You’ve probably heard by now but Donald Trump is endorsing his own version of The Bible. For the low, low price of just $60 (doesn’t include shipping and tax), you can own the ONLY Bible endorsed by Donald J. Trump.

Trump Bible
Rod Long via Unsplash


This is the man whose trial for paying hush money to a porn star that he committed adultery (see Exodus 20:14) with starts in just a few days.

It’s called the God Bless the U.S.A. Bible. And it’s not just your normal, run-of-the-mill Bible. This one has BONUSES! Included in the Trump-endorsed Bible are the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. I’m picking up a theme: it’s all the things Trump himself has never read but should.

Also, it includes the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s country hit, “God Bless the U.S.A.”

The outrageousness of this cynical move is obvious on its face. Imagine the response from Sean Hannity and Mark Levine if Barack Obama had put out HIS own version of the Good Book. They’d still be howling about it to this day.

Trump is the unprecedented President. Nothing should be shocking now. But what is at least a little surprising is this: Trump is NOT the first American president to put out his own version of the Bible.

Caleb Weiner via Unsplash
Caleb Weiner via Unsplash

We have to go ALLLLL the way back to our third President, Thomas Jefferson. Like many of the founding fathers, Jefferson was a deist. Deism was HUGE in the U.S. and Europe at this time. It sprang from the ideas of the Age of Enlightenment that valued rationalism and empirical observation over dogma and church tradition. Jefferson, as well as other Deists like Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, believed that, through observation of the natural world, there was evidence of a Creator God who set everything in motion. This ties into why so many of the Founders were also Freemasons. They believed in a Great Architect who designed the universe and everything in it.

J Amill Santiago via Unsplash
J Amill Santiago via Unsplash

What they didn’t believe was that God still actively participated in the affairs of His creation. Most of the deists didn’t believe in the supernatural. Jefferson himself did not believe in the deity of Jesus Christ. So, he made his own Bible.

Jefferson LITERALLY did a cut and paste job on existing Bibles. Using a razor and glue, he cut out and pasted his selection of verses from various translations: Greek, Latin, French as well as the King James Version. Jefferson’s Bible was HEAVILY edited. It contained no miracles. No virgin birth, no resurrection, no walking on water. It did include most of what Jesus was credited with saying (these would be the words denoted in red in most Bibles today). The Sermon on the Mount was in there as well as the Parables of Jesus.

Jefferson called his compilation The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. It begins with Christ’s birth (minus the angels and virgin stuff) and ends with Jesus being laid in a tomb following his crucifixion. End of book, no resurrection and no ascension into heaven.

It’s what you would get from somebody who didn’t believe in mumbo-jumbo but who still thought Jesus was THE most important philosopher and greatest example for mankind. Jefferson said about his version of the Bible, “A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus”.

Unlike Trump, Jefferson never tried to turn a profit by hawking his Bible. In fact, the only copies he made were given to a number of his close friends and confidents. He never allowed it to be published during his lifetime.

As the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, I wonder how Jefferson would feel knowing that his work is included in the Trump Bible. It’s right in there along with all the stories of water being transformed into wine, raising of the dead and the lyrics of a song that went all the way to #7 on the Billboard Hot Country charts in 1984.

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