Tag Archives: Bible
I … solicit thy patronage to a work which I am about to print … It is Brown’s of Haddington, historical, Geographical, Chronological, Etymological and Critical Dictionary of the Holy Bible
… its matter is merely intended to elucidate the Holy Scriptures, and not to favor the favourite dogma of Sect or party …
My intention is to have it neatly done, and printed on paper made within thirty miles of this place, and bound in skins of the growth of our hills & vallie’s …
Pittsburgh is becoming a place of business—much of a manufacturing town—I want to lend my assistance in my way, to forward its progress…
I am thy unknown friend.
Zadok Cramer to Thomas Jefferson, Febry 14, 1805
Th: Jefferson presents his compliments to mr Cramer and subscribes with pleasure for a copy of Brown’s dictionary of the bible which he proposes to print at Pittsburg.
Thomas Jefferson to Zadok Cramer, March 8, 1805
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders enjoy having their right buttons pushed!
At age 31, the entrepreneurial Cramer (1773-1814) had already established himself as a bookbinder and publisher in western Pennsylvania. He wanted the President to be the first pledge to buy his reprint of a comprehensive Bible dictionary.
Thomas Jefferson was all in, for multiple reasons:
1. He loved books!
2. He was a student of the Bible and a supporter of religion in general.
3. This work was to educate only, not proselytize.
4. It would be produced entirely in America, with local paper for printing and local leather for binding.
5. It would showcase the product of a western businessman in a prospering western city.
This sketch highlights the enterprising Cramer. Although it makes no mention of this book, in early 1808 he shipped the first of two volumes of the Dictionary to the President.
“In addition to giving you high ratings, participants repeatedly indicated
that you were “inspiring,” “very educational,” and “outstanding.” “
Conference Manager, Nebraska Association of School Boards
Does that sound promising for your audience?
Invite Thomas Jefferson to speak. Call 573-657-2739
NOTE: The link to Thomas Jefferson’s letter is subject to change by Founders’ Archive. It was accurate when this post was written. If the link is now wrong, search FoundersArchives.gov or call me. I’ll help you find it.
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