JEFFERSON BIBLE: THE HISTORICAL FOUNDATION
>Would you please let me know where you found the historical >foundation >for the Jefferson Bible. I cannot find mention of it in his writings >anywhere else. Thank you. In a letter to John Adams dated October 13, 1813, Jefferson discussed the moral teachings of Jesus, and described what would need to be done in order to extract the "pure principles which he taught." He then goes on to say, "I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines, such as were professed and acted on by the *unlettered* Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Christians of the first century." ME 13:390 There is in existence an actual book created by Jefferson consisting of verses from the New Testament cut out of printed copies, which is the work of Jefferson himself. I don't believe that any historian questions that Jefferson indeed created what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," and that the book that has come down to us was made by his hand. I have heard it suggested that he performed this operation twice: once while President and living in the White House, and a second time many years after he retired from public life. But in any case, we can say with certainty that The Jefferson Bible was indeed made by Thomas Jefferson himself.
Table of Contents