Stay smart and spiritually strong!
Take time to feed your soul. Here are links and books for the philosophies and motivations of the major religions of the world in the original (when possible). If you believe in God, there is no one better to help with that life saving job search.
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The Holy Bible (Christianity)
Traditional King James Version
The Christian bible has two great divisions, familiarly known as the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament consists of the scriptures current among the Jews of Palestine in our Lord’s time. It starts with the creation of the world and testifies that Christ will come. The New testament contains writings belonging to the Apostolic age; it contains the ten commandments and testifies of Christ’s life upon the earth. – Amazon Review.
The Book of Mormon : Another Testament of Jesus Christ (Mormonism)
Compilation by Mormon
According to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel. The Book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation. Their words, written on gold plates were quoted and abridged by a prophet-historian named Mormon in 400 A.D. The plates were translated by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830. The record gives an account of two great civilizations. One came from Jerusalem in 600 B.C., and afterward separated into two nations, known as the Nephites and the Lamanites. The other came much earlier when the Lord confounded the tongues at the Tower of Babel. This group is known as the Jaredites. After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians.
The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after his resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come. – Amazon Review, LDS.org.
Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah (Baha’i)
Bahaullah (Author), Shoghi Effendi (Translator)
First published in 1939, this is a thorough and inclusive compilation of many of the essential teachings of Bah ‘u’ll h (1817-1892). It has become a part of most Baha’s personal libraries. It contains a complete index and glossary, so that most aspects of His teachings can be looked up, such as ‘life after death’, Baha’u’llah’s station and that of Muhammad, Christ, and Moses, the purpose of creation, Mankind’s obligations and their waywardness, etc. He makes His own station clear with words such as these: “O Jews! If ye be intent on crucifying once again Jesus, the Spirit of God, put Me to death, for He hath once more, in My person, been made manifest unto you.” His words are so powerful in most of the book that they virtually demand to be read aloud. The compiler and translator, Shoghi Effendi, Baha’u’llah’s great-grandson, organized the book generally into thirds. First focusing on Baha’u’llah’s station, next on the unknowable Divinity of God, then His words to His believers calling them to the highest moral and spiritual standards and to the unbelievers that they detach themselves from all acquired knowledge and search for Truth themselves.
This book does not set forth all the religious practices of the Baha’i Faith, nor does it purport to give one a complete picture of all aspects of the faith. Instead, the “gleanings” seem chosen to present some of the core Baha’i ideas in the words of the founder of the faith. The Baha’i ideas of the core of truth in all religions, the ongoing nature of spiritual prophecy, and the ineffable mystery of God are fascinating reading. The fact that this faith arose in the 19th Century makes its founders’ writings seem much more modern and accessible than some older religious writing. This book won’t tell you “everything you need to know about Baha’is”, but it is interesting for the non-believer as well as for the believer to give a picture window into this faith. – Amazon Review.
The Dhammapada (Buddhaism)
Eknath Easwaran (Translator, Introduction)
According to Eknath Easwaran, if all of the Buddhist sutras had been lost except the Dhammapada, it alone would be enough for readers to understand and appreciate the wisdom of the Buddha. Easwaran’s version of the Dhammapadagoes a long way toward proving this. In a lengthy introduction, Easwaran summarizes the life of the Buddha and the main tenets of his thought, including key concepts such as dharma, karma, and nirvana. The language of the Dhammapada is as lucid and flowing as the Psalms or the Sermon on the Mount, and this is why it is one of the most loved and remembered of all Buddhist sutras. Its subject matter, succinctly, is about training the mind, which leads to kind thoughts and deeds, which bring peace and freedom from suffering. If you are interested in reading one of the gems of Buddhist literature, this is a good place to start; and if you are looking for a great version of this beloved scripture, you can’t do better. Like all great world scripture, the verses here reward rereading and reflection, prompting you to “strive for wisdom always.” – Brian Bruya, Amazon Review.
The Analects (Confucianism)
Confucius (Author), Raymond Dawson (Translator)
Few individuals have shaped their country’s civilization more profoundly than the Master Kong (Confucius, 551-479 BC). Compulsory reading in the late Imperial period for all who wished to enter the Civil Service or Government, his sayings and those of his disciples form the foundation of a distinct social, ethical, and intellectual system. They have retained their freshness and vigour throughout the two and a half millennia of their currency, and are still admired even in today’s China. This lively new translation with clear explanatory notes by one of the foremost scholars of classical Chinese provides the ideal introduction to the Analects for readers who have no previous knowledge of the Chinese language and philosophical traditions. – Amazon Review.
