Do the principles of the common law relate to the Bible? We can find an example in the book of Samuel. David had slept with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, one of David’s soldiers on the battlefield. The prophet Nathan, however, wants to convict David of his sin by citing a fictional case of a poor man’s ewe.
The biblical worldview has influenced American law significantly. Early colonists brought with them English common law, which they claimed was based on Christianity. Puritan commonwealths in New England drew heavily on biblical law. After the eighteenth century, secular perspectives on law began to take hold. Those secular laws have survived until the twenty-first century. However, they are arguably less relevant than the Bible.
The biblical marriage model did not involve a public ceremony. Isaac and Rebekah exchanged vows in her mother’s tent. This type of marriage, however, does require a public ceremony with a public declaration of a covenant. Moreover, the New Testament mentions a wedding ceremony where Jesus began his ministry, turning water into wine. In addition, many biblical passages refer to marriage. For example, Hebrews 13:4 mentions that the marriage bed must be pure for two people to be married.
Moses’ application of earlier teachings in the Bible is an example of how common law can be a useful tool in dealing with conflict. Moses interpreted earlier teachings of the Bible in order to overcome the challenges of living in the land of Israel. Similarly, Moses applies the laws of the Bible in a modern context. And in doing so, the Bible teaches us how to love our neighbor as ourselves.