It’s always useful to be informed of not only what you believe, but what others believe as well. Being educated on other faiths allows for open and intelligent dialogue without turning to something that looks like bigotry or ignorance. Doesn’t it make it so much easier to share your faith when you know where others are coming from?
As we’re going through our 30-Day Bible-Reading Challenge, I thought it would be important to give you a quick overview of other religious texts like the Quran, Tanakh, the Book of Mormon, and more! Let’s compare the Bible with key writings from other popular cults & religions and get a discussion going–
|Christianity||The Bible, written originally in Hebrew and Aramaic (Old Testament), and Greek (New Testament).|
|Jehovah’s Witnesses||All current Watchtower publications, including the Bible (New World Translation only), Reasoning from the Scriptures, What Does the Bible Really Teach?; Watchtower and Awake! magazines.|
|Mormonism||The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, plus the Bible (King James Version only or Smith’s “Inspired Version”) which is seen as less reliable. Authoritative teachings of Mormon prophets and other LDS “general authorities.” Ensign and Liahona magazines.|
|Seventh-day Adventism||The Bible, including Adventist paraphrase The Clear Word. Over 600 published titles by Ellen White, including The Desire of Ages and The Great Controversy. Sabbath School Bible Study Guide; SDA Bible Commentary. Adventist Review, numerous other magazines.|
|Unification Church||Divine Principle by Sun Myung Moon, considered the “Completed Testament.” Outline of the Principle, Level 4, and the Bible. (The Bible is “not the truth itself, but a textbook teaching the truth.”)|
|Christian Science||Science and Health, With Key to the Scriptures; Miscellaneous Writings; Manual of the Mother Church; and other books by Mrs. Eddy. The Bible (not as reliable). Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and other official periodicals.|
|Unity School of Christianity||Unity magazine. Lessons in Truth, Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, the Bible (not as reliable, interpreted with “hidden” meanings).|
|New Age||No holy book. Use selected Bible passages; I Ching; Hindu, Buddhist, and Taoist writings; and Native American beliefs. Writings on astrology, mysticism, and magic.|
|Wicca||No holy books; however, many groups use The Book of Shadows, first compiled by Gardner and later expanded by him and other leaders. Other popular works include A Witches’ Bible and The Spiral Dance.|
|Scientology||Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and others by Hubbard. The Way to Happiness.|
|Islam||The Holy Qur’an (Koran), revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Essential commentaries are found in the Sunnah (“tradition”), composed of Hadith (“narrative”) and Sirah (“journey”). The Qur’an affirms the biblical Torah, Psalms, and Gospels, but Jews and Christians have corrupted the original texts.|
|Nation of Islam||Publicly, the Holy Qur’an is authoritative and the Bible is quoted often, but Message to the Blackman in America, Our Saviour Has Arrived, and other books by Elijah Muhammad supply its distinctive views. Current teachings are in The Final Call newspaper and speeches of Minister Farrakhan.|
|Bahá’í Faith||Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, including Kitáb-i-Aqdas (“Most Holy Book”) and Kitáb-i-Íqán (“Book of Certitude”). The Bible, interpreted spiritually to conform Bahá’u’lláh to Bahá’í theology.|
|Judaism||The Tanakh (Old Testament), and especially the Torah (first five books of the Bible). The Talmud (explanation of the Tanakh). Teachings of each branch. Writings of sages, such as Maimonides.|
|Kabbalah Center||The Zohar (“Book of Splendor”), the Centre’s 23-volume translation of mystical Aramaic and Hebrew writings which first appeared in Spain in the 13th–14th centuries. Books by Philip Berg and his son, Yehuda, including Kabbalah for the Layman, The Essential Zohar, and The 72 Names of God.|
|Hindusim||Many writings, including the Vedas (oldest, about 1000 bc), the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita.|
|Hare Krishna||Back to Godhead magazine. Prabhupada’s translations of and commentaries on Hindu scriptures, especially Bhagavad-Gita As It Is and Srimad-Bhagavatam.|
|Transcendental Meditation (TM)||Hindu scriptures including the Bhagavad-Gita. Meditations of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Science of Being and Art of Living, other writings by the founder.|
|Sikhism||Main scripture is the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (“the master book,” also called Adi Granth), first compiled in ad 1604. It is worshiped by Sikhs, who consider it their final and perpetual guru. Other key works include the Dasam Granth, Varan Bhai Gurdas, and Sikh Reht Maryada.|
|Buddhism||The Mahavastu (“Great Story,” a collection covering the Buddha’s life story), the Jataka Tales (550 stories of the former lives of the Buddha), the Tripitaka (“Three Baskets”), and the Tantras (as recorded in Tibetan Buddhism).|
|Soka Gakkai International||The Lotus Sutra (a sutra is a discourse of the Buddha as recorded by his disciples). The Major Writings of Nichiren Daishonin, plus writings of Daisaku Ikeda.|
This is just a start in comparative religions and cults, but I hope this has enlightened and helped you become all the more aware in your understanding of faith. 🙂 Want to learn more about cults? Check out our Christianity, Cults & Religions Bible study book!
Christianity, Cults and Religions helps Christians know what they believe and why. This book contains basic charts that compare world religions, cults and sects. Christianity, Cults & Religions is a well-researched introduction on cults and religions from a Christian viewpoint. Each world religion, sect, and/or cult is condensed to 100 words for a quick overview.
Then when you’ve got that, download the FREE study guide for this book!