Locate And Analyze Two Examples Of Bradford's Use Of Allusions To The Bible

In History of Plymouth Plantation, locate and analyze two examples of Bradford's use of allusions to the Bible and of references to God's intervention in events. What purpose might these devices serve his account?

Bradford uses Biblical allusions throughout History of Plymouth Plantation to structure the story of the Plymouth Planation as in line with Biblical events and authority. He alludes to the apostle Paul in asserting his own right to insist on religious conformity in the colony. He later alludes to two Bible verses, from Thessalonians and Peter, to assert that the recently deceased William Brewster's sufferings will be rewarded in heaven.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In his History of Plymouth Plantation, Bradford objects to the behavior of a Mr. Robinson, who has dealings with the Native Americans that Bradford does not like, such as trading them guns. Bradford alludes to the apostle Paul when he condemns Robinson's religious beliefs as "French" and apart from the true faith. Bradford writes:

The Apostle Paule would have none to follow him in any thing but wherin he follows Christ, much less ought any Christian or church in ye world to doe it.

Bradford, as is typical of early Puritan settlers, was not seeking religious pluralism and toleration in colonizing North America: he was seeking freedom to worship in a different way from the Church of England. He was perfectly willing to impose religious conformity on all the people in his colony, believing his version of Christianity to be the same, true, "primitive" Christianity practiced by Paul. He says that he is enforcing purity just as Paul did and leans into Paul as a respected authority.


(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1123 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on