Skip to comments.Thomas Jefferson's Cut-and-Paste Bible
Posted on 03/27/2011 9:39:50 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Last November, in response to protest, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery removed a video installation depicting ants crawling over a small crucifix. This coming November, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will exhibit a cut-and-paste Bible of a mere 86 pages. Were it the work of David Wojnarowicz (the artist behind the crucifix video) or Andres Serrano (of "Piss Christ" fame), this Bible would doubtless stir up a hornet's nest. But in fact, it was created by Thomas Jefferson.
During the election of 1800, Jefferson was denounced as a "howling atheist" and "a confirmed infidel" known for "vilifying the divine word, and preaching insurrection against God." But the Virginian also revered Jesus as "the first of human Sages" and was, according to one biographer, "the most self-consciously theological of all American presidents."
The book that the Smithsonian is preparing to put on display is actually one of two Jefferson Bibles. Jefferson produced the first over the course of a few days in 1804. Not long after completing the Louisiana Purchase, he sat down in the White House with two Bibles and one razor, intent on dividing the true words of Jesus from those put into his mouth by "the corruptions of schismatising followers."
The result was "The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth": a severely abridged text (now lost) that, like the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, consisted entirely of Jesus' sayings. In this "precious morsel of ethics," as Jefferson put it, Jesus prayed to God and affirmed the afterlife, but he was not born in a manger and did not die to atone for anyone's sins.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
When my eye issues resolve, I’ll finish reading Sacred Fire about George Washington’s faith. The elites love to impugn our founders.
The writer is a malicious idiot. There are innumerable books, pamphlets, devotionals, etc. that "cut and paste " scripture, nothing like the intent of the "works of art" he compares it to.
I, for myself, cut to the chase and worship pasties.
The elites love to impugn our foundersAmen! IIRC Jefferson owned a Quran, as expected with a state official who negotiates with the Arab world. Yet mass media tried to make a mountain out of a molehill with Jefferson's Quran.
Like many others who stray from their field of expertise, Jefferson should have stuck to politicking, and left theology alone.
--insofar, that is, as they commend themselves to those presuppositions that I hold, and which are in substantial agreement with the current prejudices and assumptions of early nineteenth century science and historiography, so that none shall have reason to laugh or jeer should I express my allegiance to or approval of this august figure of history, and architect of our moral values.
--and to anticipate objections, I argue that my selective editing of the received actions and words of Christ have no resemblance whatsoever to those "corruptions" of His word with which I have charged his early followers, to make them compatible with their perceived images of him. After all, they were ancient, whereas I stand at the knife's edge of modern and enlightened thought! So there!
Here is his view on the Peter King hearings: Muslim hearings a recruiting bonanza for Islamic extremists - by Stephen Prothero
“There are all sorts of reasons to oppose Rep. Peter Kings hearings Thursday on the radicalization of Islam in America, but the most powerful one is the fact that they are more likely to foment radicalization than undercut it.
The civil libertarian argument something Republicans like King used to care about is, of course, compelling. Imagine that these hearings were on the radicalization of Judaism in America and that they were following on efforts to stonewall a proposed Jewish community center in Lower Manhattan by a group calling itself Stop Judaization of America. All Americans of good will would rightly be up in arms.
The real problem with these hearings, however, is that they will likely prove to be yet another recruitment bonanza for Muslim extremists overseas more proof that the nation that is killing innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan is out to embarrass and humiliate Muslims in the United States.”
River Tam follows in Jefferson’s footsteps and fixes the Bible.
Why shouldn’t the Smithsonian host this exhibit? Unlike ants taking a piss on a crucifix, this is a personal item belonging to a former president as well as a Founding Father of this country. It clearly helped to shape how Jefferson looked at the things going on in the world at his time and every American should have the opportunity to see it.
I am waiting to read the part of this that tells me Jefferson was paid by the government to cut-and-paste his Bible.
And, I don’t know that it’s a bad idea either. The Bible includes things that are subject to interpretation, example Jesus’ use of metaphors. If Jefferson wanted to see exactly what it was that Jesus said, no more, no less, that would be a great way to go about it.
The writer of this article - well, he doesn’t get it, and seems to be using the occasion of the exhibit to make the Word more “inclusive”.
As I understand it but, have not seen it, Jefferson’s version was only the words spoken by Jesus and he eliminated everything else.
he had some not so nice things to say about John Calvin too.
[Jefferson’s own words explain that his intent for that book was not for it to be a “Bible,” but rather for it to be a primer for the Indians on the teachings of Christ.] (which is why Jefferson titled that work, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth”). - wallbuilders
Thomas Jefferson was a Unitarian - one God period. No Father, Son and Holy Spirit there. So he was not a Christian.
Agree as well. The author is probably just ****** that Thomas Jefferson did it without grant funding.
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