By Mike Wade
Published April 1, 2008
What do the scriptures teach about abortion?
The following letter was submitted in the Spring of 1991, as a response to contributing editor Mike Wade’s series on pro-life activism:
Dear Mike Wade:
I hate to blow your heroic, “persecuted” pro-life Christian bit here, but if your “pro-life” efforts are being opposed by people, it is only because those efforts are fear-motivated, and work against women, the Jews, the Bible, millions of pro-choice Christians and the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom (see the 1st amendment).
For example, Jewish tradition considers the fetus a person (a nephesh, i.e., “a breathing creature,” translated as “soul” in Genesis 2:7, “life for life” in Exodus 21:23 and “man” in Lev. 24:17 – #5315 in the Hebrew dictionary in Strong’s Concordance) only at birth.
Just check your Bible. The Bible’s definition of “living” is breathing (Ps. 150:6, Ez. 37:10, 1 Kings 17 and similar passages. Try looking up breathing and breath in your Strong’s Concordance). The Bible’s definition of a human being is nephesh. It is translated 30 times as person in the King James Version, and also as “life,” “man” and “soul.”
Why, in Ex. 21:22-25, is only a fine paid for a miscarriage, and execution (life for life; nephesh for nephesh) required if the woman dies? It is because the unborn has not yet received the “breath of life” (through its nostrils – see Genesis 2:7). So biblically, (I’m not talking science here) it is not “alive.” Therefore, abortion is not murder. Ask a rabbi or two, or three. Contact a few pro-choice Christians and look at the evidence. Kick the fear habit.
Just to confirm this, see page 139 of Operation Rescue. Randall Terry cuts off verses 23, 24 & 25 of Exodus 21, takes the passage out of the context of nephesh and “breathing,” adds the idea of “accidental” (see Deuteronomy 25:11 on that idea), and tries to use Jewish scripture against the predominantly pro-choice Jews.
See George Grant’s book Grand Illusions page 193 – Exodus 21 is buried under a lot of irrelevant passages, or see Grant’s Third Time Around – no relevant material here. No attempt here to convince you of anything, just to give you the information that many cover up, so you can make an “informed decision.” There are always people around who will use your good intentions for their purposes. – Good luck on this.
1492 Ribbet Ave.
A response from Mike Wade:
I thank Mr. Frogg for responding and providing this topic for discussion. He seems to have done considerable research on the subject, and I regret that his thoughts are not better organized so as to show full exegesis.
I’m afraid it takes more than ownership of a Strong’s Concordance to arrive at logical conclusions about the Bible. As Mr. Frogg points out, God requires a penalty for the accidental death of an unborn baby boy or girl. How might God then feel about the intentional death of an unborn baby boy or girl? How might He feel about those who quote this scripture to PROMOTE such intentional killing?
Exodus 21 is in complete agreement with the rest of the Old Testament Law regarding the distinction between accidental manslaughter and intentional murder. Those who killed as the result of an accident were allowed to flee to another city (Deut. 19:5). To spell this out as clearly as possible, the penalty afforded in Exodus 21:22 was to be determined by the recklessness with which the killers were guilty. Two men struggling with each other could quite possibly strike a woman who interfered to such a degree that she miscarried. To strike her so hard that she died would take much more, and is very correctly described as manslaughter.
That Mr. Frogg tries to invoke Deut. 25:11 as an argument for his position either testifies of his faulty logic or further exemplifies his hit and run tactics of using an idea in his own defense long enough to hide behind but running to another idea before the logical conclusions of tat idea can be used to disprove his original thesis.
As to the matter of breath, the Bible refers to spirits in a number of different metaphors such as fire, water, oil, and yes, breath. The key to understanding these metaphors is a sincere effort to respect context. The Old Testament clearly states that “the life is in the blood” (Lev. 17:11). This is no metaphor. Moses did not indicate that the breath of an animal be offered as a sacrifice and, for the Christian, the physical reality of Christ’s shed blood on the cross is an essential tenet.
In Genesis, man is the only creature into which God “breathed” life. The imagery here is that of God taking one of his creatures and making man more than an animal: “and he became a living soul.” We can’t take “breath” to mean biological life anymore than we can fire or oil. Hearts can be said to “burn” and no one takes it to mean a Maalox moment God “breathed” life into Adam that he later lost as a result of sin.
The Messiah Jesus Christ provided this spiritual life to be born anew within us as a result of sin. Jesus provided this spiritual life to be born anew within us, wonderfully portrayed in John 20: 22: “He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”
The reader has chided me for having some sort of problem with fear. If this were true, as a former supporter of abortion-as-a-means-of-birth-control, I can tell you that I would not now be radically pro-life. It takes virtually no courage to agree with militant feminists. When, I trust, the reader has discovered the person who is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, he will then be able to quote Psalm 139 with the same enthusiasm with which he has written of Exodus 21. I don’t fear man, but I do fear God. It is the beginning of wisdom.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Pro-life Articles
Your comments are welcome!
“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House. More recently, it was by catching just a glimpse of what this film reveals that Planned Parenthood director and abortion advocate Abby Johnson turned and became a strong advocate for the pre-born.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
“…a high technology “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” arousing public opinion just as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852 antislavery novel ignited the abolitionist movement.” – Sen. Gordon Humphrey, Time Magazine
Languages: English, Spanish, French, South Korean, Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Japanese
Running Time: 28 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Download the free Study Guide!
Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?
This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.
Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.
The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?
As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).
Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.
Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!
Running Time: 195 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)