The only copy of the Bible, signed by Albert Einstein, will be put up for auction at Sotheby’s, which will trigger a new debate about the religious beliefs of the most famous scientist in the world.

The inscription, written by hand and in German, says: This book is an inexhaustible source of living wisdom and consolation. Read it and think about it.
The inscription, written by hand and in German, says: This book is an inexhaustible source of living wisdom and consolation. Read it and think about it.

Albert Einstein is known for his theory of relativity. And, like many monumental scholars before him, he could also spark a religious discussion. The famous physicist wrote the so-called “God’s letter” in 1954 from his home in Princeton.

The word God for me is nothing but an expression and a product of human weaknesses, and the Bible is a collection of respectable, but at the same time rather primitive legends

Albert Einstein
excerpt from God’s Letter of 1954, written by the philosopher Eric Gutkind
A year before his death, Einstein wrote a letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkin criticizing religion.
A year before his death, Einstein wrote a letter to the philosopher Eric Gutkin criticizing religion.

As the most famous scientist in the world, Einstein was often asked to make public statements about God and religion. Einstein, being a regular participant in the public debate about religion and science in the 1930s (and after that), professed “ cosmic religion ” and disbelief in God. Many of the most important statements of Einstein about God and religion were made by him only in private conversations, as in the example with the signature on the Bible. On many important religious topics, the full position of Einstein remains publicly unknown. Therefore, people consider Einstein an anti-religious person, or at least anti-biblical. However, this book may spark new controversies regarding the scholar’s position on religion.

The inscription of Einstein in this Bible significantly changes the understanding of his view of the Bible. The Bible could have been one of Einstein’s favorite books, as stated in a letter to his sister Maya in 1926 (in which he also quoted Don Quixote as a favorite story). This copy was given to Harriet Hamilton by Einstein himself and his wife, Elsa, in 1932. It is expected that it will be sold for 200-300 thousand dollars. In 2013, at the previous auction, the lot was sold for 68.5 thousand dollars.