Quotations about   Jesus

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I decided that perhaps I would like to think of myself as an extremist — in the light of the spirit which made Jesus an extremist for love. If it sounds as though I am comparing myself to the Savior, let me remind you that all who honor themselves with the claim of being “Christians” should compare themselves to Jesus. Thus I consider myself an extremist for that brotherhood of man which Paul so nobly expressed: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Love is the only force on earth that can be dispensed or received in an extreme manner, without any qualifications, without any harm to the giver or to the receiver.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
Playboy interview (Jan 1965)
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Added on 3-Aug-18 | Last updated 3-Aug-18
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For some reason, the most vocal Christians among us never mention the Beatitudes. But, often with tears in their eyes, they demand that the Ten Commandments be posted in public buildings. And of course, that’s Moses, not Jesus. I haven’t heard one of them demand that the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, be posted anywhere. “Blessed are the merciful” in a courtroom? “Blessed are the peacemakers: in the Pentagon? Give me a break!

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (1922-2007) American novelist, journalist
A Man Without A Country, ch. 9 (2005)
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The Beatitudes (Matthew 5).
Added on 2-Apr-18 | Last updated 2-Apr-18
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That little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Jesus Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) American abolitionist, women's rights activist [b. Isabella Baumfree]
“Ain’t I A Woman?” speech, Women’s Convention, Akron, Ohio (1851)
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Added on 1-Mar-17 | Last updated 1-Mar-17
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For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Isaiah 9:6 [KJV]
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Added on 23-Dec-16 | Last updated 23-Dec-16
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Now Jesus himself saw the power that competition holds over men. He did not ignore it. Yet he does something with the conception of competition that hadn’t been done before. He takes the conception which has been used for lower purposes and rescues it from many of its dangers, by suggesting a higher method of its use. This is how he applied the term to his disciples. He saw them in danger of using it for low purposes. They wanted to compete for reputation and position — “which of them should be accounted greatest?” Jesus says so, if you must use the power of competition, if you must compete with on another, make it as noble as you can by using it on noble things. Use it for a fine, unselfish thing. “He that is greatest among you shall serve.” Use it for human good. Who shall be the most useful. Compete with one another in humility. See which can be the truest servant. It seems that Christ says, “Use it, but use it for higher and holier purposes. Use it not to surpass one another in esteem, but use it to increase the amount of usefulness and brother-help.” Such conceptions of competition lead to the surprising and ennobling position that there can be competition without hate and jealousy. Behold! You can struggle to beat and yet rejoice to be beaten.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Cooperative Competition / Noble Competition,” sermon outline
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Added on 23-Nov-16 | Last updated 23-Nov-16
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They will have Christ for a Lord and not for a Brother. Christ preaches the greatness of man, but we hear only the greatness of Christ.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (1838)
Added on 31-Oct-16 | Last updated 31-Oct-16
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For a man to love again where he is loved, it is the charity of publicans contracted by mutual profit and good offices; but to love a man’s enemies is one of the cunningest points of the law of Christ, and an imitation of the divine nature.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Sacred Meditations [Meditationes Sacræ], “Of the Exaltation of Charity” (1597)
Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
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It’s okay if you don’t want to feed the hungry, or heal the sick, or house the homeless. Just don’t say you’re doing it for their own good. Don’t say you’d like to help people, but your hands are tied, because if you did it would cause a “culture of dependency,” or “go against the Bible,” or, worst of all, “rob them of their freedom” to be sick and hungry. Just admit you’re selfish, and based on how little your beliefs mirror the actual teachings of Jesus you might as well be worshiping Despicable Me.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher (8 Nov 2013)
Added on 15-Jun-16 | Last updated 16-Jun-16
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You’re supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, “How could a man suffer like that and forgive?” Not, “Romans are pussies — he still has his eyes.”

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher, “New Rules” (13 May 2011)

Discussing Christians who support torturing terrorists.
Added on 1-Jun-16 | Last updated 1-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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I love Jesus. I just don’t like the Christians who don’t believe in what he says.

