I have heard that according to the original preface, it was suppose to be for the native Indians, though there is no evidence of it reaching them, we have no right to create a new motive for Jefferson. Next, Jefferson cutting from a bible and pasting in anoth Well, first off, this is the "Life and morals of Jesus of Nazareth" its not the "Jefferson bible," Jefferson would have been horrified if he learned someone took a book where he compiled the moral philosophy of Jesus and called it his bible.
Next, Jefferson cutting from a bible and pasting in another book, is no reason for the delight and glee from secularist and horror from Christians. Think about it, Jefferson didn't have a computer where he could copy and paste the moral philosophy of Christ from the bible into a book, so he did exactly what I would do if I had several bibles. I personally once cut verses from a bible to paste in a painting, I suppose years from now, someone will find the painting and think I was some anti-Christian, irreligious, bible hating deist, because I applied my scissors to the Holy Bible!
Now as far as the content, so many of reviews just focus and delight on what is LEFT out and yet don't feel any discomfort about what is there. Though it is obvious that Jefferson didn't allow any of Jesus' miracles to be recorded and he didn't include the resurrection of Christ at the end, it is still rather interesting what he did leave in the so called "Jefferson bible.
So yeah, for a so called "Secular humanist" among many atheist and a Deist among "Christians," how do they make sense of all Jefferson left in? For I suppose they must assume that Jefferson cut out all the supernatural crap he disagreed with, and what is left in the Jefferson bible is the "Diamonds from the dung hill". The way some reviewers are acting, I suppose we can say what Jefferson left in the Jefferson Bible, he approved of? So what are these diamonds salvaged from the dung hill? I just read the it and inside the "Jefferson bible" we find many examples of heaven, the fires of hell and both devils and angels.
Also, most of Jesus' mentions of the second coming, the final Judgment, the Kingdom of God, salvation, Jesus' mighty works and that Jesus is the Son of God are all here! Jesus affirms the resurrection, Noah and the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. Most importantly almost every reference to prayer from Jesus is in the "Jefferson bible", even God giving the Holy Spirit to all who ask.
We also find fulfilled prophesy; Jesus prophesies Peter will deny him 3 times before the cock crows and later we read of this happening. So yeah, there is a lot more, I could make this into an extremely long review and just post example after example directly from the eBook, of all that shouldn't have survived Jefferson's scissors and bible blotter! It would be nice to find some explanation for all Jefferson left in there, if he really was creating for himself his own bible without the supernatural. Is not the resurrection, the Holy Spirit, prophesy and salvation supernatural?
Oh Hitchen's and Dawkin's, how did all this nonsense make it into this book from your secular saint?
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K with all of that aside, i must say i really enjoyed "The Life and morals of Jesus. I am glad Jefferson did this, it was a pleasure to read Jesus' teachings without the constant interruptions of miracles. This is the way the Bible is supposed to be. Dug hard into various Bibles of the times and manages to find the wisdom of a progressive Jewish rebel. This Jesus was killed for believing in treating people equally and finding the best of human nature. The supernatural birth and other mystical events of Jesus' life have been removed and instead readers will discover This is the way the Bible is supposed to be.
The supernatural birth and other mystical events of Jesus' life have been removed and instead readers will discover a new vision in the man called Jesus, with all the mystical mumbo-jumbo that the church has added to him to make him seem like a divine being. Instead we see a person who even during his childhood questioned his family and leaders with critical reasoning skills that were probably self-taught.
Jesus learned that they were manipulating the public for their own personal gain over the betterment of all. He hung out with criminals, whores and the lowest end of the public, treated them with compassion and became an accidental leader to them. His "divinity" has been cut by Jefferson's own hand and instead we see through the church's deception and lies to keep the public in control and instead see that Jesus was a rebel with a cause to help to better not only his fellow Jews but all people everywhere. The pseudo-mystical nature of his birth to the documentation of his supposed resurrection have been cut away and we still see a good leader who inspired people to help people.
Unlike the many Christians today who turn their backs on their own fellow human being in the name of Christ and don't bother to lend a helping hand as Jesus did. Jefferson took the true teachings of Jesus the man and rebel leader to heart. Those teaching helped America throw off the shackles of English rule and domination to allow America the right to be free.
There will be remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. The result is a chronological new Gospel formed by merging select portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. View all 7 comments. May 23, Dean rated it it was amazing Shelves: reference.
