Religion: What Jesus Said

The words of Christ have had more influence on the world than any other words in recorded history. But though all His reported words total only 36,450 (less than half the length of an average novel), they are scattered through the New Testament, and in consequence relatively few people have read them all.

A few laymen have felt that the context of the New Testament obscured, if it did not confuse, the words of Christ. One of them was Leo Tolstoy, who made his own translation of the Gospels; another was Thomas Jefferson, who made his own (somewhat arbitrarily eclectic) anthology of...

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