1. Afterlife Forums is an online, interactive community designed to give seekers direct access to prominent researchers, to afterlife literature, and to one another in order to foster both spiritual growth and public interest in life after death.
    Dismiss Notice

Thomas Jefferson's views on Jesus

Discussion in 'Spiritual Growth & Development' started by Goldie, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    I found this on Wikipedia. Just want to know how he sees things now, if at all.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

    Jefferson wrote that “Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God.” He called the writers of the New Testament “ignorant, unlettered men” who produced “superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications.” He called the Apostle Paul the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” He dismissed the concept of the Trinity as “mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.” He believed that the clergy used religion as a “mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves” and that “in every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.” And he wrote in a letter to John Adams that “the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

    Sounds pretty harsh. Makes me wonder about him before and now, according to Grimes.
     
    Kate0508 and milahanna like this.
  2. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer this question, Goldie! Jefferson was deeply devoted to the genuine Jesus, and he remains so to this day. In his old age on earth he created his own study Bible by cutting up Bibles printed in four languages - English, French, Greek, and Latin - and pasting the words of Jesus into a copybook side by side in four languages so he could better understand what the Lord had been saying. He insisted that the great crime of Christianity was that it did not follow the teachings of Jesus, but rather it perverted the Lord's meaning and His message. Jefferson felt that all the mystical aspects of Christianity, and teachings ranging from the virgin birth through the Trinity and the doctrine of sacrificial redemption, all were human corruptions that got in the way of the Lord's true mission and message. Thus he came to despise those who perpetrated these notions, who used them to aggregate wealth and power for themselves, and who focused on them rather than on the Lord's actual teachings.

    Fast-forward to today. I learned in Feb of 2015 that the entity who was Thomas Jefferson is now my primary spirit guide, and his opinion on these matters has changed almost not at all! I suspect that the only thing that he would change of what you quote him as having written during that lifetime was his opinion of the nature of Jesus. Like the dead community in general, he reveres Jesus and refers to him now as "the Master," and he says that indeed when He came to earth 2000 years ago Jesus was so elevated that He was God on earth. God could "look through His eyes" and speak in His voice. Interestingly, when you read the Gospels closely you find Jesus saying almost precisely the same thing.

    My decades of studying communications from hundreds of people that we used to think were dead have provided overwhelmingly consistent testimony that Jesus is right but that Christianity is not, which fact troubled me for years before I realized that I could make a choice. I chose Jesus. And I have been His most joyous disciple ever since!
     
    Kate0508, kim marine and Goldie like this.
  3. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    Yes, the church has interfered with and translated for the people for their own benefit. Fortunately now, the scripture is available for our own study now, without church "experts" telling us their versions. I've studied the bible on my own (using Greek and Hebrew Lexicon) and found different meanings that enlighten to a wiser, loving God. Swedenborg also addresses this issue of how the people of the church have distorted the Word, God, and Jesus.

    Thank you for your answer, Roberta.
     
    milahanna likes this.
  4. milahanna

    milahanna Member

    The fact that he essentially cherry picked verses worries me. If he didn't trust the writers of the Gospels then how can he even be sure that the verses he chose to believe are even legitimate?

    Also, I've seen before and am learning even more now that although the church overall has tainted the message on the surface, the truth is still very well preserved and hidden even in the most difficult passages.

    Jefferson leaves out the resurrection yet every detail of it fulfills things written in the Torah and has hidden meanings to the culture of that time. For example, the fact that it is written that he folded and left his covering in the tomb is significant. This is just a small example. Swedenborg has opened me up to a wealth of symbolism hidden throughout scripture. It saddens me to think that Jefferson could have prematurely rejected verses with significant meaning hidden under the surface of misunderstanding.

    I'm very weary when it comes to picking and choosing what I believe or want Jesus to say. Just my 2 cents.
     
  5. Greyportal

    Greyportal New Member

    Hello, I'm new here, but wanted to reply.

    First, I would recommend you check and double check the original sources. So much balderdash has been attributed to Jefferson that the Jefferson Foundation has a list of the most spurious quotes incorrectly attributed to him.

    I think pondering the quotes without context leaves the impression that Jefferson was an atheist, or at the very least, very skeptical. That's not the case. The book featured in that wiki page is in fact Jefferson's efforts to glean and preserve the authentic words and teaching of Jesus.

    Jefferson was a deeply religious man. He also deeply believed the New Testament was totally contaminated by religious zealots who re-wrote the words of Jesus to sell their ideology to the public. Jefferson believed early christians deliberately modified the words of Jesus to convert pagans to Christianity.

    Jefferson believed the true words of Jesus were within the text, thus, the challenge was to sift through and find the authentic messages. Jeffersons position really isn't any different than all the other theologians who over the centuries have edited the various editions of the Bible to reflect their interpretation of it.

