So for now, here goes: |
When 'political games' are played with something in/about Bible, you can always tell. Just as the Lord got seven kangaroo trials which foolishly broke every tenet of Roman and Jewish law for the sake of politics, so it goes with Bible translation and teaching. Hostility to truth always makes for a foolish testimony, so the 'witness' always has egg on his face. Of course, debunkers aren't the only ones who have an 'agenda'. Thus it should be no surprise that the above bullets on sexual innuendo and syntactical categories are the most revealing and important, BUT! are plagued by bad scholarship; and nearly always, bad translation. It's really hard to find lexicons which don't euphemize. You almost have to look outside Bible lexicons to the ones for Greek literature. The translators appear to be constrained to euphemize.
- patent paradigms (Adam's creation, John 3's born-again, James 1 how sin is born) -- the largely-Attic Greek of John 3:16 uses the indicative mood of didomi with conjunction hoste, a very rare construction which stresses actual result rather than the normal 'infinitive of conceived/intended result' for that conjunction, so is a clear play on monogeneis (uniquely-born) -- else, only Gal2:13 uses hoste+indic.,in NT;
- beginning-and-ending of life cycle is always rendered born..die (i.e., in Proverbs, but there are dozens of these in Bible);
- VERBS about birth and death which stress 1st or last INDEPENDENT breath;
- original-language sophisticated punning, esp. on "spirit" (ruach in Hebrew, pneuma in Greek), though "soul" verses (nephesh, Hebrew, psuche, Greek) are sometimes relevant also;
- sexual innuendo (many many of these, never translated properly; also, a favorite and subtle technique of Paul's in making analogies, esp. in 1Cor2,6,7,12, 2Cor2-5, Rom8:11-end, Eph2, Galatians -- okay, everywhere);
- special verses listed in my sites on this topic but I don't remember them all now; in the "why no soul life in womb" section below, a few are examined in some detail.
- Most importantly, Bible uses parallelisms which play on pregnancy as a type of DEATH, with the resultant BIRTH (salvation+inheritance of His Thinking in writing) as the spoils. [The inheritance of His Thinking in writing is the biggest promise in Scripture, the one Jews revered the most, and nearly every Bible verse has something to say about that promise. See, for example, Ps119. Also, Isa 53:11 bluntly states that His Thinking is what paid for sins on the Cross (da'ath/sunesis); it ties to 54:13 and all of 55, esp v.2,8,11, to show the promise of His Thinking to Israel being fulfilled via the Gentiles (v.5, etc).] The white table below exegetes some of Ps139:15, where David parallels the formation of his body to being buried under the earth. "Dust" verses also allude to the analogy. This wordplay is quintessentially stressed in Isaiah 53, esp. verses 10-11, but you won't see the awesome wordplay in the confusing translations; and you won't understand Isa54:1, unless you do see the pregnancy metaphors he uses in the Hebrew of Isa53, at least one metaphor per verse. [Immediate context is the deliverance of Israel, and Isa53 is on the mechanics. "Salvation" first mean Deliverance/Rescue in both Hebrew and Greek inspired texts.]
If ever you wanted to know why God would go to the grief of making creation, and how the Cross 'works', this passage will satisfy you (sexual pun intended)! Paul seems to frequently allude to Isa53 as if it were the 'Grand Central Station' of Scripture, and with good reason. James does the same thing in James 1. The Lord of course does it in John 3, Matt4:4 (linking Isa53 to Deut8:3-4 and Isa55:8,11). Wow: one could write an entire website on this topic alone, showing the many ties in Corinthians (which is loaded with allusions as a subtheme, tying to 1Cor2:16, which ties to Isa53:11's Hebrew and (later epistle) Phili2:5-10); Colossians; Ephesians; Romans 5-9 (esp. 6, end 7 and 8:11ff); 1Peter1; all of 2Pet (Peter's God-given allotment of Ephesians' content?); Hebrews Chaps 2, last half 9, and Chaps 10-11; also, "riches" and "seed" verses. Awesome stuff. If you are a seminary student studying for your doctorate, and are fishing for a topic, do it on Isa53... Click here for exegetical notes on Isa53.
UPSHOT ==> God's Design, Purpose, and Love as exhibited through His Plan for Christ on the Cross, as well as our salvation, cannot be properly understood or appreciated until one understands that no life is in the womb. We are dead to God until He makes us alive, be it physical life, or spiritual life. So it's pro God's Life to scrap our scrawny, petty, puerile religio-political agendas which only abort interest in God; and instead, recognize what Bible says about death being true until a) God breathes life into you (no other agent), and b) God makes you reborn that first nanosecond you first simply believed in Christ. Absent that understanding, the believer will constantly mistake his or others' flaws as 'counting' for something; same, for any (humanly-deemed) 'merits'. To miss out on what glory the Bible communicates here using the pregnancy-versus-birth metaphor is to miss 'a bizillion dollars' in happiness.
- Bible's use of sophisticated verbs, suffixes/prefixes, prepositions, and 'you' 'your' 'my' possessives, are vital to proper translation. A translator or committee protocol which is hung up on political correctness always bypasses these nuances. One can empathize, since man is so mean-minded, no one in authority is allowed to be human -- yet the student of the Word should therefore dig deeper in the Word to avoid misinterpretation. The above link on Isa53 provides examples.
Nowhere are the political machinations more patent than with the selective MIStranslation of Bible Hebrew and Greek prepositions min (Heb) and ek (Greek). Though for min and ek the correct meaning, BEYOND, FROM OUTSIDE, is stressed in seminary texts; and even though there is extensive etymology on min (i.e., even in Badillo's History of Hebrew Language, purchasable from Amazon), translators are selective about when they correctly translate these prepositions. WHY, well.. you decide. You can search them in some software, and compare how and in what cases BEYOND, OUTSIDE, SEPARATED FROM, AWAY FROM, is correctly used (the prepositions ONLY have that meaning in the partitive, particularly "min").
And indeed, when "womb" is nowhere in the vicinity, the BEYONDNESS nature of these prepositions -- especially min -- is recognized. Take, for example, the horrific Hebrew phrase in Isa52:14, describing how the Lord's Humanity was beaten BEYOND HUMAN SEMBLANCE. The Hebrew of that verse is as follows (spelled phonetically): k'asher shamemu aleká rabbim; ken mishat me ish mareyhu; wa toaro me bene adam. Each of the "me" words are the preposition min, simultaneously meaning (play on the Hypostatic Union) BEYOND HUMAN, as well as being human. So (in context of 52:13) beyond-human origin, beyond-human glorification, hence beyond-human TORTURE. Nearly every Bible translation recognizes this BEYOND meaning for the preposition min, in this verse. It's a horror verse, how He Who is Our Savior is beyond-human, beaten up by us. No one disputes it.
So what do we do? We do our own homework: so that privately before the Lord we ourselves have a clear conscience. You should not 'buy' what 'I' say just because 'I' say it. You have to do your homework; I have to do mine. You have your own reporting before the Lord; this, is mine. Granted, we obviously can't afford not to study the significance of these bulleted verse categories. Granted, it would be disrespectful to reverse a belief absent valid reason. However, each one, before the Lord, determines for himself how he should do that homework. Again, what follows is a brief, on mine. Ideas you can use, if you are so inclined.
So WHY, when the object of these SAME prepositions is "womb", do English Bibles use "in" or the misleading, truncated, "from"? Do you realize, the translation thus signifies THE REVERSE of what those prepositions mean? Only NIV had the courage to translate Luke 1:15 properly. Amazing, since where other Bible verses have exactly the same original-language words, yet are still reverse-translated (like other versions). (French and some other foreign-language Bibles demonstrate occasional courage, and correctly say, "from birth".) BIG difference, in English, saying "from the womb" or "in the womb"; versus the correct meaning, "from OUTSIDE the womb", or, simply, "from birth".
Here's what I think happened in the case of these prepositions, as best I can decipher, so far. Granted, for centuries the Bible was under the lock-and-key of the almighty 'Catholic' Church. So what people thought the Bible said, was what they were told. And what the Church came to say, in effect (but maybe not purpose) distorting something in Talmud, was that a person existed from the moment of conception, forward. Never mind that even a bill isn't really paid until the money comes OUT of your bank account. Thus, the Church got control over procreation. So, translations between this time and the Reformation, were made. So, reflected the Reverse Translation (reversing OUT with IN), where expedient to power-over-the-people. So, by the time of the Reformation, these older translations were "tradition". So, were copied, not fixed. So, are used even today to gain political/religious power over people, the same Rev17 harlot, only now every denomination rides the beast.
So, even now, these (and many other) verses remain mistranslated, with few exceptions (like the NIV of Luke 1:15). Despite teaching you can get in even first-year Greek or Hebrew about these prepositions. Lexicons, of course, are politically aloof, so need not comment on a translation. Rather, lexicons only gather a history of what 'respected' scholars in the past have said. So the embattled student of Scripture must do a lot of legwork to find out what's correct. My pastor is but one of those who did that legwork. (There are others, though few.) My pastor passed what he learned onto our congregation, accusing no one. (Just 'study and teach', is his motto.)
What amazes me more than anything else, is this: here for a century we have had the original-language manuscripts, which all blatantly prove the mistranslations are wrong, and even deliberate -- yet now, when the original-language manuscripts are freely available on the internet -- now, we pick to trumpet the lie that life is in the womb? We didn't ever do that in history, though we didn't have such free access. If ever there were proof of Satanic involvement behind this 'prolife' cause, it's here. But of course, no one even cares what the Infallible and Inerrant Word of God has to say. So of course, Satan thus gets Divine Authorization to mess with us. To our shame.
Of course, you shouldn't just conclude, oh, we've been lied to! Far from it. People are too keen on blaming someone when they discover a serious error, which feeds Satan's cause, the more. What a self-defeating proposition, to accuse: just like Adam accused God, in the Garden (see Gen3). So also we do, costing everyone scads of money, pain, and everything else that's bad.
The Lord didn't accuse, but instead went to the Cross. So blamesmanship should get left behind, if we even claim to love Him. For example, let's pretend there really was some kind of coverup conspiracy with respect to the Bible in general, and this thingy about when human life begins, in particular. (I doubt that man is so smart: Satan, yes, man, no.) Even so, the Catholic Church, like any other group in history, is a conglomerate of people. So you can't go pointing the finger, because a) everyone ends up being to blame, then; b) even if everyone isn't to blame, everyone gets hurt. We shouldn't have trashed Enron, or Arthur Andersen. So let's not trash anyone else. A bad thing has happened: let's just fix it.
Frankly, I don't call these continuing mistranslations even "lying", but rather being too-busy or fearing to show too little respect for the past, or.. you name it. Frankly, those in authority fear the masses. So fear being 'caught'. They are very beset by the mass clamor to 'do' something (we masses are gross, trailer-park trash, picking on those higher like gnats). So, they cover up, k? If you've ever had any kind of authority over someone, you should be able to empathize. To a child, a little mistake is devastating. So, the parent covers up. Surely we can empathize. Unless we are too gross ourselves, and trailer-trash.
Doo-doo happens, and it happens for a lot of reasons, even though there is accountability which can be spotted. What we all must recognize, instead, is that God's Word rightly translated and taught is the more important. Whatever the political repurcussions. So we, not someone else, are responsible for what we, not someone else, believes. Of course, it's easy to say what's right. Doing it, though, takes Divine Power. So we are, really, all to blame -- but all helpless. So let's forget about finger-pointing, and just focus on the issue. Let's just learn, and forget "what's behind", like Paul says in Philippians.
