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 » forerunner
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.
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.)
Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
$12.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?
Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!
“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l
Running Time: 40 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)