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Clarity and Authority in the Bible


Throughout the Bible, there is clear and forceful teaching about immigration.

It begins in Genesis and Exodus.  The Exodus reveals a great deal about God, and about his relationship with us.  It includes many different lessons, or different kinds.  The clearest moral teaching, repeated over and over with slightly varying words, is "Welcome strangers, because -- remember! -- you too once were a stranger in a strange land!"

This lesson is repeated all through the Pentateuch, and the Psalms, and the Prophets. 

It is found in the New Testament as well, especially in Matthew's Gospel.  Matthew 25 is the words of Jesus about the Last Judgment.  He says that we should take care of the hungry, the thristy, strangers, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned.  The word for "strangers" has been translated many different ways, and there is a great deal of confusion about it today.  If you ask serious Christians to list the people Jesus asks us to care for, most people (perhaps nine out of ten) will skip "strangers."  The problem is, the word has been translated as "stranger" sometimes, "homeless" sometimes, or even the "harbourless" sometimes -- whatever that means.  Actually, the word in Greek is XENOS, which means someone from another land who comes into your land.  In other words, an immigrant.  The word "immigrant" is not used much to translate the passage because it is actually a fairly new word, first used to describe people coming to America after the American Revolution. 

For more about the Bible and immigration, you can read Sign of the Crossing by John Cavanaugh-O'Keefe.  It is available from Amazon ($6) or on Kindle ($3).

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