Puritans pass law banning disbelief in the Bible – November 4, 1646
This week marks the anniversary of when Puritans in Massachusetts passed a law making it a crime for someone to deny the divine inspiration of the Bible.
The measure was enacted partly in response to theological differences within the colony and it carried a capital punishment if violated.
“For the Puritans, it was unthinkable that the teachings of the Bible were meant to deal only with a narrow religious sphere. They believed the Scriptures provided the rule and guidance for all of life — government, economics, education, church, family, and morals,” noted Christianity.com.
“The penalty for persistence in this error was death. The same act also set a fine of five shillings for failing to attend church on Sunday.”