Religious text

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Holy Scripture presents a kind of mirror to the eyes of the mind, so that our inner face may be seen in it. There we learn our own ugliness, there our own beauty. ~ Gregory the Great

A religious text is a text which religious traditions consider central to their practices or beliefs.

Quotes[edit]

  • I resolved, therefore, to direct my mind to the Holy Scriptures, that I might see what they were. And behold, I saw something not comprehended by the proud, not disclosed to children, something lowly in the hearing, but sublime in the doing.
  • 'Tis a dangerous thing to engage the authority of scripture in disputes about the natural world, in opposition to reason; lest time, which brings all things to light, should discover that to be evidently false which we had made scripture to assert … We are not to suppose that any truth concerning the natural world can be an enemy to religion; for truth cannot be an enemy to truth, God is not divided against himself.
  • People who claim to derive their morals from scripture do not really do so in practice. And a very good thing too, as they themselves, on reflection, should agree.
  • In any case, despite the good intentions of the sophisticated theologian, a frighteningly large number of people still do take their scriptures, including the story of Noah, literally. According to Gallup, they include approximately 50 per cent of the US electorate. Also, no doubt, many of those Asian holy men who blamed the 2004 tsunami not on a plate tectonic shift but on human sins, ranging from drinking and dancing in bars to breaking some footling sabbath rule. Steeped in the story of Noah, and ignorant of all except biblical learning, who can blame them? Their whole education has led them to view natural disasters as bound up with human affairs, paybacks for human misdemeanours rather than anything so impersonal as plate tectonics.
  • I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments and demonstrations.
  • Scriptura cum legentibus crescit.
  • Scriptura sacra mentis oculis quasi quoddam speculum opponitur, ut interna nostra facies in ipsa videatur. Ibi etenim foeda, ibi pulehra nostra cognoscimus.
    • Holy Scripture presents a kind of mirror to the eyes of the mind, so that our inner face may be seen in it. There we learn our own ugliness, there our own beauty.
    • Gregory the Great, Morals in the Book of Job, 553d, as translated in Cultural Performances in Medieval France (2007), p. 129
  • The reason why all those we have mentioned hold false opinions and make impious or ignorant assertions about God appears to be nothing else but this, that scripture is not understood in its spiritual sense, but is interpreted according to the bare letter.
    • Origen, “How divine scripture should be interpreted,” On First Principles, book 4, chapter 2, § 2, in Readings in World Christian History (2013), p. 69
  • Our contention with regard to the whole of divine scripture is that it all has a spiritual meaning, but not all a bodily meaning; for the bodily meaning is often proved to be an impossibility.
    • Origen, “How divine scripture should be interpreted,” On First Principles, book 4, chapter 2, § 2, in Readings in World Christian History (2013), p. 75
  • But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
    Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
    And thus I clothe my naked villainy
    With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
  • A miracle, whether in contravention to, or beyond, nature, is a mere absurdity; and, therefore, ... what is meant in Scripture by a miracle can only be a work of nature, which surpasses, or is believed to surpass, human comprehension.
  • Scripture does not explain things by their secondary causes, but only narrates them in the order and the style which has most power to move men, and especially uneducated men, to devotion; and therefore it speaks inaccurately of God and of events, seeing that its object is not to convince the reason, but to attract and lay hold of the imagination. If the Bible were to describe the destruction of an empire in the style of political historians, the masses would remain unstirred.

See also[edit]

List of Religious texts

External links[edit]

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