So I know anyone with an internet connection can invent a quote and stick a name next to it. I came across this quote recently and was a little skeptical. I found numerous references but none with context or citation.

But if they are authentic, I'd be interested to know the context.

The following quote was attributed to Charles Dickens:

“The New Testament is the very best book that ever was or ever will be known in the world.”

But I'd be interested to know if anyone knows any more about them. It struck me as odd because I can't imagine Dickens not knowing the difference between a book and a collection of books, nor not knowing that the language of the Bible is decidedly common.

Examples are:

  1. It is in The Evidence Bible by Ray Comfort. This quote has been submitted by users of Good reads.
  2. The Zondervan 2017 Pastors’ Annual
  3. Other Christian wiki/blog level of thing: Here and here

1 Answer 1


Charles Dickens wrote:

I put a New Testament among your books, for the very same reasons, and with the very same hopes that made me write an easy account of it for you, when you were a little child; because it is the best book that ever was or will be known in the world, and because it teaches you the best lessons by which any human creature who tries to be truthful and faithful to duty can possibly be guided. As your brothers have gone away, one by one, I have written to each such words as I am now writing to you, and have entreated them all to guide themselves by this book, putting aside the interpretations and inventions of Man.

Letter to "Plorn", his son Edward, [26th September 1868] quoted from David Paroissien: "Selected Letters Of Charles Dickens", Macmillan Press: Basingstoke, 1985, p 167. (different edition online p424.)

Going through his quotes about the New Testament, the above should not come as a surprise. He really liked it.


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