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My Take: How Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible might have changed history
A Smithsonian conservator displays the cover page from Thomas Jefferson's Bible.
January 11th, 2012
11:38 AM ET

My Take: How Thomas Jefferson’s secret Bible might have changed history

Editor's note: Mitch Horowitz is editor-in-chief of Tarcher/Penguin and editor of Penguin’s new reissue of The Jefferson Bible.

By Mitch Horowitz, Special to CNN

(CNN) Imagine the following scenario: A U.S. president is discovered to be spending his spare time taking a razor to the New Testament, cutting up and re-pasting those passages of the Gospels that he considered authentic and morally true and discarding all the rest.

Gone are the virgin birth, divine healings, exorcisms and the resurrection of the dead, all of which the chief executive dismissed as “superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.”

Such an episode occurred, although the revised version of Scripture remained unseen for nearly seven decades after its abridger’s death. Thomas Jefferson intended it that way.

During most of his two terms in the White House, from 1801 to 1809, and for more than a decade afterward, Jefferson the third U.S. president and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence committed himself to a radical reinterpretation of the Gospels.

With a razor and glue brush at this side, Jefferson lined up English, French, Greek and Latin editions of Scripture and proceeded to cut up and reassemble the four Gospels into an exquisitely well-crafted, multilingual chronology of Christ’s life.

Jefferson lined up different editions of Scripture.

In Jefferson’s view, this revision represented a faithful record of Christ’s moral code, minus the miracles that the Enlightenment-era founder dismissed as historical mythmaking.

The book eventually became known as The Jefferson Bible and is now being rediscovered in new editions, including one published this month by Tarcher/Penguin, and as the focus of a Smithsonian exhibit.

Ask most people today if they have heard of Jefferson’s Bible and you will receive blank stares. Indeed, for much of American history, The Jefferson Bible was entirely unknown. Jefferson intended it as a work of private reflection, not a public statement.

As contemporary readers discover the work, it is tempting to wonder how American history might look different had Jefferson’s radical document come to light closer to its completion.

Jefferson was still working on his Bible during his presidency, so its theoretical publication wouldn’t have compromised his electability. But if the book had been made public after its final completion in 1820, when Jefferson had only six more years to live, it likely would have become one of the most controversial and influential religious works of early American history.

A curator handles a "source" Bible from which Jefferson cut out passages.

That was a scenario Jefferson took pains to avoid. After being called an “infidel” during his 1800 presidential race, Jefferson knew the calumny he could bring on himself if word spread of his “little book.” Although he had his work professionally bound, he mentioned it only to a select group of friends. Its discovery after his death came as a surprise to his family.

Jefferson’s wish for confidentiality held sway until 1895 when the Smithsonian in Washington made public his original pages, purchased from a great-granddaughter. In 1904, Congress issued a photolithograph edition and presented it for decades as a gift to new legislators, a gesture that would likely cause uproar in today’s climate of political piety.

Because of the book’s long dormancy following Jefferson’s death, and its limited availability for generations after arguably the first truly accessible edition didn’t appear until 1940 The Jefferson Bible has remained a curio of American history.

So how would the earlier publication of The Jefferson Bible have changed American history? It's impossible to know for sure, but the 1820s inaugurated a period of tremendous spiritual experiment in America: It was the age of Mormonism, Unitarian Universalism and Shakerism, among other new faiths.

There’s little doubt that many Americans, who were already fiercely independent in matters of religion, would have seen The Jefferson Bible as the manifesto of a reformist movement call it “Jeffersonian Christianity” focused not on repentance and salvation but on earthly ethics. Such a movement could have swept America, and also have spread to Europe, where Jefferson was esteemed.

A broad awareness of Jefferson’s work would have surely engendered a more complex view of the religious identity of Jefferson and other founders. Indeed, one of Jefferson’s most trusted correspondents while he was producing his Bible was his White House predecessor, John Adams, who in turn confided to Jefferson his distrust of all religious orthodoxy. These men were impossible to pin pat religious labels on.

Because Jefferson published relatively little during his lifetime, the appearance of The Jefferson Bible would have created a different, and more confounding, public image of the statesman as someone struggling deeply with his own religious beliefs. The Jefferson that appears behind his reconstruction of Scripture is someone who brushed aside notions of miraculous intervention and canonical faith.

As The Jefferson Bible conveys, however, Jefferson considered Jesus’ moral philosophy the most finely developed in history, surpassing the ethics of both the ancient Greeks and the Hebrews. He insisted that Christ’s authentic doctrine was marked by a stark, ascetic tone that clashed with the supernatural powers attributed to him.

