Bible Studies Aug 06, 2018

When does life begin according to the Bible?

Questions relative to the inception of human life are very important and consequential. For instance, the point in time one considers to be the commencement of life often determines their views of the practice of abortion.

Point in time regarding death. Perhaps in our effort to pin point the beginning of life it would help us to first Biblically establish when death occurs. All man, except those living when the Lord returns in judgment, shall die (Hebrews 9:27). James informs us concerning death, "For as the body without the spirit is death, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26), therefore, death is when the human spirit leaves the body.

Point in time regarding life. Does life begin at conception, a certain time after conception but before birth, or at birth? A pertinent text is Exodus 21:22-23. Does the text address only the woman with child or the woman and her unborn child? Since the wording is ambiguous, the ambiguity is deliberate, both the mother and her unborn child must be understood. Hence, the unborn child is viewed as living, "life for life." Moreover, language addressing and describing the unborn
child is such as to indicate the unborn child is viewed as having life (Luke 1:41, Psalms. 139:16, Jeremiah 1:5, Psalms 139:13,15). In the previous passages, the unborn child is in the earliest stages of development (embryo). The unborn child is more than a meaningless, lifeless mass, to be disposed of without compunction of conscience. The obvious answer, then, is life begins at conception (the time when the spirit enters the body, the opposite of death).

The Bible teaches us to revere human life and preserve it.