Episode 0 Introduction: The Hebraic Spirit of America

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On July 4, 1776, immediately after approving the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress appointed John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson to design a seal for the new nation, to select a symbol that would embody America. The designs suggested by Franklin and Jefferson were drawn directly from Hebrew Scripture. For America’s founders saw in their own revolution a re-enactment of the Israelite journey from slavery to freedom, and the imagery, symbolism, and language of the Bible formed the framework for their self-understanding.

Today, however, the stories that once inspired America are largely unknown to many, and this loss of biblical inspiration imperils the nation.

On July 4, we will begin a recovery of the Hebrew Bible’s enduring wisdom, the very wisdom needed if the American experiment is to survive.