Jefferson didn't believe in miracles, but he did believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ. His biblical compilation played down the supernatural while highlighting moral teachings for a modern world.
Relatively few people know that along with authoring the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson also compiled his own text, drawn carefully from passages extracted out of the New Testament, that he titled "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth." The book, which focused on the ethical teachings of Jesus, was a private undertaking for Jefferson and never made public in his lifetime. Now, experts at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History are meticulously conserving this fragile volume, page by brittle page. Along the way, they discover subtle hidden clues to Jefferson himself.
Watch this show online now.
and hundreds more by starting your free trial of Smithsonian Channel Plus.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.