Religion: Jefferson Edits the Bible

One hundred and twenty-seven years after it was prepared, Thomas Jefferson's personal 25,000-word abridgment of the Bible made its first public appearance last week under the title Jefferson chose for it, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (Wilfred Funk; $1).

Jefferson is one of the two U. S. Presidents (the other: Lincoln) who did not claim membership in any church. But he spent his spare evenings at the White House and Monticello with paste pot and shears, clipping and collating Greek, Latin, French and English Bibles in parallel columns. Fear of being...

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