Skip to comments.DC Museum Works to Save Thomas Jefferson‘s ’Cut & Paste’ Bible
Posted on 03/12/2011 6:50:19 PM PST by STARWISE
By literally cutting and pasting biblical passages demonstrating the life and lessons of Jesus Christ from several Bibles, Thomas Jefferson put together a book that he titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth during his retirement in 1820. The former presidents finished product would become known to historians as the Jefferson Bible.
"The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (CNN)
Nearly 200 years later, conservationists at the National Museum of American History are working to carefully preserve the 86-page book and preparing to put it on display in November.
Over time, the books brittle paper has become less flexible and prone to easy tears. But paper conservator Janice Stagnitto Ellis told CNN the real problem lies in the books binding.
French and English Bible verses pasted side-by-side in the Jefferson Bible (CNN) Without doing modifications to the binding, we could open the book [to] about a 30-degree angle before the paper would be required to bend, which it couldnt do, she said. It became un-exhibitable.
The Smithsonians goal is to display the book propped opened to a 90-degree angle to allow museum visitors to glimpse Jeffersons handy work, which includes passages from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in English, French, Latin and Greek all pasted side by side so Jefferson could compare the various translations of Christs work.
The Jefferson Bible is important today because of the unique insight it provides into the religious beliefs of the author of our Declaration of Independence, and the way in which it vividly reflects Jeffersons own understanding of the First Amendment to the Constitution as it guarantees freedom of religion, the museums website states. At the very least, it is an artifact that resulted from the extraordinary mind of one of the nations most important founding fathers and Enlightenment thinkers.
One of Jefferson's English "source" Bibles shows where the founding father cut out passages (CNN) To construct the Jefferson Bible, the nations third president used six different source Bibles two in English, two in French and two that included both Greek and Latin. With an extra copy of each, Jefferson could use the front and back of pages without worrying about missing whats on the pages reverse side.
Jefferson also used his cut + paste method to alter some biblical grammar.
On one page, he apparently didnt like the number of prepositions in a verse from Matthew that started, For as in the days that were before the flood He cut out the word as, changing the scripture to For in the days that were before the flood
The Smithsonian originally acquired the Jefferson Bible from his great-granddaughter in 1895 for $400. Starting in 1904, copies of the book were distributed to all newly elected members of Congress. The practice ended during the 1950s.
Also part of the Smithsonian display will be digitally scanned images of the books pages.
One of Jefferson's English "source" Bibles shows where the founding father cut out passages (CNN)
Notably, as learned and wordly as many of our Founders were, Jefferson included scriptural passages in French.
Yes, our blessed, brilliant and amazing Founding Fathers were indeed desirous of and guided by Judeo-Christian values in creating this most wonderful, and unique precious Republic .. if we can keep it. Please pray for America .. and for God's protection on us and on our brave military.
Nobody is “brilliant” who takes a pair of scissors to God’s Word.
So if he were a”Deist” why would he bother doing that?
You’ve never cut and pasted a verse before?
I think this version contains Christ’s ethical teachings but deletes the supernatural aspects.
The video purposely has NO sound
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All great men have blind spots. Deliberately ignoring the miracles and deity of Jesus Christ was Jefferson’s.
Judge not ... If he’d had a word processor and several online versions of the bible would it have been OK to cut and paste?
Strikes me that he might have been trying to distill the fundamental truths he’d found in the bible - perhaps for dolts like me that haven’t read the bible in years but might in a short compendium find salvation. Huh. Ya never know. ;-)
Don't flame me, just posting a picture and comment that I thought relevant.
Thanks, Red !
One of the comments on The Blaze, which is reasonable to me:
“It is not a Bible. It is a collection of scriptures for his own use and study. Come on people, everyone of us do the same thing. The only difference is you or I are not famous.
Our notes will be thrown away, Jeffersons notes are to be saved.”
Since Jefferson cut and pasted passages of Jesus speaking about the Father, God, he doesn’t appear to be editing out what secularists consider the supernatural God. It appears Thomas Jeffereson took the Bible quite literally and certainly applied the laws of God and the teachings of Jesus the Son to the founding of this country.
A pdf of the Jefferson Bible
As one commentator says: "According to Jefferson, when Jesus left the man who had been blind since birth (John 9) the man was still blind, Malchus was left with his ear cut off and Lazarus was left rotting in the tomb."
Thomas Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18
And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.
Thomas Jefferson First Inaugural Address
Categories: Religion and Morality
Date: April 4, 1801
[B]enign religion, professed, in deed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring and overruling Providence, which, by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter
Source or link, please?
Smithsonian undertakes $225,000 effort to restore the Jefferson Bible
Posted on March 11, 2011
When Thomas Jefferson was 77, he went back to a project he had been thinking about for decades. Sitting in Monticello, using candlelight and a knife, he cut New Testament verses in four different languages from six books to create his own bible. Jefferson, saying he was selecting his own morsels of morality, removed verses on any miracles, as well as the Resurrection.
Basically the same articel here:
And see also:
Separating ‘Diamonds’ from the ‘Dunghill’; The fascinating history of the ‘Jefferson Bible’
Done with his official work for the day, Thomas Jefferson sat in the new presidential mansion in Washington in 1804, and opened his Bible -— not to pray, but to cut.
He scoured the text for Jesus’ greatest teachings, sliced out his favorite portions and glued them into an empty volume. He called it “The Philosophy of Jesus.” In 1819, he started over and created a new version called “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” often referred to now as The Jefferson Bible.
In Jefferson’s version, Jesus was not divine:
The virgin birth - gone.
Christ’s bodily resurrection - gone.
The miracles of the loaves, walking on water, raising Lazarus - none of them made Jefferson’s book.
My views of (the Christian religion)... are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be - sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Charles Thomson, 1816:
I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus - very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all the characteristic dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the hethen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great Reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were He to return on earth, would not recognize one feature.
So, he chose to focus on the pure teachings of Jesus Christ... and to carry with him those teachings in what he considered to be the most pure form available - by removing all but the words of Jesus Christ. I will not fault him for that, for in my eyes it is no different than carrying a "red letter" version of the KJV so that the reader may more readily view the words of the savior.
I once was very amused by a bumper sticker I saw that said "If it is not the King James Version, it is not the Bible!" I so terribly wanted to ask the driver "Well what was it then when it was still in Greek and in Hebrew?" The bible has been translated over the years in order to allow man to better understand God's word... I consider the message to be the inspired word of God, but I do not consider the paper and ink itself to be "holy." That does not mean that I treat a physical bible with disrespect... (I treat all bound books with respect - I treasure my books!) It just means I understand the difference between the message and the media that transmits it. (The religion of peace, on the other hand, goes ballistic if you let a koran touch the floor.)
For a good biography on Jefferson, along with a good source of quotes from him on a variety of subjects, I suggest: The Real Thomas Jefferson; Allison, Maxfield, Cook and, Skousen; National Center for Constitutional Studies, 1983, 2008. This is part of a series I consider most valuable: The American Classic Series. The other two books of the series cover George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.