After a newspaper report claimed that the pro-life movement was founded on an incorrect reading of the Hebrew Bible (specifically a section in Exodus), Christians for the life have reacted strongly to the news.
Responding to The Washington Post story, the Christians listed dozens upon dozens of passages that highlight the importance of the prolife message.
According to the article, Katey Zeh (pro-abortion Baptist minister) and Rabbi Danya Ruthenberg (rabbinicist) claim that a lot of Jewish and Christian oppositions against abortion are due to “a single mistranslation more than 2,000 years back.”
Exodus 21.22-22 is cited by Zeh as a reference to a section that outlines a law regarding what happens to a woman who’s pregnant if a man strikes her and causes her to give birth. Ruttenberg, Zeh and other Christian thinkers such as Augustine and Thomas Aquinas trace the history and mistranslation of the law. They claim that the “quickening ban” on abortion was a result of this mistranslation.
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A Washington Post article stated recently that one word had been mistranslated in Exodus 21 about miscarriage. This is why many Christians believe that life starts at conception,” Franklin Graham told Fox News. He’s president of Samaritans Purse as well as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. “I disagree.”
“Our beliefs about the sanctity of life aren’t just tied to a single verse that some may try and find fault with — they are wrapped up in the entirety of Scripture,” Graham argued. All of the Bible repeats the unmistakable theme God created us, loves us.
“Our beliefs about the sanctity of life aren’t just tied to a single verse that some may try and find fault with — they are wrapped up in the entirety of Scripture.”
Graham cited a wide variety of passages, from God creating humans in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) to Psalm 139, in which King David declares to God, “You knit me together in my mother’s womb … My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. You saw the unformed form of my body. Jeremiah 1 :5 is the verse he cited. “Before your unformed body was formed, I knew about you. I made you separate before you were even born.”
Graham also quoted Luke 1 as a passage where Elizbeth (and Mary) are both pregnant at that time with John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ. Elizabeth senses John’s presence in her womb and feels John jump in her womb.
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“I would encourage anyone who suggests the Scriptures don’t make a clear case for the sanctity of life to spend more time reading God’s Word,” Graham added.
President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy Mark Tooley also rebutted the Post article.
“It’s silly to originate Christian prolife views of 2,000 years in a single Bible verse,” Tooley told Fox News. Tooley said that such a view assumes a weak fundamentalism, which can be ripped from the delicate house of cards. This is the organic teaching of Christianity on pro-life that has been refined through millennia.
“The Christian teaching on pro-life is organic to all of Scripture, and has been refined over millennia.”
Tooley said that the idea that all beings are created and holy to God is what it starts with. “Christianity is particularly concerned with protecting the vulnerable and speaking out for those creatures that are unable to speak for themselves at any stage of their lives, regardless of whether they’re at the start or end. “The whole Gospel is pro-life.
Al Mohler,Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president, countered also the Post article.
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Mohler stated that the Christian case against abortion does not rest upon any one verse of the Bible. He also cited Luke 1 and Psalms 139. In his podcast, “The Briefing,” he also mentioned a response to the Post article.
Mohler stated that “the early church understood abortion as a horrible sin” and called for the strongest Christian response. Mohler cited The Didache, an early church document of the first century, and The Apostolic Constitutions, which is a fourth-century document. “The Christian faith affirms the defense of unborn babies and considers abortion a grave offense.
“The Christian Faith affirms that unborn babies are worthy of our protection and that abortion constitutes a serious sin.”
The president of the SBTS stated that the Washington Post article claiming a mistranslation in Exodus 21 was a desperate effort to distract attention away from the moral horrors of abortion.
Alveda King was a prolife leader, and a niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She cited 23 Bible verses in support of a prolife belief. Not only did she cite Genesis 1 and Luke 1 but also Genesis 9 and 6 (“Whoever sheds blood of Man, by man shall he be shed”), as well as Exodus 20 and 16 (“You shall never murder”), to name a few.
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Fox News reporter King explained to King that pro-life movements can be traced back as far as Deuteronomy 29:28. It states, “This Day I Call the Heavens and the Earth As Witnesses against You That I Have Set Before You Life and Death, Blessings and Curses. You can now choose to live so you and your family may continue living.
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