Sotheby's to auction Bible signed by Einstein

The praise Einstein gave to the bible is radically different from his famed ‘God letter,' where he chalked up Judaism to be a mere "childish superstition,”

November 25, 2018 12:36
Bible with an inscription by Albert Einstein

Bible with an inscription by Albert Einstein. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Sotheby’s, a prominent auction house in New York City, is set to sell a Bible signed by Albert Einstein and his wife Elsa in 1930 at the History of Science and Technology auction on November 30.

“This book is an inexhaustible source of living wisdom and consolation,” Einstein wrote in German in the Bible, which he gave as a gift to Harriet F. Hamilton.

The praise Einstein gave to the Bible is radically different from his famed “God letter” to philosopher Eric Gutkind in 1954, in which he dismissed Judaism as a mere “childish superstition.”

However, the sentiment contained in the Bible inscription does echo a private letter he sent in 1926 to his sister Maja, where he called the Bible his favorite book.

As one of the world’s most famous scientists, Einstein was often asked to make statements about God and religion, though he usually refrained from doing so. Most of the record of his beliefs comes from private letters and notes. However, in a public debate in 1930, Einstein professed a belief in a “cosmic religion” but not a personal God.

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