By Kimberly Winston, 1/14/2013
(RNS) Thomas Jefferson is back in Washington — in the form of a new edition of the “Jefferson Bible” distributed to politicians by a national humanist organization.
The American Humanist Association has delivered electronic and paperback copies of Jefferson’s highly edited version of the Gospels to all incoming members of Congress and to President Obama.
The so-called “Jefferson Bible” was handcrafted by the second president with a razor blade and a paste pot. He cut what he considered supernatural events — the virgin birth, miracles and healings — from the story of Jesus’ life, and pasted together what remained. In letters to John Adams, Jefferson described this as tearing down the “artificial scaffolding” from Jesus’ teachings.
A new version published by Humanist Press takes Jefferson’s idea further. In addition to Jefferson’s text, “A Jefferson Bible For the 21st Century,” includes what its editors consider the best and the worst of the sacred texts of other world religions — the Hebrew Tanakh, the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist Sutras and the Book of Mormon.
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To preview or purchase A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century, click here.