Alt Title

Two treatises;2 treatises;Reasonableness of Christianity;Letter concerning toleration

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Glenn, Gary Dean, 1941-

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Locke; John; 1632-1704--Criticism and interpretation; Locke; John; 1632-1704. Epistola de tolerantia; Locke; John; 1632-1704. Reasonableness of Christianity; Locke; John; 1632-1704. Two treatises of government


Scholars have studied John Locke and have tried to discern whether his political teachings are derived from or at least consonant with the Bible. The divide in scholarly opinion suggests that more research is needed to determine upon what authority Locke bases his political teachings; namely, the doctrine of consent of the governed and the right to revolution. This study attempts to assess Locke's use of the Bible in those political works where he seems to use the Bible as an authority. The initial assessment of Locke's use of the Bible involved identifying and counting both cited and uncited references. These references were then displayed with simple descriptive statistics and bar graphs to show where Locke did and did not cite the Bible. Individual biblical references were contextually analyzed to see if Locke fairly represented the text or if he distorted it to suit his purposes. Close attention was also paid to those areas where Locke did not cite any biblical references to see if they contained political teachings that clearly opposed the Bible. The combined quantitative and contextual analysis suggests that Locke's political teachings only appear to be based on the Bible. Frequent omissions of contrary portions of the Bible, in addition to novel interpretations of the Bible, suggest that Locke would like to make his political teachings appear consonant with the Bible even when they are not. There does not appear to be much biblical support for Locke's major political teachings (government by consent of the governed and the right of revolution). The results of this study tend to support the Straussian thesis that Locke is an esoteric writer who may have been attempting to undermine the authority of the Bible while simultaneously appealing to it.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [217]-223).


vii, 264 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type