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Thomas Jefferson's Cut-and-Paste Bible
Wall Street Journal ^ | 03/26/2011 | Stephen Prothero

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 ...


TOPICS: History; Mainline Protestant; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bible; cutandpaste; thomasjefferson

1 posted on 03/27/2011 9:39:51 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Our third president sought to separate the words of Jesus from the 'corruptions' of his followers.
Jefferson claimed in a letter to a friend that it demonstrated his bona fides as a Christian. "It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
2 posted on 03/27/2011 9:42:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

When my eye issues resolve, I’ll finish reading Sacred Fire about George Washington’s faith. The elites love to impugn our founders.


3 posted on 03/27/2011 9:50:24 AM PDT by Mercat ( I remain nestled in cognitive dissonance)
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To: SeekAndFind
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.

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.

4 posted on 03/27/2011 9:52:52 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: SeekAndFind

I, for myself, cut to the chase and worship pasties.


5 posted on 03/27/2011 9:57:32 AM PDT by bunkerhill7
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To: bunkerhill7

LOL!


6 posted on 03/27/2011 10:00:27 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: SeekAndFind

BTTT


7 posted on 03/27/2011 10:00:48 AM PDT by Fiddlstix (Warning! This Is A Subliminal Tagline! Read it at your own risk!(Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: Mercat
The elites love to impugn our founders
Amen! 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.
8 posted on 03/27/2011 10:07:23 AM PDT by Milhous (Lev 19:18 Love your neighbor as yourself.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Like many others who stray from their field of expertise, Jefferson should have stuck to politicking, and left theology alone.


9 posted on 03/27/2011 10:12:05 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (What if God doesn't want the Gospel rescued from the fundamentalists?)
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To: SeekAndFind
"It is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

--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!

10 posted on 03/27/2011 10:17:35 AM PDT by Dunstan McShane
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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 King’s 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.”
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/09/my-take-muslim-hearings-a-recruiting-bonanza-for-islamic-extremists/


11 posted on 03/27/2011 10:20:41 AM PDT by anglian
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To: SeekAndFind

River Tam follows in Jefferson’s footsteps and fixes the Bible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIp6fjQCzpY


12 posted on 03/27/2011 10:35:06 AM PDT by Cheburashka (Democratic Underground: The Hogwarts of stupid.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


13 posted on 03/27/2011 10:36:41 AM PDT by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: SeekAndFind

I am waiting to read the part of this that tells me Jefferson was paid by the government to cut-and-paste his Bible.


14 posted on 03/27/2011 10:40:25 AM PDT by La Lydia
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To: pnh102

Agreed.

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”.


15 posted on 03/27/2011 10:42:33 AM PDT by SuzyQue (Remember to think.)
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To: pnh102; SeekAndFind

As I understand it but, have not seen it, Jefferson’s version was only the words spoken by Jesus and he eliminated everything else.


16 posted on 03/27/2011 10:47:09 AM PDT by jafojeffsurf (Return to the Constitution.)
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To: SeekAndFind

he had some not so nice things to say about John Calvin too.


17 posted on 03/27/2011 10:51:29 AM PDT by balch3
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[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


18 posted on 03/27/2011 10:59:38 AM PDT by anglian
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To: SeekAndFind

Thomas Jefferson was a Unitarian - one God period. No Father, Son and Holy Spirit there. So he was not a Christian.


19 posted on 03/27/2011 11:13:09 AM PDT by Paperdoll ( On the cutting edge)
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To: SuzyQue

Agree as well. The author is probably just ****** that Thomas Jefferson did it without grant funding.


20 posted on 03/27/2011 11:16:02 AM PDT by posterchild
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To: SeekAndFind
The Jefferson Bible ( pdf )
21 posted on 03/27/2011 11:27:31 AM PDT by RedMDer (restoration of our honor, dignity, and freedoms will save America. - Sarah Palin)
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To: jafojeffsurf

As I understand it but, have not seen it, Jefferson’s version was only the words spoken by Jesus and he eliminated everything else.

_________________________________________________________

Thomas Jefferson was a wonderful man. He supported a Presbyterian church near his home that he attended when he was here.

While he called himself a Christian, forcefully, he was not a supporter of all Christian ideas. He believed in what he thought were the words of Christ. He did really think Christ was sent by God but did not personally believe in a resurrection of Christ or of any of us. He thought Christ was the example of the way to live.

Christ was the example of the way to live, no doubt, but He was much, much more. Christ was the Son of God, He did die on the Cross so that all of us could have eternal life with Him. Christ was resurrected on the third day and for forty days thereafter taught the twelve to take His teachings to all the world. He did return to His Father in Heaven, Stephen saw Him there. Paul spoke with Him on the road to Damascus and countless others have felt His presence but they may all have a different description of what He is.

I believe that Mr. Jefferson, my personal founding father hero, will be, (probably already has been) rather surprised when he learns the truth of His Savior, when he meets Him.

I know that many people here have contempt for some of my ideas of those who don’t tow the prescribed religion to the tee. Certainly Mr. Jefferson is a good example. After his life of devotion to his fellow man, his devotion to the words of Christ, right or wrong; if he does not make it to Heaven, Heaven is not a place I want to be.

I’m sure there are many that will tell me that I will be with Mr. Jefferson My hero, but not to worry it won’t be in Heaven. Think again. I have had the personal witness again and again that only Christ through His Holy Spirit can give. I look forward to standing before The Savior and apologizing for my sins that He will have already forgotten, bathing his pierced feet with the tears of my sorrow of my guilt and the sweet joy of His acceptance and love. Knowing this I’m not sure what else matters, except that I try now to do His will and be like Him as best I can.

