Don’t believe David Barton, Glenn Beck or me: Read the Jefferson Bible for yourself

Sunday and earlier today, I posted about David Barton’s recent appearance on the Glenn Beck Show where Barton made claims about The Jefferson Bible.

Barton said that Jefferson included miracles such as feeding the multitudes and raising the dead in his 1804 extraction from the Gospels (he didn’t). The best reconstruction of the 1804 extraction can be found in a 1983 book published by the Princeton University Press and edited by Dickinson Adams, titled Jefferson’s Extracts from the Gospels.

The Smithsonian Institute has provided an online way to view the 1820 extraction (Jefferson called it The Life and Morals of Jesus) which is quite user friendly. Click this link to see it.

Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Go look at it yourself.


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  • If you want to download a facsimile for closer inspection, the version printed by resolution of the 57th Congress is available for free in the Internet Archive. It is not as well-produced as the Smithsonian version, but it is clear and contains all his marginalia.

    The following is excerpted from the Introduction:

    Printed in pursuance to the following concurrent resolution adopted by the Fifty-seventh Congress, first session, “That there be printed and bound, by photolithographic process, with an introduction of not to exceed twenty-five pages, to be prepared by Dr. Cyrus Adler, librarian of the Smithsonian institution, for the use of Congress, 9,000 copies of Thomas Jefferson’s Morals of Jesus of Nazareth, as the same appears in the National museum; 3,000 copies for the use of the Senate and 6,000 copies for the use of the House”.–Introd

    Slip mounted on t.-p.: House of representatives. Document no. 755. 58th Congress, 2d session.

    The site: