The Earliest Christians Understood the Evil of Abortion

The apostles

Many of today’s most prominent political advocates of abortion are self-proclaimed Christians. From President Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, to Senator “Reverend” Raphael Warnock, these Christians justify the killing of preborn children by attempting to separate their religion from politics. In the alternative, they justify their political advocacy of abortion by stating that Christianity is compatible with killing children before birth.

The most common pro-abortion reading of the bible that asserts the permissibility of abortion is the passage from Genesis where God breaths life into Adam. From this, pro-aborts conclude that life begins at first breath.

Genesis 2:7

Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2:7 English Standard Version

Of course, it does not take a biblical scholar to look at the text from Genesis and realize that the breath of life refers to God Himself breathing life into mankind in a possible reference to the ensoulment of the first man or, figuratively speaking, the awakening of humanity’s existence.

Abortion apologist’s claims are not tenable for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that they reject a literal interpretation of the bible on all other matters, such as the divinity of Christ.

But one must wonder, if life begins at first breath because of the passage above, does that mean that plants and animals are not alive, since God did not breath life into them? Are women not alive, since Eve was created from Adam’s rib and did not receive the “breath of life” from God?

Clearly, the pro-abortion reading is nothing more than a tortured interpretation of a biblical passage to justify the intrinsic evil of killing babies before they are born.

Exodus 21: 22-25

When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if there is harm, then you shall pay life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Exodus 21: 22-25 English Standard Version

Another passage that is often used is Exodus 21: 22-25. In the passage above, one key is the use of the word “miscarriage”, which many reputable translations employ instead of the more accurate term premature birth. Miscarriage is defined as the expulsion of an unborn baby before the baby is developed enough to survive. However, a closer look at the language used in Exodus clarifies the issues of the translation. As Michael Spielman of explains:

... there is strong evidence that the miscarriage interpretation is not the correct one. The word Moses uses in verse 22 for “children come out” is the same word he used in Genesis 25:26 to describe a normal, live birth. Elsewhere in the Pentateuch, Moses does use the normal Hebrew word for miscarriage, as he does two chapters later in Exodus 23:26. Furthermore, the word Moses uses for “harm” does not indicate the child or the mother. It is left indefinite. If it was meant to apply exclusively to the mother, a feminine pronoun would have accompanied it. Moses uses the normal Hebrew word for “children” and the normal Hebrew word for “birth.” There is no reason to think this refers to a miscarriage.

But even if the word “miscarriage” were to be used in the passage, Pastor Jack Hughes gives four unassailable reasons why using the passage from Exodus to justify abortion is still erroneous.

First, this passage refers to an accidental injury. Abortion is intentionally fatal. Second, the fact that a penalty is required at all indicates that it was wrong for the baby to die. Third, the law of Moses does not generally require the death penalty for accidental death. Fourth, the fact that a lesser penalty is mandated for any harm that comes to the child is not a denial of the child's humanity or personhood. In the preceding verses, a lesser penalty is required of the master who accidentally kills his slave, who is without question a human person.

What Early Christians Really Thought About Abortion

The Didache is the oldest catechism known to Christian scholars. Besides the New Testament it is the most authoritative text explaining the earliest understanding of the Christian faith. The full title of the Didache is “The Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles.” This title reflects the belief that the Didache was the first Catechism used by the apostles themselves to teach non-Jews about the Christian faith.

Dated to the first century AD, the Didache is composed of three parts; the first dealing with Christian ethics, the second with Christian rites, and the third with the organization of the church.

Most important to the discussion of abortion are the first chapters, which are aptly describe the virtuous Way of Life and the wicked Way of Death.

The Way of Life begins with the following beautiful passage:

There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between these two ways.


In describing the Way of Life, the Didache makes clear those actions which lead to the Way of Death.

Commit no murder, adultery, sodomy, fornication, or theft. Practice no magic, sorcery, abortion, or infanticide.

Didache, The Way of Life

Based on the time of the writing of the Didache and the content, it is clear that the Didache set out to teach the Christian ideals as compared to the evils of paganism.

The direct mention of sodomy, which was widely practiced by the Romans and other pagans but abhorred by the Jews, as well as the direct mention of abortion and infanticide, also practiced by pagans of that time, is a case in point.

Pro-abortion “Christians” are Pagans

The Way of Death is alive and well today, especially in our public figures and popular culture, and many of them are trying to deceive willingly gullible Americans to believe that the grave moral evils of abortion, homosexuality, infanticide, suicide, etc. are somehow permitted by orthodox Christian tradition.

As a correct reading of the bible teaches us and the Didache makes explicitly clear, the sexual immorality of today could not be further from Christianity. In fact, the earliest Christians not only saw it as immoral, but as a literal Way of Death.

Next time someone on social media attempts to deceive Christians into accepting abortion, tell them to read the earliest known Christian Catechism, then pray for their conversion so that they too may enjoy the Way of Life and stop leading others through the Way of Death.

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