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Setton

Religious Texts

7 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I've been having something of a crisis of faith following the death of my brother. One thing that's come out of this is that I realised I really know very little about other religions and have serious questions about the versions of the Bible I've read.

That's where you guys come in :)

If people could post what their religion is and the version of their religious text (if they have one) that they feel is closest to the original, it would be much appreciated.

Many thanks.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry to hear about the death of your brother, Setton. Having a close family member pass away recently myself, I fully empathise with how you are feeling.

To answer your question, I am a committed Bible-believing Christian. I use several Bible translations, though most commonly I use the ESV (English Standard Version) and NIV (New International Version). I also use a program called E-Sword, a free program that includes a copy of the Bible with a dictionary of the Greek and Hebrew words used in the translation, and what those words mean. Together, I find that I can get a fairly good idea of what God fully intended us to understand by it.

If you're interested in learning about other beliefs, I'd highly recommend a book titled "A Spectator's Guide to World Religions" by John Dickson (you can read the first three chapters free Here). It goes through the five biggest religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism*, Islam, Christianity) and what they believe. I've found it unique in that it doesn't attempt to place one belief as superior to another (like some comparative religion books) but instead seeks to approach each belief from the believer's perspective. It also includes a host of helpful links and books for further research. It's among my favourite books in my bookshelf at home and I'd recommend it to anyone who seriously wants to know what other people of differing faiths believe.

Hope this helps :tu:

* Judaism is actually the sixth-largest, not the fifth. Sikhism is actually bigger, but is not as internationally spread as Judaism (something like 34 countries in the world with Sikhism, compared to 134 countries with Judaism)

~ Regards, PA

Edited by Paranoid Android
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What is the essence of religion? I think this essence is stillness. Inner stillness. We can talk about our particular religion or think about it, question it, search through various texts for answers, analyze what we find, discuss with others, but in all this do we come to a fundamental understanding of the religious mind?

Can we approach the truth through words and books? Seeking means one hasn't arrived yet. When does this seeking end? In my view, the truth lies before us when we stop seeking it. When we give up searching for something lost, our mind becomes silent for a moment.

It is in this silent moment that truth exists. The silence of the awareness of the present, without adding thoughts and conceptions to it. When we 'see' or are quietly aware of the loss of a loved one or a crisis of faith without adding conscious thought to it, we gain an inner understanding of that event and a clearer understanding of ourselves in relation to it.

This is a sort of Buddhist way of understanding. I don't have any text to offer, but it seems to me the true religious mind lies beyond doctrine and text. It is an inexpressible awareness that has great serenity and healing. An understanding that can't be explained in words, but has to be experienced personally in the present moment. This kind of religious feeling is something that happens by itself when we stop searching and just let go of it all. But we have to be careful in our awareness not to replace one condition of mind for another, one false image of self for another false image of self.

The religious mind contains no images, no doctrines and no traditions. It stands alone as really no personal mind or personal self at all. This kind of religiousness is innocent and pure, and cannot be realized through the intellect or through knowledge.

Ok, I'm done pretending to be wise, and I'm not sure its relevant to the OP, but what I've tried to say in my poor way I believe has universal truth to it, no matter what religion one follows, in my view.anyway.

.

.

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Thanks to both of you for the answers.

PA: I'll definitely take a look at that book you mentioned.

StarMountainKid: Thanks. That's more or less how I feel too. I should have said, but I'd like to learn about other religions so I can see if there are any parts in them that help things make sense as a whole. Basically I doubt any of them has it 100% right so I'd take the parts that make most sense to me and build my own faith around those.

Hope some of this makes sense.

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Building your own faith is fine, and, truth be told, I do not think anyone is ever completely aligned with one group. We all have our own little heresies, often that we aren't even aware of.

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Sorry about your brother. I'm a Pagan we don't acturally have a sacried text. There are many books on Papanism, but we have no bible. It is a spiritual path and we learn from each other, experience and the Earth. The Earth is what we consider sacred.

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King James Version and a Strong's Concordance.

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