New Testament Quotes

Quotes tagged as "new-testament" Showing 1-30 of 83
Thomas Jefferson
“4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ.

...Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost...

[Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Christopher Hitchens
“Alcohol makes other people less tedious, and food less bland, and can help provide what the Greeks called entheos, or the slight buzz of inspiration when reading or writing. The only worthwhile miracle in the New Testament—the transmutation of water into wine during the wedding at Cana—is a tribute to the persistence of Hellenism in an otherwise austere Judaea. The same applies to the seder at Passover, which is obviously modeled on the Platonic symposium: questions are asked (especially of the young) while wine is circulated. No better form of sodality has ever been devised: at Oxford one was positively expected to take wine during tutorials. The tongue must be untied. It's not a coincidence that Omar Khayyam, rebuking and ridiculing the stone-faced Iranian mullahs of his time, pointed to the value of the grape as a mockery of their joyless and sterile regime. Visiting today's Iran, I was delighted to find that citizens made a point of defying the clerical ban on booze, keeping it in their homes for visitors even if they didn't particularly take to it themselves, and bootlegging it with great brio and ingenuity. These small revolutions affirm the human.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Thomas Jefferson
“If we could believe that he [Jesus] really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods, and the charlatanism which his biographers [Gospels] father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations, and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and the fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind that he was an impostor... We find in the writings of his biographers matter of two distinct descriptions. First, a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications... That sect [Jews] had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust... Jesus had to walk on the perilous confines of reason and religion: and a step to right or left might place him within the gripe of the priests of the superstition, a blood thirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. They were constantly laying snares, too, to entangle him in the web of the law... That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore.

[Letter to William Short, 4 August, 1820]”
Thomas Jefferson, Letters of Thomas Jefferson

Joseph Heller
“So many things were testing his faith. There was the Bible, of course, but the Bible was a book, and so were Bleak House, Treasure Island, Ethan Frome and The Last of the Mohicans. Did it then seem probable, as he had once overheard Dunbar ask, that the answers to riddles of creation would be supplied by people too ignorant to understand the mechanics of rainfall? Had Almighty God, in all His infinite wisdom, really been afraid that men six thousand years ago would succeed in building a tower to heaven?”
Joseph Heller, Catch 22

John  Adams
“We think ourselves possessed, or at least we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact. There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny, or to doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself, it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not much better; even in our Massachusetts, which, I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemies upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any arguments for investigation into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Volney's Recherches Nouvelles? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws... but as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed.

{Letter to Thomas Jefferson, January 23, 1825}”
John Adams, The Adams-Jefferson Letters: The Complete Correspondence Between Thomas Jefferson and Abigail and John Adams

David A. Fiensy
“Repentance in the heart and soul of Christian conversion.”
David A. Fiensy, The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians

Friedrich Nietzsche
“However modest one may be in one's demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!”
Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power

Charles Dickens
“The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”
Charles Dickens

Criss Jami
“God knew man would evolve. People think some of the Old Testament laws are absurd now because we live in a very different culture, a different time period. They had their problems and we have ours. God is constant but man is not, and he foreknew the ever-changing world his people would have to deal with; therefore, and if there is indeed an omniscient God, a Christ-like figure would be our only rational, possible connection to a constant, holy God throughout the evolution of culture and social law. The only answer that makes sense when it comes to relevance regarding religions and time periods is Christ, and the chances are slim that men could have invented it.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

John Warwick Montgomery
“To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”
John Warwick Montgomery, History and Christianity

David A. Fiensy
“We seek God in our vigor, but he often comes to us in suffering. We pursue God in success; we find him in defeat. We assume following him will mean gain; he is our Lord in loss. We want him in abundance; but he speaks to us in poverty. 
David A. Fiensy, The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians

“This Christian claim [of universal validity] is naturally offensive to the adherents of every other religious system. It is almost as offensive to modern man, brought up in the atmosphere of relativism, in which tolerance is regarded almost as the highest of the virtues. But we must not suppose that this claim to universal validity is something that can quietly be removed from the Gospel without changing it into something entirely different from what it is... Jesus' life, his method, and his message do not make sense, unless they are interpreted in the light of his own conviction that he was in fact the final and decisive word of God to men... For the human sickness there is one specific remedy, and this is it. There is no other.”
Stephen Neill, Christian Faith And Other Faiths; The Christian Dialogue With Other Religions

“For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male or female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

David A. Fiensy
“I believe God has placed in the heart of every one of us the longing for heaven, which is actually a longing for him.”
David A. Fiensy, The Journey: Spiritual Growth in Galatians and Philippians

Georges Moustaki
Voilà c'que c'est, mon vieux Joseph
Que d'avoir pris la plus jolie
Parmi les filles de Galilée
Celle qu'on appelait Marie

Tu aurais pu, mon vieux Joseph
Prendre Sarah ou Déborah
Et rien ne serait arrivé
Mais tu as préféré Marie

Tu aurais pu, mon vieux Joseph
Rester chez toi, tailler ton bois
Plutôt que d'aller t'exiler
Et te cacher avec Marie

Tu aurais pu, mon vieux Joseph
Faire des petits avec Marie
Et leur apprendre ton métier
Comme ton père te l'avait appris

Pourquoi a-t-il fallu, Joseph
Que ton enfant, cet innocent
Ait eu ces étranges idées
Qui ont tant fait pleurer Marie

Parfois je pense à toi, Joseph
Mon pauvre ami, lorsque l'on rit
De toi qui n'avais demandé
Qu'à vivre heureux avec Marie”
Georges Moustaki

Thomas Paine
“Had it been the object or the intention of Jesus Christ to establish a new religion, he would undoubtedly have written the system himself, or procured it to be written in his life time. But there is no publication extant authenticated with his name. All the books called the New Testament were written after his death. He was a Jew by birth and by profession.”
Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

