Thursday, May 26, 2011

Capital Punishment: Put Someone To Death. If You Think You Have Cause. What?

Capital Punishment.
Go Ahead.
Rewrite Commandments for the Gullible.

Text authorization?
No. But the gullible will not know the difference.

And the result puts people at risk.
The age-old Biblical prohibition against Murder,
has been flipped to justify capital punishment.  

Meet the Bible in Basic English and its permission slip.
You shall not kill, Exodus 20:13, becomes "Do Not Put Anyone to Death Without Cause"

Second Amendment Remedies Now In the Pew.

Is that the same as Do Not Murder?

The Basic English Bible makes two pivotal changes to the traditional Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Kill, or Thou Shalt Not Murder.

The Basic English Bible says only, "Do Not Put Anyone To Death Without Cause." See its version of Exodus 20:13 at

The new prohibition uses wording applicable to an execution: Even everyday definitions are clear. Using the same straightforward site for the elements of an execution, start with definitions and context.

I.  Object to it.

Here, we object to the wording in three ways.  First, by examining the risk of imprecise wording taken literally by persons choosing to take the law into their own hands; second, by deconstructing the wording to show how the meaning changes; and, third, by text criticism. The wording is not in reasonable parameters for translating or transliterating, "Thou shalt not murder." The "execution" idea in the Bible in Basic English does not follow anything like it in the Bible Commandments.  The Bible in Basic English goes on a frolic of its own, an unauthorized deviation.

How did this happen?  Understandable. The Bible in Basic English intentionally limits itself to 850 words, plus some other "Bible" words.  The function of this "Bible" is to simplify so that non-English speaker can more easily understand as they learn English at the same time. See What is the Bible in Basic English.

With so few words, little nuance is possible; so the words chosen must convey the religious message intended, or else the message is distorted.

Using this text as a "Bible" distorts the Bible.  What will "Christianity" mean to those in other lands; or even modern societies' religions who are given this as their main resource?  Christianity will mean what their translator or priest says it means, with the text even more distorted than we are used to.

Second amendment remedies in the pew. Make room.

This is an era where that wording, "Do not put anyone to death without cause," puts others at risk. The Second Amendment hops on board and becomes code for the seemingly-justified killing of others, by persons convinced that they have "cause" and therefore it is their acceptable duty to put others to death. Ayn Rand's self-interest uber alles.  All these who may have occasion to read or study this version, can find justification that is not otherwise there.
  • vigilantes, 
  • war criminals,
  • the unbalanced, 
  • lone wolves, 
  • militias, 
  • wild conspiracy theorists, conclusions not rooted in logic or evidence, feeding fear of loss of "one's own" in charge, fear of loss of social and economic status and other loss, assassins taking the law into their own hands,
  • religious self-help followers, convinced their interpretation of abortion or other issues entitled them to impose that view on others who may be also of faith, but with a different implementation,
  • gunworshippers, more self-help ultimata, disregard of others,
  • politicians exploiting all of the above
The permissive version would allow such a vigilante-oriented person to think along these lines:  "I have cause, in my mind.  The Bible only prohibits putting someone to death without cause. Therefore, I can put this person to death because I have cause." Even of no specific example of that is found, as may be, change it anyway.  The risk is there.

Murder has specific meanings, against interpersonal killing, lying in wait sometimes, taking law into your own hands, killing other than as the State or Religion requires in its laws or warfare. Here: go ahead. Put homosexuals, for example, feminists, women who get out of role, people who conduct abortions, people who have abortions, undesirables, other ethnic groups, undocumented immigrants in your face, all in the removable category.  Without the individual responsibility of a legally authorized cause, you can do what you like. The Bible tells you so.

Substituting a phrase of art -- official putting to death -- for interpersonal murder and kill, is confusing, misleading, and false. This "translation" or, more accurately, this "paraphrase", has been in the public domain since 1965.  How to measure its impact? It is included up there with the major works, see the Parallel Hebrew Old Testament, here at Exodus 20:13. And nobody else agrees with it.

II.  Deconstruct the wording.

"Do not put anyone to death without cause".

So just pick your cause.

This results in a prohibition against official persons, acting pursuant to lawful authority to kill, to do so if there is not legal cause.  That wording technically, and at its worst, leaves wide open any Biblical prohibition against an individual killing for his or her own reasons.  At the least, that wording can mislead people who read it as authority to take the law into their own hands.  An execution by me because I have my own cause?  Looks fine. 

A.  Who has authority to Put To Death. An institutional, official concept.
  • Putting someone to death is an execution. To put to death is an idiom for "to execute."  See  
  • Putting someone to death is a killing pursuant to formal proceedings:  state criminal or religious law in effect officially in the place, and carried out by officially authorized persons or means, within that authority, after an official proceeding establishing guilt according to the law of that place, requiring death. See 
  • Accordingly, so far, the new Commandment language reads, in effect, Do Not Execute Anyone Without Cause
B. What Cause is sufficient. Legally authorized cause.

The adequacy of Cause gets ambiguous, because of its various meanings depending on the context. Bt when but the issue is a death penalty, the cause must be legally authorized in order to justify a putting to death. Cause out of context can mean a range:

a) the producer of some consequence,
b) a reason for the action,
c) a goal or principle zealously pursued, or adopted by people in the context of a struggle, or
d) legal Cause: ground for legal action, such as sentencing, enforcement, execution.

Legal cause justifying a putting to death is thus a formal, adjudicated or authorized Cause; not a personally determined cause. See

That new wording, Do not execute without cause, changes the subject matter, the action, and the object.  It downplays the legal nature of the cause required before someone can be executed.

C.  Who is addressed? 

Who is the "you," as in "you do not," don't do that. Who is that understood to be? What actor is addressed in the Biblical Commandment now?

 1. Not ordinary people.  Ordinary people are left out here.  If "putting to death" is an authorized function, then the authority is being addressed. If you are not an authority, this Biblical section does not speak to you.  

