Quotations about   Bible

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In practice, people choose the book considered sacred by the community in which they are born, and out of that book they choose the parts they like, ignoring the others. At one time, the most influential text in the Bible was: “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” Nowadays, people pass over this text, in silence if possible; if not, with an apology. And so, even when we have a sacred book, we still choose truth whatever suits our own prejudices.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Unpopular Essays (1950)

Quoting Exodus 22:18.
Added on 13-Nov-18 | Last updated 13-Nov-18
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So you end up with divergent sects reading from subtly different versions of the same book — which in turn is a third-generation translation of something which might have been the original codification of an oral tradition — and all convinced that their interpretation overrides such minor obstacles as observable reality. Which still wouldn’t be a problem except that some of the readers think the books are an instruction manual rather than a set of educational parables, a blueprint instead of a metaphor.

Charles "Charlie" Stross (b. 1964) British writer
The Apocalypse Codex (2012)
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Added on 2-May-17 | Last updated 2-May-17
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Deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Mishnah, Zeraim, Pe’ah 4:19
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Added on 30-Mar-17 | Last updated 30-Mar-17
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King David and King Solomon
Led merry merry lives,
With many, many lady friends,
And many many wives;
But when old age crept over them —
With many, many qualms! —
King Solomon wrote the Proverbs
And King David wrote the Psalms.

James Ball Naylor (1860-1945) American physician, writer, poet, politician
“King David and King Solomon” (1935)
Added on 5-Jan-17 | Last updated 5-Jan-17
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In effect what Luther said in 1517 was that we may appeal to a demonstrable work of God, the Bible, to override any established authority. The Scientific Revolution begins when Nicolaus Copernicus implied the bolder proposition that there is another work of God to which we may appeal even beyond this: the great work of nature. No absolute statement is allowed to be out of reach of the test, that its consequence must conform to the facts of nature.

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) Polish-English humanist and mathematician
Science and Human Values, Part 2 “The Habit of Truth”, §11 (1956)
Added on 5-Dec-16 | Last updated 5-Dec-16
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Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“The Weight of Glory,” sermon, Oxford University Church of St Mary the Virgin (8 Jun 1941)
Added on 22-Jun-16 | Last updated 22-Jun-16
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To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click, “I agree.”

Maher - Bible I Agree - wist_info quote

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
(Attributed)
Added on 8-Jun-16 | Last updated 8-Jun-16
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If you rejoice in revenge, torture, and war […] you cannot say you’re a follower of the guy who explicitly said “love your enemies” and “do good to those who hate you”. The next line isn’t, “And if that doesn’t work, send a titanium-fanged dog to rip his nuts off”. Jesus lays on that hippie stuff pretty thick! He has lines like, “do not repay evil with evil”, and “do not take revenge on someone who wrongs you.” Really! It’s in that book you hold up when you scream at gay people.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher, “New Rules” (13 May 2011)
Added on 18-May-16 | Last updated 18-May-16
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The Bible is a sealed book to him who has not first heard its laws from his soul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Trust Yourself,” sermon (1830)
Added on 3-Feb-16 | Last updated 3-Feb-16
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“I believe that the Bible is the literal word of God.” And I say no, it’s not, Dad. “Well, I believe that it is.” Well, you know, some people believe they’re Napoleon. That’s fine. Beliefs are neat. Cherish them, but don’t share them like they’re the truth.

Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Filling Up the Hump (1993)
Added on 10-Apr-15 | Last updated 18-Apr-16
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There is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) American author and lecturer
The Story of My Life, pt. 1, ch. 21 (1903)
Added on 6-Apr-15 | Last updated 6-Apr-15
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The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, sc. 3. [Antonio] (c. 1597)
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Added on 6-Mar-15 | Last updated 6-Mar-15
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The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief — call it what you will — than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counterattractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course.

A. A. Milne (1882-1956) English poet and playwright [Alan Alexander Milne]
Year In, Year Out (1952)
Added on 29-Jan-15 | Last updated 29-Jan-15
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Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Psalm 119 (KJV)
Added on 17-Nov-14 | Last updated 17-Nov-14
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I think that in discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments and demonstrations.

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) Italian scientist and mathematician
The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies
Added on 26-Feb-14 | Last updated 26-Feb-14
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If God created the world, He created sex, and one way to construe our inexhaustible sexual interest is as a form of the praise of creation. Says the Song of Solomon, “The joints of thy thighs are like jewels; the work of the hands of a cunning workman.”

John Updike (1932-2009) American writer
“Even the Bible is Soft on Sex,” New York Times Book Review (20 Jun 1993)

Song of Solomon 7:1 (KJV)
Added on 26-Dec-13 | Last updated 26-Dec-13
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Cosmogony and cosmology have always aroused great interest among peoples and religions. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise, but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The Sacred Book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was made but how one goes to heaven.

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005) Polish-born Catholic Pontiff (1978-2005) [b. Karol Józef Wojtyła]
“Cosmology and Fundamental Physics,” Discourse to the Pontifical Academy of Science (3 Oct 1981)
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Added on 14-Feb-13 | Last updated 14-Mar-18
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According to the theologians, God, the Father of us all, wrote a letter to his children. The children have always differed somewhat as to the meaning of this letter. In consequence of these honest differences, these brothers began to cut out each other’s hearts. In every land, where this letter from God has been read, the children to whom and for whom it was written have been filled with hatred and malice. They have imprisoned and murdered each other, and the wives and children of each other. In the name of God every possible crime has been committed, every conceivable outrage has been perpetrated. Brave men, tender and loving women, beautiful girls, and prattling babes have been exterminated in the name of Jesus Christ.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Heretics and Heresies” (1874)
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Added on 18-Jan-12 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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I have no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my reason; no reverence for any book that teaches a doctrine contrary to my heart; and, no matter how old it is, no matter how many have believed it, no matter how many have died on account of it, no matter how many live for it, I have no reverence for that book, and I am glad of it.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Reply to Rev. Drs. Thomas and Lorimer,” speech, Chicago (26 Nov 1882)
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Added on 18-Sep-09 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

Mark Twain (1835-1910) American writer [pseud. of Samuel Clemens]
(Attributed)
Added on 24-Mar-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Now we have come to the conclusion that every man has a right to think. Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn’t make a decent thief. When I read a book and don’t believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
Speech on Religious Intolerance, Pittsburgh Opera House (14 Oct 1879)
Added on 16-Jan-08 | Last updated 5-Feb-16
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It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon the book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people and for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemnly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Individuality” (1873)
Added on 11-Aug-06 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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What is hateful to you, do not to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary. Go and study it.

[d’`alakh sani l’khaverkha la ta`avid. Zo hi kol hatora kulahh, v’idakh peirusha hu: zil g’mor]

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a (Rabbi Hillel)

(Noted elsewhere as tractate Shabbat 30a.) See also the Bible, Matthew 7:12. Alt. Trans.: "What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow; this is the whole law. All the rest is a commentary to this law; go and learn it."
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 13-Jul-17
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ANTONIO: Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul, producing holy witness,
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, scene 3, l. 97 (1596)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Aug-14
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