I have heard again and again from the pope to the evangelists that abortion is sinful, evil, murder, an affront to god, an insult to life, etc. Yet going through my bible’s and a Q’ran I find passage after passage indicating that human life begins at the first breath rather than conception. Some passages even indicate that one doesn’t become fully human until a month or so after birth. Given these passages, how do all these clergy come to the conclusion that abortion is wrong? Can you show some straight forward passages to indicate life begins at conception rather than at the first breath? Is it really forbidden biblically, or is the current stand against abortion due mostly to the fact that most abortions taking place today are to address the results of fornication and the removal of consequences from the act of fornication will weaken the roll religion plays in society? (Section dealing with the different passages of Scripture listed, which will be dealt with later in this answer.) I am not making an argument for or against abortion. I am simply pointing out that my own readings seem to directly contradict the views of most established churches. Both the Bible and the Koran indicate again and again in different contexts that our lives start at our first breath and end with our last. What is the clergy reading which leads them to conclude a fetus is a life and that abortion is murder? Various biblical one-liners are quoted to inspire people to protest abortion clinics and allow themselves to be arrested. Threats are common so many clinic employees routinely wear body armor to and from work. There have been bombings, assaults and shootings over the years. In all these years I have never heard where a fetus is specifically defined as a life in any of the scriptures but have seen many verses indicating the contrary. What are religious leaders reading that has inspired such strong reactions to the termination of unwanted pregnancies? On your site you quote Psalm 139:13-16 and explain its meaning as “You will notice here that God has every member or part of the baby all written down, before the baby is even completely formed. ” If god has such a plan, that plan exists BEFORE conception? The passage indicates there is a life plan for each of us, but it does not indicate what that plan is. Perhaps god’s plan regarding a given fetus is for the fetus to be aborted before it becomes a complete being. Gleaning anything from this passage regarding when a fetus becomes a human life seems murky at best especially when held against the various passages I have included. I have looked at other passages which are supposed to show that life begins at conception, but to me it requires generous amounts of imagination mixed with scholastic masochism to come to reach the conclusion that the bible is saying life begins at conception. If life does begin at conception, than why is that not spelled out clearly and why does it say in so many places that a fetus does not become human until the first breath? Why is the beginning of life defined so complexly that only a trained theologian can understand?
It does not take a trained theologian to understand when life begins — all it takes is an honest heart. It is very easy to prove that life begins at conception, because from that moment, the baby begins to grow. The combination of those two living people uniting together has produced a life. The father and mother do not have to do anything from that point on. The baby just grows to maturity. You are confusing life with maturity.
At conception, there is definitely life. It is documented, and I have the paper in my files, that doctors say the heart of a baby is formed and begins to beat at only 18-25 days after conception. That is so quick, that many women do not even know for sure if they are expecting a baby at that point; and yet, the baby’s heart is already formed and beating! Any honest person would have to admit that if you stop a beating heart, then you have stopped a life. So by the time a woman even knows for sure that she is expecting a baby, and considers the matter of abortion, she is considering whether to stop a beating heart.
At conception, life begins, and what you are dealing with, then, is the matter of maturity. The word mature means, “to become fully developed; having attained a final or desired state.” (Merriam Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary). From conception on, the baby does not become more alive, but more mature.
You stated, “…why does it say in so many places that a fetus does not become human until the first breath?”
You have been reading too many books other than the Bible, because a baby, whether born, or unborn, is fully human. I Corinthians 15:39 says, “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” Whether a baby is born or unborn, the child has human flesh. The Bible lists four different kinds of flesh: human, beasts, fishes, and birds. A baby, whether born or unborn, is human flesh.
If you are going to say that a baby must attain a certain point of maturity before it is worthy to be called human, then you are opening up the possibility to endless justifications for taking life. What about a baby that cannot feed itself for the first year and beyond? What about a child that is not toilet trained for 2-3 years? What about a child that cannot talk for a couple of years? What about a child that cannot walk for 1 year? What about a child that cannot figure our Algebra problems, or correct English usage? When is a person really mature? How old is a person before he/she can really completely function alone with no help? And then that brings up the elderly. They sometimes lose that maturity when they get to a certain age, and revert to being dependent upon others again; to feed them, to dress them, to help them around because they cannot walk, etc. Do they lose their human aspect, because they are no longer able to function as self-sufficient? Hitler loved the theory of evolution, because it fit right in with his plan. He wanted to build a super race. Certain peoples did not fit into his plan, and he, too, referred to them as non-human.
Now, you questioned the Scripture that is used on our Web Site to prove that abortion is murder, and that life starts at conception. Psalms 139:1-13 says, “O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”
Notice that David said, “…thou hast covered ME in my mother’s womb.” If he was not human until he breathed his first breath of air outside of the womb, then God did not cover HIM in his mother’s womb. But God DID cover him in his mother’s womb. So DAVID WAS A LIVING PERSON IN HIS MOTHER’S WOMB. David was alive there, but just not fully formed yet. “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” David was alive there in the womb, and his body was maturing.
