- (Photo courtesy of Bonhams)
A Bible that belonged to the famous scientist Albert Einstein was recently auctioned off in New York for a total amount of $68,500.
Bonham's Auction House of New York City held a "Fine Books & Manuscripts" auction Tuesday of certain valuable historical monographs including Einstein's Bible.
In the book, Einstein wrote that the Holy Bible "is a great source of wisdom and consolation and should be read frequently."
Christina Geiger, the director of the Fine Books & Manuscripts Department at Bonhams New York, said that they were "pleased" with the result.
"We are very pleased with the price realized for the Einstein Bible in the auction," said Geiger in a statement.
"Einstein didn't identify with organized religion as an adult, so the inscription is an extraordinary insight into his sentiments in the early 1930s."
Anne Wilson, public relations coordinator for Bonhams, told The Christian Post that the Einstein Bible was the biggest success at Tuesday's auction.
"It was the auction's top lot, meaning it achieved the highest price," said Wilson, "Global interest in this unique find allowed the Bible to soar past its estimate, eventually achieving $68,500 after lengthy bidding."
Wilson also told CP that in addition to the Einstein Bible's big success, a "first edition copy of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit from 1937 realized $27,500."
Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, Germany, in 1879. A poor student as a child, Einstein would eventually earn a diploma from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich.
While working at the Swiss Patent Office in the early 1900s, Einstein developed his theory on physics and relativity. He would renounce his German citizenship in the 1930s and become a United States citizen in 1940, dying 15 years later in New Jersey.
Much has been written and debated about the religious convictions of Einstein. In 2007, Walter Isaacson published a biography of the thinker in which he argued that the Nobel prize-winning mathematician held a personal religiosity.
"There are people who say there is no God," the physicist told a friend, according to the biography. "But what makes me really angry is that they quote me for support of such views."
In a later letter he wrote, "The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who – in their grudge against traditional religion as the 'opium of the masses' – cannot hear the music of the spheres."
However, in 2012, a letter written in the last year of Einstein's life came to public view. In it Einstein expresses a more secular worldview.
"The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish," reads an English translation of the letter, in part, which was auctioned off on Ebay last year.