The complete text of Thomas Jefferson's original cut-and-paste version of the Gospels, portraying Jesus as a wise but strictly human teacher, deliberately omitting what Jefferson called the "dross": the virgin birth, the miracles, the resurrection, etc. When Jefferson wrote, Christianity was virtually the only show in town. Today, Americans embrace a wide variety of religious belief -- and the lack thereof. "A Jefferson Bible for the Twenty-First Century" lists candidates for the "best" and "worst" excerpts from a variety of scriptures, including the Hebrew Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavadgita, Buddhist sutras, and the Book of Mormon, and invites reader opinions on the selections.
From Best of the Gospels:
John 8:7: He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
From Worst of the Gospels:
Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
From Best of the Hebrew Bible:
Proverbs 10:18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
From Worst of the Hebrew Bible:
Psalms 137:9 Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
From Best of the Qur'an:
Sura 2:193 Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.
From Worst of the Qur'an:
Sura 5:38 As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from Allah, for their crime: and Allah is Exalted in power.
From Best of the Bhagavadgita:
Whatever a great man does, that other men also do.
From Worst of the Bhagavadgita:
From food are born (all) creatures; from rain is the production of food; rain is produced by sacrifices.
From Best of the Bhuddist Sutras:
Dhammapada 63 The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so far. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a fool indeed.
From Worst of the Bhuddist Sutras:
Dhammapada 210-211 Let no man ever look for what is pleasant, or what is unpleasant. ... Those who love nothing and hate nothing, have no fetters.
From Best of the Book of Mormon:
Nephi 26:21 and there are many churches built up which causeth envyings, and strifes, and malice;
From Worst of the Book of Mormon:
Mormon 9:24 In my name shall they cast out Devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them.
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