Judeo-Christian is a term used since the 1950s to encompass the common ethical standards of Christianity and Judaism, such as the Ten Commandments. It has become part of American civil religion and is often used to promote inter-religious cooperation. Efforts in recent years have been made to replace the term Judeo-Christian with "Abrahamic religions", so as to include Islam.
- 1 History of the term
- 2 Ethical value system
- 3 Culture wars
- 4 Basis of a common concept of the two religions
- 5 Judeo-Christian concept in interfaith relations
- 6 Judeo-Christian concept in American history
- 7 Use of term in United States law
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 Further reading
- 11 External links
History of the term
The earliest use of the term "Judeo-Christian" in the historical sense dates to 1829 in the missionary journal of Joseph Wolff, and before that as "Judeo Christian" in a letter from Alexander M'Caul dated October 17, 1821. The former appears in discussions of theories of the emergence of Christianity, and both are used with a different sense from the one common today. "Judeo-Christian" here referred to Jewish converts to Christianity.
The term "Jewish-Christian" had been used in this sense as early as 1785 in Richard Watson's essay "The Teaching and Witness of the Holy Spirit", and "Jewish Christian" (as an adjective) as early as 1644 in William Rathband's A Briefe Narration of Some Church Courses. "Jewish–Christian" is used in 1841 to mean a combination of Jewish and Christian beliefs, and by 1877 to mean a common Jewish–Christian culture, used in the phrase "the Jewish–Christian character of…traditions".
Early German use of the term judenchristlich ("Jewish-Christian"), in a decidedly negative sense, can be found in the late writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, who emphasized what he saw as neglected aspects of continuity between the Jewish world view and that of Christianity. The expression appears in The Antichrist, published in 1895 and written several years earlier; a fuller development of Nietzsche's argument can be found in a prior work, On the Genealogy of Morality.
Ethical value system
The present meaning of "Judeo-Christian" regarding ethics first appeared in print on July 27, 1939, with the phrase "the Judaeo-Christian scheme of morals" in the New English Weekly. The term gained much currency in the 1940s, promoted by groups which evolved into the National Conference of Christians and Jews, to fight antisemitism by expressing a more inclusive idea of American values rather than just Christian or Protestant. By 1952 Dwight Eisenhower looked to the Founding Fathers of 1776 to say:
- "all men are endowed by their Creator." In other words, our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don't care what it is. With us of course it is the Judeo-Christian concept, but it must be a religion with all men created equal.
James Dobson, a prominent conservative spokesman, said the Judeo-Christian tradition includes the right to display the following documents in Kentucky schools, after they were banned by a federal judge in May 2000 as "conveying a very specific governmental endorsement of religion":
- an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence, which reads, "All men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
- the preamble to the Constitution of Kentucky, which states, "We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution"
- the national motto, "In God we trust"
- a page from the congressional record of Wednesday, February 2, 1983, Vol. 129, No. 8, which declares 1983 as the "Year of the Bible" and lists the Ten Commandments
- a proclamation by President Ronald Reagan marking 1983 the "Year of the Bible"
- a proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln designating April 30, 1863, a "National Day of Prayer and Humiliation"
- an excerpt from President Lincoln's "Reply to Loyal Colored People of Baltimore upon Presentation of a Bible," which reads, "The Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man"
- The Mayflower Compact of 1620, in which the Plymouth colony's founders invoke "the name of God" and explain that their journey was taken, among other reasons, "for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith"
Prominent champions of the term also identify it with historic American religious traditions. The Jewish Conservative columnist Dennis Prager, for example, writes:
The concept of Judeo-Christian values does not rest on a claim that the two religions are identical. It promotes the concept there is a shared intersection of values based on the Hebrew Bible ("Torah"), brought into our culture by the founding generations of Biblically oriented Protestants, that is fundamental to American history, cultural identity, and institutions.
