Government & Politics Opinion Politics Thomas Reese: Signs of the Times

Baby Jesus was a Dreamer in Egypt

Loyola Marymount University student and "Dreamer" Maria Carolina Gomez joins a rally in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program outside the Edward Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) (Caption amended by RNS)

(RNS) — I feel guilty that I have not written a column on “Dreamers,” those children who were brought illegally into the United States by their parents. The reason I find it difficult to write such a column is that for me the whole idea of deporting Dreamers is so mean and unjust that I find it incomprehensible that anyone would want to do it.

No matter what you think of people coming into the country illegally, one can hardly blame children brought by their parents. And once these children have spent their formative years here, the idea of sending them back to a country they do not remember, with a language they may not know, is spiteful.

It is especially appalling as we conclude the Christmas season to hear Christians denounce amnesty for Dreamers. Did they listen to the Gospels at all during Christmas? Do they not understand that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were refugees fleeing for their lives to take sanctuary in Egypt? Do they not realize that Baby Jesus was a Dreamer in Egypt?

The Jesus of Matthew’s Gospel was simply repeating the experience of the Jewish people who also took refuge in Egypt. The Egyptians, like many Americans today, exploited these immigrants, treating them like slaves and cheating them of their wages.

The Bible is filled with admonitions about treating strangers and aliens justly.

  • “You shall not oppress or afflict a resident alien, for you were once aliens residing in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 22:20).  
  • “So you too should love the resident alien, for that is what you were in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:19).
  • “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; you shall love the alien as yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 19:34).

Where are the biblical fundamentalists who say that American law should be based on the Bible? Christians, especially those who believe that Scripture should be the foundation of American law, should be leading the charge in support of Dreamers, refugees and other immigrants.

Instead, what we see is too many Christians siding with a president who holds Dreamers hostage for ransom — $18 billion to pay for his wall along the border with Mexico. Legislation to protect Dreamers is urgently needed; a wall is not. Yet, Donald Trump insists that he will not sign a bill protecting Dreamers unless it includes his wall.

Every white person in this country has ancestors who came here as refugees or immigrants. Many were fleeing political or religious persecution, but millions more came because America provided economic opportunities for themselves and their families. Today’s refugees and immigrants are coming for exactly the same reasons. But now the drawbridge is being pulled up by those whose immigrant ancestors arrived earlier.

Shame!

A sign welcomes immigrants and refugees to the Church of the Epiphany Episcopal Anglican Church in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 18, 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Some Christian churches have declared themselves sanctuary churches, following an ancient tradition when secular authorities could not invade a church to get an accused person. While churches cannot guarantee sanctuary today, these churches have symbolically placed themselves with the undocumented and not only accompany them when arrested but also financially support their legal defense.

It is time to stop playing politics and start acting like God-fearing people. Otherwise we will hear this on Judgment Day: “Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was … a stranger and you gave me no welcome” (Matthew 25).

About the author

Thomas Reese

The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a Jesuit priest, is a Senior Analyst at RNS. Previously he was a columnist at the National Catholic Reporter (2015-17) and an associate editor (1978-85) and editor in chief (1998-2005) at America magazine. He was also a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University (1985-98 & 2006-15) where he wrote Archbishop, A Flock of Shepherds, and Inside the Vatican. Earlier he worked as a lobbyist for tax reform. He has a doctorate in political science from the University of California Berkeley. He entered the Jesuits in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1974 after receiving a M.Div from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.

72 Comments

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  • 3 Points:

    1. Mary, Joseph, and Jesus took temporary refuge in Egypt but within a year they returned to Nazareth.

    2. The Mosaic law required immigrants to assimilate to the Jewish culture and respect the law.

    3. Nowhere in the Bible is there a requirement for any nation to allow unrestricted immigration.

  • 1. So? The whole point of the verses quoted was to remind Israel that they too have been immigrants (whether literally or not) and should treat those foreigners among them as they would like to be treated.
    2. Isn’t that the point. The Dreamers have assimilated. Historically that is what always happens (if not in the first generation, then in the second and third). In America we have 500 years of experience with this. There is no reason to believe the recent waves of immigrants will be different.
    3. Again, so? They are here. The Bible says that what matters is how we treat them.
    So, if you want to wall yourself in that’s your business, just don’t claim that God and the Bible agree with you.