So if you, an ordinary person, or part of ordinary group without official state permission to kill, want to wipe somebody else out, go ahead, is the strictly Biblical implication of this re-write.  Only officialdom's "putting to death" requires cause.  If you just want to kill, your cause is your cause.
  • The Bible in Basic English version omits any reference to "you" as an individual, acting completely on your own, or with others, and all without legal authority. The individual acting on his own is not addressed at all.  
  • There is no longer a prohibition about murder, or interpersonal killing out of pique or anger or resentment, etc. Common sense would suggest that that is not meant; but that is what is said. 
2.  Authorized people.  Authorized people are addressed, because only authorized people can  "put to death."  Who, then, is authorized? Only those acting within that authorization, and when the authorization it itself legally authorized.
  • Authorized people acting outside their authority are not authorized.  
    • Soldiers and others acting outside their authority are not protected -- Soldiers are held to the standard of their particular role at the time.  A soldier can be accused of murder if he or she acts outside the immediate authority to kill pursuant to a war directive.  See My Lai, here at PBS
    • In a trial pipeline for alleged war crimes is Ratko Mladic, fair use thumbnail of him here from   
    • Based on current news coverage, we believe that our poster photos are Mladic, the officer we saw on posters in Bosnia. The resemblance is stronger than for Karadzic, we now think.  For either, the issues would be the same:  what is the line between warfare according to warfare's "rules," and genocide, murder. Do not "execute" without "cause" -- and the cause must be a legally authorized one. See the setting for the posters at  Bosnia posters, fugitive or recently apprehended war leaders
3.  Authorized people but the authorization is illegal, are not authorized. See the Nuremberg trials.  People just following orders are not protected where those orders are criminal, and where the force over them was not absolute, and they could have chosen to leave or refuse somehow, difficult and risky as that choice might have been.  See

The different wording (Do not put anyone to death without cause) spreads hunting season wide open. Anybody can now be hunted.  The wording suggests that

a) a person
b) may indeed be the executioner of another (put another to death),
c) without state criminal authorization, and
d) without state civil authorization permitting religious criminal trials that can result in execution (Fatwa, for example),
e) so long as the acting person believes in his own mind that he has cause.

On what ground does the Bible in Basic English do that?  Single-handedly change a previously unquestioned Biblical wording?

4.  The Ruthless Individualist, the Rational Selfish are Well Served

Ayn Rand .  Ayn rand would be proud of this translation because it does not impinge on the individual. Individual uber alles, even uber law.  Some cultures do permit an individual to follow the personal directive of a religious leader and enforce an official fatwa, to kill.  Some (most?) cultures permit an individual to kill on the directive of its military, to defend, etc.  But what lands permit an individual to kill based on the individual's "belief" that killing is the recourse. Religious and secular law taken in their own hands, Bible in hand, the Bible in Basic English, BBE.  

This unjustified alteration puts Second Amendment Remedies in the Pew. If offers tools for "Christians" here and in foreign lands to enforce their own view of who should live, what lifestyle shall exist, what beliefs, even if sincerely held. Look at the breadth of the permission.  If you think you have "cause," go ahead.  Put the person to death. The Morality Procrustean Be.  Thou shalt fit my personal-mold view, or I will hack you short or stretch you long until you do. Procrustean Bed. 

III.  What translation or transliteration reasoning supports the "put to death" and "cause" idea.  Nothing.

1.  KILL

What was the original, or close to it:

 1.1 Thou shalt not kill, murder. See old Paleo-Hebrew -- .

1.2  Go to plain, recognizable Hebrew, and find 
לא תרצח׃  Remember to go left to right. At least we can see two groupings.

 1.3 Transliteration:  the Hebrew as it could be spoken, the phonetic:  There were no vowels in Hebrew, so any vowels are inserted according to likely sound, by scholars
L'a ThUrTShCh.

1.4 St. Jerome's Latin:  non occides.  Literally, "You do not kill"  or "You do not murder." Not even a "shall" is really there, in Young's transliteration at that site.  It is present tense, now.

You.  Second person singular. You. You.  And You. Pointing finger arcs around.

This is a handy site for starting on translations.  Parallel Hebrew Old Testament  Do not stop there.  Go to another transliteration, to check Young's Literal, the last one given at Parallel Hebrew Old Testament.

1.5  Not you shall murder.

See Interlinear Hebrew Old Testament at  Scripture4all, Exodus 20:13  The Hebrew looks the same, a little hard to tell, but the phonetic is very close to 1.3 above, how it would sound if spoken

la thrtzch


What does murder mean? There are many resources

2.1  Blue Letter Bible, Murder
Slayer, manslayer, death, kill, destroy, "out of hand",

2.2  Find all the places that "murder" is used
Blue Letter Bible, Murder Uses
Find numbers corresponding to each use of "murder" -- These are Strong's Lexicon numbers.
For murder:

Some of this is addressed in abortion topic sites, as the ideas of killing, murder, are used there. BBE. Doctrinally  Improved Ten Commandments.  This wording becomes a Second Amendment permission slip to kill those who ideologically conclude differently from you.


Studying the impact of this translation on other countries who then espouse Christianity will be difficult.  What other kind of "Christianity" were they exposed to?  Perhaps none.  So, if this is the Commandment, that you do not execute people without cause, is the one in hearts and minds, can we be surprised at genocide? hate acts?  not really.  Without damage to the good translation areas of the Bible in Basic English, that may comport with Biblical intent through language and scholarship, this is to request that the current purveyors re-look at the Commandments. Put to death means an execution.  That leaves other behaviors open. Distortion translation.

Do not kill would be good.

Or, Do not murder.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Old Testament Abortion. Culpable Killing or Not: Western Christian Context

The Old Testament Texts on Abortion
Kill, Murder, When or if Soul arrives, or None of the Above

Abortion Decision Tree:
Premature birth of a non-breathing entity.
What does the Old Testament say about how that can happen, and what happens next.

We find no Old Testament Biblical text culpability for any intentional act to dislodge an In Utero. It must have been the woman's business, and she was left to her choices.  Here, we look up translation sites;  transliteration sites;  comparison sites; on the topics of abortion, kill, murder, and soul, and life.  Not a word other than description of the result of a dead entity in the womb. Read the texts here for yourself, see the words, their usage.

Start the process of looking up for yourself how words in the OT are or are not related to kill, or murder, or soul, or life, in their original settings, to abortion issues; before later ideology.  Clue:  Nephesh, breath, as in breath of life.  Important to personhood, see ://

Blue Letter Bible, Strong's Lexicon.  What applies to in utero? Start your own research.

