Where To Look In The Bible For Pro-Life Arguments

By Joel Settecase / 6-minute read


The main content of this article and podcast were derived from the article, “7 Questions About the Alabama Abortion Ban of 2019.

Welcome to the Think Podcast with Joel Settecase. I'm Joel Settecase. This is the show where we address impossible questions from a biblical perspective, to help you explain, share and defend biblical truth.

Does the Bible really teach that life begins at conception, anyway? And does it teach that abortion is wrong? Where can we find the Bible verses that establish the pro-life position? We need to answer these questions. That's why we're calling this episode, "Where in the Bible to look for the Pro-Life position."

We certainly get the impression that the Bible is pro-life from Exodus 21:22-25, in which the Lord requires punishment for injuring a pre-born baby and death for killing one. It reads:

“When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe."

In other words, punishment is meted out based on the damage to the pre-born child. If there is a miscarriage--or an abortion results--the penalty is capital punishment.

Then there is Psalm 139:13, in which King David sings of how God knit him together in his mother’s womb.

It reads:

"For you formed my inward parts;

you knitted me together in my mother's womb."

Notice it was him that was being knit. The “fetus” in the womb did not become David at some point after he was formed. Rather it was David himself who was being formed. This means that there is an ontological continuation—a unity of being—between David the Psalmist and David the fetus. And how far back in prenatal development does that unity stretch?

According to Psalm 51:5, it stretches all the way back to the point of conception. In that verse, David says,

“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

At the exact moment of conception, that newly conceived life was the same David who would grow up to become king of Israel. So then, the biblical teaching is clear: a person’s life begins at conception.

Now, as Jeff Durbin has masterfully shown in his videos (look those up on YouTube) , any attempt to establish moral duties without a direct appeal to the absolute authority of God can be refuted simply by asking “so what?” This is because you can't get an "ought" from an "is."

This may be a bitter pill to swallow, all the scientific evidence of the truth that the the unborn child is a person (and there is plenty, from ultrasounds, to prenatal surgery being done on unborn children), all this does not tell us, “so what?” In other words, anyone could ask, “Alright, so it’s a person in there—a little girl. So what? Why can’t I kill her?” As repulsive as that question is, we need the authoritative moral standard of Scripture, which is pointed to in these verses, to answer the question.

This is because the “So what” question needs an answer that comes from a higher authority than emotion or empirical observation. Absolute moral claims must come from an absolute moral authority. The Bible, as the very word of God Almighty, is that authority. The Bible says that murder is absolutely wrong. Murder is the unjust killing of an innocent person. Abortion, therefore is murder, and according to the absolute moral authority of Scripture, abortion is sinful.

This is the clear teaching of Scripture, but it is also clearly seen by any 4D ultrasound--the evidence from science, which mentioned earlier. Science is good, but in order to point to anything moral, it needs a moral authority, which authority comes from Scripture. And Scripture is clear that the child in the womb is a person, made in God's image, with the inviolable right to life, and therefore the Bible teaches that abortion is wrong.

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Now this is not goodbye. Just a stop along the way of your spiritual journey. I hope you get the chance to put what you just learned into practice this week.

Until next time, I hope it made you think.

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