    When Jefferson set out to rid the Bible of all that contamination, he explained to William Short his belief that the authentic words of Jesus were in the New Testament, that his challenge was in, "...abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separate from that as the diamond from the dung hill."

    I think context is vital to interpretation of the quotes attributed to Jefferson in the Wikipedia page.

    But no doubt, Jefferson is one of the most complex figures in American history. That complexity is due in part to our political and social evolution, and to the fact that Jefferson was contradictory in his views. Even still, I don't think there's an American alive who would fault him for the Louisiana Purchase – best real estate deal ever made:).

    Source for my quote is the Monticello Association which oversees his estate. I tried to include the link, but it was blocked.
     
  6. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    Greyportal, you're allowed your opinion.
     
  7. Greyportal

    Greyportal New Member

    Goldie. Are you always so nasty or is this a bad attitude you're trying to perfect?
     
  8. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    May I respectfully remind members that ALF is a 'no religion discussion' website? This thread is fast heading in that direction.
     
  9. milahanna

    milahanna Member

    We understand that. However, Jefferson is supposedly Roberta's guide and she wrote a book about Jesus based off what he believed. We're just trying to get a better understanding.
     
    Goldie likes this.
  10. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Discussing Jefferson isn't the issue but moving on to discussions about Jesus, the Bible and Christianity is heading in the direction of talking about religion. It's not me but Roberta who decreed "no religion".
     
  11. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    Mac, it appears to me that Roberta wrote a book on these subjects. No one is preaching a religion, they are addressing that very subject and inputting their knowledge of the same. I follow Jesus, God, and the bible, as well as many other ancient texts and writings while affiliated with NO RELIGION, especially not Christianity in the sense it is today. I think you're making the common new age assumption that any talk of Jesus and the bible automatically assumes preaching of christianity (which is odd because New Age preaches all their stuff and it's whatever anyone wants to believe - except anything to do with Jesus or Bible - better tell Roberta who just wrote a book on those two subjects). You should think about these differences before shutting others down by scolding, regardless of how nice it appears. You made no sense.
     
    dopier and milahanna like this.
  12. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I didn't mention preaching and I'm making no assumptions about anything ;) and as for 'New Age' well rofl! :D

    Like I said earlier, it's Roberta who said "no religion" and it's her website. If she decides further such discussion is OK then OK. :)
     
  13. milahanna

    milahanna Member

    She wrote an entire book about Jesus and her guide had a lot to say about Jesus. Based on that alone, the discussion should be allowed here.
     
  14. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    That's all well and good. I have no qualms about her rules, but I think you took our discussion out of context and labeled it "religion". We were not pushing a religion. I'm glad you see that this discussion is well within the limits of Roberta's rules of proper conduct here.
     
  15. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    The book is a red-herring but if Roberta says it's OK to discuss religion then that will be an end to any disagreement. I was going on what she's written previously. She'll be the arbiter.
     
  16. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    Now you're misrepresenting what I wrote - quite plainly I never did say you were pushing a religion. When Roberta says it's OK to continue this discussion because it's not about religion then that will be that. And if the discussion continues I'll likely join in with my tuppence worth. ;)
     
  17. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    Not misrepresenting you. You said "religion". We are not preaching or debating a religion.
     
  18. Goldie

    Goldie Member



    Greyportal, your answer was well written and thought out, but it contradicts what I saw. To me, it's all opinion. You are allowed that, as I stated simply. Doesn't mean I agree with it. And I'm not going to argue my points against it. You obviously have more education on this subject, but I don't agree with Jefferson cut and pasting an ancient document based on what he thinks either, then putting it out there for the world to see. I've seen much damage done to people in the name of one person being elevated above the rest. Your remark about me being nasty was actually off the subject. I had to wonder who was actually being nasty here.
     
  19. mac

    mac senior member Staff Member

    I never said you were preaching or debating a religion. I repeat from posting #10 "Discussing Jefferson isn't the issue but moving on to discussions about Jesus, the Bible and Christianity is heading in the direction of talking about religion.

    Roberta has said before that she wishes to keep her website religion-free.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  20. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    Understood. But he was a practical and even a skeptical man by nature, and he felt that the miracles (a) were not necessary to our understanding of the words of Jesus, and (b) were too often used by clergymen to manipulate people (after all, this is the man who said, "Upon the altar of God I have sworn eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man"). I haven't seen evidence that he ever questioned whether the words of Jesus on love, forgiveness, etc., were genuine, but he also didn't preach them; he sought only to better understand them for himself. The Jefferson Bible was his personal study Bible. He never intended that it be published!
     
    Goldie likes this.

Share This Page