Instigator / Con
Points: 4

Does The Bible Outlaw Abortion?

Finished

The voting period has ended

After 1 vote the winner is ...
sigmaphil
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Religion
Time for argument
Two days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
30,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 7
Description
I will be waiving the first round because my opponent is making the positive claim. They will waive the last round.
Round 1
Published:
Waiving.
Published:

Introduction
First, let me thank my opponent for challenging me to this debate.  This is my first debate on DebateArt and I am looking forward to the challenge!
…since I am arguing the Pro side I thought I would lay down some guidelines first…

The Resolution:
“The Bible Outlaws Abortion”

Definitions:
Since my opponent did not establish key definitions I thought it best to define them, so to avoid semantic issues…

  • Merriam Webster defines the following:
  • Outlaw is "1b...to make illegal." (transitive verb)
      • To clarify for the purpose of this debate, since the Bible is the proof text for the arguments, it would follow that Outlaw is referring to God’s Laws as contained in the Bible.
  • Abortion is "1...the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus"
      • For the purpose of this debate Abortion means “Induced”..
        • 1b.  induced expulsion of a human fetus
      • Abortion does not mean “spontaneous expulsion”…
        • 1a:  spontaneous expulsion of a human fetus during the first 12 weeks of gestation  - (compare MISCARRIAGE)

  • Bible is "1a... the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament."

  • Additional definitions that may come into play not listed in the resolution…

  • Termination (Termination is mentioned above in the Abortion definition, I just wanted further clarification for purposes of the debate.) is …
      • Noun: “1... end in time or existence”)


Interpreting the Resolution:

Since I am arguing the Pro side I will attempt to prove “The Bible Outlaws Abortion”.  In order to do this I need to prove by using the NIV translation of the Bible that Abortion is Outlawed, in other words illegal or unlawful.  If I can prove this then I should win. Conversely, my opponent should win if he can prove that the Bible does not Outlaw Abortion.

My First Argument for Pro Side:
I shall prove that the Bible Outlaws (or makes unlawful) Abortion on three fronts...

  1. Opening Remarks
    1. Introduction
    2. Term clarification
  2. Proof Text
    1. Old Testament Proof
      1. Where
      2. Why
    2. New Testament Proof
      1. Where
      2. Why
  3. Closing Remarks
    1. Recap of Argument
    2. Remarks to Opponent


  1. Opening Remarks:

    1. Introduction
      1. I am approaching this debate from the viewpoint of a Christian Evangelical Pro-Life position.  I am actually Pro-Life across the board not just on Abortion, but also on Euthanasia and Capital Punishment.
      2. I realize my opponent is currently Pro-Choice on Abortion, but this is not a debate on Pro-Choice.  This is a debate on the merits of whether the Bible is for or against Abortion, not whether it’s a woman’s choice.  Of course the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a woman’s choice; she can choose to kill or not kill the human life inside of her.  This leads me to the term clarifications…

    1. Term Clarification
      1. Based on the Definitions section Abortion is the terminating of something.  Since Conception is the Beginning and Termination is the End, it comes to reason Conception begins something and Abortion ends something.  My position is that “something” is Human Life
      2. If Abortion is the decision to end a human life, then it follows that it is the killing of a human life.  I will elaborate further in my Proof Text that killing an innocent human life is murder and therefore is outlawed in the Bible.
      3. Also Abortion is stealing from God and from the human life in the womb.  I will elaborate in the Proof Text.

  1. Proof Text
    1. Old Testament Proof
      1. Genesis 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
        1. Human Life is precious to God because male and female are created in his image
      2. Exodus 20:15, “You shall not steal.”
        1. I believe Abortion violates this law.  I will elaborate below
      3. Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.”
        1. Notice it does not say You shall not kill.  The correct interpretation is murder. Not all killing is murder.  Some killing is defended in the Bible. Aborting a human life I contend is murder.
        2. This verse is from the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai and was the only part of the Bible that was written directly from the finger of God, and therefore it’s importance should not be underestimated:  Source: Deuteronomy 9:10
        3. The Ten Commandments were given to the Israelites as part of the Mosaic Law.  Therefore violation of Exodus 20:13 was a breaking of the law and would be considered illegal..
      4. Exodus 23:7, “Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.”
        1. Surely the human life in the womb is an innocent life and ending that life results in a guilty charge.
      5. Proverbs 6:16-17, “There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,”
        1. Just like above a human life in the womb is an innocent life.  Murdering that life is detestable to God and a violation of His laws.
      6. Job 31:15, “Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”
        1. This verse proves that at the minimum while we are in our mother’s womb we matter to God.
      7. Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
        1. Not only is God actively involved in our pre-birth formation, but He has a plan for us before we are born.  We are more than a worthless lump of tissue in the womb.
      8. Psalm 139:13, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
        1. This is similar to Job 31:15 and Jeremiah 1:5, that God is actively involved in our humanity wghile in our mother’s womb.
        2. It amazes me how close some of these verses are in words even though they are written by different authors hundreds of years apart.  You couldn’t get a better result playing “Whisper Down the Lane!” Repetition shows how important this is to God!
        3. Because we are God’s workmanship within the womb, Aborting a human life would steal God’s workmanship from Him breaking the law of You shall not steal.
      9. Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
        1. Even though our bodies are yet to be formed, we are someone to God.  Surely this proves the humanity from conception of the child in the womb,

      1. Psalm 22:10, “From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God.”
        1. Even in our mother’s womb we can see possession, “you have been my God”.  Surely this proves humanity, a human life.
        2. I believe this verse proves that Abortion would break the law “You shall not steal,” since by ending the human life inside the womb you take it’s right to have the personal possession of God.

