The Abortion Dilemma

Michael Grisanti | May 18, 2010

In recent years Supreme Court actions legalizing abortion have crystallized two ethical positions: pro-choice and pro-life. A series of cases resulted in decisions granting women the right to choose whether or not to have abortions. As a consequence, several methods of aborting unborn children have come into prominence: suction aspiration, dilation and curettage, dilation and evacuation, saline injection, hysterotomy, prostaglandin chemical, RU-486, and partial-birth abortion. Viewpoints on abortion break down into four categories. Some say abortion is always right, others say sometimes, still others rarely, and some say never. The Bible gives several reasons why abortion is wrong because it does not distinguish between a person’s state before and after birth, because it indicates God “knew” certain ones before birth, because it indicates King David was a sinner from conception, and because John the Baptist reacted while still in his mother’s womb. Both sides in the debate have used Exodus 21:22-25 to prove their cases, but the passage has a number of exegetical difficulties that keep it from being a strong argument. Though several Ancient Near Eastern law codes are similar to the Exodus passage, the biblical law is distinguishable from these in several ways. Questionable situations when some would use the mother’s health, pregnancies caused by rape or incest, and pregnancies facing fetal handicaps do not furnish sufficient grounds for abortion.

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Michael Grisanti Professor of Old Testament Director of Th.M. Studies Director of TMS Israel Study Trip B.A., Pillsbury Baptist Bible College M.Div., Central Baptist Theological Seminary Th.M., Central Baptist Theological Seminary Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary Michael Grisanti is Professor of Old Testament at The Master’s Seminary where his scholarly interests include Deuteronomy, Old Testament theology, biblical ethics, the prophets, and the history of Israel. He has been actively involved in ministries around the world, which have brought him to Albania, Colombia, France, Honduras, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and Ukraine. For several years, he taught at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Plymouth, MN. Dr. Grisanti has contributed to the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook, Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, and the Bible Knowledge Key Word Study set. He wrote the commentary on Deuteronomy in the revised edition of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, and the forthcoming volume on Deuteronomy in the Teach the Text series. He co-authored The World and the Word: An Introduction to the OT (B & H). He has also served as editor or co-editor of The Bible Version Debate: The Perspectives of Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Giving the Sense: Understanding and Using Old Testament Historical Texts. He has written numerous articles on Old Testament topics which have been published in Bibliotheca Sacra, The Master’s Seminary Journal, and the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. Download 2015 Shepherd's Conference Notes

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