The nineteenth century saw great advances in biblical criticism, both internal and external, and long articles in freethought journals and pamphlets were devoted to a reasoned attack on the Bible. Paine’s Age of Reason was primarily a work of internal biblical criticism. Much that he wrote was not new. In the following extract, the point about Moses’s grave had been made by Thomas Hobbes in his Leviathan (chapter 33) in 1651, but the reference to tithes gives a good example of the way in which Paine could always infuse his arguments with popular appeal.
KeywordsConstructive Criticism Special Creation Popular Appeal Biblical Criticism Utely Precedent
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