Thomas Jefferson: Christian or Deist?

Was Thomas Jefferson a Christian or Deist?

Consider the following from a letter to William Short, Oct. 31, 1819:

“But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his Thomas Jeffersonfrom the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its luster from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects (The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurection and visibkle accession, his coproreal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity, original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of the hierarchy, etc.) is a most desirable object.”

[Retturn to the Christian History Society by clicking HERE]


4 thoughts on “Thomas Jefferson: Christian or Deist?

  1. The dunghill? TJ is calling the gospels, as written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John . . . a dunghill? TJ throws all the miracles of Jesus out the window and says there was no resurrection, yet people want to say he was a Christian? I guess it all comes down to what your definition of a Christian is. And if you can be a Christian while denying the resurrection of Christ, well, that would prove that nothing has any meaning in this modern world. God help us all.

  2. Tj was apparently a very close friend of Thomas Paine and and a disciple of Voltare, nearly misleading Geo. Washington into Deism but for the intervention of Patrick Henry. He abandoned the Govenornship of Virginia and ran in the face of the British to a safe location during the Revolutionary war. He is said by some to have copied many ideas attributed to him from others.
    Yet he has remained a hero to the intellectual elite world, who will defend his worldliness to the bitter end.

  3. As an author of three books on George Washington, and a number of essays on Thomas Jefferson AND his Christian Faith, there are so many aspect of this article that are misleading, as well as so many aspects of Jefferson’s actions that are misrepresented. In the so-called “Jefferson Bible”, that Jefferson NEVER called it such, some so-called Christian Historians say Jefferson “cut out” the Virgin Birth and the Miracles because he did not like them. The truth is that Jefferson was creating a “Gospel Tract” for Christian Missionary Rev. Dowse of “JUST JESUS”, the words of Jesus with a few other verses for context. Fact is that JESUS NEVER discussed the Virgin Birth, and never discussed the miracles, though Jesus did list a number of His miracles in one verse, that Jefferson included.

    • You only need read TJ’s own words as he grew older between several correspondents. He denys the resurrection, the vality of the Bible, The HolySpirit, and most tenents of Christianity. Only someone not familiar with and belief in Jesus Christ, and not having the “born again” experience could claim any spiritual life or understanding of God by Mr.Jefferson.our defense of him is without evidence or merit. Sorry. Watchman

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