    1. New Testament Proof

      1. Matthew 1:18, “This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.”
        1. Conceived of a child before marriage was not exactly an honorable thing back in those days. Can you imagine if Mary decided to abort Jesus?  Choices have consequences. Thankfully Joseph and Mary made the right choice!

      1. Luke 1:41, “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.”
        1. The baby in the womb responds to external stimuli, Further evidence that it is a human life.

      1. Galatians 1:15, “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased”
        1. God has a plan for our lives even within the womb.  To abort would murder that human life and steal God’s plan for their life

  1. Closing Remarks
    1. Recap of Argument
      1. I feel it was incumbent upon me to prove from the Bible that Abortion was Unlawful.  I believed I accomplished this by..
        1. Showing that Abortion is the decisive ending of a an innocent human life and thereby breaking the Ten Commandments, “You Shall Not Murder”
        2. Since God is actively involved in forming the child in the womb from before conception to birth to abort that human life is to steal from God hi workmanship.  This breaks the Ten Commandments, “You Shall Not Steal”
      2. Even though the Bible proves that Abortion is Unlawful (Outlawed).  There is hope for the one who aborts their child if they will seek forgiveness for their sins.  Yes God is a God of Judgement, but he is also a God of Forgiveness.
        1. Ephesians 1:7, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace”
        2. And as Jesus said to the woman caught in sin, “neither do I condemn you, go now and leave your life of sin.”

    1. Remarks to Opponent
      1. To my opponent, I feel the burden is on you to prove my assertions are inaccurate concerning…
        1. That Abortion is Murder
        2. That Abortion is Stealing
      2. I look forward to your arguments!


Round 2
Published:
Rebuttal

I agree with all definitions.

Old Testament Proof


Yes, life is precious, but the question must then become does the Bible consider fetuses to be human lives. This is not addressed by the scripture.


I will respond to my opponent's elaboration.


Again, because the scripture has no indication of the status of fetuses in its lives, at this point it is irrelevant until my opponent backs up that view.


My opponent makes a bare assertion by claiming that "surely a human life in the womb is an innocent life." The scripture has no indication that it sees fetuses as humans, and therefore this scripture has no real claim to the resolution yet.


Read the response above.


God making us in the womb is not proof that we are human beings. By that logic, the entire universe is a human being because God created it. That is a bare assertion.


In Genesis 1:27, "God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." John 4:24 says "God is a Spirit," therefore showing that God made man as a spirit; we just inhabit a human body. So in that regard, God can "know" someone before they are born without them actually being a human being at that time. [1]


“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:8) This is just another scripture showing that we are spirit beings, and in that light God can know us without our fetus forms being human beings in his eyes at that time.


Read the response above.


Read the response above.

New Testament Proof


My opponent's line of reasoning is the consequences that would have happened if Mary aborted Jesus would have been very high, showing the disdain for it. However, God is omniscient (Psalms 147:4-5). He would've known if she would or wouldn't, and if she would then he could have chosen a different virgin. This still does not prove that fetuses are human beings in God's eyes.


Babies today leap in their wounds. That doesn't prove their status as human beings in God's eyes. Perhaps the argument could be made that at a certain stage, then the fetuses are considered human beings, but that case was not made by my opponent. This is still a bare assertion.


Again, we are spirit beings (as shown above) and therefore God can know us without us being human beings at the time. He could simply consider us spirit beings at the time. Also, he is omniscient, so perhaps the plan could include the abortion and just rely mainly on the heaven side. Who knows? However, this still doesn't prove that fetuses are considered human beings.

Remarks To My Opponent

In Exodus 21:22-25, a law is laid out for if a man makes a woman has a miscarriage. 

"If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye..."
"If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely"

I will note that giving birth prematurely includes having a miscarriage. However, an even more literal translation will exclude miscarriage from being mentioned here, meaning that this passage doesn't address abortion in the first place.

"but there is no serious injury,"

Well, look here. Let's say this happened and the woman had a miscarriage, so the baby died. There is no "serious injury" worse than death itself. So, if the baby died, this passage must be talking about any serious injury to the mother, because a dead baby cannot be seriously injured.

"the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows"

This says that the offender is fined. This is the same punishment that is given out for the damaging of property. If the Bible saw this as murder, wouldn't it then use the punishment for murder, which was death? But it doesn't, showing that it doesn't recognize the unborn as human beings.

"But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye"

As established, the serious injury is talking about the mother, so this punishment only applies to if the mother gets hurt and has nothing to do with the miscarriage itself. [1]

So, essentially, the robber was given the punishment for destroying property for the miscarriage, but if the fetus was a human, wouldn't the penalty be the same as killing a human - death?

Conclusion

While my opponent has shown that God values us as spirit beings and that he values people and does not like killing, he has not shown that fetuses are human beings and therefore fall under the killing law. Until he does, the votes should then go to Con.

Sources

Published:
I would like to thank my opponent for his considered and thoughtful response.

My opponent opens with...

