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10 Bible Passages The United States Probably Borrowed Ideas From

The British statesman William E.Gladstone described the United States Constitution as “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.” The political and social systems the United States operates are unique in numerous respects. Also, the United States Constitution is the first of its kind.  At the time of its creation, the United States Constitution was an original and uniquely American document. It was not a compilation of the best qualities from other constitutions from across the world. The social organization of the nation was also structured around many ideas not commonplace in practice among other world countries at the time. Therefore Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from is totally valid.

Where did the drafters of the American Constitution and the founding fathers get most of their unique ideas? Political science professors believed that they could answer this question. If they could assemble a broad spectrum of the writings of these American founding fathers from the founding era and see who or what was being quoted in those writings, then they could identify the source for many of the unique political ideas embraced during the founding era. The researchers therefore assembled 15000 representative writings from that period, searched those writings, and isolated 3,154 direct quotes. They traced those quotes back to their original sources thereby identifying the most frequently cited sources of that era. The result is recorded in The Origins Of The American Constitution.

The researchers discovered that the single individual cited most often during the founding era was political philosopher Charles Montesquieu, with 8.3% of the quotes being taken from his writings from the 1750’s. Legal scholar William Blackstone was the second most cited individual with 7.9 of the quotes being taken from his writings in the 1760’s, and political scientist and philosopher John Locke was third, with 2.9% of the quotes being taken from his writings in the 1680’s and 1690’s. These were the three most frequently cited individuals during the founding era. But the researchers discovered that the single most frequently cited source was the Holy Bible, with 34% of the quotes being taken from the scriptures.

These are a list of ten unique ideas probably borrowed from the bible in creating the American constitution and defining its society. 10 Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from:

10. Adapted From Isaiah 33:22

‘Three Distinct Branches Of Government’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Isaiah 33:22 states: “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, and the Lord is our King”

This passage highlights three distinct branches of authority the God of the Bible held power over. Along with other philosophical writings by John Locke and others, the founding fathers decided that the United States government would be structured along these three functional organs identified in the bible. The United States Constitution in Articles 1, 2 and 3 provides for the establishment, characteristics and functions of the three separate branches of government: the legislative branch represented by Congress (the lawgiver); the executive branch represented by the President (the King); and the judicial branch represented by the Supreme Court (the judge), consecutively.

9. Adapted From Jeremiah 17:9

 ‘Separation Of Powers’

Ezra

Jeremiah 17:9 states: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

This passage ranks among the 10 Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from and teaches that the character of men is not fixed, that is men can change. Alongside the ideas postulated in the writings of famous political philosophers like John Locke, the founding fathers decided that owing to the nature of mankind, power tends to corrupt and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely. Therefore, absolute power could not rest in a particular man or a particular arm of government without his/its actions being able to be checked by other people or other arms of government. The three arms of government had to have separate powers and also powers that checked on each other.

This constitutional division, called the separation of powers, is designed to prevent any branch of the government from becoming too powerful. In addition, the Constitution creates checks and balances by providing the means by which each branch is required to work with the other branches in order to carry out its functions. For example, the President nominates federal judges but the Senate must confirm them.

The two-house — bicameral — Congress was one of the most important compromises of the Constitutional Convention. The small states at the Convention supported the New Jersey Plan, under which each state would have had the same number of Representatives. The large states wanted the Virginia Plan, which provided representation based on population. As a compromise, one house was chosen according to each plan.

8. Adapted From Ezra 7:24

‘Tax Exemption For Churches’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Ezra 7: 24 states: “Also we certify you, that, touching any of the priests and Levites, singers, porters, Nethinim, or ministers of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose toll, tribute, or custom, upon them.”

The Supreme Court Justice prior to 1970 deemed tax exemptions constitutional because the benefit conferred was incidental to the religious character of the institutions concerned. In 1970, a nearly unanimous Court sustained a state exemption from real or personal property taxation of “property used exclusively for religious, educational or charitable purposes.” This passage is one among the Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from.

7. Adapted From 1samuel 8:6-22

‘Democratic System Of Government’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

1 Samuel 8: 6-22 is the story of the ancient Israelite’s demand to God for a king to rule over them through the Prophet Samuel and God’s displeasure at their request. God tells the nation of Israel that he will let them have their way but that the king they choose for themselves will oppress them. It can be readily understood why the founding fathers were in no hurry to statutorily appoint someone as king in the new nation; the entire revolt against the authority of Great Britain over their colonies was over the widespread feeling of oppression that the Americans felt.

6. Adapted From Exodus 18:21

‘Republican System Of Government’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Exodus 18:11 states: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens”

This passage too is thought to be among Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from. It can be adapted to represent the selection of officials of what we would call today the local, county, state and federal levels. The U.S. Constitution mandates that all states uphold a “republican form” of government.

5. Adapted From 1timothy 5:8 And 2Thessalonians 3:10

‘Capitalism’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

1Timothy 5:8 states: “But if any provide not for his own and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” 2Thessalonians 3:10 states: “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”

American insistence on free enterprise and capitalist values closely resembles the intent of the message in these verses. These verses are directly opposed to communism therefore often thought to be among the top Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from.

4. Adapted From Leviticus 19:24

‘Uniform Immigration Law’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Leviticus 19:24 states: “But the stranger that lives with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shall love him as thyself”.

Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, American nationality, making this among the Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from.

3. Adapted From Deuteronomy 17:14-15

‘President Must Be A Natural Born Citizen’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Deuteronomy 17:14-15 states: “When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God gives thee, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me ; thou shall in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose : one from among thy brethren shall thou set king over thee : thou may not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother”.

The qualifications for president are set in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:  “No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President…..”

2. Adapted From Deuteronomy 17:6

 ‘Amount Of Witnesses In The Case Of Capital Punishment’

Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 17:6 states: “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”

The opening sentence of the Fifth Amendment provides that “No person shall be held to answer for a capital crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.” Its among the top 10 Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from.

1. Adapted From Ezekiel 18:20

‘Barring The Punishment Of An Entire Family For Act(S) Of One Of Its Members’

Bible passages the United States probably borrowed ideas from

Ezekiel 18:20 states: “The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father; neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” No one, as stipulated in United States Law, may be punished for the offenses committed by another person.

10 Bible Passages The United States Probably Borrowed Ideas From

1. Adapted From Ezekiel 18:20

‘Barring The Punishment Of An Entire Family For Act(S) Of One Of Its Members’

2. Adapted From Deuteronomy 17:6

 ‘Amount Of Witnesses In The Case Of Capital Punishment’

3. Adapted From Deuteronomy 17:14-15

‘President Must Be A Natural Born Citizen’

4. Adapted From Leviticus 19:24

‘Uniform Immigration Law’

5. Adapted From 1timothy 5:8 And 2Thessalonians 3:10

‘Capitalism’

6. Adapted From Exodus 18:21

‘Republican System Of Government’

7. Adapted From 1samuel 8:6-22

‘Democratic System Of Government’

8. Adapted From Ezra 7:24

‘Tax Exemption For Churches’

9. Adapted From Jeremiah 17:9

 ‘Separation Of Powers’

10. Adapted From Isaiah 33:22

‘Three Distinct Branches Of Government’

Written by: Elias Takim

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