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Topic

Does The Bible Outlaw Abortion?

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With 1 vote and 4 points ahead, the winner is ...

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Religion
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I will be waiving the first round because my opponent is making the positive claim. They will waive the last round. Sentencing people to hell in any of the arguments is not allowed. *cough cough*

Round 1
Con
Waiving.
Pro
INTRO: WHAT I AM ARGUING FOR/ WHAT I AM NOT ARGUING FOR

So full disclosure I'm an atheist.  I personally believe the bible is contradictory in nature and is an erroneous book written by primitive men for primitive men to govern other primitive men during more primitive times.  HOWEVER, the bible's flaw of being open for many different interpretations will actually be its greatest strength in proving that it does outlaw abortion within its text and scripture.  WHAT I AM arguing is that someone could make a valid interpretation that the bible outlaws abortion, WHAT I AM NOT arguing is that someone couldn't also make at the very least a plausible case for the Bible endorsing some variant of abortion because it is, after all, a contradictory book with many different interpretations.  If I'm afforded to use a sports analogy...just because a Quarterback runs the ball sometimes, that doesn't necessarily mean his primary purpose isn't to throw the ball.  Much like the Bible, simply because some passages could be interpreted that the bible endorses some variant of abortions, that doesn't mean it doesn't predominately hold the position of outlawing abortion and I believe that positions overall fits in with the will of the all too capricious Yahweh.   


DEFINING TERMS

1. First, let's define what an abortion is.

Abortion - The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.
 2. Let's also define outlaw.

Outlaw - Ban or make illegal
3. Lastly, let's define the word bible.

Bible - The sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament
So using these clearly define terms I'll demonstrate how the sacred Christian's scripture forbids the termination of a human pregnancy.


WHEN LIFE STARTS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE

In order to have a deliberate termination of something, we must figure what that something is as defined by the Bible.  According to Jeremiah 1:4-5 it says

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘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’”. Jeremiah 1:4-5 
So not only does Yahweh know you before you’re born, but this verse also demonstrates that before you’re even born Yahweh gives you a unique purpose to fulfill.  So technically if we’re going off the Bible literal interpretation in this passage, a Christian could legitimately make the case that according to the Bible, your life actually starts before conception, and God creates all life before conception with purpose.  To illustrate this further we can look at popular figures in the bible like Jesus as well.  According to the Bible, Jesus was Yahweh's only begotten son in Heaven who was sent down to earth and born of the Virgin Mary.  So I think it’s pretty evident that Yahweh thinks the manufacturing happens in heaven and the assembly happens in the womb.  So within the religious text, one can make the assertion strictly off of the text that LIFE and PURPOSE happens way before someone conceives their child.


HOW THE BIBLE FORBIDS KILLING

So now that we know where life begins according to the Bible, let’s see what the bible says about ending life.  We all, of course, are familiar with the 6th commandment…thou shall not kill. 

Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13
Most people of the Abrahamic faiths adhere to this commandment, and Christians in particular usually make the distinction that the 10 commandments supersede the other Mosaic laws found in Leviticus.  So a Christian without question could make the case that “refraining from killing” is a fundamental tenet within their faith to uphold, and since life happens before the womb according to Yahweh himself…I think it’s more than evident that the bible predominately holds the position that what we would describe as an abortion goes against Yahweh’s will and as a result is forbidden.


HOW THE BIBLE SPECIFICALLY FORBIDS THE KILLING OF THE UNBORN

In addition to that, I would also like to highlight some verses that go even further in making the distinction of Yahweh’s position on not only killing in general but that of the unborn as well.

If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman's husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." –Exodus 21:22-25
So in these scriptures, God clearly demonstrates his position on not only killing the unborn but also that of harming the unborn.  What’s important to note is that in each instance the mother’s condition has no effect on the severity of the punishment…THE UNBORN CHILD’S CONDITION HOWEVER DOES.  If the child is harmed in the event that the mother was caused to give birth prematurely the guilty party is pretty much as good as dead.  I would also like to point out that even in the event that the child isn’t harmed…the guilty party is still at the father’s discretion to be punished.  So if bumping into a woman unintentionally during a fight is enough to get you killed according to the Bible, performing an abortion by today’s standards is punishable by death according to the Bible.  I also want to demonstrate that the bible says LIFE FOR A LIFE in this passage…so this is more evidence that the bible considers the life of the unborn on par with a full grown man outside the womb.


