Baker Academic

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quarterly Quote of the Month about Jesus for this Week

“As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene . . . . No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrase-mongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.”

                         ~Albert Einstein


  1. How true from the greatest scientific mind of modern times.

  2. This quote comes from "What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck,"The Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26, 1929, p. 17. [note 1] The words were not Einstein's - they were at best translated from the German by Viereck, who is elsewhere described by Upton Sinclair as "a pompous liar and hypocrite." [note 2] Einstein is said to have endorsed the passage, but who knows what that means?

    I remain skeptical, at least for the rhetorical flourishes. The passage does not sound like the words of a man who wrote in his Autobiographical Notes [note 3]

    "As the first way out there was religion, which is implanted into every child by way of the traditional education-machine. Thus I came - though the child of entirely irreligious (Jewish) parents - to a deep religiousness, which, however, reached an abrupt end at the age of twelve.

    Through the reading of popular scientific books I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression."


    1. Thank you, anonymous. It is always more interesting to have a wider context for quotations.


  3. Einstein insists that one can get a very sense of the presence of Jesus, just by reading some words. But then no one can equally disperse that, by another countering "word"?

    Sometimes I worry about the validity of Albert's equations; often they don't seem to work in reverse for example. Though good equations should, usually.