One of the first rules of hermeneutics is that you compare Scripture with Scripture. You never interpret a verse in isolation. Moreover, every truth will have boundaries, as illustrated in the famous Proverbs passages about there being a time to be born, and a time to die (time being the operative boundary). So if you read a verse in isolation, you won't know its parameters. Worse, if you read a verse in translation, some key nuance in the original languages which entirely changes the meaning, goes unnoticed.
We all know that we all differ in our interpretations because, essentially, we are all unique, so we all read Scripture differently. How right or wrong, well.. no one's perfect. No one's wholly wrong, either. But only God Is Perfect, so only with continual breathing of 1Jn1:9 as needed, plus diligent contextual study of His Word, do you get closer to His Truth. That is the task of the believer. Believer gets a pastor, and the latter ideally specializes in Word study. But, what if the pastor is too busy? What if the believer didn't hear the pastor correctly? What if the pastor, being only human, is 'off' on a particular topic, for now? So, we too are not free from the liability of testing: "judge for yourselves" verses in NIV, and Elihu's comment at the beginning of his speech to Job, "the ear tests truth". Ooops.
WHY No Soul Life in Womb?
Frankly, what hit me the hardest during all the verses' research is God's Adamancy that ONLY HE CREATES LIFE, and He didn't want ANY connection with human procreation, due to the Fall. (That topic takes up a large part of LordvSatan2.htm's "In the beginning..Man" section, which can't be recounted here.) No auto-pilot 'distance', no competition, no 'help' from anyone/anything else. He uses adamant POSSESSIVE language on this topic, in the OT; focus is related to GOD ALONE IS HOLY, ONLY WHAT GOD DOES IS GOOD: remove your shoes, Moses, no man-made altars, only God 'calls' (makes) a prophet human (common OT refrain -- Paul uses it in Galatians, too). NT language on birth/death seems more clinically-focused, stressing actuality versus planned/ intended/ conceived, because the larger policy statement is that Love, Infinity is not 'complete' without taipeino, "going low" (verb is in Phili2:7, explains how to interpret the always-mistranslated "kenoo").
There seems to be a deeper message, when you add all the hundreds of passages together. Here's what I get from it: 'I only I create Life of ANY kind [so, no evolution, either], for apart from Me, there IS nothing.' Of course, some of you will recognize that the first clause is the OT (phrased variantly in Bible); the second clause, is a play on the famous I-am-the-Vine verse in NT. Those two, frankly, seem to be where God is 'coming from' in His Adamancy, expressed here in the language of Sovereign.
As mentioned in one of the bullets above, there's a common refrain which goes something like this in the OT, which Paul uses in Galatians: I CALLED YOU I FORMED YOU I MAKE YOU OUTSIDE OUTSIDE OUTSIDE THE WOMB. Which all add up to this really strong statement: You're not a 'you' until I make you. And I don't WANT to make you, until you are OUTSIDE the womb. (English never gets these verses right, so you'll have to search on "womb", to find some of these verses; then diligently study the original languages' text.) So, I found via this possessive expression, which each of the prophets uses somewhere in his book, the why: for to me, an interpretation is always suspect until it completely accords with God's Essence as the Bible describes Him.
The clearest thing about His Essence we can all understand, is Infinity. My mother taught me Infinity when I was only four years old, she says. So, even a child can 'get' the idea that Infinity IS never 'distant'. Intimacy, always. Whether will also wants closeness, is a separate question. You can be in traffic, 'intimate' with it, therefore; but your mind can be a million miles away, if you want. So what God WANTS, is definitely to be connected (for that is Infinity's nature, anyway) -- but.. on HIS Terms. For fifty years, my pastor has stridently taught and proven from the original languages of Scripture that God's TERMS are, HE makes human life OUTSIDE the womb. However, in the table which follows, I'm only using BibleWorks software to demonstrate the point. [That sofware is but a grouping of various Bibles in original languages and translations, with lots of lexicons and other reference materials (not the best of lexicons, but ok: I have Bauer Danker, BDB, HALOT, among the usual ones like Strong, Thayer, etc).]
God's Terms: I CALL ALL THE SHOTS; DON'T ABORT MY WORD!
So, it's not so surprising that, even in the few verses which actually talk about conception, God takes the 'credit' away from the procreative act He Himself authors viz., when David exults about being knitted together by God, NOT his mother, and how he had NO life in the womb, Ps139:13-17, esp. v.16. David's point is that God knew David BEFORE he was alive; that's why v.16 is climactic, how David was written in the Book BEFORE he was even alive, while ONLY a fetus, merely a POTENTIAL human being; that God would go to so much trouble. What a gorgeous passage this is.
Here's why. It's a classical a fortiori faith celebration: if God would Personally go to so much trouble just to get David to be BORN, how much more is He willing to do, now that David is a HUMAN BEING? That's why there are those poetic words for the developing BODY PARTS. It's like the sparrows parable in Gospels. If God is so loving for a nothing, how much more, for a HUMAN BEING? See, if you don't recognize David's calling his fetal "substance" a NOTHING, you don't get the tremendous statement-of-God's-Faithfulness out of the passage. He's just praising His Creator, Who is GOD, no one else. It's a comparison, an awesome before-and-after statement of how very much God loves us.
David's praising God; but his praise is instead being used as political weapon, in 'famous' pulpits today. (That's a type of treason against God, and God punishes it severely. We can't afford this kind of punishment, k? We are all one in Christ, so if pain happens to you, it's therefore happening to me; and vice versa. So punishment on one is punishment on all!) For, I 'just happened' (yeah, right, no accidents in the Christian's life) to hear someone on 'Christian' TV quote this passage in the KJV to justify urging an anti-abortion crusade, even going so far as to claim (and how the heck can he know), that there are more abortions than all the deaths of men on battlefields and holocausts in history! That's an abuse of the pulpit, at very least. Pastors are supposed to Teach The Word, not politically crusade. Rev17 harlot.
Be against abortion if your conscience dictates, but please: Do your homework, so you won't someday prove a fool before millions on television, like this famous guy just did. We need pastors who research before they quote; sadly, when a pastor gets famous, he has no time to check out what he says before going onstage. Of course, if he's not famous, he's constrained to go along with his crowd of fellow pastors, so might not teach properly. Might not, frankly, even know. We're all human: pastors are under more attack by Satan&Co., so need our most fervent prayer. Because, prayer is a Vote For Truth To Be Taught, in cases like this. Your votes are critical. ["Thinking Out Loud" webseries, accessible from the Home page, explores Our Vast Importance In Christ Which Father Purposed For Us To Benefit Himself And Christ. Read Ephesians a few dozen times in a quiet place, if you want to see better the Bible's statement on this fact.]
So, as part of our due diligence, let's do a little homework on this passage. What follows is an earlier explanation of the verses. The latest explanation is still being recorded on video for Youtube: click here to go to the start of it.
So don't get mad about bad teaching -- pray instead. Use 1Jn1:9, ask Father in Son's name to help those stuck in some kind of bad teaching find the Biblical Justification In Scripture to get out of that rut. "Help" is the operative word, since God never coerces volition. (Obviously only the Holy Spirit causes understanding of Scripture, so if 1Jn1:9 is not used, the person won't understand Scripture, no matter how hard he tries.)
This is one of the frankest passages about how no life is in the womb, used in order to show a bigger praise of God. For, if David were human and in the womb, this entire passage would ring hollow. Let's go over this passage so you can see why.
You probably can only work with a translation. Translations of this passage are incredibly bad, so the verses 13-16 make no sense as a result, nor do the conclusions. But, let's try to work with the translation you have. Use 1Jn1:9 and your brain and read v.13, so you are in the Spirit when you read it.
Oh: for v.13 you need to know that inspired Greek LXX DOESN'T say "in" the womb, but OUT FROM the womb, which is normal. In the Masoretic text, usually the same OUT FROM, OUTSIDE, SEPARATED FROM the womb phrase is used, "mi beten" (me-BET-en). In good English, we'd translate that phrase "from birth". But here in 139:13, "be beten" (buh-BET-en) is used. Phrase does mean "inside the womb", But first note Who is the Creator. Since God is the Subject, now think: David can't be saying the womb is the subject, at the same time. So his mother is NOT his creator.
The fact that God, not the womb, is the Subject; the fact that God not the womb is being called CREATOR, is your first clue that David is saying the OPPOSITE of human life IN the womb. This is also, when you look at similar passages, a recounting of the mechanics of Adam's original creation. David's point is that God personally MAKES a human, human. There's no automatic process which 'contributes'. So, corollary for our day, no evolutionary, auto-pilot process is used at all, in the making of man. Only GOD creates man.
Ohhh how beautiful this passage IS! How much Meaning In The Word people miss when they warp Scripture to suit human political agendas which glorify Caesar, but never God; we've learned nothing from the evil Crusades; men in pulpits who, instead of teaching the meaning of the passage, grab a snippet mistranslated Word, read it for 50 seconds in sonorous tones and a 'reverend' Doctor's robe; then move to a 'pastoral message' of harangue for activism in the devil's world? Claiming that mistranslated snippet as justification? Jesus never once did that: why do we? You don't need to claim abortion murder, which it patently is not, to wisely counsel against it. So please, don't abort the Living Word?
- Note v.13 is in two separate clauses. This is Hebrew style poetic discourse. It uses couplets, with (generally) the more-important (or main) theme First.
- First clause is SEPARATE from the second, and is not saying that the first is IN the second. That's why they are separate clauses. Note God is SUBJECT in both clauses. GOD is doing something, not the womb. If the womb were in fact producing life, then IT not God would be the Subject. God doesn't lie. God doesn't steal 'credit'. So something unusual is being said, here.
- Let's look now at the first clause in v.13. Hebrew verb qanah is mistranslated as "formed" or "created". Instead, use the word "ACQUIRED" or (better), "DECREED", or even "ORDERED", in the sense of ordering something to buy. "POSSESSED" is okay, too, but the ACT OF PURCHASE is really the focus of the verb's action, not its result of ownership. Greek LXX confirms this meaning, rather than 'create' because the Greek word is ktaomai, meaning to acquire or purchase (ktizw means 'create', so the LXX translators knew better than modern scholars -- pity the latter don't compare both inspired manuscripts before going off and using a meaning which qanah in Bible never once connotes). [Of the so-called 6 uses of qanah to mean 'create' according to TWOT, not even one is on the topic of creating, but on producing and purchasing and especially, REDEEMING: Ps74:2, Gen14:19,22 Deut 32:6,13. The other two cited were Gen4:1, which is clearly also not 'create', and our passage here, Ps139:13. So it's arbitrary to say Ps139:13's qanah means 'create', the other verses having also been eliminated from that claim -- especially, since the Greek LXX didn't use ktizw. Funny how God anticipated this political-correctness problem, by providing a Greek inspired OT, which the Lord and those contemporary to Him, used...]
That precision matters, for David is stressing GOD'S WILL by his choice of words. Actually, he's playing on the birth of Cain (acquirer, possessor, gainer), the first person born of a woman, and the first murderer: see Heb and Greek of Gen4:1. For, David is awestruck that God would 'purchase' his existence, knowing in advance that he, like Cain, would be a murderer (of Uriah).
For, other words he could have used, focus on the action of creating.
Hebrew words for the actual creating of a thing are asah (to create something out of other materials); banah (lit., to build something from something, used of the woman being 'built" (heh) from Adam's rib); bara (i.e., Gen1:1, to create something out of nothing); yatser (for creating one inanimate thing out of another inanimate thing, like Adam's body, in Gen2:7). Greek, ktizw (all or any of those Hebrew meanings), poiew (lit. to do, but used much like English uses "to do"), etc.