I agree with all definitions
That's helpful because I intend to invoke some of those definitions in my rebuttal

My Rebuttal

 
Yes, life is precious, but the question must then become does the Bible consider fetuses to be human lives. This is not addressed by the scripture.
I refer my opponent to the definition of abortion that he agreed with, 

  • "·1...the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, resulting in, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus". 
If abortion results in the "death of the embryo or fetus" wouldn't it follow that the fetus, embryo, child, baby, whatever you want to call it, is a life.  And if a life than it follows it would be a human life because the human mother is carrying it in her womb.

My opponent needs to explain what kind of life is growing in the womb, if not a human life.

 
 
God making us in the womb is not proof that we are human beings. By that logic, the entire universe is a human being because God created it. That is a bare assertion.
My opponent's logic doesn't follow?  The universe is not in the human mother's womb.  God is forming a human being in a human mother.  This is not a bare assertion, this is the actual words  of the verse, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb".

Again, something is living in the human mother's womb and being formed by God, if not a human life than what life is it.  My opponent needs to elaborate.


 
My opponent makes a bare assertion by claiming that "surely a human life in the womb is an innocent life." The scripture has no indication that it sees fetuses as humans, and therefore this scripture has no real claim to the resolution yet.
I believe I have shown from Scripture and from stated Definitions that the life inside the mother's womb that is growing is a human life and since that life has not sinned yet, it is innocent.


“To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” (2Corinthians 5:8) This is just another scripture showing that we are spirit beings, and in that light God can know us without our fetus forms being human beings in his eyes at that time.
I am not going to respond to this point because I feel it is irrelevant to the stated resolution being about abortion, which concerns the death of a life, not death of a spirit.

My opponent responded to each of my New Testament Proof Text using an argument about fetuses and their state as a human being.  I will take one of them to respond to...

 
Babies today leap in their womb<>. That doesn't prove their status as human beings in God's eyes. Perhaps the argument could be made that at a certain stage, then the fetuses are considered human beings, but that case was not made by my opponent. This is still a bare assertion.
Whatever your position on fetal development or stages of human growth, a baby leaping in the womb proves it is a life.

I agree my opponent can make the argument that a fetus at certain stages is not a fully formed human being, but the argument concerned in this debate is not about stages of pregnancy or gestational growth, it is about aborting a human life.

In Exodus 21:22-25, a law is laid out for if a man makes a woman has a miscarriage. 
 
"If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye..."
"If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely"
 
I will note that giving birth prematurely includes having a miscarriage. However, an even more literal translation will exclude miscarriage from being mentioned here, meaning that this passage doesn't address abortion in the first place.
 
"but there is no serious injury,"
 
Well, look here. Let's say this happened and the woman had a miscarriage, so the baby died. There is no "serious injury" worse than death itself. So, if the baby died, this passage must be talking about any serious injury to the mother, because a dead baby cannot be seriously injured.
 
"the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows"
 
This says that the offender is fined. This is the same punishment that is given out for the damaging of property. If the Bible saw this as murder, wouldn't it then use the punishment for murder, which was death? But it doesn't, showing that it doesn't recognize the unborn as human beings.
 
"But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye"
 
As established, the serious injury is talking about the mother, so this punishment only applies to if the mother gets hurt and has nothing to do with the miscarriage itself. [1]


I may disappoint my opponent here and he may think I'm copping out but I disagree with his interpretation of this passage.  I do not see anywhere where it says the premature birth automatically results in a miscarriage.  The simple reading of the text shows that the mother was hit causing her to prematurely give birth to a baby.  If there is no injury, the mother and baby are fine, then the attacker is fined.  If there is a serious injury to the mother and/or the baby than the eye for an eye, life for a life law is imposed.



So, essentially, the robber was given the punishment for destroying property for the miscarriage, but if the fetus was a human, wouldn't the penalty be the same as killing a human - death?
Yes, if the baby is miscarried in this circumstance then the life for a life law is enforced.

My Remarks to my Opponent

My opponent seems to want to take this debate down 2 paths.

  • 1. a Spirit Being discussion, which I don't see how that is relevant to the debate.  If he wants me to address this I would appreciate a more pointed question if he could elaborate.
  • 2.  Stages of fetus development.  Again I don't see the relevance to the debate of Abortion, which is the terminating of a life.  But I am open to discussing it if he wants.  Maybe he could initiate that discussion?

Finally, I would appreciate if my opponent could address or answer the following questions...

  • 1.  If Abortion is the "death of the embryo or fetus", then an embryo or fetus is a life.  What kind of life is it?
  • 2.  You stated, "Babies today leap in their womb."  Is a baby a human life?
  • 3.  In Psalm 139:13, Job 31:15, and Jeremiah 1:5 it talks about God forming something in the mother's womb.  The psalmist calls it "my inmost being."  It can't be a spirit being since it is "knit together" in the mother's womb, so what kind of "being" is it?  And is the "being" living?

Conclusion

I believe I have proved my point from the Bible and from the stated Definitions that Abortion is the killing of an innocent human life.  According to the Bible, the shedding of innocent human life is unlawful and proves the Pro position that the Bible Outlaws Abortion.  





Round 3
Published:
If abortion results in the "death of the embryo or fetus" wouldn't it follow that the fetus, embryo, child, baby, whatever you want to call it, is a life.  And if a life than it follows it would be a human life because the human mother is carrying it in her womb.
Again, my opponent has still not established that the Bible sees fetuses as human lives. All he has shown is that it values human lives, but if fetuses do not fit that definition, then this does not contribute to proving the resolution.