“In extracting the pure principles which he taught,” Jefferson wrote in 1813, “we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms. ... There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”

Jefferson’s minimalist approach to the Gospels reveals an attitude that he disclosed only privately, just months before his death: “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know."

In that sense, Jefferson the politician wouldn’t have stood a chance in the current presidential race, where faith and piety are on constant display. The political process might be more open today to candidates of varying degrees and types of belief if The Jefferson Bible were more central to the nation’s history.

The Jefferson Bible opens a window on Jefferson’s struggle to find a faith with which he could finally come to terms. It was this kind of intimate, inner search not the outward pronouncement and establishment of religious doctrine that the man who helped shape modern religious liberty sought to protect in America.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mitch Horowitz.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: History • Opinion • Politics

soundoff (1,432 Responses)
  1. D

    We need more presidents (and people) like Jefferson.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • HellBent

      Sadly, Jefferson would be completely un-electable today. How we've devolved!

      January 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Observer

      Amen. He was a brilliant man who always searched for knowledge.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, all the toddlers of this world voting for the Peter Pan president.

      Sad, sad, sad state of spiritual incompleteness in our country.

      Amen.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • J

      We need more presidents like Lincoln.

      January 11, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      His writings evidence a contempt for Christianity, but an acceptance of the beaitudes(e.g. do unto others et al) that appear, not only in the Bible, but in Greek and Roman writings that pre-date the Bible. His excising of the Bible was an attempt to keep those expressions of love and caring amongst mankind while getting rid of most, if not all, of the "religion" and mythological aspects. Jefferson did not like Christianity (also Adams and Madison shared his disdain for that religion).

      January 11, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  2. wonderful

    Jefferson is now competing with Franklin as my favorite founding father. Love it.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • Jesus

      Jefferson referred in a writing to followers of Christianity as "fools" and pastors as "knaves". He was lambasted by some of his contemporaries for being too revolutionary in thought.

      January 11, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  3. TAK

    And yet the tea party still claims the founders were christian...

    Oh, and by repeatedly referring to "Christ" in the article the author COMPLETELY missed the point Jefferson was making. Without the hocus pocus Jesus was just some dude from Nazareth (just like Jefferson's cover page says).

    January 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Julie

      TAK and Jesus – I have studied the life of Jefferson – he was not against Christianity, just organized religion. He believed in God and believed in strong moral values like the 10 Commandments. The life of the prophet Jesus was admirable, the manipulation of the Bible and its teaching by men leading organzied religion likeCatholics, Methodists, etc is what Jefferson was against

      January 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  4. pscyclepath

    Jefferson was a Deist, not an agnostic. Deists believe ina higher power, but also believe that that power does not interfere with the natural laws of the universe (e.g., science). Thus Jefferson focused on Christ's moral teachings, and left out the part about miracles.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • HellBent

      Jefferson actively encouraged people to question the existence of a god. One can easily be an agnostic deist.

      "Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear"

      January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • the University

      I greatly appreciate how he replaced the church as the centerpiece to a campus plan (at UVa), and replaced it with a library. The message is clear.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      Since the idea of Atheism did not exist yet at that time (basically because science had not advanced that far yet. Even Darwinism wasn't in existence), most diests of the time were the closest you would come to an atheist. The idea of not having sometime of devine being or creator hadn't started to really form yet. That came with independence and freedom of thought, which in turn brought great advances in science, hence new ideas on the formation of man (thinking outside the box of previous knowledge and understanding of the world).

      January 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      Since the idea of Atheism did not exist yet at that time (basically because science had not advanced that far yet. Even Darwinism wasn't in existence), most diests of the time were the closest you would come to an atheist. The idea of not having sometime of devine being or creator hadn't started to really form yet. That came with independence and freedom of thought, which in turn brought great advances in science, hence new ideas on the formation of man. They began to think outside the box, a boxed based on tan earlier (and more primitive) knowledge and understanding of the world.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • HellBent

      @midwstrngrl,

      The idea of atheism did indeed exist and Jefferson specifically wrote about atheists. He wasn't one.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      The original idea of atheism actually came up centuries earlier, but was never really considered until the early 1800's. So the idea was not really formed until then. If Jefferson was such a believer in God then why dimiss miracles?

      January 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • Jesus

      In part, this poster is correct. That said, Jefferson actively opposed religions' influence in our government and viewed the 1st amendment as his greatest accomplishment.