Some secularists reject the use of "Judeo-Christian" as a code-word for a particular kind of Christian America, with scant regard to modern Jewish, Catholic, or Christian traditions, including the liberal strains of different faiths, such as Reform Judaism and liberal Protestant Christianity.
Usage has shifted again, according to Hartmann et al., since 2001 and the September 11 attacks, with the mainstream media using the term less, in order to characterize America as multicultural. The study finds the term is now most likely to be used by liberals in connection with discussions of Muslim and Islamic inclusion in America, and renewed debate about the separation of church and state.
It is used more than ever by some Conservative thinkers and journalists, who use it to discuss the Islamic threat to America, the dangers of multiculturalism, and moral decay in a materialist, secular age. Dennis Prager, author of popular books on Judaism and antisemitism, Nine Questions People ask about Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin) and Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism, and radio commentator, published an ongoing 19-part series explaining and promoting the concept of Judeo-Christian culture, which ran for three years from 2005 to 2008, reflecting the interest of this concept to his listeners. He believes the Judeo-Christian perspective is under assault from an amoral and materialistic culture that desperately needs its teachings:
…only America has called itself Judeo-Christian. America is also unique in that it has always combined secular government with a society based on religious values. Along with the belief in liberty—as opposed to, for example, the European belief in equality, the Muslim belief in theocracy, and the Eastern belief in social conformity—Judeo-Christian values are what distinguish America from all other countries.
Basis of a common concept of the two religions
Supporters of the Judeo-Christian concept point to the Christian claim that Christianity is the heir to Biblical Judaism, and that the whole logic of Christianity as a religion is that it exists (only) as a religion built upon Judaism. Two major views of the relationship exist, namely New Covenant theology and Dual-covenant theology. In addition, although the order of the books in the Protestant Old Testament (excluding the Biblical apocrypha) and the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) differ, the contents of the books are very similar. The majority of the Christian Bible is, in fact, Jewish scripture, and it is used as moral and spiritual teaching material throughout the Christian world. The prophets, patriarchs, and heroes of the Jewish scripture are also known in Christianity, which uses the Jewish text as the basis for its understanding of historic Judeo-Christian figures such as Abraham, Elijah, and Moses. As a result, a vast amount of Jewish and Christian teachings are based on a common sacred text.
Efforts in recent years have been made to expand the concept to include Islam, under the rubric of "Abrahamic religions." Abraham played a central role in each religion. This discourse encourages the exploration of something positive, a common faith or “spiritual” bond that Jews, Christians, and Muslims share today as well as the distant past.
By the 1950s American conservatives were emphasizing the Judeo-Christian roots of their values. In 1958, economist Elgin Groseclose claimed that it was ideas "drawn from Judeo-Christian Scriptures that have made possible the economic strength and industrial power of this country." Senator Barry Goldwater noted that conservatives "believed the communist projection of man as a producing, consuming animal to be used and discarded was antithetical to all the Judeo-Christian understandings which are the foundations upon which the Republic stands." Ronald Reagan frequently emphasized Judeo-Christian values as necessary ingredients in the fight against Communism. He argued that the Bible contains "all the answers to the problems that face us." Belief in the superiority of Western Judeo-Christian traditions led conservatives to downplay the aspirations of the non-Capitalist Third World to free themselves from colonial rule and to repudiate the value of foreign aid.
The emergence of the "Christian right" as a political force and part of the conservative coalition dates from the 1970s. As Wilcox and Robinson conclude:
The Christian Right is an attempt to restore Judeo-Christian values to a country that is in deep moral decline. …[They] believe that society suffers from the lack of a firm basis of Judeo-Christian values and they seek to write laws that embody those values.
Judeo-Christian concept in interfaith relations
Promoting the concept of America as a Judeo-Christian nation became a political program in the 1920s, in response to the growth of anti-Semitism in America. The rise of Hitler in the 1930s led concerned Protestants, Catholics, and Jews to take active steps to increase understanding and tolerance.
