There are many religions in the world, more than what I am going to list today in this blog post, but one of the main reasons that they all have different and contradictory teachings is because they have a different source for their doctrine. In technical terms, the formal principle is the ultimate source and norm of one’s theology. For Protestants, the formal principle is claimed to be Sola Scriptura, “Scripture Alone,” however, that isn’t always the case, as some Protestant denominations lean upon reason to fill in the gaps or erase paradoxes found within the Bible.
The following is a list of religions and cults with the writings from which their teachings are derived. If we have a different source of theology, we’ll obviously have different theological conclusions on the nature of the divine, the universe, humanity, ethics, and the afterlife.
Add to this list in the comments section, please (I know I am missing Shinto, Jainism, Yoruba, Voddoo, and Baha’i.
The Different and Contradictory Writings of the World’s Religions:
Christianity – The Bible
Jehovah’s Witnesses – All current Watchtower publications, including the Bible (New World Translation only), Reasoning from the Scriptures, You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, Watchtower and Awake! Magazines.
Mormonism – The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, plus the Bible (King James Version only or Smith’s “Inspired Version”) which is seen as less reliable. Authoritative teachings of Mormon prophets and other LDS “general authorities.” Ensign and Liahona magazines.
Unification Church – Divine Principles by Sun Myung Moon, considered the “Completed Testament.” Outline of the Principle, Level 4, and the Bible.
Christian Science – Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Miscellaneous Writings, Manual of the Mother Church, and other books by Mary Baker Eddy; The Bible, Christian Science Journal, Christian Science Sentinel, and other official periodicals.
Unity School of Christianity – Unity magazine, Lessons in Truth, Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, and the Bible.
Scientology – Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and other writings by Hubbard. The Way to Happiness.
Wicca – No offical sacred text, however The Book of Shadows, first compiled by Gardner, is largely used by many Wiccans.
New Age – No officical sacred text, however, almost any religious text can be used, as well as texts on astrology, mysticism, and magic.
Islam – The Holy Qur’an and the Haddiths, sayings of the prophet Muhammad.
Nation of Islam – The Qur’an but Message to the Blackman in America, Our Savior Has Arrived, and other books guide the views of the Nation of Islam.
Judaism – The Tanakh and the Talmud.
Hinduism – The Vedas, The Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita.
Hare Krishna – Swami Prahbuhpada’s translations and commentaries on Hindu scriptures, especially the Bhagavad-Gita.
Buddhism – The Mahavastu, The Jataka Tales, and the Tripitaka.
The Church of Satan – The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey.
Daoism – Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi, and Daozang.
Confucianism – The Analects of Confucius.
Sikhism – The Sri Guru Granth Sahib (or Adi Granth).