Einstein’s Great Letter on the Bible and Creation for Sale Publicly for the First Time

In a letter valued at $125,000, Albert Einstein Writes to Jewish Students that a Scientist Cannot Believe in the Biblical Version of Creation


The Raab Collection announced today that it has acquired and is offering for sale for the first time ever publicly Albert Einstein’s great letter on the biblical version of creation, a spectacularly compelling letter comparing science and religion. The letter was written to a group of students, whose teacher had contacted the great scientist on their behalf. In it, Einstein states that a person of science could not believe in the Genesis version of creation and confirms his belief that science “replaces and supersedes it.” This letter is valued at $125,000.  

Einstein on God and The Bible

Einstein was the world’s most influential scientist and a Jewish German who fled the Holocaust.  His letters touching on the correlation between science and religion are compelling and insightful commentaries into the issue. They grapple with age-old questions that have followed humankind in its pursuit of knowledge, inspiration, and self-understanding. In late March of 1950, a Jewish religious teacher in the United States wrote to him, “On behalf of the students of a series of lectures on religion, I would like to ask you whether you think that it is possible for a modern scientist to reconcile the idea of the creation of the world by God, a higher power, with his scientific knowledge.”

Einstein’s response, April 11, 1950, to Mrs. Munk:

“As long as the stories in the Bible had been taken literally, it was obvious what kind of faith was expected from the readers. If you are however to interpret the Bible symbolically (metaphorically), it is not clear anymore whether God is in fact to be thought of as a person [and therefore not a monotheistic deity], which is somehow analogous to humans. In that case it is difficult to assess what remains of the faith in its original sense.

I think, however, that the person who is more or less trained in scientific thinking is alien to the religious creation (in the original sense) of the cosmos, because he applies the standard of causal conditionality to everything. This does not refute the religious attitude but, in a certain sense, replaces and supersedes it.” 

In his Autobiographical Notes, published the previous year, Einstein wrote of a scientific epiphany at the age of ten. “Through the reading of popular scientific books, I soon reached the conviction that much in the stories of the Bible could not be true. The consequence was a positively fanatic orgy of freethinking coupled with the impression that youth is intentionally being deceived by the state through lies; it was a crushing impression. Suspicion against every kind of authority grew out of this experience, an attitude that has never left me.”

This letter reveals itself to be a prelude to Einstein’s later, more bombastic statements, such as, “The word God is for me nothing but the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of venerable but still rather primitive legends.” 

The letter was acquired by Raab from the heirs of the recipient and has never been sold publicly before. 

To learn more about this remarkable letter, expert Nathan Raab is available to share his broad experience handling the physicist’s letters–he wrote about another important and personal letter of  Einstein’s in his book, The Hunt for History.

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