Books that are considered sacred by the followers of a (typically fictional) religion or philosophy.

The most holy of books are attributed to a god, or just plain {{God}}, although a prophet serving as a transmitter for the Word of God is usually taken for granted. A more modest claim is that the author/prophet was ''inspired'' by a deity. Finally, the authors may not be considered prophets outright, but chroniclers of divine acts or sacred events, or teachers of perfect wisdom. The authors of sacred scriptures are often figures of legend, and are frequently venerated as holy men or women themselves.

What it means to be a "sacred" text may vary (as it does in real life). In the most basic definition of sacredness, the ''information'' contained is the sacred thing, and paraphrasing, adapting or translating this text is still considered unproblematic as long as the core message gets across. Other times, the literal text is sacred, and translating or adapting it becomes a sensitive matter. This is owed to the fact that within the religions built upon such a text, even minute details can carry substantial weight for the practices and teachings of this religion. A few religions go so far as to teach that their holy book cannot be "correctly" translated at all, and [[SacredLanguage is only perfect in the original text.]] Finally, the physical books or scrolls containing holy texts may be sacred objects in themselves, the handling of which is tied to certain dos and don'ts.

When a fictional holy book isn't written in a SacredLanguage, it's probably EternalEnglish.

A common twist in SpeculativeFiction is an isolated community basing a religion or {{cult}} on a sacred book which [[CargoCult reveals itself as a mundane text from another culture]] at closer inspection.

May overlap with TomesOfProphecyAndFate, or even TomeOfEldritchLore if we are speaking of a ReligionOfEvil. Characters quoting from a Holy Book is AsTheGoodBookSays.

Apart from the cases when a real life text serves as a sacred text in-universe, an instance of FictionalDocument.
!! Examples:


[[folder: Franchise ]]

* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' has the Covenant of Primus, which is a combination of historical records and list of prophecies.
* ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' had the Sacred Scrolls, written by the deified Lawgiver.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Not a paper book, but the tribe of children from ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome'' paid comparable homage to a collection of photos they could examine with an old toy slide-viewer. When someone showed them how to work an old phonograph record, they repeated its words as if they, too, were sacred.
* The ActionPrologue of ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'' featured Kirk stealing the holy scripture from an indigenous tribe in order to lead them away from an exploding volcano. [[spoiler:They later abandon it in favor of worshiping the ''Enterprise''.]]
* In ''Film/TheFactsInTheCaseOfMisterHollow'', during a {{pan}} over various case-related {{Fictional Document}}s, the viewer can see that the film's OccultDetective has managed to secure a copy of a MysteryCult's holy book, with its telltale batwinged Caduceus embossed on the leather. The investigator is sorting through case documents attempting to connect the cult to the disappearances of children.
* ''Film/TheLastJedi'': Luke keeps the Jedi's ancient texts in a sacred tree on Ahch-To. [[spoiler:Yoda mocks their continued importance and [[ShockAndAwe calls down lightning]] to burn down the tree with the texts in it, noting that at the end of the day they're just a bunch of millennia-old mumbo-jumbo. It turns out, though, that Rey had already stolen the books and has them with her at the end of the movie]]. It should also be noted that Luke never actually ''read'' the texts; apparently they're not exactly page-turners.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* The Orange Catholic Bible from Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' universe. This one is interesting because it combines some traditional holy books (books of the Bible, the Qur'an, the Hadith, most Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, the Dao De Jing, the Analects, the Zoroastrian Avestas), plus a number of other fictional texts.
* A jeweled manuscript Bible appears in several important occasions in the ''Literature/{{Deryni}}'' works, most often in the form of oaths of fealty or allegiance sworn on the Bible.
* The prophecies from ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' may count. Certainly, there are religious scriptures mentioned, belonging to the various races.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has many. These include ''The Book of Om''; ''The Vengeful Testament of Offler''; ''The Cenotine Book of Truth''; ''The Scrolls of Wen the Eternally Surprised''; and ''The Living Testament of Nuggan'' (the only holy book to be published in a ring binder for frequent updates).
* ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' mentions that the Lilliputians have "the Brundecral (which is their [[Literature/TheQuran Alcoran]])."
* Bits and pieces are occasionally quoted in ''Literature/TalesOfTheBranionRealm'', from the texts of the two competing religions.
* In the ''Literature/KushielsLegacy'' series, the worshippers of the goddess Namaah consider sex an act of worship, which is why they consider ''Trois Milles Joies'' ("Three Thousand Pleasures"), an in-universe version of the ''Kama Sutra'', a sacred book.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut's ''Literature/CatsCradle'' has the ''Books of Bokonon'', sacred text of the new religion Bokononism, which start with the handy warning: "All of the true facts I am about to tell you are shameless lies."
* In the short story "The Return" by Creator/HBeamPiper and John J. [=McGuire=], a pair of explorers from a last outpost of scientific civilzation in what [[AfterTheEnd used to be the United States]] several generations after WorldWarIII find a settlement of the descendants of a U.S. Army platoon from The War. They are relatively advanced, though they show considerable religious fervor for "the Slain and Risen One" that their sacred books (bequeathed to them by the "First 'Tenant of the Old 'Toon") speak of, and yet "logic, not faith, seems to be their supreme religious virtue...skepticism is a religious obligation instead of a sin". At the very end of the story, the explorers finally learn that "the Books" are [[spoiler: the collected stories of Sherlock Holmes]].
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': The Faith of the Seven's holy book is called ''The Seven Pointed Star''.
* ''Literature/TheInitiateBrother'' has the Scrolls of Botahara, which are in the keeping of the Botahist Brotherhood. There are numerous copies, but the original scrolls have gone missing, leading them to show fakes to Sister Morima of the Botahist Sisterhood. Their fate is only revealed at the very end of the story, by which time it is apparent that the Brotherhood [[CorruptChurch isn't what it should be]] - brothers who keep to the true way have been slowly smuggling the scrolls away to safety.
* In ''Literature/{{MARZENA}}'' we have The Transhuman Seeder, a collection of books written by Anika From Bremen (Narrator), which demonstrates how the brain works and establishes how this knowledge will create a biological technological and spiritual revolution. The book itself is considered holy by the members of the Transhuman Army.
* Creator/DavidWeber's ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' series has the ''Holy Writ,'' written by the Archangels as part of their attempt to [[InvokedTrope enforce]] the MedievalStasis trope. It includes lots of practical advice and practical warnings, set in the form of divine miracles and divine curses so as to steer the reader away from investigating further. It also includes, ''The Book of Schuler,'' a manual for ColdBloodedTorture, as a further inducement to not investigate further. And the rules for {{UsefulNotes/Baseball}}, because Baseball is SeriousBusiness.
* The Gift Legends in ''Literature/TheRedAndTheRest'' are presented as not necessarily truer than any competing holy book, but they sure do a lot for WorldBuilding, giving one religious explanation for the various [[FiveRaces humanoid species]] and DifferentlyPoweredIndividuals.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* The ''Rules of Acquisition'' of the Ferengi in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. Actually they are a set of business guidelines, but they are said to be divinely inspired, and therefore sacred. But in "Body Parts" Quark meets the First Grand Negus in a dream -- he tells Quark that this was just a marketing ploy.
-->"Would you buy a book called ''Suggestions of Acquisition''?"
** Not to mention, various religious texts from Bajor about the Prophets, the Emissary, and prophecies with interpretations about them.
* Came up more than once in ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'':
** In "The Omega Glory", the Yangs have a sacred text, but nobody can read it properly. When Kirk finally reads it out loud we discover it's identical to the US Constitution.
** In "A Piece of the Action" our heroes discover a planet has been using a book about gangs in 1920's Chicago (left by a previous Federation vessel) as their holy book.
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', the Cat race writes its holy scriptures in smells on blank paper. Lister finds a copy, and discovers that he is the Cats' god.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** A sort of meta-holy book is created from the first page of every known holy book of all the sentient races, on which the Interstellar President is sworn in.
** G'Kar is a follower of the Book of G'Quan. As it turns out, G'Quan lived during the previous Shadow War, and wrote of the Narns' struggle to force the Shadows off of their homeworld. Learning of this, Garibaldi borrows it to see if they can devise any useful strategies from it. Later, he walks into the room excitedly tapping the book declaring that it has everything they need to know.
-->'''G'Kar:''' Do not ''thump'' the Book of G'Quan. It is disrespectful.
** When Kosh intervenes in G'Kar's [[MindRape mental assault]] on Londo, G'Kar experiences an inner enlightenment. While under arrest, he writes a philosophical book, which is eventually treated by some Narns as a new holy book. This leads to some comedy, as Narn holy books must replicate the original in ''every'' detail -- so when Garibaldi accidentally puts his cup of coffee on the original and leaves a ring-shaped stain on it, every copy of the new book has to have that stain as well. It also causes some problems for G'Kar as a spiritual leader because it was released before he finished it, so his followers keep bringing up sections he wrote early in his spiritual awakening and had since reconsidered.
* The Book of Pythia served this in the "[[ContinuityReboot reimagined]]" ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. With the [[EternalRecurrence circular nature of existence]] between humans and Cylons, however, it sometimes seemed that each race was the "god" to whom inspiration was found to write the passages and prophesies, in part. God was present, but not in a way that either side fully understood or appreciated--seemingly UsefulNotes/{{Pandeism}}, monotheism, and polythesism all rolled into a syncretic mess.
* One of the fake infomercials Creator/AdultSwim airs at 4 AM is ''The Book of Christ'', which touts a newly discovered book of Literature/TheBible supposedly written by UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} himself. It turns out to be a big pile of MistakenForProfound (along with [[ForeignQueasine awful recipes]] and [[WhatTheHellHero hit-and-run donkey accident confessionals]]):
--->''To throw things at a bird is no sin.'' - [=TBoC=] 567:87
--->''If your camel spits on me, then I will spit on you in return. This is fair in the eyes of God.'' - [=TBoC=] 34:21
--->''You must worship the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And also God's Lungs, and the Four Big Men, and the Immortal Bug.''
--->''This is to be called the Holy Hendecogy.'' - [=TBoC=] 510:51