  • It takes a pretty malicious sort of cretin to wish harm on people who did not come to this country by their own volition and are more than willing to serve it in order to earn their place here.

  • One immediate problem: Baby Jesus nor his family were ever in Egypt. Said story is one of many nativity stories that fail rigorous historic analyses. You would think a Jesuit like Father Reese would review the real Jesus history before writing his columns.

    See for example: http://www.faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb369.html

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272, “The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative in respect to the birth of Jesus is virtually nil (ditto for Matt. 1: 18-25, Matt. 2. 1-23)”

  • My apologies for assuming people would actually read the article. It isn’t limited to how we treat Dreamers.

    1. The article is titled: “Baby Jesus was a Dreamer in Egypt.” My point is that that is incorrect.

    2. You are correct, the Dreamers have assimilated. However, the article goes on to say “Christians … should be leading the charge in support of Dreamers, refugees and other immigrants” – broadening the scope to all immigrants, not just Dreamers.

    3. The article opposes any attempt to limit further immigration – describing it as “the drawbridge is being pulled up.” As you point out, the Dreamers are already here.

  • Hey Rational in 2000 years, even with the internet, you will fail all historic analysis . Stop reading all that fiction.

  • “No matter what you think of people coming into the country illegally, one can hardly blame children brought by their parents. And once these children have spent their formative years here, the idea of sending them back to a country they do not remember, with a language they may not know, is spiteful.”
    Cut the baloney – let’s put the blame where it belongs – right on their parent’s illegal activities.

  • Do you allow yourself to wonder if there are any circumstances in which you would flee your home — your community, your neighbors, your extended family — to move to another country with your children? To do something “illegal?”

  • And had their parents done it legally, rather than exemplifying that sometimes it’s ok to break the law – when it suits your purposes – the children would not be in this position.

  • What I asked is if you can put yourself in another’s shoes. All over the world people are fleeing war and other forms of danger and moving to places “illegally.”

    Israel is currently threatening its “illegal” immigrants from Sudan and Eritrea. Eritrea is one of the most repressive places in the world where people are conscripted for decades, (fighting endless war with Ethiopia and providing slave labor) and where it may be illegal to practice your religion. Sudan has seen horrible war, and now famine.

    Here in the western hemisphere, If the drug gang in Honduras tells your 13 year old son that if he doesn’t join them, they’ll kill him and his family, or if one of your daughters has been raped and the other threatened, would you run to a place that might be safe, even if it was “illegal?” If a drought, or heavily subsidized (and therefore cheap) food from America fills your local market in Mexico, and you can’t feed your family by working your land, would you leave to be in a place “illegally” or stay where you are?

    If you run from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, you may land “illegally” in Costa Rica. Plenty of “illegal immigrants” are there. Some make their way to Mexico, and stay there “illegally”, and some make their way to the US. What I’m asking is if you can imagine a situation desperate enough that you would leave your home and do something “illegal,” because you didn’t feel like there were any other safe options for you and your children.

  • What strikes me in your notes is that they represent the interesting phenomenon of Christians who have suddenly imagined themselves in charge of the public works program of Rome at the time of Jesus, without a sense that God has asked them to serve helpless people.To feed, clothe, heal, and welcome the stranger. “Oh that won’t be possible,” they say. “We no longer represent the man who told his disciples to feed 5000 people. We know that isn’t possible, and besides that, we are so identified with the current regime in power we can only imagine the world their way.”

  • Sandi has no empathy. Just a single minded theocratic fanaticism that drives them to push for the persecution of those not deemed worthy of their ideal society. Those include the LGBTQ, the poor, immigrants, people of color, women or a combination of those listed above.
    Make no mistake though the society they dream of is not going to treat them especially if they are will they claim they are. (Note singular they/them is used when gender is in doubt. Normally I don’t question claimed gender but this particular fanatic says things that are truly worthy of male white supremacists.)

  • Obviously, you are not aware of rigorous historic testing . Get back to us when you do some research on the subject.