In this effort, precursors of the National Conference of Christians and Jews created teams consisting of a priest, a rabbi, and a minister, to run programs across the country, and fashion a more pluralistic America, no longer defined as a Christian land, but "one nurtured by three ennobling traditions: Protestantism, Catholicism and Judaism." "The phrase 'Judeo-Christian' entered the contemporary lexicon as the standard liberal term for the idea that Western values rest on a religious consensus that included Jews."
Through soul-searching in the aftermath of the Holocaust, "there was a revolution in Christian theology in America. […] The greatest shift in Christian attitudes toward the Jewish people since Constantine converted the Roman Empire." The rise of Christian Zionism—that is, religiously motivated Christian interest and support for the state of Israel—along with a growth of philo-Semitism (love of the Jewish people) has increased interest among American Evangelicals in Judaism, especially areas of commonality with their own beliefs, see also Jerusalem in Christianity. During the late 1940s, Evangelical proponents of the new Judeo-Christian approach lobbied Washington for diplomatic support of the new state of Israel. The Evangelicals have never wavered in their support for Israel. On the other hand Mainline Protestant denominations and the National Council of Churches by the late 1960s were showing more support for the Palestinians than for the Israelis. Interest in and a positive attitude towards America's Judeo-Christian tradition has become mainstream among Evangelicals.
The scriptural basis for this new positive attitude towards Jews among Evangelicals is Genesis 12:3, in which God promises that He will bless those who bless Abraham and his descendants, and curse those who curse them (see also "Abrahamic Covenant"). Other factors in the new philo-Semitism include gratitude to the Jews for contributing to the theological foundations of Christianity and for being the source of the prophets and Jesus; remorse for the Church's history of anti-Semitism; and fear that God will judge the nations at the end of time on the basis of how they treated the Jewish people. Moreover, for many Evangelicals Israel is seen as the instrument through which prophecies of the end times are fulfilled. Great numbers of Christian pilgrims visit Israel, especially in times of trouble for the Jewish state, to offer moral support, and return with an even greater sense of a shared Judeo-Christian heritage.
Public awareness of a shared Judeo-Christian belief system has increased since the 1990s due to a great deal of interest in the life of the historical Jesus, stressing his Jewishness (see also "Jewish Christians"). The literature explores differences and commonalities between Jesus's teachings, Christianity and Judaism.
On the other hand, the response of Jews towards the "Judeo-Christian" concept has been mixed. In the 1930s, "In the face of worldwide antisemitic efforts to stigmatize and destroy Judaism, influential Christians and Jews in America labored to uphold it, pushing Judaism from the margins of American religious life towards its very center." During World War II, Jewish chaplains worked with Catholic priests and Protestant ministers to promote goodwill, addressing servicemen who, "in many cases had never seen, much less heard a Rabbi speak before." At funerals for the unknown soldier, rabbis stood alongside the other chaplains and recited prayers in Hebrew. In a much publicized wartime tragedy, the sinking of the USAT Dorchester, the ship's multi-faith chaplains gave up their lifebelts to evacuating seamen and stood together "arm in arm in prayer" as the ship went down. A 1948 postage stamp commemorated their heroism with the words: "interfaith in action."
In the 1950s, "a spiritual and cultural revival washed over American Jewry" in response to the trauma of the Holocaust. American Jews became more confident to be identified as different.
Two notable books addressed the relations between contemporary Judaism and Christianity, Abba Hillel Silver's Where Judaism Differs and Leo Baeck's Judaism and Christianity, both motivated by an impulse to clarify Judaism's distinctiveness "in a world where the term Judeo-Christian had obscured critical differences between the two faiths." Reacting against the blurring of theological distinctions, Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits wrote that "Judaism is Judaism because it rejects Christianity, and Christianity is Christianity because it rejects Judaism." Theologian and author Arthur A. Cohen, in The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition, questioned the theological validity of the Judeo-Christian concept and suggested that it was essentially an invention of American politics, while Jacob Neusner, in Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition, writes, "The two faiths stand for different people talking about different things to different people."