Brilliant editing Everything is in play with reason the blade that carves the irrelevant and nonsense from core truths. UVA is an architectural analog. Though it can be debated that it is less successful as a unified work because it is new, untested function from an old form a core campus from a Roman temple and forum , it is Brilliant editing Though it can be debated that it is less successful as a unified work because it is new, untested function from an old form a core campus from a Roman temple and forum , it is a gathering of edited architectural pieces pavilions around a new social space ruled by a Temple of reason open to the physical and intellectual frontier west.
I find both the JB and UVA profoundly inspiring as an imagining and creation of a more perfect present from a critically examined past. We need more of this now! My sister suggested I might get something out of this, after I'd been going on about how bogus everything in the bible is. That Thomas Jefferson took out all the supernatural elements from the Jesus mythology and humanized him and his moral lessons.
It's cool that Jefferson was bold enough to attempt that, but it still didn't work for me because Jesus still waxes on about a supernatural god and heaven and hell and spirits, and a lot of his moral lessons are still based around those things, so ho My sister suggested I might get something out of this, after I'd been going on about how bogus everything in the bible is.
It's cool that Jefferson was bold enough to attempt that, but it still didn't work for me because Jesus still waxes on about a supernatural god and heaven and hell and spirits, and a lot of his moral lessons are still based around those things, so how could a practical person make sense of it? It was an interesting exercise, but it didn't mend the overall flaws with the religion for me.
I sort of mark this book as one of the last steps before I wrote off Christianity as anything useful in my life. Nationwide studies show that most American households own a Bible, most Americans claim they read the Bible regularly, and regular Bible readers own multiple editions. Many Americans preach, teach and share in small groups that include Bible study. From a practical standpoint, imagine the spirited discussions you can spark in your class or small group by passing around a copy. Buy it now, while this edition is still available.
However, his original intention is captured in that first title: Jefferson only included the life and teachings of Jesus using verses from the Gospels. How did Jefferson produce his Bible? Left behind in the source material were those elements that he could not support through reason or that he believed were later embellishments, such as the miracles and the Resurrection. Very interesting sidebar of American History. Jefferson, who was a questioner and often skeptic, believed the teachings of Jesus profound.
As a founding father, he was not so obsessed with his own salvation later, but in acting rightly in practice in the present. The forward and introduction, do a lot to enlighten the reader on Jefferson's own viewpoints on religion and freedoms surrounding practice and purpose. As far as the Bible that Jefferson presents goes: it is abridged version of the New Very interesting sidebar of American History.
As far as the Bible that Jefferson presents goes: it is abridged version of the New Testament. This may offend some- but I found it to be a quick reminder of the breadth of story and teaching.
The Jefferson Bible
The repetition between the apostle tellers is more evident in this abridgment. If one has read the more complete texts, you will see what Jefferson found important, by seeing what was kept and what was scrapped. In different books I have read that told the story of this Bible, it has been suggested that Jefferson was attempting to make an American Bible that everyone was to use. Those who fathom these falsehoods of our most zealous defender of liberty and freedom from tyranny, should check themselves, the Declaration of Independence he presented and Bill of Rights he defended as Commander-in Chief.
To me this was an exercise of a genius, as he toyed with his own personal notions of religion and God. I am happy that this edition is available- it s truly eye-opening to see Jefferson's editorial bone put to use. I liked this book. I went into the book with an open mind. I am an Atheist who has read the bible and wondered what Thomas Jefferson had to say about it. If you have heard of the famous Jefferson - Adams letters where they lightly debate religion then you may know that Thomas wasn't really a fan of the church.
That does not mean he is not religious. On the contrary, this book is a basic asemblance of how Thomas Jefferson interpreted the bible. It gives good incite into his views on religion and I liked this book. It gives good incite into his views on religion and pretty much describes his personality and how he would govern his young country. It is obvious from the very begining that Thomas did not like organized religion but felt there was some truth in the scripture.
The book was very repetative as I believe he had revisions of earlier interpretations and would try to revisit some of his earlier writtings of certain scriptures. Not to say there were contradiction in the scriptures themselves, but I think he was contradicting his previous interpretation. Very good book if you are into the founding fathers and their religious views. Nov 19, Prooost Davis rated it really liked it. Jefferson's attempt to present Jesus's story, as collected from the four Gospels, in chronological order, omitting all of its supernatural aspects, gives the story a shape that one doesn't necessarily perceive in selecting verses for study out of context.
