What was the importance of Bible to the New England Puritans?
I think that the Bible was "the only game in town" for the Puritans. Their schism with organized religion and their entire migration into the new world for religious freedom compelled them to adopt and follow the Bible as a religious text that governed their public and private lives. The Bible, as a text, was the only constant for the Puritans. Their dissatisfaction with the Anglican Church caused them to cling to the Bible as the word of God. They believed in a strict interpretation of it and one that provided the framework for how consciousness was to be interpreted. The notion of individual demeanor and how they should carry themselves in public and in private was governed by the Bible and the direct and literal reading of it was of vital importance. There was nothing really else for the Puritans, as a singular conception towards religious belief was embodied in the Bible. In every single Puritan belief, the Bible was present.