I think that we will all have to stand before The Savior one day. I don’t think there will be any of us that will be proud of what they did with the life that was given them. There will be a lot of tears to go along with mine.

I wish there was a way to make everyone in the world to understand the importance of this God that came to earth and became a man. Once you understand who He is your life is changed forever, I don’t mean the rest of your years on earth but, FOREVER.


22 posted on 03/27/2011 11:33:05 AM PDT by JAKraig (Surely my religion is at least as good as yours)
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To: SeekAndFind

I have read the so called scripture that was produced by this blasphemous man Jefferson. He removed every single miracle and all evidence of the divinity of the Christ as well as the resurrection of Christ.

What conclusion can be reached except that Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders, was in the spirit of the antichrist ?


23 posted on 03/27/2011 12:12:30 PM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: wonkowasright
What conclusion can be reached except that Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders, was in the spirit of the antichrist ?

One could simply come to the conclusion that Jefferson didn't believe in the supernatural.

24 posted on 03/27/2011 12:24:19 PM PDT by Abin Sur
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To: gusopol3
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.

Yes. He's enjoying his newfound celebrity. There are a lot of cut and paste works -- maybe Gospels + Psalms qualify, and "Words of Jesus" volumes have been around for a long time -- that are in no way similar to what Wojnarowicz and Serrano did.

25 posted on 03/27/2011 12:42:47 PM PDT by x
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To: SeekAndFind

26 posted on 03/27/2011 12:57:40 PM PDT by Behemothpanzer (You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.)
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To: JAKraig
I know that many people here have contempt for some of my ideas of those who don’t tow the prescribed religion to the tee. Certainly Mr. Jefferson is a good example. After his life of devotion to his fellow man, his devotion to the words of Christ, right or wrong; if he does not make it to Heaven, Heaven is not a place I want to be.

Without believing in Christ's sacrifice as the Son of God to atone for your sins, you will not make heavan.

That much is clear from the Bible.

Jefferson had no way to know which words were truly spoken by Christ and which were not.

Jefferson used his on unbelief as his standard of what Jesus did and did not say.

That is a totall unacceptable standard.

Unless Jefferson repented before he died, he is in Hell today.
27 posted on 03/27/2011 2:43:56 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: SoConPubbie

No, all Jefferson needed to do for salvation was to have just a smidgeon more faith than no faith whatsoever in the saving work of Christ on the Cross, and God provided him salvation.

If he never turned back to God and confessed his sin after he sinned,..after salvation, then he simply remained out of fellowship, leaving many a reward on the table to never be so rewarded in the future at the bema seat.

If he never had faith in Christ, then he simply remained condemned and will be condemned at the Great White Throne Judgment.


28 posted on 03/27/2011 2:49:10 PM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: Cvengr
No, all Jefferson needed to do for salvation was to have just a smidgeon more faith than no faith whatsoever in the saving work of Christ on the Cross, and God provided him salvation.

Jesus first words in his public ministry were "Repent and believe the Gospel".

Furthermore, he gave the command to Nicodemus that "You must be born-again".


Saving Faith does not work without Repentence, because Repentence is what shows the need to the sinner to believe in a Gracious, All-powerful God who sent his son as a sacrifice for our sins.

If there is no knowledge of the need of salvation, why believe in God to provide that salvation.
29 posted on 03/27/2011 2:54:19 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: SeekAndFind
River: "Fixing your Bible."

River: "Bible's broken. Contradictions, false logistics - doesn't make sense. ..."

30 posted on 03/27/2011 3:42:11 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Radioactive plume to hit USA. President Obama and family fly to Brazil)
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To: JAKraig

Good Reply, I agree, I do not think any of us will have any pride before the Lord when our time comes, I pray all the time for forgiveness and strength to sin no more, knowing no matter what I will fail but wist to do much better than I have in the past.

God Bless


31 posted on 03/27/2011 7:06:38 PM PDT by jafojeffsurf (Return to the Constitution.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant but very odd man. He dressed oddly. He had an odd appearance, somewhat gawky with a shock of red hair. He held opinions that were outlandish for the time and place. He would have been shunned if not for being a descendant of the Randolphs through his mother.

That said, it’s apparent to me that he believed in the God of the Bible, but had doubts about the Bible itself. He was something of a religious autodidact, along the same lines that Isaac Newton was something of a religious autodidact, with peculiar beliefs as a result.

Did this endanger his salvation? I don’t know. But, he was neither an atheist nor a Deist, as has been widely and wildly claimed.


32 posted on 03/27/2011 7:16:59 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: SoConPubbie

I’m not clear as to your meanings.

Saving faith is consistent with repentance and believing and confession. Repenting involves turning back to God, facing Him and not any other, and in volition facing Him.

Repentance is not feeling sorry for our sin. If we need something to show us we are mistaken or not in line with His Plan, that is also provided by the Law. We aren’t saved by the law, but through faith, by grace. On this I suspect we agree.


33 posted on 03/28/2011 5:54:03 AM PDT by Cvengr (Adversity in life and death is inevitable. Thru faith in Christ, stress is optional.)
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To: wonkowasright

First time for everything.

Jefferson in league with the anti-Christ.

But really the concern for you must be that the Declaration of Independence is the work of someone in league with the anti-Christ, who is always trying to fool us.

Does that mean “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal” are the words of the anti-Christ?

That the notion of inalienable rights is the work of the anti-Christ?


34 posted on 03/28/2011 10:44:59 AM PDT by dmz
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