Author:Thomas Jefferson
Published by:N.P. (1820)
Subjects:Bible. N.T. ⇒ Greek
Included in:
Traits:has-reference-word-counts, supports-bible, supports-page
Milestones:bible, page
Open in:, , , ,

Created by Thomas Jefferson in 1820, The Jefferson Bible is an assemblage of passages from the first four books of the New Testament and was originally known as The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. It was extracted textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French, and English. The resulting work represented a meeting of Enlightenment thought and Christian tradition by one of the great thinkers of the Revolutionary Era. Jefferson made no plans to publish this work—it was solely for his own reading and reflection in understanding Jesus’ moral teachings.

Throughout Jefferson’s life the book’s existence was known only to a few. After his death in 1826, it remained in his family until 1895, when Smithsonian’s librarian Cyrus Adler purchased the long-sought-after book from Jefferson’s great-granddaughter. That year The Life and Morals was first publicly displayed under the title Jefferson’s Bible.