I was recently challenged with a question about the Bible and immigration, and to answer the challenge, I looked up every occurrence of the words “stranger,” “foreigner,” and “alien” in the Bible. The resulting list was fascinating to read, and in doing so, I discovered the following seven principles about immigration that are taught in Scripture.
I have heard many people (both Christian and non-Christian alike) say that Jesus contradicted the Law of Moses when He instructed His followers not to seek an eye for an eye or a tooth for a tooth. However, a comparison of Christ's instruction in Matthew with the teachings of the Old Testament will reveal that He was only correcting a misunderstanding about the Law and not contradicting the Law itself.
There are five verses in the Book of Proverbs that have traditionally been interpreted as instruction for parents to spank their children, but many modern Christians have accepted a different view of these verses.
One of the common arguments brought against the traditional understanding of Leviticus 18:22 is the claim that the Hebrew word “toebah” (abomination) only refers to pagan temple practices and not things that are revolting in and of themselves. I was recently presented with an opportunity to respond to this argument, and I took the time to look up every occurrence of the word “toebah” in the Bible. I found that the above claim cannot be supported by the facts and that the English term "abomination" is an accurate translation of the word "toebah."
Evan Minton of the Cerebral Faith Blog recently asked for my opinion of his article "Why The Calendar Day Interpretation Of Genesis One Is Exegetically Untenable." Evan presented four problems that he saw with the young earth view of Genesis, and I thought that my responses to his problems would be helpful to my readers. Go ahead and read through Evan's article and then check out my response below.
I have often been asked to explain how Exodus 21:7-11 can be reconciled with the goodness of God.
And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her. And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters. If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish. And if he do not these three unto her, then shall she go out free without money.
Yesterday, a facebook acquaintance asked me for help understanding a common misconception about the Bible. He said that one of his friends wanted to know how anyone could believe the Bible when it contains such outrageous claims like the claim that the earth is resting on pillars instead of being a globe suspended in space. Here is the answer that I gave:
The Bible does not say that the earth rests on pillars. There are only three verses which speak of the pillars of the earth, and all three are using figurative language to refer to leaders among men. This is the same figure of speech that Paul used in Galatians 2:9 where he spoke of Peter, James and John being pillars in the church.
The Purpose of the Book
The purpose of this book was to prove that the commands regarding Israel’s treatment of strangers were only intended to apply to legally resident aliens. In order to prove this point, Hoffmeier put forward the claim that
“In the Hebrew Bible the alien (ger) was a person who entered Israel and followed legal procedures to obtain recognized standing as a resident alien.”
In contrast, Hoffmeier described the foreigner (nekhar) as
This past Thursday, April 13th, evangelist Dave Young published a very thought provoking article on standards. He explained that there are five categories of standards in the life of a Christian: (1) standards that are pure obedience to the Bible, (2) standards that are applications of biblical principles, (3) standards that protect us from our own weaknesses, (4) standards in response to the culture, and (5) standards that help a weaker brother.
I recently spent several days engaged in a facebook debate with a Catholic, and in the process, I was challenged to re-think my view of the relationship between faith and works in James chapter two. Catholic theologians claim that James 2 teaches the necessity of adding good works to our faith in order to obtain final salvation. The typical response to this claim is to argue that James is only speaking of good works as an evidence of our salvation and not as the means of our salvation. The greatest challenge to this argument is found in the use of the word “justified” in verses 21 and 24. Here is my solution to this challenge:
Bill Fortenberry is a Christian philosopher and historian in Birmingham, AL. Bill's work has been cited in several legal journals, and he has appeared as a guest on shows including The Dr. Gina Show, The Michael Hart Show, and Real Science Radio.
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"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." (Proverbs 9:9)