It is fairly well known that Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian. He was probably a deist, but he was definitely a skeptic, who advocated rigorous examination of the evidence for one's beliefs. He was also an admirer of Jesus Christ, but he found the Christ of the New Testament gospels to be unbelievable, a victim of mythmakers who distorted what Jefferson thought to be the prophet's actual philosophy with fantastic tales of miracles and divine fanfare.
So, one day, he sat down and edited out all the things he thought invented after the fact, in an attempt to reveal the natural history of the sage, Jesus Christ. Here is his finished product. I find it to be still quite interesting and often profound, but not nearly as compelling without the mythological elements. But then, my reaction is probably a vestigial holdover from a fervent Christian upbringing. I wonder how those not inculcated as children into the Christian mythos react to it?
One thing is for certain, though. In the current political climate, we would definitely not be raising rapturous monuments (it is my favorite) in the nation's capitol to a man who figuratively chopped up the bible in such a way. Could you imagine if President Obama, in an effort to hone, say, St. Paul's message, had, in his student days, edited the epistles down to their bare philosophical bones? (Actually, I could see him doing this, simply as an exercise in intellectual rigor.) Well, he would certainly not be the president today, and probably not even a senator any longer. Such is the mob fervor gripping the populace.