Really, to translate qanah as an ordering-to-buy seems a more apt translation. For, qanah is in the qal perfect (completed reality, 'a done deal'), an is an ACQUISITION verb, buying something else which already exists, or DECREEING its existence, in the case of God. In the LXX (Greek OT, which the Lord and Scripture writers used), this Psalm verse is numbered 138:13, and its translation of qanah is rendered ktaomai, which has the same acquisition meaning. Look up those words. As you think them over, you'll hopefully get a sense of ordering something to be made and then paying for it once it is made. Perfect picture of Our Redeemer, Who is First Our Creator, huh...
Hebrew QANAH is the main operative verb for our salvation and our redemption, especially considering the wordplay in Gen4:1 (Eve is making a very funny statement using qanah and qayin). Wordplay on qayin, qanah, halal and hallel, wordplay on salvation, the Gen3 curse to the woman, the woman being delivered by delivery, redemption, Him being pierced for our sins to result in the praise of God, Isa53:5 and 11 piercing and pregnancy analogies (depicting Cross mechanics -- Isaiah alludes back to Ps139:13 via halal in 53:5, via amal in 53:11, explaining Why we could BE purchased -- Messiah was born OUT FROM David, so salvation is born OUT from Him who was pierced, made pregnant with sin, ties also to 2Cor5:21); then there's the play on Gen4:1 and Gen17:5, Abram's circumcision, the "spear" which speared (halal) for all time, bought (qanah) for all time, our sanctification (hagios, as related to hallel)as Bride! delivered to Him by delivery OUT from The Labor Pains of The Man, the Spear of Spears! -- wordplay goes on forever. Too much to even list as a mnemonic paragraph for later research! Astounding perfection of wordplay. Knocks me flat!
- David's not using the word "soul" or "life" in the first clause: term literally means "kidneys", and often in Bible's poetic or dramatic metaphor, "kidneys" represents the emotions. Now think: emotions are not in the soul, but the body -- your BODY is what feels emotion, But if no soul gets that feedback, there's no recognized FEELING. Why? Because NO SOUL EXISTS YET. After all, only God can create a soul.
Body and soul have to be able to 'talk' to each other. So you can control how you feel. Do this experiment: yell nastily for at least two minutes, and watch how your body reacts. There's a sort of shock, then other feelings tack on. Then, talk nicely to yourself and watch how the body reacts. See? it's the body which feels, and your soul is TELLING it how to feel. When music is played, the music is telling your body how to feel. Because you have a soul, the body feeds the feeling to your soul. We humans mistake feeling for some kind of truth, which is a tragedy. No different from drugs.
- If we pretend (and we can, because Scripture is multilevel in meaning) that David is talking about the soul here in the first clause, the first clause should be translated, YOU DECREED/ ORDERED MY BODY PARTS.
Obviously only God can create a soul, but in this clause that's not the point being made. God Owns Life. It's even stronger, really: GOD BUYS LIFE. It's a You-are-My-Redeemer wordplay: only God has the money! How precious is this punning word! See, one of the running themes in the OT for Israel is that Israel is God's 'special possession', a treasure FOR HIMSELF. David's also got that theme in mind. Utterly beautiful. See, since only God creates, there's a second issue which arises: HOW MUCH DOES HE CHERISH what He creates? If, at all? You can buy something because you should, or must, or for other reasons than how much you WANT the thing you buy, see.
- Yet another layer of meaning in this first clause: God is depicted as CHOOSING for the body parts to BECOME a human being. It's a contract purchase metaphor, very beautiful. God orders you to be made. Because, qanah and ktaomai are in tenses which stress REALITY OF ACQUISITION: the qal perfect has a connotation of never-was-a-time-when-this-acquisition-wouldn't-be-chosen. It's a really strong statement about being always ELECTED BY GOD in eternity past, and sets up the dramatic climax in v.16. Greek aorist indicative has the same essential meaning: time-divorced-from-time is how you first learn about that tense's root meaning, when studying Biblical Greek.
- Note the precision: first clause, God ORDERS. Second clause, God makes the HOUSE/CLOTHING to CONTAIN what He has ordered, by means of, through, in the womb. We'll cover that second clause, in a minute, but here the chronological order, is important. It's the same as the making of Adam, body-first. Bible is always consistent. The real you is your soul. Body is not you, not your soul.
- Note Narrator Perspective: this is a key hermeneutical principle in all Scripture. You have to make sure you note the POSITION of the speaker relative to the action he speaks about. For example, John's 'position' in Revelation is not in any of the worldly events he narrates, after Rev4:1, the Rapture. So, look here: David himself, obviously, is OUTSIDE the womb and writing about it, so his BODY is now outside the womb so he is a "me" OUTSIDE. He's LOOKING BACK on the exact mechanics of how GOD made him a "him", see. It's yet another syntactical tool (and a frequent one) Bible uses to show no soul is ever in a womb, because David is not in the womb when he says it, and he's not using any words which would say he HAD been.
Here's how you know. If the narrator was saying his soul was IN the womb, he'd use other words to indicate that: particularly, the Bible words nephesh or ruach. Nephesh means "life" or "soul". Ruach means "Spirit" (as in Holy Spirit), breath or breathing, wind, puff, etc.; sometimes ruach is used to mean "life", with emphasis on the aliveness (breathing). (Greek equivalents are psuche and pneuma.) So we know he is talking about feeling, not soul. Of course, NO FETUS BREATHES IN THE WOMB, so we shouldn't be surprised that neither ruach nor nephesh are used. [Talk to an OB/GYN, and you'll learn that a fetus' nostrils are PLUGGED UP. One of the first things an obstretician/midwife must do after a fetus is pulled out from a womb, is clear its nostrils so the (now) baby can EXHALE. If no exhale, stillborn. Exhale is often a cry, to clear the lungs, which for the first time, start working. Bible uses the same EXHALING terminology in "spirit" verses, and death verses (e.g., how Ananias dies in Acts 5, Greek expsuche, lit., breathe-out-soul).]
So because those words aren't used, but instead the body word of kilyah (Gk: nephros), lit. kidneys, as noted above, we know David's talking about his BODY, not his soul. Hence, by using a physical word, lit., kidneys, with a known metaphorical usage to indicate feeling, God conveys PHYSICAL being. That "physical being" is the best translation, also best fits the second clause, as you'll see later on. So: again, both Masoretic Text and LXX use the same word, "kidneys". So, to translate it 'innermost being' is misleading as a term, in English. It's 'innermost', alright, but What kind of 'being' are we talking about? See how important precision is, in translating?
For, he could have chosen different words. God inspired David to write this: surely God is aware how a verse can be interpreted, since God is omniscient. Since God never tempts, He'd take great care in what words He gives David to write. So the student of the Word should take great care, too. Again, you can find a whole lot of passages with "womb" in them, and carefully examine the original Hebrew or Greek, like we're doing here, to check consistency. For God is perfect, and one verse will never contradict another. Always but always compare Scripture with Scripture, so you can protect yourself from hallucinating a meaning.
Again, words matter. Position words matter. John keeps on stressing how he's Not On Earth in the Revelation vision he recounts, after the Rapture "door" opens, in Rev4:1. Here's another example: look at Heb10:5. That verse is literally saying that the Lord spoke the very second He was born. It's not figurative, and it's not a looking-back quote; actually, the writer of Hebrews is telling us about the fulfillment of a prophecy in Ps40:5ff, and is using dramatic/pictorial tense, to convey it live.
Actually, Heb10:5 confirms our passage here, because it uses the verb katartizw, in the "A Body YOU HAVE PREPARED" verse. Capped letters are that verb. To make a thing prepared or ready is not the same thing as creating it. "PREPARED FOR ME". Not not not not "'prepared' EQUALS 'Me'." Note the differentiation between body, and "me". God is precisely consistent, in His Word. Ps139:14,16 likewise differentiate, as you'll see below.
- So now we have a workable translation (Masoretic=LXX Text) of the first clause of v.13, which of course you can now freely dispute, since you are armed with the data yourself:
"For You, Oh Lord, DECREED my physical being;"
For fun, cycle through the other meanings of the verb, like "acquired", "possessed", "purchased", "ordered", etc. Because, it's often true that when Bible uses a multi-meaninged verb, it's giving you a skyscraper of meaning, not just a single floor. Because, Omniscience, Truth, GOD! Is Infinitely High.
- Let's now look at the second clause. Its main verb is plagued by bad scholarship. You'll see something like "helped" or "wove", or "knitted", ALL of which are horribly misleading. Bible Hebrew verb is SAKAK (saw-KHAK). It's a COVERING, CLOTHING, PROTECTING, HOUSING type of verb. AN OUTER COVERING, and specifically a BOOTH -- because David is playing on the Feast of Booths, in this verse. So SAKAK at best, is a 'weaving' like you do for CLOTH, or any kind of INTRICATE construction of an INANIMATE object, like shingling for a roof, bricklaying, etc. Idea of fitting together many parts in a precise way so all form a FUNCTIONING OR structurally-secure) UNIT. In every case where this verb is used, the OBJECT is some kind of COVER or CONTAINER. So the verb has a root action of MAKING a COVER, CONTAINER, HOUSE. You should really trace this word in the OT, because when you do you'll realize how it cannot mean soul life. For, God uses SAKAK about the clouds 'covering' Him (Lam3:44). We know that's figurative, but again -- note how the clouds are NOT LIFE, and NOT GOD. So get a good lexicon on this.
Here's another important thing, the TENSE. Verb tense tells you where-in-time, how-long-in-time, dependency-on-something-else, and similar stuff. Hebrew imperfect and perfect tenses aren't like other languages' perfect and imperfect, fundamentally. Usually, the imperfect tense stresses something's ACTION, without reference to completion; or, WITH REFERENCE to its GOING ON, AND implying that it didn't GET completed. Spanish is particulary keen on this usage. PERFECT tense in nearly all languages stresses the COMPLETION of an action, and usually there's some communication about the RESULTS of the completion.
Hebrew (and Hebraistic use of Greek in the Bible, viz., in John 1) takes a different approach, especially when GOD is the SUBJECT. The Hebrew differentiates between NON-TIME and TIME. A real good brief on this is written by the well-respected scholar, Thorlief Boman, Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek, which you can buy for only $12 from Amazon. Here's the point: when using the IMPERFECT but God is the SUBJECT, stress is on NON-TIME, with the tandem idea that NOTHING ELSE EXISTS. When using PERFECT but God is the SUBJECT, the stress is on either or both IN TIME, FOR TIME, or, DECREE.
So here, the IMPERFECT of SAKAK is used. Contrast that with the PERFECT of QANAH in the first clause, and you can see a causal relationship is stressed. David DOESN'T exist; God ORDERED his existence, and as a result, a HOUSE/ WARDROBE is constructed. All this, before there is existence; at least, before DAVID's existence. You get that meaning from the way the qal (mood of reality) is used first as PERFECT, then IMPERFECT. Now, if you factor in the 'normal' meaning of the imperfect (for sakak), you get still the idea of something not yet existent, but IN PROGRESS, or under-development. Like, a house under construction.
LXX's main verb in the second clause of v.13 is very different from the Hebrew, at least in its focus, though its "aorist" tense conveys existence DIVORCED from time. (Well, better said: in time or out of time is not relevant, only the action of the verb is relevant; not whatever else is around it or affected by it.) Modern Russian has an aorist, but English doesn't. It's impossible to translate this tense in English with its real meaning. [Translators often resort to the PAST or PERFECT or simple present tense, depending on what the translator thinks of the REST of the context. Frankly, I wish they'd just stick in other English words to convey the tense, because often in English ADVERBS or adverbial phrases will convey the tense.]