Type in "kill" at the Blue Letter Bible site, to start. Find all the places "kill" is used.

See the numbers that appear at each given example of a variation on "kill" like 5221 or 5315 or 5309, for example.  Is there any usage in the Old Testament that applies that word to an in utero situation, so as to produce a crime, or anything at all; even if intentional. Is the only usage a descriptive one, but not moral.
  • Check other ancient cultures. Some systems may not address a topic at all, and another may refer to it as property, not morals. In our day, see how views of abortion as turf or morals change with the politics of the day.  
  • And if the religious belief says that the individual has the right to enforce the religious law, as may be the case in Islam, perhaps not (find out), then religion and government become even more closely intertwined, see ranges of the concept at, Abortion in the Islamic-Ottoman Legal Systems. 
  • If there is no Biblical firm basis for intervening in abortion at all, then legislators are deprived of justifying their prohibition on moral grounds if they cited the Bible. It isn't there. 
  • That means any law must have a "rational basis" -- Rational basis, scrutiny of legislation.  That is a reach.  Are we so depleted in population because some women get abortions, that the government has to step in, rationally? Really?  Or do we leave individual moral decisions, agonizing as they are,made by deeply moral people (women are as moral as men, or the opposite), to those people to burn later or not, as conservatives seek to protect them from. 
  • A cultural issue, to be sure, deciding who decides (power) in the guise of religion.

Steps to analysis.

Looking at parallel translation sites, start spotting who has an agenda that affects the meaning of the translation.  Who did original translating; who piggy-backs on translations of others, and then picks and chooses how to phrase it themselves. Our "Bible" is a hydra.
Then ask:  If ideology derives from a collection of opinions over time combined with a sense of politics and power enabling one group to take charge, and those opinions derive from a set of recurrent facts, should not the ideology change if the facts change?  Does that happen.

Culpable killing or not?

When original religious texts are silent, then the issue is not originally religious, but was, and probably should be, culturally defined and dealt with as the culture saw fit, including to ignore completely. Because something is legal does not mean it will be abused.

 Conclusion so far --

Abortion is descriptive but not an Old Testament (or New Testament) moral Biblical issue.

  • Whatever the women were doing was not a problem. Some other cultures inflicted punishment for interference with the man's property right, but no moral issue was imposed.  See FN 1.  
  • It was later ideology that superimposed an otherwise "moral" component on the happenings that had the predictable result of reinforcing the man's right to intervene in ways the Transliterations do not support.  Follow? The colonization process, apparently.  How better to ensure that the woman would be subjugated, especially after an egalitarian attitude of the founder, than to invade this arena.
  • Doctrinal "translations" further the doctrines of the institution. To us, that need to reinforce an institution's dogma makes it an untrustworthy translation, not a trustworthy one, because of the driving agenda on word choice, addition and omission. Bertrand Russell would not buy that process. should we? Vet beliefs.  The Trustworthy Belief; the Untrustworthy Belief. Bertrand Russell

See also New Testament Abortion; and how the doctrine went its own way after, at Early Church Permitted Abortion in Some Cases, Irish Examiner 10/7/2001 

I.    Overview -

A.   Human intervention into what some see as original "inspiration".

Do meanings and usage of original texts become so changed over time for doctrinal purposes, that they no longer reflect "The Bible" as written.

B.   How does a topic unimportant to The Bible become a rallying cry later for culture?  Because culture supersedes original text. And culture is politics, not theology.

As to abortion in particular, what grounds the idea of Biblical prohibition.  On what ground does doctrine claim a Biblical ground for prohibition, where 1) there is no reference to a moral component to the causes of premature birth of a then-dead entity; and 2) where soul NPHSH originates with breath-incoming; and 3) soul and life are associated definitively with breath and and breath with "life", and 4) no word for "kill" is used in reference to the entity not breathing. Governments can enact their own policy, but not claim it is Biblical, is that so?

II.   Research tools - 

III.   Texts and Usage
A.  Words for "Abortion;"   "Premature Birth"
B.  Words for "Kill" -- are there any that related to in utero (no)
1.   Murder
2.   Execute - an execution, death pursuant to a judgment, governmental function
3.   Sacrifice, animal, human
4.   Animal slaughter for food
5.   Battle and people slaughter, smite

C.  Role and meaning of "Soul" (is there any concept other than soul with life and breath? no)
1.  When soul enters
2.  Concomitant meaning with breath, the breathing entity, life as breathing

IV.  Vetting and Discussion

V.  Conclusion


III  Texts and Usage Expanded

A.  Words for abortion;  
for more on the ancient world, see FN 1 on topic.

1.  Usage:  Find premature birth, miscarriage, untimely birth.  Strong's numbered words:
  • 5308 = Nephal, Aramaic root, corresponding to nephel.  Short meaning:  "down" -- leave out the middle box, and see just the three forms in the Aramaic rootנָ֫פֶל  
  • 5309 = Nephel, miscarriage, נָ֫פֶל
2.  Meanings:  From "something fallen" , abortion, Hebrew "naphal"   So:  Hebrew usage seems consistent, absence of value judgments, descriptive, no identification with "kill".

3.  Do go to the Blue Letter Bible for a fast look at all the times a word is used, and how, and the Strong's number, see Blue Letter Bible, key in any word, get Strong's Number, examples
Strong's H5308
4.  Nephel. 
 Parallel Hebrew Old Testament nphl
is this the older Paleo Hebrew?  Not sure.