My opponent needs to explain what kind of life is growing in the womb, if not a human life.
That is not correct. This is not about abortion in the general sense; it is about whether the Bible says fetuses are human lives or not. The burden is on my opponent to prove that the Bible considers fetuses to be human lives.

My opponent's logic doesn't follow?  The universe is not in the human mother's womb.  God is forming a human being in a human mother.  This is not a bare assertion, this is the actual words  of the verse, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb".

Again, something is living in the human mother's womb and being formed by God, if not a human life than what life is it.  My opponent needs to elaborate.
This was my opponent's logic

"God created us, therefore he sees us as human lives." However, God creates many things, but we don't consider everything to be a human life. And, besides that, I have already shown how the Bible says we are spiritual beings, so that could easily be what this scripture is referring to. However, that still doesn't prove anything.

I believe I have shown from Scripture and from stated Definitions that the life inside the mother's womb that is growing is a human life and since that life has not sinned yet, it is innocent.
Again, none of the scriptures provided by my opponent have made such a claim. I will challenge my opponent to specifically point to a place in scripture that says fetuses are human lives.

I am not going to respond to this point because I feel it is irrelevant to the stated resolution being about abortion, which concerns the death of a life, not death of a spirit.
This is precisely my point! If God sees us as spirit beings in the womb, then that doesn't violate the law of not murdering because our fetus forms are not yet human beings.

Whatever your position on fetal development or stages of human growth, a baby leaping in the womb proves it is a life.
How is that true? Since when does movement indicate life? In that case, cars are lives when they start driving. Do you see how ridiculous that is? Simply saying that the baby is moving is not an argument.

I may disappoint my opponent here and he may think I'm copping out but I disagree with his interpretation of this passage.  I do not see anywhere where it says the premature birth automatically results in a miscarriage.
KJV: "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her..."
MSG: "When there’s a fight and in the fight a pregnant woman is hit so that she miscarries"
NIV: “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely"

All of these except NIV (which I used in the last round) say miscarriage. However, the NIV also includes a note that says "Or she has a miscarriage." You can see that note here. [1]

So, as you can see, the scripture says miscarriage. I will ask my opponent to respond to my question now:

So, essentially, the robber was given the punishment for destroying property for the miscarriage, but if the fetus was a human, wouldn't the penalty be the same as killing a human - death?

a Spirit Being discussion, which I don't see how that is relevant to the debate.  If he wants me to address this I would appreciate a more pointed question if he could elaborate.
You looked at many scriptures that said that God "knows" someone before they're born. I pointed out that, since we are spirit beings as defined by the Bible, God can still "know" us without us being human beings/lives.

Stages of fetus development.  Again I don't see the relevance to the debate of Abortion, which is the terminating of a life.  But I am open to discussing it if he wants.  Maybe he could initiate that discussion?
I never mentioned this as a main argument. It was simply a passing remark.

If Abortion is the "death of the embryo or fetus", then an embryo or fetus is a life.  What kind of life is it?
That would be a life as determined by OUR society. You must show that it says that in the Bible. That is simply what abortion is defined as.

  You stated, "Babies today leap in their womb."  Is a baby a human life?
According to the Bible, no.

3.  In Psalm 139:13, Job 31:15, and Jeremiah 1:5 it talks about God forming something in the mother's womb.  The psalmist calls it "my inmost being."  It can't be a spirit being since it is "knit together" in the mother's womb, so what kind of "being" is it?  And is the "being" living?
Sources
Why can't it be a spirit while being knit together? You have not explained that.

Conclusion

My opponent has still not shown that the Bible sees fetuses as human beings. Until he does, votes should go to Con.

Published:
*Please note:  In lieu of footnotes, if I am using a source I will link the url to the word or phrase

I want to thank my opponent for taking time out of his busy schedule to debate me on this most important topic.  It really means a lot to me!   I have carefully read his arguments and my response is below...

If Abortion is the "death of the embryo or fetus", then an embryo or fetus is a life.  What kind of life is it?
That would be a life as determined by OUR society. You must show that it says that in the Bible. That is simply what abortion is defined as.

I am a bit confused is my opponent saying I can no longer use the definitions, which we both agreed to, to support my arguments?  How would I even be able to support a resolution with the word Abortion in it if I can't define Abortion and then use its definition to show from the Bible that the Bible outlaws it?  

That is not correct. This is not about abortion in the general sense; it is about whether the Bible says fetuses are human lives or not. The burden is on my opponent to prove that the Bible considers fetuses to be human lives.
My opponent says "This is not about abortion in the general sense;"

I would like my opponent to further clarify this statement because I am debating a resolution with the word, "Abortion" in it.

My understanding is we are arguing the word Abortion as defined in the definitions, which we both agreed to.  Is my opponent no longer agreeing to the definition of Abortion?  If he is not then he needs to tell me and explain why he agreed to it in his first argument and then disagrees now.

Again, none of the scriptures provided by my opponent have made such a claim. I will challenge my opponent to specifically point to a place in scripture that says fetuses are human lives.
I wanted to spare my opponent and the voters of this debate the Biblical exegesis of the passages, but apparently, my opponent will not agree to the simple reading of the text.  So, I will exegete.

