18 Ways the Bible Influences Laws We Follow Today 

Religion has had a huge impact on how we live our everyday lives, even influencing the laws we have to follow. There are so many teachings in the Bible about what is and isn’t right. Here are 18 ways the Bible influences our laws today.

The Foundation of Modern Legal Systems

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Reason to Believe writes, “One of the beautiful boasts of our municipal jurisprudence is that Christianity is a part of the Common Law.” The Bible has had a huge influence on law and equality. There has been a transition from the rule of man to the rule of law, and this has been rooted in Christian principles.

The U.S. Constitution and Biblical Principles

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The Bible became a frequently recited source during America’s founding era. Biblical ideas that surround moral truth and law were able to shape early political theories. The Declaration of Independence was even grounded in biblical moral and social beliefs, and this is something that helped shape America into the country it is today.

The Magna Carta and Christian Influence

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Christianity played an important role in shaping society, from the rule of man to the rule of law. The Magna Carta was seen as a way to limit royal power in favor of God-given rights. There have been early examples of religious leaders holding rulers accountable to higher and divine laws.

Equality Before the Law

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The BBC writes, “The Bible teaches that it is important how other people are treated. Showing a positive attitude towards people from a variety of different races and faith backgrounds presents… an opportunity to follow the teaching and example of Jesus.” Biblical origins tell us that we should not discriminate against people based on differences such as race and background.

The Right to a Fair Trial

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There are biblical underpinnings in our judicial system, including the fact that everyone has the right to a fair trial. Biblical narratives have had a huge impact on the development of legal procedures, ensuring that there is always justice. Christian teachings have contributed to the establishment of judicial fairness.

The Concept of Private Property

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Bible teachings have given us the right to own our own property. This shows how great a role the Bible has played in modern laws, especially the Western legal system that protects a person’s property rights. There have been many historical examples of the Bible influencing property laws.

Laws of Inheritance

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The Bible helped shape how we inherit. For example, the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship writes, “Under traditional rules but not any actual law given by God to Moses, only sons could inherit. But Moses, with God’s authority, clarified the law of inheritance to ensure that family assets could be passed on even if there were no sons.”

The Sanctity of Life

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There are biblical laws on the sanctity of life, and these are things that we follow within the laws of today. There are laws in the Bible to protect human life and dignity. For example, the Bible has played an important role in creating laws where a person cannot take another’s life.

Marriage and Family Laws

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The Bible has had an impact on the legal recognition and protection of marriage. These basic biblical principles have shaped today’s laws that relate to family structure and its responsibilities. The role of the Bible has also been apparent in divorce and custody laws.

The Ethics of War

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The BBC says, “The basic assumption of modern Christians is that war is rarely justified and should be avoided unless the just war conditions are met.” Christian principles have influenced international laws around warfare and the need for ethical military engagement.

Criminal Justice and Rehabilitation

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The Bible has many teachings on forgiveness and redemption, and this has influenced criminal justice reforms. There have been Christian contributions to the development of rehabilitation-focused penal systems. Biblical principles have meant society has struck a balance between justice and mercy in legal systems.

Social Justice and Human Rights

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The Bible has played a huge role in inspiring movements for social justice and equality. The modern concept of human rights comes from the Bible. It shows that there’s been a Christian influence on laws that have been designed to protect humans who are marginalized and oppressed.

Environmental Stewardship

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The Environmental Law Institute writes, “Long before there was widespread recognition of environmental challenges, sacred texts such as the Bible have promoted environmental protection.” The concept of stewardship in the Bible has become the basis for environmental laws. Biblical teachings have helped us come up with conservation methods and policies.

Economic Justice and Charity

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The Bible has taught us to put laws in place centered around regulating lending and interest rates. The Bible has many teachings on charity, and this has had an influence on legal requirements for aiding the poor. Christian principles have helped us shape laws based on economic fairness.

Education and the Bible

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The Bible has had a huge influence on educational institutions and laws. Biblical roots have guided the development of laws that have ensured everyone has a right to education. Christian thought has helped to shape what is taught in schools and created standards that all institutes have to go by.

Freedom of Religion and Worship

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There has been a biblical basis for the principle of religious freedom. For example, Liberty Human Rights writes, “Article 9 of the Human Rights Act protects our freedom of thought and conscience, as well as our religion or beliefs.” The Bible has had a huge influence on laws that protect a person’s right to worship.

Workers’ Rights

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The Bible has taught us the dignity of labor, and this has become the basis for workers’ rights laws. There have been Christian influences on the establishment of fair labor laws and the rights of a person to work. The Bible has been the foundation for laws centered around protecting workers from abuse and exploitation.

Intellectual Property and Creativity

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The Bible recognizes the value of creativity, and this has played a role in protecting intellectual property. The Ten Commandments have had a huge influence on copyright laws and the concept of ownership. Christian thought has supported the legal frameworks for protecting and encouraging innovation.

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