The Jefferson Bible
A friend in Atlanta sent me the following, partially his own and partially extracted from an article by Erik Reece, entitled Jesus Without the Miracles, in the December issue of Harper's.
|Two hundred years ago, Thomas Jefferson took a pair of scissors to the King James Bible and cut out the virgin birth, all the miracles, and the Resurrection. He then pasted together the parts that were left and called it The Philosophy of Jesus. Jefferson kept his version mostly private, fearing that the established church would find it further evidence of his atheism. In the years since, Jefferson's redaction has come to be known as The Jefferson Bible.|
Jefferson's compilation demanded that we be much better people than most of us are. Jefferson objected to the prevailing orientation of Christianity that was far more concerned with the promise of eternal salvation from this world that with a desire to practice the teachings of Jesus while we are here on Earth.
A clarification of what those teachings are reads like this:
In all of his teachings, the Jesus that Jefferson recovered had one overarching theme--the world's values are upside down in relation to the kingdom of God.
As we head into the Christian holiday season ... I take a small measure of comfort knowing that Christianity as practiced did not have to turn out as it has. Deciding which direction to follow is always a choice.
There's also Jefferson's Cheese.
And also Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons.
Technorati Tags: Jefferson, Bible