Psalm 139:16, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

The Hebrew word for "unformed body" is "golem" which means an embryo.  And according to the definition of Abortion, which we both agreed to, it is the induced termination of an embryo or fetus.

By the way, the "Book" in this verse is referring to the "Book of Life".  Please see the Hebrew word, "sepher" which is also used in Psalm 69:28 to refer to the "Book of Life."  The Book of Life is only ever referred to in the Bible to human beings.

Question for my opponent,
  • if God is putting the unformed body, "golem", of a human mother's womb in the Book of Life, which only contains human beings, then would it not be safe to conclude that the unformed body in Psalms 139:16 is a human being (early stage of growth) and a human life?
"God created us, therefore he sees us as human lives." However, God creates many things, but we don't consider everything to be a human life. And, besides that, I have already shown how the Bible says we are spiritual beings, so that could easily be what this scripture is referring to. However, that still doesn't prove anything.

You looked at many scriptures that said that God "knows" someone before they're born. I pointed out that, since we are spirit beings as defined by the Bible, God can still "know" us without us being human beings/lives.

This is precisely my point! If God sees us as spirit beings in the womb, then that doesn't violate the law of not murdering because our fetus forms are not yet human beings.

3.  In Psalm 139:13, Job 31:15, and Jeremiah 1:5 it talks about God forming something in the mother's womb.  The psalmist calls it "my inmost being."  It can't be a spirit being since it is "knit together" in the mother's womb, so what kind of "being" is it?  And is the "being" living?
Sources
Why can't it be a spirit while being knit together? You have not explained that.
I am linking all of these comments together and responding to them jointly since it has to do with my opponent's argument that a spirit being may be what the Psalmist is referring to as "my inmost being' that is being "formed" or "knit together" in the mother's womb.

Again I will exegete the passage since my opponent will not accept the simple reading of the text

Psalm 139:13, "...my inmost being..."  Hebrew word is "kilyah," which means "kidney".


Question for my opponent,
  • does a spirit being have a kidney?
Question for my opponent,
  • If "my inmost being" means kidney and that "being" is formed in a human mother's womb, what kind of being is it?

Whatever your position on fetal development or stages of human growth, a baby leaping in the womb proves it is a life.
How is that true? Since when does movement indicate life? In that case, cars are lives when they start driving. Do you see how ridiculous that is? Simply saying that the baby is moving is not an argument.
I'm not sure my comment was ridiculous.  I will not call my opponent's comparison of a leaping baby in the womb to a moving car ridiculous, but it is tempting.

This argument is referring to Luke 1:41, which I will exegete

Luke 1:41, "...the baby leaped in her womb..."

...allow me to include also Luke 1:44 to the exegesis since the verse has the same words and meaning...

Luke 1:44, "...the baby in my womb leaped for joy."

In both verses, the Greek word for “baby” is “brephos” and means "an unborn or a newborn child."

in both verses, the Greek word "leaped" is "skirtaó" and means "to leap".  The word is used 3 times in the New Testament and each time it means not just leap, but leap with Joy, which can be seen in the Luke 1:44 rendering.

Questions for my opponent...

  • If the Greek word for baby, brephos, is used in the New Testament meaning unborn and born child, is it safe to conclude that the baby in the womb in Luke 1:41 and Luke 1:44 is a living human being?
     

  • If the Greek word for 'leaped' means "leap" and Luke 1:44 shows that the baby leaps with emotion (joy) does that not mean that the baby in the womb is a living human being?
  You stated, "Babies today leap in their womb."  Is a baby a human life?
According to the Bible, no.
According to the Bible, yes

KJV: "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her..."
MSG: "When there’s a fight and in the fight a pregnant woman is hit so that she miscarries"
NIV: “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely"

All of these except NIV (which I used in the last round) say miscarriage. However, the NIV also includes a note that says "Or she has a miscarriage." You can see that note here. [1]

So, as you can see, the scripture says miscarriage. I will ask my opponent to respond to my question now:
--KJV does not say miscarriage or does it mean miscarriage.  See my exegesis of the passage below.
--Just a quick note about the NIV footnote.  The footnote of any translation, not just the NIV, is just a quick note given by the editor of the translation.  It holds no weight on the actual translation of the original writings.  This is why it is not within the passage itself.

Allow me to educate my opponent on translations. I would caution my opponent if we go down this rabbit trail we may get off track of the Debate Topic, but I feel this is necessary as a brief approach to prove my point...

There are 3 types of Bible translations, Word for Word, Thought for Thought, and Paraphrase.  The most accurate translations of the original manuscripts would be the Word for Word.  The least accurate would be the Paraphrase.  My opponent quoted the MSG (The Message) as his chosen translation that shows the word miscarriage.  However, the MSG is considered a Paraphrase translation based on this source,  The linked source states this about Paraphrase translations... 

  1. "be very cautious in working with these kind of translations. Often the authors exercised considerable “poetic license” in interpreting biblical terms and passages according to their own personal religious ideas."
Okay let's exegete the passage in question Exodus 21:22

Exodus 21:22, "..and she gives birth prematurely .."

