Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A Buddhist Bible Paperback – April 1, 1994
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Dwight Goddard, according to Aitken's introduction, was an enigmatic figure with training first as an engineer (where he became wealthy as a result of an invention) and as a Christian minister. In the latter role, he travelled to the East and became interested in Eastern Religions -- a seeker in the true sense of the term. In the 1930s, while in his 60s he produced this collection of texts, many of which he translated himself, which give a broad view of the nature of the teachings of Buddhist schools. The book helped teach Buddhism to Americans beginning in the 1930s.
In the 1950s, Jack Kerouac, then living in San Jose, California discovered Goddard in the public library. He carried the book with him wherever he went and used it as the basis of whatever knowledge of Buddhism he had. The beats in the 1950s were one of the sources leading to the growth of American Buddhism, and Goddard's book was Kerouac's teacher.
The main value of this book, though, is not in its role in Buddhist History in the United States but lies in the texts themselves. Goddard presents in one volume a selection of primary source materials from the Theravada, Manayana, Zen, Tibetan, and and other Buddhist traditions. Many of these texts have been more recently translated, but the translations in this book are readable, at the least and they are all in one volume.Read more ›
Don't take this book as a literal bible--it's too personal to Goddard. It's also not the best intoduction to Buddhist thought out there: if you want a basic intro to Buddhist thought, I'd suggest Rahula's _What the Buddha Taught_. If you like what you've seen elsewhere and want to start delving into the sutras, this is the place to start.
The reason I am once again looking at this site is to purchase this book again.The cost is cheap, and so is the binding. This is my third or fourth one. They fall apart constantly, and so I am looking and hoping there is a hardback edition available. Perhaps its binding will last longer.
I lost my original copy years ago, no doubt the victim of a book sale, and I finally purchased another one about five years ago. While I still value the book, I realize now just how eccentric Goddard was in his choice of material that he included. He chopped up many of the pieces that in the book, deleting many portions and rearranging the parts that he left in. A lot of the texts that he did include are not very readable, in my opinion. And why is the Dao De Jing in a book of Buddhist scriptures?
In short, I think that there's a lot of other good stuff out on the market now, and this book has been eclipsed. The would-be Buddhist enthusiast will find little in this book to show her what contemporary Buddhism is like. However, I guess that one has to start somewhere, so perhaps there is still a market for this book.
Goddard uses a variety of English translations of the sutras, some of them his own. Generally speaking I consider them to be relatively easy to read while also being (as far as I can tell) scholastically accurate. There seems to be a good balance between scholastic accuracy and poetic sensibility. In my opinion both the letter and the spirit of these works are presented in these translations.
Goddard includes various sutras from different Buddhist schools: Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, Chinese, and more. These include such notable texts as the Dhammapada, Diamond Sutra, Heart Sutra, Tao Te Ching, and many more (even including a couple of more modern texts).
The primary shortfall of this book is that it was first published well over 50 years ago when there was not as much Buddhist scholarship in the west. Today I imagine we have more texts and better scholarship that would give us better translations. Still, I could not recommend this book more.
It would be nice to have a companion book featuring modern Buddhist writings by people such as Thich Nhat Hanh, Alan West, and the Dalai Lama.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was the first book about Buddhism Jack Kerouac read and he is probably my all-time favorite writerPublished 2 months ago by zencity
Great collection of buddist text. All the texts I needed in one book.Published 22 months ago by Forrest
This book has many diverse texts from Mahayana, Pali, Tibetan, Indian and even the Tao te ching. I like very much the Lankavatara Sutra,
the Diamond Sutra, the Historic Buddha... Read more
My experience is identical to someone who posted last year. I ordered "A Buddhist
Bible" by Goddard to replace mine that I had given up (to release my attachment to it)... Read more
I purchased this book almost a year ago. I had read some things on Buddhism before and it seemed interesting. Read morePublished on July 18, 2005 by Mosstrooper
I agree with most of the other reviewers have said here, "A Buddhist Bible" is a good introduction to Buddhist scriptures. Read morePublished on July 12, 2002 by DPB