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The Bhagavad Gita (Hinduism)
Eknath Easwaran (Translator, Introduction)
Prince Arjuna faced a dilemma that many face sooner or later–whether to take action that is necessary yet morally ambiguous. The difference is that Arjuna’s action was to wage war against his own family. With the armies arrayed, Arjuna loses his nerve. Krishna, his charioteer and incarnation of divine consciousness, begins to teach him the nature of God and of himself, that Arjuna can attain liberation through union with God, and that there are several available paths. And so the most famous and revered of all Hindu Scriptures goes on to teach the paths of knowledge, devotion, action, and meditation, becoming the seed for all the Hindu systems of philosophy and religion that followed. For all of its profundity, Eknath Easwaran manages to translate the Gita in easy prose that neither panders nor obscures. Coupled with his thorough introduction, Easwaran’s version comes off on all the levels it should: as a guide to action, devotional Scripture, a philosophical text, and inspirational reading. So what does Arjuna finally do? He follows his dharma, of course, as we all must. –Brian Bruya, Amazon Review.
The First Comprehensive Summary, for the English Reader, of the Teaching of the Talmud and the Rabbis on Ethics, Religion,Folk-lore and Jurisprudence. Cohen does an excellent job of presenting the origins of Talmudic literature and summarizing in a meaningful way the many doctrines it contains… – Publisher’s Decription
The Talmud is among the great books of wisdom–like the Bible, the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita–whose citation gives a speaker instant credibility. Also like the Bible, the Quran, and the Bhagavad Gita, the Talmud is a powerful source of allusion in large part even though so few people have really read it. People don’t read the Talmud because they think it’s inaccessible–the sprawling collection of rabbinic writings is added to in each generation, and its significance is nothing less than the summary of Judaism. The best guide to the Talmud’s labyrinthine form is Abraham Cohen’s Everyman’s Talmud: The Major Teachings of the Rabbinic Sages–a monumental work of scholarly summary that describes all the basic doctrines of Judaism. Everyman’s Talmud includes concise chapters on everything from sin to superstitions to a Jew’s duty to animals. You probably won’t be able to read it straight through–doctrine, even elegantly distilled, is hard to take in big doses–but you’ll be led back to it again and again, by questions that arise in daily life, at dinner parties, and from the pages of the daily newspaper. –Michael Joseph Gross, Amazon Review.
The Qur’an (Muhammadanism)
M. A. S. Abdel Haleem (Translator)
The Qur’an, believed by Muslims to be the word of God, was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad 1400 years ago. It is the supreme authority in Islam and the living source of all Islamic teaching; it is a sacred text and a book of guidance, that sets out the creed, rituals, ethics, and laws of the Islamic religion. It has been one of the most influential books in the history of literature. Recognized as the greatest literary masterpiece in Arabic, it has nevertheless remained difficult to understand in its English translations. This new translation is written in a contemporary idiom that remains faithful to the original, making it easy to read while retaining its powers of eloquence. Archaisms and cryptic language are avoided, and the Arabic meaning preserved by respecting the context of the discourse. The message of the Qur’an was directly addressed to all people regardless of class, gender, or age, and this translation is equally accessible to everyone. – Amazon Review.
This is an outstanding introduction to the Japanese religion Shinto (“spirit way”), exploring its syncretistic affinities with Buddhism, its modern status as the state religion and its emphasis on harmony with nature. Littleton first offers a quick but comprehensive history of Shinto over the past 2,000 years, stressing its evolution into an imperial cult in the late 19th century. Short chapters follow on kami (deities), sacred texts and persons, ethical principles, concepts of the afterlife and other topics. Throughout, full-color photographs of shrines, rituals, talismans and artwork complement the text, which is replete with interesting facts (e.g., that sumo wrestling derives from an ancient Shinto ritual). Readers will come away with a deeper appreciation of both Shinto and of Japanese culture. (May) 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The Adi Granth is the most sacred book of the Sikhs. Literally meaning the ‘First Book,’ it is also reverentially called the Granth Sahib and is regarded as the authoritative scriptural work. The compilation of the Adi Granth was done by the fifth Sikh guru, Arjan, in AD 1603 and contains, besides his own writings, the compositions of the four predecessors, the gurus, Nanak, Angad, Amardas and Ramdas. Subsequently, in AD 1705-6, additions were made to the Adi Granth by the tenth and the last guru, Godind Singh, who incorporated the hymns of the ninth guru, Teg Bahadur and enjoined that after him the Granth Sahib would take the place of the guru. In its final form, the Adi Granth contains the writings of the Sikh gurus, and also the banis of thirty-six Hindu and Muslim saints who lived between the twelfth and the seventeenth centuries.
It is needless to emphasize the importance of this great religious work which sets forth the ideal of the union of the human Soul with its Maker. This can be attained by following, scrupulously the highest ethical standards and abjuring egoism without, however, renouncing the worldly activities. Besides its great religious importance, the Adi Granth is an invaluable work from the standpoint of the historian and the linguist. It provides very useful data about the social and religious conditions of India during early and late medieval times. – Amazon Review.
*Just so you know, the site links are not affiliate or sponsored links, just simply links that members have found helpful and that we thought you might enjoy too. *Most of the books can be read from your local library. But just in case they are not available, we have added our affiliate link to Amazon for your convenience. And, of course, any reviews, opinions, strategies or recommendations are solely those of the site or book authors. We are not responsible for any content, opinions expressed or outcomes from use.