One question bothered me until now. That was Thomas Jefferson and his motivation for compiling what is called “The Jefferson Bible”. When I origianlly heard about it, the speaker said it was because Jefferson denied the miracles of the Bible and was a deist.
It bothered me that God would found our nation and allow it to prosper under the hands of unbelievers.
Having read what you wrote, and having researched it more, I have come to the conclusion that Jefferson was not denying the miracles, but rather, he was compiling a study. Every pastor who has ever preached from the pulpit has done the same thing…that is, taking verses, in context and using them for the sermon.
Based on what I understand thus far, Jefferson had a couple motivations for removing the miracles. I think his primary motivation was to show how to live a Christian life. While God does perform miracles even today, we cannot live our lives expecting miracles to get us out of hot water, because unlike Jesus, we are not the Son of God, with omniscience…knowing everything…nor omnipotence…able to do everything.
His writings echo the anagram, WWJD. What Would Jesus Do?
That is, if our only answer to a situation and the question WWJD, is, “turn water into wine” or “feed 5000 on a kid’s happy meal” or “walk on water”, then we have failed most miserably as Christians. Rather than relying on the power of miracles, we are to live our lives as Christians…show compassion, know when evil men are trying to corrupt us, stand up to those who question our devotion to Christ because they imposed what their broken moral compass would do in the same situation onto us (such as when Jesus was scorned for being with less-than-savory men and women).
Also, it was not called, “The Jefferson Bible”, by Jefferson. His title was, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth: Extracted Textually from the Gospels Greek, Latin, French, and English”. Thus, further proof his intention on putting his book together was to show how we, as Christians, are to live morally, emulating Jesus.