Where Life Actually Begins in the Bible. Hold Your Breath!

Roughly half of Americans believe that life beings at conception. Why do they believe that? Because their pastors like to read passages like Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations" which seems to show that he was a being before he was born. Or Isaiah 45:9 "He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver." which in it's full context seems to show that he was planned by God and because of that, the inference is that you shouldn't interfere with God's plan. These are great conceptually, but they fly in the face of other passages about where life begins. They are the words of men speaking about how great they are. That they are God's chosen ones. This alone should cause skepticism, but it doesn't. Pastors and ministers preach on and ignore whole concepts and other passages. So what else does the Bible say about abortion?

When it comes to passages, one that stands out is Exodus 21:22 "If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely [footnote substitutes miscarriage] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." In reading this passage you see the footnote showing that if a miscarriage happens, "but there is no serious injury", you owe money. Where else in the Bible can I find money as the consequence for taking a life? It seems quite clear that the Bible is saying that no life is taken from a miscarriage. Maybe you'll hang up on the translation, so let's move on to the next one.

Numbers 5:11-22 has a passage about testing your pregnant wife for her fidelity. God prescribes a way to do this with poison. It ends with this, Numbers 5:22 "May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries." Two times in this passage it shows that God is prescribing a miscarriage if the woman was unfaithful. What of the sanctity of life? But again, maybe the translation is wrong. So let's move on.

Conceptually, most US Christians see life as beginning when the egg is fertilized. This act would only happen with the blessing of God. You don't have the right to subvert that will is the basic premise because you don't understand God's will. But is that where life begins according to the Bible? There is a concept called Nephesh. It's a common Hebrew phrase used in the Bible. So common that it's used over 700 times in the Old Testament. The basic premise is that Nephesh is delivered as the "breath of life" and it brings the soul into the body which makes them a living being. My understanding of the concept is that it's delivered by the Holy Spirit, but feel free to correct me on that. I'm inferring that. Jewish tradition is that abortion isn't murder because the fetus cannot receive the breath of life. So where can I find Nephesh as it relates to birth and the beginning of life? How about Genesis 2:7. "Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." What are we seeing here? Adam is formed by God. His body exists. But yet he isn't a living being. It's not until the breath of life (nephesh) is delivered does he become a living being. Carrying this line of thinking over to a fertilized egg, it's never had the breath of life delivered. This is the Bible folks. I don't even have to make this shit up. It illustrates a clear conceptual point of where life begins. Don't believe me yet?

Ezekiel 37 shows a valley of dried up bones. Ezekiel is looking for an army and asks God if he can turn these bones into an army. The Lords response, " Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’”  Conceptually we have the same scenario as the formation of Adam. We have a body being built. It's fully assembled and yet it isn't alive until it receives Nephesh, or the breath of life. A repeat of a the concept in different books. Could the different authors be understanding it differently? Moses wrote Genesis (debatable) and Ezekiel is auto-biographical as well. So the concept was widespread back at the time of the writing of the Bible. Life did not begin until the breath of life was present. This concept largely removes the question of translations in the Exodus and Numbers passages as well, because the position remains consistent that there is no life until one receives breath. The only things that contradict that position are claims of self-importance by Jeremiah and Isaiah. 

Why is this important? Many Christians vote solely on the abortion position. They are fanatical about it. You could be a common street junkie versus a well-respected individual in politics, but if you are pro-life and the respected individual is pro-choice, votes will roll in for you in many areas of the country. Whenever you hear someone equating pro-life with the Bible, you should be armed with these passages. If you want to grab the ear of a believer and show them the light, nothing grabs that ear like a Biblical passage. More importantly, hitting them with the overall concept may cause them to ask what other lies have their pastors been telling them and then maybe we can have a reasoned debate once they are disarmed. 



Views: 437

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on August 18, 2011 at 7:22pm

Incredible post, Gaytor - as expected. :D

Comment by matt.clerke on August 18, 2011 at 8:16pm

Thanks Gaytor, very informative.


Before I formed you in the womb I knew you

Is that the same way Adam "knew" Eve in Genesis 4:1?


I suppose I should of seen this sort of post coming... The bible is so contradictory in so many different areas it can be used to support just about any position.... must make some more time to read it fully.

Comment by perspicacity on August 18, 2011 at 10:48pm

Great post!


Comment by Rick on August 19, 2011 at 12:00am

Fantastic! Thanks for posting!

Comment by Gaytor on August 19, 2011 at 12:20am

Thank you everyone.


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