      January 11, 2012 at 8:01 pm |
  5. palintwit

    Whenever I think of Alaska, I think of Sarah Palin. Whenever I think of Sarah Palin, I think of teabaggers. Whenever I think of teabaggers, I think of nascar. Whenever I think of nascar, I think of trailer trash. Whenever I think of trailer trash, I think of Sarah Palin.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • jc

      Liquid lunch?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • SP

      So you have a crush on Sarah Palin then. How sweet!!

      January 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  6. WelcomedOpinion

    Who is your creator, athiest? Where do you want your rights to come from, liberial own government? That woud be communism.

    CNN UNBELIEF BLOG, no surprises on comments here.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      What is this I don't even

      January 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • fred

      Explain how liberal can be same as communist when such different ideology. And then what created your creator.

      As for CNN, if so biased, how you may post?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • TRH

      You are implying that all rights, especially those in the US, are "god-given". Nonsense.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • davidk

      Change your name to NotWelcomedOpinion.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • sbp

      The origin or rights and morality is nothing that can't be explained by sociobiology, natural selection and evolution. Morality has been created and passed down because it confers a genetic advantage. People who live in a society have a better chance at reproducing if everyone follows rules that cut down on chaos.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • tribble10

      Why, they are god given; they come from the Flying Spaghetti Monster of course. Praise him and be touched by his noodley appendage. Rahmen...

      January 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Leaf on the Wind

      WelcomedOpinion, as an atheist (and at least I can spell the word), I don't feel the need of a "creator." There may be some answer to that "how was the universe created" question but I don't think that's knowable, at least not in this stage of human development. As for "liberial" -what's that? Is that a new word? Or did you mean "liberal" which really doesn't equate to communism at all.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Who is my creator? My mother and father. Oh, you want to go farther back? Okay, the universe then. And if there is a god, he was most likely created by the universe as well.

      As for my rights, well our government had that all set up, long before the glued-to-the-right conservatives invented the notion that anyone that didn't agree with them was a communist. But you're right, we should bring back senator McCarthy, and get those communist witch trials back in full swing! That went so well the last time.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • James PDX

      What a crazy assumption that I need to have a creator. Perhaps there is a perfect explanation for our existence in science that we just haven't discovered yet. Just because I don't know an answer doesn't mean I need to make one up. Only crazy, weak minded, or manipulative and power hungry people do that.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      fox trained to be stupid.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • iroshi

      It never ceases to amaze how frightened some people are of anything smacking of socialism, equating it with communism. One is a social system, one a political system. Jefferson and many of the founding fathers did not espouse socialism, true, but democracy they did espouse. However, even this article, nor the Jefferson bible, will ever convince some of the wisdom of the group of men who gave us what could be a great republic. Insistence that they were devout Christians and that everyone must follow what is perceived as the "right" way, contradicts everything Jefferson, Franklin, Adams, etc., stood for.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  7. This is God posting from Heaven

    This Thomas Jefferson has more brains than most Christians.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Sunflower

      Yes. and it's refreshing to know that our early forefathers utilized their power of discernment. You CAN be a Christian without all the historical and political manipulations of the bible.... If you know history, which I think Jefferson did, you know that the bible is a gross misrepresentation of it's original form. Self serving characters from history were very adept at manipulating it for their own purposes. It is important to ALWAYS bear this in mind.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Areftee

      @sunflower: Two problems: One, if you don't have this "original form" how would you know today's version is a gross misinterpretation? Two, we have manuscripts and fragments that go back quite a ways and they are remarkably consistent. If you have examples of such major editing of the Bible, please pass them along. Thank you.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Sunflower

      Areftee...you are obviously not a student of history.... do your research...or have a librarian help you if you are not familiar with the dewey decimal system or advanced research... It's all there for you..... the sources and references are in the millions.....I'm sorry you didn't take the time to study history... It really is fascinating and illuminating.

      January 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  8. iamdeadlyserious

    I tried imagining an America where one's religion was based around a code of ethics instead of a series of fables.

    Then I had to come back to reality.

    Now I'm depressed.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • kobolsharper

      Well if it's any consolation, I'm one. It's a lonely road however; I love the philosophy of Jesus but find that the only people who discuss him are his detractors and the fanatics. Not very many people can appreciate his moral system. In fact, I know more about Jesus' ethics than all of the Christians I know. Wish there was a religious movement that focused more on his teachings and less on faith and salvation.