  • Jesus is indeed deeply offensive to Evangelicals: Dark-complected Middle Eastern refugee crossing borders without English, without employment, without Christianity, and without the slightest shred of jingoistic nationalism.

  • I’m not interested in name calling. I just want to understand. “Stay and die” would be your personal decision, and the decision you would press on others. That’s fine. Just want to be clear.

  • To say that Jesus’ family never fled into Egypt with Him is akin to doubting the historical accuracy of the entire bible. There is tremendous evidence of their fleeing into Egypt because of the persecution of infant sons, and even miracles (things unexplainable by science) attributed to the places at which they stayed while in Egypt.

    But even without any historical “evidence” it would not necessary follow that the whole bible is a farce.

  • Roy, I know it’s a short comment, but who are you addressing? The author, the Christians in the church pictured, who? Are you suggesting they are the ones feeling guilty? What I read in the article is that the author thinks some people who think of themselves as Christians don’t know their bible very well. Otherwise they would be treating the “resident alien” in their midst differently. Hence, it is these who should feel guilty.

  • Please cite your evidence of said flight into Egypt. Might want to start by reviewing the references I cited.

  • The historical details of Jesus’ childhood are hardly the point. What matters is that the Gospel writers included these stories for particular reasons and Christians believe they teach us something essential about God’s relationship with humankind. To paraphrase the old saw, all stories in the Bible are true. Some actually happened.

  • It isn’t an issue of blame. It’s an issue of punishing children for the sins of their parents.

  • Cultural Marxists and Cultural Marxist Ideology. They hate Jesus; but then use His imagery to “guilt trip” conservative minded people.

  • Isn’t it interesting — isn’t it revelatory — when the very same folks who come to RNS threads constantly to spread hateful lies about LGBTQ human beings then hop onto threads about immigrants and tell toxic lies about them, too? Claims that they’re all illegal, for instance, and deserve their fate if they’re deported . . . .

    These are the folks who also boast in thread after thread that they own “God” and “Christ” and “the bible” and speak always out of “love.”

    Some “love.”

    It’s almost as if their real agenda is something entirely different from what they keep professing it is, isn’t it? Like the agenda of the political party that used to tell us it had cornered the “morality” market and the “God” market, until the man now occupying the White House came along, and those claims were unmasked as whopping big lies.

  • Sending young people to places where they have no experience of living, no language skills and likely little (if any) legal standing is cruel. It doesn’t “teach” anything of value.

  • But they are the point as if not true we have been conned to include obviously Father Thomas Reese as his thread compares Jesus’ time in Egypt to that of the time of the Dreamers in the USA. And you wrongly assume that there is a God.

    To paraphrase an old saw,

    “And the day will come,
    when the
    mystical generation of Jesus,

    by the Supreme Being as His Father,
    in the womb of a virgin, will be
    classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva
    in the brain of Jupiter.

    — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    Letter
    to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823.

  • It teaches something to the people who went through the paperwork, waiting times and conversations when coming into the country legally.

  • You can mask this as some kind of noble lesson if you like, but at the end of the day there’s no getting around the fact that you’re punishing the innocent. Such behavior is cruel, spiteful and unworthy of a good and compassionate nation.

    Moving on.

  • Happily, as Jefferson himself would have cheerfully admitted, he wasn’t a demigod. But he was a pretty decent Founding Father and that’s good enough for me.

    Jefferson had his thing, you have yours and I have mine. I don’t begrudge anybody their right to believe or disbelieve. My point is simply that there’s more to religious faith than what can or can’t be verified by research.

    Still, for what it’s worth, I wouldn’t have gone in the direction of Fr. Reese. One can make a case for the Dreamers without awkwardly retrofitting their plight into Biblical infancy narratives.

  • “13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” 14 And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt 15 and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” (Matt 2: 13-15)

    Another myth in the mythological world of angels:

    A summary:

    And the infamous angelic/satanic cons continue to wreak stupidity upon the world–

    Jesus and his family had/has Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day demon of the demented. (As do BO and his family)(As do Biden and Ryan and Trump?)

    Joe Smith had his Moroni and Satan/Perdition/Lucifer. (As does M. Romney)

    “Latter-day Saints like M. Romney also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah.”

    Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God and of course Satan and his demons.