2 LAYERS OF PROTECTION FOR THE UNBORN 

So, on both the micro and macro level, the Bible clearly states abortion is outlawed.  On the larger scale, the 6th commandment clearly forbids killing and based upon Yahweh believing life starts before you’re even born, it would be valid for someone to say the Bible applies this to the unborn as well.  Based upon the biblical text Yahweh will never consider Jesus, Jacob, or any other human-made within his image as anything but a life he made with purpose…so it’ll be extremely hard to make the case that the biblical text supports anything but that.  Also on a more specific case, the Bible also illustrates that there are consequences for harming or killing the unborn.


ABORTION OR TEST TO FIND UNHOLY BASTARDS?

So in conclusion, without a shadow of a doubt…it would be valid if someone interprets that the bible predominately holds the position that abortion is outlawed because it holds the position that killing is forbidden and that forbidden act has no exemption for the unborn because they are considered alive according to the bible.   It’s plausible for my opponent to use Number 5:11-31 in which a priest administers some concoction to a pregnant woman to drink if it is suspected she has been unfaithful.  

 If she has made herself impure and been unfaithful to her husband, this will be the result: When she is made to drink the water that brings a curse and causes bitter suffering, it will enter her, her abdomen will swell and her womb will miscarry, and she will become a curse. If, however, the woman has not made herself impure, but is clean, she will be cleared of guilt and will be able to have children.  Numbers 5:27-28
In my opinion this passage would count as an abortion by modern standards from a purely secular interpretation, however, when you read the entire passage this reads more as a “how to guide to prove your wife has been cheating on you and not carrying your child”, and not a “how to kill your baby instruction manual”.  If it was purely an abortion guide, a criterion upon which the baby survives or doesn’t survive wouldn’t be necessary.  It simply would just be, administer this nasty ass drink to kill your cheating wife’s bastard child..the end.  But seeing how children are to only be born into wedlock, and all children are to be considered a blessing sent by Yahweh in these holy unions of marriage, it’s not really a departure for Yahweh to not want a child born out wedlock to live since all children born out of wedlock can’t enter into the kingdom of heaven let alone a church.  From a pragmatic standpoint, children born out of wedlock and their 10 generations descending from them are condemned to go to hell anyway, so based upon the biblical text…bastards are already dead to Yahweh.  FOR THE RECORD, these aren’t my beliefs…just my literal interpretation of the bible.  So even in a passage where Yahweh is somewhat condoning an abortion, it more of a means of revealing “unholy bastards”, than it is a way to kill children of god that he considers alive before conception born into wedlock.  

That concludes my opening argument.  I look forward to reading your rebuttal.


Round 2
Con
To voters, my only job and burden of proof is to prove my opponent's arguments to be insufficient in proving the resolution to be true. I have no positive claim, so I will only be rebutting my opponent's arguments.

I agree with all definitions.

When Life Starts According To The Bible

I do not agree with the view that life begins before conception. My opponent specifically used Jeremiah 1:4-5. The problem with this is that the question is one of an individual. However, God is omniscient (Psalms 147:4-5), and he knows everyone. This does not specifically address when God sees them as a living human being. I instead propose Genesis 2:7 as evidence of when life begins according to the Bible:

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." (KJV)

This can also be seen in passages such as Job 33:4 as well as Ezekial 37:5,6.

According to these, man became a living soul when he breathed. Obviously, for a baby, this would be when they are born. This could also technically be stretched to a few weeks before they are born but would be able to breathe if born at that time, but I won't do that for the purpose of simplicity.

Killing

I do not contest that the Bible outlaws killing. That's simply a fact. However, this only applies to unborn fetuses if unborn fetuses are recognized as humans. As I have just shown, they are not, so this does not apply.

How The Bible Forbids Abortion (my response)

My opponent cites Exodus 21:22-25 as proof of his point. The problem with this is that that law says nothing of the sort. I will break it down into its parts using the NIV version.

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. This was not contested by my opponent. 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.

Numbers 5:21

I just wanted to address the last passage my opponent gave. The KJV version says "And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people."

This does not mention miscarriage at all. That was added by later translators. Because it doesn't mention miscarriage, I'm ignoring this as it doesn't pertain to this debate.
Pro
Forfeited
Round 3
Con
All arguments extended.
Pro
MY OPPONENTS DISPLAYING LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IN INTERPRETING THE BIBLICAL TEXT

My opponent's main point of contention of when the Bible says someone is alive is that Jeremiah 1:4-5 only pertain to only one person.  What my opponent is misleading you about is that the 3 examples that he/she is choosing from also only pertains to ONE PERSON when reading in its proper context (hence why he/she didn’t cite them).

