Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Forgotten Clauses of the Magna Carta

If your children study medieval history, or history of England, make the effort to open their textbook on the chapter concerning Magna Carta and read what it says about the origins of Magna Carta. Whether the textbook is a Christian or a non-Christian textbook, you will learn that (1) in the early 13th century there was an evil king of England named John, (2) his barons rose in rebellion against him, and (3) in 1215 the barons forced King John to sign a document known as Magna Carta where his power over his barons was limited by law, and the barons’ privileges and freedoms were established and protected. In those textbooks that have a little more romantic view of English history you might learn that (4) the liberties listed in Magna Carta came from the traditional Saxon Law which defended the freedom of the individual. Later, (5) Magna Carta was applied to all citizens and became a sort of constitutional law for the kingdom of England. Not much more is said about Magna Carta.

While certain details in the picture the textbooks reveal are correct, the above picture about the history and the origins of Magna Carta is incorrect. It is a typical example of what scholars call “historical revisionism”—re-writing history by historians, teachers, authors, and politicians to fit a specific modern agenda, or to comply with specific modern view of the history of mankind. In this case, since Magna Carta is a document of unrivaled importance in the history of the West, the damage caused by the revisionist representation of its history is of major significance, especially if you are a Christian, and if you want your children to receive a good Christian education consistent with a thorough, comprehensive Biblical worldview. The historical truth is that Magna Carta was not drafted by the barons, the barons didn’t initiate it at all, and that the Carta had a completely different ideological origin and political and legal intent than what our modern historians presume. Far from being a generally political or legal document, the Carta was a Christian document first, and then everything else.

To read more click here.

1 comment:

Joe Mahler said...

Bojidar Marinov has written an excelent article. Historical revisionism is not new at all. The victors have always practiced this insidious art. It goes on still. That is why it is always better to go to the original source for information than to secondary sources. For Christian doctrine it is the Bible, and not the patristics or the Roman magisterium, or the many theologians who so willingly distort and leave out what does not fit their narrative. Though some theologian are justly admired by their attention to Biblical support yet the prime source should always be the final determiner in the reader/hearer.