I’ve been learning about quite the interesting bit of information the past few days – Thomas Jefferson’s Bible mash-up.
What Thomas Jefferson am I talking about? The one who was the principal author of the American Declaration of Independence. He was also the third U.S. president.
Now, the title of this post may be misleading as I am not certain of the timeline of Jefferson’s beliefs, but it seems quite clear that he was interested more in Jesus’ teachings than the supernatural events in the New Testament. Why is that? Because he sliced and diced a bunch of Bibles in order to maintain the teachings Jesus presented while removing miracles, suggestions of Jesus’ divinity, the virgin birth, and the resurrection.
Basically, he arranged everything from the Gospels in chronological order into a single combined Gospel – with supernatural elements removed.
As someone who is exploring the usefulness of Jesus’ teachings and the troubles of the supernatural beliefs connected with Jesus, this is a fascinating find! It has become known as “The Jefferson Bible“, but its original name is “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth“.
- Thomas Jefferson’s original cut and paste job http://americanhistory.si.edu/jeffersonbible/
- The Jefferson Bible Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible
- An overview of the Jefferson Bible http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Faith-Tools/The-Founding-Faith-Archive/Separating-Diamonds-From-The-Dunghill.aspx
- Reviews on Amazon.com (a great way to gather insight on a book!) http://www.amazon.com/The-Jefferson-Bible-Morals-Nazareth/dp/1604591285/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396047748&sr=8-1