2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

In this verse, it’s describing how Yahweh made Adam.  Adam being referred to as “man” can be misleading,  but the reason Adam is referred to as “man” is because in verses prior to this Yahweh is naming all the other supposed “species” he was making in sequential order.  So although Yahweh claims that he made “beasts” on days prior, there isn’t exactly going to be a zebra with the first of name Dillon mentioned.  The only beings created at this point and time with names were Adam and Eve.  At this current point in the story, Eve wasn’t made yet…so “man” literally only referred to Adam.  Adam = Man and Man = Adam.  FURTHERMORE, if we’re going by my opponent's explanation of when life begins…EVE AND LITERALLY EVERY OTHER WOMAN ISN’T ALIVE EITHER, because “woman” or women never got the breath of life breathed into their nostrils like their counterparts.

2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

So my opponent is left with only 2 options in my opinion.  

Option 1: He can either concede that all the descendants of Adam, and Eve when she got her rib from Adam, inherited the initial breathe of life that God gave Adam via Adam. 

OR

Option 2: Eve was never alive, and all women alive today aren’t alive because the Bible says “women” never receive the breath of life when they’re made.

Source: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/gen/2.html


Moving onto the Job 33:4, once again…this verse only refers to one person.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

In this passage, Elihu is talking to Job and pretty much trying to teach him to recognize his suffering as a charitable discipline leading to reconciliation with God for LITERALLY TAKING EVERYTHING FROM HIM.  Funny enough in this passage, Elihu is kind of telling Job not to be such a crybaby.  While Job’s life is in complete shambles and Job is rightfully getting upset, Elihu is like “ stop being a little b***h, God made me and gave me the breath of life…whether you’re suffering or living good like me, all the glory to God.”  So really when you read this in it’s proper context Elihu is talking about how Yahweh made him in heaven and gave him the breath of life in a similar fashion to how Yahweh said it to Jeremiah.  So really this just illustrates Jeremiah, Elihu, and Job all have an independent consensus that Yahweh made them.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elihu_(Job)    


Ezekial 37:5,6 For this passage, Ezekiel is having a vision of God pretty much telling him how to reanimate a bunch of dry bones.  It’s a pretty neat magic trick because he got a bunch of dry bones to form back into complete humans again with flesh and muscles.  Now although these zombies look human again, they’re not moving due to them not having the divine breath of life in them.  In this passage, these dry bones turn human again AREN’T ALIVE…they’re just animated zombies.  FURTHERMORE, this is just a dream.  I’m not sure why opponent is using this passage unless my opponent wants to make the argument that the Bible thinks predominately that the unborn and all mankind are reanimated zombies in a bat shit crazy dream.

Source: https://www.shmoop.com/book-of-ezekiel/chapter-37-summary.html 


So now that you have the full context of these passages, not only can you see my opponent fundamentally doesn’t understand Bible that he’s incorrectly citing out of context, he's also doing his argument a disservice by corroborating my earlier claim that the Bible displays on more than one occasions that life begins before  conception.  


MY OPPONENT DEMONSTRATING THEIR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IN SCRIPTURE INTERPRETATION AND HUMAN DEVELOPMENT DURING PREGNANCY

Obviously, for a baby, this would be when they are born. This could also technically be stretched to a few weeks before they are born but would be able to breathe if born at that time, but I won't do that for the purpose of simplicity.

Here my opponent is demonstrating his lack of knowledge in scripture and gestational development.  Let’s attack this in 2 different ways.

1.  The Bible isn’t referring to breath in the colloquial sense most people refer to their respiratory function as.  Breath of life refers to what primitive people thought was the source of their body being animated.  In the Bible “breath” is more comparable to how Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) drives the many processes in living cells…than just simply the act of inhaling and exhaling.  So pretty much anything that “moves” according to the Bible has the “breath of life in it”.  Seeing how fetus can have a heartbeat at the earliest of 6 weeks, it’s not out of the question to think this applies to the unborn as well.

2. Within the womb, the unborn don’t breathe air, but they start fetal breathing movements at around the 8th to 10th week within the womb.

FBMs not only serve as pre-birth breathing practice for the baby but also stimulate normal lung growth and development. Early in pregnancy, FBMs consist primarily of chest and abdominal wall movements. As the lungs develop in later pregnancy, FBMs more closely mimic breathing as the baby inhales and exhales amniotic fluid.

My opponent seems to be applying the supernatural to the natural, and the natural to the supernatural when it’s convenient.  The Bible is a book depicting the supernatural, to think that the breath of life is simply referring to respiratory function, is to also assume all men alive today were fashioned in the same strange way Adam and Eve were.  Also, even if my opponent wants to approach this naturally…the unborn do breathe oxygen in the womb, so even under that circumstance the unborn still fit my opponent's narrow criteria.


