It is certainly fair to say that the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament for Christianity) conveys deep reverence for human life and joy in new births. In 2 Kings 8:12 and 15:16, biblical writers are particularly appalled when women are killed with their unborn babies, and God directly condemns this in Amos 1:13.
Several passages cherish life in the womb in poetic fashion, as with the beloved Psalm 139: “You fashioned me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am awesomely, wondrously made; Your work is wonderful; I know it very well. My frame was not concealed from You when I was shaped in a hidden place . ,. .”
Psalm 22:11 says that “from my mother’s womb you have been my God,” while Psalm 127:3 calls “the fruit of the womb a reward.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 observes that “just as you do not know how the lifebreath passes into the limbs within the womb of the pregnant woman, so you cannot foresee the actions of God.” And God revealed to the prophet Jeremiah that “before I created you in the womb, I selected you; before you were born, I consecrated you.” (1:5).
Only one New Testament passage relates to this question. Luke’s account of Jesus Christ’s birth (1:41) records that when the pregnant Elizabeth met her cousin Mary, also pregnant with Jesus, “the baby leaped in her womb.” Thus the unborn John the Baptist was cherished at least by the point of “quickening,” which occurs as early as 16 weeks, as Elizabeth felt John’s motion in her womb.
Just after New Testament times, the Didache, a late lst Century or early 2nd Century church manual rediscovered in 1873, reflects the belief of the original Jewish and Gentile Christians.
CONTINUE READING: “What does the Bible teach about abortion?,” by Richard Ostling.
31 Bible Verses About Unborn Babies
SOUTH FLORIDA LAY CISTERCIANS