Thomas Paine: Biblical Arguments for the American Revolution and the Thomas Jefferson Bible

Since today is the American Independence day, here is a brief look at the issue of how the founding fathers understood the Bible. In view of our current political challenges, it is worth asking whether the Bible itself supports monarchy or democracy.  (And, as an aside, do we have a new King George, aspirationally or in the making, on our hands. See link: USA Today: King Trump).

Were the founding fathers of America, most of them Deists, opposed to divine revelation or to the inspired quality of the Sacred Scriptures?

Thomas Paine

In his argument for the American Revolution and in his tract Common Sense, Thomas Paine argued, making biblical appeals, that America should accept no King except God. Paine cited Judges 8:23: “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.” (KJV). Here is an interesting argument, in this regard, which I quote from the article linked here: Thomas Paine: No King but God

The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, thro’ the divine interposition [providence], decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son’s son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but a hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven.

Thomas Jefferson 

Thomas Jefferson argued for American democracy on the grounds that Jesus was an exemplary moral teacher, whose principles form the foundation for American democracy.  For Jefferson, in his adaptation of the Bible called the Jefferson Bible, miracles were but superstition.

See this article:  Jefferson Bible. Here’s an article about the Bible that Jefferson must have used in making his own adaptation: Editing Jefferson’s Bible

See this video:

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Conversation Snippet: the Bible, the Pope, and the end of the world

Tara believes that we are in the end-times. Her opinion does not matter nor anybody’s opinion. About God and the Bible, what matters is the Truth.

Tara believes we should go to the source for the Truth, not just any source but the King James Version of the Bible. The NIV (New International Version) leaves things out. The Devil has added things to most modern translations.

Tara believes that the Sabbath must be celebrated, regularly, because God said so. The world is in the hands of Satan. People can disobey but God is the authority. Only the few are obedient to God, and reflect Jesus Christ. Discipleship is a lonely road.

Tara believes, too, that the Pope is the anti-Christ, and that the Catholic church devises to take over the world and to make worship of the Pope compulsory.

As Tara says this, her companion, named James, who has been listening quietly, protests: “My relatives are Catholic. Just because you think that Catholics are wrong or misled, that does not mean that the Pope is evil.”

Tara replies, “I don’t care whether your relatives are Catholic. Catholics hold on to human traditions not God’s word. Which Bible are you reading? You must be reading one of those translations, which Satan has filled with lies.  It says in the Book of Revelation: the Pope is the anti-Christ, who will usurp the throne of God and demand worship in place of Christ. Compulsory worship of the Pope is already on its way, in our lifetime.  I can’t say exactly when, but the end times will be soon, in our lifetime. The trouble with these days is that people don’t read the Bible. Modern translations have bent the word of God out of shape.”

James says, “Stop being opinionated. The people who translated the Bible did so out of love, in order to communicate the message of the Bible to people in their own modern languages, in a style that they can understand. You may not like those translations. But honor the fact that the translators are kind not wicked. They performed an act of love.”

Tara brightens. “You think so? So they translated the Bible — even the NIV which leaves things out — in order to help people? You say it’s an act of love to translate God’s word into a human tongue? I see what you mean. Yes. Love. That is an act of love.”

James and Tara come to peace for a moment. This moment of peace is where truth resides, not in their religious quarrels, or within the pages of one Bible translation or another.

“But the King James Bible,” Tara adds, “is the true Bible. The KJV is the one I read and it’s enough to get me out of the mess we’re in. To get me out of this mess. That’s good enough for me.”