5.  There is no specific other word for "abortion" - try a search at Blue Letter Bible, search for "abortion" KJV.
  • However, there is a description of leprosy producing an appearance as one born who was dead in the womb, in Numbers: 
Setting:  The Wilderness with Moses. Miriam has been struck with leprosy for rousing people along with Aaron, who was not punished, against Moses for marrying an Ethiopian wife; she and Aaron are also jealous of God's favoring Moses.  Aaron pleads with God to lift the punishment of leprosy on Miriam:

The transliteration: Scripture4all, Numbers 12:12, one being dead from the womb

Aaron's pleading:                             In the phonetic:
must-not be .................................. al
please .......................................... -na
she-shall-be .................................. thei
as-the-one-being-dead .................... k-mth
which .......................................... ashr
in-to-come-forth-of-him ................ b-tzath-u
from-womb-of ............................. m-urchm
mother-of-him .............................. am-u
and-he-is-being-devoured .............. u-iakl
half-of ......................................... chtzi
flesh-of-him ................................. bshr-u

 Aaron pleads with God to lift the punishment of leprosy on Miriam:

"must-not be     please     she-shall-be     as-the-one-being-dead     which    in-to-come-forth-of-him    from-womb-of     mother-of-him      and-he-is-being-devoured      half-of      flesh-of-him"
Scripture4all, Hebrew Interlinear, Numbers 12:12

Moses also pleads, and the Lord agrees and banishes Miriam for 7 days, and then she can come back. Leprosy gone. How about Aaron?  Nothing happened to him. Is it possible to see Moses and Miriam and Aaron and the Lady in texts with a drop of humor as we look at ourselves and the ancients?  If not, don't click.

6.  Keep this description in mind in reading Paul's description of himself as an abortion in the New Testament: New Testament on Abortion: Paul   He says that Jesus appeared to him as an abortion (not Jesus, Paul) in the time when Paul as Saul was chasing (his word) Christians; in that Paul as Saul was so incomplete, so unworthy, so undeserving of the name of apostle, because he was an abortion, inferior to the other real apostles, who had been there, were completed.  He was as an abortion is undeserving of the name of child. An abortion is not a child. FN 3

7.   Is this so?

Abortion in the Old Testament is a premature birth, an abortion, is an event without judgment, the product of it not a person not even deserving of a name, just something that happens, no issue of causation found to be an issue, not in anybody's jurisdiction at all.  No issue is raised as to culpability in intentionally bringing it about, if and when that happened.

8.  Check other occurrences: 

"Untimely birth"  "Untimely birth" Blue Letter Bible concordance, OT Hebrew
There find 3 uses
  • Job 3:16, "Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants never saw light." At Parallel Hebrew Old Testament, find also Job 3:16  - The Latin Vulgate says "abortium absconditum" (that would be Jerome using "abortium"); and then the others follow suit with "untimely birth" and infants who have not seen the light
    • a.  Job 3:16 at Scripture4all
      au.......................or  NPHL --
      tmun...................being buried
      la-rau..................not they-saw

      "Or as an hidden, untimely birth I had not been: as infants never saw light."  Scripture4all Hebrew transliteration Job 3:16 "nphl"   So, there is the idea of an abortion as never seeing light, not a matter of breathing.  But still no issue of how that came about. Check other sites, Scripture4all, Index, Hebrew Online Interlinear Bible
  • Psalm 58:8, "As a snail melteth let pass away the untimely birth of a woman, they may not see the sun."
  • Ecclesiastes 6:3. "If a man beget an hundred and live many years so that the days of his years be many, and his soul be not filled with good, and also he have no burial, I say an untimely birth is better than he.
 Still no value judgments, no rules, just a neutral description of an event.  Check at 5308, 5309, 53 at Biblos, Bible and Library Search, Strongs, 'Untimely birth"

Abortion so far in the Old Testament is a descriptive vehicle, nonjudgmental, some see the sun, some don't, better not to be born than than the soul not be filled with good, routine passings away. This is a state of mind or being that is once done, over and done with.  Not a big deal.  Nobody differentiates on how this came about, this untimely birth.  Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for '"untimely" AND "birth"' in the HNV". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 29 Apr 2011. 

B.  Words for "Kill":  Murder

1.   Murder
Parallel Hebrew Old Testament Bible in Basic English Ex.20:13
Thou shalt not kill.

 a.  Paleo Hebrew. 


b.  Hebrew
Strong's 7523

Premeditated, or accidental (both in same meaning?), avenger, assassin,  intentional slayer. murder,
Thou shalt not murder, Thou shalt not kill:

murder     not

לא תרצח׃

The general term: murder for kill, assassination, foul play . Do we have the letters right?

Strong's H7523


See also listed, roughly, as variations on the circumstances of "kill" these Strong's numbered words
2026 (smite, slay),

2873 (sacrifice, or kill after stealing),

4191 (an execution), "Do not put anyone to death without cause." 
  • This is the version of "kill" apparently given in the Bible in Basic English, instead of "Do not kill" or "Do not murder", this being the 9th of the English versions in the Parallel Hebrew Old Testament site. See FN 2

5221 (kill as punishment, smiting, casting judgment) - or this could be the sense of the Bible in Basic English.  The point is that the change in wording in Bible in Basic English makes meaning murkier. 

5315 (refers to nephesh, killing breath, breath of life), Nephesh, NPHSH,  Soul (breath of life brings the soul, Gen 2:7 - no other Biblical reference to an "ensoulment" that we can findl)(note all creatures that breathe have a soul, Gen 1:21 ff)

7819 (animal or human sacrifice)


c.  Latin

Non occidere (Thou shalt not murder)


C.  Role and meaning of "Soul"

1.  When soul enters
2.  Concomitant with breath, the breathing entity

IV.  Conclusion

You don't have to know Hebrew -- just get familiar with what the forms look like so you can recognize them elsewhere.



IV.  Discussion:  
Vetting "Kill"
Vetting "Murder"
Strong's 7523 (premeditated or accidental,

These meanings all relate to a breathing entity at the time of the death. We see no reference to acts of one who brought that about intentionally. There were obviously abortifacients at Creation -  they are with us now, see some at Duke's Handbook of Medicinal Plants, Abortificients and other Biblical Vegetation  Abortifacient vegetation was created, and so is good?  That is logical, and not refuted anywhere.

Ask, as part of logic, how did Even manage to have two children, then let them grow to adulthood; and only when one was killed, just have another, Seth.  She knew what to do. Is that so?  In India, for example, knowledge of abortifacients is used:  see Journal of Phytology, Tribes, India

Women were killed in the Christian West rather than let them assist in aborting, or causing their own abortions, see The Burning Times.

Back to the Bible, there were miscellaneous laws, affecting pregnancy:  Not a moral issue, but a property one, Exodus 21:22-25 or so; and look up the Code of Hammurabi, -- we see nothing about abortion at all.

"If man who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise."  Exodus 21:22-25

1.  Strong's numbers for kill- Index site
  • 5723 in Strong's.  H5723.  There are many, many subheadings and uses of "kill"
See Blue Letter Bible Lexicon Strong's 5723, "Kill"

Scroll down to the listed examples from the books of the OT.