      January 11, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  9. Rainer Braendlein

    Some of the readers of the aboce article may appreciate that Jefforson denied the miracles of Jesus.

    But isn't our wourd so poor and boring and disidyllic, because we experience so little miracles?

    John of Damascus, the last great father of the Church, said we would experience so little miracles, because we would love too much material things. I think he was right.

    Please notice: I refuse the performance of miracles within a show, which is focused merely on the effects and making some money by the show. I guess that such shows are mostly deceit.

    True curing is mostly connected with confession of sins and forgiveness and takes place in the protected sphere of the Church. It shall not be a show and nobody should try to earn money with it (the first sin of Judas Iscariot).

    January 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      I'd sure love to see where Judas Iscariot's first sin was taking money for faith healing.

      At least, I think that's what you're trying to say. Your grammar is so broken that you may well be trying to argue against the Geneva Convention.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • sbp

      How convenient. "Miracles still happen, but they're hidden now and I can't tell you of any – but I know some guy who said he saw some stuff, and I believe him."

      January 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Diligence Is a Bird Flew

      Heiner Brownstain oh those aboce wourds. Int that a miarclue.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • shall?

      Does using "shall" make thou holy?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      so basically doing it because it is the right thing and not on the basis of what i gains you either monetarily or socially

      January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Some of the readers of the above article may appreciate that Jefferson denied the miracles of Jesus.

      But isn't our world so poor and boring and disidyllic, because we experience so little miracles?

      John of Damascus, the last great father of the Church, said we would experience so little miracles, because we would love too much material things. I think he was right.

      Please notice: I refuse the performance of miracles within a boasting show, which is focused merely on the effects and making some money by the show. I guess that such shows are mostly deceit.

      True curing is mostly connected with confession of sins and forgiveness and takes place in the protected sphere of the Church. It shall not be a show and nobody should try to earn money with it (the first sin of Judas Iscariot).

      Regarding Judas Iscariot (according to the evidence of the New Testament):

      He embezzled money of the disciples and Jesus (you may call it ecclesiastical money or God's money). My theory is that Jesus had never appointed Judas apostle, if he had been a deceiver yet in the beginning of his "career". In the beginning Judas was a true believer I assume. Judas and the other apostles had a quite hard life, really tiring. Jesus sometimes commanded Judas to give some money from the coffer to the poor. Judas in contrast had wished an increase of his salary or a salary at all. Hence, after a while Judas became arbitrary and took moeny from the coffer (his legitimate salary in his sight). At last he betrayed Jesus, because a salve (a woman anointed Jesus) was not sold and the proceed put into the coffer, where it had been under Judas' control.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Rainer, I'd truly love to see where you got your information about Judas embezzling money from the Apostles (who lived in poverty, by the way, so it's not like he'd be making a lot of cash). Fever dreams, maybe? Or just pure imagination?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Paul, who wrote the first chapters of the New Testament never mentioned any miracles. I just read all of his writings again, a few months ago to verify this, and it's true. The miracles got added later when the gospels were written, and they clearly do make for much better reading.

      Paul did mention the "resurrection" however, a phenomenon that was most likely nothing more than the fact that Jesus was taken down from the cross before he was really dead. He lived a couple more days, then died. Oddly, he wasn't able to get up the second time. Maybe that was because he really died this time. Oh, what? He "ascended to heaven"? Yeah, that sounds much better.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Reality

      The Judas stories are mostly legends created by M, M, L and J.

      For example:

      http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?ti-tle=189_Better_Not_Born:

      And from Professor Gerd Ludemann's book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 96:

      "Jesus never spoke the words about the betrayal of Jesus e.g. Mark 14: 17-21. Rather, from the fact the Jesus was betrayed, early Christians concluded that Jesus must have known this in advance and therefore prophesied it. "

      Mark 14: 43-45

      Jesus is arrested:

      From Ludemann, p. 99:

      "The report is strongly legendary and in part enigmatic. "

      The thirty pieces of silver and suicide legend: ex. Matt 27: 3-10

      "The historical value is nil." p. 246

      January 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  10. SixDegrees

    Boy, the fundies are NOT going to like this one bit.

    January 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
  11. Rev. Rick

    Quoting a line from the article, "...Jefferson – the third U.S. president and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence – committed himself to a radical reinterpretation of the Gospels."