The very common Bible Greek verb "antilambanomai" (or antilabou, shortened version) doesn't seem to get a lot of attention in the lexicons, so let's break down the components of this compound verb. "Anti" is a preposition which means "instead of", and hence often "against", as in "hostile". But also, "against" as in "close", which is probably more the meaning here, due to what "lambano" means, in Greek. "Lambano" has a variety of meanings and uses, but stresses the ACQUISITION, a taking. So, is often translated "receive", but with stress on the subject's taking action TO RECEIVE something. "Help" is a really bad translation! Look: if you take a cookie, you are helping yourself to the cookie. That's the idea: verb is in the "middle voice", which has the root meaning of, as my pastor puts it, "acting with reference to oneself, for the benefit of oneself". There are other uses of the middle voice (the "omai" suffix is reflexive, a kind of passive, a participating-in), but clearly God is acting for Himself. Doing something to benefit Himself.
However, there's a special meaning of this verb, in Mosaic Law: it means to DEVOTE SOMETHING. That is, consecration. So God DEVOTES TO HIMSELF, David. And -- the Greek says EK GASTROS -- OUTSIDE his mother's womb. Not inside. [Everywhere I could find this verb used in Bible, it has a dedication sense, way stronger than 'help', for crying out loud. Even when negative, as in dedicated-to-evil. Translations of it vary greatly, though.]
Now you see why "anti" is attached in front of lambano. For, lambano alone would only mean taking something to receive benefit to self. But, the "anti" shows you the object being taken is benefitted BY being taken. What's Best for God, IS IS IS what's Best for us! For Father, or forget it: if it's not to benefit FATHER, not DEVOTED to FATHER, it's of no desirable benefit to Me whatsoever. THE CROSS! If you look at Psalm 138 (137 in LXX), knowing that David was lying prostrate on the threshing floor or maybe even on Petra (bedrock on which Isaac was laid, later becomes the seat of the Ark, Holy of Holies); if you realize there he was seeing the FUTURE Son of David being sacrificed for our sins; then you realize NOW that this, too, is a prophetic recognition: CHRIST DEVOTED TO FATHER FROM BIRTH. Heb10:5.
- So, using the LXX, we'd best translate this second clause of v.13,
"You DEVOTED me TO YOURSELF from OUTSIDE my mother's womb."Big difference in the translation, huh. Really, "from birth" would be a more idiomatic English translation, as my pastor likes to remind us, but I'm not using him as a source, for this table's exegesis, but only BibleWorks reference materials. (Just their text and lexicons, not their commentaries.)
- What about the Masoretic text's translation? What would that be? Well, let's look: Note how we have to add a noun to convey that an INANIMATE TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION is meant by the verb. This is what the translators should have done! For, when you take the time to look at all the other "womb" verses, you'll find they ALL talk about life OUTSIDE the womb; but this one is talking about INSIDE and uses a verb of INANIMATE construction. So if you don't add an INANIMATE noun, you make Scripture look like it contradicts itself.
"You constructed my 'house' INSIDE my mother's womb."
To say "my house" is idiomatic English: "house for me" is closer to the Hebrew, because the verb is a housing-verb, and the object is "me". Maybe it's disputable whether "house" should be used, since SAKAK is more especially concerned with only COVERINGS, like roofs or clothing or clouds But we know from other verses in Scripture that the body is but a house, so I followed that convention here. Also, the Hebrew word for HOUSE is "Beth" : really, just the letter B, which is named "Beth" (soft "t" sound, not "the" sound) is a picture of a house (with a person inside, if a dagesh is put in there). So it's a kind of wordplay to use "womb", for the Hebrew word is "beten", get it? A house for a house.
Of course, the sad thing is, translations in English reverse the meaning of the preposition "out from", "from OUTSIDE" (Hebrew "min", Greek "ek"), with "womb" verses, yet conveniently remember to say from OUTSIDE or similar correct meanings, with other objects. Hmmm.
- So now let's combine both clauses to get variant translations of all Ps139:13:
"For You, Oh Lord, DECREED my physical being;"
"You DEVOTED me TO YOURSELF from OUTSIDE my mother's womb."
"For You, Oh Lord, DECREED my physical being;"
"You constructed my 'house' INSIDE my mother's womb."
Look at all the trouble we had to go to, just to get a corrected translation of only one verse. See what pastors are supposed to do? They should get paid a Bizillion dollars a year, to translate and teach Scripture, because surely we'll never be able to come up with a right translation in sellable print; because surely Bible verses should be taught in the original languages! Look how much extra meaning is in just this one verse, compared to the translation you have? No offense, but: which is worse, to abort a fetus, or the Living Word Of God?
So for you to get more value out of it, play with the other meanings of the verbs, etc. Because, this is one of the strongest ways to claim the promise that God loves you, protects you, guides you, has a plan for your life. You weren't the product of some mindless process: you were Devoted. Decreed. Elected. Bought in advance. One can probably spend all day "in" just this verse's many floors of meaning.
One more thing: notice how the two very different second clauses do not contradict each other, now. In the English translations, "help" and "wove" contradict, and since LXX uses OUTSIDE the womb, but Masoretic "inside", it's a real problem. But not now. So which is the real Bible verse of the second clause? Well, I don't know. Both accord with all the other verses, in the original languages, so far as I can tell. And, the two don't contradict each other, in the original. Nor now, in the corrected translation, no matter which 'floor' of the verbs' meanings, you use. Heh.
- Because both the LXX and the Masoretic text are recognized as inspired texts; because each text uses two seemingly-contradictory verbs in the second clause of v.13; because (probably) this verse is soooo strong, translators have a problem with it. Translators either choose the LXX or the Masoretic text as their base for translating. So, you find "wove" or "knitted", in translations using the Masoretic text, to translate SAKAK. In English, the non-life construction meaning of the verb is not recognized. There's no English verb I can think of to even convey that this is a verb used for intricate/weave-type constructing of INANIMATE things. Its poetic usage thus misleads, unless you add a noun. Of course, if a translation is using the LXX, it mistranslates antilambanomai as "help", and mistranslates as "in", the Greek preposition ek, which is only PARTITIVE (separatist) -- as even Mounce's basic Biblical Greek text would tell you (see his Appendix on prepositions). [Nerd note: older seminary texts developed an eight-case system for classifying Greek cases. It's really the better system, because Latin was a common tongue at the time the NT was written, so it's easier to catch meanings which God might have also intended due to the Latin construction then. No language is free from having nuances from other languages within the people's borders. So Hebraisms, Latinisms, other Greek dialects, Aramaisms, abounded in the NT. In the 8-case system, this "partitive" is called "the ablative of separation", and is the more apt description for how "ek" is commonly used. Not always, but commonly.]
Obviously more words should be put into the English, to show what the Living God says. But, oh no! Don't break the horrible tradition of one-word-for-one-word translation! As a translator, you'd be executed if you followed a rule like that, even in Caesar's day. Look: the meaning of a word in a language is not usually clear on its own, but only by context. If I say to you "I save", which kind of save am I talking about? If another language uses different words for different kinds of SAVING, which word do they use? What if I am playing on more than one meaning at the same time, by my word choice? You'd know that in the original language I use because of context. But if you tyrannize the translation mechanic to just one of many different words for "save", then the reader of the translation won't really get out of the translation, what the speaker meant.
- So the second clause of v.13 is a blatant statement that God doesn't make life in the womb, but instead makes only a 'covering', a testudo, a shell, a house. A covering for the soul. David's likening his body to clothing or shelter. Not soul life, but a shell.
- Ps139:14 is handled poorly, because David uses sounds and wordplay not converted over into English, so you miss key information in the verse. The sounds after "ki"=because go like this "nofra'ot neph'leiti neph'la'im". David plays on sound. The verb shown here as "neph'leiti" means to separate, spotlight, highlight. For example, David uses neph'leiti to make a distinction between being ALIVE, and being in the womb; the divider being "distinction", idea of being OUTSIDE the womb and even weaned. He makes a FFF'ing (like breathing) sound. What's rendered above "neph'la'im" is a verb also: "be wonderful", in Hebrew. It's WONDERFUL to be OUTSIDE, see. You can 'hear' the FFAH-Beh-AFFFya sound used at the end of Gen2:7, when God breathes lives into the nostrils of the previously-formed-from-ground body of Adam. It's extremely witty, since the word for nose also means ANGER, and Omniscience knows full well what commitment is being made: He'll be hearing the anger forever!
In Ps139:14, the niphal FEMININE PLURAL of yare (=fear/respect/awe) is a PARTICIPLE; that's the key to understanding the SEPARATION PRODUCING LIFE. [Obviously you can't fear/have awe until born. Naphesh, to breath life, only takes the niphal. So David's playing on Gen2:7. LIVES were breathed into Adam, spiritual and soul. David is saved, so he has "lives", too. But he DOESN'T use the verb here to reference himself, but rather it references GOD's WORKS, because it's in the masculine plural. So you know right away that the translation in 139:14 is wrong.]
Also, this is the only verse in the passage which uses "nephesh", ("soul", here, because only a SOUL can KNOW something).
It's important, also, because "separated" has a connotation under the Mosaic law of "consecrated" -- tying again to v.13's qanah, God's DECREEING David's existence in eternity past. David is born to WONDER, AWE of SEEING GOD. It's another seeing-Son-of-David-Messiah expression, more than how David's body is made. No end of future wonders!
Let's do a rough translation of the Hebrew of this verse, because it's too beautiful to pass up. It will be awkwardly done, to bring in stuff which translations miss. It translates better poetically in five English clauses, taking into account meanings of stems (hiphil of "praise" is causative and imperfect, for example, so it's unending, playing on his unending soul; and causation is a stressed theme of this couplet). Well, here goes:
I am CAUSED to unendingly THANK You;
BECAUSE YOU CAUSE ME,
[separated to] marked out for unending WONDERS,
YOUR WONDEROUS WORKS!
My soul's overflowing with knowledge [of You, of Your Truth]!"
[First English 'verse' here is just the first two Hebrew words. You could leave out the "YOU CAUSE", if you're a stickler for the words being in the verse but they are in the meaning; moreover, that meaning ties to v.13, plus (covered below) v.15's use of min+God; and there's a doubling-of-cause due to the ki and hiphil in v.14, plus the niphal is stressed in v.14. So you almost have to create an extra English clause, to reference all that causational stress. "Overflowing" is, by contrast, the concatenation of yadah-me'od, to know something exceedingly strongly. me'od has an unending, overflowing connotation to it, not merely "well". Ties to Paul's Eph3:20. Finally, David's interjecting. That is, he's stopped looking back at his body being made, and is reacting to his status quo. In v.15 he returns to a look-back stance.]
- Verse 15 talks about the parts of David's "shell" house. He's making two points about his body's creation, which in translation you should be able to notice: it's a happy mysterY to him (not a secret, for crying out loud), a) how God Could Want To Go To All This Trouble; and b) how his organic components are made. But, as the verse poetically notes, they are no mystery to the God who made Adam. Really, there's much more to this verse, especially the first clause, than I have time to point out. Hebrew has more in it than being translated.
If you are a prolifer, you do want to investigate the meaning of the Masoretic text's "khahad" (first word in the verse), for that verb is the closest justification for counselling against abortion you'll ever find. Verse is not saying abortion is murder, but (imo) something far more accurate, and far more important: God makes the choice. To say khahad means "hidden", does go with "seter", hiding place (womb, earth parallel); but look more closely at what khahad really means: kicked AWAY, cast off, so 'hidden' in the sense of unwanted. Also, protection is more in view, with David's use of the term "secret". Also look up the many meanings of (y)otsem, usu.translated merely "bones" or "frame", so you can better enjoy the wordplay of the verse.
Here, I'd bet money David's saying more his amazement that God didn't abort his fetus. Remember, this is the guy who in Ps32 was really hurting over his loss of Bathsheba's firstborn. That punishment was awesome, according to my pastor's exegesis of Ps32:1-5. So, although David's not claiming soul life is in the womb, still: why would God have wanted that fetus, which became David's body; David, a big sinner.. why would God have wanted that fetus to come to term? See, it took nine months; God had time to change His mind, so to speak. If you don't read the Hebrew of this verse, you'll really miss a lot of treasure.
