Jefferson's "Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth"

This is a photocopy of the original Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels as Thomas Jefferson entitled it. He apparently completed this in the summer of 1820.

To the left is half of page 6 that shows the beginning of Matthew 5, the Beatitudes. The other half of page 6 has columns he pasted from the Greek and Latin parallels of this text. The left column shown here is in French. Throughout this book he pasted parallel columns in Greek, Latin, French, and English.

Note in the copy to the left in the right margin he wrote "L.6." where he pasted verses from Luke 6. Jefferson chose to paste in Luke 6.24-26 between Matthew 5.12 and 5.13. Where he pasted Matthew 5,13-14 he helpfully wrote in the margin "Mt.5."

Reading what Jefferson selected and edited is insightful. One example: he pasted in Luke 7.36-46 — the woman who bathed and anointed Jesus' feet while Jesus was invited to eat in Simon's house, but leaves off 7.47-50 in which Jesus forgives her. He includes Jesus' pithy contrast of Simon the Pharisee and the woman but not the forgiveness!

—Photo in Jefferson's Extracts from the Gospel, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson second series, Dickinson W. Adams, editor.