The Pruitt Bible and The Jefferson Bible

You’ve heard of the Jefferson Bible. But you may not have heard of the Pruitt Bible.

Today’s Daily Beast brings the Pruitt Bible to the public’s attention. It’s well worth the read.

The Jefferson Bible is missing whole sections. Thomas Jefferson, a produce of the Age of Enlightenment, a Deist who believed in science, took a penknife or some other sharp instrument and cut out passages of the four Gospels that made no sense to him. He didn’t twist their meanings. He just cut them. But he did so only after studiously comparing six different copies of the New Testament in King James English, Latin, French . . .  and Greek, the language of the New Testament.

The Pruitt Bible is different. It’s the bible of twisted meanings that serves the interests of eliminating real scientists from serving at the EPA. Here’s Jay Michaelson’s “EPA Director Scott Pruitt Sites Bible for Industry-Led Science Boards and Gets the Bible Exactly Wrong in today’s Daily Beast.

There’s a big difference between the Pruitt Bible and the Jefferson Bible. One of them took the texts seriously. The other twisted them.

We may also suggest that only one of the authors read Shakespeare’s Richard III, or F. Jacox:

Shakespeare embodies in Richard of Gloucester a type of the political intriguer; as where the usurper thus answers the gulled associates who urge him to be avenged on the opposite faction: —

“But then I sigh, and with a piece of Scripture

Tell them that God bids us do good for evil.

And thus I clothe my naked villainy

With old odd ends, stolen forth of holy writ;

And seem a saint when most I play the devil.”

An unmitigated scoundrel in one of Mr. Dickens’s books is represented as openly grudging his old father the scant remnant of his days (on the ground that “Three-score and ten’s the Bible-mark”); whereupon the author interposes this parenthetical comment: “Is any one surprised at Mr. Jonas making such a reference to such a book for such a purpose? Does any one doubt the old saw that the devil quotes Scripture for his own ends? If he will take the trouble to look about him, he may find a greater number of confirmations of the fact in the occurrences of a single day than the steam-gun can discharge balls in a minute.”

 – F. Jacox


  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, Nov. 6, 2017.

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