Most people are bothered by those Scripture passages which they cannot understand. But for me, the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.” –Mark Twain

I've seen the above quote bandied about often, generally by Christians for various effects. In my searching, I see that it is attributed to Twain but can never find a source. The most likely candidates seem to be "Letters from the Earth" or "Mark Twain's Notebook" but I cannot find any evidence that he actually stated such a thing.

  • Welcome to SE.Skeptics! Since this board's about investigating notable claims, it's usually best to provide a link to a notable source of the claim being asked about. This can be edited into the question statement.
    – Nat
    May 9 '17 at 0:14

He probably didn't. There are slightly different versions of this quote out there, and the earliest example I was able to find appears to be from 1931.

Mark Twain once said, "Most people are bothered by those passages in Scripture which they cannot understand; but as for me, I have always noticed that the passages in Scripture which trouble me most are those which I do understand.

There are searchable compilations of his writings on religion, like Mark Twain on Religion and The Bible According to Mark Twain. You can also search Twain's letters here and here. No dice.

  • agree - looked at all of those places and didn't have any luck
    – NKCampbell
    May 9 '17 at 0:21
  • I think Twain used to be the go-to attribution for any snark -"Sounds like something Twain would say..." May 11 '17 at 17:08
  • @PoloHoleSet Yes... The first link in my answer goes in to a lot of detail about that.
    – Brian Z
    May 12 '17 at 13:38
  • I'll check that out at home - away from the work firewall. May 12 '17 at 13:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .