Requests for Information related to Thomas Jefferson



>I am doing a paper on
>the power of parables in Jesus' time and in different religions.  I went to
>your web site and  looked at some of the parables in Jefferson's Bible
and I
>had a couple of questions.  Who exactly or what religion studies or
uses the
>Jefferson Bible?

The Jefferson Bible was created by Thomas Jefferson solely for his own
personal use.  Thousands of people have used and appreciated it,
however, because it omits most of the supernatural elements in the
Gospels that turn many people off.  I know of now sect or denomination
that uses the Jefferson Bible as their authorized text, although the
Unitarians use and appreciate it.

>How do you think Jefferson's Bible and the parables are
>different from the ones in a Christian Bible?

The Jefferson Bible IS a cut-and-paste version of the Christian Bible.
Jefferson cut out those parts he thought had nothing to do with moral
teachings.  I do not have a list of the parables and parts of parables that
Jefferson left out.  That would be an interesting study.  I think you would
find that the omitted parts had little or nothing to do with actual moral

>I am specifically studying the
>Good Samaritan, The Prodigal Son, and The Marriage Feast and I
noticed some
>difference in language.  Is the difference superficial or is there a
>difference in meaning between the Christian Bible and The Jefferson

The version of the Bible used in this on-line edition of the Jefferson Bible
is a revised and corrected edition of the King James Version.  It includes
some (usually) minor changes, but these changes were dictated by the
findings of modern scholarship, and correct what are now considered
errors in the King James.  In other words, the King James was corrected
to conform to the reading in several modern versions, while retaining the
King James language and style.  Jefferson's original cut-and-paste
edition included FOUR different languages.  Read the Introduction for
more information on the version used on the website.

>How did Jefferson view the parables?  Why did Jefferson chose to put
>parables in his version of the Bible?  Why do you think Jesus and
>Jefferson used parables?

I do not have a passage in Jefferson's writings I can refer you to for his
views on the parables.  Obviously, he thought they contained valuable
moral lessons, and that is why he included them in his edition.  Jesus
used parables as an illustrative teaching vehicle.  Most of the people he
preached to were illiterate and unfamiliar with complex philosophical and
ethical ideas.  Parables represented a simple to understand means of
providing a moral lesson in terms that every person could understand
and relate to.  The parables involved things and people that all his
hearers were familiar with.

>I hope that you can answer some of my questions.  I am very interested
in this
>topic and I would greatly appreciate any information you could give me.
>website was quite helpful to me.  Thank you.
>Thank you for your time.

Thank you for your kind comments.  I hope the above information is
useful to you.

Best wishes,

Eyler Coates


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