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The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

av Thomas Jefferson

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,364279,922 (3.77)24
We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus. There will be remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.-Thomas Jefferson Featuring an introduction by Forrest Church, this reissue of The Jefferson Bibleoffers extraordinary insight into the logic of Thomas Jefferson and the Gospel of Jesus. Working in the White House in 1804, Jefferson set out to edit the Gospels in order to uncover the essence of true religion in the simple story of the life of Jesus. Jefferson was convinced that the authentic message of Jesus could be found only by extracting from the Gospels Jesus's message of absolute love and service, rather than the miracle of the Annunciation, Virgin Birth, or even the Resurrection. Completed in 1819, this little book is the remarkable result of Jefferson's efforts.… (mer)
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Visa 1-5 av 27 (nästa | visa alla)
I give it 3 stars for being Jefferson, but Jefferson missed the point about Christ. ( )
  gthurman | Jul 12, 2020 |
Raised by agnostics, I never had much of a religious education. This book, which was written to focus on the actions and words of Jesus which did not appear to be miraculous, seemed to be a good way to learn about the doctrine of someone who is arguably the most influential people in history. Stripping away the divine acts, the reader is left with a narrative about a man seeking to reform the morality of his time.

Some elements of his philosophy resonate more than others. I wasn't particularly moved by Jesus' proclamations on divorce and adultery. As one who has never has been compelled to change my behavior in the Sabbath, his early counsels not to refrain from doing good works on Sunday seem as a matter of course. Other ideas I appreciated more, such as his precepts to love - to love one's neighbor, to love one's enemy. If the world were occupied by more people who sought the betterment of the conditions of others, we would be doing better, I think. To the extent that he talks about money (and I was surprised to discover how much money was discussed), Jesus seemed to favor the rich over the poor, and believe in lifting up those who had the least. In this sense, I think I would have agreed with the person whose creed has become such a world-shaping force.

Ultimately, I was surprised at how brief the read was. Sans miracles, divinity, and awe, the Gospels are a remarkably brief text on a someone who appears to have been an influential, respected man of his time. I'm glad to have read the book, but I have to admit I wasn't much moved by it. ( )
  DerekCaelin | May 5, 2020 |
The year 2020 marked the 200th anniversary when Thomas Jefferson published the Jefferson Bible known as “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” This Bible that first appeared in 1820 was different from his original attempt in 1804, when he created a single copy of “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth.” While in Washington at the White House Jefferson used a knife or razor cutting up an original Bible to formulate the latter.
But the 1820 version was formulated in his later life at the age of seventy-seven by once again revisiting his earlier work, and using Greek, English, French, and Latin editions of the Bible to accomplish his second edition. Jefferson was an original, who wanted to present his own understanding to Scripture. He saw Christ’s teaching as an extraordinary moral compass provided to mankind. He reasoned that to return to the original precepts of Jesus’ teaching he had to remove the superstitions and fabrications of the biblical text.
What therefore evolved was the Jefferson Bible without the Virgin’s birth, no miracles like Jesus walking on water, multiplication of loaves and fishes, healing of the leper, the raising of Lazarus from the dead, nor that of Christ’s resurrection. What remained in Jefferson’s second text were morals and Jesus’s teachings - the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount, and the Lord’s Prayer. Jefferson thought the men who had compiled the Bible were ignorant and illiterate, and he wished to give Scripture its true perspective. It was however hard to classify his religious beliefs. Some thought of him to be a deist, others a Unitarian, evangelical, or even an agnostic.
In 1957, Frank Church a newly elected senator from Idaho used the Jefferson Bible to take the oath of office. Senator Church later gave this Bible to his son Forrest, who later became a prominent Unitarian Universalist minister, and the editor of an edition of the Jefferson Bible. ( )
  erwinkennythomas | Apr 30, 2020 |
In his forward, Brent D. Glass writes, “By removing all references to superstition and the supernatural, Jefferson made clear his admiration of Jesus as a great teacher and moral philosopher while, at the same time, reaffirming his belief in and commitment to the power of reason as the basis for understanding life and the natural world” (pg. 7). Since all interpretations of the Bible are now biased by what the reader wants to find within its pages, it’s refreshing to see such an honest edit to a book that has undergone innumerable edits, translations, and other changes. According to Harry R. Rubenstein and Barbara Clark Smith, “Left behind in the source material were those elements that [Jefferson] could not support through reason, that he believed were later embellishments, or that seemed superfluous or repetitious across the Four Evangelists’ accounts. Absent are the annunciation, the resurrection, the water being turned to wine, and the multitudes fed on five loaves of bread and two fishes. It essentially offers what the title indicates: a distillation of the teachings of Jesus the moral reformer, combined with what Jefferson accepted as the historical facts pertaining to Jesus the man” (pg. 30). The main text of this facsimile reprint shows Jefferson’s cut-and-paste technique of removing supernatural elements, cleaning up the text to prevent multiple prepositions on the same sentence, and even allowing Jefferson to compare the original Greek text of the four Gospels, alongside their Latin, French, and English translations (pg. 38-39). For the philologist or those looking to see how meaning changed via translation, the work allows them to follow Jefferson’s scholarship. Further, the work represents an early step in scholarship on the historicity of Jesus, making it a must-read for all religious scholars. Finally, the Jefferson Bible offers the unique opportunity to gain insight into the private thoughts of one of the Founding Fathers of the nation who was among the first to articulate freedom of religion. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Jun 14, 2019 |
Only mildly interesting and less "enlightened" than moralistic. Jefferson's selections of "truth" are alternately redundant or contradictory, and his English translation of some words ill-chosen (e.g., "straight" when the context calls for "narrow"). The God of his Deism and his definition of morality are straight from the patriarchal Old Testament of the Jewish faith, despite his concentration on only the gospels, which is consistent with the fact that Jesus was a Jew but not necessarily with his message.
  Bonnie_Bailey | Jan 26, 2018 |
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A lovely addition to thoroughgoing Americana collections.
tillagd av Christa_Josh | ändraBooklist, Ray Olson (Oct 15, 2011)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (11 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Thomas Jeffersonprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Church, F. ForresterInledningmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pelikan, JaroslavEfterordmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus. There will be remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.-Thomas Jefferson Featuring an introduction by Forrest Church, this reissue of The Jefferson Bibleoffers extraordinary insight into the logic of Thomas Jefferson and the Gospel of Jesus. Working in the White House in 1804, Jefferson set out to edit the Gospels in order to uncover the essence of true religion in the simple story of the life of Jesus. Jefferson was convinced that the authentic message of Jesus could be found only by extracting from the Gospels Jesus's message of absolute love and service, rather than the miracle of the Annunciation, Virgin Birth, or even the Resurrection. Completed in 1819, this little book is the remarkable result of Jefferson's efforts.

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