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Would Jesus condone abortion?

 
 
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:09 pm
Please share your thoughts on this.

Do you feel Jesus would condemn abortion? Do you think Jesus cared?

I personally feel that Jesus would have a strong condemnation of abortion were he alive today. He preached love and life. Nothing in his lectures or written history of his teachings would lead anyone to believe he would condone such a practice.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:15 pm
How would Jesus feel if say, a child were conceived through rape, and would cause nothing but further suffering in the life of the mother?
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willow tl
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:15 pm
I don't know McG..there is nothing that said he wouldn't either...but i look at Him and how He seemed to empower women at that time..but it is all conjecture..free will is what we come away with in my opinion..and my free will is CHOICE.
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FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:20 pm
He did say "suffer the little children to come unto me". I'm fond of creative interpretation. I like to interpret that as, don't have 'em if you don't want 'em, give them back to me.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:29 pm
I can't think of anything Jesus said or did that could be construed as agreement with or support of abortion.

Even the girls I knew that had the procedure said they knew it was wrong, and suffered over the decision for years later.

It may be a legal right, but I think most people know instinctively, it is not a moral right.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:37 pm
The bible has some interesting stuff on the 'value' of children. Some readings suggest that without breath there is not life. There are also references to children not being counted in census until they are one month old. The unborn may not have been as greatly valued by Jesus and his compatriots as some people might believe/suggest/hope.

Since there is some question as to whether "Jesus" was one actual person, or a compilation of writings about rabbis of the era, the answer could easily be yes, no and maybe.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:38 pm
Since we have damn near nothing to work with on this question..a more relevent (and answerable) question would be:

Did Jesus condemn abortion?

The answer to that question seems to be: NO!

There is absolutely nothing written that indicates Jesus ever condemned abortion.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:43 pm
Jesus condoned, preached and taught choice by free will above all things....and reminded of the unavoidable accountability for those choices.....He made it clear to those who would listen that love was the greatest thing and all good things would flow from that, and all bad things from it's opposite number.

God builds the field, sets the rules of play and outcome, and then steps back to let us play as we will.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:45 pm
I think Jesus was misunderstood. The argument that he spoke of love and life, and therefore would condone abortion is fallacious, or worse, applying misinterpreted scripture to modern-day problems. My feeling is that if there were actually a historical Jesus, he would support abortion in special cases, and stem-cell research, to serve the greater good.

As for Frank's statement, I agree. Lack of evidence either way on any issue does not a debate make.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:47 pm
Frank, why is it then that EVERY Christian religion condemns abortion? If they are based on the teachings of Jesus, wouldn't they see that?
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:48 pm
I agree with willow. If he did not condemn it, and the earliest records of the Jewish people's opinion on abortion supports it, then it seems like he would be in agreement. If it mattered enough he'd have vocalized clearly his intentions to end the abomination.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:49 pm
Quote:
Frank, why is it then that EVERY Christian religion condemns abortion? If they are based on the teachings of Jesus, wouldn't they see that?

Oh, a faulty premise -- that all christian religions are based on the teachings of Jesus. They seem to like Paul more than Jesus.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:51 pm
If you can't read my mind, and I can't read yours, then how can either of us possibly read God's mind? The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 2:11, "For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." God can read our minds, but we can't read God's mind. Of ourselves, we have no way of knowing God's thoughts.

I would have to question anyone's guilt over an abortion. It is just as likely, if not more likely, that such guilt is societal. The God I know does not wish me, or you, to live in guilt and misery. He much prefers me, and you, happy and productive, and so do I.

In the end, we each have to answer for our own lives, not anyone elses, so in my humble opinion, it's a choice. Not a choice given to be used for or against God or to divide His people, but a choice of God given free will of which each of us individually will answer someday.


(Steps down from soapbox.)
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:52 pm
In another thread, Foxfire wrote:

Quote:
I think Jesus would not have condoned abortion...


To which I replied:

Quote:
This is a very self-serving statement.

