What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees?


What Does the Bible Say About Strangers, Migrants, and Refugees?

Page Count
144 pages
Publication date
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    About the book

    The Bible is basically a tapestry woven together from the stories of one gigantic migrant family. Since it was written by, for, and about strangers, migrants, and refugees, the Bible is essentially pro-immigrant. The Scriptures have a lot to say about many issues related to migration, for example, human trafficking, refugees and asylum seekers, victims of war and violence, women and children, climate change and natural disasters, walls and borders, legal and illegal immigrants, and mission.

    In times like these, when anti-immigrant sentiments and racial tensions rear their ugly head, how should Christians respond? This book shows the way—with mercy and charity.

    Winner of 2022 Excellence in Publishing Award from the Association of Catholic Publishers (Scripture category).


    For parish leaders hoping to help their people feel the moral weight of these issues, this book is a potent primer, especially given its short length. Jesus is the divine guest seeking a home in each of us.

    Don Clemmer
    US Catholic

    The topic of migration is both a pressing modern concern and a deep-seated motif of the Bible, namely, our responsibilities toward the stranger, the migrant, and the refugee. Nguyễn tackles these issues with an informed contemporary perspective and sure-footed biblical scholarship. He also manages to make his writing accessible to a wide audience, a major goal of this helpful series.

    Donald Senior
    The Bible Today

    There is no topic more urgent for our time, especially in the current political climate of the U.S., than migration. And there is no one more qualified to write on it than Dr. Nguyễn, himself a refugee from Vietnam and a New Testament scholar. His passion for justice and his love for migrants and refugees make the teaching of the Bible on strangers, migrants, and refugees come alive. I most enthusiastically recommend this book not only to those responsible for public policies for immigration but also to the migrants themselves.

    Peter C. Phan
    The Ignacio Ellacuria Chair of Catholic Social Thought, Georgetown University

    This book is compelling, informative, and challenging. Nguyễn addresses several of the tragic examples of rootlessness in today’s world and thoughtfully describes the plight of the victims of such evils. He draws parallels with comparable situations found within the biblical story and then underscores how that same religious tradition called God’s people in the past and us in the present to remedy such evils. This informative book lends itself to serious personal reflection as well as challenging group discussion.

    Dianne Bergant, CSA
    Distinguished Professor Emerita of Old Testament Studies, Catholic Theological Union

    This book is a gem. In an accessible style, Nguyễn deftly connects the varied and complex realities of modern migration with biblical texts that reflect similar experiences. This little volume demonstrates that the Scripture can speak to the plights of today’s sociopolitical and climate refugees, asylum seekers, the slave trade, and others on the move around the globe. Nguyễn also brings Catholic teaching into the discussion, but it would be a shame to limit its audience to readers of that tradition. There is much here for all Christians! 

    M. Daniel Carroll R.
    Scripture Press MinistriesProfessor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College

    The book skillfully weaves migration stories and themes in the Bible with the challenges of human mobility in the twenty-first century. Its attention to the breadth and complexity of the migration experience, exploration of lesser known biblical texts, highly-accessible language, and prac tical approach makes it a refreshing and rewarding read. Itis most certainly a valuable contribution to the burgeoning literature on migration theologies.

    Gemma Tulud Cruz
    Senior Lecturer in Theology, Australian Catholic University

    About the author

    vănThanh Nguyễn, S.V.D. (STD, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome) is Professor of New Testament Studies and the holder of the Francis X. Ford, M.M., Chair of Catholic Missiology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, U.S.A. He has authored several books and numerous articles, including Stories of Early Christianity and “Acts” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary for the 21st Century.