quaker Understanding of Scripture", in Angell, Stephen W; Dandelion, Pink (eds.), Early Quakers and Their Theological Thought 1647–1723, Cambridge University Press, pp. 137–154, doi:10.1017/cbo9781107279575.010, ISBN   9781107279575
  5. "Strangite Scriptures" Archived 21 October 2013 at Archive-It . Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  6. Salvation Army International Theological Council (2010). Handbook of Doctrine. London: Salvation Books. ISBN   978-0-85412-822-8.
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  9. Doctrine of the Methodist Church, accessed 25 may 2018
  10. Concise Encyclopedia of Islam, C. Glasse, Messenger
  11. Wherry, Elwood Morris (1896). A Complete Index to Sale's Text, Preliminary Discourse, and Notes. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, and Co.
  12. A-Z of Prophets in Islam and Judaism, B.M. Wheeler, Apostle
  13. "Caodaism In A Nutshell".
  14. "". Archived from the original on February 18, 2005.
  15. "Sacred Scripture (Kyoten) – KONKOKYO".