AskDefine | Define scripture

Dictionary Definition



1 the sacred writings of the Christian religions; "he went to carry the Word to the heathen" [syn: Bible, Christian Bible, Book, Good Book, Holy Scripture, Holy Writ, Word of God, Word]
2 any writing that is regarded as sacred by a religious group [syn: sacred scripture]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Scripture




  1. A sacred writing or book.
  2. In the context of "by extension": An authoritative statement.


any sacred writing or book
an authoritative statement

Extensive Definition

Scripture is a technical term for writings that are definitively characteristic of particular religious traditions. It is more specific than the term religious text, which scholars can apply even to mythological and ritual texts from ancient religions, where records of their authority (or heresy) have not survived. Scholars of comparative religion investigate the different reasoning that lies behind why various traditions determine some writings to be scripture and others not.
This can be illustrated by the ancient documentation of an Egyptian cult of Aten, which lasted little more than a generation, having been suppressed as heresy. Although texts in praise of Aten, like the Great Hymn to the Aten, perhaps were Aten scriptures, they cannot be considered definitive of the mainstream ancient Egyptian scriptures. On the other hand, the Nicene Creed is an early Christian description of their beliefs. However, although this is clearly a religious text, and is still highly valued by Christians today, they do not consider it scripture. Scriptures are a very specific type of religious text.

Etymology and usage

The term scripture arose as an English translation of Judaeo-Christian usage and was applied, by analogy, to the scriptures of other traditions. It is commonly used in reference to the Christian Bible and Islamic Koran.
  • scriptum
  • graphai
  • ketuvim


External links

scripture in Spanish: Escritura sagrada

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bhagavad-Gita, Bible, Book of Mormon, Douay Bible, Holy Scripture, Holy Writ, King James Version, Koran, Revised Standard Version, Revised Version, Septuagint, Testament, Vulgate, canon, sacred writings, the Book, the Good Book, the Scriptures, the Word
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