Does the Bible teach life begins at birth?

Joab

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So asserted one poster in the thread regarding the horrible murder of a doctor who performed late term abortions quite recently. Does the Bible teach life begins at birth, as the poster proclaimed, or at conception, as many Bible believers believe. Here are a few verses from the Bible on this subject:


Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
This is what the LORD sayshe who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you...(Isaiah 44:2).
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:3-4).
And now the LORD sayshe who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:41-42, 44).
 

Sukerkin

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I can't quote chapter and verse without researching it but I was taught in my Christian youth that when it comes to abortion, as with homosexuality, the Bible makes the clear case that both are wrong {also masturbation (which if there really is a God and a Hell must cause all kinds of post-passing disappointments :eek:}.
 
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Joab

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I can't quote chapter and verse without researching it but I was taught in my Christian youth that when it comes to abortion, as with homosexuality, the Bible makes the clear case that both are wrong {also masturbation (which if there really is a God and a Hell must cause all kinds of post-passing disappointments :eek:}.

One poster made the assertion that the Bible teaches life begins at birth. If so, than it doesn't begin at conception. I think the verses I have posted make it clear that the Bible teaches life begins at conception. Homosexuality and masturbation are for a different thread, I don't want to get side tracked on this thread.
 

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Well, in a way they are all interlinked because they are all focussed on increasing the 'tribe' but I apologise for the slight tangent.

I don't pretend to have a coherent view on this subject because of the inherent schism between 'Life' and 'Cognisant Life'.

I know that it can be argued that all non-dead organic matter is 'life' but I don't think this is a particularly useful definition when it comes to the topic of abortion.

As soon as an egg is fertilised and makes its first division, it is on it's was to being a unique individual. That particular mix of genes has never happened before. It is, in a very real sense, the blue-print of the person to come. It is 'alive'.

However, it is not an individual consciousness at this point, no more than the cells I'm losing typing this are.

When the brain has formed and synaptic patterns begin to be forged by the sensations of the baby inside it's mother, that's when it is no longer an 'it' but a human-in-waiting.

As far as the Bible is concerned, tho', I don't think that any of that reasoning matters. If the woman is pregnant, then the baby is 'alive' and abortion is forbidden. The only counter to that that I can think of is the injunction against suicide i.e. if the mother knows she will die giving birth then it is a breach of her faith to do so. But that runs afoul of the laudible attitude towards self sacrifice for others.

See how complicated things can quickly get when you deal in moral absolutes?
 

elder999

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One poster made the assertion that the Bible teaches life begins at birth. If so, than it doesn't begin at conception. I think the verses I have posted make it clear that the Bible teaches life begins at conception. Homosexuality and masturbation are for a different thread, I don't want to get side tracked on this thread.


One Old Testament law about miscarriage specifically contradicts the claim that the bible is antiabortion, clearly stating that miscarriage does not involve the death of a human being. If a woman has a miscarriage as the result of a fight, the man who caused it should be fined. If the woman dies, however, the man will be killed.

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine."And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth . . ."--Ex. 21:22-25

The bible orders the death penalty for murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

Moses and the Ten Commandments, Jesus, Paul and all the Gospels virtually ignore the topic of "abortion" or "miscarriage."

More to the point, in the Old Testament God Himself orders the murder of babies-not fetuses, but already birthed children-no less than 15 times, and probably many more.

Early Christians apparently did not view abortion as murder. In the thirteenth century, Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote that a soul enters the body at 40 days after conception for males and 80 days for females. That became church doctrine for many centuries, and abortion before the time of ensoulment was not considered a mortal sin. The belief that life begins at conception apparently has its origins in an 1869 decree by Pope Pius IX that abortion at any point in pregnancy was cause for excommunication.

Here's something from Jewish Talmudic law:

The Talmud considers treating the fetus as a rodef - specifically, "an aggressor against its mother," and making that the reason why abortion to save the mother's life is permitted." But the Talmud proceeds to reject that reasoning on the obvious grounds that the fetus is not yet of responsible age to deliberately forfeit its protection against being murdered [i.e., by consciously choosing to act as an aggressor, and thereby loosing its protection against killing]. The only valid grounds for permitting even therapeutic abortion is that murder is not involved because the fetus is not yet a human person Killing is admittedly involved, but not murder. Killing is the taking of life of, say, an animal or a chicken, or of a human who forfeits his protection by an act of aggression.The abortion question in talmudic law revolves around the legal status of the embryo. For this the Talmud has a phrase, ubbar yerekh immo, which phrase is a counterpart of the Latin pars viscerum matris. That is, the fetus is deemed "a part of its mother," rather than an independent entity.
This designation says nothing about the morality of abortion; rather, it defines ownership, for example, in the case of an embryo found in a purchased animal. As intrinsic to its mother's body, it belongs to the buyer. In the religious conversion of a pregnant woman, her unborn child is automatically included and requires no further ceremony. Nor does it have power of acquisition; gifts made on its behalf are not binding. These and similar points mean only that the fetus has no "juridical personality," but say nothing about the right of abortion. This turns rather on whether feticide is or is not homicide. David Feldman Birth Control in Jewish Law (New York: New York University Press, 1968), chaps. 14 and 15


