Conception

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Deacon, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Deacon

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    "Life begins at conception"

    A conviction or a biblical doctrine?

    Rob
     
  2. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    Both.
    I makes only common sense to me that since a human egg fertilized with a human sperm cell will become what is recognizable as a human baby 9 months later and not a gorilla or frog, means it's human from the start. And humans have souls.

    Isaiah 7:14
    Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

    It doesn't say bear a horse, it says son.
     
  3. dntccc

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    Why do you ask? if you do not mind me asking.
     
  4. Helen

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    If a DNA sample were taken (it would not be a reality without killing th child at that point, however) from the fertilized cell, the DNA itself would indicate that it was from not the mother, not the father, but a different PERSON. DNA doesn't care how old the person is, just who the person is. There is another person inside mom.
     
  5. Gina B

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    I would call it a biblical concept.
    It is taught that life is precious and valuable. Look at how much value the Christ saw in humans.

    Children are spoken of frequently, and esteemed as an example of how we should be.

    There are biblical mandates against taking the life of another human being without just cause.

    Now, man has started to question what a human life is.
    There is nothing clear-cut about that in the Bible, although the evidence strongly leans toward human life being recognized even when it is still within the womb.

    The logical conclusion is that human life is human life, from the time of conception and onward.

    Saying to err on the side of caution seems a bit trite, because we're talking about human lives here. I wouldn't just err on the side of caution with this one, leap to it and stick like glue on this particular issue. It's not something mankind can just say "oopsie, didn't quite get that one right" when we're doing our explainin' about how we lived after we knew Christ died for us. I doubt you can ever go wrong in God's eyes by choosing life. He had no problem doing that for us.
     
  6. Calvibaptist

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    There is definite biblical warrant to say that a baby is considered a human before they are born. The OT law gave specific penalties for harming an unborn baby. Jeremiah was set apart (possibly regenerated) while stil in his mother's womb. John the Baptist lept in his mother's womb when Mary came around.

    The answer to the question of "how far back does it go" I think Helen has handled pretty well.
     
  7. dntccc

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    Rob,
    By "Life begins at conception" I am assuming that you want to know if a soul is present at conception.

    What do you mean by "conception"? I take conception to be when the ovum is fertizized by a sperm. However, you will find that not everyone defines "conception" like this anymore, and it is important to know this when discussing abortion with someone.

    For the definition of conception, an online dictionary gave the following:

    conception
    a. Formation of a viable zygote by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; fertilization.
    b. The entity formed by the union of the male sperm and female ovum; an embryo or zygote.

    This defines conception generally how I described it. However, some say that conception also includes implantation of the fertilized egg in the uterus. What follows is taken from the book, Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion?:

    "[According to the] Physician magazine by Eugene F. Diamond, M.D...:
    Prior to 1976, a 'contraceptive' was understood to be an agent that prevented the union of sperm and ovum. In 1976 the American College of Obstertricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), realizing that this definition didn't help its political agenda, arbitrarily changed the definition.

    A contraceptive now meant anything that prevented implantation of the blastocyst, which occurs six or seven days after fertilization. Conception, as defined by Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (27th Edition), became 'the onset of pregnancy marked by implantation of the blastocyt.'

    The hidden agenda in ACOG's redefinition of 'contraceptive' was to blur the distinction between agents preventing fertilization and those preventing implantation of the week-old embryo."

    Hence implantation was added to the definition of conception. This is because, as the title of the book this was taken from suggests, one of the mechanisms by which birth control pills can work is by preventing implantation of a fertilized ovum. If one believes that life begins at fertilization (or conception defined in its traditional way) then this means that birth control pills can potentially cause an abortion.

    As for whether or not life begins at conception (again I am using this in its traditional meaning) and if it can be shown to be the case Biblically...

    Here are some examples of embryology text books that say that a new human being is formed at conception:

    The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th ed.
    Keith L. Moore, Ph.D. & T.V.N. Persaud, Md., (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998), 2-18.
    "[The Zygote] results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being. Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm ... unites with a female gamete or oocyte ... to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual."

    Human Embryology & Teratology
    Ronan R. O'Rahilly, Fabiola Muller, (New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996), 5-55.
    "Fertilization is an important landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed... Fertilization is the procession of events that begins when a spermatozoon makes contact with a secondary oocyte or its investments... The zygote ... is a unicellular embryo... "The ill-defined and inaccurate term pre-embryo, which includes the embryonic disc, is said either to end with the appearance of the primitive streak or ... to include neurulation. The term is not used in this book."

    Human Embryology, 3rd ed.
    Bradley M. Patten, (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), 43.
    "It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitues the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of the life of a new individual."

    Briological Principles and Modern Practice of Obstetrics
    J.P. Greenhill and E.A. Friedman, (Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders, 1974), 17.
    "The zygote thus formed represents the beginning of a new life."

    Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant, 3d ed.
    E.L. Potter and J.M. Craig, (Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975), vii.
    "Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition."

    The following is some testimony from medical experts (taken from www.abort73.com):

    In 1981, a United States Senate judiciary subcommittee received the following testimony from a collection of medical experts (Subcommittee on Separation of Powers to Senate Judiciary Committee S-158, Report, 97th Congress, 1st Session, 1981):

    Professor Micheline Matthews-Roth
    Harvard University Medical School
    "It is incorrect to say that biological data cannot be decisive...It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception."

    Dr. Alfred M. Bongioanni
    Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics, University of Pennsylvania
    "I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception."

    Dr. Jerome LeJeune
    Professor of Genetics, University of Descartes
    "After fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being. [It] is no longer a matter of taste or opinion...it is plain experimental evidence. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception."

    Professor Hymie Gordon
    Mayo Clinic
    "By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception."

    Dr. Watson A. Bowes
    University of Colorado Medical School
    "The beginning of a single human life is from a biological point of view a simple and straightforward matter – the beginning is conception."

    As for a Scriptural reference that could be used as support that life begins at conception (defined in the historical sense), Psalm 51:5 says, "Surely I [David] was sinful at birth; sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (NASB) Since only a person can have a sin nature, then this could be used to show that David was a person at the point of conception (Does the Birthcontrol Pill Cause Abortions?) - I know that some may say that David was speaking poetically and was not trying to be literal which is why I said "could be used to show...")
     
  8. Frenchy

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    Deuteronomy 32:39
    "It is I who bring both death and life."

    Job 31:15
    "Did not He who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?"

    The Bible shows God is aware of life in the womb, even before conception!

    Psams 139
    You formed my inmost being;
    You knit me in my mother's womb.
    I praise you, so wonderfully you made me;
    Wonderful are your works!
    My very self you knew;
    My bones were not hidden from you,
    When I was being made in secret,
    Fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
    Your eyes foresaw my actions;
    In your book all are written down;
    My days were shaped, before one came to be.

    Isaiah 49:1
    "Yahweh called me when I was in the womb,
    before my birth he had pronounced my name."

    Jeremiah 1:5
    "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you."
    Jeremiah 1:5

    Luke 1:39-44
    "In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
    For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy."

    Galatians 1:15
    "But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace"


    Ephesians 1:3-4
    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
    even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him."
     
  9. James Flagg

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    What about molar, tubal or fetus in fetu pregnancies? They involve human sperm fertilizing human eggs, but there is no way they will ever become an actual human (or horse or gorilla, etc.)

    Is it actually a "life" in these cases?
     
  10. Calvibaptist

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    I have had a friend who went through two tubal pregnancies (she was the one pregnant, not the actual pregnancy!). I can tell you that when they had to operate to take out the "blob of tissue," that she felt the loss of an actual baby.

    I don't know any of the technical info regarding this issue, so I can't speak to that...
     
  11. Deacon

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    The phrase offered is very common in many Statements of Faith.

    I agree and live in agreement with it but do not feel that it can be biblically supported.

    Many of the above posts support the idea that it is a conviction rather than a biblical doctrine.

    More later.

    Rob
     
  12. James Flagg

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    I know the physical pain was horrid, and that the physical pain was the least traumatic part of the experience.

    But this part of your post is curious. Of course she was the one pregnant. There is no one alive now or ever who was the result of a tubal pregnancy and that was my response to another poster who stated that human eggs + human sperm = human being. Thanks to human physiology, it just isn't that simple.
     
  13. ituttut

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    The worm begins at conception of two people married in the eyes of God, regardless of whether they have a marriage license.

    Worms live inside of our bodies, and worms live outside of our body.

    If we can determine if a worm must enter into the woman from an outside source, or if a worm can be produced from inside a woman without input from outside her body.

    We know a woman cannot produce without outside help. That leaves us with only one truth. But what is that truth.

    The worm forms into a human fetus and does not live until it is delivered into light and air. We find this as God made Adam who was not made alive until God breathed into Adam the breath of live.

    But as the worm came from one that was alive with the “breath of life”, the worms that entered the woman were alive.

    I will go along with the second observation that the worm of the man was alive upon entering into the woman, and the egg of the woman came alive when the worm became one with the egg. The living woman then feed the worm that was in her, and blood of the worm begin to flow building out the fetus to be delivered out of the woman into light and air.
    Christian faith, ituttut
     
  14. Gina B

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    An ectopic pregnancy has no bearing on what a pregnancy is, simply where it's located. An unborn child that loses its life was still an unborn human.
    Now a molar pregnancy is something you might want to look up, because the egg is empty and there is no child, except in certain cases. LINK
    An ectopic pregnancy is a child growing in an abnormal part of the mother. It doesn't change the human.
    Fetus in fetu can be questionable because they don't ALWAYS know whether it was a twin or another abnormality.