To try to convey the flavor, here's a very rough poetic translation of the Hebrew of Ps139:15: "Not cast off, all my bones, from your min-making; but crafted in 'hiding', [like] the bowels of the earth." [David uses either 12 or 14 syllables per clause, depending on how you count the vowels. I could have used "Cast away" and then make both clauses have 12 syllables, to match the number of the tribes of Israel; but "cast off" in English is stronger, imo, so I sacrificed a syllable in the first clause.]
There's an alternate meaning; which, given the fondness of OT for double-entendre (to always reference the coming Messiah), might be even more intended, due to the min+God construction in Hebrew. The difference is capitalized: "Not cast off, all my bones, MADE APART FROM YOU; but crafted in 'hiding', [like] the bowels of the earth." (This second rendering pays closer attention to word proximity in Hebrew. I had to sacrifice a syllable in the second clause.)
Note how both layers of meaning fit beautifully. What a Genius God is. Of course, to say "min-making" isn't quite right, because the verb "asah" is more a Decree than an actual making: see Gen1:26-27, and track its usage in Gen1 as a synonym for "and God said" (Hebrew likes to vary expressions, just as in English we shy from repeating the same keywords too closely together: "I did what I did because I did it" sounds childish, for example. God's Bible, though, always adds key information when it varies expression.) Min, as a noun, always means SEPARATE lifeform type (or type-group): see its use in Genesis. So, too, as a preposition: always means OUT FROM, SEPARATED FROM, AWAY FROM, FROM OUTSIDE: it's the key Biblical Hebrew preposition of birth.
Which means Ps139:15's use of min as a preposition, with God's PERSON attached to it, stresses God's CHOICE even more than it stresses His Apartness from what's happening in the womb. We know that because the personal suffix designating God is ATTACHED to the preposition, rather than the normal method of designating 'person', attaching to the verb! God is soo precise!
But the English doesn't even translate the preposition! But in the Hebrew, its APARTNESS is stressed! I really don't know how anyone can miss this, when translating. After all, I'm only using BibleWorks. Look: word order goes like this. Slashes are put between the English words to denote one Hebrew word, because Hebrew compounds persons etc. to words in a way English doesn't. (I believe Hebrew is classed as an "agglutinative" language, but my brain might be out on the term.) So: Not cast off/ my bones/ APART FROM YOU/ which/ were made/ in hiding place/ skillfully wrought/ beneath/ the earth. See how "APART FROM YOU" interrupts sentence flow? Stressing apartness? Not to mention, the normal Hebrew verb PREfixes the SUBJECT of the verb. But never here. Instead, God is 'suffixed' to the preposition min.
Finally, does no one recognize David's looking down the road at the future Messiah, Son Of david, here? Grateful to God that he gets to be used as a progenitor of that Body? See what a difference it makes, to realize what the original languages of Scripture themselves say? To cheapen the Word of God for a political crusade is monstrous enough. But, at least, get the words, right! What if God wants that fetus to come to term? That's what amazes David. See, you don't have to lie against the Word of God to have a Biblical reason to avoid abortion...
- So in Ps139:15, we also know David's talking about organic components, because "made" is "asah", the same creation decision word used for the creation of Adam, in Genesis 1:26. Reinforcing this fact is the keyphrase, "Lower parts of the earth" (or however your translation reads). Again, this refers to how God made Adam "from the dust of the ground" (or however your Genesis translation of Adam's creation reads), in Gen2:7. That's also echoed in the Bible refrain, "from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust" or the famous "from dust I came, to dust I shall return". (Again, translations vary.) Note how dust is inanimate. Note how when one is buried (as in DEAD), one is buried under the earth. So the fetus is like a corpse. Not breathing, get it?
David keeps using INANIMATE verbs. In fact, I can't find anywhere in Gen2:7, nor anywhere in Bible, an animate verb that [God, obviously] 'creates' a soul. Even all the creation verbs, like bara, banah, asah and jatser always have NON-SOUL components as objects used in the creating (bara, being from nothingness). However, God BREATHING the soul INTO a body at birth is the phrasing He chooses FOR the creation of the soul, as in Gen2:7.
Commentaries I have say the "lower parts..earth" is figurative for womb, which is TRUE. The word rendered "Secret" is sether, in Hebrew, and kruphe, in Greek. Term has the connotation of invisibility, hiding place, unseen, but most especially, unknowable, beyond comprehension, past finding out. But the way it's used, is from David's WONDER about it (see v.14 for context). The Hebrew raqam is another 'making' verb that again means weaving an INANIMATE 'covering' within that 'hidden place'. The wordplay is so dazzling, when you think it over.
Whew. God is consistent in His Word. And, of course with common sense, for God Always Makes Sense: for, the soul is immaterial, so nothing physical can make iT. Duh. So, now it makes sense why no creation verb is used with "soul" in Bible, but rather only a breathing-verb. [Or, onomopoetic sound of EXHALE, as in v.15's first clause, and v.14's ffff'ing with the nephel-sounds. (Hebrew letters are how-to-use-your-mouth phonetic diagrams.)] So we know now for a fact that no soul life is in the womb, for no creation verb is ever used WITH "soul". God's mechanism for physical creation always uses some fashioning verb, but HE never uses those verbs to indicate soul life is created; rather, only BREATHING-INTO verbs are used, for soul creation.
Same style, when describing the Gen1:2 rehab'ing of the world by the Holy Spirit (can't miss the 'breath' connotation in the speaking metaphor, which even sounds like our "rehab" in English -- Hebrew word translated "hover" is "me rehafah"); same style, for the Lord as Creator, in Jn1 ("Word", again breathe-speak is all God need 'do'), Matt4:3 or Heb1:1-4; same style, when describing the mechanics of our spiritual births and spiritual lives in John 3, Titus 3:5, 2Tim3:16 (well, theopneustos, don't remember exact location), etc. Can't make the mechanic plainer, than that. Now I understand why my pastor has always stated soul creation as breathing-into! Just a word from the Word, and it is. All else, is a nothingness (note that bara is used three times in Gen1:27). [Gen1:7 uses asah, but note the decree connotation in the last clause, which in English Bibles is rendered something like "and it was so." That is a common refrain for the Enactment Of A King's DecreE.]
Commentaries use the verb raqam to also justify saying it's the womb that's in view. Yes. But they neglect to say that this verse uses wordplay to depict the exact same Hebrew/Greek procedure as in Gen2:7, Adam's body creation, which is very distinctly first; and then very distinctly life is breathed into him, AFTERwardS.
Bible writers reference other Scripture when they take care to use the keywords of that Scripture. So the translator should have noticed this and taken it into account in his translation. Or at very least, the commentators should have! (This same kind of omission is common. So you miss, for example in John 1, how John is making a play on the Sacred Tetragrammaton; on the Indwelling of the Glory of the Lord in the OT Temple, etc. Pity.)
We also know they're organic components from the LXX, which uses "hupostasis", the quintessential principle on which all the universe is constructed, if you look into Greek science or any modern scientific law you like. Unity of opposites. The Lord's Human Nature is a hupostasis with His Divine Nature. (DueDisclosure.htm says a lot on this topic.) Translated usually "substance", it misleads.
So "bones" now makes sense, doesn't it? Of course, if you want to pretend David is not talking about his physical being, you'd use words like "frame" instead of "bones" (for, it's SKELETON, get it?), and "substance", nice and fuzzy as it is, is safely mistaken. Boy-zhyamoy. Jewish rabbis will tell you that abortion is not murder, but they always counsel against abortion; Talmudic rabbis decided to say that after 40 days, it was considered 'life', so to best apply the Law (so gershom of undernet's #hebrew once informed me). It's their interpretation which the Catholic Church picked up, not Scripture. And translations were screwed up, as a result. Clearly, no one wants an abortion. But that's not the issue: What does GOD want? Not the state, not someone else. All this, prompted the Talmudic rabbis. All this, prompted David's wonder. Why take a sacred FAITH question, and profane it on the altar of politics?
One more comment about v.15: translations of the second clause's verb are very bad: for David again is talking about the INANIMATE INTRICATE construction of his 'house'. Verb in Hebrew is raqam, and that term is again used for WEAVING CLOTH. This time, the SKILL is emphasized. Greek word is much more generalized, poiew, to do/make; so the Greek adds a noun to denote the weaver-skill. Like we should do, when we translate the Hebrew verb, for crying out loud, to make it clear INANIMATE object is being 'embroidered'! Masoretic version of this verse has TWO verbs, asah and raqam. Greek verb doubles for BOTH clauses, so there's no Greek verb in the second clause, in the LXX. But they translate nearly the same in meaning.
- Now to v.16. NIV is pretty close to the actual meaning, so we'll just stick with its rendering, except "came to be" is really "before the days themselves were FORMED", or something similar, again stressing David had NO existence while in the womB. He's playing on his unformed body being part of the unformed days. Greek is plauso, future passive indicative 3rd plural (because "days" is the subject). Goes with akatergastos, UNFORMED fetus. Obviously a day does not exist until it DAWNS, is BORN. So too, a fetus. Hebrew construction is similar: YATSER is used, so again it's wordplay on Gen2:7, the forming of INANIMATE Adam's body. Golem is used to denote the fetus. Again, David's drawing a parallel between a non-life and non-day, nonetheless in the mind of God. Decreed. Devoted.
So now, do you see why Verse 13 is not talking about soul life? All this time David was talking ONLY of his physical house, his body. Whatever version you have of Ps139:16, it should be clear almost even in translation that David's saying he had NO life in the womb. Take this logic test of the translation you have: note the distinction he makes between his "unwrought substance" or "form" (or however your Bible translates it) and himself: do you see he distinguishes what is not life, there? If he as HUMAN and the fetal 'substance' were the same, there'd be no distinction needed..a body God prepared for him. Ps40:5ff, and especially, Heb10:5 now tie perfectly to.. MESSIAH!
- There's more wit to show. Again, this passage is one of God's bald statements that I, not the womb, CONCEIVED you, so next note 139:17 with that italic meaning in mind. Well, wait: gotta say something about the ending of that verse. You probably have something like "how great are the sum of them [the thoughts of God]" at the end of your verse. What's sooooo cool about the Hebrew and Greek there is wordplay on HEAD, a body part, and HEAD, the idea of ruling. Sovereign. Thinking. Will. Alive. God is alive. Now David is alive. OUTSIDE THE WOMB. So, David has a will. So David is a Ruler. So David too, can THINK. All this, MADE BY GOD, no one else.
So watch how delicious is his wordplay, which depends on you knowing no soul life was in the womb: David's playing on how he was IN THE MIND-WOMB of God in eternity past; once on the inside, shut in, not alive, 'secret', just a bucket of bones and tissue, only 'alive' in the Mind of God, only God could see all that biology forming; but now, David himself is really alive! So, (heh) on the OUTSIDE, looking 'out' at the Beautimous Emeth (Truth, Doctrine, Thoughts) of His Creator. It's a fantastic way to say that the entire and only meaning life is TO HEAR/SEE GOD'S THOUGHTS. Else, better to never be born. Amen.
The woman who interrupted the Lord got quashed by Him for giving mommies credit too: Luke 11:27-28. The 'milk' of the Word, not even mother's milk, is what gets the credit.
