"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly."3
No personal GodSo, the quick answer to the question is that Einstein did not believe in a personal God. It is however, interesting how he arrived at that conclusion. In developing the theory of relativity, Einstein realized that the equations led to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning. He didn't like the idea of a beginning, because he thought one would have to conclude that the universe was created by God. So, he added a cosmological constant to the equation to attempt to get rid of the beginning. He said this was one of the worst mistakes of his life. Of course, the results of Edwin Hubble confirmed that the universe was expanding and had a beginning at some point in the past. So, Einstein became a deist - a believer in an impersonal creator God:
"I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings."4However, it would also seem that Einstein was not an atheist, since he also complained about being put into that camp:
"In view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognize, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what really makes me angry is that they quote me for the support of such views."5
"I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangements of the books, but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God."6
Einstein on JesusAlbert Einstein received instruction in both Christianity (at a Roman Catholic school) and Judaism (his family of origin). When interviewed by the Saturday Evening Post in 1929, Einstein was asked what he thought of Christianity.
"As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene."
"Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?"
"Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot!"
"You accept the historical existence of Jesus?"
"Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life."7