Law professor Stephen M. Feldman identifies talk of Judeo-Christian tradition as supersessionism:
Once one recognizes that Christianity has historically engendered antisemitism, then this so-called tradition appears as dangerous Christian dogma (at least from a Jewish perspective). For Christians, the concept of a Judeo-Christian tradition comfortably suggests that Judaism progresses into Christianity—that Judaism is somehow completed in Christianity. The concept of a Judeo-Christian tradition flows from the Christian theology of supersession, whereby the Christian covenant (or Testament) with God supersedes the Jewish one. Christianity, according to this myth, reforms and replaces Judaism. The myth therefore implies, first, that Judaism needs reformation and replacement, and second, that modern Judaism remains merely as a "relic". Most importantly the myth of the Judeo-Christian tradition insidiously obscures the real and significant differences between Judaism and Christianity.
Judeo-Christian concept in American history
Nineteenth century historians wrote extensively on the United States of America having a distinctively Protestant character in its outlook and founding political philosophy.
The notion of a distinctive religious basis for American democracy and culture was first described and popularized by Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1840s, in his influential book, Democracy in America. In the second chapter, de Tocqueville describes America's unique religious heritage from the Puritans. His analysis showed the Puritans as providing the foundational values of America, based on their strong Hebrew Bible view of the world, which included fighting for earthly political justice, an emphasis on laws and education, and the "chosenness" which the Puritans identified with, giving them a sense of moral mission in founding America. As de Tocqueville observed, the Puritan's biblical outlook gave America a moral dimension which the Old World lacked. De Tocqueville believed these biblical values led to America's unique institutions of religious tolerance, public education, egalitarianism, and democracy.
The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditionary faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live...
Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more did I perceive the great political consequences resulting from this state of things, to which I was unaccustomed. In France I had almost always seen the spirit of religion and the spirit of freedom pursuing courses diametrically opposed to each other; but in America I found that they were intimately united, and that they reigned in common over the same country.The principles of New England…now extend their influence beyond its limits, over the whole American world. The civilization of New England has been like a beacon lit upon a hill. […] Puritanism was not merely a religious doctrine, but corresponded in many points with the most absolute democratic and republican theories. […] Nathaniel Morton, the historian of the first years of the settlement, thus opens his subject: "we may not hide from our children, showing to the generations to come the praises of the Lord; that especially the seed of Abraham his servant, and the children of Jacob his chosen (Psalm cv. 5, 6), may remember his marvellous works in the beginning…" […] The general principles which are the groundwork of modern constitutions, principles…were all recognized and established by the laws of New England: the intervention of the people in public affairs, the free voting of taxes, the responsibility of the agents of power, personal liberty, and trial by jury were all positively established without discussion. […] In the bosom of this obscure democracy…the following fine definition of liberty: "There is a twofold liberty, natural…and civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. […] The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil, and in time to be worse than brute beasts: […] The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and constitutions, among men themselves. […] This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard not only of your goods, but of your lives, if need be." I have said enough to put the character of Anglo-American civilization in its true light. It is the result (and this should be constantly kept in mind) of two distinct elements, which in other places have been in frequent disagreement, but which the Americans have succeeded in incorporating to some extent one with the other and combining admirably. I allude to the spirit of religion and the spirit of liberty.
This concept of America's unique Bible-driven historical and cultural identity was developed by historians as they studied the first centuries of America's history, from the Pilgrims through Abraham Lincoln. The statements and institutions of the founding generation that have been preserved are numerous, and they explicitly describe many of their biblical motivations and goals, their interest in Hebrew and the Hebrew Bible, their use of Jewish and Christian images and ideas. In the words of patriot Benjamin Rush, one of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence, "The Old Testament is the best refutation that can be given to the divine right of kings, and the strongest argument that can be used in favor of the original and natural equality of all mankind." James Witherspoon, president of Princeton, teacher of James Madison and later a member of the Continental Congress, and one of the most influential thinkers in the Colonies, joined the cause of the Revolution with a widely publicized sermon based on Psalm 76, identifying the American colonists with the people of Israel. Of fifty-five printed texts from the Revolutionary period, thirty-three took texts from the Hebrew Bible. Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence, referred to God twice in Hebrew terms, and Congress added two more: Lawgiver, Creator, Judge, and Providence. These Judeo-Christian values were especially important at the key foundational moments of the settling of America, the War for Independence and the Civil War.
