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Michigan State University

Religions of the World: Sacred Texts

This is a guide to researching religions of the world: Western and Eastern Christianity, Eastern religions, Islam, Bahai, New Age Movements, Judaism. Last updated 06-26-2023

Sacred Texts

Sacred Texts Interpreted, Religious Documents Explained  Main BL 71 .O47 2017 v. 1-2

Alphabetical arrangement of the faiths of the world, with lengthy chapters on each.  These chapters contain bits of primary sources from the sacred texts of each faith and explain the meanings of them.  Covers Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Mormonism, Shinto, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism.  Brief introduction to the religious traditions of each faith and information on sacred text development.  Definition of what is meant by the words "sacred text."  Basic introductory level. 


See also Bible Resources, a guide to MSU Library resources about the Bible.

Norton Anthology of World Religions, v. 2 Main BL 74 .N67 2014

Biblia Sacra, Iuxta Vulgatam Versionem. Main BS 75 1983 t. 1-2
The Vulgate is the Latin Bible used in the Western Church from the 7th century.

Holy Bible, 1611 Edition, King James Version. Main BS 185 1611 .N37 1982
A word-for-word reprint of the first edition of the authorized version. Uses 17th c. letters and spellings, also. This Bible version has had a tremendous impact on the faith of believers and on English language and literature.

Bible, King James Version

The original electronic text for this version of the Bible was provided by the Oxford Text Archive. Subsequent work was done on it by the New Centre for the Oxford English Dictionary (Waterloo) and University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative, through which we access it.

Bible, Martin Luther Translation

This version of the Luther translation of the Bible is derived from the edition published by the Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, c1984, and is provided with their permission. It was initially prepared by Jeffrey Triggs of the OED's North American Reading Program and is available through the University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative.

Holy Bible, the New King James Version. Main BS 185 1982 .N37 1982
"introduces present-day vocabulary [and spellings], pronunciation, and syntax where necessary, but strives to preserve the legacy of the original translators."

Original African Heritage Study Bible, King James Version. Main BS 185 1993 .N37 1993
"with Special Annotations Relative to the African/Edenic Perspective." Includes ancient maps of Africa, African martyrs and Christian saints, women of African lineage, highlighted scripture references of African/Edenic presence.

New American Standard Bible, Study Edition. Main BS 195 .N35 1975b
" more literal than other modern translations."

New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. Main BS 191.5 .A1 191 N49
"New Revised Standard Version attempts to be as literal as possible while following standard American English usage. It uses inclusive language 'as far as this can be done without altering passages that reflect the historical situation of ancient patriarchal culture.'"

Revised English Bible with the Apocrypha. Main  BS 195 .R4 1989
A revision of the New English Bible, based on scholarship of the 1980s. "It attempts to use idiomatic English while maintaining a fluent style with appropriate dignity for liturgical use, and to employ 'more inclusive gender reference where that has been possible without compromising scholarly integrity or English style.'"

Holy Bible, New International Version. Main BS 195 .I37 1978c
A version of the Bible commonly used in evangelical, Protestant churches in America.

New Testament in Modern English. Main BS 2095 .P5
The Phillips translation, a particularly readable and well-regarded 20th c. translation from the Greek New Testament.

New Jerusalem Bible. Main  BS 195 .J4 1985 c. 2
1973 revision of the 1966 Jerusalem Bible, which "derives from the French version edited at the Dominican Ecole Biblique de Jerusalem and is based on the original texts."

Catholic Study Bible. Main BS 192.3 .A1 1990 N49
The New American Bible, which is "translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources by members of the Catholic Biblical Association of America, sponsored by the Bishops' Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine. A new translation intended for contemporary American readers."

Complete Parallel Bible. Main BS 125 .B53 1993
Contains 4 Bible versions across the two facing pages: New Revised Standard Version, Revised English Bible, New American Bible, and Jerusalem Bible.

Bible, Revised Standard Version

The National Council of the Churches of Christ in America holds the copyright of the RSV. This version is made available by permission of the Council and the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Computer Analysis of Texts through the University of Michigan's Humanities Text Initiative.

Essential Evangelical Parallel Bible: New King James Version, English Standard Version, New Living Translation, the Message Main BS 195 .N38 2004

Interlinear NIV Hebrew-English Old Testament. Main BS 715 .K6 1987
"interlines Hebrew and English, with the text of the New International Version in the right-hand margin."

New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament. Main BS 1965 1993
"a new interlinear translation of the Greek New Testament, United Bible Societies' third, corrected edition with the New Revised Standard Version, New Testament."


Science and Health  Main BX 6941 .S4 and DMC CD ROM same call number

Mary Baker Eddy's Science and Health is the "scripture" text of the Christian Science faith. It was published in 1875.  There are many older editions available via HathiTrust.


We have a separate guide for Jewish Studies Resources.

Torah. Main BS 1223 1982
Prophets. Main BS 1286 .A3 1978 c. 3
Writings. Main BS 1308 .A3 J48 1982 c. 2
"A new translation by leading contemporary Jewish scholars," from the Jewish Publication Society.

Holy Scriptures According to the Masoretic Text. Main BS 895 .J4 1955

Pentateuch and Haftorahs, Hebrew Text, English Translation and Commentary. Main BS 1225 1981

Norton Anthology of World Religions, v. 2  Main BL 74 .N67 2014


We have a separate research guide for Muslim Studies Resources

al-Qur'an, a Contemporary Translation. Main BP 109 .A398 2001
Princeton University Press. "an elegant contemporary English translation of the Koran, with English and Arabic in parallel columns."

Koran Interpreted. Main BP 109 .A7 1986
"a translation which seeks to 'imitate, however imperfectly, those rhetorical and rhythmical patterns which are the glory and the sublimity of the Koran'." Originally published in 1955, by Allen and Unwin.

Norton Anthology of World Religions, v. 2  Main BL 74 .N67 2014 v. 2. See pp. 1375-1980


We have separate guides to research for Hinduism and Buddhism.

Norton Anthology of World Religions, v. 1 Main BL 74 .N67 2014 v. 1 Covers Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism

Sacred Books of the East. Remote Storage BL 1010 .S3
51 volumes. "Includes all the important works of the seven non-Christian religions that have influenced the civilization of Asia: the Vedic-Brahmanic system, Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, and the Parsi religion. The excellent and detailed index can be used for both large and small topics, beliefs, myths, names of deities, etc." See p. 397 of Guide to Reference Books for more information on this set.

Sacred Books of the Buddhists. Cat. Sep. Main and Remote Storage
See entry in Guide to Reference  Main Z 1035 .G8 ed. 11 p. 436 under this title. Then do a title search in Books and Media for Sacred Books of the Buddhists which reveals what we have of this set and the Library locations.