The Jefferson Bible

Fifty years to the date after signing the Declaration of Independence our third president, Thomas Jefferson, died on July 4, 1826—just hours before the death of his fellow signer John Adams. Just six years earlier, Jefferson completed an 84-page manuscript he called the “Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” Gleaned from the four Gospels of the New Testament, and Jefferson’s private work, it remained unknown until his great-granddaughter sold the manuscript to the Smithsonian Institution in 1895. In 2011, the Smithsonian undertook a challenging restoration project of the fragile document, and what is now known as the “Jefferson Bible” was presented to scholars and the general public at the Smithsonian’s Albert H. Small Documents Gallery.

Share

More Book Minute Features

March 30, 2020

Nebuchadnezzar’s Inscription

The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar is mentioned several times in the Bible including his dramatic story of repentance in the Book of Daniel, Chapter...
March 16, 2020

Miserere mei Deus - Psalm 51

Miserere mei Deus (“Have mercy on me, O God”) by Gregorio Allegri, using the words from Psalm 51, is one of the most beautiful compositions ever writt...
March 09, 2020

Walt Whitman and the Bible in Poetry

Walt Whitman is regarded as one of America’s most significant 19th-century poets. Whitman references the Bible in several of his works. Evident in an...