What you are forgetting is that LIFE IS NOT JUST A BODY. Life starts before the body is fully formed (it starts at conception), and a person continues to exist, either in heaven or in hell, after the body is placed in the ground. The saved are present with the Lord, and the lost are tormented in hell fire. Luke 16:19-31 says, “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”
There will come a resurrection day for both the saved and the lost. For the saved, we will receive a new glorified body. I Corinthians 15:35, 42-54 says, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
For the unsaved, there will be quite a different resurrection and end. Revelation 20:11-15 says, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
So whether man is fully formed yet in the womb, does not mean that he is not a human being. From the moment of conception, man/woman is a living soul. His body may mature; be born; live for many years; and then die. But he will not cease to exist at the point that he leaves his earthly body. He will either live for ever with the Lord, or he will be tormented forever in the lake of fire. At conception that person is alive, and it will live on forever — in heaven, or in hell.
When you really understand what life is, then you do not have the problem with whether the body is fully formed yet or not. Life begins when two become one in conception.
As to the passages that you listed, I will deal with the Bible references, but not with the Koran. The Koran is not God’s holy Word, and thus has no bearing and no authority whatsoever upon the subject of life, death, or eternity.
Ecclesiastes 6:3-5 says, “If a man beget an hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also that he have no burial; I say, that an untimely birth is better than he. For he cometh in with vanity, and departeth in darkness, and his name shall be covered with darkness. Moreover he hath not seen the sun, nor known any thing: this hath more rest than the other.”
First, the Book of Ecclesiastes was written by Solomon after he had played the fool. It is the testimony of a man who was given so much by the Lord, and yet foolishly decided that he had to try out everything to truly understand why it was good or bad. So he talks a lot about vanity, and finding no profit in life. His problem was that he set out to please himself, and ended up feeling empty inside.
The passage above is far from saying that an untimely birth is not really a person. Quite to the contrary, it states, “an untimely birth is BETTER than he.” How can it be better to never come to full term and birth, that to live many years and have 100 children? Because it was not well with that person’s soul. He did not have a decent burial after all of those years and all of those children. His life was one of emptiness, despite all of the work and travail involved in having that many children and providing for them. Notice carefully what the Bible says there about the baby of the untimely birth, “this hath more rest than the other.” The baby that never came to full term and birth is said to have more rest than the man who lived a long life, but left this earth with no burial, and with no one who cared about him. The baby is said to be better off than that man.
Another passage that you brought up is Ecclesiastes 4:1-3. I am not going to quote from the translation that you did. That is what is partly confusing you as to the truth from God’s Word. You need to get the King James Bible, and quit reading from those other perversions of God’s Holy Word. There is not one other English Bible translation out there that is based upon the Received Text of Scripture. If you are really searching for the truth, then you need to start studying the King James Bible. That passage reads, “So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive. Yea, better is he than both they, which hath not yet been, who hath not seen the evil work that is done under the sun.” Once again, the unborn person is better off than the one who suffers so much evil through life.
Job 3:1-19 is another passage that you questioned. “After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest, With kings and counsellors of the earth, which built desolate places for themselves; Or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver: Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light. There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest. There the prisoners rest together; they hear not the voice of the oppressor. The small and great are there; and the servant is free from his master.”
Far from proving that a person is not a person until he/she is born, this proves exactly the opposite, “Why died I not from the womb?” Job was asking the question, “Why did I not die in the womb, rather than have to live and face all of this trouble?” It is exactly the same thing that we have seen in the previous passages, that the baby that dies in the womb does not have to face all of the trials and troubles that we have to face in life. Thus, the baby is more blessed in that regard, and has rest.
Another passage you questioned is Exodus 21:22-25, which says, “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, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
The point here is that they are hurting the woman, and are punished for that crime. Their intention was not to hurt the baby. But notice carefully that if mischief follow; that is, if they are immoral with the woman or do anything that could endanger the baby, then the penalty becomes more severe, “…then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Another passage that you questioned is Leviticus 27:1-10, which says, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When a man shall make a singular vow, the persons shall be for the LORD by thy estimation. And thy estimation shall be of the male from twenty years old even unto sixty years old, even thy estimation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary. And if it be a female, then thy estimation shall be thirty shekels. And if it be from five years old even unto twenty years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male twenty shekels, and for the female ten shekels. And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver. And if it be from sixty years old and above; if it be a male, then thy estimation shall be fifteen shekels, and for the female ten shekels. But if he be poorer than thy estimation, then he shall present himself before the priest, and the priest shall value him; according to his ability that vowed shall the priest value him. And if it be a beast, whereof men bring an offering unto the LORD, all that any man giveth of such unto the LORD shall be holy. He shall not alter it, nor change it, a good for a bad, or a bad for a good: and if he shall at all change beast for beast, then it and the exchange thereof shall be holy.”
This passage does not say that a baby is not human until he is one month old. This passage is just listing certain age groups, and the value allowed to be placed upon them in regard to a vow. The point is that a child under one month of age is not allowed to be used when making such vows.