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher (7 Oct 2005)
Added on 6-Apr-16 | Last updated 6-Apr-16
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Jesus is great, I love Jesus — is there a better role model? No. It’s religion, it’s the people who get in between, it’s the bureaucracy, you know? […] It’s how people abuse Jesus. Was there ever a greater victim of name dropping than Jesus Christ?

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Be More Cynical (2000)
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Added on 17-Feb-16 | Last updated 17-Feb-16
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If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify Him. They would ask Him to dinner, and hear what He had to say, and make fun of it.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
Quoted by Joseph Neuberg in a letter to his sister (12 Jan 1850)
Added on 21-Jan-16 | Last updated 21-Jan-16
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And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Luke 2:9-14 [KJV]

Alt. trans:

  • Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” [NRSV]
  • An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” [NIV]
Added on 24-Dec-15 | Last updated 24-Dec-15
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I acknowledge myself a unitarian — Believing that the Father alone, is the supreme God, and that Jesus Christ derived his Being, and all his powers and honors from the Father. […] There is not any reasoning which can convince me, contrary to my senses, that three is one, and one three.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American correspondent, First Lady (1797-1801)
Letter to John Quincy Adams (5 May 1816)
Added on 31-Jul-15 | Last updated 31-Jul-15
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Now who can hear Christ declare that his kingdom is not of this world, and yet believe that this blending of church and state together can be pleasing to him?

Isaac Backus (1724-1806) American clergyman and historian
An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty (1773)
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Added on 17-Jun-15 | Last updated 17-Jun-15
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I don’t know what you all believe, and I don’t really care — but you have to admit that beliefs are odd. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You really think when Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see a fucking cross?

Bill Hicks (1961-1994) American stand-up comedian, social critic, satirist, musician [William Melvin "Bill" Hicks]
Relentless (1992)
Added on 13-Mar-15 | Last updated 13-Mar-15
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The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.

  1. That there is one only God, and he is all perfect.
  2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
  3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself is the sum of religion.

These are the great points on which he endeavored to reform the religion of the Jews. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.

  1. That there are three Gods.
  2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing.
  3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its faith.
  4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
  5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save.

Now, which of these is the true and charitable Christian?

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to Benjamin Waterhouse (26 Jun 1822)
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Added on 27-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-Apr-15
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Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.'” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 19:19-22 [NIV]

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 10-Oct-12 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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This family has no outsiders. Everyone is an insider. When Jesus said, “I, if I am lifted up, will draw …” Did he say, “I will draw some”? “I will draw some, and tough luck for the others”? He said, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all.” All! All! All! — Black, white, yellow; rich, poor; clever, not so clever; beautiful, not so beautiful. All! All! It is radical. All! Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Bush — all! All! All are to be held in this incredible embrace. Gay, lesbian, so-called “straight;” all! All! All are to be held in the incredible embrace of the love that won’t let us go.

Desmond Tutu (b. 1931) South African cleric, Archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Laureate
“And God Smiles,” Sermon, All Saints Church, Pasadena, California (6 Nov 2005)

The Bible passage referenced is John 12:32.
Added on 17-Oct-11 | Last updated 6-Jan-16
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You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 5:43-45

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 1-Aug-11 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Jesus - do unto others - wist_info quote

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 7:12 (KJV)

Variants:
  • Popularly, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
  • NIV: "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets."
  • NRSV: "In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets."
  • TEV: "Do for others what you want them to do for you: this is the meaning of the Law of Moses and of the teachings of the prophets."


Note: The "Golden Rule" has been expressed in many ways by many religious and philosophical teachers. Several of these in WIST are or will be cross-referenced to this quotation (as trackbacks), not to lend it primacy, but because this is the most well-known formulation of it in the Western world, and to simplify the cross-referencing to one central point.
Added on 13-Sep-10 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
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I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Jesus - new commandment - wist_info quote

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
John 13:34-45 (NRSV)

Alternate translations:

  • NIV: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
  • KJV: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
  • "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

See Matthew 22:36-40.

Added on 3-May-10 | Last updated 18-Jan-16
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“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)

The two quoted verses are from Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18.

Added on 26-Mar-10 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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Christ and The Church: If he were to apply for a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, adultery and desertion, he would probably get one.

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) English novelist, satirist, scholar
The Note-Books of Samuel Butler (1912)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 5-Sep-19
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