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Short Synopsis
Thomas Jefferson believed that the pure-principled teachings of Jesus should have been separated from the dogma and abuse of organized religion of the day. This led him to recast, by cutting and pasting from the gospels, a new narrative of the life and teachings of Jesus.

Full Synopsis
In the early nineteenth century, Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, conceived the idea of extracting a gospel purified of what he saw as extraneous philosophical, mythological, and theological elements. To do so, he took verses from the four canonical gospels and arranged them into a single narrative, focusing on the actual words of Jesus. This work was never published during Jefferson's lifetime but was inherited by his grandson and printed for the first time in the early twentieth century. The original bound manuscript, popularly referred to as The Jefferson Bible, is held by the United States National Museum in Washington.

"[A] fascinating document, telling us a great deal about a great eighteenth-century mind and its world." ---Charles S. Adams, Religious Studies Review

"These excerpts from the four Gospels are among the most interesting and compelling in all of the Scripture. They emphasize Jesus' ethical lessons of love, reverence, forbearance, reproachment, repentance, and forgiveness." ---Garrett Ward Sheldon, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography

The Jefferson Bible

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

Author Thomas Jefferson

Narrated by Mel Foster

Publication date Dec 20, 2010

Running time 3 hrs

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