Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The Bible is our patent of nobility." - Solomon Schecter

"Every great scientific truth goes through three stages. First, people say it conflicts with the Bible. Next they say it has been discovered before. Lastly, they say that they always believed it." -

"Tears never yet saved a soul. Hell is full of weepers weeping over lost opportunities, perhaps over the rejection of an offered Saviour. Your Bible does not say, “Weep, and be saved.” It says, “Believe, and be saved.” Faith is better than feeling." - Theodore Cuyler, fully Theodore Ledyard Cuyler

"The Bible is a window in this prison of hope, through which we look into eternity." - John Sullivan Dwight

"The Bible is the great medicine chest of humanity." - Heinrich Heine

"The morality of the Bible is, after all, the safety of society." - Francis Cassette Monfort

"A people's entry into universal history is marked by the moment at which it makes the bible its own in a translation." - Franz Rosenzweig

"The early Hebrews had created the Bible out of their lives; their descendants created their lives out of the Bible." - Abram Leon Sachar

"More people praise the Bible than read it, more read it than understand it, and more understand it than follow it." - Samuel Sandmel

"That the truths of the Bible have the power of awakening an intense moral feeling in every human being; that they make bad men good, and send a pulse of healthful feeling through all the domestic, civil, and social relations; that they teach men to love right, and hate wrong, and seek each other's welfare as children of a common parent; that they control the baleful passions of the heart, and thus make men proficient in self-government; and finally that they teach man to aspire after conformity to a being of infinite holiness, and fill him with hopes more purifying, exalted, and suited to his nature than any other book the world has ever known - these are facts as incontrovertible as the laws of philosophy, or the demonstrations of mathematics." - Francis Wayland

"The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow man." - Daniel Webster

"The Bible may be the truth, but it is not the whole truth, nor is it nothing but the truth." - Samuel Butler

"A little “splitting” of the rays of religion and a little “releasing of the energy” of the Bible seems in order. If we would only spend sums like the two billion dollars spent on our atomic bombs to harness the forces of God’s teachings, what a blessing it would be for the human race." -

"Jesus talked a great deal about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 on money and possessions." - Howard Dayton, Jr.

"In the Bible the word “wicked” really means “bewitched” or “under a spell.” The Judgment is not a great trial to take place at the end of time; it is a process that goes on every day." - Emmet Fox

"The word “salvation,” in the Bible, means perfect health, harmony, and freedom. Man wears away his life in the pursuit of outer things, when his salvation lies in discovering the within." - Emmet Fox

"In the midst of our applauding the feats of civilization, the Bible flings itself like a knife slashing our complacency; remind us that God, too, has a voice in history." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The Bible is God’s anthropology rather than man’s theology." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"To understand the teaching of the Bible, one must accept its premise that time has a meaning which is at least equal to that of space; that time has a significance and sovereignty of its own." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Christian civilization has proved hollow to a terrifying degree: it is all veneer, but the inner man has remained untouched, and therefore unchanged. His soul is out of key with his external beliefs; in his soul the Christian has not kept pace with external developments. Yes, everything is to e found outside – in image and in word, in Church and Bible – but never inside. Inside reign the archaic gods, supreme as of old." - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"The Bible is the record of man’s efforts to find God and learn how to live in harmony with his laws." - Helen Keller. aka Helen Adams Keller

"[The Bible] is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel." - Thomas Paine

"The Bible is an answer to the question: how to sanctify life." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"The Bible is primarily not man’s vision of God but God’s vision of man. The Bible is not man’s theology but God’s anthropology, dealing with man and what He asks of him rather than with the nature of God. God did not reveal to the prophets eternal mysteries but His knowledge and love of man. It was not the aspiration of Israel to know the Absolute but to ascertain what He asks of man; to commune with His will rather than with His essence." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"The Bible nowhere calls upon men to go out in search of peace of mind. It does call upon men to go out in search of God and the things of God." -

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors. And also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people." -

"The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true; It does create a sense of comradeship, which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong. War allows us to rise above our small stations in life. We find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War, for those who enter into combat, has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the "lust of the eye" and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning." - Chris Hedges

"I know of no book which has been a source of brutality and sadistic conduct, both public and private, that can compare with the Bible." - Lord Paget, Sir James Paget, 1st Baronet

"The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature." - Alfred North Whitehead

"[The Bible] Its object is not to convince the reason, but to attract and lay hold of the imagination." -

"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"He who cannot find time to consult his Bible will one day find he has time to be sick; he who has no time to pray must find time to die; he who can find no time to reflect is most likely to find time to sin; he who cannot find time for repentance will find an eternity in which repentance will be of no avail; he who cannot find time to work for others may find an eternity in which to suffer for himself." - Hannah More

"The Bible stands alone in human literature in its elevated conception of manhood, in character and conduct." - Henry Ward Beecher

"It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom." - Horace Greeley

"[The] men of the technostructure are the new and universal priesthood. Their religion is business success; their test of virtue is growth and profit. Their bible is the computer printout; their communion bench is the committee room." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"These men of the technostructure are the new and universal priesthood. Their religion is business success; their test of virtue is growth and profit. Their bible is the computer printout; their communion bench is the committee room." - John Kenneth Galbraith, aka "Ken"

"In what light so ever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue." - John Quincy Adams

"The actual point in question, throughout the centuries of Christian persecution, has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible as the word of God, and in the Church (this Church or that) as the interpreter of that word." - Joseph Campbell

"[The Bible] is the history of God’s disappointments." - Martin Buber

"When read intelligently, the Bible reveals itself as the immortal epic of a people's confused, faltering, but indomitable struggle after a nobler life in a happier world." -

"The Bible contains more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever age or language they may have been written." - William Jones, fully Sir William Jones of Nayland, aka Trinity Jones

"The Bible is the truest utterance that ever came by alphabetic letters from the soul of man, through which, as through a window divinely opened, all men can look into the stillness of eternity, and discern in glimpses their far-distant, long-forgotten home." - Thomas Carlyle

"[The Bible] Its object is not to convince the reason, but to attract and lay hold of the imagination." -

"The Holy Bible is an abyss. It is impossible to explain how profound it is, impossible to explain how simple it is. " - Ernest Hello

"The reason why we find so many dark places in the Bible is, for the most part, because there are so many dark places in our hearts." - August Tholuck, fully Friedrich August Tholuck

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors. And also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people. " - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"This is the spirit of prayer--sincere, humble, believing, submissive. Other prayer than this the Bible does not require--God will not accept." - Gardiner Spring

"It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom." - Horace Greeley

"To be sure, the Bible contains the direct words of God. How do we know? The Moral Majority says so. How do they know? They say they know and to doubt it makes you an agent of the Devil or, worse, a Lbr-l Dm-cr-t. And what does the Bible textbook say? Well, among other things it says the earth was created in 4004 BC (Not actually, but a Moral Majority type figured that out three and a half centuries ago, and his word is also accepted as inspired.) The sun was created three days later. The first male was molded out of dirt, and the first female was molded, some time later, out of his rib. As far as the end of the universe is concerned, the Book of Revelation (6:13-14) says: "And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind." … Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly." - Isaac Asimov, born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov

"Man must have results, real results, in his inner and outer life. I do not mean the results which modern people strive after in their attempts at self-development. These are not results, but only rearrangements of psychic material, a process the Buddhists call 'samsara' and which our Holy Bible calls 'dust'." - Jacob Needleman