My pastor has always stridently stressed that the soul is instanteously created and then imputed TO the EXITING body AT birth; just like Adam's body was first made, and next "ne shemmah" was imputed (lit., LIVES, not "life" was breathed into him -- human spirit AND soul, my pastor says that means); so next "man became a living soul" (Gen2:7, again). (Elihu recounts the same procedure somewhere in his speech to Job.) My pastor can't talk about this Luke passage in (what used to be daily) Bible class, without going through the whole explanation. So, since you know I got the exegesis of the above table on Ps139:13-17 solely from BibleWorks, you know two other witnesses of at least some credibility, exist. BibleWorks, of course, is a collection of texts, not an interpreter. So the interpretation in the table or of my pastor, can be independently verified. Of course, it's faster still to use 1Jn1:9, ask Father in Son's name to help you see for yourself what's the truth. God can't be wrong.
Let's return to the topic of His OT style of Possessiveness about being SOLE CREATOR. HIS Perspective is Infinite, so is all-encompassing. We all know God is Truth. Not merely some truth, but Infinite, ALL truth. So, for Truth To Be Truth, it must consistently operate. A TRUTH MUST ALWAYS WORK IN THE SAME ROOT FASHION. So, then: it makes Sense that Sovereignty would have this Possessive, Want-To-Be-Intimate attitude, given God's other Attributes, for if (and we know it's true) God is Infinite, then He is adamant about whatever 'opinion' (so to speak) He 'has'. He must WILLFULLY connect Himself to a thing for it to be valid. If the thing itself of itself, though sparked (neshemmah, word in man's Genesis creation), does anything OF itself, God is NOT in that. Of course, sin is something we do of ourselves, and Christ Had To Connect Himself To Sin On The Cross Or We Wouldn't Be Saved.
In short, just because God is Infinite doesn't mean He chooses to be involved. And He never chooses to be the sponsor of sin; never chooses to be the sponsor of anything less than Infinite Quality, His Standard. So, doesn't 'touch' it. Just as we can look around the room yet not be touching everything IN the room, so also God, even though 'in' everything, doesn't 'touch' everything. For, that is an act of WILL. [God wills to be connected or not. He doesn't have to actually 'touch'. So the latter term is a figure of speech. Bible likes to use the word Word to stress this fact, among other meaning layers for using "Word". To more easily see that God need only WILL a thing, and it exists, see Matt4:3 and Heb1:3 (really, first 10 verses or so). There are lots of OT passages, too. That's also a layer of meaning in the reason why Moses was supposed to SPEAK to the Rock, in 2nd Meribah (depicts faith-in-Christ and God's response of salvation, in many layers of meaning).] And He doesn't WILL sin, nor wood hay stubble (man's production), but only GOLD: which covered the Ark, which covered our sins, which covered every topic in every living thought of our Living Savior, Christ.
Now, let's look at the blasphemy question: is it BLASPHEMOUS, not merely incorrect, to say there is SOUL life IN the womb? For, if you are testing an interpretation of Scripture, only the RIGHT interpretation will conquer ALL the alternative ones. So, let's pretend that no one ever wanted an abortion nor ever got one. Let's pretend further that we BELIEVED life was in the womb, we LOVED that fact, and we WANTED whatever stirrings were there, to BE life. (Which, frankly, is true of every mother; it's part of the biological emotion of motherhood in pregnancy. See an obstetrician.) God would call this BELIEVING, LOVING, WANTING, blasphemy. Understandable blasphemy, unintentional blasphemy, but LEGALLY 'blasphemy', just the same. For, some 'other author' is being credited: biology. Ooops.
So, when Adam sinned, we ALL die in Adam. (Rom5:12 GReek tense in hamartano, plus 1Cor15:22 are sample verses on this topic.) If God 'touched' the developing fetus, EITHER by putting a soul in there (which makes no sense anyway, for the fetus isn't formed, but Adam was first FULLY formed); or, if God 'touched' the developing fetus by Himself making life of it in any way, even merely biological -- then God would be sponsoring sin. If, on the other hand, the woman is punished by means of pregnancy (which she was, a new biological process, Gen3:16, strong language), then a thing which does 'of itself' can be 'touched' by JUDGEMENT. Condemnation. Adam's Original sin bears 'fruit' (see that analogy in James 1:13-15). So, can be 'ruled on'. So, can be saved.
For, to condemn a body which should get a soul after it's independently viable (law of precedence from Adam's creation), means to simultaneously condemn and bless by means of the same condemnation. Justice is thus not compromised. Hence a Virgin Pregnancy and Virgin Birth can ALSO be had, without compromising Justice. Because there is NO soul in the womb. [My pastor explains that Adam's original sin is imputed to the body at its birth, and has a different way of stating this paragraph. You might prefer his explanation.]
See, God thinks of every judicial angle. Perfectly. No one can out-lawyer God. Satan ("opposing attorney") really thought he put one over on the Most High, when he got the woman and THEN Adam, to sin. But look: the body forms on its own, due to condemnation of the woman. So, the sin nature of Adam (via DNA in sperm) bears its 'fruit'. Which, at BIRTH, must also BE CONDEMNED, for it is now OUT ON ITS OWN. Can't condemn the woman twice (no double jeopardy), but NOW the process, itself a condemnation, 'bears' condemnation, get it? But wait! Just like David observed in Ps139:15, shall these "bones" be cast off, when Adam's were NOT? After all, Adam was a far bigger sinner -- its originator -- than David. Shall God renege on his Precedence which HE established, in Gen2:7? Oh no! So, what must happen? A soul must be breathed INTO a CONDEMNED body.
But Look: there's a question of soul 'fit'. After all, the moment God creates a soul, that soul will live forever. In the BODY which exits the womb. Is it FAIR for that BODY to GET a soul, given what God KNOWS IN ADVANCE a soul would BE, in such a body? Is it FAIR, for the REST of the UNIVERSE of souls? What if creating a soul and imputing it to a body is UNFAIR to do? What if doing it is UNFAIR to the rest of the other souls who HAVE or WILL exist, or BOTH?
Yet at that moment, another judicial question arises: how to save that soul, which after all, is not responsible for the precedence God set! Ahhh. It's ADAM'S sin. So Adam's sperm will not be used for a Human Savior (Luke 1-3). For, the woman's chromosomes SPLIT in ovulation, and those sin nature genes split WITH the departing chromosomes. Leaving 23 UNtainted ones. To be completed by the Holy Spirit 'hovering', like He did back in Gen1:2ff. Speaking-into-existence, bara, from nothing, the missing 23 chromosomes. So, idou, behold, the Lamb of God is BORN! Hebrews 10:5! Goes to AND THROUGH the Cross, still perfect in soul AND BODY! John 3, 2Cor5:21! Tetelestai! The Work of Salvation is finished FOREVER! For there is no other name under Heaven given among men THROUGH WHOM we MUST MUST MUST be rescued-to-God. Delivered, that is. REBORN.
Who can know the answer to these questions, but GOD? God alone knows what a soul would do with itself. Logically, since there are spontaneous stillborns and abortions, God must have decided it was unfair that the fetus come to term. Well, there must be a reason. As Ruler, it's GOD's Responsibility to make this decision. Who else can have competent jurisdiction? So what right do Christians have, to tell God what HE should do? Perish the thought, 1Cor2:15!
So, then: if a fetus exits the womb and, á la Gen2:7b, life is breathed INTO it, it will cry out or exhale. Then and only then, do you know it was fair for that body to become a human being. Else, no one but GOD can decide. And, just as God used Pharaoh, who was clearly evil; just as God used Hitler, who was clearly evil: what right have you, oh man, to tell God He should have CAESAR prohibit those who want abortions? Do you want to tell God how to administer JUSTICE? Yikes! Matt7:1-2! Our usually-wiser grandparents weren't pushing for Caesar to outlaw abortion: maybe we shouldn't, either. [I've never found one civil law in any nation, which prohibited abortion. Roe vs. Wade is without national legal precedent. So, were all our forebears, EVIL?]
So, all throughout ALL history, all those real babies who were born but died before they were able to say no to the Gospel, are SAVED. So, too, anyone who IS able to say no to the Gospel, who instead even once in a lifetime, says 'yes'. John 3:16. BELIEVE. Not receive (have to be a 'newborn' to receive, Christ told folks in Mk 10:15's Greek). BELIEVE IN CHRIST: An exhale of faith, from an inhale of the Theopneustos, God-breathed, Gospel. So the Spirit rehab's us. Perfect, eh?
Now, about whether it's blasphemy, to claim abortion, murder
See, in Mandarin Chinese, a HARSH "ma" sound means "curse". But a singing "ma" sound, means "mother". So if I, though well intentioned, say "má-ma", it means "curse mother", and a loyal son would likely kill me. To him, I blasphemed. Doesn't matter I didn't mean it.
And, it IS blasphemy to say the soul is in the womb; for in real life, not all fetuses come to term, human or otherwise; spontaneous abortions, even in the very act of birthing, occur. Of course, there are the deliberate ones, too. But look: GOD LETS IT HAPPEN. He even punished David by KILLING David's firstborn of Bathsheba, seven days AFTER birth. (2Sam12:18.) GOD CAN STOP ABORTION. HE CAN PUNISH IT BETTER THAN WE CAN. So, is God a MURDERER? Perish the thought! But.. um, HE DOES let it happen. So, if NO life is in the womb, then no murder, either. Whew. So, biology we KNOW is consistent with the Bible we know. Whew.
Moreover, if you study biology and especially pathology, you'll find that PAINFUL diseases ARE painful due to blood change, tissue change, organ change, bone change, etc.. Keyword is "change". Heck, even all NON-pathological growing functions are generally PAINFUL. Teething, for example. That's why we have the aphorism, growing pains. So, if there really WERE a soul in the womb, it would FEEL all that DEVELOPING-BODY-PART change (only the soul has self-consciousness, so there is no feeling perceived if no soul). It would BE TRAPPED, TORTURED FOR NINE MONTHS? Tell me: Would Father do this to His Son???? Is God a Sadist, then, to PUT a soul in the womb? He would indeed BE, IF IF IF IF IF there really WAS a soul in the womb. Perish the thought! So, if NO life is in the womb, then no sadism, either. Whew. So, biology we KNOW is consistent with the Bible we know. Whew.
See, we can JUSTIFY pain AFTER birth, because we know that God didn't create sin, so didn't create its effects. So the suffering we go through, the diseases, the abuse, the deprivations, etc: all these are USED by God to BENEFIT us. And they DO benefit us (assuming we CONSENT), because WE ARE ALIVE. We have VOLITION to WANT to understand, to WANT to benefit. But if a soul were TRAPPED in the womb, self-conscious, so able to FEEL all that torturous CHANGE, when the BRAIN isn't even fully formed until shortly before birth (skull doesn't even harden for maybe up to a year AFTER birth) -- VOLITION HAS NO OUTLET. So can't learn anything. SO CAN'T REFUSE TEMPTATION. So can only SUFFER FOR NO REASON. Just like the unbeliever does, because he CAN'T LEARN GOD UNTIL SPIRITUALLY ALIVE. Surely God is no sadist.
Okay, let's switch gears, and pretend that some magical answer invalidates the above facts. What remains? Well, we are left with the fact that God CREATES LIFE. So, why then should CAESAR get JURISDICTION OVER what belongs to GOD? CAESAR doesn't have the legal standing to CREATE LIFE, and therefore doesn't have the legal standing to RULE ON WHAT creates life. Like Romans 13 says, government is given by God the rod, including capital punishment, but NOT the authority to create life. So, Caesar has no JUDICIAL STANDING on the matter of defining life. Only GOD can do that. Exodus 21:22 is quite clear on that point: it is NOT A CRIMINAL MATTER if a fetus is caused to abort by someone else. Of course, GIVEN the above paragraphs' facts, THIS VERSE NOW MAKES SENSE. Else God would be guilty, too... Perish the thought! [For a list of English translations which properly translate the word "miscarriage" in that verse, pull up SatSpin.htm and search on "Exodus 21:22". There is a small-font note in there which lists at least 6 English versions, including the Catholic Douhay-Rheims. Frankly, what is always the problem in translations is that people CHOP OUT meanings in the original-language words. So, the translations differ. Here, the Hebrew (or LXX) LEGAL PHRASE rendered variantly "miscarriage", "imperfectly formed", etc. is ALL-encompassing, not just one LAYER OF MEANING chopped out to make a translator comply to the one-English-for-one-Bible word STUPID RULE, which no secular translator in his right mind would follow unless he liked getting fired from the job! Instead, ALL the meanings, viz., no matter WHAT DAMAGE occurred to the fetus, whether actually born deformed or not born or aborted..it's NOT a criminal issue.]