REFUTING MY OPPONENTS POSITIONS THAT BIBLE DOESN'T CONSIDERS THE UNBORN ALIVE

I do not contest that the Bible outlaws killing. That's simply a fact. However, this only applies to unborn fetuses if unborn fetuses are recognized as humans. As I have just shown, they are not, so this does not apply.
Notice that the arguments that my opponent gave in the last round did not refute the Bible's overall view that life starts before conception.  It’s a wide held belief in many sects of Christianity that a child is a "blessing" from God.  It might sound foreign to us, but many within the faith view infertility as an instance in which God isn’t blessing you with a child…and not as a circumstance of a biological condition.  Evidence of this can be found in the story of Abraham and Sarah.  Here’s a quick synopsis of what took place.

In Genesis 17 when Abram was ninety-nine years old, God declared his new name: "Abraham" – "a father of many nations", and gave him the covenant of circumcision. God gave Sarai the new name "Sarah", and blessed her.[15] Abraham was given assurance that Sarah would have a son. Not long afterwards, Abraham and Sarah were visited by three men. One of the visitors told Abraham that upon his return next year, Sarah would have a son. While at the tent entrance, Sarah overheard what was said, and she laughed to herself about the prospect of having a child at their ages. The visitor inquired of Abraham why Sarah laughed at the idea of bearing a child, for her age was as nothing to God. Sarah soon became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham, at the very time which had been spoken. The patriarch, then a hundred years old, named the child "Isaac" (Hebrew yitschaq, "laughter") and circumcised him when he was eight days old.[16] For Sarah, the thought of giving birth and nursing a child, at such an old age, also brought her much laughter, as she declared, "God had made me to laugh, [so that] all that hear will laugh with me."[17] Abraham held a great feast on the day when Isaac was to be weaned. It was during this banquet that Sarah happened upon the then teenaged Ishmael mocking[18] and was so disturbed that she requested that both he and Hagar be removed from their company.[19] Abraham was initially distressed by this but relented when told by God to do as his wife had asked.[20]

Sarah, also spelled Sarai, in the Old Testament, wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac. Sarah was childless until she was 90 years old. God promised Abraham that she would be “a mother of nations” (Genesis 17:16) and that she would conceive and bear a son, but Sarah did not believe. Isaac, born to Sarah and Abraham in their old age, was the fulfillment of God’s promise to them. The barrenness of Sarah, cited in the preface (Genesis 11:30), stands in tension with the central theme of the Abraham saga, the promise that God will make him the founder of a mighty nation. With respect to the fulfillment of the promise, Sarah embodies the themes of fear and doubt, Abraham those of faith and hope. Her doubt drives Sarah to devise her own way of realizing the promise—she gives Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, so that Hagar might bear a child for them. When the promise is repeated, Sarah expresses her doubt in sarcastic laughter (Genesis 18:12). And when the promise is kept, Sarah, overcome by joy, still implies her doubt had been reasonable (Genesis 21:6–7). Her tomb at Hebron(Genesis 23) was a sign of Abraham’s faith that God’s promise of the land would also be kept.

So at the age of 90 years old, were even by biblical standards Sarah was way passed maternal age, God “blessed” Sarah with a child which denotes my previous point that the bible is of the standpoint that your existence is as valid an angel sent to do the Lord's bidding or the human he's choosing to “bless” with a child.

MY OPPONENT DISPLAYING AGAIN THEIR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IN BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE

My opponent cites Exodus 21:22-25 as proof of his point. The problem with this is that that law says nothing of the sort. I will break it down into its parts using the NIV version. 
For some reason, my opponent is under the impression that simply cherry-picking a verse from the least well-received translation of the Bible somehow proves his point.  The NIV translation is the least reliable in conveying the original context of the source text.  Here’s a brief synopsis surrounding the inaccuracy of the NIV

The people responsible for translating and publishing the NIV have just released an updated version that is commonly referred to as the NIV 2011. The translation that has been used for the past 27 years is now being called the NIV 1984, but will no longer be published. In fact, as soon as this new NIV 2011 became available earlier this year, Zondervan (its publisher) began removing the NIV 1984 edition from bookstore shelves. The new NIV 2011 is now being marketed simply as the NIV. That means if you go into a bookstore today to buy an NIV Bible, you will be purchasing an NIV 2011, without any indication on the box that it is an updated NIV.