If Jesus would not have condoned abortion...or if he would have condemned it...it seems to me that he would have.

But he didn't...and that is all we have to go on.


Fox responded with:

Quote:
Frank, I think if there had been abortion in his time on earth, Jesus would have condemned it. There is simply nothing in the record in which he condoned or approved of anything that would harm the children, and there is simply nothing to suggest that he discounted the Jewish belief that life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a spiritual being.


And I responded:

Frank Apisa wrote:
Foxfyre wrote:
Frank, I think if there had been abortion in his time on earth, Jesus would have condemned it.


C'mon Fox, think before you post.

Abortionist is the second oldest profession on this planet...occassioned, in large part, by the first.

Hippocrates...who lived in the same area as Jesus at approximately the same time (maybe 200 years earlier) certainly knew about abortion...and disapproved of it. In fact, he wrote a prohibition against providing abortions in his famous oath.

It is almost certain that Jesus knew about abortion...and it is almost certain that he did not think enough of it to condemn it. Fact is, as far as we know, he did not utter a single word about it.


Quote:
There is simply nothing in the record in which he condoned or approved of anything that would harm the children, and there is simply nothing to suggest that he discounted the Jewish belief that life begins at conception and that the unborn child is a spiritual being.


Do you have help making this stuff up...or do you do it independently?



Then McG got into it -- and I responded:

Frank Apisa wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
What is it that would make you think for even a minute that Jesus would condone abortion?


The fact that he did not condemn it!

Now let me ask you:

What is it that would make you think for even a minute that Jesus would NOT condone it?

And what is it that would make you think for even a minute that if Jesus felt that there was something wrong with a woman's right to choose to end a pregnancy...that he would not have mentioned it?


Quote:
No religion, that I know of, endorses or approves of abortion.


Really!

Isn't that something!

Are you saying that all religious people...and all religions now extant...specifically condemn abortion as a choice? (Careful!)



Now we are here.

So let's go!
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:54 pm
Personally, and not like he needs anything from me, I feel sorry for Jesus. His words and intentions have been perverted and twisted in order to fit any dickheads agenda, and used to slaughter, divide, and in general accomplish the polar opposite of a world based on agape love.

I'd like to have him over to watch the Sox beat St. Louis, eat some wings, not ask him for a damn thing, and give him the day off.....again, not like He needs anything from me.
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:54 pm
Interesting historical link.

Quote:
The Jewish faith was generally opposed to both infanticide and abortion. An exception occurred if the continuation of a pregnancy posed a risk to the life of the pregnant woman or to her other children. In such cases, the pregnant woman is actually obligated to abort the fetus; the fetus is then considered "radef" -- pursuer.

Early in the 1st century CE, Philo of Alexandria (? - circa 47 CE) wrote on infanticide and abortion, 2 condemning non-Jews of other cultures and religions for the widespread, unjustified practices.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 02:58 pm
I can't speak for Jesus, as the word 'abortion'isn't found in the Bible--though one could easily make their own judgement of other things He said-- but dauer's post about the early Jews agreeing with abortion was incorrect, as these writings will prove--
-------------
*that the first Christians, including all but one of the New Testament authors, were Jewish Christians with an essentially Jewish morality. Hence, if there was a Jewish consensus on abortion at the time, the early Christians most certainly would have shared that consensus.

*that early Judaism was, in fact, quite firmly opposed to abortion. As Michael Gorman points out in his excellent article "Why Is the New Testament Silent About Abortion?" (Christianity Today, Jan. 11, 1993), Jewish documents from the period condemn the practice unequivocally, demonstrating a clear antiabortion consensus among first century Jews:

-- The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides (written between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50) says, "A woman should not destroy the unborn babe in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures."

-- Sibyline Oracles: includes among the wicked those who "produce abortions and unlawfully cast their offspring away" as well as sorcerers who dispense abortifacients.

-- I Enoch (first or second century B.C.) says that an evil angel taught humans how to "smash the embryo in the womb."

