Luke 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
In response to recent reports that many Christians believe that the Bible is ambiguous about the issue of abortion, I believe it is timely for me to share the notes I prepared on this subject for my book, The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, and my expansion of that resource titled The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury.
Pastors, Sunday school teachers, and just so-called regular Christians must learn then share the truth of what the Bible actually teaches.
Just because the term “abortion” does not appear in the Bible text (though it does as a marginal reading at Job 3:16), we can more fully discern what the Bible teaches when we carefully make use of the rule of Bible interpretation I call “the rule of necessary inference” (see the October, 2010 Archives listed at the right of this screen for the full list of my 24 “Rules of Interpretation” for further study of Biblical hermeneutics, the rules of Bible Interpretation).
Apparently, some have introduced the Hebrew word “nephesh” into the discussion to support the right to abortion. This, too, is a gross error of interpretation and understanding. I have placed a full analysis of the meaning of “nephesh” in the NTSK and the UCRT starting at Genesis 2:7 under the key word “soul.”
Here are my notes as presented in my resource, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury, for Luke 1:44,
the babe. Gr. brephos (S# G1025, Luk 1:41). Note particularly that brephos is used here for the unborn child in the womb, and the same word is used for the child out of the womb in Luke 2:12; Luke 2:16. Other terms in Scripture used of unborn children, OT and NT, similarly are used of the person out of the womb. See Luke 1:36, “conceived a son,” Gr. uios (S# G5207); see also Luke 1:31; the same term is used of Jesus as a young adult at His baptism at Luke 3:22, “Thou art my beloved son.” See Gen 25:22, children, Hebrew ben (S# H1121), more often used of a child already born (Gen 9:19; Gen 17:25). See Job 3:3, man child, Hebrew geber (S# H1397), used for men as Exo 10:11, See Job 3:16, infants, Hebrew olel (S# H5768), in reference to unborn children, used elsewhere for children who have been born, as Lam 4:4, Thus the Biblical writers, writing by divine inspiration, make no distinction in terminology between children who are yet unborn and those who have been born. Thus God sees the unborn individual not merely as a fetus or tissue, but as a unique person, made in the image of God. +Luk 1:41.
leaped. Luk 1:41, Luk 6:23.
for joy. Scripture says much that bears upon the issue of abortion:
(1) Note that Scripture here attributes emotion to an unborn child.
(2) The fetus is formed by God, Job 31:15 mg. Jer 1:5.
(3) God planned the life before it took form, Jer 1:5.
(4) God delivers new life from the womb, Psa 71:6, Gal 1:15, 16.
(5) Note the despondent wish for spontaneous abortion during a period of depression, Jer 20:17.
(6) An untimely birth preferable to living and dying in disrepute, Ecc 6:3.
(7) The majesty and marvel of life, Psa 139:14, 15, 16.
(8) Life is sacred and precious, Gen 9:6.
(9) Jesus warned not to offend one of these little ones, Mat 18:6.
(10) Christ’s concern and care seen in his blessing little ones, Luk 18:15, 16, 17.
(11) Children are given by God, Gen 33:5; Gen 48:9, Jos 24:3, +*Psa 113:9; +*Psa 127:3, Isa 8:18.
(12) Christ esteemed children highly, Mat 19:14.
(13) Maternal love is normal, Gen 21:16, Exo 2:3. Logically, abortion does violence to maternal love.
(14) If a woman injures a man’s secret parts, her hand was to be cut off, Deut 25:11. If a man injured a pregnant woman, and (a) caused premature birth, but infant and mother otherwise were uninjured, he shall be punished by fine, Exo 21:22; (b) if the mother or child are injured or die, a corresponding severity of punishment, including the death penalty, was prescribed, Exo 21:23, 24, 25. Thus abortion, even accidentally induced, required the death penalty, thus God’s law affords legal protection of the unborn child.
(15) The supreme value of the individual utterly argues against any possible contrary justification for an abortion, Mat 10:31; Mat 16:26, Mar 8:36, 37. Luk 12:7.
(16) If God was utterly opposed to, and displeased with the religious sacrifice of children to Molech (+2Ki 21:6), the burning of which had never been commanded, authorized, or even entered into God’s mind (Jer 7:31), how much more must God be displeased with the destruction of the helpless unborn in the name of granting women the right to choice over their own bodies.
(17) God sets great value on a child. Our response to a child is our response to God, Mat 18:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Jas 1:27.
(18) Conception, development in the womb, and birth are mentioned together at Hos 9:11. God has his hand in each of these stages of development, as the references show. Thus, it is unscriptural to suggest that the unborn child is not yet a person.
(19) The unborn child responds to external stimuli, can hear, for the “babe leaped in her womb,” Luk 1:41; Luk 1:44.
(20) Abortion constitutes injustice to the weak and helpless, and places one under God’s curse, not his blessing, Deut 27:17; Deut 27:19.
(21) We are not to despise one of these little ones, Mat 18:10.
(22) The virgin birth and incarnation began at the moment of the miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb, Luk 1:35. Isa 49:1.
(23) Bible writers speak of themselves as persons before they were born, Psa 139:13, 14, 15, 16; Isa 49:1; Jer 1:5,
(24) Unborn children are spoken of as dying in the womb, therefore they must be alive before birth; thus life begins at conception, not birth, Job 10:18, 19; Jer 20:15, 16, 17, 18.
(25) The fact that the word “abortion” does not occur in the Bible (but see Job 3:16) has no bearing upon the issue. “Cannibalism” is not mentioned by that term in the Bible either, and so for a host of other concepts such as millennium, rapture, second coming, trinity, infant baptism, believer’s baptism, original sin, using musical instruments in New Testament worship. There is no express command or example for New Testament believers to tithe. There is no express command to worship God on Sunday, or to observe Sunday as the Sabbath. There is no express command or example in the New Testament of the baptism of adult believers that come from Christian homes. There appears to be no express command or incontrovertible example of the precise mode (i.e. immersion, pouring, or sprinkling) of Christian baptism in the New Testament. Neither is there command or example authorizing women to receive the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. There is no express example or command authorizing the taking of the Lord’s supper in the morning! The virgin birth is not mentioned in the Gospel of Mark. Repentance is not mentioned in the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John says nothing about Christ having cast out devils. We must use extreme caution whenever we base an argument on the alleged silence of Scripture (see 1Ch 16:42 note). Though abortion is not mentioned by name in Scripture, a prayerful and submissive, careful examination of the passages adduced above should lead to the firm conviction that abortion is not in harmony with the will of God at any time, for any reason. Yet, should a woman seek and obtain an abortion, she has not committed the unforgivable sin (Mat 12:31 note). God in his mercy is able to forgive even this sin, and welcome the truly repentant sinner to his fold (Joh 6:37, 2Co 7:10). Psa 8:2, Joh 3:29.