by Patte Smith on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 10:27am
The Abortionist as “Bible Scholar”
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, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
It takes a lot of nerve for a murderer to quote the Bible to defend his or her crime. Abortionists do just that, using this passage. They think it gives them aid and comfort. They are wrong.
There are two ways to read the text. The first says that verse 22 concerns the miscarriage of a dead baby; the second says that the baby is born prematurely, but alive. Abortionists prefer the former, thinking that it devalues the contents of the womb. They reason that since the penalty is only a fine, not “life for life,” then the unborn must be less than fully human.
There are at least three things wrong with this argument:
(1) It takes matters out of context. This command is not a finished teaching of God for all time; rather, it is provisional instruction at an early stage in His progressive revelation. The same chapter names the death penalty for cursing parents (v. 17) and no penalty at all for the slow death of beaten slaves (v. 21). God had a lot more to teach man on these matters;
(2) The passage at least places value on the lost baby. The abortionist assigns him or her no value at all; he sees “it” as just so much dispensable tissue;
(3) It concerns involuntary manslaughter, not the intentional killing of a baby. Molech worshippers were the baby killers of the region, and God demanded that they be stoned (Lev. 20:2).
The second reading appeals to the common usage of key Hebrew words. The verb for what happens to the child is yatza, the same we see in the description of Jacob’s birth (Gen. 25:26). God could have usedshakol, the word for miscarriage (cf., Gen. 31:38; Exod. 23:26), but He did not. Furthermore, the verses could have been more precise about the victim, but the harm is not clearly assigned to the woman alone; it could mean the child as well. On this model, the one who accidentally hit the woman could be executed for the resulting death of the child.
Of course, abortionists, their clients, their apologists, and their enablers are not concerned with careful biblical interpretation for the sake of holiness. They grasp at any specious argument they might find to excuse their sin. When one ploy fails, they race to another, never thinking to reconsider or repent. Their problem is not so much the confusion of the mind as the hardening of the heart.
The redeemed know that abortion is wrong. But they may feel inadequate to parry the clever challenges of abortion advocates. If they have an anointed pastor, who has done his biblical homework, at their side, they can disarm the enemy and capture the hearts of impressionable onlookers.
~ Kairos Journal
Together for Life & Eternity,