This new NIV 2011 has not been well received by many evangelical scholars, including Southern Baptists. This controversy comes on the heels of a 2005 update, called Today’s NIV (TNIV), which was so strongly condemned that Zondervan stopped publishing it in the USA.

[...]

Critics point out that by using gender-inclusive language, the 2011 update makes that verse less personal. Also, the modern English usage of the singular “they” can be misleading. Of even greater concern is how the NIV 2011 fails to translate the Hebrew and Greek words literally, as the NIV 1984 did, and as most major translations do. Some critics have also expressed concern that the translators of the NIV 2011 appear to have been too concerned about being “politically correct” at the expense of translation accuracy.   http://www.fbcpickens.org/why-im-switching-to-the-esv/
Also in regards to my opponent thinking that verse in its original context refers to the woman only please allow me to bring up the verse in its correct context based upon what was written in it’s original Hebrew/Greek text.

Status of mother and fetus
My analysis of available English language reference works indicates that most commentators see Exodus 21:22 as dealing with a miscarried fetus, a stillborn child. From the 1844 commentary of Thomas Scott 3 through the 1986 work of Everett Fox,4 dozens of biblical scholars have held this view. Most suggest that the passage reveals three facts: the miscarriage results from an injury incurred; the offender should pay a fine to compensate for the loss of the fetus; and only if the woman herself suffers serious, permanent injury or death does the lex talionis (the law of retribution) apply.

Assuming that only a fine is required as compensation for the loss of the child, two Roman Catholic commentaries5 conclude: "The fetus is not regarded as a person, but if the woman dies the lex talionis is applied." 6 Paul D. Simmons, a Protestant, says: "The woman has full standing as a person under the covenant, the fetus has only a relative standing, certainly inferior to that of the woman." 7 This view is not merely a modern notion.

David M. Feldman in his Birth Control in Jewish Law argues that, based on this passage, the ancient Talmudic commentators clearly distinguished between the miscarriage of a fetus and the death of its mother.8 Even though at birth a child is considered to be a living soul, if it dies during the first 30 days no funeral services are held because the infant is not considered to have existed.9

Analysis of the traditional perspective
This "miscarried fetus" interpretation has both strengths and weaknesses that deserve critical analysis. To begin, we will examine the strengths. First, as Jack W. Cottrell confirms, most translations favor this interpretation. 10 Second, this has been the dominant view of commentators and theologians. And third, the Jewish Talmudic commentators have from ancient times uniformly understood the passage as referring to a miscarriage.

The case for the miscarried fetus may seem strong, but serious doubts are raised by the opposing viewpoint:
Translations of the Bible. Is it always safe to concur with the majority of translations? Consider Luke 23:43, regarding Christ's statement on the cross to the repentant thief. Of the 63 English Bible translations investigated, 58 are in harmony with the Revised Standard Version: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." By placing the comma before the word "today," an over whelming 92 percent of translators imply that Jesus and the thief went to Paradise the day of their death. Many see this text as proof that humankind has an immortal soul. In reality, however, punctuation marks were added to the Greek text in the ninth century A.D. Thus Seventh-day Adventists and others, demonstrating that the rest of Scripture indicates that humans do not possess immortal souls, have shown that the comma should be placed after "today" even though only 3 out of 63 Bibles have it so. Thus a majority opinion is not necessarily valid.

Bible commentators and theologians. The second argument in favor of the miscarried fetus theory is the support of the majority of commentators and scholars. However, a careful check of English language commentaries reveals that almost all of them base their observations on English translations rather than on the original biblical languages. More than half of these reference works use the Revised Standard Version, which translates the text as a miscarriage, and the King James Version, which because of its imprecise rendition is sometimes interpreted to make it support the miscarried fetus theory. Because these commentaries for the most part are based on English Bible translations, it seems unwise to unquestioningly accept their view, even though it represents a majority position.

Interpretation of Talmudic commentators. The third argument, based on the uniform interpretation of Talmudic commentators, is undermined by the realization that even though the Jewish law taught that a fetus becomes a living soul at birth, it also stated that the infant is not considered to have lived at all up to 30 days after birth.

Since few if any Christians would support the Talmud's teaching about life after birth, why should we endorse its position on life before birth? Exegetical shortcomings. There are other problems with the miscarried fetus theory. Without exception, of the dozens of scholars who favor it, not one has provided any significant exegesis of the Hebrew text of Exodus 21. None of the 33 commentaries supporting this position do any etymological, contextual, or comparative study of the most crucial words in this text the nouns yeled and ason, and the verb yatsa. Six commentaries actually change the wording of the He brew text to artificially reinforce the miscarried fetus view.

