Historical and Theological Foundations of Law

Three Volumes


By John Eidsmoe

Get Historical and Theological Foundations of Law for as little as $99 a set. Receive a 25% discount with the purchase of 2 to 4 sets, and a 33% discount for 5 or more sets.

Also, every purchase of Historical and Theological Foundations of Law receives a complimentary copy of God’s Ten Commandments by the late Rev. Dr. Advocate Francis Nigel Lee.  

Silver Medal Independent Publisher Book Award for Non-fiction Book Series!

The Law! What is it? Who gives it authority? May a crown and scepter, or elite council rightfully create it? Can a judge establish it? Or does One True Authority alone ordain it?

Everyone lives under law as a protective blessing or a curse of tyranny. When law protects life, liberty, and property under God, people thrive. Yet worldwide, a self-serving, elite ruling class corruptly abuses law, using it as a weapon against the people it ought to serve.

John Eidsmoe offers a solution in this epic three-volume set.

The 2016 Nordskog Publishing Edition greatly expands the index to support research and scholarship!

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Volume Discount: Get 25% off when ordering 2 to 4 more sets. Get a 33% off when ordering 5 or more sets.


The basic issue facing law and government, not only now in the United States but throughout all the world and throughout all time, is this: is law simply the will of the State, or does true law reflect the higher truth of the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God?

If law is simply the will of the State, then the State is all powerful, in which case there is no such thing as an unjust law, and there is no basis for resisting tyranny. But if true law must reflect a higher reality, then there is a basis for evaluating and questioning the legitimacy of what the State calls law.

Through meticulous research, this fully indexed three-volume treatise explores the history, laws, and underlying beliefs of societies ancient and modern all across the earth: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Hawaii, the Inca, the Maya, the Aztec, the Cheyenne, the Iroquois, the laws of the ancient Hebrews, the Greek and Roman systems with their strengths and weaknesses, Sharia law, the rise of the common law through its Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman roots, the effects of the Lutheran and Calvinist Reformations, great legal thinkers from Selden to Blackstone, and the transplanting of the common law to the American colonies.

The book demonstrates that virtually every society in history has recognized that its laws come from a higher Source than man—God, the gods, the dao, or another term—but the idea that law is human made is a modern aberration and dangerous to the basic conservative principles of liberty and limited government.

John Eidsmoe interviewed on Vocal Point with Jerry Newcombe
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With unparalleled scope and detail, John Eidsmoe studies the origins of law in the most ancient societies around the world, explores their commonality and differences, and traces their development through history. In conclusion, he contrasts current alarming trends and encouraging signs for the future!

In clear and understandable language, this work will equip the reader with a powerful arsenal toward reform and restoration of law to its lofty and rightful place in history.

The six-book set in three volumes:

Volume I – Ancient Wisdom

  • Book I: The Foundation: Ancient Legal Systems
  • Book II: The Cornerstone: The Hebrew Legal System

Volume II – Classic and Medieval

  • Book III: The Structure: Classical Legal Systems
  • Book IV: The Centerpiece: The Common Law

Volume III – Reformation and Colonial

  • Book V: The Pinnacle: Constitutionalism
  • Book VI: The Beacon: Spreading Constitutionalism
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Additional information

Weight70 oz
Dimensions6.2 × 9.4 × 4.8 in

1500 pages

6 reviews for Historical and Theological Foundations of Law

  1. Bill Graves

    Noted constitutional authority John Eidsmoe has written a legal classic on the origins and theological foundations of law. The three-volume series is entitled Historical and Theological Foundations of Law (Nordskog Publishing, 2016), in which Eidsmoe demonstrates that throughout history the laws of virtually every nation and every legal system, if not all, have had theological foundations.

    What is law and whence comes its authority? Is it law because someone with a crown commanded it? Or is it because a judge decreed so or a legislature said so? Is it law because a Higher Authority said so? What is Common Law? When did it begin? Is it relevant today? Eidsmoe answers these and many other questions.

