What the Bible says about abortion
Neither the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) nor
the Christian Scriptures appear to address abortion directly. However,
writings in the
early Christian movement by the end of the 1st century or the
beginning of the 2nd century CE do condemn
||Hebrew Scriptures: Exodus 21:22 is a key passage. As translated in
the New International Version, this verse implies that the
fetus is a human person. However, the most common interpretation of this same verse,
as seen in other translations, implies that the
fetus is not a human being. Other passages in the Hebrew Scriptures tend to devalue the fetus.
||Christian Scriptures: Luke 1:41 might be interpreted to
condemn abortions after fetal viability.
The Hebrew and Christian Scriptures (Old and New
Testament) use the same word to refer to an unborn fetus, newborn or older child.
This is a limitation of the Hebrew and Greek languages. It might be interpreted as implying that:
||Both ancient Hebrews and Pagan Greeks considered that the fetus is
fully human, equivalent to a newborn child...or
||They simply called both children and potential children by the same term,
much as modern-day parents-to-be refer to a fetus as a baby.
A case can be made that the 99% of all abortions (those which are performed
prior to viability of the fetus) do not appear to be prohibited by Bible
passages, as translated by most versions of the Bible.
What Does the Bible Say about Abortion?," at:
Roy Bowen Ward, "Is the Fetus a person?" at:
http://www.rcrc.org/ This is a PDF file. You may require software to read it. Software can be obtained free from:
John T. Noonan, "An Almost Absolute Value in History," in John T.
Noonan, ed., "The Morality of Abortion: Legal and Historical Perspectives,"
Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, (1970), Page. 6
John Connery, S.J. "Abortion: The Development of the Roman Catholic Perspective,"
Loyola University Press, Chicago IL, (1977), Page. 34.
Paul D. Simmons, "Personhood, the Bible, and the Abortion Debate,"
http://www.rcrc.org/ This is another PDF file.
Copyright © 1997 to 2007
by Ontario Consultants on
Last update: 2007-JUL-28
Author: B.A. Robinson