Okay I want to look at the word "prematurely.," since this is the word that some translations interpret incorrectly as "Miscarriage"

The Hebrew word for "prematurely" is "yatsa" which means "to go or come out"

There are 1069 occurrences "yatsa" in the Bible and I went over every one of them (you're welcome) and not one refers to something coming out or going out dead.  In fact, the first 2 occurrences in the Bible of "yatsa"  are Genesis 1:12 and Genesis 1:24, which both talk about living substances during the process of Creation...

The word "produce" in the following verses is the word transliterated from the Greek word, "yatsa"

Genesis 1:12, "The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good."

Genesis 1:24, "And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so."

So the conclusion is the word "Miscarriage" is an incorrect interpretation of the word "prematurely" in Exodus 21:22 and therefore the baby io Exodus 21:22 being birthed prematurely is birthed alive.

So, essentially, the robber was given the punishment for destroying property for the miscarriage, but if the fetus was a human, wouldn't the penalty be the same as killing a human - death?
If the baby was killed after birth by the attacker the attacker would be punished according to the Life for a Life law.

After having said all this about Exodus 21:22, If I were to concede to my opponent that Exodus 21:22 is rightly interpreted to mean Miscarriage, which I don't, it would still be irrelevant to this debate since we have agreed to the definition of Abortion not being about Miscarriage.

So we conclude about Exodus 21:22...

  1. If Miscarriage is the correct interpretation of "prematurely" (Con's position) than the Exodus 21:22 argument is irrelevant due to Abortion definition excluding miscarriage.  Pro wins argument
  2. If the correct interpretation of "prematurely" means born alive (Pro's position) than any attack to the baby after birth would result in the Life for a Life, Eye for an Eye, punishment.  Pro wins argument
Conclusion

Conclusion

My opponent has still not shown that the Bible sees fetuses as human beings. Until he does, votes should go to Con.
I think I have conclusively and decisively shown just that in this argument.  Votes should go to Pro.




Round 4
Published:
I am a bit confused is my opponent saying I can no longer use the definitions, which we both agreed to, to support my arguments?  How would I even be able to support a resolution with the word Abortion in it if I can't define Abortion and then use its definition to show from the Bible that the Bible outlaws it?  
I was not saying that my opponent cannot use the pre-established definitions. My point was that all you did was show that abortion is killing a fetus. You have not shown that the fetus is a life according to the Bible.

I would like my opponent to further clarify this statement because I am debating a resolution with the word, "Abortion" in it.

My understanding is we are arguing the word Abortion as defined in the definitions, which we both agreed to.  Is my opponent no longer agreeing to the definition of Abortion?  If he is not then he needs to tell me and explain why he agreed to it in his first argument and then disagrees now.
For context, my opponent asked me to explain what kind of life is growing in a womb. All I was saying is that it isn't my burden to show that; rather, it is my opponent's job and burden to prove that the Bible says that fetuses are human lives. Therefore, such a question is irrelevant. If we were talking about abortion ONLY, then it would make sense, but we are talking about what the Bible says on abortion.

Psalm 139:16

I would like to perform my own exegesis on this scripture. I do see that it refers to David as an embryo. However, read it again.

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
This says that God wrote his days BEFORE one of them came to be. Obviously, you cannot be a human before one of your days begins.

We know that "book" cannot refer to the Book of Life. That book is reserved for the names of the people who will make it to heaven (i.e. Revelations 20:15). This says that he wrote "all of the days ordained for me" in the "book." Therefore, how can it refer to a book that is reserved only for names?

if God is putting the unformed body, "golem", of a human mother's womb in the Book of Life, which only contains human beings, then would it not be safe to conclude that the unformed body in Psalms 139:16 is a human being (early stage of growth) and a human life?
No, because the passage clearly states that God wrote it before his days even came to be. That doesn't show that the unborn was considered a human being. Furthermore, God reserved the Book of Life for names, not for one's "days."

does a spirit being have a kidney?

If "my inmost being" means kidney and that "being" is formed in a human mother's womb, what kind of being is it?
All this shows is that God forms kidneys in the womb, which is something that we already knew. The presence of a kidney doesn't prove a fetus to be a human being any more than the presence of cells does.

If the Greek word for baby, brephos, is used in the New Testament meaning unborn and born child, is it safe to conclude that the baby in the womb in Luke 1:41 and Luke 1:44 is a living human being?
No. We already know that it is an unborn child, that's already been established. That still doesn't show that the scripture considers it to be a human being. Children can be spirits.

If the Greek word for 'leaped' means "leap" and Luke 1:44 shows that the baby leaps with emotion (joy) does that not mean that the baby in the womb is a living human being?
No, of course not. Spirit beings have just as much emotion as human beings.

Exodus 21

I'll drop this point as I can't avoid my opponent's exegesis of the scripture. I would like to note, however, that this was an original argument by me, so my concession of this point in no way withdraws from my argument since I am mainly rebutting my opponent's arguments. I will respond to one thing, however.

If the correct interpretation of "prematurely" means born alive (Pro's position) than any attack to the baby after birth would result in the Life for a Life, Eye for an Eye, punishment. Pro wins argument
If the baby has been harmed AFTER BIRTH, then it isn't abortion, so this doesn't help my opponent's argument, because it is after birth and therefore not an abortion.

Conclusion

My opponent still lacks proof that the Bible sees fetuses as full human beings, and until then, votes should go to Con.
Published:
Thanks again to my opponent for his considered and thoughtful response.

Since I am waiving the 5th argument as per the agreed rules of our debate I would like to briefly respond to my opponent's last arguments and then make my final appeal to the voters of the debate.