    In Vol. One, Ancient Wisdom, Eidsmoe examines the legal systems of ancient societies. He notes that Moses is “a colossus of history, the consummate statesman and lawgiver.” Eidsmoe observed the influence of the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Laws on the Laws of King Alfred the Great of England (about 890) which were a part of the basis of the English Common Law. He also noted how both British legal giants, Sir Edward Coke and Sir William Blackstone, held that “Christianity is part…of our general laws, and (held) all revealed or divine law, so far as enacted by the Holy Scriptures to be of universal obligation.”

    In Vol. Two, Classical and Medieval, Eidsmoe noted the deficiencies of the Greeks, their gods and their laws. Eidsmoe observes that “Alexander the Great is as famous for his ability to conquer and build a great empire as for his inability to govern it, just as Greek political philosophy is as remarkable for its pristine beauty in theory as for its utter failure in practice.” However, Eidsmoe states how the great Augustine pointed out differences between the city of man and The City of God—the title of his great classic. In the city of man, the earthly city was created by self-love reaching contempt for God while the in the City of God, the heavenly city was punctuated by contempt for self. The earthly city glories in itself while the heavenly city glories in God. Man’s city loves its own strength, shown in powerful leaders, but the City of God says: “I will love you, my Lord, my strength.”

    Eidsmoe said Islamic law and philosophy, allegedly based on the will of Allah their God, is characterized not by faith, but by submission. He states the purpose of the Crusades was to help the Eastern Roman Empire fend off Muslim aggression and to regain people and territory that had been lost to Islamic aggression. He states that “the Crusaders never sought to conquer a single inch of territory that had not been earlier taken from Christians by Muslims through Jihadic warfare.”

    In Vol, Three, Reformation and Colonial, Eidsmoe said the judges, scholars, philosophers, and theologians who gave us the Common Law believed the true Law of Nature existed from time immemorial, having been created and decreed in the mind of God. By 1500, the Common Law had taken shape and Martin Luther and John Calvin would sharpen the “Two Kingdoms” theory and showed how they could function according to God’s law in a sinful world. Simultaneously, John Locke, Charles Montesquieu, Blackstone and others articulated the Common Law and its application to law and government in a philosophy that was both rational and distinctly Christian. America was a product of the Protestant Reformation. American historian George Bancroft wrote that Calvin was the virtual father of America because at its founding the country was two-thirds Calvinistic.

    Eidsmoe had earlier written Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers, in which he documents America’s Biblical and Christian foundations. In the Declaration of Independence God is mentioned four different times and it is stated that our rights come not from government, but from the Creator. The Constitution is dated “in the Year of our Lord” 1787. The Framers believed that Christianity should be encouraged by the State and that Christianity is, as Daniel Webster said, a part of the law of the land. For 100 years after the framing of the First Amendment, the federal government sponsored the teaching of Christianity. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that “Americans combine the notions of Christianity and liberty so intimately that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other.” The Supreme Court early on supported the teaching of the Bible and Christianity in education, outlawed polygamy because it is contrary to Christianity, held that America is “a Christian nation” and that we have “a duty of obedience to God’s will.”

    Eidsmoe’s work is a tour de force and should be read by all who wish to know and understand the true origins of law.

  2. Wesley Harris

    As someone who has worked in law enforcement for many years, I have always been interested in the law and its origins. For the first time, I have found a comprehensive resource on the subject in the Historical and Theological Foundations of Law.

    The 3-book series covers every aspect of how law has been created. It is a massive work detailing the development of law from ancient civilizations (Egyptian, Chinese, Mesopotamian, Indian, Polynesian, Mayan, etc.) through to the American development of law based on the United States Constitution. The author convincingly contends that there are universal features within each legal system that point to a nonnatural source for human law; in other words, the law supports the existence of a Creator God.