    As the "principal author" of the Declaration of Independence, this sure seems to blast a big hole in fundamentalists' argument that ours was founded as a "Christian" nation. Jefferson's view of Christ is certainly not the fundamentalist view of Christianity in general. I'll bet the the GOP would certainly like to pretend THAT piece of history doesn't exist.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • pappy

      It is a recorded fact that TJ was an agnostic. This isn't a new revelation.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      Pappy: Quite right.

      I doubt that any of the morons who think that this country was founded as a "Christian nation" would be shaken by this revelation. This information has been a historical fact for years, as has the deism/agnosticism of most of the men who founded the US. I don't see why fundamentalists would suddenly start paying attention to history.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Shineau

      he was a deist. generally they believe that creates the world/universe but does not interact with it. therefore, Jefferson took out the healings and miracles mentioned in the bible because it would be an interaction of God with mankind. they're also not big on organized religions.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • sbp

      Deism is sorta akin to believing in the Force.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • N1ck

      Those who claim the US was founded as a Christian nation need to refer to the The Treaty of Tripoli:

      "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

      We will often see 'God' mentioned, but 'God' exists in many forms to many people. Christians believe they are the center of the religious/spiritual world, holding some unique and special knowledge that all others fail to hold and understand, and have no shame in sharing these delusional thoughts.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • D

      This is exactly why the school board people in Texas judiciously edited Jefferson out of their history textbooks recently. Perhaps you recall reading about that?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  12. God

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=640&h=390]

    January 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Diligence Is a Bird Flew

      Thank yuo God.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • midwstrngrl

      Since the idea of Atheism did not exist yet at that time (basically because science had not advanced that far yet. Even Darwinism wasn't in existence), most diests of the time were the closest you would come to an atheist. The idea of not having sometime of devine being or creator hadn't started to really form yet. That came with independence and freedom of thought, which in turn brought great advances in science, hence new ideas on the formation of man (thinking outside the box of previous knowledge and understanding of the world)

      January 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • D

      Western atheism has its roots in pre-Socratic Greek philosophy, but did not emerge as a distinct world-view until the late Enlightenment. The 5th-century BCE Greek philosopher Diagoras is known as the "first atheist", and is cited as such by Cicero in his De Natura Deorum.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  13. MKULTRA BRAINIMPLANTS4U

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to retard individual = how homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT ORWELLIAN UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2) IS SOOO BUSY WHEN PLAYING/CLOWNING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE(deliberately omitting/delaying facts of genocide as seen on this complain) !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / FORCED BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=390]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! EXILING WHITES(US citizens) WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FREE !!!

    January 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Scott

      I think your Caps Lock key may be broken. You should probably get it replaced.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • JustPlainJoe

      It's not just the cap locks that are mis-wired. Mania has many different shapes.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • filthburger

      Take your meds. They are good for you.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • James PDX

      The same goes for your brain. Broken. Get a replacement.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  14. The Bobinator

    Thomas Jeffereson was doing what 99% of Christians do. Reading what they want in the bible and discarding the rest. I mean, no christian thinks that it's moral to beat your slave, or that they're your property.

    The reality here is that religion is always changing to meet society. The christianity of 1200ad is not the christianity of now. Which means it is changed by humans, which means it could be wrong. Was divine will right then or is it right now.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Andy Breeden

      But by that line of reasoning, what good is religion? Wait...ohhhhhhhh.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @The Bobinator

      I have heard this morning that in Guantanamo some of the 9/11 terrorists are still imprisoned and alive. It may not be a pleasant life in prison, but at least they live. I mean it is a grace for them that they are still alive, regarding the crimes, which they have committed.

      The slaves of the ancient Israelites were mostly prisoners of war of totally corrupted people, which God had commanded to be wiped out from the earth. Slavery was a grace for them, although slavery may not be pleasant in it self.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > I have heard this morning that in Guantanamo some of the 9/11 terrorists are still imprisoned and alive. It may not be a pleasant life in prison, but at least they live. I mean it is a grace for them that they are still alive, regarding the crimes, which they have committed.

      You are comparing apples and oranges. The US doesn't own these people. And while it may be true that they are abused inside, they're specifically not allowed to do that.

      Temper that against the concept that back then

      > The slaves of the ancient Israelites were mostly prisoners of war of totally corrupted people, which God had commanded to be wiped out from the earth. Slavery was a grace for them, although slavery may not be pleasant in it self.

      This is where you're wrong. You haven't read your bible. It's quite possible a good Israelite could be a slave forever. Allow me to tell you how.

      Jebidiah is a slave, owned by Ezekiel. Ezekiel provides Jebidiah with a slave wife who is also an Israelite. They haea n Israelite daughter two years later.

