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Old 06-11-2019, 06:53 AM
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CalMeacham is online now
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
Thomas Jefferson went through the Bible, to cut out all miracles and condense the gospels to the "authentic" Jesus.

How Thomas Jefferson Created His Own Bible

It didn't go any farther than him, although others could have done something similar.
Well, except that the Jefferson Bible isn't composed of only "what Jesus said" -- it's the material from the four evangelists stripped of what Jefferson thought fanciful and unlikely (even if Jesus said it) and assembled in chronological order.

The current edition (I picked one up at the Smithsonian last year) is a beautiful photoreproduction, with a binding that's identical to the binding of the original. If you strip off the protective plastic dust jacket (which has all the usual jacket material), you could put it right on a bookshelf among a bunch of early 19th century books and the only way it would stand out was by looking new new and unused. I've read it twice.

Regarding the OP's premise -- I don't know of any religion that's based only o the words of the founder. In the cases of most religions, it's a combination of the writings they have and a whole host of traditions and thins based on supporting and even apocryphal texts. It's practically impossible to "reconstruct" religions even from their sacred texts, because there's so much missing from the texts filled in by that tradition. Some aspects of religions even contradict parts of their sacred texts.

A religion based solely upon the words of Jesus* (and nothing else in the existing Evangelists) would be a very different thing. You run into trouble right away with Matthew 16:28 "Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Taken in a straightforward and literal sense, this implies that the Son of Man already came about 2000 years ago. To many, this means that the Apocalypse has already come.

*and which words? Which texts do you take as canonical? There are significant differences between the three Synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke and the Fourth Gospel of John. Do you reject John? How about the Gospel of Thomas? Or the infancy narratives, or...well, you se the point.
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