1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. 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.

Thomas Jefferson's views on Jesus

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

  1. Goldie

    Goldie Member

    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
    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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Greyportal

    Greyportal New Member

    Goldie. Are you always so nasty or is this a bad attitude you're trying to perfect?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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".
  9. 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. :)
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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. ;)
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    I guess I'd better try to resolve this conundrum! On ALF:

    1) It is not okay to talk about religion, but

    2) It is fine to talk about a figure who might also have a religious image so long as we discuss that figure in a non-religious way.

    Jesus is not necessarily a religious figure. His Gospel teachings are spiritual - not religious - teachings, and in fact He told us NOT to turn His teachings into a religion! When we talk about those teachings as spiritual truths that can be validated via communications from people that we used to think were dead, then we're fine. When we start preaching Christian dogmas - which did NOT come from Jesus - then we make Roberta really cranky.... ;-).
  16. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member


    How/where are you drawing the line between "spiritual" and "religious"? How do you define each of those concepts?
    Goldie and dopier like this.
  17. dopier

    dopier Member

    These are questions that will probably never be satisfactorily answered until everyone realizes that we're each the captain of our destiny. It's probably intellectual laziness to rely on others' opinions (facts) for one's own direction, but then one should have the right to be intellectually lazy. Therefore, ultimately I don't necessarily think there will be satisfactory answers to your questions. My two cents.
    Goldie likes this.
  18. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member


    You may be right. I just don't think we can really have a discussion on these topics without first at least attempting to clearly define them. In my experience, people tend to call their own views on these matters "spiritual", and the views of others on these matters "religious". I have seen this in people from New Agers to Christian Fundamentalists, and everything in between.
    Goldie likes this.
  19. RobertaGrimes

    RobertaGrimes Administrator

    This is a great question, dear Bluebird! I understand that there is some confusion, because religions often claim to be spiritual; but actually, religions and spirituality are something like polar opposites. Religions are codified belief-systems based in man-made dogmas that might or might not have a spiritual base somewhere in their history. If you don't share the religion's beliefs in those dogmas (e.g. Jesus died for your sins), then you can't be a part of that religion. Spirituality, on the other hand, is a search for and development of one's own true eternal nature. It cannot be based in any dogmas; it cannot be limited in any way, but rather spirituality develops as we seek what is true and as we go ever deeper within ourselves. We do tend to develop beliefs as we grow spiritually - for example, we come to understand that the more loving and forgiving we are, the more spiritual and the happier our lives become; but spirituality cannot have canons or dogmas. It is utterly free. And this is something that the great teachers have told us uniformly, but it is at the base of no religion of which I am aware. Instead, every religion I ever have studied is fear-based, not love-based, so the irony is that being very religious actually makes spiritual growth to any extent probably impossible.
  20. bluebird

    bluebird Well-Known Member


    Thank you for your response. I would tend to agree with those definitions, but I do think that often people who view themselves as spiritual do still have codified belief systems, although they may not view them as such. To be frank, I see that as one of the issues on this website. You don't allow religious proselytizing, a position I understand and with which I agree. However, there have been instances where someone (sometimes me, sometimes someone else) offers a view that does not follow or agree with the general line of thinking in some spiritual circles, only to be told (albeit not necessarily harshly) that s/he is wrong. For example, when discussing the idea that one's "higher self" resides in an afterlife, even when one exists here on earth, or when discussing the idea that deep and abiding grief prevents our dead loved ones from contacting us -- both ideas with which I do not agree. (There are probably other examples as well, but those two come most readily to my mind.)

    I suppose what I'm saying is this -- if religious dogma is prohibited from discussion on this site (and I tend to agree that it should be), then it seems only fair to me that spiritual dogma must also be prohibited from discussion. Not spirituality in general (which, after all, is part of the point/purpose of this forum), but the insistence that only particular spiritual views are correct, which is a form of dogma in itself.
    ravensgate and Goldie like this.

Share This Page