Thomas Jefferson’s Bible

Cover - Jefferson Bible after treatment

Image by national museum of american history via Flickr

Thomas Jefferson is a personal hero of mine for several reasons.   Obviously because he  was one of our founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence , but also because he was the epitome of  what it meant to be a “Seeker”.  I have mentioned The Jefferson Bible a few times but, I have recently stumbled across a website that lets you look at the original.  For those that don’t know Jefferson struggled with the miracles and magic in the Bible.  He believed in God and he held Jesus in a high regard.  He was theologically somewhere between a Unitarian and a Deist.  He read a lot and the Bible was one of the books he read the most (he had the Bible in Greek, French, and the good old King James Version you can read today)  Eventually Jefferson narrowed his view of the Bible to just the life and teachings of Jesus.  So he took a razor and some glue and literally cut the passages of the Gospels that he felt best reflected the teachings of Jesus and pasted them into a blank book.  He then used this as his Rule and Guide in life.  For a long time members of congress were given a copy of this book when they took the oath of office.  The rise of evangelicalism in the 50’s saw this tradition come to a quiet end.  It’s a shame when you think about it.  Imagine if members of  Congress followed the precepts taught in the Sermon on the Mount.

Here is a link to The Jefferson Bible

http://americanhistory.si.edu/JeffersonBible/the-book/?page=3&view=transcription#dl

I own a copy of this and have set it aside for a little to long as I have focused so much on Torah study.  In fact, due to some recent discussions with a very intelligent author I have decided to revisit the Christian Scriptures.  I am sure that the new reading lenses that I have developed from rabbinical Torah study will no doubt prove useful in reading about the Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.  Who knows, maybe I’ve been wrong about Paul too.  Stay tuned the Quest is about to go into yet another direction.

© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light

2 thoughts on “Thomas Jefferson’s Bible

  1. They act just like the apostles who told Jesus that he should call fire down from heaven to consume those that had rejected Him in Samaria. Jesus’ reply was, ” I came to save life, not to take it” People can sometimes get just as heard hearted and heard headed as these disciples were. Jesus even told them that their hearts were hard because they did not consider the miracle of the loaves and the fish, when they were so surprised at Jesus calming the storm.

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  2. Pingback: The Blasphemy of Thomas Jefferson « The Age of Blasphemy

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