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President Thomas Jefferson’s edited Bible ...

Dec 12, 2011
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President Thomas Jefferson’s edited Bible

bobulate:

Stripping out the Gospel miracles and inconsistencies to demonstrate parts he found interesting, Thomas Jefferson created a book representing his own views:

Making good on a promise to a friend to summarize his views on Christianity, 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. 

Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper — alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.

Of the practice, he says:



“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.”

Renamed by Jefferson “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” the book was just called  the “Jefferson Bible” by friends. From the cut-and-paste physicality to the reframing that revealed in public a new coherence of thought, looks like rather physical and more early evidence of the practice of remixing.


Yes, the Jefferson Bible FTW! And TJ wasn’t the only one who expressed the urge to pick out “diamonds in a dunghill.” Leo Tolstoy made his own The Gospel In Brief, and had this to say:


  When, at the age of fifty, I first began to study the Gospels seriously, I found in them the spirit that animates all who are truly alive. But along with the flow of that pure, life-giving water, I perceived much mire and slime mingled with it; and this had prevented me from seeing the true, pure water. i found that, along with the lofty teaching of Jesus, there are teachings bound up which are repugnant and contrary to it. I thus felt myself in the position of a man to whom a sack of garbage is given, who, after long struggle and wearisome labor, discovers among the garbage a number of infinitely previous pearls.”


Stephen Mitchell also took up the task in The Gospel According to Jesus, taking out the magical deeds and leaving only Jesus’ teachings. (The resulting gospel is only 25 pages long.)

I wrote about the Jefferson Bible in Newspaper Blackout.

President Thomas Jefferson’s edited Bible

bobulate:

Stripping out the Gospel miracles and inconsistencies to demonstrate parts he found interesting, Thomas Jefferson created a book representing his own views:

Making good on a promise to a friend to summarize his views on Christianity, 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. Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper — alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.

Of the practice, he says:

“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.”

Renamed by Jefferson “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” the book was just called the “Jefferson Bible” by friends. From the cut-and-paste physicality to the reframing that revealed in public a new coherence of thought, looks like rather physical and more early evidence of the practice of remixing.

Yes, the Jefferson Bible FTW! And TJ wasn’t the only one who expressed the urge to pick out “diamonds in a dunghill.” Leo Tolstoy made his own The Gospel In Brief, and had this to say:

When, at the age of fifty, I first began to study the Gospels seriously, I found in them the spirit that animates all who are truly alive. But along with the flow of that pure, life-giving water, I perceived much mire and slime mingled with it; and this had prevented me from seeing the true, pure water. i found that, along with the lofty teaching of Jesus, there are teachings bound up which are repugnant and contrary to it. I thus felt myself in the position of a man to whom a sack of garbage is given, who, after long struggle and wearisome labor, discovers among the garbage a number of infinitely previous pearls.”

Stephen Mitchell also took up the task in The Gospel According to Jesus, taking out the magical deeds and leaving only Jesus’ teachings. (The resulting gospel is only 25 pages long.)

I wrote about the Jefferson Bible in Newspaper Blackout.

153 notes

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  13. fuckyeahdiomedes reblogged this from angryfeministbabe and added:
    So Jefferson was River Tam?
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  16. tribble-k reblogged this from nautiker and added:
    T-Jeffs, why so awesome? xD
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