THE JEFFERSON BIBLE: WHY NO RESURRECTION?
> I found your page on the Jefferson Bible very interesting. I have >one >question about Thomas Jefferson's Bible. In every version of the Bible >that I have read, JESUS always rises from the dead after three days >and >ascends into Heaven. In essence, the Bible does not stop when >JESUS >dies and is placed in the tomb, it continues on. Why is it that Thomas >Jefferson ends his Bible when JESUS is placed in the tomb? Is that >the >furthest his belief in JESUS reached? Or did he die before he could >complete his version of the Bible? I am interested very much in the >answer and would greatly appreciate and email from you. The Jefferson Bible was something that Jefferson put together for himself, and for his own reading and edification. He believed that indeed there was a great moral teacher who lived some 2,000 years ago, but he also believed that his outstanding moral teachings were intermixed with superstitious trash, depicting miracles and supernatural events. So, he wished to compose a Life of Jesus that had the basic events of his life and the moral teachings, but that omitted what he considered junk that was added by other people in order to create a religion based on superstition. Thus, he eliminated everything that was beyond natural events, which would include the resurrection and ascent into heaven. Jefferson believed in God, and believed that Jesus was a man of God. He believed in a life after this life before God. But he did not believe in the magical and supernatural aspects that he thought were added to the life of Jesus. It was for that reason that he ended his edition of the gospels with Jesus being placed in the tomb. Many people who feel uncomfortable with the miraculous and supernatural aspects of the New Testament appreciate the Jefferson Bible for its outline of the moral teachings of Jesus. Even some who do not agree with Jefferson on the supernatural elements find useful this collection of the moral teachings. I am sure that many fundamentalists are offended by the Jefferson Bible. But this is something each person must decide for themselves. I put the Jefferson Bible up on the Internet because it is a creation of Jefferson, and because many people like it and find it useful. Even if, in the belief of some, it is only part of the story, I think it is better for people to have at least that part, than to have nothing at all.
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