An estimated twelve to fifteen million people now reside illegally in the United States, posing a major social and legal challenge to the nation. Americans are divided over the best course of action in dealing with these illegal immigrants, and Christians are using the Bible to stake out different positions.Read more...
An estimated twelve to fifteen million people now reside illegally in the United States, posing a major social and legal challenge to the nation. Americans are divided over the best course of action in dealing with these illegal immigrants, and Christians are using the Bible to stake out different positions.
The Immigration Crisis addresses this complex issue through a comprehensive look at the Bible. By a careful study of relevant materials in the Old Testament, in combination with archaeological and sociological materials, the author forms a clear definition of an alien in Israelite society. This understanding is an important starting point in the current debate.
The book concludes by suggesting how the Bible might assist Christians in thinking about the problem of legal and illegal immigrants, and in developing the implications of the biblical teaching for public policy.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 43.
- Review Date: 2009-03-09
- Reviewer: Staff
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)