N.T. Wright
“Like the Hindu in Belfast who was asked whether he was a Catholic Hindu or a Protestant Hindu, those of us who follow this fresh reading of the New Testament want to say to our critics right and left, ‘Don’t imagine that because we don’t check all your fundamentalist boxes, we must be modernists, or that because we don’t check all your modernist boxes, we must be fundamentalists.”
N.T. Wright

Henry David Thoreau
“It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the universal favor with which the New Testament is outwardly received, and even the bigotry with which it is defended, there is no hospitality shown to, there is no appreciation of, the order of truth with which it deals.”
Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers / Walden / The Maine Woods / Cape Cod

“The Bible with masculine domination in the Old Testament and feminine submission in the New Testament is a BDSM manual! However, its BDSM lessons have never been properly learned and implemented. Christianity only makes sense in a dungeon and torture chamber. To convert Christians, you need to give them an even more thrilling BDSM experience!”
David Sinclair, Lucid Sex: Revolutionize Your Sex Life

Gregory A. Boyd
“It is apparent that Jesus and the New Testament authors are simply not interested in trying to improve the ethical behavior of the people and governments of the world. In this sense it is fair to say that the New Testament doesn’t contain an ethic for humans in general, and perhaps even fair to say that the New Testament doesn’t espouse pacifism, in the sense that it doesn’t advocate non-violence for all people and as an end in-and-of itself. Jesus and the authors of the New Testament are rather exclusively focused on the call of disciples of Jesus to love enemies, which therefore rules out killing them. The very fact that Jesus established the ability to love like this to be the distinguishing mark of a child of God (Mt 5:44-5; Lk 6:35) indicates that he did not intend his command to function as a universal ethical principle.”
Gregory A. Boyd

“The ideal interpreter should be one who has entered into that strange first-century world, has felt its whole strangeness, has sojourned in it until he has lived himself into it, thinking and feeling as one of those to whom the Gospel first came, and who will then return into our world, and give to the truth he has discovered a body out of the stuff of our own thought.

-- The Present Task in New Testament Studies”
Charles Harold Dodd

“Luke tells us that Jesus cast the devil out of a boy who repeatedly threw himself into fire and water to destroy himself. Of all the unfortunates in the New Testament we are, perhaps, least likely to see ourselves in this boy. Yet he is the best symbol for us: we too continually plunge ourselves into all sorts of nonsense and engage in a diversity of dangerous and self-destructive beliefs and practices. This unfortunate is Everyman. He shows us truth: of our selves we are lost—Jesus only can save us.”
Jean-Michel Hansen

Terry Eagleton
“The New Testament is a brutal destroyer of human illusions. If you follow Jesus and don't end up dead, it appears you have some explaining to do. The stark signifier of the human condition is one who spoke up for love and justice and was done to death for his pains. The traumatic truth of human history is a mutilated body. Those who do not see this dreadful image of a tortured innocent as the truth of history are likely to adopt some bright-eyed superstition such as the dream of untrammeled human progress, for which, as we shall see, Ditchkins is a full-blooded apologist. There are rationalist myths as well as religious ones. Indeed, many secular myths are degutted versions of sacred ones.”
Terry Eagleton, Reason, Faith, and Revolution: Reflections on the God Debate

David Bentley Hart
“Before embarking on this project, I doubt I ever truly properly appreciated precisely how urgent the various voices of the New Testament authors are, or how profound the provocations of what they were saying were for their own age, and probably remain for every age. Those voices blend, or at least interweave, in a kind of wildly indiscriminate polyphony, as if an early Baroque vocal trio, an Appalachian band, a couple of Viennese tenors piping twelve-tone Lieder, and a jazz crooner or two were all singing out together; but what all have in common, and what somehow forges a genuine harmony out of all that ecstatic clamor, is the vibrant certainty that history has been invaded by God in Christ in such a way that nothing can stay is it was, and that all terms of human community and conduct have been altered at the deepest of levels.”
David Bentley Hart, The New Testament

David Bentley Hart
“For he says, 'In an acceptable time I heard you, and on a day of salvation I helped you.' Look: Now is any acceptable time. Look: Now is a day of salvation.–Providing no stumbling-block in any matter, so that the ministry should receive no censure, but instead commending ourselves in everything as God’s ministers, in immense endurance, in afflictions, in necessities, in narrow straits, in welts, in jails, in riots, in labors, in sleepless nights, in days of hunger, in chastity, in knowledge, in magnanimity, in honesty, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in a discourse of truth, in God’s power; by righteousness’ armaments, on our right and our left, through glory and dishonor, through censure and praise; as both deceivers and truthful men, as both unknown and fully known, as both dying and–see!—we live, as both chastened and not put to death, as aggrieved yet ever rejoicing, as destitute yet enriching many, as both having nothing and possessing all things. (2 Corinthians 6:2-10)”
David Bentley Hart

“7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7”

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7”
Anonymous, Holy Bible: King James Version

David Bentley Hart
“This is all evidence, however, of a deeper truth about these texts: They are not beguiling exercises in suasive rhetoric or feats of literary virtuosity; rather, they are chiefly the devout and urgent attempts of often rather ordinary persons to communicate something "seen" and "heard" that transcends any language, but that nevertheless demands to be spoken, now, here, in whatever words one can marshal. (From Hart's Introduction)”
David Bentley Hart, The New Testament

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Mathew 6:21 NIV

“Jesus was arrested and executed because of the trouble he was stirring up in Jerusalem. The story of Jesus shutting down the temple describes a planned demonstration and a riot, complete with property destruction, looting, and social unrest.”
Damon Garcia, The God Who Riots: Taking Back the Radical Jesus

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