That's why a baby who didn't grow up enough to have the faculty of CONSENT (which requires first knowing right and wrong, so requires a few or many years to acquire ONCE ALIVE) -- that's why any baby once BORN who dies, goes to heaven. Like David says: "I will go to him, but he will not return to me." (2Sam12:23.) This, even though it was David and Bathsheba, who committed adultery. But the child was killed. NOT the father. NOT the mother. Is God UnJust? Perish the thought!
That's why an unbeliever HURTS, because he IS alive, and IS still refusing Gospel. And ALL of us were in that torture, once upon a time.
So, isn't it blasphemy for man to give to Caesar, what belongs to GOD? The Lord, when teaching Peter about the two-drachma tax, sure seemed to say that: 'Give to Caesar, what belongs to Caesar; and God, what belongs to God.' [Matt 17:24-27; see also Matt22:17-21.] Why then should we-the-people give POWER to Caesar which Caesar should not have, because Caesar doesn't have the JURISDICTION for such power? Caesar doesn't have the right to tell us how to worship, because worship belongs to God. Well, life does too. So God had to GIVE Caesar the rod, not the other way around. Exodus21:22 makes it CLEAR God ISN'T giving Caesar the rod, here, and no other passage IN Scripture EVER calls abortion or miscarriage murder. So we shouldn't, either.
Another corollary: WHAT DOES GOD WANT? Even if we pretend that it really was murder to abort a fetus -- which, considering all the foregoing, should be at least SERIOUSLY DOUBTED -- but even if we PRETEND it was murder -- SHOULDN'T GOD'S OPINION, RULE? GOD's opinion, not the state's. NOT ours. But, no one in the abortion debate even CARES about God's opinion. The prolifers want a LAW. So they don't care about consulting GOD, only CAESAR. That's what the Jews did, when they opted for freeing Barabbas, but not the Christ. The "free choice" people also don't CARE about what GOD THINKS, for they make all their arguments in terms of the woman's choice. NOT GOD's CHOICE.
Here's a really painful corollary of the same Exo 21:22, in CONTEXT. Note how the Bible distinguishes between the harm to the MOTHER in the following verses, compared to the fetus. If the MOTHER is harmed, it IS criminal, say the following verses ("life for life" rubric). Note HOW MUCH TEXT is devoted to that. So there's a HUGE contrast between the two situations. So, if a father of a pregnant wife has to choose between mother and fetus, but DOESN'T KNOW THIS DISTINCTION, he himself DEFINITELY commits murder, if he tells the doctor to save the 'child', but not the mother. You can talk to almost any rabbi and get more details on this fact: MOTHER FIRST. So, then: clearly it CANNOT be 'murder' against the fetus, if the MOTHER is to be saved, right? Is God EVER inconsistent?
GOD SHOULD BE CONSULTED. Not Caesar. Since to consult God is a FAITH issue, it's NOT a civil issue, at all. Ps139:13 in corrected translation makes it utterly clear that GOD ORDERS life, and no one else. So, if a person believes in Him, it's between GOD AND THE PERSON (plus maybe spouse&family, depending on the AUTHORITY facts), what to do. God has the RIGHT to abort a fetus. God has the RIGHT to decree it complete. If you got nothing else from Ps139:13, you should have understood at least that much. So, at our end, we keep all this topic OUT of the civil/state realm and leave it as a private matter between God and the relevant individuals. We can advise and brief the individuals on pro's and con's, but THEY DETERMINE BEFORE THE LORD THEMSELVES what is the thing to do. That way, we're not lying, when we profess our love for God. (See 1Jn2:4-6 in GREEK. English verses are mistranslated, particularly with reference to what "tereo" means.) For, the WORD OF GOD IS LIVING (Heb4:12), so we shouldn't abort it, hein?
So if, and it MUST be true, that it's BLASPHEMOUS to give Caesar what God would NOT, where do you draw the line? Are we prepared to go down the road to Nazi Germany yet again? For, the road to tyranny ALWAYS involves a shift TOWARD self-righteous INTERFERENCE with personal freedoms, and ALWAYS starts with hitting on the gross sins. You can track it in history, anywhere you wanna start.
So, all this abortion debate is, enfin, HYPOCRITICAL. People with their eyes on people. NOT, on God. Just use His Ineffable Name to justify some HUMAN DESIRE FOR POWER. POLITICAL POWER, Rev17 harlot riding again, so to reproduce the hegemony of the 2nd century, which gave rise to the dark ages, Christianity's greatest, most shameful, blot. Oh, yeah, baby: power power power power. LUST! Who CARES if He is maligned, in the process? WE DON'T CARE ABOUT GOD, He's only good to be a moniker for OUR GREED to call self, righteous! A genie, a go-fer, a dog, to do OUR bidding. It's disgusting, all of it. Hosea was right (Hos4:6 -- it's too painful to say more). Ps143:12, Rom3:10,20. Gal 3:11. Jer 17:9. Hos10:2. Isa 64:6. Lev26: End of the nation, if we keep on going this way. It's not as though the ORIGINAL LANGUAGES were not preserved. (See Rom9:6, parallel in meaning.) Which no one CARES TO CONSULT, of course.
Heck, we don't even know how to consult our own CONSTITUTION, for crying out loud! What, propose what is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, an amendment about marriage, in the 2004 State of the Union address? It's never been right in US history for the Constitution to regulate personal freedoms of any kind. Certainly not marriage, and ESPECIALLY, not RELIGIOUS RIGHTS TO MARRY PEOPLE. Unbelievable! We've lost our minds in this country. WE WERE FOUNDED ON THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. No state religions. God, yes. That's a general term, permitting any manner of belief about how "God" is defined among men in a polity. FREEDOM OF FAITH. But oh no! Now we will break all our founding principles, and that to outlaw a RELIGIOUS marriage between two same-sex persons? IS NO ONE AWAKE ABOUT WHAT EVIL IS BEING PROPOSED? Communism got a toehold in China because the Christians thought that Mao would wipe out the prostitutes, so aided his cause. Beware, crusading legalist! You've lost all SECULAR perspective as well, when you've aborted the WORD...
Frankly, most of the impetus for wanting to outlaw abortion stems from a belief that somehow illicit sex goes unpunished. Guess again. There's a scathing passage in either Proverbs or Ecclesiastes in which Solomon writes about mincing-steps-down-to-the-grave. I don't remember exactly how it goes, but I sure remember the upshot: if you screw around with your body, you screw up your SOUL. Language is too graphic to look up and prove, anyway (my pastor nearly lost all the congregation back in the 1950's, when he exegeted and taught what REALLY was in Ezekiel16 or Song of Solomon).
So God's Perspective is first of all Sovereign CREATOR. No other. No competition. But also, His Perspective is, as we have all become privileged to know, TOTAL LOVE. Compassion. Mercy. So, no cruel idea of soul life in a womb, no murder, no sadism, and no blasphemy committed. After all, Bible makes it clear also that not even an ANIMAL is really alive until it independently breathes... Only GOD has the Right-to-Life. So for anyone ELSE to grant rights-to-life, is unavoidable blasphemy, however well-intended.
Point is, where do you draw the line? AT WHAT POINT do you STOP the precedent you start, when you give to Caesar, what belongs to God? Do you regulate eating habits next, since you regulate sex habits? What DID JESUS DO? He took illicit sex (using adultery as the moniker) OUT of the Law, when he pardoned the adulteress 'caught in the act' (yeah, the Pharisees were following her around for just that purpose)! See John 8: notice that they were asking Him as Messiah (pretending they believed in Him) FOR A RULING. You know that, because they weren't supposed to bring the gal to anyone BUT the Sanhedrin, according to the Law of Moses. Instead, they bring her to Him. Messiah is the ONLY RULER; else, there's just the law. Jesus is NOT a priest of the Law: Heb5-7 spends a lot of time explaining that; also Heb10. So this is a BLATANT RULING BY MESSIAH. Not, just an informal opinion.
If you search the Gospels on "adultery", you find Christ REMOVED non-criminal SEXUAL SINS from the civil law. Adultery was in the 10 Commandments, so all other non-criminal sexual sins, not being listed, are regarded as lower and SUBSUMED (i.e., consensual homosexuality, prostitution, etc). So to remove ADULTERY, which requires CONSENT, removes all like-category sexual sins from the juridisdiction of human law. Note how He does it: because even THINKING of the act is a sin, it is a WORSE sin than the law can adjudicate, and no law can sentence a thought. So ONLY GOD can adjudicate the issue. The act follows the thought: but Christ did not condemn the adulteress, so no one else can judicially condemn like sins. How deft of God to show us how SEPARATION between spiritual and civil, works. Notice also how deftly VIOLENT and NON-consensual (i.e., one person too young) sexual sin is still UNDER human-law jurisdiction (i.e., rape, pederasty, etc).
Of course, what the Christian routinely fails to understand, historically, is that THE LORD INVENTED A NEW SPIRITUAL LIFE. This is a main theme in Hebrews (from the priesthood standpoint, Jewish metaphorical approach), in Ephesians (from the BUILDING BY FATHER standpoint, Greek metaphor tweaking Euripedes' play, "Ion"), in Corinthians (new spiritual life standpoint, focus of 1Cor2,6,12 and 2Cor2-5), etc. BECAUSE HE IS PROGENITOR FOR FATHER (Heb12:2's "Archegos", in Greek but also see Heb5-10), we have a SEPARATE covenant. Which is NOT the OT System. Quite the opposite, in structure. [Central theme of "Thinking Out Loud" series, accessible from the Home Page.]
So, then: our RULER took CONSENSUAL sex questions OUT OF LAW. Out of criminal law, out of civil law. "Let he who is WITHOUT sin [idiom for, NEVER HAS SINNED] cast the first stone" means NO HUMAN CAN ADJUDICATE. So, GOD ALONE JUDGES ILLICIT CONSENSUAL SEX. Not mankind. This, of course, is a reversal, too: OT Law required stoning. But now, Our Ruler is Risen, and HE HE HE wants the prerogative of how to judge illicit CONSENSUAL sex. A far WORSE PENALTY, now. Because, marriage itself must comply with a FAR HIGHER STANDARD, never before in history: Eph5. Christ and Church. So, only GOD can exact the higher penalty. Caesar doesn't have the CAPABILITY to penalize for NOT MEETING THE CHURCH MARRIAGE STANDARD. Beware of illicit sex, all the MORE, now! I wouldn't even want a hitler to get THAT penalty.