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', the vast majority of the large number of gods have a holy book attached to their faith.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', ''Maar Ki Zon'' is the sacred scripture of the Maar Zon, the national religion of the Sylean people.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is stuffed with these: The ''Lectitio Divinatatus'' penned by Lorgar (which later formed the basis of the Imperial faith), the ''Codex Astartes'' by Guilliman, to only name two.
* ''TabletopGame/MutantChronicles'' has two, the Chronicles of the Brotherhood, and the Book of Law. The Book of Law is a "how-to" manual for all religious rites, from baptisms to assaulting Dark strongholds. The Chronicles aren't a book, since they are carved into the walls of the Brotherhood Cathedrals, but they are the holiest of the Brotherhood's writings and tell the history of the rise of the Brotherhood and its struggle against the Darkness. Making new Books of Law is the duty of an army of scribes, since something so important can't be entrusted to a machine. Attempting to duplicate a single sentence of the Chronicles will get you immediately shot by the guards posted by them.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' has books for all of it's many gods, with a few interesting variations. The holy book of Erastil is largely a collection of farming and hunting tips, while Cayden Cailean's is a set of short sayings meant to be conveniently carved into wooden placards for display in bars.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''Franchise/DragonAge'' has two prime examples:
** The ''Chant of Light'' in the series is the holy text of the [[TheChurch Chantry]]. There are some members, called Chanters, who are not allowed to say anything that isn't part of the chant. Also the object of {{Orwellian Edit|or}}ing: When the Chantry branded the Dalish as heretics, they completely removed the "Canticle of Shartan", the section that dealt with the Dalish general who lead Andraste's armies against the Tevinter Imperium. This also conveniently removed Andraste's promise of Dalish sovereignty and allowed the Exalted March to steal the lands she gave them.
** The Qunari have the Tome of Koslun, scripture written by the founder of the Qun. In ''Videogame/DragonAgeII'', [[spoiler:Isabela]] stealing the tome is the reason why the Arishok and his army are in Kirkwall.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', the [[CorruptChurch Tribunal Temple]] has a few, including the ''36 Lessons of Vivec'', where [[InGameNovel each book is a "sermon" telling part of the story]], and ''Saryoni's Sermons'', written by Temple Archcanon Tholer Saryoni, which is a collection Hierographa regarding [[PhysicalGod Vivec]]. The original manuscript for ''Saryoni's Sermons'' is one of the most valuable items in the game, coming in at 50,000 septims.
** The Redguards of Hammerfell, a [[ScaryBlackMan dark-skinned]] ProudWarriorRace of [[HumansAreWarriors Men]], have [[MasterSwordsmen swords and swordsmanship]] as holding great cultural value. Naturally, their most sacred text is a treatise on ''sword techniques''. It is The Book of Circles, written by Frandar Hunding, a great ancient hero and spiritual leader of the Redguards. It is said to include "thirty-eight grips, seven hundred and fifty offensive and eighteen hundred defensive positions, and nearly nine thousand moves essential to sword mastery". Every household in Hammerfell contains an alcove above their hearth to store and display the book.
** The Alessian Order was a [[FantasticRacism rabidly anti-Elven]] [[TheChurch religious sect]] which established a [[TheTheocracy Theocracy]] that wielded nearly as much power as the Emperor at its height. Their sacred scripture was known as the Alessian Doctrines, 77 rules outlining the Order's principles. The nature of the Doctrines has been lost to history, but contemporary accounts describe them as banal, strict, and sometimes outright cruel. One known rule was that "All are guilty until they have proven themselves innocent."

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* From ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'': The hero's handbook, ''The Enchiridion'', is a legendary book that tells you how to be a hero. It's never called "holy", but it's kind of a big deal.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

%% Don't add works here. All works in this section should only go to the 'Sacred Literature' works index instead.
* See our works index for SacredLiterature.