Find "Kill" in 47 entries, and we will just list each once:  as manslayer; slayer; murderer; whether accidental or intentional (each with its own consequence for the slayer), each relates to the kill of one already born and out there. There is no example, nothing about the unborn.

No "kill"  applies so as to give rise to a consequence. Thayer there:  adds "act the homicide".  Still no reference to killing a life form in the womb.  Look up the specific words for "kill" using the Strong's numbering system to keep them straight

See BLB (Blue Letter Bible) "Kill"
  • 2026 - as in God will kill you if you do thus and such.
Kill, smite out of hand, and includes "niphal" to be killed; not just private homicide, but also killing in war and any slaying

  • 2873 -- kill a sheep after stealing it
Slaughter or butcher, kill ruthlessly
    • 4191 -- There is the "kill" as an "execution" --
    To kill, dispatch, have one executed; but also, the dead, die as penalty, die prematurely, perish as a nation.  This is the execution term erroneously used, it appears, in the Bible in Basic English where putting someone to death is referred to, see FN 2

    Gen 2:17, 3:3, 3:4--eat of Tree of Knowledge, you will surely die #4191; eat fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden (how is anyone to know where that is?) you will surely die #4191; serpent says you will not die #4191; many reference to the years people lived and then they died #4191, Genesis 18:25, slay #4191 the righteous with the wicked, and on to "dead man" #4191, and bury the dead #4191


    • 5221 -- lest anyone fine Cain and kill him.  Also, Reuben said not to kill 5221 Joseph.  The sense of smite, punish, send judgment upon. There is a second meaning for "kill" and that is given in the Strong's as 5315, below.  This is "nakah" -- words meaning destroy

    Smite, cast judgment upon, has element of hurting, beat, capture, wound, take a blow


    Now see this usage:  a killing using "nephesh"  breath of life

    It appears that killing is only killing when it kills breath, breath of life, life is breath, etc.  That makes sense in the context of Old Testament abortion.  Even an intentional dislodging is not a killing because there was no breath. Is that so?
    • 5315 - Reuben also said not to kill 5315  Joseph and this second Strong's number is given.  This is the "nephesh" word --  breath of life -- do not kill the breath of life -- fair use sampling from definitions . Need to learn more about nephesh. The idea seems to be that relevant life is life with breath.
    1) soul, self, life, creature, person, appetite, mind, living being, desire, emotion, passion
    a) that which breathes, the breathing substance or being, soul, the inner being of man
    b) living being
    c) living being (with life in the blood)
    d) the man himself, self, person or individual
    e) seat of the appetites
    f) seat of emotions and passions
    g) activity of mind
    1) dubious
    h) activity of the will
    1) dubious
    i) activity of the character
    1) dubious

    • 7819 -- kill the bullock before the Lord, kill the sacrificial animal, beast for food, human sacrifice

     "la thrtzch"

    Check that word:  goes back to all the Strong's numbers that include murder, and all relate to living breathing beings.  No reference to anything in utero.  There is a new Strong's number given in the murders, number 5408, see Blue Letter Bible Lexicon G5408 murder.  Its examples also are living breathing beings already out there.

    Non occides.   Fall, fall down, perish, die, be slain, be ruined, done for, decline, end, occido, occidered, kill, murder slaughter, slay,
    לא תרצח׃
    L'a ThUrTShCh.

    Stars 21 Latin to English translation, non occides


    Other laws later:  homicide depended on if the child had breathed, see Charles V, Germanic emperor in 1555; in 1667 Schwammerdamm in Germany -- see if the lungs float.  If they do, it breathed and the death is a homicide. Research at two volumes by someone named Beck, have to find the site - may be JSTOR.  These were long after dogma and doctrine took over original texts and fitted the fittings to the culture of who decides what and why and where. A search for the history of abortion laws has a great deal, but we see nothing to change the view of the original texts.


    Research never ends.
    Research never persuades anyone, but may stimulate thinking.

    Prohibitions on intentionally terminating a pregnancy appear to be, if they appear at all in law, to be property oriented, clinching the man's right to his property, and later laws seem focused more on preventing the woman from deciding, rather than the life in utero as equal to or of more value than the hostess.  The property issue makes abortion not a moral idea of killing a qualified "life" against a religious code.  You cause the abortion, you pay the man a fine.

    For a religious group today to say that the Bible in its texts prohibits intentional abortion, is simply not supported by texts.  The rest is extrapolation that some may believe is inspired, and many others do not and do not have to.

    So, Let a government do as it likes, for its own reasons.  But the argument that this is founded in religion, in "Christianity" -- except as later institutional people, that some see as authoritative, say so-- does not root it in text.
    What is Kill, Murder, Does it apply to abortion--  Old Testament.  Special reference, 10 Commandments Exodus 20:13,  Deut.5:17.  That takes examination of actual texts, not paraphrasing and repeating earlier errors.

    What next?

    • In any research, which sites have an agenda; or paraphrase existing selected "translations" for their own purpose. Paraphrase is not translation, mere subjective editing.  
    • We propose the Bible in Basic English is such a paraphrase, in effect. Its purported simplification, reduction to use of something less than a thousand words, to make it more readable for the illiterate. Like a missionary tool. This simplification becomes simplistic and misleading, and even plain wrong in distorting the Hebrew. What accountability is there in Bibles. 
    • Perhaps we could require truth in labeling --  Paraphrase and editorializing from selected English sources to support a doctrine; Transliteration from original Hebrew, Translation from original Hebrew, Translation from Latin, etc. See discussion.
    Related issue:  sacredness of human life, or is it?  Look at the din.  In utero:  Is there Life or Existence there.  "Biblical" life; or existence. Incipience. Does breath make the difference. Or mere movement.  Soul. Nphsh.  Who thinks what is sacred? Do texts really support that, or is it ideology later? Kill.  Murder. Dislodge. Intent. Culpable or no impact. Property of the man; or right of the woman; or the entity. Does life of one supersede the mere existence of another, so that choosing life is to choose the one with "life" - the breathing one; over the one with "existence" and "movement" -- but timing -- it should count, should it not? Don't delay, girl, is that Roe?

