Jefferson Bible

Apparently, Thomas Jefferson had a problem with the miracles of Jesus Christ and His disciples, so he edited them out of the Bible and created his “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”.

Wikipedia says,

The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting (literally with scissors and glue) numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson’s condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels which contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages indicating Jesus was divine.

Read it online here.

 

The more I read about the founders fathers, the more I realize that most of what I “know” is propaganda. It would seem that Christians have tried to convince everybody that the Founders were Christian in order to fulfil political goals. Obviously that hasn’t worked.

Adams was a Calvinist, he makes it plain in his writing, so he at least was a believing Christian. Jefferson and Franklin have been charged with deism, the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of God, accompanied with the rejection of revelation and authority as a source of religious knowledge and, so far, I think that is accurate. I haven’t gotten around to the others yet.

I am beginning to see the founders as highly intelligent but hubristic men espousing the philosophies of their time rather than the far sighted, moral men of lore.

I may attempt to develop this as a series of posts.

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

 

Also, the more i read about them the more I see highly intelligent men who have fallen to hubris.

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4 thoughts on “Jefferson Bible

    • I disagree on the soundness, but he does seem to have been “tolerant”.
      What would be the point of removing Jesus’ words from the Bible?
      He also removed a big chunk of the nativity story, jesus’ geneology, he removed the miracles, etc. he removed the evidence for Jesus’ divinity.

      I will say that I have only just begun looking into this and there is much more to do, but it appears Jefferson was a man who had trouble with the supernatural.

      I’ll check out the Jefferson Lies.

  1. This sort of study is very difficult because either side of our political spectrum wants to twist Jefferson to their own ends. This applies especially to works produced within the last forty years, but allies to a less extreme degree in works produced earlier. Even their own public statements should be read with suspicion because American politicians must express their thoughts within the prisms of their electorates (for example, Obama or GWB making references to God in their speeches). So private writings and personal actions should be studied perhaps. Good luck!

    • I think Jefferson was a Christian, but I think he had trouble believeing in things he couldn’t prove, Franklin also. He was an extremely smart man, and sometimes, extremely smart men come to believe that they are capable of understanding and explaining everything and anything they can’t, they disregard as superstition. His personal writings don’t show much preference for Christianity over any other beliefs, I think charges of deism or rational theology (“natural religion”) are probably accurate.

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