The Holy Books: Read 'Em and Rate 'Em! My List of Good Reads

Having been raised Catholic, of course my default Holy Book is the Bible, as it is for most of Western Civilization.  As such, I leave it off MY list because a) I think discussing it is redundant, the Bible is a cultural staple for me and has had a huge impact on my life (in many ways for ill, gotta love the job that the Leviticus sayings on homosexuality did on my self-esteem) and the world I live in, and b) everyone else can yak about it if they want to.  This list, as such, is not meant to rank these books in quality per se.  Let's just treat this as if we are discussing science fiction and fantasy books (which of course these texts are) and have a good laugh.  Also, I have not forced myself to read all these books, that would be torture.


BOOK OF MORMON- The most hilariously absurd piece of 19th century American fantasy ever concocted, Mark Twain called it 'ether on paper'.  Besides the general anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism which is shown on page 1, chapter 1, verse 1, the racism towards Indians is jaw dropping.  I won't try to even pretend I have gotten farther than the picture inserts, but the stuff I read makes me laugh whenever I come across it.


KORAN- The most obscure and barely-sensible literary experiment ever, I think you could call this a post-modern novel in some circles.  For some real fun, go to your local tax-payer funded library, take their various translations off the reference shelf, and open to the first sura.  Many modern anti-Israeli translators who are funded by Saudi extremists throw a good deal of anti-Semitism in.  And what's more, that translation is the one sent to prisoners who 'revert' during incarceration.  Yippee Skippee!


BHAGAVAD GITA- Hindu holy book that has the decency to not weigh over an ounce when published.  It's a fun read, actually, a major war story with all sorts of bizarre shit going on, so very trippy.


SINNERS IN THE HANDS OF AN ANGRY GOD- An important tract, originally given as a sermon, that served as the antecedent of modern American fundamentalism, a truly terrifying version of a Devil gone mad.


THE ODYSSEY- Actually did read this totally, very important book because its Hellenistic portrayals of the gods and goddesses would later be adopted by Christianity.  One interesting point to reflect on: Ever notice how the Catholic Latin Mass invokes God under the name 'Deus'?  That sure does look alot like the Roman god 'Zeus'.  Find out in this book and it's prequel, ILIAD, where Western ideas of a deity are descended from.

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I have some mormon relatives... About one year ago they took us into they church and to a mansion they called 'god's house'. It had a god's bedroom,god's kitchen and even a god's bathroom! O___O

Actually, I believe that the Roman version was Jupiter or Jove and that Zeus was Greek.


Nitpicking aside, I like the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Norse Eddas. What I find most interesting about Gilgamesh and the earlier Summerian texts that spawned it are the clear roots of many of the bibles stories, especially the flood. 


There's a crossroads of linguistics in the period when the Church formed, the Roman Empire was inheritor of post-Hellenist Greek culture and language.  Interesting point for further discussion, I believe strongly that linguistic anthropology is an important school to study.

I agree that linguistics holds the keys to reality.  

Speaking of these texts, since I grew up Catholic, I was surprised when I read some pages of the Koran where God asks Jesus if he ever told people he was god and Jesus says basically "no way, I never said that." 





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