Professor Perry Miller of Harvard University wrote in 1956:
Puritanism may be described empirically as that point of view, that code of values, carried to New England by the first settlers. […] The New Englanders established Puritanism—for better or worse—as one of the continuous factors in American life and thought. It has played so dominant a role…all across the continent…these qualities have persisted even though the original creed is lost. Without an understanding of Puritanism…there is no understanding of America.
This view about American history and culture has been questioned in recent decades by multiculturalists. In Becoming America: The Revolution Before 1776, Jon Butler of Yale University argues against a Europeanized or predominantly British identity of colonial America, and underlines contributions by Igbo, Ashanti, Yoruba, Catawba, and Lenape. Michael Novak, a specialist in the religious beliefs of the Founding Fathers, argues that the promotion of multiculturalism, moral relativism, and secularism among academics results in academic censorship that affects information and analysis supporting the Judeo-Christian heritage.
Use of term in United States law
In the legal case of Marsh v. Chambers, 463 U.S. 783 (1983), the Supreme Court of the United States held that a state legislature could constitutionally have a paid chaplain to conduct legislative prayers "in the Judeo-Christian tradition." In Simpson v. Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Supreme Court's holding in the Marsh case meant that the "Chesterfield County could constitutionally exclude Cynthia Simpson, a Wiccan priestess, from leading its legislative prayers, because her faith was not 'in the Judeo-Christian tradition.'" Chesterfield County's board included Jewish, Christian, and Muslim clergy in its invited list.
- American civil religion
- American exceptionalism
- Antinomianism, term used to describe those who believe that Christians are not subject to laws
- Cultural and historical background of Jesus, perspective on the period in which the two religions began to diverge
- Ebionites, an early sect that combined Judaism with Christianity
- Judaizers, term used to describe people that taught that Christians must keep the law of Moses
- Law and Gospel, traditional Protestant views against reviving Jewish laws among Christian Gentiles
- Messianic Judaism
- Noahidism, gentile monotheists who keep the Talmud's universal commandments, the Noahide laws
- Supersessionism, the belief that Christianity has superseded Judaism
- Abrahamic religions – an umbrella term used to refer to the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as sometimes indicating smaller, related religions such as Bahá'í Faith and Samaritans
- Christo-Islamic – term used to refer to common elements in Christianity and Islam
- Judeo-Christo-Islamic – a term used to describe common elements in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; this is normally called Abrahamic
- Judeo-Islamic – term used to refer to the common cultural elements and backgrounds of Islam and Judaism
- Aaron W. Hughes (2012). Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History. Oxford University Press. pp. 71–75.
- Wolff, Joseph (1829). Missionary Journal of the Rev. Joseph Wolff, Missionary to the Jews III. London: James Duncan. p. 314.
- M'Caul, Alexander (1820–1821). "Extract of a Letter From Mr. M'Caul". The Jewish Expositor, and Friend of Israel V: 478.
- Judæo-, Judeo- in the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Accessed online 2008-07-21
- Watson, Richard (1785). "Essay on the Teaching and Witness of the Holy Spirit". A Collection of Theological Tracts, in Six Volumes IV. London: T. Evans. p. 419.
- Rathband, William (1644). A Briefe Narration of Some Church Courses Generally Held in Opinion and Practise by the Churches Lately Erected in New England. London: Edward Brewster. p. 4.
