Jefferson’s Bible and the Old Testament

Jefferson’s Bible and the Old Testament

Thomas Jefferson edited an abridged version of the Gospels.  Using razor and paste, he eliminated all those passages in the Gospels that referred to the miracles of Jesus.  He removed the resurrection, as well as those portions of the Gospels that imply that Jesus was divine.  Or at least this is how Jefferson’s Bible, formally known as The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (1820), is often described: as a Bible in which Jesus becomes a human teacher and exemplar of the highest morality.  But that interpretation is wrong.

if you read Jefferson’s Bible (a PDF is available online) there are countless references to God the father, and Jesus as the son of God.  Heaven and Hell remain, and Jesus refers twice to the second coming (Matthew 24:36-41; Mark 13:32-33).  Angels remain (Matthew 16:27), sinners burn in hell, and one small miracle finds its way in (John 18:6). 

Jefferson restricts his Bible to the story of Jesus, but because Jesus is always talking about his filial relationship with the father, there is no way to remove these references without removing Jesus.  It matters not whether you were born to a virgin; if you are a son of God, then you are no mere mortal.  If your authority stems from your status as son of God, then yours is supernatural authority.  See, for example, Luke 12:40, Matthew 13:37; Luke 9:58; Luke 17:26-27; Matthew 9:13.*

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