Why does Thomas Paine use scriptual refrences in his work, "Common Sense" if hes not a Christian?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Biblical allusions and references are very common in English literature. They are used by many authors with various religious beliefs because the Biblical stories form the basis for much of the cultural beliefs of Western civilization. In Paine's time, many people were probably more familiar with the Bible than any other book. If there was only one book in a house, it was probably the Bible. Thus, even though Paine may not have been a "true believer", he knew that his audience would be familiar with his references. Many modern authors who are also not traditional Christians still use Biblical allusions because they know their audiences will probably be familiar with the reference. Those authors include John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and John Updike. Just because an author refers to the Bible does not necessarily mean he or she believes the stories are true, it's just that they know their readers will be able to make connections to the references because the Bible has been such an integral part of our culture for centuries.