-- Philo of Alexandria (Jewish philosopher, 25 B.C. to A.D.41) rejected the notion that the fetus is merely part of the mother's body.
-- I Josephus (first-century Jewish historian) wrote, "The law orders all the offspring be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus." (A woman who did so was considered to have committed infanticide because she destroyed a "soul" and hence diminished the race.)

No contradictory texts exist! Given this consensus, the most logical conclusion is that the Jewish Christian writers of the New Testament shared the anti-abortion views of their Jewish heritage -- even if they never expressly mention the word "abortion" in their writings.

*that the theology of the New Testament is primarily task theology written to address specific issues in specific churches. In other words, the New Testament as a whole does not constitute a comprehensive code of ethics (although we certainly can derive certain principles of right and wrong from what's written), but rather each document deals only with those moral issues which had become problems. For example, the Apostle Paul seldom mentions the historical career of Christ, but this does not mean that he was ignorant of it or questioned its validity. Rather, it means that a discussion of this sort never became necessary. Writes theologian George Eldon Ladd:

"Many studies in Paul have worked with the implicit assumption that his letters record all his ideas, and when some important matter was not discussed, they have assumed it was because it had no place in Paul's thought. This is a dangerous procedure; the argument from silence should be employed only with the greatest of caution. Paul discusses many subjects only because a particular need in a given church required his instruction .... We would never know much about Paul's thought on the resurrection had it not been questioned in Corinth. We might conclude that Paul knew no tradition about the Lord's supper had not abuses occurred in the Corinthian congregation. In other words, we may say that we owe whatever understanding we have of Paul's thought to the "accidents of history" which required him to deal with various problems, doctrinal and practical, in the life of the churches" (A Theology of the New Testament, EErdmans, 1974, pp.377-8. Emph. added).

Likewise, the New Testament's silence on abortion does not mean that its authors approved of the practice, but that a discussion of the issue never became necessary. In other words, there was no deviation from the norm inherited from Judaism. The early Christians simply were not tempted to kill their children before or after birth.

*that many of the texts used by early Christians did condemn abortion. Although these early Christian works eventually lost their bid for canonicity, they do express how the first Christians felt on a variety of issues -- including abortion. As Gorman points out, these early writings were read and preached in many congregations throughout the Roman Empire up until the fourth century. Examples include:

-- The Didache: "You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn."

-- The Epistle of Barnabas: "You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn."

-- Apocalypse of Peter [describing a vision of Hell]: "I saw women who produced children out of wedlock and who procured abortions."

These texts, writes Gorman, "bear witness to the general Jewish and Jewish-Christian attitude of the first and second centuries, thus confirming that the earliest Christians shared the anti-abortion position of their Jewish forebears."

Given this overwhelming consensus against abortion by early Jewish Christians, our "visitor" would reason that what Jewish morality condemned, the writers of the New Testament never intended to legitimize.
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 03:14 pm
I have a question...the bible says it's also "Better to sow yor seed in the belly of a hog than sow it on the ground" (paraphrase) So if we're not supposed to masturbate, not supposed to used birth control or have abortions, then why did an all wise God make sex so pleasureable and the drive for it so overwhelming. I would call that an all Wisenheimer God.
0 Replies
 
Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 03:19 pm
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
I have a question...the bible says it's also "Better to sow yor seed in the belly of a hog than sow it on the ground" (paraphrase) So if we're not supposed to masturbate, not supposed to used birth control or have abortions, then why did an all wise God make sex so pleasureable and the drive for it so overwhelming. I would call that an all Wisenheimer God.



What is that old expression...

...out of the mouths of bears....

:wink: :wink:
0 Replies
 
dauer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Oct, 2004 03:39 pm
Lash wrote:
I can't speak for Jesus, as the word 'abortion'isn't found in the Bible--though one could easily make their own judgement of other things He said-- but dauer's post about the early Jews agreeing with abortion was incorrect, as these writings will prove--
-------------
*that the first Christians, including all but one of the New Testament authors, were Jewish Christians with an essentially Jewish morality. Hence, if there was a Jewish consensus on abortion at the time, the early Christians most certainly would have shared that consensus.

