Jefferson's Intention with “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth”

In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.


A description of the problems Jefferson had with the gospels in their existing form, which were easily twisted for greedy purposes.

Folksonomies: founding fathers separation of church and state

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New Testament (0.754077): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
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Gospel of John (0.623559): dbpedia | freebase | yago
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 Letter to John Adams: Study of Moral Principles
Personal Communications>Personal Letter:  Thomas, Jefferson (13 Oct 1813), Letter to John Adams: Study of Moral Principles, Retrieved on 2011-01-24
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: founding fathers separation of church and state


    24 JAN 2011

     Authorial Intention in the Jefferson Bible

    Introduction to the Jefferson Bible > Additional Support/Evidence > Jefferson\'s Intention with “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth”
    Two texts from the author himself, on why he wrote the Jefferson Bible, where he removed the miracles from the New Testament to more clearly communicate Jesus' message.


    12 JAN 2012

     America's Founding Fathers on Religion

    The Founding Fathers were mostly deists who were fairly skeptical of many claims in the Bible and of religious leaders. They also believed strongly in the separation of church and state.
    Folksonomies: politics religion
    Folksonomies: politics religion