Jefferson Bible

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
Extracted Textually from the Gospels

Compiled by Thomas Jefferson

Edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr.


. . . Thomas Jefferson believed that the ethical system of Jesus was the finest the world has ever seen. In compiling what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," he sought to separate these ethical teachings from the religious dogma and other supernatural elements that are intermixed in the account provided by the four Gospels. He presented these teachings, along with the essential events of the life of Jesus, in one continuous narrative. This presentation of The Jefferson Bible uses the King James Version of the texts, corrected in accordance with the findings of modern scholarship. The selection and arrangement are by Jefferson.



  1. Early Years and Ministry
      Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem, where Jesus is born; He is circumcised and named and they return to Nazareth. At 12 years of age, he accompanies his parents to Jerusalem and returns. John baptises in Jordan. Jesus is baptised at 30 years of age. He drives the traders out of the temple. He baptises but retires into Galilee on the death of John. He teaches in the Synagogue, explains the Sabbath. Call of his disciples.
  2. Teachings and Parables
      The sermon on the mount.
  3. Teachings and Parables
      The sermon on the mount (continued).
  4. Teachings and Parables
      Exhortations. A woman anointeth him. Precepts. Parable of the rich man.
  5. Teachings and Parables
      Precepts. Parable of the Sower. Parable of the Tares.
  6. Teachings and Parables
      Precepts. Parable of new wine in old bottles. A prophet hath no honor in his own country. Mission, instruction, and return of apostles.
  7. Teachings and Parables
      Precepts. Parable of the wicked servant. Mission of the Seventy. The feast of the tabernacles.
  8. Teachings and Parables
      The woman taken in adultery. To be born blind is no proof of sin. The good shepherd. Love God and thy neighbor. Parable of the Samaritan. Form of prayer.
  9. Teachings and Parables
      The Sabbath. The bidden to a feast. Precepts. Parables of the lost sheep and the Prodigal son.
  10. Teachings and Parables
      Parable of the unjust steward. Parable of Lazarus. Precepts: to be always ready. Parables of the widow and judge, the Pharisee and Publican. Precepts.
  11. Teachings and Parables
      Precepts. Parable of the laborers in the vineyard. Zaccheus, and the parable of the talents.
  12. Teachings and Parables
      Goes to Jerusalem and Bethany. The traders cast out from the temple. Parable of the two sons. Parable of the vineyard and husbandmen. Parable of the king and the wedding feast. On tribute, marriage, and resurrection. The two greatest commandments.
  13. Teachings and Parables
      Precepts: pride, hypocrisy, swearing. The widow's mite. Jerusalem and the day of judgment. The faithful and wise servant.
  14. The End Times
      Parable of the ten virgins. The parable of the talents. The day of judgment.
  15. The Betrayal
      A woman anointeth him. Judas undertakes to point out Jesus. Precepts to his disciples. Washes their feet. Troubled of mind, and prayer.
  16. Arrest and Condemnation
      Judas conducts the officers to Jesus. He is arrested and carried before Caiaphas the High Priest and is condemned. He is then carried to Pilate, who sends him to Herod.
  17. Crucifixion, Death and Burial
      Pilate receives him back, scourges and delivers him to execution. His crucifixion, death and burial.

Daily Readings from The Jefferson Bible

Bookmark the URL below for a different portion of The Jefferson Bible presented every day. The entire work is covered in thirty days. Be sure bookmark is to the jdaily.html file, not the final destination (which changes every day).


.o{ TJ }o.

For some great political thoughts, visit:

Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government
Over 2,700 excerpts from Jefferson's writings describe the founding principles of American self- government.

For an engaging biography of Jefferson, visit:

Rayner's Life of Thomas Jefferson
B. L. Rayner's lively and interesting biography, published in 1834, emphasizes the role of republican principles in Jefferson's life and thought.

And for some extended comments on Jefferson's thoughts:

The Jeffersonian Perspective
Commentary on today's social and political issues based on the writings of Thomas Jefferson.

Send comments, questions, and suggestions to the following email address:

Eyler Robert Coates, Sr.

Web Sites with Links to The Jefferson Bible:

The On-Line Books Page | Barefoot's World
The Dirty Hippy's Liberal Christian Home Journal | The Left Hemisphere
The Internet Public Library | The Ethical Spectacle | Allfaiths Press
Centre for Applied Ethics | The InterGalactic Library +
American Religion Links | Philosophy of Religion Resources
Interlude: An Internet Retreat | One Man's Thoughts | Freethinkers
Thomas Jefferson's Religious Beliefs | Famous Unitarian Universalists
Ferrell's Angelfire Page List | OurChurch.Com | Interpreting Thomas Jefferson
The Wall | Jason Tippitt | Free World | The Freak Out Homepage
Christian Depot | The Federalist | Oliver Hinds Homepage | Common Sense Jr.
Jerusalem Christian Review | Thomas Jefferson: A Unitarian Universalist Perspective

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Cited in BRITANNICA Online

Copyright 1996-99 by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr.

Permission is hereby granted to any individual to copy any or all the materials contained herein for non-commercial personal use. Publication of these materials in whole or in part in any form whatsoever is by written permission only.

Installed Dec. 15, 1996.