This surprising question arises because of recent newspaper hard money lenders dallas headlines, e.g. ‘Senators use Bible for lessons on life in stem cell debate’ 3l Gordon Smith, a Mormon Republican senator of Oregon, who normally opposes abortion, is reported as providing this amazing exegetical ‘insight’ on Genesis 2:7:
‘After reading the passage, Smith said it described a “two-stage process” for creating humans: First, God formed man from the dust of the ground. Then, the verse says, God breathed into man’s nostrils “the breath of life; and man became a living soul”.
‘Cells, Smith said, are like the dust of the earth, giving form to man but not the “breath of life”. To gain that spirit, he said, the cells must be placed in the mother’s womb.
“I believe that life begins in a mother’s womb, not in a scientific laboratory”, Smith said.’
It’s notable that former US President Bill Clinton also (mis)used this verse to try to impress gullible evangelicals that he was one of them, but he instead claimed that the mention of 100 pound loan no credit check ‘breath of life’ shows that babies aren’t human until they start breathing, i.e. until they are born. This allowed him to veto even bans on ‘partial birth abortion’. But several points must be made in response:
• The creation of Adam and Eve was a special case— neither of them had mothers or came from an embryo, so it’s illegitimate to extrapolate from their example.
It would be just as (il) logical to claim that since they began lives as adults, human life today doesn’t begin till adulthood!
• Following on from this, the passage teaches nothing whatever about the embryo gaining a spirit when placed in a mother’s womb, because obviously wombs are not remotely in view here.
• Smith’s argument commits the opposite error of pro- abortionists who claim that while the baby is in the mother’s womb, s/he is not a separate individual who must be protected from murder. That is, both sides erroneously believe that where a being payday loans for bad credit direct lenders only is makes a vital difference to what a being is. Smith would presumably reject the pro-abortionist argument, but seems unable to see the inconsistency of his own position.
• Since this passage says that Adam ‘became a living soul’ (Hebrew nephesh chayyah), on a superficial reading this would seem to indicate, if anything, that the life and soul occurred together. It’s certainly hard to imagine that someone could use this to teach that a soul enters some time after biological life begins. But in reality, this passage isn’t trying to address the issue— ‘soul’ in this context is not referring to the non-material aspect of a human being that survives physical death, although it sometimes has this meaning, e.g. nephesh in Genesis 35:18 and the Greek equivalent psyche in Matthew 10:28. Rather, in the first two chapters of Genesis, nephesh chayyah means ‘living creature’, and is applied to vertebrate animals including land and sea animals as well as man.