Techskeptic has called me out. He believes my position to be a weak one because I refuse to go off topic and follow him off on a rabbit trail or get distracted by side issues on the post that never seems to end. He’s clearly ignored my questions and desires to have facts presented by him. He’s also ignored the amount of time that I’ve spent writing and researching posts to back up my arguments and pinging that post so as to not drag it on and to bring each topic into light. So, I don’t have much hope for him finding or reading this one either (so I’ll probably end up duplicating myself), but I figure that we can all benefit from the answers to these questions, so, here we go.
Please post the passages in the bible that says that life starts at conception, as opposed to ’some time during pregnancy’.
I first need to preface this with the following, I responded to this question of his very early in this discussion:
[W]here in the [B]bible does it say that life starts at conception?
I’ve never been able to find it. I [don’t think it’s] in there.
The Bible, in Psalm 139, states that God made the Psalmist in the mother’s womb. Genesis talks about children in the womb as being empires. Jeremiah talks about God knowing him in his mother’s womb. Personhood starts before birth in the Bible.
What I will give Techskeptic is this– I did not give him where in the Bible that life begins at conception. But I also never made such an assertion. In fact, I did make the following statement:
Doctors brought to testify before the U.S. Congress declared that life begins at conception. It’s accepted medical fact. Even though you and those that agree with your position would believe it to be otherwise.
What you believe about the baby inside the mother and what scientists say it is are two different things.
And this is what I mean by shifting the debate. You see, Techskeptic would like to paint the “problem” is that I don’t want to debate his topics, when it’s clearly the other way around. I present science, he wants to go to the Bible, and then wants to bash the Bible. In fact, he expends a lot of energy attacking something that I never said. I gave him two passages that proved personhood, but I never claimed to discuss conception. It’s obvious from biology, I don’t need some sort of proof text.
But alas, if I leave it there I will be accused of not answering the question. And the greatest thing about this question is that I just had to do an impromptu sermon on something like this yesterday. Follow with me, if you will, to Judges 13:3ff. To give a little background, the angel of the LORD appeared unto the wife of a certain man named Manoah. The woman was barren (was not able to have children) and the angel tells her that she is about to have a son who will begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines. The command that he gives her is what is important:
Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
What I want you to pay attention to is the command. Manoah’s wife, from that point on (since she had not conceived, but would conceive) was not to drink wine or strong drink or eat any non-clean thing. Why? Because a Nazarite could not do these things. Now, the angel could have said, “When you find yourself pregnant…” but he did not, he told her to cease immediately. If life did not being at conception, if it was some arbitrary time in the middle of pregnancy, why this invocation from the start?
Again, look at the conception of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1:18ff, especially verse 20:
But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
Notice that last phrase. What is the significance of the Holy Ghost being involved in the conception. If the baby inside Mary was not alive, the Holy Ghost could have come upon the baby later, at an undetermined state.
There will not be a passage in the Bible that states that life begins at conception. There’s also no passage in the Scripture that says “do not speed.” However, there are principles. I think that there’s a very strong case, Biblically, that life is 1) created and taken away by God and 2) that a person exists inside the womb. The exact start of the life is harder to pin down, and I have a tough time dogmatically saying that I have a proof text for conception, but I do have said principles.
But I go back to the point that this is really a side issue. Should I have found an exact text to say “life begins at conception” one could say that I was forcing my religion on another. Since I use science and medicine, this is just an attempt at distraction.