The Puritan identification with the Bible

In England, the Puritan identification with the Bible was so strong that some Puritan extremists sought to replace English common law with Biblical laws of the Old Testament, but were prevented from doing so. In America, however, there was far more freedom to experiment with the use of Biblical law in the legal codes of the colonies, and this was exactly what these early colonists set out to do.

The earliest legislation of the colonies of New England was all determined by Scripture. At the first assembly of New Haven in 1639, John Davenport clearly stated the primacy of the Bible as the legal and moral foundation of the colony…

Subsequently, the New Haven legislators adopted a legal code – the Code of 1655 – which contained some 79 statutes, half of which contained Biblical references, virtually all from the Hebrew Bible. The Plymouth Colony had a similar law code as did the Massachusetts assembly, which, in 1641 – after an exhortation by Reverend John Cotton who presented the legislators with a copy of Moses, His Judicials – adopted the so-called “Capitall Lawes of New England” based almost entirely on Mosaic law

Quote source
Spiro, K. (n.d. ) America and Jewish Values: The Bible’s major role in the creation of the United States and its democracy. The Jewish Website. Available http://www.aish.com/jl/48965036.html. Last accessed 15 May 2016

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