    Moral differences, or semantics. What is life, o guru. What is existence.  If it is a continuum, does it matter.  Does that give unfair advantage to the one in continuo, over the fully formed one.  Why? See the discussion continue at  New Testament Abortion

    What Does Your Bible Say?  This is not a religious site; this is text exploration. If you choose to adopt someone's interpretation or inspiration as authority, your choice. But mere belief in something inculcated or chosen is not enough. Are we obligated as fully human beings to weigh our choices:  Is this belief trustworthy; or is it not trustworthy.  See The Trustworthy Belief; the Untrustworthy Belief. Bertrand Russell
     For Western Christian culture-religion, what applies where, especially in the area of abortion. See overview of some interpretations at Texts, Pentateuch

    FN 1.  Abortion in the ancient world.

    Here is a fast BBC overview: BBC, Ethics, Abortion, Legal History.

    Overall,  property matter, not moral or supposed sanctity of life. Assyria seems to have been most specific, google book Wilfred G. Lambert's Wisdom, Gods and Literature: Studies in Assyriology at 12.

    For some, timing is important, "quickening" - but we fine nothing as to "soul" as a reason against abortion. The old Hippocratic oath prohibited a physician from providing a pessary for abortion purposes, see Arizona (!) put together its history showing abortion historically is bad at Abortion and the Law: Arizona compilation.

    However, there were many, many means of abortion: simple ergot from grain worked.  Hebrews had lots of grain.

    Women aren't stupid.

    See a global look by Autumn Stanley at google book Mothers and Daughters of Invention at 258, ex. Was "soul" a smokescreen doctrine, allowing a moral argument about sacred human life, and not any abuse of abortion knowledge by women (nobody cared in the OT so the issue was clearly hers) that finally enabled institutions to take over the disposition of the issue from the woman and her circumstances.

    With doctrines of "ensoulment" and "sacred", the institution could force continuations of pregnancies among Christians to produce more Christians for the institution, the new Father.  That picked up right where the other patriarchal cultures left off, a lateral pirhouette into religion, as the woman was to produce more children for the newly ordained fathers there.  That has to be another topic -- The Christian Era. Do texts from the OT and the NT support what later grew like Topsy in the followers of Paul.


    FN 2.

    Bible in Basic English:  This source, if used for anything more than a way to teach English, has great potential for abuse; editors today should relook at the wording. The Orthological Institute, cited as part of this version's credentials, is only a group organized to teach basic English - the method, limit the vocabulary and present works in that vocabulary, a system geared to teaching English  but not reliable for theology or meanings of religious works. See Basic English dot org.

    See the version of the Commandment not to murder, even suggesting you as an individual can execute people, put people to death (the phrase used for governmental judgment actions)  as long as you think you have cause.  This is the Second Amendment Remedies heaven. Go ahead. Get 'em in the crosshairs if you disagree politically.

    This "authority" saying putting to death is fine if you have a cause, contains none of the parameters of a prohibition on "murder". 

    We are not suggesting that was S.H. Hooke's intent back in the day. But if people believe what they read, as we believe they do when told this is "authority", this says "Bible" so it must be what the "Bible" says.  A powerful propaganda tool. Tilt the text and teach that.

    Putting someone to death does not convey the same criminal intent and circumstance as "murder". Kill means many things in Hebrew, occurs in many contexts; this usage, putting someone to death, refers to the idea to an execution.  Justified. Putting someone to death. A Dr. Tiller. A  legislator with differing views. Okay as long as there is "cause". Does the killer decide if there is cause? 

    • Go to current events. How can or has this idea, this playing fast and loose with meaning, contributed to the vigilante mindset, the lone wolf setting things right. The Bible in Basic English is old, uses a limited number of words, say a thousand words -- a beginner vocabulary in learning English -- and was intended only to make reading Bible ideas easier for the illiterate, see 1965 Intro, Bible in Basic English .  It was "made from" the Hebrew and Greek, and does not even purport to be a translation from those.  It sounds like this cake has 1/4 tsp cinnamon and so is "made from" cinnamon. Did the editor, S. H. Hooke 1874-1968 (biography) do any more than paraphrase from his chosen ideology-culture supporting English sources of like mindsets.  We see no evidence of researching back to meaning.  Yet, with its missionary purpose, how much has this version shaped the doctrinal slants fostered by it. When do editions stop being "The Bible".
    Can a Dr. Tiller be killed, executed, because someone believed there was "cause?" See Trial of an Abortion Vigilante This is dangerous, is that so?  See Slate, Defining Murder Down.  Who is behind the Bible in Basic English anyway? Can any of us put out a "translation" and hope somebody will buy it?  Who qualifies the Bible on their own. Find Bible in Basic English sales site.  This says the version is to enable anybody to 'understand' the Bible.  But what if the site ignores meanings and adds to text at will, to serve its own ends, and let people decide their own "cause"?  Is that propaganda and spin and dogma, or information? Go to philosopher, analyst, social critic Bertrand Russell:  it is not enough to have a belief.  It must be a trustworthy belief, not an untrustworthy one.  Bertrand Russell. The Service of Atheists, Agnostics


    FN 3
    Preview:  Vetting Abortion in the New Testament - Greek -- 
    Strong's 1626
    See New Testament Abortion - Paul

     By way of summary, what word corresponds to the Hebrew "nphl" for abortion or untimely birth, but  in the Greek (Jerome was the first to translate the New Testament canon into Greek, we understand).  Find at Biblos concordance (Strong's set out easier to find the English and go from there) at Biblos Search Strongs "untimely birth"

    Find Strong's number 1626 Ektroma, strictly "a lifeless abortion" Where used? Once. 
    Look fast at Scripture4all (keep your windows open) for the context.  That is the site where the entire chapter will be given, with the traditional translation down the right side.  This is where Paul is laying out all the evidence, verse after verse, for appearances of Jesus after rising, and says he appeared to him, Paul, also (what??) (If all that had happened, wouldn't it be in MatthewMarkLukeJohn? Is it just his word??)

    "LAST  YET  OF-ALL    AS-EVEN-IF  to-THE    abortion   He WAS-VIEWED   AND-to-ME.
    Abortion as the ektrOmati, premature birth.