      What happens?

      Jebediah is allowed to leave after 7 years. Unless he wishes to stay with his familiy, in which case he has to become a slave forever.

      His wife, Maria, is the property of Ezekiel forever. She is never given the chance to go free.

      His daughter, Mary, is also the property of Ezekiel forever. She is never given the chance to go free.

      So, no, your idea of what slavery was back then is skewed by your liberal and positive interpretation of what the bible says. In reality, there existed a system where someone could be born into slavery. That's immoral. And if this is an edict of a God that you worship, then I'm sorry but I'm more moral then your God. Because the morally correct thing for an all powerful God who intervenes in the lives of his people is to say "you cannot own another human being."

      Now you'll go to the "who are you to judge God." The answer is quite simple. I'm a sane rational person who's evaluating the actions of a being in the only way I know how. God, if one exists, would have to understand this and then if he wanted to appear to be moral, would conduct himself in a way that would make me think he was.

      The reality is that the bible, just like all the other religions that have existed in the history of man are tools that are used to enact law, build culture and maintain a society.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • sbp

      Rainer, besides being wrong about the Bible, you're also wrong to assume that all Guantanamo detainees are there "for the crimes which they committed." Since they have no right to due process and aren't getting a hearing, no one will ever know if they are actually terrorists or were swept up by mistake.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Stl Melz

      I don't recall a place in the Bible where God mandates people take slaves. I believe that is a system men came up with on their own. A directive to not beat a slave is to remind the Israelites to treat PEOPLE well.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bible Refresher Course

      "A directive to not beat a slave is to remind the Israelites to treat PEOPLE well."

      Um, no. the directive was not to beat your slave so hard that the slave died in the same day. It was ok if the slave died the next day.

      Some loving god you've got yourself there. Maybe you want to try actually reading your bible next time.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • James PDX

      Rainer, the Old Testament states that slaves included Jews. The only caveat is that Jews could not be kept as slaves indefinitely. After about 6 years you had to let them go and give them something to get their free lives started. If you were a non-Jewish slave, you were screwed for life. Also, the "enemies" of the Jews included ANY kingdom established on what God intended to be their holy land. It didn't matter if they were corrupt or not, God assisted the Jews in slaughtering them. It's a terrible story of a genocidal atrocity by the same God who destroyed two cities for the sins committed there, where his killing included children, babies, and pregnant women. So apparently God believes full well in abortions, as long as he doesn't like the parent. Stupid, violent, immoral, contradictory fairytale books. Grow up and deal with your mortality like an adult.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • s

      If you would read the Bible in context you would discover that many people were slaves only for a period to pay off a debt. Other slaves made a personal choice to be a slave. It was basically the same way people are employees today.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Bible Refresher Course

      "If you would read the Bible in context you would discover that many people were slaves only for a period to pay off a debt. Other slaves made a personal choice to be a slave."

      And some people were se.x slaves. And some people were slaves because they were prisoners of war. And some slaves were beaten to death, which was sanctioned by your loving god. Try actually reading your bible sometime instead of spouting off lies like 'slavery back then is like employment today'. You end up just looking stupid.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • gayjesus

      The word servant is used instead of slave in newer versions. Here are your god's rules on how to sell your daughter into slavery

      (NIV)

      Exodus 21:7 If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money

      January 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • The Bobinator

      > If you would read the Bible in context you would discover that many people were slaves only for a period to pay off a debt. Other slaves made a personal choice to be a slave. It was basically the same way people are employees today.

      I told you that a child born out of a slave couple would be property of the slave owner. What choice did the infant make and what debt did she owe?

      The reality is that you're trying to cover this action because it shows a moral flaw in the book that you hold up as some idol of morality. It's not.

      Only when you can set aside your bias and actually read what's written can you actually learn. It strikes me is that you let people tell you what to think then rather putting in the effort and reaching your own conclusion.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  15. Rainer Braendlein

    "In Jefferson’s view, this revision represented a faithful record of Christ’s moral code, minus the miracles that the Enlightenment-era founder dismissed as historical mythmaking."

    A small hint: Miracles always seem to be hard to believe as long as someone merely tells you of them.

    However, if you would become eyewitness of a miracle, you should start to for ever hold your peace, regarding any critizism against Christianity.

    It is sure that mircales still can happen within (!) the true Church in connection with confession of sins and forgiveness. It is only that miracles will not happen again like at the time of Jesus in public places. Today they will happen in a more private sphere.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a famous German Lutheran pastor of the last century, wrote that such healing in a restricted area is still possible (seemingly, he made some real experiences).

