Small pieces, joined

Small pieces, joined

Stripping out the Gospel miracles and inconsistencies to demonstrate parts he found interesting, Thomas Jefferson created a book representing his own views:

Making good on a promise to a friend to summarize his views on Christianity, Thomas Jefferson set to work with scissors, snipping out every miracle and inconsistency he could find in the New Testament Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Then, relying on a cut-and-paste technique, he reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative and pasted them onto blank paper – alongside translations in French, Greek and Latin.

Of the practice, he says:

See also:
Tree of Codes, Jonathan Safran Foer

“I have performed the operation for my own use,” he continued, “by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter, which is evidently his and which is as easily distinguished as diamonds in a dunghill.”

Renamed by Jefferson “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazereth,” the book was just called the “Jefferson Bible” by friends. From the cut-and-paste physicality to the reframing that revealed in public a new coherence of thought, looks like rather physical and more early evidence of the practice of remixing.

[Image source: TYWKIWDBI. Cut-and-paste progress.]
[Image source: TYWKIWDBI. Reassembled version.]