Law codes of the ancient Near East. Eleven of these reference works apparently base their interpretation partly on a comparison with other contemporary lo cal laws. Laws dealing with miscarriages were found in most Mesopotamian legal collections, such as the Sumerian Laws 1, 2; the Code of Hammurabi 209-214; the Middle Assyrian Laws A 21, 50-52; and the Hittite Law Code 17, 18. For ex ample, the Code of Hammurabi specified that if someone struck someone else's daughter and "caused her to have a miscarriage, he shall pay ten shekels of silver for her fetus. If that woman has died, they shall put his daughter to death." 11
While most of these law codes required only a fine for the destruction of the fetus, at least two Middle Assyrian laws apparently treated the fetus as fully human. One of these laws stated that if even a prostitute were caused to have a miscarriage, "he shall compensate with a life." 12 These regulations that differed from the majority of the legal codes cast doubt upon the wisdom of basing our interpretation of Scripture on a comparison with other local laws. While ancient codes should not be ignored, it is safer to compare scripture with scripture than to depend on extrabiblical sources. This is especially true in connection with the passage being studied, because this entire legal section, Exodus 20:22-23:33, was spoken directly by God to Moses.

Words inserted into English translations. Yet another flaw becomes evident when we realize that almost all the translations that support the miscarried fetus view insert words that are neither present nor implied in the original Hebrew text. For example, The Bible in Basic English says: "If men, while fighting, do damage to a woman with child, causing the loss of the child, but no other evil comes to her, the man will have to make payment up to the amount fixed by her husband, in agreement with the decision of the judges. But if damage comes to her, let life be given in payment for life" (Ex. 21:2223).

This translation, apparently assuming that the fetus was miscarried, inserts the words "to her," implying that the word "evil" or "harm" (Hebrew ason) refers to the mother and not to the fetus. However, a closer look at the Hebrew original reveals two problems: first, that the words "to her" (lah in Hebrew) are not in the text; and second, that the position of the word "evil" in the sentence structure compels us to relate it to either the fetus only or to both the fetus and its mother.

Besides the unwarranted insertion of the words "she," "herself," or "to her" by several translations, 16 of them add the words "other," "further," or "otherwise" in front of the word "harm" in verses 22 and 23. This implies that some harm already has been done, namely the alleged miscarriage, which is then judged to be relatively insignificant because it draws only a fine. The original text for bids such translation, indicating that even though the offspring comes out as the result of a blow to the woman's body, both baby and mother are alive and well.

Only in verse 23 is the possibility of harm introduced. It reads literally, "and if harm occurs." The text does not say that this is "further" harm or that it applies only to the mother. Rather, it makes absolutely no distinction between offspring and mother, thus applying the life-for-life legislation to both.

When one analyzes the evidence, it seems reasonable to conclude with Jack Cottrell that "there is absolutely no linguistic justification for translating verse 22 to refer to a miscarriage." 13

Legal standing of the fetus
Although only seven of the reference works I reviewed support the view that Exodus 21:22deals with a premature birth,14 this concept has been held for centuries from the sixteenth-century Reformer John Calvin to the 1987 work of John Durham. There is a basic consensus of opinion regarding four facts: that as a result of being struck, the pregnant woman gives birth to a live premature baby; that in verse 22 neither injury nor death happens to either the woman or the fetus; that the fine is levied for the hurt and trauma associated with the premature birth itself; that according to verse 23 if either mother or fetus suffers injury or death, the principle of life for life applies equally.

Of the seven commentators who con cur with this position, only John Calvin explicitly verbalizes the natural conclusion that "the foetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being."15 And of the 20 books and articles I investigated that emphasize ethics, 17 go beyond acknowledging that ason (harm) refers to both mother and child, concluding that the fetus is actually on a par with the mother. Among them, Brace K. Waltke states: "The fetus is human and therefore to be accorded the same protection to life granted every other human being. Indeed feticide is murder, an attack against a fellow man who owes his life to God, and a violation of the commandment, 'You shall not kill' " (Ex. 20:13, RSV).16

Exegesis of the Hebrew text
Most writers who support the premature birth concept offer a thorough exegesis of Exodus 21. They pay the most attention to the Hebrew words yeled, yatsa, and ason. 17

The noun yeled. Gesenius' well-respected Hebrew lexicon says that yeled means "child, son, boy, youth." 18 No distinction is made between an unborn child and a child after birth in the Pentateuch or in the entire Old Testament.19 Furthermore, yeled is not the usual Hebrew noun for the product of a miscarriage, but rather, nephel, meaning "one untimely born" (see Job 3:16Ps. 58:8Eccl. 6:3).20

The verb yatsa. According to the Hebrew dictionary, its basic meaning is to "go or come out." 21 The Hebrew Bible consistently bears out this meaning. The word yatsa when used alone to describe human reproduction usually refers to a normal birth (see Gen. 25:252638:27- 30Jer. 1:520:18). Whenever yatsa refers to a stillbirth, it is always accompanied by some form of muth (to die), as in Numbers 12:12 and Job 3:11. Because yatsa appears without any form of muth in Exodus 21:22, we must conclude that the passage indicates a live birth.

