Thomas Jefferson’s

The Philosophy of Jesus

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The Philosophy of Jesus was written when Jefferson was President of the United States. The text was designed to who how far the state might go to accommodate Christianity. Jefferson’s approach is vastly different from what our scholars assert today. Jefferson did not see Jesus as God, but he did consider him to be the greatest teacher of republican ethics ever to have walked the earth. Jesus taught a system of natural religion that is essential to every free people. When stripped of all sectarian doctrine, it belong within our nation’s public life.

This work should not be confused with “Jefferson’s Bible.” Though similar in plan, this book is earlier and more politically important. The “Philosophy of Jesus” was Jefferson’s answer to the demand of the Federalists that the supernatural doctrines of Christianity be joined to the power of the state. This edition reprints the extracted biblical texts in their entirety (in either a King James or Confraternity edition) and provides an extensive explanation of what Jefferson meant by “natural religion.” For use in public schools, with notes to the student, teacher, and review questions.

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