Was the Constitution’s Political Vision Formed by the Bible?

In the July 3 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, American University historian Daniel Dreisbach said the Constitution's political vision was in part formed by the Bible. Dreisbach wrote that "The Constitution gives evidence of a political vision informed, in part, by the Bible, and it includes features that were familiar to a Bible-reading people." He added that "the founders' devotion to the separation of powers and checks and balances reflected a biblical understanding of original sin and a … [Read more...]

May 31, 1787 In Constitutional Convention – Were the Founders Influenced by the Hebrew Republic?

May 31, 1787On this day in Convention, the delegates voted to make the legislature bicameral. Although there was some disagreement, they also agreed that one body should consist of representatives elected by the people. As to the Senate, the delegates could not decide how to comprise that branch. Madison recorded that "a chasm [was] left in this part of the plan." They also agreed that either house could introduce legislation.I find the delegate's discussion relevant to a claim made … [Read more...]

From Barton to Scherr: Thomas Kidd on Various Visions of Thomas Jefferson

Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture seeks "to advance knowledge of the role Christianity has played in mediating larger social and intellectual forces."  The Spring issue includes an article by Arthur Sherr (sic), entitled “Thomas Jefferson Versus the Historians: Christianity, Atheistic Morality, and the Afterlife.” When the article appeared, we asked for comment from other historians who have studied the role of religion in Jefferson’s thought. (Last week’s response by John Rago … [Read more...]