Tag Archives: Bible
I gladly lay down the distressing burthen of power…the part which I have acted on the theatre of public life, has been before them [the citizens of the nation]; & to their sentence I submit it: but the testimony of my native county, of the individuals who have known me in private life, to my conduct in it’s various duties, & relations, is the more grateful as proceeding from eye witnesses & observers … of you then, my neighbors, I may ask, in the face of the world, ‘whose ox have I taken, or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed, or of whose hand have I recieved a bribe to blind mine eyes therewith’? on your verdict I rest with conscious security
To the Inhabitants of Albemarle County, April 3, 1809
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Honest leaders have no fear of going home to stay.
Albemarle County, Virginia was Jefferson’s home county. Its citizens had welcomed his return to Monticello after his retirement, and he prepared this acknowledgement.
He was glad to be done with power! He believed he had acted honorably in office and was willing to accept whatever verdict came from the nation. He was far more concerned with the verdict of his neighbors and friends, people who had known him for decades.
In addressing his friends, he also made his response to distant observers who questioned his judgment, morals and faith. To these who knew him well, he quoted the prophet Samuel from the Old Testament (1 Sam. 12:3), asking whom had he cheated, oppressed or deprived of justice? He would live out his remaining years among those friends and neighbors in the confidence (“conscious security”) of their judgment.
“Mr. Lee has presented as Thomas Jefferson …
on two different occasions and in two very different formats.
In both instances, the presentations were of exceedingly high quality …”
Executive Director, Missouri Humanities Council
Whatever your meeting, Mr. Jefferson will bring a relevant message.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus … There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.
I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging, the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an 8 vo. [octavo, a book 8-10” tall] of 46. pages of pure and unsophisticated doctrines, such as were professed and acted on by the unlettered apostles, the Apostolic fathers, and the Christians of the 1st. century.
To John Adams, October 13, 1813
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Discerning leaders know what’s important and what’s not.
Jefferson wrote a lengthy letter to his old friend, mostly an analysis of the Old and New Testaments. He took issue with portions of them but never with the words of Jesus. He thought Jesus, the man, was the greatest moral teacher who ever lived. Jefferson had no patience with those he felt had padded or added on to the prophet’s simple teaching. He wanted to reduce that voluminous work to its simplest basis.
With a razor blade and glue, he cut from the New Testament the words of Jesus and the empirical history of his lifetime found in the four Gospels and arranged them in one chronological account. He even created his own version of what would be called a “parallel Bible” today, with each verse rendered side-by-side in English, French, Latin and Greek. He called it “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” Later generations have dubbed it the “Jefferson Bible.” The Smithsonian Institute has recently refurbished the original work.
This project was for Jefferson’s personal and private use. He shared a copy with one or two trusted friends and the idea with several more, like Adams. Except for these few, its existence in Jefferson’s lifetime was unknown.
“Your interpretation of Jefferson was inspiring
and was very appropriate for our audience of leaders …”
Executive Director, Missouri School Boards Association
Mr. Jefferson will inspire your leaders when you invite him to speak!
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739