*that early Judaism was, in fact, quite firmly opposed to abortion. As Michael Gorman points out in his excellent article "Why Is the New Testament Silent About Abortion?" (Christianity Today, Jan. 11, 1993), Jewish documents from the period condemn the practice unequivocally, demonstrating a clear antiabortion consensus among first century Jews:

-- The Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides (written between 50 B.C. and A.D. 50) says, "A woman should not destroy the unborn babe in her belly, nor after its birth throw it before the dogs and vultures."

-- Sibyline Oracles: includes among the wicked those who "produce abortions and unlawfully cast their offspring away" as well as sorcerers who dispense abortifacients.

-- I Enoch (first or second century B.C.) says that an evil angel taught humans how to "smash the embryo in the womb."

-- Philo of Alexandria (Jewish philosopher, 25 B.C. to A.D.41) rejected the notion that the fetus is merely part of the mother's body.
-- I Josephus (first-century Jewish historian) wrote, "The law orders all the offspring be brought up, and forbids women either to cause abortion or to make away with the fetus." (A woman who did so was considered to have committed infanticide because she destroyed a "soul" and hence diminished the race.)

No contradictory texts exist! Given this consensus, the most logical conclusion is that the Jewish Christian writers of the New Testament shared the anti-abortion views of their Jewish heritage -- even if they never expressly mention the word "abortion" in their writings.

*that the theology of the New Testament is primarily task theology written to address specific issues in specific churches. In other words, the New Testament as a whole does not constitute a comprehensive code of ethics (although we certainly can derive certain principles of right and wrong from what's written), but rather each document deals only with those moral issues which had become problems. For example, the Apostle Paul seldom mentions the historical career of Christ, but this does not mean that he was ignorant of it or questioned its validity. Rather, it means that a discussion of this sort never became necessary. Writes theologian George Eldon Ladd:

"Many studies in Paul have worked with the implicit assumption that his letters record all his ideas, and when some important matter was not discussed, they have assumed it was because it had no place in Paul's thought. This is a dangerous procedure; the argument from silence should be employed only with the greatest of caution. Paul discusses many subjects only because a particular need in a given church required his instruction .... We would never know much about Paul's thought on the resurrection had it not been questioned in Corinth. We might conclude that Paul knew no tradition about the Lord's supper had not abuses occurred in the Corinthian congregation. In other words, we may say that we owe whatever understanding we have of Paul's thought to the "accidents of history" which required him to deal with various problems, doctrinal and practical, in the life of the churches" (A Theology of the New Testament, EErdmans, 1974, pp.377-8. Emph. added).

Likewise, the New Testament's silence on abortion does not mean that its authors approved of the practice, but that a discussion of the issue never became necessary. In other words, there was no deviation from the norm inherited from Judaism. The early Christians simply were not tempted to kill their children before or after birth.

*that many of the texts used by early Christians did condemn abortion. Although these early Christian works eventually lost their bid for canonicity, they do express how the first Christians felt on a variety of issues -- including abortion. As Gorman points out, these early writings were read and preached in many congregations throughout the Roman Empire up until the fourth century. Examples include:

-- The Didache: "You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn."

-- The Epistle of Barnabas: "You shall love your neighbor more than your own life. You shall not murder a child by abortion nor shall you kill a newborn."

-- Apocalypse of Peter [describing a vision of Hell]: "I saw women who produced children out of wedlock and who procured abortions."

These texts, writes Gorman, "bear witness to the general Jewish and Jewish-Christian attitude of the first and second centuries, thus confirming that the earliest Christians shared the anti-abortion position of their Jewish forebears."

Given this overwhelming consensus against abortion by early Jewish Christians, our "visitor" would reason that what Jewish morality condemned, the writers of the New Testament never intended to legitimize.


