Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Breath of Life

Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

According to the Bible a person does not receive his soul until the first breath.

Genesis 2:7 "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and BREATHED into his NOSTRILS the BREATH of LIFE; and man became a living SOUL."

Your argument right now is: Men are not created like Adam was, but the same goes for men that are born of a woman.

Job 33:4 "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the BREATH of the Almighty hath given me LIFE."

Job 27:3 "All the while my BREATH is in me, and the spirit of God is in my NOSTRILS;"

Job 32:8 "But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding."

Ezekiel 37:5 "Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause BREATH to enter into you, and ye shall LIVE: 6 And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put BREATH in you, and ye shall LIVE; and ye shall know that I am the LORD."

The soul leaves the body at the final breath (Gen. 35:18, 6:17; 1 Kings 17:17; Ps. 104:29-30).

In the next verse it tells us that if a man causes a woman to miscarriage he is to be fined according to what the husband decides. This proves that the fetus is not considered a living soul because the man does not get death, only a fine. The death of a soul in the Old Testament is punished by death, unlike this case below.

Exodus 21:22 "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, 24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,"

So according to the above verse, killing a fetus is not equal to killing a man with a soul. Take in consideration that every sperm has potential for life, but only one makes it, the rest are aborted.

The below verse is commonly used to prove that a fetus has a soul since it has blood, but keep in mind that animals have blood, but no soul. Notice carefully about what the verse says, the life of the FLESH is in the blood, not the soul. A fetus is living tissue, but it does not have a soul according to the Bible.

Leviticus 17:11 "For the life of the flesh is in the blood.."

Some people will say that the baby gets oxygen through the blood, but that is still not the same as the breath of life through the mouth or nostrils.

The below verse is used to prove this position wrong also.

Job 31:15 "Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?"

There are several other verses like this one, but notice that is always a reference to a person that God FOREKNOWS will be born and have the breath of life.

Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Once again, God knew this man would be born and breathe. You will not find one verse like this applied to someone that was aborted, making this a weak argument.

Another verse would be...

Luke 1:44 "For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy."

Jeremiah, David and John the Baptist were all fetuses that never got aborted. They all were born, breathed and grew up to be men and God knew this already. The same goes for all the verses where the Bible says a woman is with child. Before you give me any verses to prove that the soul begins at conception, please think about the foreknowledge of God.

With all that being said, please understand that I am against abortion. Even though I do not believe abortion is cold blood murder since the fetus has no soul, I do believe it is wrong.

Note: Many Jews also hold to the view that the soul starts at the first breath. This will be found on the Central Conference of American Rabbis' website. This group represents rabbis in Reform Judaism world-wide. (Responsa CARR 32-34)

I will end this article with medical proof that for a fetus everything changes dramatically at the FIRST BREATH.

"With the first breath after birth, the system changes suddenly. The pulmonary resistance is dramatically reduced. More blood moves from the right atrium to the right ventricle and into the pulmonary arteries, and less flows through the foramen ovale to the left atrium. The blood from the lungs travels through the pulmonary veins to the left atrium, increasing the pressure there. The decreased right atrial pressure and the increased left atrial pressure pushes the septum primum against the septum secundum, closing the foramen ovale, which now becomes the fosse ovalis. This completes the separation of the circulatory system into two halves, the left and the right.

The ductus arteriosus normally closes off within one or two days of birth. The umbilical vein and the ductus venosus closes off within two to five days after birth, leaving behind the ligamentum teres and the ligamentum venosus of the liver respectively." Source

"Once the infant is born the priorities of circulation change dramatically. There is no longer a need for a blood supply through the umbilical vein. However, with (hopefully) a set of working lungs there is a need for all the blood to be passed through the pulmonary circulation. In the first few breaths this change over is achieved. The stretching of the pulmonary arteries and the opening of them as air is drawn into the lung causes a sudden drop in pressure in the right atrium. Reversal of the pressure difference between the left and right atria causes the foramen ovale to shut. This will not be a permanent state of affairs until the end of the third month. The lowering of right atrial pressure is also helped by the occlusion of the ductus venosus as its sphincter constricts.

Also closing at birth is the ductus arteriosus (although this may remain patent for two or three months after birth).. Constriction of the ductus is mediated by bradykinin released from the lungs on their initial inflation. The effects of bradykinin are dependent on the PO2 in the blood passing through it. Once this reaches about 50mmHg then the ductus will close. Prostaglandins, released when the oxygen content is low as in fetal life, maintain an open ductus arteriosus. Inhibitors of their synthesis can cause closure of the ductus in premature infants.

The final vessels to completely occlude in the transfer between fetal and infantile circulations are the umbilical arteries and veins. At birth the umbilical arteries constrict rapidly, preventing loss of the infants' blood. For a minute or so afterwards the umbilical vein remains patent and fetal blood is transferred out of the placenta to the infant.

Thus the new-born infant is left with the adult pattern of circulation where de-oxygenated blood enters the right atrium and is pumped through the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries. In the lungs it is oxygenated to be returned to the left atrium of the heart via the pulmonary veins. Oxygenated blood can then be pumped to all parts of the body by the left ventricle. It is interesting to note that in the fetus, the right ventricle has had more work to do and thus has a thicker wall. Once the left ventricle takes over the majority of work. It quickly hypertrophies’ as the right ventricle atrophies through reduced work. Thus the normal adult pattern of the heart is also only finally developed after birth." Source