    Mohammed had his Gabriel (this “tinkerbell” got around) and of course the jinn.

    The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other “no-namers” to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

    Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these “pretty wingie/ugly/horn-blowing thingies” to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

  • Not that it is my job to educate you or to read your opinion pieces, but there is nothing in your cited sources that proves scripture or the historical supporting evidence surrounding that the fact that the Holy Family stayed in Egypt (for about three-and-a half years) – false.

    Moreover, there is nothing in scripture that insists the traditional Bethlehem narrative is somehow “at conflict” with the fact that the magi were really astronomers (alchemists or magicians *were* what we’d call scientists today). And believers in Christ are free to believe that the *star* of Bethlehem was really a certain planet or planetary alignment.

    I would suggest you read Jonathan Black’s, The Sacred History, to be enlightened as to what your authors so readily dismiss as superstitious *myth* – including Greek astrology, and ancient esoteric teaching, was really all about.

    But if you want to test the historical accuracy of the oldest and most witnessed public testimony ever recorded, the bible, perhaps you should look (as authentic researchers do) to the many historical records of the past, which all support it, and witness accounts chronicled by 2nd and 3rd century Greek and Jewish writers, philosophers and historians.

    Many churches and monasteries were built in the very locations visited by Jesus Christ, His mother Mary, and Joseph the carpenter. The Holy Family moved through many towns in upper and lower Egypt, and places visited include Zeitun in Cairo. And if you ever travel to the el-Matarya district of today’s Cairo, there is an ongoing miracle you should investigate that anyone can witness to this day. No bread can be made to leaven there (which is beyond scientific explanation) though bread leavens normally in all surrounding streets. The related account passed down by the native people is that the Holy Family were refused bread there and turned away.

    If you isolate any of these many, many 2000 year old honored historical sites in Egypt, or traditional lore passed down consistently from generation to generation, you may not consider them hard “evidence”, each in themselves per se.

    But to dismiss all the collective historical evidence, held by the entire nation of Egypt, as a collective delusion – is a delusion in itself.

  • Sometimes it IS ok to break the law, and you would do the exact same thing to feed your children.

    It wasn’t just Jesus.The Israelites went to Egypt during a famine looking for welfare.

  • Sure it does, but it’s not about “reward,” it’s about moral necessity. Don’t confuse morality with the law. Jesus was an illegal alien.

  • Yea…..the “Frankfurt School” is a wackadoodle pejorative.
    Try — “The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit” by E. Michael Jones
    If you are a Christian — “He Offered Himself; or Priestly Sacrificial Atonement” by Malcolm Lavender.

  • The ONLY behavior to consider on this position is LOVE. The ONLY behavior that God will reward is LOVE, NOT if you followed YOUR countries laws (men’s law). LOVE covers a multitude of sin. LOVE does not hate, is not jealous and I would add that LOVE does not care why you came to this country in the manner is which you chose, LOVE only chooses to LOVE. If you don’t get this as a Christian or a God fearing person, then you don’t get your own faith and your incapable of receiving your reward from God.

  • This is dumb. I’m an open-borders hippie and this is still one the dumbest arguments you could make for Dreamers.

    EGYPT AND PALESTINE WERE PROVINCES IN THE SAME COUNTRY. You either know this and are being willfully dishonest or you don’t know this and aren’t knowledgeable on the subject of Jesus’ life to be making any sort of commentary on it!!

    That’s like saying any kid who moved to a different State in the US from the one they were born is in is a Dreamer. Which is stupid. Therefore your article is also stupid.

    Immigration will never get the true reform it needs with either morally or intellectually bankrupt persons like this writer leading the charge.

  • I say that if a law is created to precipitate hate like the laws passed in the U.S. known as the Jim Crow laws, It’s evident that many people will join the band wagon of hate, fear and persecution to protect what they perceive to be their ownership of a society. It is high time that many on this thread go back and speak to their God, read the Federalist Papers, the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution! Stop the hate, learn the REAL debate!

  • I’m not interested in labels. I’m not interested in reducing people to groups or ideologies. I have no interest in conspiracy theories or forming my views by way of ideologically motivated think tanks or biased news sources. If that’s what you’re about, sorry, not interested.