The error I see hear is that your first reference is Pseudo-Phocylides, but this is the work of a Hellenized Jew, a Jew who had been assimilating. For evidence of this, there is this page:

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/pseudophocylides.html

The sybiline oracles are a Christian document:

"Raymond F. Surburg writes: "Book 1 begins with creation and relates the history of the human race till the exit of Noah from the ark. This is followed by the history of the life of Christ, a portrayal of His miracle of the loaves, His crucifixion, and the destruction of the Jews. In this book, Hades is derived from Adam [Thomson]. "

You can read more about it on this page:

http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/sibylline.html

Of the book of Enoch I find:

James Charlesworth writes: "This pseudepigraph has evoked divergent opinions; but today there is a consensus that the book is a composite, portions of which are clearly pre-Christian as demonstrated by the discovery of Aramaic and Hebrew fragments from four of the five sections of the book among the Dead Sea Scrolls. One of these fragments, moreover, Hena, was copied in the second half of the second century B.C. The main question concerns the date of the second section, chapters 37-71, which contains the Son of Man sayings. J. T. Milik (esp. no. 755) has shown that this section, which is not represented among the early fragments, is probably a later addition to 1 Enoch... The earliest portions display impressive parallels with the nascent thoughts of the Jewish sect which eventually settled at Qumran

Of Philo I can show:

"Philo (20 BCE - 40 CE) was an Alexandrian Jewish philosopher born in Alexandria, Egypt. The few biographical details concerning him are found in his own works (especially in "Legatio ad Caium," and in Josephus ("Ant." xviii. 8, § 1; comp. ib. xix. 5, § 1; xx. 5, § 2)...

Philo included in his philosophy both Greek wisdom and Judaism, which he sought to fuse and harmonize by means of the art of allegory that he had learned from the Stoics. His work was not accepted by contemporary Judaism. "The sophists of literalness," as he calls them (De Somniis, i. 16-17), "opened their eyes superciliously" when he explained to them the marvels of his exegesis. Philo was enthusiastically received by the early Christians, some of whom saw in him a Christian.

http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/p/ph/philo.html

There a big section on there about how Hellenism influenced him.

Josephus

"The historian known to posterity by the Latinized name Josephus was a member of Jerusalem's priestly aristocracy who, at age 30, was taken hostage in the great Jewish revolt against Rome [66-70 CE] & spent the rest of his life in Roman circles as a protégé of three emperors [Vespasian, Titus & Domitian]...
Taken to Rome after the war, Josephus was declared a freed man, granted Roman citizenship, provided a pension & lodging on Vespasian's estates. He adopted the family name of his imperial patrons & was thus known to Romans as Flavius Josephus. He was near the top of Vespasian's "civil list" of Roman citizens. He witnessed first-hand the rebuilding of Rome after Nero's fire [65 CE] & the erection of the Flavian monuments [Colosseum, the temple of Peace, the forum of Vespasian & the arch of Titus, depicting the conquest of the temple in Jerusalem]. He used his position both to support the cause of the Flavian emperors & to defend his own place as a fixture in their court. Though he gave his children gentile names, he remained dedicated to his Jewish heritage, spending years writing voluminous works to explain & glorify those who championed the laws of Moses to Romans who, in the wake of the Jewish revolt, regarded all Jews as lawless riff-raff & bandits."

http://religion.rutgers.edu/iho/josephus.html

So you have presented

1. The text of a helenized Jew.
2. An early Christian document.
3.A book of fragments that agrees most with the views of a cloistered sect.
4.A quote from a helenizer.
5. A quote from a helenizer.

These may be the views of Jews, but they are not necessarily "Jewish" views. Certainly the book of Enoch may reflect the early ideas of the Essenes, if that line is not a later edition, but that speaks nothing for the Jewish populace. And the helenized Jews had left Jewish thought and begun to deal in other things, like the views of the Stoics and philosophers. So that's really not adequate. What we need is the views of some of the Jews who were actually thinking and acting in normative terms for the general population, as dictated by Jewish laws, and who were also not separating themselves from the majority and increasing greatly the number of laws of purity.

Dauer
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