Journal Article

Scripture, History, and Authority in a Christian View of Abortion: A Response to Paul Simmons

Michael J. Gorman

in Christian bioethics: Non-Ecumenical Studies in Medical Morality

Published on behalf of The Journal of Christian Bioethics Inc.

Volume 2, issue 1, pages 83-96
Published in print March 1996 | ISSN: 1380-3603
Published online March 1996 | e-ISSN: 1744-4195 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cb/2.1.83
Scripture, History, and Authority in a Christian View of Abortion: A Response to Paul Simmons

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In this reply to Paul Simmons, it is argued that while biblical scripture should be understood as the Christian's first and final authority, it is appropriate to draw on other writings as sources for moral reflection. Responsible biblical interpretation and theological reflection must include careful historical analysis. It is inaccurate and anachronistic to read into early Jewish and Christian thinkers a position much like the reigning secular philosophical-legal position on abortion, where fetal non-personhood and individual freedom results in abortion without legal constraints. Careful scholarship reveals that a theological community-based Christian ethic, which develops from first century reflections and biblical canonical authority, prohibits direct abortion as an option for the Christian community.

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Subjects: Philosophy ; Medical Ethics ; Christian Life and Practice

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