    If Christ had merely preached a "moral code", he had been nothing special. We nearly know it by nature. Christ's special message was the message of deliverance. God can empower us to love our neighbour and by that we fulfill the law.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Rainer's Brane Iz Hurtin' Again

      Name one single miracle you have witnessed. I mean, something that verifyably cannot happen naturally. Something that must clearly have been the result of the supernatural, and just is not possible by any earthly explanation.

      Go on. Let's hear it. This should be good.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Andy Breeden

      You rationalized away the obvious point that there are no miracles today? Wake up and smell the reality.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Rainer's Brane Iz Hurtin' Again

      I did it already. It doesn't matter, if I have it experienced myself or if I tell you of someone, who has experienced it.

      Even if I would tell you I had yet experienced a miracle, you would call me a liar, or?

      Bonhoeffer was absolutely trustworthy. I believe his accounts.

      January 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • MartinT

      "Jesus" never did miracles, the story of such was added to the New Testament Centuries LATER, to make Jesus seem more mysterious. Read the Gospels in the order they were written, the early gospels don't include Miracles at all, only the LATER ones. Jesus was, is, and always will be nothing more than a compilation of ancient deities, cobbled together by ancient men, and pawned off on YOU as a god. Simple as that... no miracles, no god, just you and me..

      January 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      If I witnessed you posting something halfway legible, I'd consider it a miracle. Would we blame Jesus for that?

      January 11, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Observer

      Rainer Braendlein,

      So you haven't seen a miracle.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • sbp

      How convenient. Miracles still happen, but in private, and no one has any proof of them. Rainer says you would believe if you saw one, but admits he's never seen one but believes anyway since Boenhoeffer claims to have seen one, which is good enough for him.

      Anyone see some logic issues here?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • cbinal

      @MartinT – what are you talking about? Read in them the order they were written? Early ones don't include miracles? You do understand that there are 4 Gospels, right? The last written was the Gospel of John, that appears first, who was an eyewitness to everything he wrote and performed miracles himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. Luke was not an eyewitness but, wrote accounts of people who were eyewitnesses to everything that happened. And by the way, historians of that time wrote of eyewitness accounts of people being healed.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • James PDX

      The ancient Greeks were also very reliable, and they tell me that Zeus will strike you down for believing in your false God. What a miracle that would be!

      January 11, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • HellBent

      @cbinal – the vast majority of scholars agree that the author of the gospel of John is unknown, but was most certainly not an eye witness. Ease up on the kool aid.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      cbinal:

      None of the gospels in the New Testament were written until years after Jesus was supposed to have died. In fact, based on the timeline and average life expectancy back then, one can reasonably assume that none of the authors of the gospels were even alive when the crucifixion took place.

      If you want to be a "true believer," maybe you ought to know something about your own faith.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • Reality

      Only for the "newbies":

      Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

      Current problems:
      Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

      January 11, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Joe

      My son was born with a condition that the doctors and geneticists consider 'not compatible with life'. We were told that most likely he would not live for 1 or 2 months and that there was nothing they could do about it. It was overwhelming. He is now 7 months old and so many problems he was born with have healed without any surgery. One of my son's conditions is that he was born with a spinal cord attached at both sides (A tethered cord) that was going to require surgery or else it would begin causing brain damage. On the way to the neurosurgeon, I prayed, asking God to heal him. Suddenly the radio turned up loud and said God will cut his cord! He's going to cut his cord. It startled me it was so loud. Twenty minutes later, the neurosurgeon gave us the news.... I don't know why you are here, his spinal cord was stretched and is longer than 90% of us, but I don't see a tethered cord, nor do I see a serious problem. Google the average life of someone with Trisomy 13, or if a tethered cord can heal itself. Miracles happen but they are not needed to convince us. If you have a relationship with God you will see Him as part of your life nearly everyday.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • cbinal

      @Hellbent

      "A vast majority of scholars" don't know who the author was? It was John duh. and not one Biblical scholar would agree with your statement.

      @imdeadlyserious really? Is that the best you got? Why not just say didn't happen? How would anybody know that Jesus lived or died if these eyewitnesses didn't write it down? You must think Shakespeare wrote it?

      January 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • HellBent

      *sigh*.

      ""A vast majority of scholars" don't know who the author was? It was John duh. and not one Biblical scholar would agree with your statement."