All I have time for right now, but there's more. Fact is, thousands of years of Biblical study and Jewish law say it's not a baby until it breathes its first air. You can argue-or believe life begins at conception all you like, but that's not what those versus say, is it? What they say is what the people who said them believed,in very pretty language, or, in some cases, another metaphor for God, who, of course, "knows ye before ye were conceived," since He should technically know each and every one of us "before we were conceived"-it could also be said that He knows which fetuses will be aborted "before they art miscarried", but He doesn't seem to be doing very much about it, does he?
I'm sorry. That was facetious, and disrespectful. It was, of course, also true.
 

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Thanks Elder. I knew we could count on you for an erudite insight on this issue.
 
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Joab

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One Old Testament law about miscarriage specifically contradicts the claim that the bible is antiabortion, clearly stating that miscarriage does not involve the death of a human being. If a woman has a miscarriage as the result of a fight, the man who caused it should be fined. If the woman dies, however, the man will be killed.



The bible orders the death penalty for murder of a human being, but not for the expulsion of a fetus.

Joab: Nice try, but when abortion was illegal in this country the penalty was not the same for murder either. The fact that there was a penalty for causing a miscarriage gives further weight to the arguement that the fetus was considered a life. If it wasn't considered a life, there would have been no penalty at all.

The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

Joab: This arguement is rather silly really. Adam was never a fetus, he was created by God, he was never in a mother's womb, he was the first created man, the only man brought into the world without being a fetus and never being in a mother's womb. Nice try, but your going to have to do better.

Moses and the Ten Commandments, Jesus, Paul and all the Gospels virtually ignore the topic of "abortion" or "miscarriage."

Joab: Murder is certainly addressed by all of these. The Bible clearly teaches that a human is a life in his or her mother's womb, at conception.

More to the point, in the Old Testament God Himself orders the murder of babies-not fetuses, but already birthed children-no less than 15 times, and probably many more.

Joab: Please give book, chapter and verse on this one.

Early Christians apparently did not view abortion as murder. In the thirteenth century, Catholic theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote that a soul enters the body at 40 days after conception for males and 80 days for females. That became church doctrine for many centuries, and abortion before the time of ensoulment was not considered a mortal sin. The belief that life begins at conception apparently has its origins in an 1869 decree by Pope Pius IX that abortion at any point in pregnancy was cause for excommunication.

Joab: This thread is specifically on whether or not the Bible teaches life begins at birth, not what great scholars and theologians like Aquinas
wrote about. I'm not well read enough on Aquinas to give an intelligent answer to this statement, and I'm not a Roman Catholic.

Here's something from Jewish Talmudic law:


[/size]
All I have time for right now, but there's more. Fact is, thousands of years of Biblical study and Jewish law say it's not a baby until it breathes its first air. You can argue-or believe life begins at conception all you like, but that's not what those versus say, is it? What they say is what the people who said them believed,in very pretty language, or, in some cases, another metaphor for God, who, of course, "knows ye before ye were conceived," since He should technically know each and every one of us "before we were conceived"-it could also be said that He knows which fetuses will be aborted "before they art miscarried", but He doesn't seem to be doing very much about it, does he?
I'm sorry. That was facetious, and disrespectful. It was, of course, also true.

Well, that depends upon whether or not you consider the Bible to be divinely inspired by God or not. This thread is rather specifically regarding whether or not the Bible teaches life begins at birth. All of your arguements point to the fact that, yes indeed, the Bible does teach that life begins at conception. If you don't believe the Biblethat is your right, the point is the Bbile clearly teaches that life begins at conception even if the punishment for killing a fetus is not the same for someone who has been born. And yes, elder999 was the poster I was referring too, I din't want to call him out by name when I couldn't find his post on the thread that inspired this one. Thanks again, elder999, I appreciate your contribution to this thread.
 

CanuckMA

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The bible defines life as "breath" in several significant passages, including the story of Adam's creation in Genesis 2:7, when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Jewish law traditionally considers that personhood begins at birth.

Here's something from Jewish Talmudic law:


[/size]
All I have time for right now, but there's more. Fact is, thousands of years of Biblical study and Jewish law say it's not a baby until it breathes its first air. You can argue-or believe life begins at conception all you like, but that's not what those versus say, is it? What they say is what the people who said them believed,in very pretty language, or, in some cases, another metaphor for God, who, of course, "knows ye before ye were conceived," since He should technically know each and every one of us "before we were conceived"-it could also be said that He knows which fetuses will be aborted "before they art miscarried", but He doesn't seem to be doing very much about it, does he?
I'm sorry. That was facetious, and disrespectful. It was, of course, also true.

And traditionally, Orthodox Jews do not sit shiva if a baby dies in the first 30 days of life.

