News of this acquisition and sale was covered in worldwide media
Valued at $50,000, this is the only letter of Gandhi on the existence of Jesus to have reached the public market
“Jesus was one of the great teachers of mankind.”
PHILADELPHIA, PA – February 28, 2017 – The Raab Collection announced today that it will be unveiling and offering for sale an original letter of Mahatma Gandhi in which he discusses the nature of the existence of Jesus. We located no record of any letter of Gandhi on Jesus to have reached the public market. Gandhi also discusses his hope for peace among religions worldwide. The letter has been in a private collection for half a century.
“This letter is the embodiment of Gandhi’s vision for a world of religions at peace. His belief in Jesus as a teacher of mankind shows his efforts to find commonality with his fellow man,” said Nathan Raab, principal at The Raab Collection.
Text of letter:
Typed letter signed, Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, April 6, 1926, to Frantz.
“Dear Friend, I have your letter. I am afraid it is not possible for me to subscribe to the creed you have sent me. The subscriber is made to believe that the highest manifestation of the unseen reality was Jesus Christ. In spite of all my efforts, I have not been able to feel the truth of that statement. I have not been able to move beyond the belief that Jesus was one of the great teachers of mankind. Do you not think that religious unity is to be had not by a mechanical subscription to a common creed but by all respecting the creed of each? In my opinion, difference in creed there must be so long as there are different brains. But who does it matter if all these are hung upon the common thread of love and mutual esteem?”
In 1926, a Christian religious elder in the United States, Milton Newberry Frantz, wrote to Gandhi, asking him to read a recent publication he had written with verses about Christianity. It has been in a private collection since the 1960s, acquired at that time from a New York City based historical document dealer.
A note on rarity:
This is one of the finest letters on religion that Gandhi ever wrote. Our research discloses no other letter of Gandhi mentioning Jesus to have ever reached the public market.
About The Raab Collection:
The Raab Collection has handled many of the most important historical documents to reach the market and worked with the families of famous Americans in the sale and preservation of their family treasures, among them Neil Armstrong, Thomas Jefferson, Ulysses S. Grant, William Henry Harrison, and Ronald Reagan. Nathan Raab, a member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, is also a contributor to Forbes.com. To learn more visit www.raabcollection.com or follow @raabcollection on Twitter.