- Neander, Augustus (1841). The History of the Christian Religion and Church During the First Three Centuries II. Trans. Henry John Rose. London: J. G. F. & J. Rivington. p. 6.
- Smith, William; Wace, Henry (1877). A Dictionary of Christian Biography, Literature, Sects and Doctrines. London: John Murray. p. 24.
- See Peter Novick: Holocaust in American Life
- Mark Silk (1984), Notes on the Judeo-Christian Tradition in America, American Quarterly 36(1), 65-85
- Sarna, 2004, p.266
- Patrick Henry, "'And I Don't Care What It Is': The Tradition-History of a Civil Religion Proof-Text," Journal of the American Academy of Religion, March 1981, Vol. 49 Issue 1, pp 35-47 in JSTOR
- Douglas Hartmann, Xuefeng Zhang, William Wischstadt (2005). One (Multicultural) Nation Under God? Changing Uses and Meanings of the Term "Judeo-Christian" in the American Media. Journal of Media and Religion 4(4), 207-234
- Dobson Phd., James C.. One Nation Under God http://www2.focusonthefamily.com/docstudy/newsletters/A000000365.cfm September 2000
- Prager, Dennis. "The Case for Judeo-Christian Values, part 5". Worldnetdaily.com, February 15, 2005. Accessed: 2008-07-12.
- Martin E. Marty (1986), A Judeo-Christian Looks at the Judeo-Christian Tradition, in The Christian Century, October 5, 1986
- Nine Questions People ask about Judaism,with Joseph Telushkin, 1986, ISBN 0-6716-2261-7
- Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (with Joseph Telushkin) (2003) ISBN 0-7432-4620-9
- "Dennis Prager Publishes Series On Judeo-Christian Values". Traditional Values Coalition.
- Dobson, James. 2000
- The differences are because Rabbinic Judaism uses the Masoretic Text while Protestant Old Testaments are translations of the Masoretic Text that also incorporate the Septuagint and other readings, for example see Isaiah 7:14.
- Aaron W. Hughes (2012). Abrahamic Religions: On the Uses and Abuses of History. Oxford University Press. pp. 57–75.
- Rossiter, Conservatism in America (1968) p. 268
- A. G. Heinsohn G. Jr., ed. Anthology of Conservative Writing in the United States, 1932-1960 (Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1962) p. 256.
- Barry Morris Goldwater. With no apologies (1979)
- John Kenneth White, Still seeing red: how the Cold War shapes the new American politics (1998) p 138
- Lisa McGirr, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (2002) p. 173
- By the 1990s "Judeo-Christian" terminology was now mostly found among conservatives. Douglas Hartmann, et al., "One (Multicultural) Nation Under God? Changing Uses and Meanings of the Term "Judeo-Christian" in the American Media," Journal of Media & Religion, 2005, Vol. 4 Issue 4, pp. 207-234
- Clyde Wilcox and Carin Robinson, Onward Christian Soldiers?: The Religious Right in American Politics (2010) p. 13
- Sarna, Jonathan. American Judaism, A History. Yale University Press, 2004. p. 266
- Sarna, p. 267
- Brog, David. Standing With Israel. 2006.p.13
- Caitlyn Carenen, The Fervent Embrace: Liberal Protestants, Evangelicals, and Israel (2012)
- Paul Charles Merkley, Christian Attitudes Towards the State of Israel (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007)
- Evangelicals and Israel: The Story of Christian Zionism by Stephen Spector, 2008
- Jesus the Jew: A Historian's Reading of the Gospels by Geza Vermes
- Jesus and Judaism by E. P. Sanders
- From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Christ by Paula Fredriksen
- Sarna, p281
- Disputation and Dialogue: Readings in the Jewish Christian Encounter, Ed. F. E. Talmage, Ktav, 1975, p. 291.
- Jacob Neusner (1990), Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition. New York and London: Trinity Press International and SCM Press. p. 28
- Stephen M. Feldman (1998), Please Don't Wish Me a Merry Christmas: A Critical History of the Separation of Church and State
- de Tocqueville, Alexis. "Democracy in America.". Chapter XVII.