    I am sure I will return to this resource over and over again in preparing lesson plans, essays, Bible studies, and more from now on. I consider it a real treasure within my book collection. I highly recommend this set to anyone with an interest in law, public service, history, or the Bible.

    I was given these books by bookfun.org and Nordskog Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

  3. Connie Saunders

    This three-volume, 2nd-edition set by John Eidsmoe is truly a remarkable reference collection. Each volume contains two books, and they cover the foundations of law from the beginning of ancient civilizations until the legal systems established for our American colonies. Volume I is titled Ancient Wisdom, and it contains Book 1, the Foundation and Book 2, the Cornerstone. These two books show how the ancient laws came about and how the ancient Hebrew legal system has influenced the entire world. Volume II, Classical and Medieval, reviews the Greek and Roman legal regimes in Book 3, the Structure, while Book 4, the Centerpiece, chronicles the birth of the Common Law of the West. The third volume, Reformation and Colonial, contains Book 5, the Pinnacle and Book 6, the Beacon. These two books cover both the Lutheran and Calvinist Reformation and how the Common Law affected the legal system of our American Colonies.

    It is very apparent that the author has done extensive research in the writing of these books. It has long been a question as to how the Law was established and by what authority, and Eidsmoe has been able to show readers how the Bible has influenced our laws. I truly enjoy history and learning more about our American History, so Volume 3 was especially interesting, but anyone interested in law and anyone desiring to deepen their understanding of the Bible will also find these books invaluable.

    These three volumes have beautiful covers, and they would be a very attractive addition to any library, but it is their content that makes this set exceptional. I am thrilled to have them for future reference, and I will gladly recommend them to others.

    I received a complimentary copy of these books from bookclub.org and Nordskog Publishing.

  4. Kimberly Napier

    Historical and Theological Foundations of Law consists of three volumes of history. These are Volume 1: Ancient History; Volume 2: Classical and Medieval; Volume 3: Reformation and Colonial. These amazing books clearly show how the Bible laid the foundations of our laws. The books are thoroughly and thoughtfully researched by John Eidsmoe, a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and a Colonel in the Alabama State Defense Force. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, the Handong International Law School in South Korea, and the Institute of Lutheran Theology.

    I had my doubts that this subject could be covered in a manner that would maintain my interest, as the law can be a bit dry for me at times. However, from the first page of Volume I through the last I have highlighted and notated almost each and every page.

    I can honestly say that I have enjoyed these books and would highly recommend anyone with an interest in law, history, or the Bible.

    I was given these books by bookfun.org and Nordskog Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

  5. Jalynn Patterson

    The foundation, as well as the creation of law, existed way beyond the current or even previous generations. This is a known fact, of course. The Bible even has God’s laws as its foundation. The author has set about to discover, research, and write about the law as it was in ancient times dating back before recorded history. He takes us through history in chronological form to, if you will, take us back to where it all began.

    His research and well-worded commentary are simple, straightforward, and to the point. It is entirely understandable, and it was something fascinating to me. Law isn’t just a simple thing to wrap your head around. I see it as very cerebral and can take on a shape all its own.

    The author goes on to explain many things about the different foundations of law. He is very thorough. I think my favorite part of volume one was when the author discusses Hebrew law. I love how the author was able to explain the law and its happenings during Biblical times further–Lot and his daughters and when Abraham bargains with God just to name a few.

    Fascinating commentary and forethought that gets you to discovering more things about the Bible. Therefore gaining in knowledge and just overall, learning more about its foundations.

    **Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from the author. All opinions are my own.

  6. RJ

    These three volumes are an extraordinary work. They lay the clear foundation of the biblical impact on our laws. They are thorough, comprehensive, and well balanced. I would recommend these volumes to all who have an interest in history, especially as it relates to the influence of the Bible and the clear record of God’s blessings throughout history.

    I usually annotate books as I read them for ease in finding especially important portions for future reference. There are few pages in these volumes that do not have underlines, brackets, check marks, or exclamation points on them.

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