Bern argues that American law needs “an unapologetic return to the transcendent religiosity giving foundation to the ideals of autonomy and generality in law, and in particular to the law of nature and divine revelation found in the Holy Scriptures.” (p. 107). Professor Bern sets out a “Biblical Model,” to demonstrate how various legal issues should be handled with proper reference to God’s Word and traditional notions of natural law. The Biblical Model has three components:
The first, Requisites for Law and Justice, is foundational to the Model. It sets forth Biblical requisites for substantive law and for its proper administration. It reflects aspects of God's character and sovereignty which are manifested in the perfection of both His law and His administration of justice. . . . . One of the requisites identified in the first component is jurisdiction -- the authority to act. Because of the multiplicity of jurisdictions God has established on the earth, it is important to identify which has authority to act in any given situation. With respect to analyzing issues of law and public policy, the authority which Civil Government may exercise is of particular significance. For that reason, the second component, Jurisdictional Considerations, develops in some detail the jurisdiction of Civil Government in the context of the other jurisdictions. The Israel Example is the final component of the Model. Although God's relationship with Israel was unique, founded as it was upon a special covenant and distinct call for that people to be His holy nation, the Bible declares that God revealed His laws and ordinances to Israel as an example to other nations. Therefore, the Biblical account of God's dealings with Israel regarding the administration of justice and indicating the scope of authority He had vested in the Civil Government of that nation is instructive for the Civil Government of other nations as well.
Roger Bern, A Biblical Model for Analysis of Issues of Law and Public Policy: With Illustrative Applications to Contracts, Antitrust, Remedies, and Public Policy Issues, 6 Regent U. L. Rev. 103, 110-11 (1995).
Bern then applies the Model to various situations. Although the article is long, its demonstration of serious biblical integration will help the law student understand the difficult issues involved in applying scripture to our legal system.