This time by a 17-year-old highschool senior, homeschooled, Christian conservative, the exact audience which Barton targets for his propaganda (indeed, he's been nicknamed their "lesson-planner"). And that's a real shame. Some of those homeschooled Christians are real bright; they deserve better than Barton.
The myth in question is about the so called "Jefferson Bible." Barton's website claims:
The reader, as do many others, claimed that Jefferson omitted all miraculous events of Jesus from his "Bible." Rarely do those who make this claim let Jefferson speak for himself. Jefferson's own words explain that his intent for that book was not for it to be a "Bible," but rather for it to be a primer for the Indians on the teachings of Christ (which is why Jefferson titled that work, "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth"). What Jefferson did was to take the "red letter" portions of the New Testament and publish these teachings in order to introduce the Indians to Christian morality.
And then we have D. James Kennedy spreading the myth:
So what about the Jefferson Bible, that miracles-free version of the Scriptures? That, too, is a myth. It is not a Bible, but an abridgement of the Gospels created by Jefferson in 1804 for the benefit of the Indians. Jefferson's "Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted From the New Testament for the Use of the Indians" was a tool to evangelize and educate American Indians. There is no evidence that it was an expression of his skepticism.
There never was a Jefferson Bible per se. Jefferson did cut out miracles from the Gospels in order to produce a book on ethics -- the ethics and morals of Jesus Christ for the purpose of evangelizing and educating the American Indians.
But Derek Wallace actually researches the primary sources in context and discovers that Jefferson's Bible really was for his own use and was an expression of his skepticism. In fact, Jefferson thought much of Scripture was a corrupted "dunghill," with "diamonds" of Truth buried therein. From Jefferson's October 13, 1813 letter to John Adams (and Adams by the way, approved of Jefferson's editing Scripture, because he too thought the Bible was errant, and noted if he had the time, Adams himself would have produced his own Bible with the "error" edited out):
In extracting the pure principles which [Jesus] taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves . . . We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill.
And this is not the only time Jefferson discusses, in his private correspondence, his "Bible"; many times, he notes that his Bible is for his own use.
Read the rest of the article; it's quite good. I'd say that at 17, Mr. Wallace's skills at historical research have already surpassed Barton's.