The ‘biblical view’ that’s younger than the Happy Meal

In 1979, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal.

Sometime after that, it was decided that the Bible teaches that human life begins at conception.

Ask any American evangelical, today, what the Bible says about abortion and they will insist that this is what it says. (Many don’t actually believe this, but they know it is the only answer that won’t get them in trouble.) They’ll be a little fuzzy on where, exactly, the Bible says this, but they’ll insist that it does.

That’s new. If you had asked American evangelicals that same question the year I was born you would not have gotten the same answer.

That year, Christianity Today — edited by Harold Lindsell, champion of “inerrancy” and author of The Battle for the Bible — published a special issue devoted to the topics of contraception and abortion. That issue included many articles that today would get their authors, editors — probably even their readers — fired from almost any evangelical institution. For example, one article by a professor from Dallas Theological Seminary criticized the Roman Catholic position on abortion as unbiblical. Jonathan Dudley quotes from the article in his book Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics. Keep in mind that this is from a conservative evangelical seminary professor, writing in Billy Graham’s magazine for editor Harold Lindsell:

God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: “If a man kills any human life he will be put to death” (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22-24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense. … Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.

Christianity Today would not publish that article in 2012. They might not even let you write that in comments on their website. If you applied for a job in 2012 with Christianity Today or Dallas Theological Seminary and they found out that you had written something like that, ever, you would not be hired.

At some point between 1968 and 2012, the Bible began to say something different. That’s interesting.

Even more interesting is how thoroughly the record has been rewritten. We have always been at war with Eastasia.

Click over to Dr. Norman L. Geisler’s website and you’ll find all the hallmarks of a respected figure in the evangelical establishment. You’ll see that Geisler has taught at Trinity Evangelical Seminary, Dallas Seminary and Southern Evangelical Seminary. You’ll see a promotion for his newest book, Defending Inerrancy, with recommendations from such evangelical stalwarts as Al Mohler and J.I. Packer, as well as a link to an online store offering some of the other dozens of books written by Geisler. And you’ll see a big promo for the anti-abortion movie October Baby, because Geisler is, of course, anti-abortion, just like Mohler and Packer and every other respected figure in the evangelical establishment is and, of course, must be.

But back in the day, Dudley notes, Geisler “argued for the permissibility of abortion in a 1971 book, stating ‘The embryo is not fully human — it is an undeveloped person.’” That was in Ethics: Alternatives and Issues, published by Zondervan. It’s still in print, kind of, as Christian Ethics: Contemporary Issues and Options. And now it says something different. Now it’s unambiguously anti-abortion.

I don’t mean to pick on Geisler. He’s no different from Packer or Graham or any other leading evangelical figure who’s been around as long as those guys have. They all now believe that the Bible teaches that life begins at conception. They believe this absolutely, unambiguously, firmly, resolutely and loudly. That’s what they believed 10 years ago, and that’s what they believed 20 years ago.

But it wasn’t what they believed 30 years ago. Thirty years ago they all believed quite the opposite.

Again, that’s interesting.

I heartily recommend Dudley’s book for his discussion of this switch and the main figures who brought it about — Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, Richard Viguerie, etc. But here I just want to quote one section about the strangeness of this 180-degree turn, and how it caught many evangelicals off-guard:

By the mid-1980s, the evangelical right was so successful with this strategy that the popular evangelical community would no longer tolerate any alternative position. Hence, the outrage over a book titled Brave New People published by InterVarsity Press in 1984. In addition to discussing a number of new biotechnologies, including genetic engineering and in vitro fertilization, the author, an evangelical professor living in New Zealand, also devoted a chapter to abortion. His position was similar to that of most evangelicals 15 years prior. Although he did not believe the fetus was a full-fledged person from conception, he did believe that because it was a potential person, it should be treated with respect. Abortion was only permissible to protect the health and well-being of the mother, to preclude a severely deformed child, and in a few other hard cases, such as rape and incest.

