Long before abortion became the social and religious rallying point that it has today, the debate about "when life begins" raged in religious circles all over the world. Such debate has produced three views on when life begins.
1. At conception
Viewpoint #3 is totally subjective and has no Biblical
validity at all. The debate then, centers around the first two views, which
both claim to have Biblical support.
Any Christian who recognizes the morality system designed by God for the entire human race will acknowledge the fact that abortion is immoral. But what is the nature of that specific immoral activity, indeed, what is the nature of immorality in general? Immorality is the creature violating the design of God for how mankind is to interrelate with man and with his physical environment as revealed in the Bible.
Abortion, generally speaking, is immoral because it is the creature (man) assuming for himself, a divine prerogative over God's moral design for procreation. Divine morality includes control, management and utilization of our physical environment so that man might be enabled to cope with the "curse" without removing either its presence or its spiritual impact.
Accordingly, man has been enabled to make fantastic advances in medical science which further enable him to save lives. It is in this context that abortion would be a "moral" choice - to save the life of the mother.
But it is argued, is this not the murder of one to save another? Perhaps.
But similar choices are made all the time without any fanfare except the emotional trauma of those specific people involved. For example, decisions to save one "Siamese twin" and forfeit the other, instead of losing both (and that occurs AFTER birth).
What then of the choice to save the mother and abort the
But what of the mother whose life is saved at the expense
of her unborn baby?
Let me add a very important factor. This is ONLY an issue
BIBLICAL ORIENTATION TO PHYSICAL LIFE
When God created Adam, He first constructed a physical body out of the chemicals of the soil, and then breathed into that body the breath of the spirit of lives (neshamah ruach chay). As a result of this process, man BECAME a living soul (nephesh chayah). It is the creation of a soul (nephesh) and the placement of that nephesh into the physical body that constitutes physical life. In the case of Adam, first the body was constructed from the chemicals of the soil, and then the soul was created and placed into the body. In the case of the woman, first the body was constructed from Adam's rib, and then by implication, God would have breathed into her nostrils the breath of lives and at that time, she too became a living soul. God then bestowed upon Adam and Eve the power to create physical life, but not soul life. The act/process of human procreation does not produce a soul. God continues to maintain sovereign control over conception, birth and life, and is the one who creates the soul and places it into the physical body at birth.
The bible teaches that man is an entity containing a body, a soul and a spirit (1 Thes. 5:23; Heb. 4:12).
At Genesis 1:26-27, we are given a summary statement concerning the creation of both the man and the woman. In Genesis chapter 2, we are given the mechanical details of how God created both the man and the woman. Verse 2:7 relates the creation of the man's body, and verses 21-22 relate the creation of the woman's body.
THE CREATION OF THE PHYSICAL BODY
A. The man: Gen. 2:7
B. The woman: Gen. 2:21-22
C. The creation of man's soul is described at Gen. 2:7b.
D. Animals are also nephesh chayyAh as is indicated at
To amplify the use of the word nephesh and psuche for the human soul, I make the following observations.
A. Used to indicate a living person: (nephesh) Gen. 46:15, 18, 26-27 (psuchā) Acts 27:37.
B. The physical body:
C. To indicate a dead body: Lev. 19:28; 21:1, 11; 22:4; Num. 6:6-7; 19:11; Jer. 2:34
D. A person's physical life:
When therefore, does the soul enter into the body? When does the fetus become a real human being? Is it at conception? Is it at birth? Or is it at some time in between those two events? The process at the creation of Adam, although not conclusive in itself, suggests that there is a fully functional body created and then a soul is created when the breath of lives is placed within that body (Gen. 2:7).
At Isaiah 42:5, we learn that it is God who personally gives breath and spirit to the people on the earth. This suggests that it is not part of the natural physical mechanics of procreation (conception and fetal development).
Hebrews 12:9, suggests that our human father is the father of our flesh, while God is the father of our spirit.
And there are some interesting passages which indicate
that God does not provide that "soul" life
1. The first one: He wishes that he had died AT BIRTH.
In other words, when he was born WITH soul life via that birth, why did he not just "up and die?" Then his soul would have been where the other souls go at death.
When the soul of the believer left the body through physical death (in an Old Testament context), it went into paradise, which was located in Sheol, there to await the resurrection of the body at the Day of the Lord.
2. The second situation: He wishes he had not even been born. Job 3:16
Here, we see what was commonly believed in that ancient culture AND by a man who was "blameless and upright; fearing God and turning away from evil." Job. 1:1
The word, miscarriage, is nāphel which comes from the verb nAphal, which means to fall. A nāphel then is that which has FALLEN out rather than that which has actually been birthed. The word only occurs three times in the Old Testament (Job 3:16; Ec. 6:3-5 and Psalm 58:9).
Incidentally, verses 17-19 describe the condition of the dead, not the condition of the miscarriage.
Solomon tells us what his culture believed about the miscarriage (nāphel) at Ecc. 6:3-6
The idea that all go to one place refers to the disposition of the physical body and not the soul. According to Ec. 12:7, at birth, the body goes to the dust.
This is very much different from the attitude toward a baby who dies. 2 Sam. 12:22-23
This clearly means that the baby has gone to the place of paradise where the believers go; where David himself will go when he dies. And this is not simply the disposition of the physical body that is in view, for it is a source of comfort and joy to David.
Another factor is that even in light of His foreknowledge, "knowing" completely all the details of one's life long before he is ever conceived, God views the actual beginning point of that life as the moment of birth.
This is referring to the Messiah in his humanity and that the Messianic commission actually began at birth, although He did not officially manifest Himself until 30 years later.
This is still speaking of the Messiah, and indicates that He was formed from the moment of physical birth to accomplish the Messianic purpose. This can be compared with Hebrews 10:5-7, where the Messiah says "when He comes into the world," A body you have prepared for me and I have come to do your will.
That is, from the time that he is born, John will have the empowering ministry of the Spirit upon him, but not while he is IN the womb.
There are many passages that people use to suggest that
there is soul life in the womb, but none of them actually prove it, and
most of them do not even refer to the fetus. The most common argument comes
from Luke 1:41-44, but it is not the baby in the womb that is experiencing
joy. It is Elizabeth's joy and the baby has a physical reaction based on
the emotional and spiritual stimuli on Elizabeth's body. Medically speaking,
this is called reflex motility.
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