Further evidence is that the Old Testament verb normally used for miscarriage, or spontaneous abortion, is not yatsa but shakol.22 Indeed, Moses used shakol to describe miscarriage in a later passage (see Ex. 23:26). Because he used yatsa in Exodus 21, we infer that he was referring to a live birth.
The noun ason. Lexicographers translate ason as anything from "hurt, damage, mischance" 23to "mortal accident." 24 Outside of the two times ason is mentioned in Exodus 21, it occurs only three more times in the Old Testament all in connection with the story of Joseph. There it refers to a mishap befalling one's off spring, causing an apparently permanent separation between parent and child.

To whom does ason apply in the passage we are considering? The text mentions a woman being struck so that her offspring comes out "and no ason occurs." The Hebrew expression lah(to her) which would restrict the harm to the woman as opposed to the child is absent in the text. Most scholars who offer an exegesis of this passage suggest that ason refers to both mother and child.25 Others, apparently because ason follows directly upon "her children come out," conclude that harm originally referred exclusively to the offspring.26 But whether asonrefers to only the offspring or to both offspring and mother, there is no doubt that our passage grants to the fetus the status of full humanity.

So Exodus 21:22 does not concern an induced abortion or a miscarriage. Furthermore, there is absolutely no distinction between mother and fetus: both have equal status according to the law. As Meredith Kline puts it: "The life-for-life formula is applied to the destruction of a 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." 27

Analysis of the textual perspective
The premature birth interpretation of Exodus 21:22 finds strength in the fact that most scholars who support it provide a careful exegesis of the original Hebrew text. These sources also interpret the text essentially as it stands, without adding or changing any words. Moreover, this interpretation appears to be most consistent with the overall biblical concept of the sanctity of life.

This perspective, however, is not without difficulties. Basically, two problems still need resolution. First, we must admit that the plural of the word yeled (child) has been interpreted in different ways, either as a generic plural or as an indefinite singular. Second, there is no consensus about the precise definition of ason. Some say it means merely harm or injury, others that it can refer to serious injury as well as a fatal accident. The context seems to imply that it means a mishap that results in permanent separation of parent and fetus.

Even though views may vary as to the meaning of certain terms, not one of the interpretations suggested here conflicts with the position that Exodus 21:22-25 treats the fetus as equal in value to the mother.

Summary and conclusions
A textual analysis of our passage suggests that it discusses a live premature birth for which a fine is to be paid. If harm or death comes to either mother or fetus, the lex talionis is to be invoked. Because the fetus is regarded on a par with its mother, this passage protects the sanctity of life for the unborn and gives no support whatever for the practice of abortion.

https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/1992/09/the-fetus-in-biblical-law

BIBLICAL VERSES THAT FURTHER BACK UP MY POSITION
Now that the majority of my opponent's argument is refuted, I would like to highlight some more passages that highlight the Bible's predominant position on abortion by linking to this page that goes over all the verses that pertain to the Bible's position on life and abortion.

IF YOU CAN'T A TATTOO OR PIERCING, WHAT MAKE YOU THINK YOU CAN GET AN ABORTION?
Also if my opponent is of the school of thought that the fetus isn’t “alive” and is ultimately just an extension of the mother’s body…the Bible STILL PROHIBITS abortion based upon that basis alone.  Based upon Leviticus 19:28 it says:

ESV
You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the LORD.

NLV
Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the LORD. 

NIV
Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.
https://biblehub.com/leviticus/19-28.htm
Christians often refer to this when citing the Bible's position on getting a tattoo or piercing.  If you consider the unborn as apart of the woman’s body and not it’s own separate life, the mother still isn’t prohibited to have an abortion even under those terms.  If you’re familiar with the procedure of an abortion, it will be impossible to make the case that an abortion in which a fetus literally gets dismembered and skull crushed is somehow a milder version of desecration to your body in comparison to getting a tattoo or piercing your ears.  If the Bible thinks getting a tattoo or piercings destroys your temple, I don’t know why my opponent would think the Bible somehow permits the act of abortion on individuals Yahweh considers handcrafted blessing made in his image that he gives to his creations.

