The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible

The Immigration Crisis: Immigrants, Aliens, and the Bible

by James K. Hoffmeier

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Combines biblical, archaeological, and sociological evidence to form a definition and understanding of aliens in Israelite society, which helps inform the current debate on the status of illegal immigrants in the United States.

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Combines biblical, archaeological, and sociological evidence to form a definition and understanding of aliens in Israelite society, which helps inform the current debate on the status of illegal immigrants in the United States.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This short volume attempts to apply biblical teachings to the present-day U.S. immigration crisis. Hoffmeier, a professor of Old Testament and archeology who was born in Egypt, argues that the Hebrew Bible's many legal and ethical proscriptions against mistreating the "alien" were addressed to a class of people who in this day and age might be thought of resident aliens or permanent residents-not illegal immigrants. He also argues that the so-called "sanctuary movement," in which church leaders have on occasion sheltered illegal immigrants from imminent arrest, is "twisting biblical statutes and subverting federal law." The book offers little in the way of sociological, political or economic insight into the circumstances surrounding modern-day illegal immigration, beyond advocating for a law-and-order approach. Missing from this analysis is an understanding of the Bible as a prophetic document more concerned with larger issues of justice. Still, Christians looking for a biblical justification for strict federal enforcement of immigration laws may find much to like. (Apr. 30)

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Read this book if you want to throw light on the subject of immigration and not merely more heat. Dr. Hoffmeier's biblical exegesis gives us valuable perspective on national borders, guest workers, the difference between documented aliens and foreigners in Old Testament times, and many other matters."
Marvin Olasky, Editor in Chief, World News Group

"Doubtless some will question this or that detail of his reading of Scripture, but Hoffmeier's book is a very healthy antidote to the merely sentimental readings that dominate much Christian thought on this complex and challenging issue."
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"The Immigration Crisis offers biblical perspectives on how Christians might respond to the complex needs and challenges that legal and illegal immigration pose. Dr. James Hoffmeier's knowledge of the ancient Near East unlocks the door to the biblical wisdom that shaped Israel's compassionate response to this timeless issue. You will discover how love and compassion for immigrants involves so much more than building or removing walls and deciding who receives or is denied amnesty."
Vin Upham, Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, New Hartford, New York

"Hoffmeier has produced an authoritative work on what the Bible does and does not say about immigration. He allows the Bible to speak for itself within its cultural context without reading modern politics into the text. While his knowledge of the biblical text and the greater ancient Near East sets the groundwork for an accurate hermeneutical approach, his sensitivity to the issues provides a road map for the church to stay true to its biblical roots while serving its calling to be a light to the nations."
Steven M. Ortiz, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"I come from a troubled nation from which hundreds of thousands of people have emigrated to western nations-some legally and some illegally. Many have done so because of genuine pain, danger, or need they have experienced in Sri Lanka. I have always discouraged people from using illegal means to do this and often preached about this in Sri Lanka. I resonate fully with the dual biblical emphasis presented in this book of caring for the alien and of submitting to the laws of the land."
Ajith Fernando, Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka

"Dr. Hoffmeier has written with insight and balance. There is biblical compassion and legal accountability throughout the pages of this engaging journey of history and culture. This book should provoke meaningful discussion among civil and church leaders on this timely topic of immigration."
Roger Haber, Senior Pastor, Central Baptist Church, Middleborough, Massachusetts

"How can we resolve the immigration crisis in America today with humane sensitivity but with respect for the rule of law? James Hoffmeier brings the clarity and structure of biblical society to the confusion and chaos of modern America. He is one of the rare scholars and thinkers who listens to the Bible and does not tell the Bible what it should say. He hears the Bible speaking about the true meaning of sanctuary and of being a part of a society rather than a stranger. As a rabbi, I have shared Hoffmeier's conclusions with members of my Jewish community who are fascinated and open to hear the message of this provocative and intellectually stimulating book. For anyone who believes in the Judeo-Christian way of life, this book is essential reading. I wish that we could have more books like this on the other important controversies of our time."
Benjamin Scolnic, Temple Beth Sholom, Hamden, Connecticut; Adjunct Professor, Southern Connecticut State University

"With his book Immigration Crisis, Jim Hoffmeier has done the church a real service. He brings the Word of God to bear on one of the most pressing political and social issues of our day. Hoffmeier himself is especially well-equipped to bring us guidance on this issue. His own life, family, and career have been deeply intertwined with the issues of immigrants and aliens. Coupled with his long and fruitful career as a Biblical scholar, Hoffmeier has the tools to help us. A real strength of the book is its panoramic view of the entire canon. Certainly those of us who follow Christ need biblical light to shine on these pressing questions of our day. I would highly recommend Jim Hoffmeier's work as a wonderful starting place for developing a biblical perspective on the immigration crisis."
Vic Gordon, Senior Pastor, Beachpoint Church, Fountain Valley, California

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