Holy Bible

Discussion in 'The Refreshment Lounge' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    How do non-Christians accept the Great Light in Masonry if they do not believe in the teachings of the Holy Bible? Are the questions, answers and proficiency changed for a those of another Faith? For example if I was a member of the Jewish Faith, I would feel extremely uneasy if I had to take the obligation and acknowledge that the Christian Bible was my "rule and guide". As a Christian, I have my own views where a person will end up without Christ, but if we as Masons are to be respectful of other viewpoints...
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    Brother Blake,
    It is my understanding that Masonry does not discriminate as to "who" the God is in whom your faith is well founded. If it be a Jewish Brother or other religion the candidate sould disclose to "whom they place their trust" on their petition. This allows the Lodge to be able to swap the current Bible for the Hebrew version (placed alongside the Great Light in Masonry). If the candidate practice the Hindu religion the Bible could be replaced with the Vedas or Upandishads, and so on and so forth.

    Bottom line it matters not the religion, what matters is that when the candidate takes his obligation that he is bound by that stronger tie (to his God) other than the cable-tow.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  3. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

    If a brother wonted to have the Torah on the alter for his degree, it could be placed there alongside the Holy Bible. But the Holy Bible could not be replaced with any other document.
  4. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    Would the Q&A change though? I mean you do ask specific question about the Holy Bible but if the Koran were there sacred text would we change the wording inaccordance with their faith? I think I know the answer but just want to check.
  5. RJS

    RJS Guest

    That's a good question.
  6. caeservi

    caeservi Registered User

    lol what we need to do is have a thread titled "paging right worshipful stogner!" and have some of these questions. He may know the answer being on the committee on work
  7. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    I would think a DI might? But I have never ever heard of varying Q&A anybody who taught me said there is no variations. I know someone who took ther obligation on the Qur'an (got my free copy today) maybe he would know?
  8. RedTemplar

    RedTemplar Johnny Joe Combs Premium Member

    Would our Jewish or Islamic Brethren come from the Two Holy Saints John of Jerusalem?
  9. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Exactly! Would our rituals have to be altered to accommodate them? I seek answers so I'm moving this to the public forums...
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  10. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

    the Q&A is in fact changed to "your book of faith" when needed. for texas, anyway. and american masonry is the most pretentious of all versions... in other jurisdictions i'm sure it's even more loose than that.
  11. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Great info!
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

    This was something I always wondered about so I checked it out a while back.

    Art. 397. (434). Religious Belief. A firm belief in the existence
    of God, the immortality of the soul, and the divine authenticity of the
    Holy Scriptures is indispensably necessary before a candidate can
    be initiated, but this Grand Lodge does not presume to prescribe any
    canonical books or what part thereof are inspired. It is the policy of
    this Grand Lodge to permit a candidate whose religious persuasion
    is based upon other than the Holy Bible to be obligated upon the
    book of his chosen faith, and same may be situated upon the Altar
    in front of the Holy Bible during the conferral of the three degrees of
    Masonry. In which event, all esoteric references to “The Holy Bible”
    during the conferral of the degree(s) and the lessons appropriate
    thereto shall be substituted with “The Book of your (my) Faith.”
    (Revised 1995)
  13. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

    Whats important to note is that like all things in Masonry the VSL represents symbolically all sacred knowledge. It represents a basic path of spirituality and a connection to the voice of God.

    Simply put, the Bible is a symbol.
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    In Saudi Arabia, there are two(2) volumes of Sacred Law upon the altar. The Holy Bible and The Holy Qu'Ran. I once assisted an individual, in Washington DC, in taking his fellow craft obligation, on the Holy Qu'Ran. I consider this to be one of the high points of my masonic career.

    In Singapore, there are nine(9) different volumes on the altar. Each man is bound to the fraternity, on the teachings of his faith, be it Buddhism or Confucianism.

    The Grand Lodge of Indiana, even has suggested readings from the Holy Qu'Ran, to be read during the candidate's initiation/passing/raising.

    I am delighted to be seeing men of many different and various faith backgrounds, coming together as friends as equals, in our Gentle Craft.

    "We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will surely perish as fools"
    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  15. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    Scripture readings for when a Muslim is the candidate

    The Grand Lodge of Indiana recommends these Scripture readings from the Holy Qu'Ran, when a Muslim is the candidate.

    For the Entered Apprentice Degree

    And hold fast all together, by the Rope which God stretches out for you, and be not divided amongst yourselves; and remember with gratitude God's favor on you; for ye were enemies and He joined your hearts in Love, so that by His Grace, ye became Brethren; and ye were on the brink of the Pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus doth God make clear His Signs to you: that ye may be guided.

    For the Fellow Craft Degree

    God! There is no god but He, -- the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him, nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede except as He permitteth? He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).

    For the Master Mason Degree

    Truly Strong is the grip of thy Lord. It is He Who creates from the very beginning, and He can restore (life). And He is the Oft-Forgiving, full of loving-kindness, Lord of the Throne of Glory, Doer (without let) of all that He intends.

    The Scripture quotations that I cited in my previous posting, are the Surahs (Verses) of the Holy Qu'Ran, that are read aloud in the lodge when a Muslim takes the various degree work. These Surahs are recommended by the Grand Lodge of Indiana. Here are the Surahs:

    For the Entered Apprentice: Surah 3:103
    For the Fellow Craft: Surah 2:255
    For the Master Mason: Surah 85:12-16

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