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Old 09-28-2011, 03:47 PM
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
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I thought "The Silmarillion" was some beautifully written prose. Does that count?
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Old 09-28-2011, 09:31 PM
Location: Missouri
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The epic of Gilgamesh. I don't know how holy the old Sumerians considered it, but it's a great story in any time.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:38 PM
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
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Originally Posted by Fillmont View Post
So which is the best holy book, when taken solely literature? The one with the best characters, best story arcs, most satisfying resolution.
I'm gonna take some flak here, but it's gotta be the Book Of Mormon. I'll say one thing about Joseph Smith... he had a hell of an imagination. His imaginary world of heroes, villains, good, evil and all the drama that comes from it is nearly as complete and convincing as JR Tolkien's...
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
I thought "The Silmarillion" was some beautifully written prose. Does that count?
Not unless it is a recognized religion. One could perhaps put Star wars at the top of the list as 'The Jedi' religion is recognized, isn't it? (1)

After that the Greek myths have got to come top of the list and the Bhagavad Gita after that with the Norse myths close behind. I'd say that the Bible comes after that with the Mesopotamian myths and then the Book of Mormon and the Egyptian myths.

The Tripitaka comes along behind that and I'm afraid that the Quran is an also ran, in translation, at least. I gather that in the arabic the sheer poetry redeems the dullness of the content.

(1) Nope.
The Jedi census phenomenon is a grassroots movement that was initiated in 2001 for residents of a number of English-speaking countries, urging them to record their religion as "Jedi" or "Jedi Knight" (after the quasi-religious order of Jedi Knights in the fictional Star Wars universe) on the national census.
It is believed the majority of self-reported Jedi claimed the religion for their own amusement, to poke fun at the government,[1] or as a protest against the inclusion of the religion question on the census form.
To date, no country has adopted or legally decreed "Jedi" or "Jediism" as an "official" religion. (wiki)
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:40 AM
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Here's the web version:

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Old 09-30-2011, 03:05 PM
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I have read into other religions, but thinking on it I read more their philosophy than their holy books. "Holy books" are often very long and I guess I haven't been willing to invest that much time. Although I have read sections of holy books of other faiths. I considered reading the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism, but it's said to be very long. I take it some of the Buddhist texts aren't too long, but I don't know if they fit what you mean as I'm not sure they're in narrative form with characters and the like.

Anyway the following has holy books of varied faiths.

Internet Sacred Text Archive Home

I've heard the Urantia Book is, at least, entertaining in a way and although not precisely a religion it has a religious following. Also Swedenborg wrote some text about a spiritual voyage to other worlds that the "New Church" deems religiously significant. Not sure it's great writing, but still. Then there's Tolstoy. I think there is some small group in Canada who still go to a "Tolstoyan church." They go more by his religious writing though, which I'm not sure has characters and narrative in the way you mean.

Outside of Christianity I've liked some works of Chinese philosophy and found them okay to good reading. Again though they're not really narratives with characters. They're more like sayings and poetry. Although it seems like the book of Mencius did contain several stories about his life or fables or whatever. In terms of story I'd say for me, so far, I really do put some of the Bible stories above other things I've read. Greek and Roman mythos just never did anything for me. American Indian mythos is fun, but it's not really a religious book. (Although the Mayan books would be) Possibly I'd like some of the Shinto books as Japanese mythology struck me as interesting.
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