Jerry Newcombe on Did Thomas Jefferson Really Remove the Miracles from His Bible?

Once in a while, the myth that Thomas Jefferson edited down the Bible in order to remove the miraculous, resurfaces. He supposedly did this because he was essentially an unbeliever who thought that religion had no place in the public square.

A couple of years ago, I teamed up with a pastor from Jefferson’s home town of Charlottesville, Virginia, Dr. Mark Beliles, to write a book on the faith of our third president. The book is Doubting Thomas: The Religious Life and Legacy of Thomas Jefferson (MorganJames, 2014).

There are two main points to our book.

1) Whatever serious doubts he may have privately held later in life, Jefferson was not a lifelong skeptic. In fact, when he was most productive and helpful to the country, he was from all outward appearances a practicing Christian. This would include when he wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom (1777, passed in 1786), which says that because of the example of the “holy author of our religion” (Jesus), people should be free to believe or disbelieve.

2) Regardless of whatever theological unorthodoxy he held (later in life), he did not believe in the separation of God and government—which is the way the ACLU and other secularists try to portray him.

For example, on a regular basis, when he was president, Jefferson attended the Christian worship services held at the U.S. Capitol building—services he approved of, which continued long after he was president.

As president, Jefferson took time one night in 1804 to cull through the sayings of Jesus as found in the four Gospels. Why did he do this?

The title he himself put on this unpublished work gives us a clue: The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted From the Account of His Life and Doctrines as Given by Matthew, Mark, Luke & John; Being an Abridgement of the New Testament for the Use of the Indians Unembarrassed with Matters of Fact or Faith Beyond the Level of Their Comprehensions.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Jerry Newcombe