Einstein on Christ

The Saturday Evening Post interviewed Albert Einstein and explored his thoughts on Christianity as part of their discussion:

“To what extent are you influenced by Christianity?”

“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.”

“Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?”

“Emil Ludwig’s Jesus,” replied Einstein, “is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot.”

“You accept the historical existence of Jesus?”

“Unquestionably. 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. How different, for instance, is the impression which we receive from an account of legendary heroes of antiquity like Theseus. Theseus and other heroes of his type lack the authentic vitality of Jesus.”

“Ludwig Lewisohn, in one of his recent books, claims that many of the sayings of Jesus paraphrase the sayings of other prophets.”

“No man,” Einstein replied, “can deny the fact that Jesus existed, nor that his sayings are beautiful. Even if some them have been said before, no one has expressed them so divinely as he.”

“What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck,”
The Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26, 1929, p. 117.

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