Round 4
Con
Jeremiah 1:4-5 vs Genesis 2:7

“The word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘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’”

My opponent misunderstood my argument about these scriptures. I didn't say that they aren't valid because they refer to one individual. I was saying that, because God is omniscient, he automatically knows everyone before they are born, or literally before anyone else knows they will exist. However, that is not proof that everyone is believed to be a human being before they are born, it simply shows God's omniscience. 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.

I chose Genesis 2:7 as the verse showing when a person is shown to be "living" in the human sense of the word that we know. It literally says "and man became a living soul." I didn't choose it because I thought it referred to man as a species; I was quite aware of the fact that it was talking about Adam.

My opponent tries to refute this by saying that God never said he breathed life into Eve, so therefore all women aren't living. To counter that, the Bible never says God breathed the breath of life into me or into my opponent or even into biblical characters such as David, who was very much alive. It does not have to explicitly say that for everyone; we can infer.

My opponent's evaluation of Job 33 doesn't take away from the fact that it says that "breath" gives him "life."

Furthermore, my opponent proves my point when he discusses Ezekial 37:5,6. He says "Now although these zombies look human again, they’re not moving due to them not having the divine breath of life in them." 

So I think it's fair to conclude that the Bible says that a person lives when they have breathed. I will include a list of scriptures saying that here.

Genesis 2:7: "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Genesis 7:22: "Everything on the dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died."

Job 33:4: "The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life."

Ezekiel 37:5-6: "Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord."

Ezekiel 37:10: "So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army."

The Bible isn’t referring to breath in the colloquial sense most people refer to their respiratory function as.  Breath of life refers to what primitive people thought was the source of their body being animated.  In the Bible “breath” is more comparable to how Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) drives the many processes in living cells…than just simply the act of inhaling and exhaling.  So pretty much anything that “moves” according to the Bible has the “breath of life in it”.  Seeing how fetus can have a heartbeat at the earliest of 6 weeks, it’s not out of the question to think this applies to the unborn as well.
This is completely unsupported by any evidence. While the breath of life does refer to a supernatural process, there's a reason it's called the "breath" of life and not the "blink" of life or the "heartbeat" of life. Simply put, a person starts breathing when they receive it. This is depicted in all of the scriptures I provided above.

Within the womb, the unborn don’t breathe air, but they start fetal breathing movements at around the 8th to 10th week within the womb.
I never claimed that the unborn breathe air.

My opponent seems to be applying the supernatural to the natural, and the natural to the supernatural when it’s convenient.  The Bible is a book depicting the supernatural, to think that the breath of life is simply referring to respiratory function, is to also assume all men alive today were fashioned in the same strange way Adam and Eve were.  Also, even if my opponent wants to approach this naturally…the unborn do breathe oxygen in the womb, so even under that circumstance the unborn still fit my opponent's narrow criteria.
Unborn babies do not breathe by themself. Therefore, they are not considered to be living per the standards of the Bible depicted.

Notice that the arguments that my opponent gave in the last round did not refute the Bible's overall view that life starts before conception.
That's not true at all. My opponent's only argument that life starts before conception was with Jeremiah 1, which I refuted.

God “blessed” Sarah with a child which denotes my previous point that the bible is of the standpoint that your existence is as valid an angel sent to do the Lord's bidding or the human he's choosing to “bless” with a child.
Again, as I said above, the Bible says that man is a spirit inhabiting a physical body. God can "bless" someone with a child without that child being a living human being until they are born.

The Original Greek Of Exodus 21

My opponent, once again, hurts his own argument. The source says that "[the scripture] discusses a live premature birth," not a miscarriage, so this scripture becomes irrelevant to this discussion. Also, I would like to point out that by using this quote, my opponent is hurling the elephant and engaging in bad debating conduct.

As to the "scriptures" my opponent gave, my job is to debate him, not Focus On The Family. I can't refute an entire website. Because no claims were even made by my opponent as relating to that website, I will ignore it. Once again, he engaged in hurling the elephant and bad debating conduct.

Tattoo and Piercing Bans

This makes absolutely no sense. How do you make a jump from not being allowed to have tattoos and piercings to not being able to abort?

To conclude, it is clear that the Bible never outlawed abortion. I would like to remind my opponent that he must waive the last round as per the description. If he doesn't, I will ask voters to ignore anything said there. Please vote Con!
Pro
Waive