Hnn | HNN Articles

AHA Sends 535 Jefferson Bibles to Congress

 

Copies being delivered to President Obama, 113th Congress

For immediate release

Contact: Brian Magee, 202-238-9088 ex. 105, Mobile: (202) 681-2425 bmagee@americanhumanist.org

(Washington, DC – Jan. 3, 2013) – What Thomas Jefferson did for the Bible, the American Humanist Association did for the world’s other major religious texts—in Jefferson’s words, separated “the gold from the dross.”

A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century includes Jefferson’s famously edited version of Christianity’s holy text, but this updated offering also includes similarly edited versions of the Hebrew Bible, the Qur’an, the Bhagavadgîtâ, the Buddhist Sutras, and the Book of Mormon. In addition, selections of the “dross” have been included alongside the “gold” for each.

A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First CenturyThe original Jefferson Bible, fully entitled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, was created by Jefferson literally cutting and pasting passages he found worthy. His effort has stood alone for over two centuries as an example of how a revered religious text can be improved by extracting what’s good and relevant, while leaving behind what’s questionable, immoral or unnecessary for people skeptical of the supernatural. A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century follows Jefferson’s lead in creating a useful tome for those interested in the best of the best from the world’s most important religious texts, but also highlights problem passages similar to those that Jefferson lamented arose from “the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of His disciples.” Jefferson called the passages he selected “as easily distinguished as diamonds in a dung-hill.”

“Humanists believe that, like the gospels, these other scriptures are the product of fallible humans, and should be read just as critically,” says Humanist Press Director Luis Granados. “Whether or not our choices are truly the best or worst to be found is of course open to debate –a debate we hope to stimulate.”

The book, being released by the AHA’s publishing house Humanist Press, is being delivered free of charge to President Obama and all members of Congress. The ebook is being delivered immediately; printed copies will also be delivered in the coming days.

“In 1901, the U.S. Congress felt that the Jefferson Bible was of such great value that it authorized the printing of nine thousand copies for itself,” Granados added. (Free copies were delivered to each new member of Congress for the next fifty years, until the supply ran out.) “With today’s Congress representing a much more religiously diverse population, including a fifth of the population that is not religious, we thought it was appropriate to deliver a new Jefferson Bible that acknowledges that diversity.”

The book concludes with American Humanist Association’s Humanism and Its Aspirations, a statement of humanist principles.

The ebook is available through HumanistPress.com and major online retailers. The ISBN number for the paperback is 978-0-931779-29-9, for the ebook it is 978-0-931779-30-5.

The book was assembled under the direction of Luis Granados and edited by AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, both of whom would like to thank the Stiefel Freethought Foundation for funding the publication of this work, and the Secular Student Alliance for helping us recruit researchers to compile excerpts.

###

Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995. The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists and atheists in the United States. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 150 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.

blog comments powered by Disqus

American Humanist Association

To some, Humanism and Hedonism are one in the same. Is that really all there is...

4 hours ago

American Humanist Association

This week's Humanist Hour Podcast features Bob Ready and Sarah Henry as they tal...

6 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Update to the football prayer controversy happening at a Gainesville, GA High Sc...

9 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Fred Edwords reports from this year's Colorado Secular Conference! Get TheHuman...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Two weeks ago, AHA's Maggie Ardiente and Roy Speckhardt traveled to Oxford, Engl...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The United Coalition of Reason is a national non-profit organization that helps...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Is it really that "tragic and bizarre" to remove bibles from hotels rooms in ord...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwing some separation of church and state history at you!

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Why does the media usually portray atheists as pretentious, white men? Time to c...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Fields Medal has been awarded to up to four mathematicians every four years...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

The nature of the backlash to our recent legal case concerning pray in public sc...

2 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Religious differences within the family unit can be difficult. How do you feel a...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an update to our on-going Carroll County, Maryland case involving prayer...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Back to school time! Let's take a look at the most and least religious colleges...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Anyone need a laugh? I sure do! Warning: Language!

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Should someone's religious belief allow them to do whatever they want? No! Get...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

In November, 2014, a new film is coming out about the life of Stephen Hawking. T...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA legal director David Niose on football and Christian politics in Georgia.

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday, the beautiful and talented Lauren Bacall passed away. Just one of th...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

When the AHA, or similar organizations, take legal action in efforts to keep the...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

In this week's Humanist Hour Podcast Dr. Robert M. Price tells us 10 Things Ever...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Fox News chimes in on a letter recently sent form the AHA to a Georgia high scho...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Meet the newest staff member of the United Coalition of Reason, Jason Heap! Y...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Fan of Martin Scorsese's 1988 film, The Last Temptation of Christ? It looks like...

8 days ago