Thursday, July 23, 2015

What About Jesus?

In preparation for the "Jesus Without Religion (Or Politics)" group, I compiled a list of quotes about Jesus from a wide variety of sources. Here's how Jesus has been spoken of by various people throughout history:

GANDHI:  "I have regarded Jesus of Nazareth as one amongst the mighty teachers that the world has had…I shall say to the Hindus that your lives will be incomplete unless you reverently study the teachings of Jesus." [Hingorani, p.23]

ISLAM / MOHAMMED: “Oh God, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.” [Quoted in the Quran and inscribed within the Dome of the Rock Temple]

NAPOLEAN: "I know men, and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist…It is not so with Christ. Everything in Him astonishes me. His Spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between Him and everyone else in the world there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself.” “I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and myself have founded great empires. But our empires were founded on force. Jesus alone founded His empire on love, and to this day millions would die for Him.”  “I think I understand something of human nature, and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man. Jesus Christ was more than man.” [Hilarin Felder, Christ and the Critics, vol. 2, pp. 216-17]

JOSEPHUS: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. [Titus Flavius JosephusAntiquities of the Jews (c. 93–94 AD), Book 18, Chapter 3, 3]

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. “[Letter To Mme. N. D. Fonvisin (1854), as published in Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoevsky to his Family and Friends (1914), translated by Ethel Golburn Mayne, Letter XXI, p. 71]

CHARLES DICKENS: “My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him. No one ever lived, who was so good, so kind, so gentle, and so sorry for all people who did wrong, or were in any way ill or miserable, as he was.The Life of Our Lord (1849), Chapter 1, opening paragraph.

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE: “Jesus Christ raised women above the condition of mere slaves, mere ministers to the passions of the man, raised them by His sympathy, to be Ministers of God. - Florence Nightingale, in Cassandra (1860).

SOREN KIERKEGAARD: “There is only one eternal hope on this earth: to follow Christ into heaven. There is one blessed joy in this life: to follow Christ; in death there is one final blessed joy-to follow Christ to life!Soren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits 1847, Hong 1993 p. 229

MARK TWAIN: “If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be — a Christian.” [1835-1910; Notebook]

H.G. WELLS: “I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.[From  'A Short History of the World']

ALBERT EINSTEIN: “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.” [Isaacson, Walter (2007). "Einstein and Faith"; p.47]

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