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Smithsonian Channel Program

July 9, 2012

I learned the fate of two of my 1733 New Testaments this morning and it gave me a good laugh. About a year ago I sent two 1733 New Testament text blocks to H. DeLea Sayers, Bookbinder,Journeyman of my trade, Master of my Bindery, He had told me that he was going to bind these two text blocks and they were to be used in a movie, but could not tell me any details. I rushed the text blocks out to him. DeLea contacted me, via email, this morning and shared what film they had been used in and how they were used. The movie has been and I believe is still airing on the Smithsonian Channel. It is about the restoration of Jefferson’s “Life & Morals of Jesus Christ” Bible (actually only the Gospels).

Thomas Jefferson was very concerned with the moral teaching of Jesus. A friend of mine, Tad Miller, purchased and gave me the book which this movie is about, The Jefferson Bible, The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French & English, by Thomas Jefferson, the Smithsonian Edition last year. This is a very fine book. The first fifty or so pages tell all about how Jefferson created his own unique book of the gospels which he manage to keep mostly private during his life. The majority of this book is full of actual images of Jefferson’s “Bible.

Jefferson cut up some Bibles and then glued and pasted and made his own account of Jesus teachings but included none of Jesus’ miracles. I don’t get the Smithsonian Channel and thus have not yet seen this movie, but from what I have been told, the actor (Thomas Jefferson) used my/our two 1733 New Testaments that was bound by Sayers and actually cut them up just like Jefferson did in the movie and made a replica Jefferson Bible from them. How weird and cool.

Tad Miller purchased a copy of this DVD when he was at the Smithsonian and mailed it to me this week. I watched this show last evening. It is very informative. Jefferson was certainly not a Christian, but a Deist. You may purchase this DVD from the Smithsonian Store at the following link:

You can read more about and see the days and times that the Smithsonian channel will be airing this program at the following link:


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