Psalm 139:16

I would like to perform my own exegesis on this scripture. I do see that it refers to David as an embryo. However, read it again.

"Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
This says that God wrote his days BEFORE one of them came to be. Obviously, you cannot be a human before one of your days begins
You can if God is omniscient and knows beforehand what he is forming in the womb which according to Psalm 139:16 is a human embryo, a human life at an early stage

Again the Hebrew word for "unformed body" is "golem" which means an embryo

In the agreed stated definitions is a link to the definition of embryo, "the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception"

We know that "book" cannot refer to the Book of Life. That book is reserved for the names of the people who will make it to heaven (i.e. Revelations 20:15). This says that he wrote "all of the days ordained for me" in the "book." Therefore, how can it refer to a book that is reserved only for names?
I'm open to suggestions.  I showed you that it was the same Hebrew word, "sepher," for Book used in Psalm 69:28 for "Book of Life" that was used for "Your Book" in Psalm 139:16.  Here's one of the sources I used that shows verses dealing with the Book of Life.

All this shows is that God forms kidneys in the womb, which is something that we already knew. The presence of a kidney doesn't prove a fetus to be a human being any more than the presence of cells does.
Yes and what else comes with the kidneys?  A heart and a brain and a liver of what?  A human being!  God is forming a human being in the mother's womb. and if it is growing, then it must be living.  This is really is not a hard concept.

If the Greek word for baby, brephos, is used in the New Testament meaning unborn and born child, is it safe to conclude that the baby in the womb in Luke 1:41 and Luke 1:44 is a living human being?
No. We already know that it is an unborn child, that's already been established. That still doesn't show that the scripture considers it to be a human being. Children can be spirits.
Thank you for confirming it is an unborn child.

If the Greek word for 'leaped' means "leap" and Luke 1:44 shows that the baby leaps with emotion (joy) does that not mean that the baby in the womb is a living human being?
No, of course not. Spirit beings have just as much emotion as human beings.
But it's not a Spirit it's a "Baby".  My opponent loves to read things into the text that are not there.  I would ask him to read the verse again, Luke 1:44, "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy."  My friends this is baby, pure and simple.


Conclusion

Conclusion
 
My opponent still lacks proof that the Bible sees fetuses as full human beings, and until then, votes should go to Con.
It appears to me form these arguments that my opponent and I just don't see eye to eye on the Bible passages and the meaning of the words, even though I brought it down the original Hebrew and Greek.  The voters will just have to make their own decision about who made the better case for exegesis.


To My Opponent.

I would ask since I am waiving the 5th argument that he would not bring up anything new in the last argument.

I also want to thank my opponent for inviting me to participate in this debate.  I have learned much and am thankful for his camaraderie!


To The Voters.

I would ask the voters to try and remove all the useless smoke and mirrors and clutter from the arguments and return to the crux of this debate which is the resolution:  "The Bible Outlaws Abortion."

As the Pro side of this debate, it is incumbent upon me to prove that the Bible does indeed outlaw Abortion.  I believe that I have done just that and to recap I will consolidate all my arguments into final points...

1.  Conception means "beginning."  What begins at conception?  Human Life.
2.  Abortion is the termination or death of an embryo or fetus. 
3.  An embryo is a developing human individual.
4.  Therefore an embryo is a growing individual human life inside the womb.
5.  Psalm 139:16, the Hebrew word for "unformed body" is "golem" which means "embryo."
6.  Since the embryo is a developing human individual and has not sinned yet, it is without sin and innocent.
7.  Exodus 20:13, “You shall not murder.”  God's Law given to Moses.
8.  Exodus 23:7, “Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.”
9.  Points 7 and 8 prove that killing or murdering an innocent life is against God Law, therefore it is unlawful.
10. Outlaw means "unlawful" (from definitions)

Therefore we can see from these 10 points that the Bible Outlaws Abortion and votes should go to Pro!

Round 5
Published:
You can if God is omniscient and knows beforehand what he is forming in the womb which according to Psalm 139:16 is a human embryo, a human life at an early stage

Again the Hebrew word for "unformed body" is "golem" which means an embryo

In the agreed stated definitions is a link to the definition of embryo, "the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception"
You are not a human just because God knows beforehand everything that the future holds.

We know that "book" cannot refer to the Book of Life. That book is reserved for the names of the people who will make it to heaven (i.e. Revelations 20:15). This says that he wrote "all of the days ordained for me" in the "book." Therefore, how can it refer to a book that is reserved only for names?
I'm open to suggestions.  I showed you that it was the same Hebrew word, "sepher," for Book used in Psalm 69:28 for "Book of Life" that was used for "Your Book" in Psalm 139:16.  Here's one of the sources I used that shows verses dealing with the Book of Life.
It could simply be a book of knowledge for the future. But what it refers to doesn't really matter. If it isn't the Book of Life, then my opponent's argument about that doesn't apply.

Yes and what else comes with the kidneys?  A heart and a brain and a liver of what?  A human being!  God is forming a human being in the mother's womb. and if it is growing, then it must be living.  This is really is not a hard concept.
That is by our standards. We already know that the fetus has a heart, brain, and liver. That still fails to show that the Bible sees that fetus as a human being with the same rights as everyone else.

