Thomas Jefferson's revolutionary take on the Bible reissued

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He was one of the men who laid the foundations for God's own country, but Thomas Jefferson had his own revolutionary ideas about the Bible.

The third US president's unwillingness to swallow miracles such as the virgin birth led him to cut out parts of the Gospels he did not agree with and compile his own version.

The result, known informally as The Jefferson Bible, has been published in a new edition by Tarcher, part of Penguin USA, this month.

The original, which has been painstakingly restored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, where it is on display, was created by Jefferson in 1820 by cutting out passages from six other volumes with razors. He then pasted them into a book of his own, which he had bound.

During Jefferson's life the book's existence was known only to his friends and family. His great-granddaughter sold it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1895 and it was finally published in 1904, 78 years after his death....

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