    We are not focusing on the merits of Paul's claims, however, just looking at the usage.  Abortion is again a neutral, descriptive concept.  An abortion is a worthless entity. And that 's the way it is used.

    Now to Blue Letter Bible on Strong's 1626: Blue Letter Bible Strong's Lexicon 1626

    THAYER:  His definitions and exegesis focus on meanings, not ideology. Paul likens himself to an abortion in the sense that he is inferior to the other apostles in the same way that an immature birth falls short compared to a mature one and "is no more worthy of the name of an apostle as an abortion is of the name of a child." 

    Thayer's refers to some of the the abortion sites above, and adds Numbers 12:12 (Go to Scripture4all for the context at Scripture4all, Numbers 12:12.

    New Testament Abortion. Simple. Paul. ἔκτρωμα. There.

    New Testament Abortion.  What do Biblical Texts say.
    Not extrapolation, not opinion, not ideology, not dogma:  
    The texts, as best we find them
    Meaning of Paul as an abortion (this was his literal reference to himself, his idea)
    1.  Backdrop on any exegesis.  Which authority on any NT issue comes first.
    A.  New Testament:
    That would be Jesus.  Jesus, as the speaker himself, the one there.  Obviously, what he said is the primary source for Christianity in any form - Western, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant, all the rest.  Jesus' words would be dispositive on any issue.  Did those who remembered or tried to, and then wrote them down - in Aramaic or another language get it right?  Were they all included?  Cross-text references try to sort that out.  We just take the traditional translations for now, in the canon.
    B.  But Jesus said nothing about abortion, nothing about premature expelling of a dead entity, what its nature was or is, or whether intentional steps to bring that about are culpable in any way.  Whatever the status quo was on abortion, he let it be. No comment, no suggestions, no judgments.

    C.  Early theologians also avoided the issue completely, and properly.  Life and breath -- the duality of the human.  All that hath life and breath, come now, etc. Nphsh. Wise, leave the moral decision to the one with location, location, location, as intended by that location, location, location.  Is that so, and can it bridge ideologies?

    2.  Is there other authority, secondary authorities, on any NT issue?

    a.  For earliest days, just Paul.  

    Bottom line as to Paulian Christianity: There are more words in the New Testament said to be Paul's, than there are words in the New Testament said  to be Jesus'.  Paulianity, if you will.

    What Paul says adds to the admonitions to preach and exemplify in order to spread the word.  Paul picks up from there and runs with it: embellishes, extrapolates, reduces, reemphasizes, spins and boxes Jesus' words so it fits an institutional evangelical box, suitable for spreading.

    b.  So what does this second-in-command authority Paul say?  

    That Jesus appeared to him as though Paul were an abortion.

    With Paul, there is one entry.  I the entire New Testament canon, there is only Paul's one reference to abortion.  Paul lists all people to whom Jesus appeared after the time in the tomb, and then Paul says that Jesus also appeared to him

    Earliest source we can find:  Go to a transliteration site, from the Greek, with the Greek in Greek font as well as the phonetic for us to read easier.  Each word or set in English corresponds to a Greek word, as shown.Scripture4all,org, Online Interlinear Greek NT 1st Cor.1:8

    I Corinthians 15:8

    "LAST  YET   OF-ALL    AS-EVEN-IF   to-THE    abortion    He WAS-VIEWED    AND-to-ME"

    In the Greek phonetically at that site (you can see it at the site):
    "eschaton    de    pantOn    hOsperei    tO    ektrOmati *    Ophthe    kamoi."

    I Corinthians 15:9 -- he continues

    "I    for    AM     THE INFERIOR-most   OF    THE    commissioners   WHO     NOT    AM     enough    TO   BE  be-ING   CALLED     commissioner    THRU-that     I-CHASE     THE     OUT-CALLED    OF-THE   God"
    He was imperfect, the one not perfected yet, because he persecuted the Christians, so he is unworthy.  Is that the sense?  The analogy used so suggests.

    * The "ektrOmati," or "abortion," or "abortive birth," in Greek is   ἔκτρωμα    How do ordinary people know that?  You and your neighbor can find each Greek word (and each Hebrew word) numbered by a man named Strong.  Strong looked up each time it was used, and compares usage in a Lexicon. And the number itself is given here for "ektrOmati" at the Scripture4all interlinear site:  right there, below the "ektrOmati" is the number G1626, or the Greek word number 1626.  So, ἔκτρωμα or "abortion" is Strong's number G1626, G for Greek.  That is your key.

    Then key that into Blue Letter Bible, or Biblos, at click to Blue Letter Bible, Strong's Abortion G1626; and Thayer  FN 1

    FN  1  Joseph Henry Thayer:  he is a researcher and also lexicographer who built on an earlier work by Grimm (both he and Strong's work date from the late 1800's but their scholarship is still The Thing  -- but note for Thayer that there is a "help" to click on.  That will tell you that his lexicon definitions are not governed by doctrine. There may be "doctrinal error" because the institution prefers its view.  He gives the meaning without regard to whether it fits the institution's ideology on the topic.


     c.  What did Paul mean, that Jesus appeared to Paul as if Paul were an abortion.

    (1)  The literal is accurate, but it takes thinking about.

    Saint Jerome, doing the first translation of the New Testament into Latin, uses "abortivo." Fine. Abortion. See a site with multiple parallel translations at Click on the book and the verse you want, and end up at Greek New Testament I Corinth.15:8

    Corresponding to "extrOmati" and find  ektrwmati and find the Latin "abortivo."

    A not-pretty idea.

    (2)  Scholarship about the literal "abortion" image

    Scholarship.  How does that enlighten what Paul meant.

    a.  Go back to Blue Letter Bible, Strong's and Thayer:  Blue Letter Bible Lexicon, Strong's G1626, abortion, Paulian reference  Thayer:  Gives the words with variations that mean to cause or suffer abortion, an abortion, an abortive birth, an untimely birth, and then gets to verses 8 and 9 as well.

    " *** that he is as inferior to the rest of the apostles as an immature birth comes short of a mature one, and is no more worthy of the name of an apostle than an abortion is of the name of a child."
    And he goes on to list the other places in the Old Testament and among ancient Greeks where the concept of abortion is used.  You can list them all out, and look them up at Scripture4all and Hebrew Old Testament dot com -- Hebrew as the language from which the Latin was translated by Jerome as to the Old Testament, and Greek as the language from which the Latin was translated by Jerome as to the New Testament.  See FN 1 where we have looked them all up.

