Thomas Jeferson's Bible, The Gospel of Thomas, & the Nature of
Thomas Jefferson said most of the Christian Bible was a dunghill, with a
few diamonds of genuine Jesus sayings. His great life work, delayed
until his retirement, was to write his own version of the Christian
Bible. It's called The Jefferson Bible, and he threw out over 90% of
the Christian Bible.
"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 demiurgos, 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."
Thomas Jefferson In a letter to Adams written from Monticello,
October 12, 1813
So, Thomas Jefferson considered over 90% of the New Testament a
dunghill, what percentage of the Thomas sayings in the Christian
Bible did Jefferson consider a dunghill? He thought less than 10% of
the Bible was genuine, what percentage of the Thomas sayings
paralleled in the Bible did he consider genuine? 1%? 10%? 20? ...
No, about 71%. Thomas Jefferson nailed it.
.# //'d in Bible - # in Jeff - %in
First Third. 21 .......15 ... 77.8
Middle Third 20 .......10 ... 66.7
Last Third.. 14 ....... 7 ... 66.7
total....... 55 .......32 ... 70.5
This is organized by the way the Jesus Seminar sorts our sayings in
the Five Gospels. Some sayings have more than one part, those parts
are what's counted. Direct parallels only, no Cf. Cross referenced to
the list on:
http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/jeffbtab.html The 10% of the
New Testament is hearsay that is roughly checked.
Jefferson only kept about 10% of the New Testament, but he kept 71% of
the Thomas parallels in it.
He kept 79% of the first third of Thomas that wasn't secret and contains
allmost all of the Law/Jewish parallels.
Good job Thomas.
Rick Van Vliet
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