    On the other hand, if you’d like to have a real conversation without the nonsense, let me know. Until then, bye-bye.

  • The ideas presented in “The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit” and “The Culture of Critique” by Kevin McDonald is ‘non-sense’ according to you.
    Do you believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?

  • Been there done that. Some of the references used:

    From Professors Crossan and Watts’ book,
    Who is Jesus.

    “That Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate, as the Creed states,
    is as certain as anything historical can ever be.

    “ The Jewish historian, Josephus and the pagan historian Tacitus both agree that Jesus was executed by order of the Roman governor of Judea. And is very
    hard to imagine that Jesus’ followers would have invented such a story unless
    it indeed happened.

    “While the brute fact that of Jesus’ death by crucifixion is historically certain, however, those detailed narratives in our present gospels are much more problematic. ”

    “My best historical reconstruction would be something like this. Jesus was
    arrested during the Passover festival, most likely in response to his action in
    the Temple. Those who were closest to him ran away for their own safety.

    I do not presume that there were any high-level confrontations between Caiaphas and Pilate and Herod Antipas either about Jesus or with Jesus. No doubt they would have agreed before the festival that fast action was to be taken against any disturbance and that a few examples by crucifixion might be especially useful at the outset. And I doubt very much if Jewish police or
    Roman soldiers needed to go too far up the chain of command in handling a
    Galilean peasant like Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine the casual brutality
    with which Jesus was probably taken and executed. All those “last
    week” details in our gospels, as distinct from the brute facts just
    mentioned, are prophecy turned into history, rather than history remembered.”

    See also Professor Crossan’s reviews of the existence of Jesus in his
    other books especially, The Historical Jesus and also Excavating Jesus (with
    Professor Jonathan Reed doing the archeology discussion) .

    Other NT exegetes to include members of the Jesus Seminar have published
    similar books with appropriate supporting references.

    Part of Crossan’s The Historical Jesus has been published online at
    books.google.com/books.

    See also Wikipedia’s review on the historical Jesus to include the
    Tacitus’ reference to the crucifixion of Jesus.

    From ask.com,

    “One of the greatest historians of ancient Rome, Cornelius Tacitus is
    a primary source for much of what is known about life the first and second
    centuries after the life of Jesus. His most famous works, Histories and Annals,
    exist in fragmentary form, though many of his earlier writings were lost to
    time. Tacitus is known for being generally reliable (if somewhat biased toward
    what he saw as Roman immorality) and for having a uniquely direct (if not
    blunt) writing style.

    Then there are these scriptural references:

    Crucifixion of Jesus:(1) 1 Cor 15:3b; (2a) Gos. Pet. 4:10-5:16,18-20;
    6:22; (2b) Mark 15:22-38 = Matt 27:33-51a = Luke 23:32-46; (2c) John
    19:17b-25a,28-36; (3) Barn. 7:3-5; (4a) 1 Clem. 16:3-4 (=Isaiah 53:1-12); (4b)
    1 Clem. 16.15-16 (=Psalm 22:6-8); (5a) Ign. Mag. 11; (5b) Ign. Trall. 9:1b;
    (5c) Ign. Smyrn. 1.2.- (read them all at wiki.faithfutures. Crucifixion
    org/index.php/005_Crucifixion_Of_Jesus )

    Added suggested readings:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories,
    earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html – the names of many of the
    contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the ti-tles of their over 100 books
    on the subject.

    Early Christian Writings,
    earlychristianwritings.com/

    – a list of early Christian doc-uments to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative

    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q

    50-60 1 Thessalonians

    50-60 Philippians

    50-60 Galatians

    50-60 1 Corinthians

    50-60 2 Corinthians

    50-60 Romans

    50-60 Philemon

    50-80 Colossians

    50-90 Signs Gospel

    50-95 Book of Hebrews

    50-120 Didache

    50-140 Gospel of Thomas

    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel

    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ

    65-80 Gospel of Mark

    70-100 Epistle of James

    70-120 Egerton Gospel

    70-160 Gospel of Peter

    70-160 Secret Mark

    70-200 Fayyum Fragment

    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion

    80-100 2 Thessalonians

    80-100 Ephesians

    80-100 Gospel of Matthew

    80-110 1 Peter

    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas

    80-130 Gospel of Luke

    80-130 Acts of the Apostles

    80-140 1 Clement

    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians

    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews

    80-250 Christian Sibyllines

    90-95 Apocalypse of John

    90-120 Gospel of John

    90-120 1 John

    90-120 2 John

    90-120 3 John

    90-120 Epistle of Jude

    93 Flavius Josephus

    100-150 1 Timothy

    100-150 2 Timothy

    100-150 T-itus

    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter

    100-150 Secret Book of James

    100-150 Preaching of Peter

    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites

    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans

    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas

    100-160 2 Peter

    4. Jesus Database,
    http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an
    online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings
    of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era.
    It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to
    the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”

    5. Josephus on Jesus mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm

    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar

    7.
    http://www.biblicalartifacts.com/items/785509/item785509biblicalartifacts.html
    – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT

    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman,
    Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.

    9.The Gn-ostic Jesus

    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on A-ncient and Modern G-nosticism)

    by Douglas Gro-othuis:
    http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/

    10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical
    Commission

    Presented on March 18, 1994

    ewtn.com/library/CURIA/PBCINTER.HTM#2

    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:

    wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php?t-itle=Jesus_Database

    12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:

    faithfutures.org/JDB/jdb016.html

    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:

    mtio.com/articles/bis-sar24.htm

    13. http://www.textweek.com/mtlk/jesus.htmm- Historical Jesus Studies

    14. The Greek New Testament: laparola.net/greco/

    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    http://books.google.com/books/about/The_diseases_of_the_Bible.html?id=C1YZAAAAYAAJ

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 a-rt-ic-les on the
    hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,

    theologians, eth-ics, etc. religiononline.org/

    17.
    The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT ntgate-way.com/

    18
    Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, oral tradition etc.

    ntgat-eway.com/

    19. JD Crossan’s c-onclusions about the
    a-uthencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the c-onclusions of other
    NT e-xege-tes in the last 200 years:

    http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.p-hp?t-itle=Crossan_Inventory

    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books
    by title with the complete translated work in English
    :earlyjewishwritings.com/josephus.html

    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a connection?

    in-fidels.o-rg/library/modern/richard_carrier/lukeandjosephus.html

    22. NT and beyond time line:

    pbs.o-rg/empires/pe-terandpaul/history/timeline/

    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of
    important events:

    harvardhouse.com/prophetictech/new/pauls_life.htm

    24. See http://www.amazon.com for a list of JD
    Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books
    are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be
    found on-line at Google Books.

    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom
    as found in his books.

    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd
    Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and
    Bishop NT Wright.

    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY,
    1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.

    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

    Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical
    Argument for Jesus of Nazareth [Hardcover]

    Bart D. Ehrman (Author)

    “Large numbers of atheists, humanists, and conspiracy
    theorists are raising one of the most pressing questions in the history of
    religion: “Did Jesus exist at all?” Was he invented out of whole
    cloth for nefarious purposes by those seeking to control the masses? Or was
    Jesus such a shadowy figure—far removed from any credible historical
    evidence—that he bears no meaningful resemblance to the person described in the Bible?”

  • You are so choking on gnats to avoid the obvious validity of the article’s arguments.

    The Holy Family had to move to what was a strange country to keep the Christ child safe. This is obviously an accurate analogy to refugees who seek asylum here for themselves and their families from their own persecutory governments.

  • Once again- the Xmas nitty-gritty to include the flight into Egypt:

    Christmas,
    the embellished story of the birth of a simple, preacher man named Jesus.

    As per most contemporary NT exegetes, his parents were Mary and Joseph although
    some say Jesus was a mamzer, the result of a pre-marital relationship between
    Mary and a Roman soldier.

    http://
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/theories.html

    Jesus was not born in Bethlehem at least the one we are familiar with and there were
    no pretty wingie thingies singing/talking from on high, no slaughter of the
    innocents by Herod, no visiting wise men and no escape to Egypt.

    “Mark’s gospel, the most historical of the four gospels, does not even mention the
    event.

    And from Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, pp. 269-272,
    “The historical yield of the Lukan infancy narrative in respect to the
    birth of Jesus is virtually nil.