It was alive but not quite 'a person'.

The practice likely stems from high infantile mortality rates in the early days of Judaism.
 

elder999

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All of your arguements point to the fact that, yes indeed, the Bible does teach that life begins at conception. If you don't believe the Biblethat is your right, the point is the Bbile clearly teaches that life begins at conception even if the punishment for killing a fetus is not the same for someone who has been born..


Maybe they do, on the planet of cognititve dissonance., on the shores of Denial river. :rolleyes:
 

CanuckMA

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So asserted one poster in the thread regarding the horrible murder of a doctor who performed late term abortions quite recently. Does the Bible teach life begins at birth, as the poster proclaimed, or at conception, as many Bible believers believe. Here are a few verses from the Bible on this subject:


Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother's breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother's womb you have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).
This is what the LORD sayshe who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you...(Isaiah 44:2).
Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you (Isaiah 46:3-4).
And now the LORD sayshe who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy" (Luke 1:41-42, 44).

Nothing is Psalms points to life begining before birth.

Both Isaiahs' writtings talk about Israel's (the nation) and G-d's relationship as parent-child.

Ditto for Jeremiah

I won't even attempt to comment on Luke.
 

CanuckMA

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Well, that depends upon whether or not you consider the Bible to be divinely inspired by God or not. This thread is rather specifically regarding whether or not the Bible teaches life begins at birth. All of your arguements point to the fact that, yes indeed, the Bible does teach that life begins at conception. If you don't believe the Biblethat is your right, the point is the Bbile clearly teaches that life begins at conception even if the punishment for killing a fetus is not the same for someone who has been born. And yes, elder999 was the poster I was referring too, I din't want to call him out by name when I couldn't find his post on the thread that inspired this one. Thanks again, elder999, I appreciate your contribution to this thread.

I believe the Torah to be the literal word of G-d given to Moses at Sinai.

I can read Torah and the rest of Tanach in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Nowhere does it support your contention.
 

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Nothing is Psalms points to life begining before birth.

Both Isaiahs' writtings talk about Israel's (the nation) and G-d's relationship as parent-child.

Ditto for Jeremiah

I won't even attempt to comment on Luke.

I'd have gotten there, but thanks-most evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have a limited concept of metaphor, sadly....
 

CanuckMA

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I'd have gotten there, but thanks-most evangelical and fundamentalist Christians have a limited concept of metaphor, sadly....

There is also a lack of historicity. Most Prophets wrote during the Exiles. Their imagery was one of hope. That G-d has not forsaken them and will heed their calls.

I also find that most fundamentalists have an issue with context :idunno:
 

elder999

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I believe the Torah to be the literal word of G-d given to Moses at Sinai.

And I don't believe it to be the literal word of G-d given to Moses at Sinai, but, it's,.....ehhh, close enough.:lol:


I can read Torah and the rest of Tanach in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Nowhere does it support your contention.

And I can also read it in original Hebrew, Aramaic and koine Greek. I concur that it does not support your contention-just the opposite, in fact, it supports mine, for the most part. Infant mortality being what it probably was in the ancient world, I think they mostly just didn't give a ****.....
 
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And I don't believe it to be the literal word of G-d given to Moses at Sinai, but, it's,.....ehhh, close enough.:lol:


Joab: How close is close enough?




And I can also read it in original Hebrew, Aramaic and koine Greek. I concur that it does not support your contention-just the opposite, in fact, it supports mine, for the most part. Infant mortality being what it probably was in the ancient world, I think they mostly just didn't give a ****.....

Hebrew, Aramaic and koine Greek eh? Well, I can read it in the English...you've got me linguistically out gunned to be sure. Its too bad you can't seem to counter any of my points at all in English. Have a good night.
 
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Nothing is Psalms points to life begining before birth.

Joab: Actually it does just that, in minute detail.

Both Isaiahs' writtings talk about Israel's (the nation) and G-d's relationship as parent-child.

Joab: Just like you likely believe Isaiah chapter 53 is about Israel when it clearly describes Jesus Christ in minute detail centuries before he was born.

Ditto for Jeremiah

I won't even attempt to comment on Luke.

Well, thanks for your input, always good to read different interpretations.
 
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And traditionally, Orthodox Jews do not sit shiva if a baby dies in the first 30 days of life.

It was alive but not quite 'a person'.

Joab: It was alive, case closed. If it wasn't quite a person what was it?

The practice likely stems from high infantile mortality rates in the early days of Judaism.

Where do you come up with this assertion?
 
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I believe the Torah to be the literal word of G-d given to Moses at Sinai.

I can read Torah and the rest of Tanach in the original Hebrew and Aramaic. Nowhere does it support your contention.

I respectfully disagree with your disagreement of my contention. Shalom.
 
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There is also a lack of historicity. Most Prophets wrote during the Exiles. Their imagery was one of hope. That G-d has not forsaken them and will heed their calls.

I also find that most fundamentalists have an issue with context :idunno:

I think the words are very clear, but thanks for your input.
 

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