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← Jefferson Bible reveals Founding Father's view of God, faith

Jefferson Bible reveals Founding Father's view of God, faith - Comments

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 1 by Robert Maynard

It will be said by some here, as it often is, that this is old news. What reason to publish it then, if I know it? :P
Catch your tongues, smartypants. If it's not new to you it's because it wasn't written just for your benefit.
I'm tired of reading people complain to let people know that they know so much. :P

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #203305

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 2 by PristinePanda

Too bad the link doesn't work.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:33:00 UTC | #203306

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 3 by PristinePanda

Who's saying that? O;o

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:34:00 UTC | #203308

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 4 by Robert Maynard

No one here yet, which is why I said "it WILL be said". I pre-empted it, hopefully. :P

I keep seeing remarks like that on other articles here. When it's said on articles which have already been posted at this portal it's kind of understandable, but sometimes it's just STUFF that is interesting and people are like "Duh, geez, obviously".

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:38:00 UTC | #203309

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 5 by Oystein Elgaroy

"Yet, he is the least likely person I'd want to pray with."

I didn't know that some religious people actually make lists of people they don't want to pray with. It would be interesting to see Pope Benedict's top 10 list.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:46:00 UTC | #203310

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 6 by thewhitepearl

duh, geez, obviously. Old news. EVERYONE knows that.

Can you imagine the reaction if word got out that a president of the United States cut out Bible passages with scissors, glued them onto paper and said, 'I only believe these parts?'

I can and it wouldn't be pretty. And that's simply because believers today have had "christian country" and phrases like "bringing our country back to god" pounded into their brains since birth.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:49:00 UTC | #203311

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 7 by Cartomancer

Inspiring stuff. I might grab my pinking shears and some pritt stick and have a go with the Koran later this evening.

Actually, scratch the scissors and glue, all I'll need is an electronic shredding machine...

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:52:00 UTC | #203312

Cartomancer's Avatar Comment 8 by Cartomancer

Also, presumably Jefferson had to use two copies of the bible, in case there was stuff he wanted to keep on both sides of the page. Unless early nineteenth century bibles were routinely printed on only one side of the paper...

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 09:56:00 UTC | #203314

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 9 by Dhamma

Jefferson wasn't a person to be put in a box, exactly.

From my very slim knowledge of him, I'd have to say I'm more than impressed every time I read something about him. Seems to have been an unmatched freethinker.

Jefferson for president!

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:00:00 UTC | #203315

D'Arcy's Avatar Comment 10 by D'Arcy

Maybe those US soldiers got it right in Iraq when they shot holes in the Koran. It might make more sense then.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:01:00 UTC | #203316

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 11 by PristinePanda

In case anyone is interested, you can read a copy of The Jefferson Bible here:

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:01:00 UTC | #203317

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 12 by mordacious1


You beat me to stating the unmentionable, this IS old news, ha ha.

I'm sure not even Jefferson would have let it be known that he did this, at least to the masses, before or during his presidency. Afterword, he probably didn't give a damn.

I was discussing with an xian the other day how we have few, if any, polymathic people around today, especially in the way Jefferson was. He thought there were many polymaths about. I don't think so, too much information out there today. I have a copy of the first Ency. Britanica and it's only 3 volumes. I could probably have memorized that. Try it with the current edition.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:02:00 UTC | #203318

AmericanGodless's Avatar Comment 13 by AmericanGodless

"Can you imagine the reaction if word got out that a president of the United States cut out Bible passages with scissors, glued them onto paper and said, 'I only believe these parts?' "

"He was a product of his age," said Ferrell, whose upcoming book, "The Bible and the People," includes a chapter on the Jefferson Bible. "Yet, he is the least likely person I'd want to pray with. He was more skeptical about religion than the other Founding Fathers."

Which just tells me that professor Ferrell is the least likely person I would want to hear comment upon Jefferson or his "Bible".

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:04:00 UTC | #203319

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 14 by Oystein Elgaroy

Radesq: Of course.

My copy of the Jefferson bible has more than 100 pages. Maybe he had a bad pair of scissors.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:05:00 UTC | #203320

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 15 by thewhitepearl

I think it is an American thing like voting for a President you would want to have a beer with.


So what's the story behind the new avater?

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:06:00 UTC | #203321

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 16 by mordacious1

Of course Jefferson probably had the slaves do all the cutting and pasting, probably ancestors of Joe Morreale.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:08:00 UTC | #203323

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 17 by rod-the-farmer

Yet, he is the least likely person I'd want to pray with

Not being familiar with the more obscure rituals of the xian church, is this a common activity ? Inviting someone to pray with you ? This seems creepy to me. Kind of like the Ori in Stargate. You have to pray publicly or we zap you with our advanced technology. And anyway, I thought the bible specifically recommended private prayer. The more I think about this, the more it sounds like mind control. Yuk. (shivers)

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:21:00 UTC | #203326

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 18 by PristinePanda

Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ.
Ephesians 6:5

And here we find a biblical justification for slavery. W00T!

