Did you know that our Constitution and Bill of Rights is nothing more than an expression of a government run according to the Gospel of Jesus Christ? That is, if you define the Gospel as the entire Bible and not just the salvation message. For example, every right expressed in the Constitution has a matching Bible verse or verses as its origin. In order to add some efficacy to this proposition, some of the Bill of Rights have been selected as examples. As a start, a selection has been made from an article from David S. Rudstein, “A Brief History of the Fifth Amendment Guarantee Against Double Jeopardy,” 14 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 193 (2005). http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/ wmborj/vol14/iss1/

1.) The Fifth Amendment states that ‘Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.’ Nahum 1:9 says, ‘What do you contrive against the Lord? He will make an utter end. Affliction shall not rise up the second time.’

The following commentary was published in the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal:

“The canon law’s prohibition against double jeopardy emanated from an interpretation given by Saint Jerome in

A.D. 391, a verse in the Old Testament. The Douay Version of the Bible translates this verse as: “there shall not rise a double affliction;” the King James Bible declares: ‘affliction shall not rise up the second time.’ Saint Jerome read the verse to mean ‘that God does not punish twice for the same act.’ It was reasoned that if this were so before God, it should be the same on Earth.”

Some legal scholars have persuasively argued that Saint Jerome erred in his interpretation of this verse. The entire verse in Nahum in the Douay Version of the Bible provides: “What do ye devise against the Lord? He will make an utter end: there shall not rise a double affliction;” the King James Bible states: “What do ye imagine against the LORD? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.” When read in context, this verse appears to mean that

God does not punish the same act twice because there is no need to do so - the first punishment will make “an utter end” of God’s enemies. “The better interpretation of this passage, then, is that God does not judge twice because it is unnecessary.” Nevertheless, Saint Jerome’s interpretation of the verse entered church canons as early as 847, subsequently to be stated as, “Not even God judges twice for the same act.” Despite the seemingly absolute nature of the canon law’s prohibition against double jeopardy, “criminal defendants were not in the end given the blanket sort of protection the words suggests.” On the other hand, “the reality of the basic principle within the canon law always remained real enough.”

2.) Freedom of Religion - The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.... or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Christianity is one of the few religious faiths that do not force people to believe its faith. The Scripture states in Matthew 10:14, “And whosoever shall not receive you nor hear your words when you depart of that house or city shake off the dust of your feet.” No person is required to believe the Christian faith. Our founding fathers used this verse and others to establish freedom of religion in this country. They of course had the experience of multiple Christian denominations in Pre- Revolutionary America and the Puritan Revolution a century earlier in England. There were also statutes in some states that prohibited anyone who was not a Christian from holding public office. Reason will tell us that this verse in Matthew 10:14 was a guide that resulted in the freedom of religion clause.

3.) Freedom of Speech- During colonial times there were very restrictive laws in England regarding liable and there were many prosecutions of seditious actions. Seditious meaning speaking out against the government. While the colonies had a different view and fewer prosecutions for seditious activity

and liable than in England nonetheless dissident speech was prohibited under English law during the colonial period.

There was another more important restriction on speech in the colonies during colonial period. The most stringent controls on speech in the colonial period were controls that outlawed or otherwise censored speech that was considered blasphemous in a religious sense. A 1646 Massachusetts law, for example, punished persons who denied the immortality of the soul. In 1612 a Virginia governor declared the death penalty for a person that denied the trinity under Virginia’s law “Divine, Moral and Marshal” which also outlawed blasphemy, speaking badly of ministers and royalty, and “disgraceful words”. In this author’s opinion the right to freedom of speech had more to do with spreading the gospel, a commanded type of speech for the Christians, than with criticizing the government although that certainly was an important part of the reason for our first amendment freedom of speech.

The right to print pornography is not something that a Christian is allowed to do. An example of the Christian’s commanded speech is noted in Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

4.) Right to petition the government – “Congress shall make no law respecting the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a re-dress of grievances.” From ancient times and even at the time of the American Revolution it was not permitted for a citizen or a group of citizens to approach the king or the government.

The story of Esther is a perfect example. In Esther 4:7 it states “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s province do know that whosoever whether man or woman shall come into the king into the inner court who is not called

there is one law of his to put him to death. Except such to whom the king shall hold out the golden scepter that he may live.” Esther took her life in her hands when she approached the king to petition for her people. We have an absolute right under our Constitution to petition our government and to peaceably assemble. Here again reason would lead to the conclusions that the founding fathers looked to Scripture to arrive at our rights. A majority of the delegates to the Constitution were either seminary graduates, ministers of the gospel or Sunday School teachers. Of course, they all came from different professions, including lawyers and merchants, but their educational background and their religious beliefs were a major part of their life. They would have been very familiar with the story of Esther.

5.) The second amendment, which states “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall be not be infringed.” In Luke 11:21 it says “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” It is well established throughout the Scripture that freedoms are given to protect yourself is justified in the Scripture. It states in Luke 22:36 “Then said He unto them, ‘But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it and likewise his pack; and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”

6.) The fourth amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.” It states in Deuteronomy 24:10 and 11: “When thou does lend thy brother anything thou shalt not go into his house to fetch his pledge. Thou shalt stand abroad and the man to whom thou does lend shall bring out the pledge abroad unto thee.” The Scripture is clear that a person’s home is not to be trespassed by anyone including the government. The Scripture also says in I Kings 4:25, “As every man dwelling safely under his own vine and under his own fig tree.”


In 1763 Sir William Pitt, later Earl of Chatham, wrote what mightbeconsideredasummation of both Deuteronomy 24:10 and

11 and the third and fourth amendments: “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown or any government. It may be frail, its roof may shake, the wind may blow through it, the storm may enter, the rain may enter, but the King of England cannot enter and his force dare not cross the threshold of the ruin tenement.”

6.) The fifth amendment - It says “no person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself nor deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” (Mark 15:3-5 “The chief priest accused him of many things so again Pilate asked him, Are you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of? But Jesus still made no reply and Pilate was amazed.”) Jesus did not respond to his accusers. He knew he was innocent. This is where our right to remain silent comes from. It is the burden of the state to prove our guilt, not that we must prove our innocence. Many countries in the world still require you to prove your innocence once you are accused.

7.) The right of a trial by jury and a right to bail noted in our sixth amendment is established in Numbers 35:12. It states “They will be places of refuge from the avenger so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they shall stand trial before the assembly.”

8.) In the eighth amendment it states “no excessive fines shall be imposed nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Let the punishment fit the crime, is the principle that the Bible

lays out. Specifically Deuteronomy 19: 20-21 “And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity: life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.”

9.) Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution states that “Congress shall have the power to establish uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies.” Deuteronomy 15:1-2 it says “At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release.” The founding fathers from Georgia would have been supporters of the right to go bankrupt since Georgia began as a debtor’s colony and English debtors were imprisoned until their debts were paid. The founding fathers would have none of that here. Charles Pickney, a delegate from South Carolina, proposed the addition of bankruptcy in the Constitution for the right to go bankrupt in the Constitution. There was little or no debate regarding it and the measure passed easily.