The reader can see an inevitable trajectory towards crucifixion as Jesus gains a following while challenging the authority of some important people. Jefferson did not believe in the virgin birth, the miracles, the resurrection, etc. But, reading many of Jesus's words for the first time, in spite of spending the first or-so years of my life as a practicing Christian, I detected some troubling notes that were not emphasized in my own liberal congregation. The fire and brimstone Jesus is every bit as present here as the gentle, loving one.
And once or twice, his words contained a touch of paranoia and mistrust of outsiders that characterizes the messianic cults we see today. Jan 09, Wendy rated it it was amazing. This is an illuminating and important book historically. Not only does it represent Thomas Jefferson's fearless edit of the Gospels of Matthew,Mark, Luke and John from the New Testament the Bible extracting what he thought was of value from "a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications"but sheds a light on the inquiring minds of the intellectual elite of his day.
He basically cut and pasted and shared his work with John Adams and others w This is an illuminating and important book historically. He basically cut and pasted and shared his work with John Adams and others who shared his views. A copy of this slim volume was given to every member of the US Senate upon their being sworn in since as a tradition. As a Deist, Thomas Jefferson rejected the story of the virgin birth and the dogma of the Trinity. Anticlerical and a strong advocate of separation of church and state, he embodies the spirit of freedom of thought and the individual which is the foundation of America Thomas Jefferson is among the greatest minds from the Founding Generation of Americans.
Despite his contributions to the American framework, Jefferson believed that religious beliefs were and should remain an immensely personal topic, and as such he spends very little time discussing this issue even among his most trusted contemporaries, including Benjamin Rush, who may have inspired Jefferson to complete this work following Rush's death. The Jeffersonian Bible is an intimate look into the mind o Thomas Jefferson is among the greatest minds from the Founding Generation of Americans.
The Jeffersonian Bible is an intimate look into the mind of Thomas Jefferson on perhaps his most intimately guarded beliefs; spirituality. Jefferson attempts to recreate the life of Jesus from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, while focusing on Jesus as a man and teacher. In doing so Jefferson, I believe succeeds in creating a vivid and clear image of the key teachings of Jesus and how to live a more harmonious and fulfilling life.
This is Thomas Jefferson's own interpretation of the most important parts of the Bible the birth, teachings, and death of Jesus. I picked it up mostly because I like Thomas Jefferson, and wanted to understand a bit more about his morality and motivations, but I'm not Christian, and have a huge amount of skepticism when it comes to the idea of using a 2ooo year old book as a practical guide for morality and ethics, so Not the book for me.
Jun 25, Wesley Weissenberger rated it it was amazing. As Thomas Jefferson is arguably the most important figure in American History. I had to pick this one up. While nothing but a re-telling of the New Testement, and even though it is written with a strange mixture of Old Enlish and Contemperary American. It allows for a fresh look at the New Testement with out all of the religious stuff thrown in. Feb 06, Kavin Kramer rated it did not like it. Two reasons why I rated this with only 1 star. Thomas Jefferson is doing what many have done unsuccessfully for centuries before and after.
He picks and chooses the most convenient passages, so as to influence his own life but not make any transformative commitments. Without Two reasons why I rated this with only 1 star. Without answering my two objections, the "morals" in the title are bankrupt drivel. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The fact Jefferson chose the contents of the book to show Jesus in a good light and he still comes off as above does is just odd. Also includes confusing parables vastly open to interpretation and by its nature no self reflection. I can only assume the magic is really impressive, like a Michael Bay film or something. Mar 06, Darla Stokes rated it it was ok. The premise of this book is entertaining--Jefferson took all the stuff about Jesus from the New Testament and left out all the magic.
I'm not really sure what the point is supposed to be. It can't really be a moral guide--there's nothing of morality in the biographical details, and the parables are all over the place. Bizarre things like if you're throwing a party and nobody in town will come, you're completely justified in destroying the whole town.
Or if two people are having a guest over for The premise of this book is entertaining--Jefferson took all the stuff about Jesus from the New Testament and left out all the magic. Or if two people are having a guest over for dinner, the one who does all the work in cleaning the house and preparing the food is the bad one--the one who just waits around and then schmoozes is the good one.
Or that it's better to lie and say you'll do something you have no intention of doing than it is to say you can't do it, and then later go ahead and do the thing. It does explain a lot about Christian "morality," I suppose. Americans will well know this author as a founding father and former U. President; but fewer are aware that Thomas Jefferson completed his own version of The Bible in by cutting and pasting selected sections from the New Testament. And many will be surprised to know that, beginning in and continuing until the s, all new members o Americans will well know this author as a founding father and former U.
