David Barton’s Founders’ Bible and Thomas Jefferson

As I feel up to it, I am gradually working my way through the massive Founders’ Bible published by a subsidiary of Windblown Media (publishers of The Shack). In this post, I want to briefly address the Founders’ Bible articles on Thomas Jefferson and the Jefferson Bible.

On page 64, a biography of Jefferson appears. It is generally accurate but it seems oddly placed in the Old Testament. Jefferson had little good to say about the way God was presented in those books.

On page 1445-1449, Barton summarizes the material from his ill-fated The Jefferson Lies regarding what Jefferson included in his two Gospel extractions (aka The Jefferson Bible). As in The Jefferson Lies, Barton claims Jefferson included miraculous healings from Matthew in his 1804 version. As I pointed out in a previous post (and we detail in Getting Jefferson Right), this claim is false. Jefferson’s list of texts did not include miracles from Matthew 9 and there is no evidence that he included them. Moreover, Barton does not provide any primary source evidence; he simply cites an erroneous citation from a tertiary source. The Founders’ Bible publishers place the article on the Jefferson Bible in Matthew 9 which makes the situation all the more absurd.

Barton also says on page 1446 that Jefferson included passages referring to the Resurrection. He probably would defend himself by saying he meant the general resurrection of people on judgment day. However, the average reader would not know that.  The article may as well been placed at the end of Matthew closer to the Resurrection of Christ which is another passage not included in either of Jefferson’s extractions.

Even though The Jefferson Lies is no longer available from Thomas Nelson, you can get the same faulty claims now in The Founders’ Bible.



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  • I guess Barton is just trying to bury the reader in minutiae. You have far more patience than I do, Warren, to work your way through a massive tome like this.

  • BTW, Wiencek and Meacham both have new books on Jefferson due out this Fall.

  • Patrocles

    Jefferson seemingly believed, as the Jews, that God actually governs the world and shapes the destiny of “His” people or peoples in this world. Making him one of the precursors of the “manifest destiny” ideology.

    That’s not so far from Judaism. even if there are differences en detail.