Jefferson’s Creative Approach to the Bible: Crafting His Own Sacred Text

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Thomas Jefferson, considered one of the major “Founding Fathers” of the United States of America, created for himself a Bible, cut and pasted from the scriptures of his own Bible.  He threw out what he considered repetition and hearsay–and stuck with just the moral teachings of Jesus Christ.  He worked on this in private mostly, in his seventies.  It’s a remarkable artifact of literature, a composed text created from another text.  A personally sacred text crafted from a publicly sacred text.

This little video was created by the University of Virginia and features the Smithsonian.

 

Not every believer takes everything their sacred texts or churches tell them—and visually Jefferson captured what metaphorically many believers craft–their own version of their faith.  They cut and paste what’s important.

Can you think of a character who might be more eclectic in their approach to their faith, taking what they find important and extricating it from the stuff they find unimportant?  Not every representation of Faith has to be an all or nothing approach—a perfect Buddhist, a perfect Christian.  In reality, believers are all seekers, crafters, negotiators.

 

 

 

About jstueart

Jerome writes science fiction/ fantasy and LGBT fiction and has been published in many magazines and journals including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Lightspeed, Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Geist, Geez, Rock and Sling, and The Rio Grande Review. His first collection, The Angels of Our Better Beasts, was published in 2016 by ChiZine Publications. He's co-editor of Wrestling with Gods: Tesseracts 18 from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing and of Imaginarium 4 from ChiZine Publications. He makes his home between the Yukon Territory and Ohio. He teaches currently at the University of Dayton in Dayton, OH.

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