Although this would have been an unremarkable book in 1970, the popular evangelical community was outraged. Evangelical magazines and popular leaders across the country decried the book and its author, and evangelicals picketed outside the publisher’s office and urged booksellers to boycott the publisher. One writer called it a “monstrous book.” … The popular response to the book — despite its endorsements from Carl F.H. Henry, the first editor of Christianity Today, and Lew Smedes, an evangelical professor of ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary — was so overwhelmingly hostile that the book became the first ever withdrawn by InterVarsity Press over the course of nearly half a century in business.

The book was republished a year later by Eerdmans Press. In a preface, the author noted, “The heresy of which I appear to be guilty is that I cannot state categorically that human/personal life commences at day one of gestation. This, it seems, is being made a basic affirmation of evangelicalism, from which there can be no deviation. … No longer is it sufficient to hold classic evangelical affirmations on the nature of biblical revelation, the person and work of Christ, or justification by faith alone. In order to be labeled an evangelical, it is now essential to hold a particular view of the status of the embryo and fetus.”

The poor folks at InterVarsity Press, Carl Henry, Lewis Smedes and everyone else who was surprised by the totality of this reversal, by its suddenness and the vehemence with which it came to be an “essential” and “basic affirmation of evangelicalism” quickly got on board with the new rules.

By the time of the 1988 elections, no one any longer spoke sarcastically of “the heresy” of failing to “state categorically that human/personal life commences at day one of gestation.” By that time, it was simply viewed as an actual heresy. By the time of the 1988 elections, no one was aghast that a strict anti-abortion position was viewed as of equal — or greater — importance than one’s views of biblical revelation or the work of Christ. That was just a given.

By the time of the 1988 elections, everyone in American evangelicalism was wholly opposed to legal abortion and everyone in American evangelicalism was pretending that this had always been the case.

We have always been at war with Eastasia. Everyone knows that.

 

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Numbers 5:11-31.

    If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse.

  • BenW3

    Not a reference to the use of drugs.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re right, it’s not, it’s a reference to the use of forced abortion as punishment.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I think you’re purposefully evading the point.

  • BenW3

    Nope, we are talking about punishment for sin. Ancient Hebrews knew nothing about abortifacient drugs. The bitter waters, best reading of the Hebrew, has to do with brackish or salt water. In any case, the passage is about punishing an adult for sin not about the legitimacy of abortion and is certainly not a comment about whether fetuses are persons or not.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So your argument is that a passage discussing forcing an abortion (whether it would have worked is irrelevant to whether they thought it would have worked) has nothing whatsoever to do with abortion?

  • BenW3

    Your rights end where someone else’s life begins. You have no right to terminate any other person’s life. It’s not a matter of rights. It’s about hard choices and lesser of two evils decisions, but it should certainly never be framed as a rights discussion.

  • BenW3

    It’s not a passage about forcing an abortion. You’ve simply misread it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    How can we possibly be misreading it when it says, right up front, that the punishment causes a miscarriage? What’s another word for a purposefully caused miscarriage?

  • BenW3

    Sam do you read Biblical Hebrew? Have you checked, say 5-6 good more word for word translations? If not, then you are assuming something you shouldn’t assume—- namely that you understand clearly the meaning of this text on the basis of some specific English translation.

  • BenW3

    Here for example is a translation of a crucial part of this passage. What is notable is that no negative effect will happen to a woman who drinks this, but has not sinned against her husband. In short, it’s not about the bitter waters or something swallowed that inherently produces abortion. The same beverage either has no effect or some effect depending on the sin and the curse involved, not the quality of the water. Read again the following…

    “When he has made her drink the water,
    then, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, the
    water that brings the curse shall enter into her and cause bitter pain, and her
    womb shall discharge, her uterus drop, and the woman shall become an execration
    among her people. But if the woman has not defiled herself and is clean, then
    she shall be immune and be able to conceive children.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re not seriously relying on the KJV for a more accurate translation.
    The KJV is marvelously poetic but not very accurate.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    You’re focusing entirely much on the substance consumed and not at all on the fact that it is abortion used as a punishment, which defies the belief that abortion is Biblically unlawful.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    If memory serves, the KJV actually says “her thigh fall away.” It’s based on the Hebrew euphemism “יָרֵךְ” (hip/thigh), rather than the more accurate “יַרְכָה” (loins).

