“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.”
“That they said (in boast), ‘We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah’; but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not.” (Koran, Surah 4:157, Yusuf Ali translation)
“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.” (In a letter to John Adams, 4/11/1823)
“I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful. I didn't 'fall out in church' as they say, but there was a very strong awakening in me of the importance of these issues in my life. I didn't want to walk alone on this journey. Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals.” (In an interview with Sarah Pulliam and Ted Olsen of Christianity Today (1/23/08)
“I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him.”
AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (The father of the Krishna Consciousness Movement—a.k.a. the Hare Krishna Movement)
"'Christ' is another way of saying Krsta and Krsta is another way of pronouncing Krishna, the name of God…the general name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose specific name is Krishna. Therefore whether you call God 'Christ', 'Krsta', or 'Krishna', ultimately you are addressing the same Supreme Personality of Godhead…Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said: namnam akari bahu-dha nija-sarva-saktis. (God has millions of names, and because there is no difference between God's name and Himself, each one of these names has the same potency as God.)"
Albert Einstein, in an interview by George Sylvester Viereck for The Saturday Evening Post (10/26/29)
“No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”
“I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong.”
The Dalai Lama
"Jesus Christ also lived previous lives," he said. "So, you see, he reached a high state, either as a Bodhisattva, or an enlightened person, through Buddhist practice or something like that. Then, at a certain period, certain era, he appeared as a new master, and then because of circumstances, he taught certain views different from Buddhism, but he also taught the same religious values as I mentioned earlier: Be patient, tolerant, compassionate. This is, you see, the real message in order to become a better human being." (In an interview with James A. Beverley of CanadianChristianity.com, “Comment: Buddhism's guru”, 4/16/04.)
"I didn't understand this idea of a God who says, 'You have to acknowledge me. You have to say that I'm the best, and then I'll give you eternal happiness. If you won't, then you don't get it!' It seemed to be about ego. I can't see God operating from ego, so it made no sense to me.” (In an interview with US Magazine on why he turned away from his Southern Baptist upbringing, “Why Brad Turned Away From Religion”, 10/07/07)
“Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old.”
Augustine of Hippo
“I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them: ‘Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden.’”
“Jesus is the God whom we can approach without pride and before whom we can humble ourselves without despair.”
“Oh, but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn't it? Symbolic?! So Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual? Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than ‘barking mad’.” (In an interview with Ted Haggard as part of a British television documentary entitled “The Root of All Evil”, 2006.)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The unique impression of Jesus upon mankind—whose name is not so much written as ploughed into the history of the world—is proof of the subtle virtue of this infusion. Jesus belonged to the race of prophets. He saw with open eyes the mystery of the soul. One man was true to what is in you and me. He, as I think, is the only soul in history who has appreciated the worth of man.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
“It is possible that underneath the holy fable and disguise of Jesus’ life there lies concealed one of the most painful cases of martyrdom of knowledge about love: the martyrdom of the most innocent and desirous heart, never sated by any human love, demanding love, to be love and nothing else, with hardness, with insanity, with terrible eruptions against those who denied him love, the story of a poor fellow, unsated and insatiable in love, who had to invent hell in order to send to it those who did not want to love him—and who finally, having gained knowledge about love, had to invent a god who is all love, all ability to love—who has mercy on human love because it is so utterly wretched and unknowing. Anyone who feels that way, who knows this about love—seeks death.
“But why pursue such painful matter? Assuming one does not have to.” (Beyond Good and Evil, section 269).