      Try educating yourself. Here, I'll help:
      Barnabas Lindars, in his 1990 book "John – New Testament" writes "It is thus important to see the reasons why the traditional identification is regarded by most scholars as untenable"

      or

      "Tradition has credited John, the son of Zebedee and an apostle of Jesus, with the authorship of the fourth gospel. Most scholars dispute this notion; some speculate that the work was actually produced by a group of early Christians somewhat isolated from other early Christian communities. Tradition also places its composition in or near Ephesus, although lower Syria or Lebanon are more likely locations. The most likely time for the completion of this gospel is between 90 and 110 CE."

      http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/story/mmjohn.html

      Douglas Carson writes in his book "An introduction to the new testament" – “The fact remains that despite support for Johannine authorship by a few front rank scholars in this century and by many popular writers, a large majority of contemporary scholars reject this view.”

      Though I don't actually expect that you'll be swayed by such things as facts or evidence.

      January 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      @Joe, I'm happy to hear about your son. The life of one's child is the most precious gift.

      But the fact that a radio's volume increased and you heard something about a cord is because someone turned up the radio, and that someone on the radio said something about a cord. Coincidences happen constantly, every minute of every day. You say I should look up on the net whether your son's condition can heal itself. Well I just read your story, and so, on the net, I've discovered that it can.

      If one believes in god, one will always attribute everything good to him. But I'd like to sit your god down and read him the riot act for putting your child in danger in the first place. You can't have it both ways. If he had the power to heal your son, then he had the power to prevent your son's condition in the first place, which either he didn't do, or maybe he didn't care, or because he doesn't exist. I'm leaning towards the latter.

      I wish you and your son health and happiness, but the things you described only prove that the things that you described happened. They don't prove that they were caused by an extraterrestrial deity.

      January 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Areftee

      @hellbent: Not sure looking to scholars helps our problem because they're just like us. There are liberal biblical scholars who don't believe it and conservative biblical scholars who do. For every one that says John's not the author of John, there's another scholar just as educated who says he is.

      January 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  16. hippypoet

    from the article – Imagine the following scenario: A U.S. president is discovered to be spending his spare time taking a razor to the New Testament, cutting up and re-pasting those passages of the Gospels that he considered authentic and morally true and discarding all the rest.

    omg its how the bible was written from the first to now repeating itself – oh god, the horror!!!!!! people have always cut and pasted concerning the bible from the very begining – do the research on some dude who in the 2nd century rewrote the bible without the gospels that he felt weren't supposed to be there anyway – this is why we today don't have the gospel of many people- they were taken out, or not let in ... a time honored tradition like rewritting the holy bible so it suits the times is one that as always existed, get over it! fact is the original bible would be today so laughible that people would never believe in such clear bs, but when you rewrite it thru-out the years so it always fits the context of society at large, well then there you have something!

    January 11, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • 1221

      Kind of like rewriting it so that it doesn't exist? I don't know which is more fitting... "Can't see the forest for the trees" or "Can't get the message for the words".

      January 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  17. Bah

    Coulda – woulda – who cares?

    Empty speculation is like taking a speculum to a tea party.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • James PDX

      I can only assume you are speaking from experience, so I have to ask; why did you take a speculum to a tea party?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  18. What Is The Sound Of Shattering Delusions? Laughter!

    Amierica was founded as a Christian nation . . . HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! 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    January 11, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Andy Breeden

      It was? HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

      January 11, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Andy Breeden

      Heh heh. Heh. Sigh...

      January 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  19. Bah

    Coulda – woulda – shoulda

    Empty speculation is like taking a speculum to a tea party.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  20. jabber

    It seems like his intentions were no different than the RCC. Wanting to control the people with the Bible. They say the worst things come from best intentions. I'm glad his self-altered bible wasn't published.

    January 11, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • iamdeadlyserious

      You may want to actually do some research on Jefferson before you make idiotic statements like that.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Scott

      It was. It even says so in the article.
      It also says that his intention was to boil it down to a code of ethics, with no mythological mumbo-jumbo, which is an admirable task, if impossible to actually achieve, because ethics are always in the eye of the beholder.

      January 11, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • SixDegrees

      That must be why he refused to publish why he was alive and squirreled it away so deeply it wasn't noted until decades after his death. Did you even bother reading the article, or did you just skim a couple of words out of the headline and imagined what it was about?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • TooClose2DC

      Jefferson didn't want to control anybody with his version because he kept it secret and wanted it kept secret even after his death. How is that controlling without being a Jedi?

      January 11, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.