    However, it makes no sense to take a very tiny percentage of possible pregnancies and question them. You can if you really want to, but it makes more sense to deal with what happens with most people. If you can't decide what is going on in most cases, it's rather silly to try to be an expert on the times they turn abnormal, right?
     
  15. Calvibaptist

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    I know the physical pain was horrid, and that the physical pain was the least traumatic part of the experience.

    But this part of your post is curious. Of course she was the one pregnant. There is no one alive now or ever who was the result of a tubal pregnancy and that was my response to another poster who stated that human eggs + human sperm = human being. Thanks to human physiology, it just isn't that simple.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I know that. I was being funny to make a serious situation a little lighter.
     
  16. Ransom

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    Deacon said:

    "Life begins at conception"

    A conviction or a biblical doctrine?


    A brute fact of reproductive biology.
     
  17. James Flagg

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    An ectopic pregnancy has no bearing on what a pregnancy is, simply where it's located. An unborn child that loses its life was still an unborn human.
    Now a molar pregnancy is something you might want to look up, because the egg is empty and there is no child, except in certain cases. LINK
    An ectopic pregnancy is a child growing in an abnormal part of the mother. It doesn't change the human.
    Fetus in fetu can be questionable because they don't ALWAYS know whether it was a twin or another abnormality.

    However, it makes no sense to take a very tiny percentage of possible pregnancies and question them. You can if you really want to, but it makes more sense to deal with what happens with most people. If you can't decide what is going on in most cases, it's rather silly to try to be an expert on the times they turn abnormal, right? [/QB]</font>[/QUOTE]Yes, I'm nit-picking a little. Is a tubal pregnancy actually a pregnancy? An actual human? Remember that I was responding to a post that seemed to imply that a human sperm entering a human egg equalled a human. My point is that a tubal pregnancy is an actual fertilized egg, but there is no possible way that the mother can take it to term.

    Getting back to my original point; a molar pregnancy requires a fertilized egg. Is a fertilized egg an actual human? Some (many, actually) would offer an unqualified "YES", but my point is as simple as this:
    1. A molar pregnancy is a fertilized egg
    2. It's not a human and has no chance of becoming one.

    I could go on, I guess. We're not talking about "possible" pregnancies, but actual pregnancies. A woman who has had a molar pregnancy but no live births is considered (I'm talking about at the OB's office) to have have had one pregnancy. What's the medical term? "P:1 G:0"?? Can't remember.

    And last, thank you for the link, but I have (at least) a cursory understanding of molar, fetus in fetu and tubal pregnancies. :cool:

    Late,
    -JF
     
  18. dntccc

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    The worm begins at conception of two people married in the eyes of God, regardless of whether they have a marriage license.

    Worms live inside of our bodies, and worms live outside of our body.

    If we can determine if a worm must enter into the woman from an outside source, or if a worm can be produced from inside a woman without input from outside her body.

    We know a woman cannot produce without outside help. That leaves us with only one truth. But what is that truth.

    The worm forms into a human fetus and does not live until it is delivered into light and air. We find this as God made Adam who was not made alive until God breathed into Adam the breath of live.

    But as the worm came from one that was alive with the “breath of life”, the worms that entered the woman were alive.

    I will go along with the second observation that the worm of the man was alive upon entering into the woman, and the egg of the woman came alive when the worm became one with the egg. The living woman then feed the worm that was in her, and blood of the worm begin to flow building out the fetus to be delivered out of the woman into light and air.
    Christian faith, ituttut
    </font>[/QUOTE]Exactly what are you trying to say?
     
  19. Gina B

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    Well, I don't. LOL I know just the basics of each. According to that link, a true molar pregnancy happens when an EMPTY egg is fertilized. No fetus is started or formed, simply an abnormal placenta.

    Ok, about a tubal pregnancy. Why would you say it isn't a pregnancy, or question it? Was a 10 year old child who died in a car accident still a human, even though he never fully developed into an adult?

    What about an infant with an uncureable heart defect who never reached being a toddler?

    What about a zygote who never reaches infancy?

    The ability to continue to grow or mature doesn't change what the thing is. Humans start out tiny and get big, but if they die before they get to a certain size, it doesn't mean you work backwards and take away their humanity, no matter what the method of death was.
     
  20. Deacon

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    Originally posted by dntcc
    A small group of us are revising our church's constitution (which includes the Statement of Faith).
    We were asked to review some socially relevant issues such as life marriage, homosexuality, life, abortion, euthanasia, etc.

    The phrase “life begins at conception” was included in one draft and I objected.
    I don’t think the Bible clarifies WHERE life begins.

    My suggestion follows:
    I think the biblical view is simple: life is a gift from God; we should honor it.

    Rob
     

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