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What the Bible actually says about abortion may surprise you


Still Waters
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People think the Bible instructs some sort of morality, but if they actually read it they would realise it doesn't. Even the Ten Commandments starts off with 4 rules about preserving the religion itself, and only then mentions a few other things like maybe not killing people. If people read the Bible, they would find it is actually pretty hot on promoting killing- from whole cities in the OT, to witches, sabbath-transgressors, and sundry other non-worthies in the NT. 

Edited by The Silver Shroud
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“With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.”

― Steven Weinberg

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The religious contribution to the political alliance against abortion in the United States is strongly Roman Catholic, a religion in which tradition (in the strict sense of written teaching dating back to ancient times) complements what's in the biblical canon. So, the silence of the bible on the topic simply leaves the field open for a traditional view to determine policy.

Imperial Roman secular culture tolerated abortion and infanticide (which is much simpler than abortion technologically). Christians opposed this and many other aspects of secular culture, and thus tradition was established (eventually codified in a theory of "natural law," which is a topic all by itself).

Among the many ways that Protestants differ among themselves is how much they disagree with Catholic views  on anything else besides the proper rules for church governance. "Conservative" Lutherans and Episcopalians (= American members of the Anglican Communion) are numerous, and are natural constituents for "pro-life" views.

Bottom line: there are political points to be scored in undermining the opposition's perspective, so have at it. But if the Bible isn't the real driving force of the opposition (and I don't think it is, despite whatever rhetoric to the contrary), then "the needle will not budge" after the points are scored. IMO, of course.

 

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/21/2022 at 4:48 AM, Still Waters said:

In the days since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had established the constitutional right to an abortion, some Christians have cited the Bible to argue why this decision should either be celebrated or lamented. But here’s the problem: This 2,000-year-old text says nothing about abortion.

Wrong:

YHWH's law to Moses protected babies from abortion. Exodus 21: 22-25

Edited by larryp
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38 minutes ago, larryp said:

Wrong:

YHWH's law to Moses protected babies from abortion. Exodus 21: 22-25

That has nothing to do with abortion, it’s about the repercussions of assaulting a pregnant woman. 
 

cormac

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^^^

It has everything to do with abortion and how YHWH views an unborn child. What part of that example in Exodus 21: 22-25 did you not get? Comac, what do you want, an affidavit?  . . . :D

Edited by larryp
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27 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

". . . it’s about the repercussions of assaulting a pregnant woman. 

cormac

What does it say the repercussions are for two men fighting and causing the death of a woman's unborn child, Cormac?; it is death. So YHWH views an unborn child's intentional and unintentional death as a criminal. 

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 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely[a] but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands(A) and the court allows. 23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,(B) 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth,(C) hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

where does it mention abortion?

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5 hours ago, larryp said:

^^^

It has everything to do with abortion and how YHWH views an unborn child. What part of that example in Exodus 21: 22-25 did you not get? Comac, what do you want, an affidavit?  . . . :D

Nope as an abortion is the INTENTIONAL removal of a fetus or baby for the purpose of ending a pregnancy. If you can’t tell the difference between assaulting a pregnant woman, thus potentially causing a miscarriage, and giving her an abortion then for the safety of women you should probably steer clear of them as confusing the two is real idiocy. 
 

cormac

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4 hours ago, cormac mac airt said:

Nope as an abortion is the INTENTIONAL removal of a fetus or baby for the purpose of ending a pregnancy.

cormac

Wrong: 

YHWH sees it differently. If two men grapple with one another, and a pregnant woman loses her unborn child, then the repercussions are death. Period.  Exodus 21: 23, can't you read? People are washing your poor rationale as you waffle, which looks terrible. 

Edited by larryp
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24 minutes ago, larryp said:

Wrong: 

YHWH sees it differently. If two men grapple with one another, and a pregnant woman loses her unborn child, then the repercussions are death. Period.  Exodus 21: 23, can't you read? People are washing your poor rationale as you waffle, which looks terrible. 

