The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of  Nazareth  -     By: Thomas Jefferson
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The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

Dover Publications / 1902 / Paperback

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Product Description

Highlighting the ethical teachings of Christ and eliminating the supernatural aspects of the Gospels, Jeffers on's "edits" of Scripture reflect the deist view of religion, which developed during the 18th century. Presenting Jesus as a moral guide rather than as divine, this brief narrative focuses on his life of compassion and service.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Dover Publications
Publication Date: 1902
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.37 (inches)
ISBN: 0486449211
ISBN-13: 9780486449210

Publisher's Description

"Question with boldness even the existence of a god," Thomas Jefferson asserted, "because if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." America's third president regarded Jesus as a moral guide rather than a divinity, and in The Jefferson Bible, he highlights Christ's ethical teachings from the Gospels. Discarding the scriptures' supernatural elements and dogma, this volume reflects the deist view of religion, focusing on Jesus' message of absolute love and service.
Jefferson undertook his self-appointed task in 1794, consulting not only the King James Bible but also Greek, French, and Latin versions. He selected verses from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and arranged them in chronological order to form a single narrative. Although Jefferson shared his interpretation with friends and family, he declined to publish it, in keeping with his conviction that religion is a private matter — and also to avoid providing his political enemies with ammunition. Not until the turn of the twentieth century did the book appear in print, when it became a tradition to present it to new members of Congress. Unique and influential, this volume reflects not only the thinking of one of the nation's most brilliant statesmen, but also the ideology of the Enlightenment era.

Author Bio

Architect, author, inventor, naturalist, and linguist — Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) would have been an extraordinary man even if he hadn't been the third President of the United States. A powerful advocate of liberty, this Founding Father is primarily remembered as the author of the Declaration of Independence.

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 10, 2009
    The product description of this book is very accurate. This book is Thomas Jefferson's revision of the Gospels and Jefferson's view of Jesus Christ as the greatest moral man. He did not believe in the Trinity or Christ's divinity as read in his own letters. Likewise, our third president did not think highly of the Gospel writers ("dupes, imposters and corrupter" are words he used in his OWN letters to describe the disciples and of St. Paul--these letters are found in the Library of Congress) This work of Jefferson shows definitively of his religious beliefs...only the moral teachings of Christ was the true doctrine of Christ and the miraculous and divine were mystic fables. And following these moral teachings of Christ is what made him "a real Christian" and NOT by following Jesus Christ as divine, who was born of a virgin, claimed to be God, took our sins by His death on the cross and resurrecting from the dead to prove that He indeed was God--all stricken out of this book by Jefferson. Looking through this book, it was sober and profound to visualized this great and brilliant man who lead this country into it's great freedom, sitting at his desk, taking a razor and methodically eliminating the greatest message of freedom by eliminating the salvation message of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ including the most important words of Christ and events of The Resurrection. Paul said that if the resurrection of Jesus Christ had not occurred, we (Christians) would be the most pitied of all men. This book reflects the Unitarian beliefs that Jefferson favored that started to gain attention and popularity in the United States with leaders such as Joseph Priestley who founded the first Unitarian Church in America, during the time of Thomas Jefferson.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 29, 2009
    Jefferson often gets a bum rap about this work. In a letter to a friend Jefferson stated that his reason for eliminating the miraculous and focusing on the teaching of Christ was to show to believers and non-believers alike that the teachings of Jesus Christ were superior to the empty philosophies of man. He hoped that it would be used as an introductory text for evangelizing Native Americans. Historical revisionist have sullied Jefferson's reputation and destroyed his legacy. Anyone who takes time to research Jefferson's life from primary sources will find that he was a devout Anglican Christian, and that he attended worship in the Capital Building for over sixteen years. His letter to a baptist church assuring them that the federal government would not dictate an official DENOMINATION is where the phrase "separation of church and state" came from. When used as Jefferson intended this is a great apologetic resource.
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