Thursday, February 02, 2017

Thursday Thinking - About Refugees

New Testament scholar, Scot McKnight, gives his perspective on nation states and refugees...

In the News: The Fate of Refugees
by Scot McKnight at Jesus Creed Blog

Nation states have chosen and encoded in law their boundaries and what it takes to get in and out of those boundaries. I don’t get to walk into Canada without going through an officer’s inspection, and Canadians don’t get to enter the USA without inspection. Such laws seem reasonable to most of us.
Even so, what about refugees?

In the Ancient Near East nations by law insisted in international treaties that refugee slaves be returned to their masters. One of the more remarkable counter-cultural laws in ancient Israel was how it treated refugee slaves. It is evidence for what William Webb called the “redemptive movement.” For sure, in this case Israel’s law was radical, innovative, and counter international treaties.
What was Israel’s law?
If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them (Deuteronomy 23:15-16).
Instead of a return, the refugee was to be harbored...


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