Abortion and the Life of the Fetus

Abortion and the Life of the Fetus

On this interpretation of Exod 21:22-25, it is of particular importance for the biblical view of the nature of the fetus that the life-for-life formula is applied to the destruction of the fetus, with no qualification as to how young the fetus might be. The fetus, at any stage of development, is in the eyes of this law a living being, for life (nepes) is attributed to it. To be sure, the life-for-life formula is also used in the case of the death of animals (Lev 24:18), so that this formula by itself does not establish that the referent is a human being. But if it is the fetus of a human mother that is identified by the life-for-life formula as a living being, there can be no question that this living being is a living human being. Significantly, the part of the talion formula specifying injuries to eye and tooth and the like is not applied to animals. Only in the case of human beings do these features take on the value that merits legal redress. And surely the living fetus in view when the talion formula mentions the loss of life (v.23c) must be identified with the human child referred to in the talion formula as suffering the loss of eye or tooth (vv. 24, 25). Consistently in the relevant data of Scripture a continuum of identity is evident between the fetus and the person subsequently born. And Exod 21:22-25 makes clear that this prenatal human being is to be regarded as a separate and distinct human life.

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Only By Blood

Only By Blood

Once I heard that politics is war without bloodshed. I don’t think that holds water anymore. Because when the only means you employ to achieve victory is the sword, ideologically or otherwise, then the only thing that will ever maintain your ascendency will be by that same bloody sword. Peace. Peace is an illusion wrought by fear of retribution, retaliation, and repression. Now, none of these statements are original nor novel; nonetheless, they ring true and prescient. They are reflective of current events a time that has jettisoned decency and community for the sovereign self. The reality before us is that we are never as civilized as we believe ourselves to be. Rather, given the opportunity, the oppressed, be it in mind or body, because of reality, or delusion, will often jump at the chance to achieve “justice” by simply displacing their oppressors and celebrating through the newly embraced power to oppress. Because retribution, because slaughter and justice are often muddled, conflated to the point of confusion, violence as protest and oppression and fear as justice. Liberation and equality are not categories of the modern movements of social justice; the only requirement for victory is dominion. There is no shared power to be had anymore. The only beliefs that ring true in their hearts are reflections and variations of their own creeds and confessions. 

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The same God needed by the pious believer and the philosopher is the one who makes himself known to both … Continue reading