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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Stranger and Sojourner (in the Apocrypha and the New Testament)

The technical meaning attaching to the Hebrew terms is not present in the Greek words translated "stranger" and "sojourner," and the distinctions made by English Versions of the Bible are partly only to give uniformity in the translation. For "stranger" the usual Greek word is ξένος , xénos , meaning primarily "guest" and so appearing in the combination "hatred toward guests" in The Wisdom of Song of Solomon 19:13 ( μισοξενία , misoxenı́a ). Xenos is the most common word for "stranger" in the New Testament ( Matthew 25:35 , etc.), but it seems not to be used by itself with this force in the Apocrypha. Almost equally common in the New Testament is άλλότριος , allótrios , "belonging to another" (Matthew 17:25 , Matthew 17:26; John 10:5 ( bis )), and this is the usual word in the Apocrypha (Sirach 8:18; 1 Macc 1:38, etc.), but for some inexplicable reason the Revised Version (British and American) occasionally translates by "alien" (contrast, e.g. 1 Macc 1:38; 2:7). Compare the corresponding verb ἀπαλλοτριόω , apallotrióō (Ephesians 2:12; Ephesians 4:18; Colossians 1:21 ). With the definite meaning of "foreigner" are ἀλλογενής , allogenḗs , "of another nation," the Revised Version (British and American) "stranger" (1 Esdras 8:83; 1 Macc 3:45 (the King James Version "alien"); Luke 17:18 (the Revised Version margin "alien")), and ἀλλόφυλος , allóphulos , "of another tribe," the Revised Version (British and American) "stranger" (Baruch 6:5; 1 Macc 4:12, etc.) or "of another nation" (Acts 10:28 ). For "to sojourn" the commonest form is παροικέω , paroikéō , "to dwell beside," the Revised Version (British and American) always "to sojourn" (Judith 5:7; Sirach 41:19; Luke 24:18 (the King James Version "to be a stranger"); Hebrews 11:9 ). The corresponding noun for "sojourner" is πάροικος , pároikos (Sirach 29:26 f (the King James Version "stranger"); Acts 7:6 , Acts 7:26; Ephesians 2:19; 1 Peter 2:11 ), with παροικος , pároikia , "sojourning" (The Wisdom of Solomon 19:10; Sirach 16:8; Acts 13:17 (the King James Version "dwelling as strangers"); 1 Peter 1:17 ). In addition, ἐπιδημέω , epidēméō , "to be among people," is translated "to sojourn" in Acts 2:10; Acts 17:21 , and its compound παρεπίδημος , parepı́dēmos , as "sojourner" in 1 Peter 1:1 (in Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 2:11 , "pilgrim").

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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Stranger and Sojourner (in the Apocrypha and the New Testament)'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. 1915.

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