A parallel dynamic arguably exists with regards to political rulers. Jesus had little to say (I know he did say "Render unto Caeser," directed more towards believers than "Caesers," and other tangential things about government -- that's why I said "little" not "nothing"); but St. Paul was fairly explicit in Romans 13.
With what follows, I want us to think about biblical hermeneutics regarding HOW the Bible's text was divinely inspired. We've oft-heard it said here that the "key Founders" thought PARTS of the Bible were inspired (some FFs, large parts, others, like Jefferson, probably a minority of the Bible; neither Jefferson nor J. Adams believed the Bible inerrant or infallible; but I'd bet Adams' Bible would be significantly "thicker" than Jefferson's). Jefferson cared about Jesus' words (but still doubted they were all recorded accurately in the biblical canon) and thought nothing of St. Paul's and those of the other Apostles. Still, those Apostles covered a great deal of subjects that Jesus didn't (for instance, the topic of this post, on political rulers). To a Bible believer -- one who believes the Canon infallible -- what is the significance of that? Are words recorded in the Bible from Paul and the other Apostles of the same level of authority (because, one might argue, they come from the Holy Spirit, the 3rd person in the Trinity) as Jesus' (the 2nd Person in the Trinity)? Or are the words of St. Paul et al. somehow "lesser" in a divine inspirational sense (after all it was Paul not Jesus who spoke in the book of Romans)?
As noted, with Jefferson we see belief in Jesus' words, but not those of St. Paul or the other Apostles as "divinely inspired." Arguably we see something similar with Gouverneur Morris.
The Bible in Romans 13 addresses the "rulers of mankind" in a way that is not unclear. Yet, Morris laments that Jesus never addressed them, as somehow Paul's clear words in Romans 13 were not sufficient in a way that Jesus' words would be.
In a letter to Washington, May 21, 1778, Morris, in the only known recorded place he referred to Jesus as "Savior," wrote:
Had our Saviour addressed a chapter to the rulers of mankind, as he did many to the subjects, I am persuaded his good sense would have dictated this text; Be not wse overmuch. Had the several members, who compose our multifarious body, been only wise enough, our business would long since have been completed. But our superior abilities, or the desire of appearing to possess them, lead us to such exquisite tediousness of debate, that the most precious moments pass unheeded away like vulgar things.
Washington responded (May 29, 1778) with his typical religious aloofness, though he does seem to categorize many passages of Jesus'/the Bible's words as "unavailing" hence, inadequate or incomplete guides:
Had such a chapter as you speak of been written to the rulers of mankind it would I am persuaded, have been as unavailing as many others upon subjects of equal importance. 26 We may lament that things are not consonent with our wishes, but cannot change the nature of Men, and yet those who are distressed by the folly and perverseness of it, cannot help complaining, as I would do on the old score of regulation and arrangement, if I thought any good would come of it.
Don't complain about reality; just grin and bear it. Washington that good Stoic he.
But back to the hermeneutics of America's "key Founders" like Jefferson and Morris. If St. Paul's words were as divinely inspired as Jesus', one wouldn't, it seems to me, need Jesus to speak on "rulers" any more than one needs Him to speak on homosexuality. St. Paul, divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit, already spoke on those matters and that would suffice. Yet if one believes Jesus', but not Paul's words were divinely inspired, then, yes, one would desire Jesus' thoughts on the matter while disregarding Paul's. (Simply disregarding St. Paul's words as Jefferson did and G. Morris probably did is quite an easy way to get around Romans 13's apparent textual prohibition on revolt.)
What do you think?