“To be alone with the New Testament” by Søren Kierkegaard

“The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand it, we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?

Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”

–Soren Kierkegaard, “Kill the Commentators!” in Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2003), 201.

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1 Comment

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Quotable Quotes, Søren Kierkegaard, Writing

One response to ““To be alone with the New Testament” by Søren Kierkegaard

  1. Eric L

    Holy smokes – that’s a verbal grenade! He’s right of course. I can see all the scaffolding I have erected to keep me at a safe distance from the One.

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