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Then you dispute Numbers 5:12-28, which give instructions on how to chemically induce miscarriage, and order that it be done in the case of adultery?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    But what would he say about people who try to reduce a human being to a womb-on-legs, and take away their control over their own lives, bodies, and destiny?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Well duh. It’s not about “killing teh babiez”, not really. It’s about them uppity bitches women thinking they’ve got a right to control their own bodies.

    (ETA: Original word choice was a bit too caustic, even sarcastically)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    So you support forced organ donation then?

    I mean, you must. Otherwise, it’s about something other than lives.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It is about a chemical and magical means of inducing miscarriage — that is, performing an abortion you have misread it.

  • BenW3

    Actually it’s not. It’s about a curse, which has nothing to do with chemicals or magic for that matter, and more fundamentally it has to do with God’s judgment on sin. I will say one more time— the subject of this passage is not abortion, it is God’s judgment on sin. Now you can disbelieve there is a God and you can disbelieve there is such a thing as a curse on sin, but you are not entitled to misrepresent what this text is actually about. It is not germane to the discussion of abortion, and is especially irrelevant to the discussion of women’s rights to choose an abortion. In the Numbers passage, the woman in question doesn’t really have a choice about whether she will participate in the ritual.

  • EllieMurasaki

    It is [...] irrelevant to the discussion of women’s rights to choose an abortion. In the Numbers passage, the woman in question doesn’t really have a choice about whether she will participate in the ritual.

    Agreed. That doesn’t make it irrelevant to the question of abortion, because as you keep pretending away, the punishment for the woman’s sin is that if she’s pregnant, she stops being pregnant.

  • BenW3

    This discussion has been about human beings and their right, or lack thereof, to choose abortions. The Numbers passage is not about a human choice by anyone to have an abortion. It is about: 1) only God being fit to judge a person’s sin; and 2) a divine curse which only affects the sinful negatively. So once more with feeling, unless you are prepared to have a discussion about God being an abortion producer, it is irrelevant to the discussion in this post.

  • EllieMurasaki

    God causes abortions.

    Why should we be prevented from having abortions we want?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Oh, so it’s not about whether the fetus is a person or alive or whateve,r it’s abour wether or not the woman has any choice in the matter.

    So it’s not about personhood for you, it’s about female agency.

    Got it.

    (Also, your hermenutic is wrong. Mine is right. You don’t read the bible correctly, I do. I don’t have to prove this, because you haven’t bothered to prove your interpretation.)

  • b-girl

    I love the “1984″ reference.

  • Tony

    Of course evangelicals flip-flop! This is the fruit of that whole private-interpretation, “your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine” hermeneutic toward the Bible. They’re true heirs of the 16th-century Reforbellion against the authority of the Church Christ personally founded.

  • neroden

    FWIW, the Catholic view also changed, although it changed somewhat earlier — in the late 19th century, I believe. Before that, the Catholic view was the same as the traditional evangelical view which you described — abortion was permitted before the end of the second trimester.

  • neroden

    The time limit corresponded to “viability” — in other words, you can have an abortion until an induced delivery becomes an alternative.

    The parallel in your contrived scenario: You can kill the moocher in your house until evicting him without killing him becomes a possibliity.

  • neroden

    KG, you clearly haven’t looked at any of the reputable studies. I suggest looking at the Guttmacher Institute studies. More access to contraception -> fewer abortions; more accurate education about contraception -> fewer abortions; stupid crap like parental consent laws -> more *illegal* abortions.

  • jejune

    Oh, the ancients knew about abortifacient drugs all right.

    And the rotten grain on the temple floor was just such a drug.

  • Guest

    Here’s the passage in question. Tell me, where do you see כְנֵ֣פֶל (nephel – miscarriage) mentioned anywhere?

