Actually, Jesus Addresses the Issue of Abortion with Clarity

Written by Baxter Boyd, The Family Foundation’s Church Outreach & Christian Engagement Coordinator 

“Morning Joe” is a featured morning show on the news network MSNBC and is hosted by Joe Scarborough. Recently, on the show, Scarborough raised the eyebrows of many Christians who were bewildered when he made an argument for abortion from the Bible. Scarborough, on his show, astonishingly suggested that in the New Testament one can see that Jesus supported abortion by never addressing it.

Scarborough stated, “Jesus never once talked about abortion, never once and it was happening back in ancient times, it was happening back in his time. Never once mentioned it and for people perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue, it’s heresy.” Also talking about abortion Scarborough added, “Open the Bible, open the New Testament, read the red letters. You won’t see it there.”

However, this position is not only held by Scarborough, it is also held by many liberal-leaning Americans. In fact, California Governor Gavin Newsom has recently tried to advance California’s abortion services by placing the Bible verse of Mark 12:31 on billboards in numerous conservative states.

To put it mildly, this is a grossly inaccurate theological argument that puts Scarborough’s Biblical illiteracy on full display for the nation to see. What Joe Scarborough, Gov. Gavin Newsom, and others who hold to their position on the Bible and abortion need to know is this… Jesus with clarity, not only addresses the issue of abortion but also condemns it.

To articulate this theological reality a deductive argument will be put into place. The deductive argument is that which follows. One, murdering a human person is wrong. Two, the occupant of the womb is a human person. Three, therefore terminating a human person (through abortion) in the womb is wrong. After following this argument that is firmly built from the Bible, it will be straightforward that Jesus addressed the issue of abortion and furthermore condemned it.

Premise one of the argument is that the “murdering of a human person is wrong.” This Biblical truth is found all throughout the Old and New Testaments and is in fact clearly stated by our Lord Himself. Jesus distinctly states in Matthew 5:21, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’” To be fair to those who hold the position that the Bible somehow promotes abortion, this premise would not likely be the one they disagree with.

The premise that is contested by Scarborough and those who hold to his view is that of the second one, which states that “the occupant of the womb is a human person.” The notion that abortion is Scripturally permissible seems to rest on the idea that the Bible does not state that the occupant of the womb is a person and therefore, aborting the inhabitant of the womb is within Biblical bounds. The Bible, however, emphatically reveals that those in the womb are fully human people. It is an unequivocal fact that from a theological perspective the inhabitant of the womb is in totality a person. It is a proven medical fact that residents of the womb are people, and this truth is also plainly understood from a theological viewpoint that is revealed through Scripture.

To thoroughly elucidate and demonstrate the personhood of those in the womb from a theological perspective, there will be an exploration of two important Scriptures. There will be an Old Testament passage and a New Testament passage that will be considered in this matter.

First, from the Old Testament, Genesis 25:21-22 reads, “Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, ‘Why is this happening to me?’ So she went to inquire of the Lord.”[1]

It is important to note here that the occupants in Rebekah’s womb are addressed in these verses as “babies.” The Hebrew word used here for “babies” is הַבָּנִים֙ (banim) which can also be translated into English as “children” or more specifically “sons.” It is of significant importance to also realize that the word “banim” is repeatedly used throughout the Old Testament to refer to children outside the womb. This is perspicuously seen in places like Deuteronomy 22:7, Nehemiah 9:24, Songs 2:3, and many other areas. The important point to grasp here is this… from a theological perspective the Old Testament makes no differentiation between those inside the womb and those outside the womb. The Biblical standpoint is plain and distinctive, those in the womb are just as much a human at the point of conception as those who are already born.

This important truth is, furthermore, reaffirmed in the New Testament. Luke 1:41 states, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” The Greek word used for baby in this verse is βρέφος (brephos) which is a term that is commonly used also to refer to a baby outside the womb (Luke 2:12;16). From a Biblical and theological perspective, it is unequivocally true that the inhabitant of the womb is fully encompassing of personhood and thus should be protected from termination, abortion, from the point of fertilization onwards.

Therefore, from understanding the theological reality of premises one and two, it can easily be concluded in premise three that “terminating a human person (through abortion) in the womb is wrong.” The basic Biblical analysis that has been conducted, easily allows one to arrive at the comprehension that there is no room for the advancement of abortion, especially for those who claim to be adherents to the Christian faith, as the Scripture leaves no room for debate on whether those in the womb are people or not, as they are distinct people and thus should not be terminated. Do not be misled by those who claim that the Bible supports abortion, the Biblical account is clear on the issue of abortion. Jesus plainly stated that the murder of innocent life is wrong, and the human life He is talking about certainly includes the preborn which is revealed in Scripture.

[1] Unless specified the Scripture used in this Article is from the New International Version.

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