In the book of Genesis, God records the creation of mankind. “God created out of nothing Adam in His image, in the image of God He created him out of nothing, male and female He created them out of nothing 1.” In the next chapter more detail is given as to the process in which God created the three parts of man: the body, the spirit, and the soul2. God forms the male out of the red dirt3 of the earth making the physical body of Adam. He then breathes the breath of lives4 into his nostrils and he becomes a living soul, thus creating the soul and spirit and giving Adam both physical and spiritual life. At this time Eve has not been formed. Adam is given time to see the renovated world5, learn that there is no other created being on earth like him, and the standard that God expects him to live by before God causes him to sleep and He builds the woman from his side. “So Jehovah God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and He took one from his ribs and closed up the flesh there under, and He built the rib, which he took from Adam, into a woman and brought her to Adam6.
Scripture does not use the word “formed” for Eve, like Adam was formed from the earth; rather, she is specifically build for man to be his helper like before him7 from what God had already created. God does not breath the breath of lives into her nostrils, for everything that she needs for life is taken from Adam. He does not form her, therefore creating a different body for her; rather, He builds her from what already existed.
After Adam and Eve have their third male child, God reveals that Seth is born in the image and likeness of his father8. This image and likeness had changes since Adam was originally created because he disobeyed God and was stripped of his garment of light and kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Rather than Seth being born in the likeness and image of God as his father was, he receives them from his father after he had fallen. Since Adam and Eve’s offspring is born not created, or build by God, what happens within the womb? Scripture describes the time within the womb as a time when God is making the body9. Like Adam was formed from the earth, a child is formed within the womb where God makes the body and establishes it.
When does a child in the womb become a person? God knows the person within the womb, Jeremiah 1:5, before the forming of the body begins. Since the person is known within the womb, then there has to be life, for without life there can be no person. The “person” is that part of us that makes each of us individual. It is who we are, the “I” in our existence. God even values the life of a child within the womb to the point that if another person harms the child their life will be required. “And when two men struggle and smite a pregnant woman and her child is born and no harm comes, fined he will be fined according as the master of the woman sets upon them, and he will pay by a judge. But if harm comes to be then you will give a life for a life.” Exodus 21:22, 23. The harm that is caused is not restricted to the woman only. It does not say that if she is harmed, but rather if harm comes to be, which would include either the mom or the child.
There are four main views of when life begins within the womb: Genetic view, Embryological view, Neurological view, and the Ecological or Birth view.
The Genetic view looks at the DNA and states that life begins at conception when the chromosomes from the male and female combine to create a new DNA. The Zygote – the result of the sperm entering the egg – has all the attributes of life. It has a metabolism, grows, reacts to stimuli, and can reproduce by splitting and making twins. The Embryological view is based upon the fact that Scripture states that the life is within the blood; therefore, life exists when blood first appears. Leviticus 17:1-14 reveal that the soul (life) of the flesh is in the blood. Therefore, biological life cannot exist without blood. The Neurological view focuses on the fetus becoming a human when there is brain activity; although it admits there is life prior to detecting brain activity, it is not human until it receive a person – indicated by the activity of the brain. The Ecological or Birth view requires proof of life by breath. It states that God breath the breath of life into each human separately. There is a slight different between the Ecological view and the Birth view only in when a child in the womb become a person. The Ecological view requires survival outside of the womb whereas the Birth view simply requires separation from the womb.
When it comes to what Scripture reveals about when life begins, it states that the person is present within the embryo before it begins to form. God only breathed the breath of lives into Adam; therefore giving him the ability to pass on these lives to his offspring. Since Eve was build from Adam, she is a good example for us that within Adam already existed everything required for another person’s life. Consequently, all of the parts that make up a human already exist within the sperm and egg. Separating the person from conception requires an additional step in the process of a child being born that is not supported in Scripture. God only created Adam out of nothing. Eve was build, and all others are born. When God speaks of what happens in the womb, “create” is never used; He forms, makes, or knits together10. In the book of Romans11, God reveals that we are all of one creation. Therefore the results of Adam’s trespass, which brought spiritual death – separation from God – and sin, which brings physical death, are passed on to all mankind. Hence, just as in Adam all mankind is condemned, so also those who are in Christ are made righteous because God takes us out of Adam and places us into the Christ, which is a new creation where the old things have passed away and all things have become new12. There is no Scriptural support for biological life without the soul, spirit, and person. On the contrary, the soul is required for biological life. When it comes to “breath” required for life, Acts 17:25 separates the two. God gives life and He gives breath; therefore, life does not depend upon the ability for the fetus to live outside of the womb.
According to Scripture life begins when blood appears within the embryo. At this point biological life exist which also requires the soul, spirit, and person to be present. God knows the person at this point, before the body begins to form; therefore, this is a human. When God created Adam He made it possible for all humans to exist through Adam. This includes all the elements of life: the body, the soul, the spirit, and the person. We are not individual creation, but are all from one act of creation. Under the Mosaic Law the life of a child within the womb has the same value as one who is already born; therefore, supporting that the child within the womb is a person and that life should be protected as any other life would be that has already been born.
- Genesis 1:27. * “created” is a specific term that means “to create something out of nothing”.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:23 – we have three parts; the Body, the Soul, the Spirit
- Genesis 2:7 * “Adam” is also a word that means “red”, Exodus 35:7
- In Genesis 2:7 the original language has plural lives, not a singular life like many of the translations seem to imply by using “the breath of life” rather than expressing the Hebrews, which states “the breath of lives”.
- In the first verse of Genesis the creation of the entire universe is seen. Originally God created the earth for Lucifer’s throne, but when he attempted to move his throne to the third heaven God removed him from his position of authority and flooded the earth. In verse two we see the results of this judgment upon the earth – note that darkness is upon the deep, not the surface of the water. The remainder of the first chapter goes over the earth being renovated for mankind.
- Genesis 2:21, 22
- She was not built to be under man, but to be his counterpart.
- Genesis 5:3
- Job 31:15; Ecclesiastes 11:5; Isaiah 49:5; 44:2, 24
- Job 10:8-10
- Romans 5:12-17
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ; a new creation, the old things have passed away, behold, all things become new