    Matt 1:18-25: , pp. 123-124, “The fathering of Jesus from the Holy Spirit and his birth from the virgin Mary are unhistorical”. Ludemann gives a very detailed analysis to support his conclusions. One part being the lack of attestations to these events and the late time strata of said story.

    “Lüdemann [pp. 261-63) discounts Luke’s account as a legend deriving from Jewish
    Hellenistic circles that were concerned to hold together the procreation of the
    Spirit, the authentic sonship of the Messiah and the virginal conception.

    Thenthere are these additional conclusions:

    Professor Bruce Chilton

    “In [Rabbi Jesus: An Intimate Biography] (2000), Chilton develops the idea of Jesus
    as a mamzer; someone whose irregular birth circu-mstances result in their
    exclusion from full participation in the life of the community. He argues for
    the natural pa-ternity of Joseph and finds no need for a miraculous conception.
    In his subsequent reconstruction of Jesus’ life, Chilton suggests that this
    sustained personal experience of exclusion played a major role in Jesus’
    self-ident-ity, his concept of God and his spiritual quest.

    Professor
    John Dominic Crossan

    “In [Historical Jesus] (p. 371) Crossan treats this cluster, like 007 Of Davids
    Lineage, as an example of the interplay of prophecy and history in the
    development of the Jesus traditions.

    “In [Birth of Christianity] (pp. 26-29) Crossan uses Luke’s account of Jesus’
    conception and birth to explore ethical issues concerning the public
    interpretation of the past. He notes the tendency of Christian scholars to
    disregard “pagan” birth legends while investing great effort in the
    defence of biblical birth narratives. He concludes:

    I do not accept the divine conception of either Jesus or Augustus as factual
    history, but I believe that God is incarnate in the Jewish peasant poverty of
    Jesus and not in the Roman imperial power of Augustus. ”

    “The following ancient parallels to Jesus’ miraculous conception should be noted:

    Birth of Moses (Exod 2:1-10) (Moses was an invention of the Jewish scribes)

    Birthof Plato (Diogenes Laertius, Lives of Eminent Philosophers, 3.45) [see Acts of
    Jesus, p. 507]

    Birth of Alexander the Great (Plutarch,
    Parallel Lives, 2.1-3.5) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 502f]

    Birth of Apollonius (Philostratus, Life of
    Apollonius, I.4) [see Acts of Jesus, p. 505]”

  • AGAIN, I am an open-borders hippie. I am MORE open borders than most liberals in my country, and am disappointed by the fact that the left leaning party of my nation is not pro-immigration enough for my tastes.

    But just because I want vast immigration reforms to make it easier for anyone to come to this country doesn’t mean I’ll blindly accept any argument put forward by people who want the same goals. In fact I’ll be MORE critical of articles such as this that share my desired end goal because I feel that they will do more damage to the pro-immigration argument than they will help.

    I think YOU are probably choking on partisanship to try to avoid the obvious fact that the analogy doesn’t work between Jesus and Dreamers.

    How do I KNOW that you know that the argument DOESN’T WORK??

    Because you yourself don’t use Dreamers, you use REFUGEES when asserting that the analogy works:

    “This is obviously an accurate analogy to refugees who seek asylum here for themselves and their families from their own persecutory governments.”

    You are saying the analogy works, but then you state the analogy works between Jesus and Refugees when the analogy I said DOESN’T work is between Jesus and Dreamers.

    “Dreamers” are not the same things as “refugees”. Because I for one ACTUALLY care about well needed immigration reform, I am aware of the nuance and distinction between different immigrant classifications and groups.

    The only way you can pretend the analogy works is by pretending the analogy was between Jesus and a different group of immigrants to whom the analogy was made.

    There MAY be some overlap between Dreamers and refugees, but there WON’T be much, as the vast majority of refugees coming into the country apply for refugee status and asylum, which is a different form of legalization and would make their children not even need to be Dreamers.

    I know a good deal of refugees. I am DESCENDED from one, and a not insignificant portion of the people in my Faith are refugees from Iran. But NONE of the kids of the refugees I know are Dreamers. They were granted asylum, so they don’t need or get a Dreamer status.