And many will be surprised to know that, beginning in and continuing until the s, all new members of Congress were given a copy of The Jefferson Bible. The copies were provided by the Government Printing Office. A private organization, the Libertarian Press, revived this practice of distributing The Jefferson Bible to congressmen in The Jefferson Bible is in the public domain and can be read for free. But Jefferson was not opposed to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself, which Jefferson believed he was preserving in his bible.
Below is a list of the titled sections under which Jefferson organized the passages, as the reader will find them in The Jefferson Bible. I think The Jefferson Bible makes an excellent study project. John Baptizes in Jordan V. This section is also an indictment of capitalistic markets and of Mammon. Jesus protests because the spirit of giving is being corrupted by a medium of exchange.
Jesus protested because Mammon was profaning the temple. Jesus would ultimately show that even the sticks and bricks of the temple were profane physical material and that the true temple was to be erected spiritually within man. He Baptizes, but Retires into Galilee on the Death of John : In this section, we see that the consequence of standing up for righteousness is death. When the martyr looms as a persisting example for those left living, it accomplishes much in the physical world.
If we truly believe in a subsequent, enduring spiritual state, why should we fear death? Thus Jesus demonstrates an absence of fear. Explains the Sabbath : Here we see that Jesus stands against petrified laws that are so rigid they begin to violate common sense. Call of His Disciples XI. The directions given here Jesus likens to the building of a strong house upon a rock foundation, as we should build a strong spiritual temple within ourselves. For it is this inner temple that must survive the storms into the spiritual life. It is the building of our spirits with which we must be first concerned; and we must do this building against the distractions afforded by the physical world set around us.
Exhorts XIII. Jesus illustrates here that He came for sinners, even the lowest and most abhorred of them. Precepts : Here we see that Jesus does not publicly elevate Mary and instead emphasizes universal kinship and relation with those in touch with God. Additionally, Jesus emphasizes how dire are the circumstances of being outside of a righteous relationship, which is to be, essentially, outside of life.
Parable of the Rich Man : Jesus emphasizes the fruitlessness of storing up earthly treasurers. The spiritual life is not perpetrated by a large inventory of physical things. Precepts : Jesus discounts physical life and emphasizes spiritual awareness and spiritual life instead. Jesus warns that those who do not enter into spiritual life will perish. Parable of the Fig Tree : Jesus emphasizes the importance of using feces fertilizer for the purpose of encouraging a bearing of fruit.
The Jefferson Bible – The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
The worst byproducts of humanity: war, poverty, ignorance, exploitation, imprisonment, etc. Ask of thyself constantly: what goodness am I producing? Jesus emphasizes that the unfruitful will be destroyed. If the excrement of sin in our life is not fertilizing us forward through repentance, what use is it? What use is a waste product that cannot fertilize a growing fruit? Should it not be discarded?
Precepts : Here fruit is identified as expanding love and Jesus chastises the Pharisaic legalism that stems from an unauthentic outer show instead of a genuine inner love. Parable of the Sower : This parable likens the probability for one to ascend into spiritual life with the likelihood that seeds cast about will sprout. Jesus reveals that many seeds will perish, as they are eaten by fowls, scorched, left in stoney places, or choked by thorns.
Fewer will land in fertile ground and sprout fruit. Again, the reference is that many will eventually simply perish. In this parable, Jesus identifies three major pitfalls that threaten the spiritual seed: 1 evil people, 2 apathy, and 3 worldly allurements. Precepts : Jesus encourages people to shine through their lives and not to cower hidden because of fear of what others may think or say. Again, the implication remains that the physical life is of little worth in comparison to the spiritual life and in fact exists as fertilizer for spiritual growth.
Parable of the Tares : Here we have a very interesting allusion to the human race as the result of purposeful agriculture. This is a picture of human kind as a cultivated species: planted, nurtured, and eventually harvested. Again, destruction is predicted for those despising or ignoring the spiritual life during their physical existence, which is clearly identified as the opportunity to experience and become a proponent of goodness.
Jesus clearly states that ascending into the Kingdom of goodness is worth more than anything that can be accumulated in the short, terminable physical life. Jesus refers to His life as a sowing of seed. Clearly, the modern proliferation of Jesus is clearly a testament to His abundant fruitfulness.