No. We already know that it is an unborn child, that's already been established. That still doesn't show that the scripture considers it to be a human being. Children can be spirits.
Thank you for confirming it is an unborn child.
As I said, children can be spirits, and we know (as established in previous rounds) that we are spirit beings.

But it's not a Spirit it's a "Baby".  My opponent loves to read things into the text that are not there.  I would ask him to read the verse again, Luke 1:44, "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy."  My friends this is baby, pure and simple.
At best, this scripture establishes that, at a certain stage, a fetus becomes a human. However, that is hardly conclusive and certainly not enough to win the resolution.

Conclusion

At best, my opponent has made a very ambiguous case for abortion being outlawed in the Bible. At worst, the evidence has been inconclusive. Regardless, neither is enough to win the resolution for Pro if Pro's burden was not sufficiently met. Please vote Con.
Published:
Waiving...
Added:
--> @Ramshutu
Thanks for your vote.
Contender
#16
Added:
--> @sigmaphil
Same here!
Instigator
#15
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Thanks, friend. I look forward to our next debate!
Contender
#14
Added:
--> @Ragnar
Yeah, my first argument I did in Word docx and then converted to Google docs. But the last few in the debate I did directly in the DebateArt Publish editor.
Thanks for your help!
Contender
#13
Added:
--> @sigmaphil
I've had good luck with all formatting from google docs transferring over (except those highlighted indented "quotes"). Mixed results with word. But glad to know everything except hyperlinks will transfer from word to docs to debateart.
#12
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Okay I published my First argument. I would appreciate any advice if I make a mistake in my structure or wording as I am new to this. Thanks for the opportunity to challenge you on this debate. I look forward to your reponse.
Contender
#11
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Well I finished my First argument which I did in Windows Docx format. I then uploaded it to Google Drive and converted it to a Google Docs file. It looks good and has all the Hyperlink formats working, but when I go to copy and past in the Publish section of the Debate the Hyperlink formats do not carry over, so it looks like I will need to redo all the hyperlink formats, which I used for verse links and definition links. Ugh! Do you have any suggestion? Is there a better way?
Contender
#10
Added:
--> @BrotherDThomas
Well I'm going to do my best! :-)
Thanks for your kind words.
Contender
#9
Added:
.
sigmaphil,
As a TRUE Christian, it would be hard to posit that our Judeo-Christian bible would outlaw any type of abortion because of the examples that it has given us where abortions were done, and at times they were brutally accomplished. I am probably preaching to the choir, whereas our bible is hardly pro-life to innocent zygotes, fetus,' and babies.
May Jesus be with you in this debate, praise!
.
#8
Added:
--> @sigmaphil
No rush!
Instigator
#7
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Bear with me friend I am working on the structure of my points along with the sources to support that structure. I'm hoping to finalize the first argument by noon tomorrow (Nashville, TN CST time)
Contender
#6
Added:
--> @Ragnar
Thanks!
Contender
#5
Added:
--> @sigmaphil
A resource you may find useful: https://tiny.cc/DebateArt
#4
Added:
--> @sigmaphil
Of course!
Instigator
#3
Added:
--> @Speedrace
Okay got it! Will publish the First argument as soon as possible. Thanks!
Contender
#2
#1
Criterion Con Tie Pro Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Reason:
The main point of contention is whether the Bible considers a fetus alive. Both sides appear to accept the validity of the majority of pros arguments, specifically that murder and the killing of innocents is outlawed; and it’s really whether the Bible treats the fetus this way that is important to the debate.
The main arguments pro makes to support this side is a variety of verses related to talking about being in the womb. This seems a fairly intuitive argument.
Con didn’t do a great job of refuting this. While I could notionally buy the idea that the bible is talking figuratively, con doesn’t really justify this too well; it does enough to muddy the waters, but not to overturn pros R1.
Con does much better, with a much more specific example where the law is used to show death of a child in the womb is treated as destruction of property in terms of punishment; if this is true it would basically bypass pros entire argument. So I would weight it strongly.
My issue with it, is that it appears to require the assumption the verse is talking about the mother solely : pro has this same issue and challenges the interpretation too.
Following on from this, pro mostly rejects the more spiritual and poetic interpretation of life in the womb, as con muddied the water, rather than refuted by his position pros response is okay - but I would have preferred a more direct rebuttal of cons contention in these points as opposed to more of a reaffirmation of the original position.
The next round con does much better - explicitly tying the bible verse, and the unharmed section to reference miscarriage. This is a major point, and pushes the bible into specifically referencing that the punishment for inducing a death of an unborn child is not a life for a life.
Con does something that is imo absurd: he drops the biggest and best argument he made. Con could have continued pushing this point and I would have probably bought it! But now I am forced to reject this as an argument. As pro used this argument to bolster his position too; that counts in his favour too.
From this I can render a verdict.
I didn’t spend too much time summarizing the remainder of the arguments other than in my opening as they appear to be largely talking across one another. Pro is taking verses talking about Gods interest and care for the unborn as literal, Con as figurative. While pros position does muddy the water; by offering a potential figurative alternative, I don’t think pro did enough to show these interpretations were all specifically figurative.
Given these, I have to come down on the side of pro on these points. I don’t feel pro must find some specific passage to claim the unborn are treated as humans - though he does use cons passage to this effect; imo he merely has to chose the Bible implies it, which he did with the multiple references to the womb.
As a result, arguments to pro.