In the previous two tidbits I offered two of the three points the leaped-out at me from Thomas Jefferson’s actual title** which refutes the above invented historical revisionist’s title. In this tidbit, I want to offer a third point.
Even though President Thomas Jefferson declares the entire project of writing an abridgment of the synoptic gospels only took two evenings, as a preacher of the gospel, I can confidently say it did not take two evenings to prepare to write it. Besides my first two compelling points in the last two tidbits, the third point that actually leaps from the title is that a sitting president would actually take the time and energy to write something like this. The question that liberals conveniently ignore in their deceitful attack on changing the name of TJ’s work to ‘The Jefferson Bible’ is the inspiration behind writing it in the first place. They can rename it; they can corrupt it; but it’s much more difficult to honestly identify the reasoning any supposed atheist or deist would twice in his life***…take the time to write about the synoptic gospels! On the contrary, to be perfectly clear, there simply is no way; no how; no where; any atheist or deist would attempt a project like this (twice)…let alone take time as the president of the United States to do so!!!
The project itself ‘shouts’ at least two parts to its inspiration:
1.The Bible, as the Word of God.
2.The person of Jesus
First, the fact that TJ uses the four synoptic gospels to express his “…Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth…” is evidence of his thoughts about the Bible. If TJ were an atheist or deist, he would have little, to no interest in the Bible! Because of the magnitude of taking-on four books of the Bible, obviously, TJ had to read; re-read; and even research the gospels to even know what is appropriate to be included or excluded in the “Abridgment”. On the contrary, atheists and deists don’t think anything in the Bible is appropriate!
Historically, we know TJ helped to fund the printing of the John Thompson Bible, a massive 2-volume set, which at that time was the largest Bible ever published in America. In addition, TJ offered to subscribe to the Charles Thomson’s Bible, which was the first American translation of the Greek Septuagint. His offer was too late however, as the Bible had already been funded (Barton, pg102).
Lastly, “TJ possessed and studied many Bibles: 1.The Eliot Bible, printed in 1661 in the Algonquin Indian language by John Eliot, who is referred to as the apostle to the Indians (the first Bible printed in America in any language); 2.the Bible in the Nattick Indian language(1666); 3.the earliest Latin Bible printed in England (1580); 4.the earliest French Geneva Bible in England (1687). And many others” (Barton, pg102)!
Notice, TJ possessed Bibles in other languages (Indian languages), which he read in those languages! Let’s be honest…do you actually believe an atheist or deist studies the Bible in foreign languages?!?!
Second, TJ’s thoughts on the person of Jesus of Nazareth are nothing less than compelling:
-To John Adams TJ wrote: “No doctrines of His (Jesus) lead to schism. It is the speculations of crazy theologists which have made a Babel of a religion the most moral and sublime ever preached to man, and calculated to heal and not create differences” (Barton, pg 226).
-To William Short, TJ wrote, “Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers (the four gospels), I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence…” (Barton, pg 227)
-“I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught…” -Thomas Jefferson.
-“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus” -TJ to Charles Thomson. (Barton, pg238)
-To Benjamin Rush: “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.” (Barton, pg238)
-Dumas Malone, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer said TJ had, “unbounded admiration for Jesus.” -Thomas Jefferson (Barton, pg238)
-After TJ’s death, his grandson was asked about his religion, who in short replied, “In his contemplative moments, his mind turned to religion, which he studied thoroughly…. He was regular in his attendance on church, taking his prayer-book with him. He drew the plan of the Episcopal church, in Charlottesville, was one of the largest contributors to its erection, and contributed regularly to its minister. His favorite quotation of his young friends as a basis for their morals was the 15th Psalm of David” (Barton, pg241,242).
-To John Adams: “An atheist…I can never be!” -Thomas Jefferson (Barton, pg240)
In conclusion, it is obvious that TJ did not hate God, Christ, or the Bible! In other words, the liberal intention**** behind “The Jefferson Bible”, which is to make him into an atheist or deist, is yet another liberal myth!!!
*Facts in this tidbit taken from historian David Barton’s incredible book “The Jefferson Lies”. It is a must read!!
** ‘The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth; Extracted from the Account of His life and Doctrines Given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Being an Abridgement of the New Testament for the Use of the Indians, Un-embarrassed [uncomplicated] with Matters of Fact or Faith beyond the Level of their Comprehensions.’
***TJ completed a second project like the first one at the end of his life.
****It is imperative to remember liberalism’s intent in attacking TJ. Ultimately, the liberal intent transcends TJ, and lands on the Judaeo/Christian ethic, i.e.the God of the Bible Whom has called America!!!
Nobody can contribute to the best of humanity who does not make the best out of himself.
JOHANN GOTTFRIED VON HERDER (1744–1803)
Literary critic and philosopher