Precepts : The seeds are sown in the dirt among the fertilizer of waste. For it is from the dirt that the small seed grows into the mighty tree. Those who have superficially cleaned themselves of all dirt, have sterilized themselves from the fertilization that stems from interaction with the dirt of humanity. To become segregated conformists among the generic adherents of the law, is to disconnect from the soil in which you are intended to sprout.
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Parable of New Wine in Old Bottles : Jesus provides an illumination between the adjustment necessary to transcend from the old law to the new good news. Newness comes in contradiction or modification of the old way. People will normally try to cling to the old way and view the new way skeptically. The convergence of old and new thus produces conflict, which must be managed. A Prophet Hath no Honor in his Own Country : Jealously inflicts those who know one another intimately because we greedily want to possess and hoard what we love. To bequeath yourself widely is to unshackle yourself from the confines of a possessor, who thus senses a loss.
When we come to think less of our self possessions and more of the celebration of righteousness, we shall then delight to observe those we love sowing seeds of love upon others. Mission Instructions, Return of Apostles : The disciples are sent forth passively, transparently, without burden, and with instructions to not fear the loss of their mere physical body.
Precepts : Jesus attests that it is not the things that enter or comprise a man that may defile him but the things which come out of him. A man becomes defiled by those corrupt things that he creates within his being and issues forth into the world. Here we have the notion of the body as a temporary organization of life forms. Man ingests various substances, synthesizing them into good or evil, the latter of which must ultimately be destroyed, the former which may endure. God wishes that all may love goodness and thereby come willingly into the Kingdom and be protected from the destruction that materialism will ultimately encounter in the transition from the physical realm to the spiritual realm, a transition that awaits us all.
Our ultimate sustenance must be love. Parable of the Wicked Servant : In this parable hell is characterized as having a termination defined by the point at which one should acquiesce to forgive others in token of the forgiveness they have received. The kingdom is characterized as a place of forgiveness. Such labor is characterized by transparent living and fearless proclamation of righteousness, by which I do not mean dogma and superstition, but simply standing up for what we know to be right, i. The fact that this mission has become misguided into a superstitious proselytizing of rigid doctrines is tragic.
The Feast of the Tabernacles : Here Jesus emphasizes that His testimony comes from God within Him as opposed to codified education handed down. Jesus emphasizes that all should discern through righteousness, seeing beyond merely physical appearances and deceptions. The Woman Taken in Adultery : Here Jesus displays the radical concept of forgiveness and grace, which come face-to-face with the law.
Jesus does not refute the law or deny its relevance but instead reveals that all have broken the law. Essentially Jesus poses the question: should all of humanity be stoned? The adulterous woman is encouraged to refrain from sin, so the law is not relegated to irrelevancy, but forgiveness is shown to trump the law, which is relegated to a goal. Jesus is calling mankind to forgive instead of punishing. To be Born Blind No Proof of Sin : This suggests that the situations of souls on the earth are so engineered as to be conducive to the growth of the spirit.
Catastrophe is revealed as fertilizer for spiritual growth and not as retribution from God. This is a profound reversal of primitive thinking about the intrusion of disasters and evils into the world. It posits catastrophe as a catalyst for growth, instead of punishment from God. The challenges fertilization of evil had to be set before Adam and Eve in order for them to grow beyond the status of being merely pets. The Good Shepherd : The vulnerability of the human Christian is emphasized by the analogy to sheep.
Jesus identifies Himself as shepherd and the source of life for Christians. There is an implied segregation here between the sheep, who hear and recognize the shepherd, and those who apparently do not.
Additionally, the shepherd knows and calls the sheep by name, indicative of personal familiarity. The implication looms that the unhearing are merely instinctual components of the world, destined to pass away, after serving the purpose of facilitating the edification of the sheep. Love God and Thy Neighbour; Parable of the Samaritan : Eternal life is illustrated here as a function of loving God and loving ones neighbor. Conformance to the criteria of this prayer brings forth the Kingdom, which should truly be the focus of our desire. The Sabbath : Jesus dismisses rules and regulations imposed upon the sabbath, which is intended instead as a day of repose, contemplation, and rest.
Again, the implication here is for recognizing righteousness by discernment instead of by codified law. What makes sense within us is more important than blind obedience to rules imposed by others. Mayo, Richmond, Va. Order: Upper cover; two 2 manuscript leaves in the handwriting of Jefferson, containing on the first two and a half pages the table of texts; the rest is blank; fly-leaf; three 3 blank leaves; title.
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