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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