Real idiocy it is then. Thanks for confirming that for us. 
 

cormac

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3 minutes ago, cormac mac airt said:

Real idiocy it is then. Thanks for confirming that for us. 
 

cormac

Hi Cormac

I’m wondering how she got hurt if 2 guys were grappling and given those times 2 men grappling doesn’t mean they were fighting with each other.:lol:

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9 hours ago, ThereWeAreThen said:

 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and . . . 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."

where does it mention abortion?

YHWH

The expulsion of an embryo or fetus before it can live on its own is a crime against YHWH. So, if two men grapple and cause a miscarriage, the repercussion is death. Period. Even worse if someone intentionally causes an abortion. I can't connect the dots for you, man. What do you want, a picture? :P

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14 minutes ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Cormac

I’m wondering how she got hurt if 2 guys were grappling and given those times 2 men grappling doesn’t mean they were fighting with each other.:lol:

Smoke and mirrors!

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54 minutes ago, larryp said:

YHWH

Anybody else?

Sure.  Two questions.

1.  How can you defend the practice of taking retribution in the form of life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth?  If such commands actually came God, wouldn’t that make it evil?

2.  Are you aware that rather than getting the above from the God of Abraham, Moses copied it from the Code of Hammurabi?

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1 hour ago, Guyver said:

Sure.  Two questions.

1.  How can you defend the practice of taking retribution in the form of life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth?  If such commands actually came God, wouldn’t that make it evil?

2.  Are you aware that rather than getting the above from the God of Abraham, Moses copied it from the Code of Hammurabi?

Just to add, Hammurabi’s main deity would have been Marduk which is NEITHER El NOR Yahweh. 
 

cormac

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4 hours ago, larryp said:

Wrong: 

YHWH sees it differently. If two men grapple with one another, and a pregnant woman loses her unborn child, then the repercussions are death. Period.  Exodus 21: 23, can't you read? People are washing your poor rationale as you waffle, which looks terrible. 

Proof that you’re incompetent: 

Quote

Exodus 21:22-25 KJV

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.
 
Your reading comprehension is sorely lacking, along with your inability to tell the difference between potentially causing a miscarriage and actually performing an abortion. 
 
Edit to add:  
Quote

 

The text refers to mother and baby. The key is, does the text refer to a miscarriage or simply an early birth provoked by a scuffle?

Word-for-word, the key phrase is rendered, "So that her offspring [or "fruit"] depart." This is translated in some versions as "miscarriage." But if "depart" (yatsa in Hebrew) simply implies the baby is born, as it directly seems to, then "miscarriage" is too specific.

The next verses make the context clear: if the baby is born but there's no injury, the other man has to pay. If the baby is born but there isinjury, then the other man must pay life for life (as in miscarriage), eye for eye, tooth for tooth, and so on.

Most importantly: though yatsa appears 1,069 times in the Bible, it's never used metaphorically to mean someone or something has died. Instead, it's rendered "out" (518 times), "forth" (411 times), "bring" or "come" (24 times each), and so on. This fact squashes the "miscarriage" view.

But let's consider it for a moment. Suppose the text refers to "miscarriage," not just birth. This approach relies entirely on "depart" being a metaphor for death, or perhaps that being born early means certain death.

This is a stretch when

  • the literal meaning of "depart" works quite well to describe birth: the child departs her mother during birth.
  • "miscarriage" requires us to assume the death of all children born early, which is not reasonable. For example, a child born at 39 or 40 weeks is full-term, though birth may be provoked by violence to the mother.
  • "miscarriage" requires us to assume the fetus (and even the born fetus: an infant) is not a person--when we know God called Jeremiah before he was born and knit David in his mother's womb; that John the Baptist leapt in his mother's womb when he heard Mary, and Jesus was called a "child" in utero--and is only worth an arbitrary, variable amount of money

In short, there's no justification within the text or the Bible for reading "depart" as a metaphor or certain death, so we should stick to the most literal meaning: birth.

This being the case, the penalties "life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" apply to wounds borne by mother and child alike.

 

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/2501/exodus-2122-is-mischief-related-only-to-the-mother-or-to-the-baby-too

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt
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On 7/21/2022 at 8:08 PM, Silver said:

“With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.”

― Steven Weinberg

Or politics.

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