    וְכִֽי־ יִנָּצ֣וּ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְנָ֨גְפ֜וּ אִשָּׁ֤ה הָרָה֙ וְיָצְא֣וּ יְלָדֶ֔יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָסֹ֑ון עָנֹ֣ושׁ יֵעָנֵ֗שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָשִׁ֤ית עָלָיו֙ בַּ֣עַל הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֖ן בִּפְלִלִֽים׃ – Exodus 21:22

  • Joseph O Polanco

    Here’s the passage in question. Tell me, where do you see כְנֵ֣פֶל (nephel – miscarriage) mentioned anywhere?

    וְכִֽי־ יִנָּצ֣וּ אֲנָשִׁ֗ים וְנָ֨גְפ֜וּ אִשָּׁ֤ה הָרָה֙ וְיָצְא֣וּ יְלָדֶ֔יהָ וְלֹ֥א יִהְיֶ֖ה אָסֹ֑ון עָנֹ֣ושׁ יֵעָנֵ֗שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֨ר יָשִׁ֤ית עָלָיו֙ בַּ֣עַל הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה וְנָתַ֖ן בִּפְלִלִֽים׃ – Exodus 21:22

  • Joseph O Polanco

    Small problem. If what you claim is, in fact, an accurate reflection of reality, why is it ok to deprive a woman of her bodily autonomy just before she is ready to give birth?http://bit.ly/1aY7qfA http://bit.ly/16tqef5

    It would seem that if this is in fact some inviolable right, then she wouldn’t be stripped of it under any circumstance, but there you have it!

  • Joseph O Polanco

    Numbers 5:27

    וְהִשְׁקָ֣הּ אֶת־הַמַּ֗יִם וְהָיְתָ֣ה אִֽם־נִטְמְאָה֮ וַתִּמְעֹ֣ל מַ֣עַל בְּאִישָׁהּ֒ וּבָ֨אוּ בָ֜הּ הַמַּ֤יִם הַמְאָֽרֲרִים֙ לְמָרִ֔ים וְצָבְתָ֣ה בִטְנָ֔הּ וְנָפְלָ֖ה יְרֵכָ֑הּ וְהָיְתָ֧ה הָאִשָּׁ֛ה לְאָלָ֖ה בְּקֶ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃

    New American Standard Bible
    When he has made her drink the water, then it shall come about, if she has defiled herself and has been unfaithful to her husband, that the water which brings a curse will go into her and cause bitterness, and her abdomen will swell and her thigh will waste away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.

    New World Translation
    When he has made her drink the water, it must also occur that if she has defiled herself in that she committed an act of unfaithfulness toward her husband, the water that brings a curse must then enter into her as something bitter, and her belly must swell, and her thigh must fall away, and the woman must become a cursing in among her people.

    King James Bible
    And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    Holman Christian Standard Bible
    When he makes her drink the water, if she has defiled herself and been unfaithful to her husband, the water that brings a curse will enter her and cause bitter suffering; her belly will swell, and her thigh will shrivel. She will become a curse among her people.

    International Standard Version
    When he has had her drink the water, if she was defiled and had acted unfaithfully toward her husband, then the contaminated water that brings a curse will enter her and infect her, causing her abdomen to swell and her thigh to waste away. Then she is to be a cursed woman among her people.

    NET Bible
    When he has made her drink the water, then, if she has defiled herself and behaved unfaithfully toward her husband, the water that brings a curse will enter her to produce bitterness–her abdomen will swell, her thigh will fall away, and the woman will become a curse among her people.

    GOD’S WORD® Translation
    If she has become unclean by being unfaithful to her husband, the water that can bring the curse will go into her and become bitter. Her stomach will swell, her uterus will drop, and she will become cursed among her people.

    Jubilee Bible 2000
    He shall give her, therefore, the water to drink, and it shall come to pass, that if she is defiled and has betrayed her husband, that the water that works the curse shall enter into her in bitterness, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fail; and that woman shall be a curse among her people.

