The poor in spirit who acknowledge themselves to be sinners, they do not need to know the least thing about the difficulties which appear when one is neither simple nor humble-minded. But when this humble consciousness of one’s self, i. e., the individual’s, being a sinner is lacking.aye, even though one possessed all human ingenuity and wisdom, and had all accomplishments Possible to man: it will profit him little. Christianity will in the same degree rise terrifying before him and transform itself into absurdity or terror; until he learns, either to renounce it, or else, by the help of what is nothing less than scientific prop.deutics, apologetics, etc., that is, through the torments of a contrite heart, to enter into Christianity by the narrow path, through the consciousness of sin.


[1]First Part; comprising about one-fourth of the whole book. [2]I. e. Christ; cf. Introduction p. 41 for the use of small letters.


[4]John I,1. 4a Matthew 20,15. [5]Luke 11, 14.

[6]Kierkegaard’s note: by history we mean here profane history world history, history as such, as against Sacred History.

[7]Cf. the claim of the Pharisees, Matth.23, 30: “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.”

[8]One is here irresistibliy reminded of passages in Ibsen’s “Brand,” e. g., Brand’s conversation with Einar, in Act I. Cf. also p. 207 and Introduction p. 1.

[9]Matthew 11, 6. [10]Luke 18,32.

[11]Matthew 20, 27f.

[12]The original here does not agree with the sense of the passage.

[13]Bjornson’s play of “Beyond Human Power,” Part I, Act 2, reads like an elaboration of these views.

[14]Matthew 9, 16.

[15]The following passage is capable of different interpretations in the original.

[16]Matthew 14, 17. [17]Cf. 1 Cor. 2, 9.

[18]John 3, 1f. [19]Luke 23, 35.

[20]John 2, 4, etc.

[21]The passage is not quite clear. Probably, you will not be the man to explain this phenomenon in the very opposite terms, viz., as the divinity himself.

[22] Here, the unreserved identification with human suffering above referred to.

[23] Cf. Note p. 178.

[24] As my friend, H. M. Jones, points out, the following passage is essentially Aristotellian: “The true difference is that one (history) relates what has happened, the other (poetry) what may happen”; Poetics,” Chap. IX.

[25] Cf. Plato’s “Apologia” where Socrates is made to say of himself that he is inflicted on the Athenians like a gadfly on a horse, in order to keep them awake.

[26] Luke 10,23.