    IF the article had been titled “Baby Jesus was a Refugee”, then it would have worked and I would have levied NO criticism at THAT choice of analogy.

    But the analogy ISN’T, contrary to what you claim, “Baby Jesus was a child with refugee status” but is “Baby Jesus was a Dreamer.”

    Which is a bad, dumb argument. I want to cull such arguments from the pro-immigration side of the debate, because there are far better arguments to be made, and the anti-immigration crowd will just focus on the stupid, low-hanging fruit like this one rather than engage the good arguments.

    You enabling dumb arguments only hurts the cause. So I implore you to instead be quiet and get out of the way of the people who want real immigration reform.

  • The world, yes, meaning those who buy into the conventional wisdom of the world, countered by the Beatitudes. Jesus never said anything about so-called cultural marxists. Jesus didn’t engage in silly ideological labeling.

  • Cultural marxists — just one more product of a fallen world and a fallen humanity that wants nothing to do with God’s ways.

  • I think you and I approach faith differently. I don’t judge whether or not individuals or groups are in compliance with God’s will. I just try to make sure I am.

  • There isn’t much to judge wrt the world. Jesus already said it’s fundamentally in opposition to Him and not to worry about that. Individuals are another matter, since we are called to be part of an integrated body of believers and are all accountable to each other. One malfunctioning body part affects the functioning of all the other parts and can only be ignored to a limited extent before forebearance becomes negligence or even complicity.

  • You are insisting upon your own slant to definitions of words, and defending yourself and your political views – rather than acknowledging the clear cut analogy between authentic refugees and the word “dreamers”, as well as the clear cut similarity between the potential of the persecuted in ancient days, and the great refugees or “dreamers” of today.

    I do not define words by your opinion, or any trending political view. I define someone who dreams as someone who dreams. Dreamer in this context implies to me someone who dreams of a better world, (despite coming from a ‘shithole’ country) and despite, if not outright because, of their suffering, have the potential, energy and extraordinary insight to help others and accomplish great ends.

    Even if you doubt Jesus’ divinity, he came from a town with garbage in the streets, wound up crucified for a crime he didn’t commit, but none the less was a master teacher and changed the world unlike no other human being. His family had to flee to Egypt because powerful, corrupt men knew, despite his great poverty, the predictions: that the innocent child was a great threat to them, a liability that would uncover their spiritual bankruptcy.

    The analogy works with the pro eugenic Trump family versus refugees or the children of immigrants, legal or otherwise, as well as Hitler with the Jews. Victims are not really persecuted because they are less than human, but because of their sometimes superior potential to expose the corruption of those in power.

    But if Christ had been conceived in this culture, He could have been easily aborted before even making it out of the womb alive.

    It is a spoiled people that wrongly equates socioeconomic status or material power with joy, potential, love or fulfilling one’s Life’s purpose – and it is a very evil to blame the innocent for the criminality of a few, and impose a wrongly applied “crucifixion”….

  • This is like saying If I went to Texas I would be a refugee.

    Greek Egypt under Roman rule was not the Egypt in exodus. Anyone with a basic understanding of history would understand that.

  • Fr. Reese talks around the true issue. “Resident alien” is not synonymous with illegal alien. Christ was not an illegal alien. The biblical quotes are out of context at very least, and more likely intended to mislead.

    Romans 13:1-5
    Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there
    is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been
    instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists
    what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For
    rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no
    fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will
    receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you
    do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is
    the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the
    wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s
    wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

    Titus 3:1
    Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work…

    One does not like to be cynical, but isn’t it more likely that the Catholic bishops love illegal immigration, and risk disobeying the law of God for it, because their pews are only one quarter full? Or is it insensitive to suggest that the 95 million dollars given yearly to the U.S. Catholic Church by the government during the Obama era to carry out a liberal addenda is at risk? A church must have a reason to exist. If the pews are emptying and orthodox theology is no long taught causing a moral vacuum, what can a morphing church do it make itself “relevant?” It becomes a political entity. A political church is by definition a liberal church, because orthodox members are not going to be fooled by even incremental theological change.

  • The problem is that the word asylum is used too loosely, with the intent of making invaders appear like victims.

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