    King James 2000 Bible
    And when he has made her drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she was defiled, and has done a trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    American King James Version
    And when he has made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    American Standard Version
    And when he hath made her drink the water, then it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and have committed a trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her and become bitter, and her body shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    Douay-Rheims Bible
    And when she hath drunk them, if she be defiled, and having despised her husband be guilty of adultery, the malediction shall go through her, and her belly swelling, her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse, and an example to all the people.

    Darby Bible Translation
    And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, if she have been defiled, and have committed unfaithfulness against her husband, that the water that bringeth the curse shall enter into her, for bitterness, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall shrink; and the woman shall become a curse among her people.

    English Revised Version
    And when he hath made her drink the water, then it shall come to pass, if she be defiled, and have committed a trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    Webster’s Bible Translation
    And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she is defiled, and hath done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall perish: and the woman shall be a curse among her people.

    World English Bible
    When he has made her drink the water, then it shall happen, if she is defiled, and has committed a trespass against her husband, that the water that causes the curse will enter into her and become bitter, and her body will swell, and her thigh will fall away: and the woman will be a curse among her people.

    Young’s Literal Translation
    yea, he hath caused her to drink the water, and it hath come to pass, if she hath been defiled, and doth commit a trespass against her husband, that the waters which cause the curse have gone into her for bitter things, and her belly hath swelled, and her thigh hath fallen, and the woman hath become an execration in the midst of her people.

    Where do you see כְנֵ֣פֶל (nephel – miscarriage) mentioned anywhere?

  • Joseph O Polanco

    I assume you’re fluent in Hebrew then:

    Numbers 5:27

    וְהִשְׁקָ֣הּ אֶת־הַמַּ֗יִם וְהָיְתָ֣ה אִֽם־נִטְמְאָה֮ וַתִּמְעֹ֣ל מַ֣עַל בְּאִישָׁהּ֒ וּבָ֨אוּ בָ֜הּ הַמַּ֤יִם הַמְאָֽרֲרִים֙ לְמָרִ֔ים וְצָבְתָ֣ה בִטְנָ֔הּ וְנָפְלָ֖ה יְרֵכָ֑הּ וְהָיְתָ֧ה הָאִשָּׁ֛ה לְאָלָ֖ה בְּקֶ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃

    Where do you see כְנֵ֣פֶל (nephel – miscarriage) mentioned anywhere?

  • Joseph O Polanco

    The passage in the original Hebrews says no such thing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Judging by your previous comments on this thread, it does, you’re just unwilling to accept that the lack of mention of a particular single word doesn’t invalidate the passage meaning a thing that could be described by that word. It’s as if somebody were describing a thing as eggshell- or mayonnaise-colored and you were insisting the thing cannot be white.

  • Joseph O Polanco

    I take it, then, you’re fluent in ancient Hebrew:

    Numbers 5:27

    וְהִשְׁקָ֣הּ אֶת־הַמַּ֗יִם וְהָיְתָ֣ה אִֽם־נִטְמְאָה֮ וַתִּמְעֹ֣ל מַ֣עַל בְּאִישָׁהּ֒ וּבָ֨אוּ בָ֜הּ הַמַּ֤יִם הַמְאָֽרֲרִים֙ לְמָרִ֔ים וְצָבְתָ֣ה בִטְנָ֔הּ וְנָפְלָ֖ה יְרֵכָ֑הּ וְהָיְתָ֧ה הָאִשָּׁ֛ה לְאָלָ֖ה בְּקֶ֥רֶב עַמָּֽהּ׃

    Where do you see כְנֵ֣פֶל (nephel – miscarriage) mentioned anywhere?