- de Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America, Chapter II ORIGIN OF THE ANGLO-AMERICANS, AND IMPORTANCE OF THIS ORIGIN IN RELATION TO THEIR FUTURE CONDITION
- Most of the ten universities founded before the Revolution taught Hebrew. To graduate from Harvard, students had to be able to translate the Old and New Testament from Latin to Hebrew. Orations at graduation were in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Ezra Stiles, president of Yale, and a personal friend of the leading Jews of Newport, told the story in 1771 about an American Jew who brought a letter in Hebrew he received from Hebron in Judea to Stiles to be translated. ( Reiss, Oscar, Jews in Colonial America, 1925, pp40ff.) In 18th century America, "Harvard assumed that no Christian gentleman could be considered truly educated unless he could read the Bible in its original tongue. (American Jewish Historical Society, http://www.ajhs.org/scholarship/chapters/chapter.cfm?documentID=251)
- Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 1992. Chapter 2 "Sources and Traditions.";Novak, Michael. On Two Wings. Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. Encounter Books, 2002, p.Chapter One, "Jewish Metaphysics at the Founding, pp. 5-24, pp.30,33,34
- Novak, 2002, p. 35
- Novak, 2002, p. 14
- Novak, 2002, p. 17"
- Bailyn, Bernard. The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press, 1992. Chapter 2 "Sources and Traditions."; Novak, Michael. On Two Wings. Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. Encounter Books, 2002
- Miller, Perry. The American Puritans. Their Prose and Poetry. Doubleday, 1956, Forward
- Butler, Jon (2007). New World Faiths: Religion in Colonial America (Religion in American Life). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195333101.
- Butler, Jon. Becoming America: The Revolution before 1776
- Novak, Michael. On Two Wings. Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. Encounter Books, 2002, preface.
- "Simpson v. Chesterfield County, No. 04-1045". UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT. 2005. Retrieved 2008-08-16.
Ethics in U.S.
- Bulliet, Richard. The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization. Columbia University Press, 2004; ISBN 978-0231127974
- Cohen, Arthur A. The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition. Harper & Row, New York, 1970.
- Gelernter, David. Americanism: The Fourth Great Western Religion. Doubleday. 2007; ISBN 978-0385513128
- Lillback, Peter A..George Washington's Sacred Fire.Providence Forum Press,2006. ISBN 0978605268
- Moore, Deborah Dash. "Jewish GIs and the Creation of the Judeo-Christian Tradition," Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Winter, 1998), pp. 31–53 in JSTOR
- Neusner, Jacob. Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition. Trinity Press International, Philadelphia, 1991. ISBN 9781592441563 (2003 edition)
- Novak, Michael. On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense at the American Founding. Encounter Books, 2002. ISBN 978-1893554344
- E. P. Sanders. Jesus and Judaism, Augsburg Fortress, 1985; ISBN 978-0800620615
- Silk, Mark. "Notes on the Judeo-Christian tradition in America," American Quarterly, (1984) 36:65–85, the standard history of the term in JSTOR
- Waldman, Steven. Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America. Random House, 2008, ISBN 1400064376
- Trude Weiss-Rosmarin (1997). Judaism and Christianity: The Differences (Paperback ed.). Jonathan David. ISBN 0-824603-98-2.
Early history of Christianity
- Bobrick, Benson. Wide as the Waters : The Story of the English Bible and the Revolution It Inspired. Simon and Schuster 2001. ISBN 0684847477
- Paula Fredriksen. From Jesus to Christ: The Origins of the New Testament Images of Christ, Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0300084573
- Hexter, J. H. The Judaeo-Christian Tradition (Second Edition). Yale University Press, 1995; ISBN 978-0300045727
- McGrath, Alister. In the Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible and How It Changed a Nation, a Language, and a Culture. Anchor Books, 2002. ISBN 0385722168.
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