It was 1819, the year of promise, Virginia General Assembly approved the budget to establish the University of Virginia. It was the month of January. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of U.S.A, ultimately heaved a sigh of relief.
The decision was culmination of his hard fought struggle. It was considered one of his most decisive political victories. And it came at 77.
He had always nursed a dream to establish an institution which could be based on his education ideals. His best friend Joseph Carrington Cabell thought, secretly in his mind, “Now he can die peacefully.”
World also thought the same way about him. But, Jefferson’s mind was thinking otherwise. Deep inside his mind, he nursed a secret desire about which nobody had the faintest of Idea. Not even his closest friends.
What was it?
Every day this grand old person, in his quite moments, when nobody was there to see him or interfere; he used to hunch over several copies of the New Testament, cut those passages, paste them and scribed them as a different book. And he was doing this for decades.
Today, that work is known as ‘Jefferson’s Bible’ which eschewed everything was “contrary to reason.” It included Christ’s entombment but chooses to omits his resurrection.
Image:Thomas Jeffersom Memorial at sunrise
Why he choose to create a new Bible?
Jefferson always doubted the explanations of the existing biblical resources and considered them distractions. His ideas were criticized a lot by his detractors who left no stone unturned to dub him as a howling atheist.
Fed up of this, at a place he writes, “Every word that goes forth from me, becomes the subject of much malignant distortions and perverted construction.”
He was a child of pure rational thinking who always believed in the power of science to change the world; and who thoroughly rejected the miraculous powers of Jesus.
“I am a sect in myself, as far as I know,” He also wrote somewhere. It was pretty much clear that his ideas and belief about religion were far from orthodox. By doing this he tried to extract the purest teachings of “The life an Morals of Jesus”. It was an attempt to present his ideas about Christianity.
So this was more an attempt to prove what he actually thinks about the great religion. It was in a way his personal attempt to create his own Bible. He even attempted to create his own Jesus, a Jesus who was not the son of God.
In a way, he was a strong votary of scientific thinking the establishment of Virginia State University was a giant step to promote rational thinking in the United States.
His letters also confirm the presence of 46 pages of the New Testament passages in ‘The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth’. However, that volume is not available now.