  • Joseph O Polanco

    Alright then. Show me in the Hebrew where the passage describes anything resembling a miscarriage.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I don’t know the Hebrew, but if any of the translations are accurate, the parts of the woman’s body that are rotting correspond really nicely to her uterus and crotch. You know, the parts that, if something goes wrong with them while she’s pregnant, something’s gonna go wrong with the pregnancy.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I don’t see miscarriage mentioned there. I see an obvious euphemism referring to the sexual organs of the woman and it seems unlikely that a shriveling womb is going to have a positive effect on a fetus. Unless you mean to suggest that the woman literally contains fruit which is then lost, as Exodus 21 states. Then we would be arguing that the Bible never uses euphemisms, which would make me giggle like a naughty schoolgirl.

  • Sally Strange

    Uh… your argument here seems that if rights can be violated, they’re not rights.

    The logical conclusion, since I can’t think of any right that hasn’t been violated somewhere, somehow, at some point, is that there are no rights.

    Also, I don’t think you understand what bodily autonomy means.

  • Joseph O Polanco

    You make a very good point. After all, what are rights if they’re so easily contravened.

  • Sally Strange

    After all, what are rights if they’re so easily contravened.

    Rights.

  • primuspilus

    As usual, pro-death folks have no knowledge of history. Some examples of your nonsense being disproven with historical fact.

    Epistle of Barnabas, 2nd century – “Do not murder a child by abortion”
    Tertullian – 2nd Century – “The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed”
    Athenogoras – 2nd century – “And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder?”
    St. Gregory of Nyssa – 4th century – “But there is no disagreement or doubt that those which are being nourished in the womb have growth and spatial movement. So the remaining alternative is to suppose that soul and body have one and the same beginning.”

    There are tons more…Hyppolytus, Clement of Alexandria, St. Jerome, The Council of Trullo to name a few.

    I frankly dont give a rip what American Evangelicals say, but dont say that Christians haven’t stood against abortion and called it murder only recently. Historical Christianity has been saying this for almost 2,000 years.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Epistle of Barnabas, 2nd century – “Do not murder a child by abortion”

    Obviously, since a fetus is not a child.

    Tertullian – 2nd Century – “The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed”

    Ah, so third trimester, as its “form” is not “completed” until shortly before birth.

    St.
    Gregory of Nyssa – 4th century – “But there is no disagreement or doubt
    that those which are being nourished in the womb have growth and spatial
    movement. So the remaining alternative is to suppose that soul and body
    have one and the same beginning.”

    Mmm. So late second trimester, when the fetus starts to move. Gotcha.

    (Look, you’re not going to prove that christians have for 2000 years held that life begins at an event that they didn’t know existed until the 19th century)

  • danibull

    I am posting the conclusion of a research article for those who want to read about why this author’s conclusion about Ex is misguided. Also including the research article for those interested.
    “This study has presented the teaching of Exodus 21:22-25,

    especially as it relates to the present controversy on abortion.

    It has discovered that the passage does not deal with a miscar-

    riage caused by the injury of a pregnant woman in a physical

    struggle as is so often viewed. Instead the passage concerns a

    woman who was struck in a struggle and so prematurely gave

    birth. If there was no bodily injury resulting to the mother or

    child because of the blow, the liable man was to pay a fine to the

    woman’s husband as he decreed and as it was judged fair by the

    judges. If bodily injury did occur to the woman or her child,

    lex talionis

    This study has presented the teaching of Exodus 21:22-25,

    especially as it relates to the present controversy on abortion.

    It has discovered that the passage does not deal with a miscar-

    riage caused by the injury of a pregnant woman in a physical

    struggle as is so often viewed. Instead the passage concerns a

    woman who was struck in a struggle and so prematurely gave

    birth. If there was no bodily injury resulting to the mother or

    child because of the blow, the liable man was to pay a fine to the

    woman’s husband as he decreed and as it was judged fair by the

    judges. If bodily injury did occur to the woman or her child,

    lex talionis

    lex talionis

    was enforced depending on the extent of the injury,

    from life for life to bruise for bruise. The passage, then, gives no

    support whatsoever to the legitimacy of abortion.

    from life for life to bruise for bruise. The passage, then, gives no

    support whatsoever to the legitimacy of abortion.

    http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/02-exodus/text/articles/house-exod21-wtj.pdf

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam