[Ads-l] Bogus Lincoln quote?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Sep 4 11:31:11 UTC 2015

Someone opposing the issuance of gay-marriage licenses in Kentucky was seen
on CNN holding up a sign that said, "God's best gift to man is the Bible.

The assertion was made more authoritative for being accompanied by a
portrait of Lincoln like that on a five-dollar bill.

Google Books doesn't support the claim that Lincoln ever wrote or said
these words, though of course they may be some kind of paraphrase.

The quotation surfaces (in GB) in 1896, when the free-thinker Robert J.
Ingersoll denied its genuineness in a letter to a Mr. Seip, who had
presented it.

According to the _Encyclopedia of American Religious Experience_, Lincoln
uttered the words in September, 1864, when some African-American citizens
of Baltimore presented him with a Bible.

The quote has  been repeated mostly in  Christian publications - but
seemingly not by Lincoln editors or biographers.

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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