So if the Lord of the UNIVERSE took illicit sex OUT of the law, then we should NOT, at very least, crusade politically on such matters. For, we act contrary to OUR KING, and lavish power on the WRONG 'king'. This is not to say we should just let all manner of gross stuff be as 'okay' as, say, the institution of marriage. But it DOES mean we should FIRST be a WHOLE LOT MORE STUDIOUS of the PARAMETERS in Scripture before we even venture to PROPOSE any kind of political action. That is, if we REALLY EVEN CARE about what God says. Let's PUT OUR MONEY where our mouth is: Matt4:4. "MONEY" is thought. Let's THINK THE WORD, like James counsels in Jas1:1-26. Like Peter counsels, in last half of 2nd Peter. Like Paul counsels, in Phili2:5, Eph4:23, Rom12:2-3, Rom15:4 (well, everywhere). We are FIRST, citizens of Heaven (Phili1:27, 3:20, Eph2:19, 2Pet3:11), and Ambassadors to our home countries (ibid., and 2Cor5:20). So must continually aim to be Model Citizens, in both (1Tim2, Rom13): DueDisclosure.htm has details. [Eph2:2 and 2Pet3:11 don't have the word "citizen" in the inspired Bible's Greek, but the modern Greek Bible inserts the term: not a bad way to translate the root concept in the old INSPIRED Greek, actually.]
Now, about whether no-life-in-womb FITS BIBLE in OTHER ways..
But, of course, there is even much more to this doctrine. So, if this Perspective is aptly interpreted, then hermeneutically, a whole lot of RELATED or even UNrelated Bible verses AND THINGS IN LIFE should synergistically FIT when interpreted with this Perspective. For, what we have here is a PARAMETER. Again, We all know God is Truth. Not merely some truth, but INFINITE, ALL TRUTH. So, for TRUTH TO BE TRUTH, it must CONSISTENTLY OPERATE. A TRUTH MUST ALWAYS WORK IN THE SAME ROOT FASHION. So we should see it CONSISTENTLY OPERATE in all SIMILAR contexts. Else, what is called "truth", is NOT. For, "Let God be proved true, though every man a liar." (Romans 3:4.)
So, it now makes SENSE why Bible spends so much time DISTINGUISHING between life which THINKS, and nonthinking (biology can't think); between life which is everlasting, and God's. Technically, ETERNAL, not 'everlasting' life is what we get when born-again: that's God's OWN TYPE of life, which has no beginning and no end. Soul life, by contrast, has no end. The many independent-breath-starts-life passages (most of which use tense or prepositions, as noted above, but often use the language words for breath) focus on these distinctions. So, then there are another whole SLEW of verses which basically COMPARE one type of life to another, from the standpoint of life-most-valuable (with God) is the only one WORTHY of being called "life". This wordplay is most commonly done with the word "spirit", because (for example in 1Jn), if you're not Filled with the Spirit, you're not BREATHING spiritually. It's a dramatic way to wake us up, I guess.
So, since more verses are CLEARER and MORE FITTING as a result of an interpretation, then there's something VALID in the interpretation. Again, the hermeneutical rule to compare Scripture with Scripture, is VITAL. So, let's continue: the universe would not exist until BIRTHED. Big Bang, Gen1:1. Something other than the item itself had to CAUSE the item itself to have an INDEPENDENT 'BREATHING', an independent existence. We know that "Something", is really God. Just because the idea of the universe is 'in' Omniscience, and just because Omnipotence CAN make a universe, doesn't mean the universe ACTUALLY exists.
The Lord seemed to be making a big point of this when He talked to Nicodemus, in John3. Because, He analogizes between PHYSICAL birth, and SPIRITUAL birth, and He's PLAYING on the word SPIRIT, which in both Hebrew AND Greek can also mean, "breath" (ruach, pneuma). So, until there is an EXHALE (this is how my pastor explains the passage), there is no life BEGOTTEN. Big bang. First cry of the baby. [Of course, when you first pull a baby from the mother's womb, the FIRST thing you must do, is CLEAR ITS NOSE so it CAN exhale. (No breathing takes place IN the womb: nostrils are plugged up).] First imputation of Eternal Life by the Holy Spirit into the human spirit HE creates (Titus3:5).
As noted earlier, whereas OT stresses OWNERSHIP (Husband is talking!), so its language on this topic is often POSSESSIVE, the NT's rhetorical style on to this topic is often clinical. So, the Lord uses the very unusual INDICATIVE MOOD with didomi and hoste in John3:16 (my pastor stressed this, L1663). What's so awesome, is that hoste normally takes the (get this!) "infinitive of conceived/intended result". Note that. Infinitives in Greek express PURPOSE, but whether the purpose ACTUALLY came to pass, is a DIFFERENT action. Greek is very precise. Considering the Attic double-accusative of huios and monogeneis (son and uniquely-born, respectively) in the SAME CLAUSE, it's a deliberate play on words to fit the analogy made earlier about how what's born of flesh is flesh, but of Spirit is spirit.
So, to go from purpose to REALITY, there must be an ACT OF WILL. "Believe in the Lord Jesus" it says in Acts 16:31. Belief is always and ONLY, an act of WILL. Choosing. Yes. Consent. Conceiving the Gospel, doesn't make one born. One must WANT to believe. So, to do that, one must one must first CHANGE THE MIND (metanoeo, has no emotional connotation, so "repent" is a misleading translation) about what the PREVIOUSLY-CONCEIVED Gospel, means. So too, for sin (Jas1:13-15). Being tempted, is not sin. Being tempted, requires the 'conception' of an idea God would not 'touch'. But until the person CHANGES HIS MIND about the temptation and WILLS it, it can't be BORN.
Breath to breath, then, is the definition of life, which both OT and NT say in many other ways (bullets at beginning of this page). No life until independent BREATH. So no spiritual life, until independent SPIRITUAL breath: you aren't saved merely because you UNDERSTAND the Gospel. (See also James 1:13-15, and Gal4:19's GREEK.) That's the BIG POINT the Lord is making, here, via specially-crafted Greek syntax, for a confused-but-positive, Pharisee. So no life, just because purposed. If I purpose to go to work but don't ACTUALLY do it, no work will get done. If I purpose to pay a bill but don't actually do it, the bill remains unpaid. If I even pay the bill by check, but the check doesn't CLEAR MY BANK ACCOUNT, the bill remains UNPAID. Esau cried his eyes out for salvation, but didn't actually BELIEVE, so God DID NOT save Him. (See Heb12:17: you have to see the Greek there. English translations don't show that Esau, for all his crying, 'couldn't find a change-of-mind'. Yeah, how many times haven't we all used that same excuse.] After all, the road to hell IS paved with good intentions.
LIFE KEY ==> Only when BORN, is it alive. Faith without works, is dead. Faith in Christ without the Work of the Holy Spirit, is dead. [Why does NO ONE look at the CONTEXT of James 2:18? See, the strawman in v.18 is saying that works WITHOUT faith (doctrine, in context of Chapter 1) is valid. James spends the rest of this 'paragraph' REFUTING the strawman argument. Remember, Judaism was stuck on works. So James starts with DOCTRINE, shemah Yisroel. Which IS WHY Jas2:18ff is BASED ON CHAPTER 1, and ends at 2:26, the Holy Spirit's REGENERATING US. For "faith" in Greek means belief, alright, but MORE OFTEN means WHAT is believed, Bible Doctrine, which is WHY James 1 is ABOUT Doctrine, because James 1:3 is talking about being tested in your BELIEF, which means WHAT you believe, Scripture. Be a DOER of the WORD, see. Heb11:6, Rom10:9-10 (in Greek, English mistranslates v.10's end), and like verses tie in. 1Jn is really critical on this topic too, but he uses an in-fellowship-with-God, out-of-fellowship style. You have to carefully track what is 'in' or 'out', and even though the Greek is often simple, much mistranslation exists. For example, John uses Atticisms, but today's scholars like to forget about that, pretending it's all koine. See Wallace's introductory chapters. But you can still spot mistranslations if you use a lexicon with more punch than abridged Strong's.]
See how MUCH MORE SENSE MANY VITAL BIBLE DOCTRINES, once you RECOGNIZE there is no soul life in the womb? Most importantly, the reason why there is no SOUL life in the womb has to do with God's ATTRIBUTES AND SOVEREIGNTY, so has nothing to do with whether stupid people have sex out of wedlock. Yet again, let God be proved true, though every FALSE USE OF SCRIPTURE, a lie. To truncate the USE OF SCRIPTURE to just abortion issues, is NEVER right.
So a thing must be BORN, to be alive, no matter WHAT. Be it a paid bill, a sin, a universe, a believer, a human being, or even a dog. God is consistent, and GOD MUST FIRST WILL life exist. MUST CREATE FIRST, for life to exist. Whether the big bang, the faculty of procreation, the creation of the PERFECT soul (thus only at birth, since body has Adam's sin nature genetics), the creation of the human spirit (which causes salvation -- see Titus3:5). All HIS work. Not our works. For, works without faith [Spirit empowering, Bible Doctrine], are dead, too.
So something which BEGAN by His Hand but AFTERWARDS does something ON ITS OWN, is NOT His work. After all, God is not sin because He KNOWS SIN from Omniscience. Sin is not 'alive' just because its own existence, is IN His Omniscience. So procreation is NOT His work, and therefore He is NOT compromising Righteousness to NOT 'touch' it. So sin is NOT His work, and therefore He is NOT compromising, etc., to not only NOT 'touch' it, but to, WITH CHRIST'S CONTINUING CONSENT, impute and judge those sins ON the Cross. Therefore belief is NOT His Work, for it comes from a soul; but BECAUSE belief is NOT His work, that soul's belief, itself accomplishes NOTHING; but BECAUSE belief is IN CHRIST, He can NOW 'touch' it, since our sins 'touched' Christ (2Cor5:21). So now the Holy Spirit can now 'touch' that belief, and MAKE US SAVED (Titus3:5, again). BORN. AGAIN. BY GOD. Not by anyone or anything else. "For apart from Me, you can do nothing" (Jn15:5).
However, on that FAR LESS IMPORTANT subject of pregnancy, if a woman is pregnant, GOD SHOULD BE CONSULTED, like Rebekah consulted Him in Genesis, in order to decide what to do. [Badly translated, Gen25:22. No "baby" word IN that verse! Term is "ben", and in Hebrew it's NOT a person on its own. The word means "son of" but in a NAME. No name until BORN, obviously. That's what the b'rith on the 8th day AFTER BIRTH, is for. If you look at v.23, again God's precision shows, emphasizing SEPARATION from the womb, so "nations" (duh) aren't IN the womb, but are talked about AFTER SEPARATION FROM the womb.]
You'll want to check all this out for yourself, of course. And you should. For, the research has RICHES OF UNDERSTANDING ABOUT GOD'S NATURE you can NEVER get from the English. Really, it's like getting BILLIONS of dollars. No.. it's BETTER!
Definitely no state authority should have a right to decide what she should do: Exodus 21:22 makes that clear IN SPADES. It is a PERSONAL matter, because EVERYTHING between God and an individual is a personal matter. Whether family or the father should be involved, is an extension -- personal. For, the minute you cede to the state something PERSONAL, then ALL your personal rights become fair game for state control. Because, in law, you SET A PRECEDENT when you cede something to the state. Check out the history of the US! Liberalism would not have the power grip it does, if we didn't spend decades CEDING to the Federal Government, rights that properly belong to NON-governmental segments of the body politic.
Added reading of interest: you might find DueDisclosure.htm ("Due Disclosure" link in Basics Box of Home Page) helpful, because Bible makes lots of plays on "hupostasis", JOINING. That is, of God TOUCHING a thing, to MAKE it alive, to MAKE it saved, to MAKE it holy, etc. Frankly, what all the atheists miss, is that this HUPOSTASIS (as in, God-man, Heb1:3) is EMBEDDED in every structure in the universe, in life; so is DISPLAYED in everyone, everything, every principle of every secular discipline EVERYWHERE you look, especially in MATH. Ergo, Rom1:20, Eph1, Eph3:15-21, Heb1, (Greek). Not good, that body should exist without God, either! So GOD DOES SOMETHING, not man, to solve the problem!