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:23:00 UTC | #203327

gyokusai's Avatar Comment 19 by gyokusai

Thomas Jefferson set to work with scissors, snipping out every miracle and inconsistency he could find in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John [...] "I have performed the operation for my own use," he continued, "by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter, which is evidently his and which is as easily distinguished as diamonds in a dunghill."

HATE CRIME! HATE CRIME! Where is Mad Bill Donohue when we need him?


Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:23:00 UTC | #203328

PristinePanda's Avatar Comment 20 by PristinePanda

You can't imagine a president doing this today?

Well that's exactly what Bush has been doing to our constitution lately. :D

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:26:00 UTC | #203329

Shane McKee's Avatar Comment 21 by Shane McKee

Funny enough, it was cutting out the texts of the gospels and laying them side-by-side that convinced me (as a then theist; I was organising a bible study on John the Baptist, and wanted to cross-check my refs) that the gospels were wrong; that Jesus's resurrection was a myth, and led directly to my atheism.

See, this is what happens when you read too much of that good book!
[Highly recommended - the gospels are fairly short, and contain all sorts of hilarious inconsistencies - and nowadays you can do it on a WP).

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:26:00 UTC | #203330

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 22 by thewhitepearl

I was discussing with an xian the other day how we have few, if any, polymathic people around today, especially in the way Jefferson was.

I agree with you. Especially in America with the standardized school system. Where memorisation is more encouraged than comprehension or the ability to think on your own. And teacher's pay students to study...Where entertainment news has more viewers than c-span or regular news. etc..

You're right, there is a great deal of expansion in the knowledge that we have now versus the knowledge they had three hundred years ago. And a lot more things today that keep people diverted from obtaining it.

[edit] If I remember Susan Jacoby correctly, it was half or more than half of the u.s citizens last year didn't read (or finish reading) ONE single book. It seems that they bought plenty but just collected dust.


Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:28:00 UTC | #203331

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 23 by Dhamma

Could anyone advice me on a great book about Jefferson?

Mordacious: Really interesting debate you had with your friend. Considering the amount of information we do have, one would think there'd be plenty of them. But since any academic field has so much information you have to obtain, maybe it simply consummates too much time in order to be polymathic. If your in the field of e.g. physics, I'd assume you really don't have time to invest in other fields.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:48:00 UTC | #203334

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 24 by thewhitepearl


Yeah, I presumed that Joe and clearmind/wooter/isthatclear has something to do with the change.


So does that mean that you would kick the crap out of Jefferson or his slaves?

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:48:00 UTC | #203335

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 25 by mordacious1


No, they didn't actually teach Joe his trade. How could they know that 200 some years later that a monster would arise. As Jefferson showed, cutting and pasting CAN be a good thing, but in the wrong hands....

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 10:57:00 UTC | #203338

mordacious1's Avatar Comment 26 by mordacious1


I think you're right, although BillySands might think it's funny, since one of his links put the idea in my head to begin with.

Sometimes my jokes are directed at a targeted audience, in this case maybe too narrow (like one, me).

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 11:04:00 UTC | #203340

Oystein Elgaroy's Avatar Comment 27 by Oystein Elgaroy

Comment #214399 by Dhamma

I enjoyed Christopher Hitchens' book on Jefferson. It is called "Thomas Jefferson - Author of America".

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 11:10:00 UTC | #203341

thewhitepearl's Avatar Comment 28 by thewhitepearl


I'm a LOTR nutter myself. I thought the last avatar was a picture of you?

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 11:11:00 UTC | #203342

Quine's Avatar Comment 29 by Quine

As a polymath, Jefferson was often ahead of those in his time. I have wondered if he anticipated that the gospels had been embellished from a simpler source as was later suggested with the Q document. It would be interesting to see the degree of match.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 11:15:00 UTC | #203343

MPhil's Avatar Comment 30 by MPhil

The reason there are no polymaths in this day and age like there were hundreds of years ago is - rather straightforward, I think:

In DaVinci's time for example, it was still possible to know (almost) everything there was to know about anything. Physics, Biology - the whole of natural sciences was already diverse, but the amount of information was not even one percentile of what it is today.

Try learning the actual data and scientific theories even in only one discipline - physics for example. Impossible.

Of course there are still people with diverse interests, self-discipline, time on their hands and who take pleasure in learning - and they can have an above-normal knowledge of various things.

But a modern DaVinci... impossible. I bet there is not one person on this planet who knows as much about biology as the most knowledgeable biologists do AND as much about physics as the most knowledgeable physicists do. Hell, with the subdivisions of these sciences, I bet there isn't one biologist who isn't exclusively a microbiologist, or zoologist etc who knows as much about microbiology, zoology, population genetics etc as people in those fields do.

Sun, 20 Jul 2008 11:49:00 UTC | #203350