What of scripture today. Previously people used to consider

What is
a “Scripture”? Some people believe the definition of scripture is a divine recorded
evidence, however, others think it is a holy book that provides a complete code
of conduct for our lives through the teachings it contains. In general, attempts
to define “scripture” at times raise and further complicate issues because such
an attempt may contradict with peoples’ opinions. William Graham, in his
article about Scripture, analyzes distinct ideas of scriptures of various religions
without overlooking the values and significance of the religions. He discusses how scripture can evolve in different communities by
explaining distinct functions and aspects of the scripture by giving a lot of
examples from different religions (Graham 8202-8204).

Scripture is an important aspect of religious history as the
history explains various meanings, concepts and context of scripture. Scripture
is usually referred as a holy book; it is considered to be a divine book of
prospect. The author highlights different ideas, facts of
scriptures in people of faith. William Graham focuses on the origin of scripture and how it effects
the understanding of scripture today. Previously people used to consider
scripture as a wise book of knowledge. Additionally, it was also considered as
the book that contains the power to control
what will happen in the future and reveal the designated end of human lives. As
the author says “The idea of a book of
destinies or fates, in which the allotted days and assigned end of human lives
are written down, was known, as art and textual evidence show, in ancient
Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and especially late antiquity.” (Graham
8195). Scripture is studied as book of actions, that there are instructions enclosed
in it which state the differences between good and bad that in return influence
personal decisions to live life in such a way that people can prepare for the
final judgement. The author says” The
similar notion of a book of works, in which a heavenly record of human deeds is
kept, was also widely known of old. References to the writing down of good and
bad deeds, often in connection with a last judgment” (Graham 8195).

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Scripture
is a convoluted and unclear word. We can think of scripture more than just a
scared book. Earlier in many religious traditions divine content was conveyed
orally which differs with the idea of scripture being a written document. It is
said in the article “Yet in most religious
traditions, sacred texts were transmitted orally in the first place and written
down only relatively late” (Graham 8194).

Graham has written detailed passage about various ways of understanding the
scripture, in his section about the different functions a scripture could take,
he highlights that it could be written, oral or it could be used in unusual
ways depending on the different religious cultures (Graham 8197). First he
explains the logical background of the word scripture where he mentions that
the most relevant meaning of scripture is “something written.” The oral concept
of scripture still bloom’s today and it was also a strong part of the history.
As a criterion we humans speak first and then learn to read and write, so it
can be said that scriptures were transmitted orally before they were written
down.

 Avesta is said to be passed on
orally before is was written as a text (Graham 8199) this shows the importance
of oral scripture influencing people back in days. In various religious
cultures scriptures are read loudly as the article says” Recitation or
reading aloud of scripture is a common feature of piety, whether in Islamic,
Sikh, Jewish, or other traditions” (Graham 8198). A person who can read, master and memorize a
scripture earns a lot of appreciation. A
quintessential example of this would be a hafiz in Muslim culture. “Great esteem is given to the person who knows all of the
sacred scripture “by heart”—in the Muslim case, such a person is
honored with the special epithet, ??fi?, “keeper, protector,
memorizer of the Word.” (Graham 8198). In the Buddhist and Islamic cultures, the written texts
are highly respected but they also tend to give more importance to the
recitation and reading of the scripture out loud (Graham 8198-8199).

Graham reviews the objective of scripture as
recorded document, he advises that recording of a scripture is a significant occasion
in any religious tradition as it contributes in the strengthening of the system
and firmness of a culture so that it could be powerful and reach high levels (Graham
8197). As the article says “The written scriptural
text symbolizes or embodies religious authority in many tradition” (Graham
8197-8198). This explains that in most religious cultures the recorded text controls
the authority.

Scripture can take up different roles, using them for magic and superstitions is one of them (Graham 8200). scriptural
texts could be used for treatment, as it is said to have power associated with the written and spoken words
contained in it (Graham 8200). The author says “a
protective or empowering device are placing a Bible in the bed of a sick child
as a curative, using a tiny Qur??n or Bible as a protective charm or talisman,
seeking omens in scriptural verses, or dissolving slips of paper with words of
scripture on them in a drink to make a medicine” (Graham 8200). Reading aloud of scripture near the sick person is
commonly seen in different religious cultures, written and oral words in the scripture could be explained as a form of
cure. The author gives a typical example related to this that “in Therav?da Buddhist practice, collections of scriptural
texts known as parittas are recited by the monks to ward off the actions
of demons and to bring prosperity, health, and other blessings” (Graham 8200).

In conclusion what matters is that whether the scripture
is written, recited, or both, all these formations of the scriptures may
contradict with the idea of scripture in various religions. All of them are very
essential for us so that we can understand its importance in that specific
religion. In a faithful aspect the scripture could be blessing as people
believe in it, on the other hand scripture can be thought of something that
brings a group of people together in a society. (Graham 8203-8204).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Graham. “Scripture”. Encyclopedia
of Religion. Ed. Lindsay Jones. Vol. 12. 2nd edition,
2005, p8194-8205.