    So:  Paul.  An abortion, a non-breathing one, is not worthy of the name of "child" -- and there the Bible lets it go. There may well be social and other reasons for regulation of human behavior, but it cannot be called originally religious as in textual support.

    (2)  But then see the fog take over. Fiddle around with euphemisms, anything but what Paul said.  Use "untimely birth."  Spin is better than truth for institutions, is that so?

    There are nine (9) other translations, all in English, and all use the euphemism of being born untimely, except for Darby's English Translation that says "abortion."

    Is this true also at Scripture4all? Check back at Scripture4all, I Cor.15, find this wording for the ἔκτρωμα
    "And last of all he was seen of me also as of one born out of due time."
    Again?  Even at the site with the transliteration as "abortion?"  Born?  Out of due time?
    • Born is used for breathing entities, alive.  
    • Out of due time can mean merely premature.  
    • That is not "abortion."
    Just premature, not quite fully developed, but doing fine, thank you, just be careful. Please, just one lump, not two. Such a lovely day. Thank you so much.

    (3)  The Secondary Authority of Institutional Leaders, Tradition

    After Jesus came more secondary authorities than Paul.

    Some believers put those secondary authorities on a par with primary Jesus, perhaps, as themselves directly "inspired" or having received "divine intervention" messages.  Those may be saints, popes, others. Is what they say about what we have written as Jesus' own words -- even by those removed from Jesus, and some expunged -- still, something to go on?

    Here, we stay with what was written about what Jesus actually said, if that is so; and leave extrapolations, explanations, applications, all that, to taking its own leap of faith.  Here, stay with what was original, if it was. 

    So:  all these other voices.  Institutional officials and saints, canonical processes weeding out those who disagreed with the dogma and the canon finally emerged with the parts that were wanted. See what hinges on whether the words as written by Paul were so. That takes believing in his inspiration, divine revelation, all that.  So the disputes continue. Should the "rejects" be re-vetted to see if merit was excluded for human reasons?  Ask.  See Vetting Biblical Rejects. Time for a Recount

    Regardless, after Jesus, however, we only have people:  people who claim their own divine intervention, revelation, visions, ecstasies, fits, something through centuries of carrying on the same rituals.

    Of those, the biggest authority for the Western Christian overlay on what Jesus said, and also did not say, is Paul.

    For later days, followers of the institution added saints, popes, etc. to the list of weighty view makers. Popes finally became infallible in 1870, and the doctrine was made retroactive at that time, to include everybody in that category back from and up to that point as well, see, Faith, Papal Infallibility

    All doctinally extrapolative, claiming from "inspiration," filling in blanks, deciding for cultural reasons who shall decide, and by all means, let no woman decide.

    FN 2.   Researching abortion and intentional dislodging.  What, if any, culpability that is originally textual and not cultural. And as to texts, what changes occurred over time between telling, and somebody centuries later writing. Do agendas change?

    In summary: check this against our research below:  Abortion is used as a descriptive term for something worth nothing.  It just happens.

    If we go to outside  structures and legal systems for what happens if there is an intentional dislodging of a pregnancy (there is nothing about that in the Old Testament) or to opinions excluded from the canon, Early Christian Writings on Abortion,  note that nobody saw fit to include any of that at all in the religious aspects of the day.  The foetus may be property -- a woman who dislodges the foetus disturbs the property right of the man to it -- child, but note this is not a moral "life" issue.  The man may well remain authorized to expose or dispose of the child after the birth if he likes -- no moral issue of "life" or "soul", just  who gets to decide this property matter.

    Soul?  All creatures are created with a soul, as was the first Human - see Scripture4all: Breathe - Get Soul. Nphsh. Scripture4all Gen.1:19-21;  Human also has hphsh upon breathing, same word as the flyers in the heavens and the beasts and the fish, see Scripture4all, Nphsh, soul, in human, Gen 2:7.

    Hierarchy in life forms:  the one not breathing, appears to have a lesser value than the breathing one.  Even Paul differentiates.

    Review old laws,  in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, at The History of Legal Medicine, by Cyril H. Wecht, MD, JD .  If an in-utero child could be saved, there were requirements for the woman who died in confinement, for example, to be opened. There was not disregard. 


    1.  For reverent persons of inspecific dogma. Subjective. Weigh your principles, including consideration of a common good, against your known facts. 

    2.  For irreverent persons.  You will follow your own course without regard to any overarching principles. Ok.

    3.  For reverent persons of specific dogma. Objective.  What does your chosen authority say.  Follow.

    4.  For irreverent persons of specific dogma.  Subjective.  What does your chosen authority say, with the added permission to take those chosen laws in your own hands.

    So:  Jesus said nothing about abortion, or its other terminologies, including and by that, untimely birth, meaning dead. On arrival.  Jesus says nothing about intentionality in abortion:  whose business is it if the woman Usually, the primary or direct source is considered more credible than a secondary or indirect source of information.  secondary source Paul is more an authority than primary source Jesus.  Paul gets the airtime (more words in the Bible), and it was his ability to garner the media of the day and organize and focus people on how to be an institutionand the words of Jesus or views of him that did not fit the emerging ideology were expunged and discredited (heresy),

    Ideology -- needed for larger group cohesion and survival, differentiation.  It is a group-forging and group-forcing of a political or religious belief system, to entrench the chosen opinion about the fact on a culture.  Ideology shapes that culture, secures the position of some in power, some not.  Those with this belief are in, those with that belief are out.  Politics in religion and culture. But ideology may or may not relate to original facts and truths, is that so?

    Why does ideology get such a hole?  Perhaps people were vulnerable to an authority takeover takeover because they were kept illiterate for a thousand years, had no power, and had to rely on a party line about what was going on.  Perhaps the information was kept out of their language.  More forced reliance on a few who had access to texts, and could shape it at will. 

    This forcing of opinion by expanding it into an ideology system ort is directed at people who may well have been barred from reviewing original sources, by being kept illiterate, and reliant on "authority," or by being refused information in their own language in a reliable full way, look up the original fact, as best it can be found.