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In the Beginning Was the WordThe Bible in American Public Life, 1492–1783$
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Mark A. Noll

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190263980

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190263980.001.0001

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(p.325) Conclusion
In the Beginning Was the Word

Mark A. Noll

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes that the dependence of Protestants on the Scripture that took shape, evolved, and influenced Great Britain caused a series of contrasting events in America. The early generations of Europeans in North America adhered to forms of magisterial, establishmentarian Protestantism and used the Bible as a mainstay of Christendom. However, the colonies also became home to a few Protestants who believed that faithfulness to the Scripture demanded opposition to Christendom. The employment of the Bible's message in those colonies became a recurring theme in the history of Christendom versus anti-Christendom, and then of formal versus informal public Protestantism. The Bible functioned in this period as a powerful source of guidance for individuals and communities. It also functioned as a rich treasury of tropes, models, types, examples, and precepts in service to principles that did not rise from its pages.

Keywords:   Protestantism, Bible, Christendom, anti-Christendom, Scripture

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