[PW] Quote: Some people are troubled by the things in the Bible they can’t understand. The things that trouble me are the things I can understand. (Attributed to Mark Twain 1915)

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Mon Sep 25 12:45:56 PDT 2017


I wonder if someone associated Twain with the quote on the basis of a
fuzzy memory of the scene in chapter two of his "Some Rambling Notes
on an Idle Excursion," in which he tells of Captain "Hurricane" jones'
theories on explaining away the miracles of the Bible in naturalistic
(if improbable) to a polite but befuddled minister.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1877/11/some-rambling-notes-of-an-idle-excursion/376159/

starting about two-fifths of the way down the text.


Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu

On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 2:04 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> A correspondent asked me to explore a version of the quotation in the
> subject line. I did not see a version on Barbara Schmidt's wonderful
> “Twain Quotes” website. Wikiquote listed the saying in the "Unsourced/
> Possible Fakes" section of the Mark Twain webpage with a first
> citation in 1971.
>
> Random House Webster's Quotationary (2001) and The Times Book of
> Quotations (2000) included instances with 1987 and 1975 citations.
>
> I've located an instance attributed to Twain in 1915. He died in 1910.
> The phrasing has been highly variable over the decades, and my current
> conclusion rejects the ascription to Twain. Here is a link:
>
> https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/09/22/bible/
>
> Earlier citations and insights would be welcome. Thanks.
>
> Garson
> _______________________________________________
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