The best way to do exegesis (interpreting) is to learn ancient Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. You have to remember when Bible translations are made, it’s not English to English — it’s from the source documents written in dead languages to the modern language, whatever that is. And the trouble with modern languages is that they change and mutate over time (ask a Californian what first comes to mind when you mention the word “stoned”).

But you and your politics are still involved. If you translate it, you translate it how you want. If you read a piece of text, you interpret it how you want. There is no one correct way to read, interpret, or translate a text. You are part of the equation in every case.

That said, this is a good response to your concerns about how to interpret the text:

You linked me to a site run by a group with a political agenda. Maybe you consider it a “good response,” but it doesn’t mean I will. Again, because this is all entirely subjective. Your politics dictate your religion just as much as your religion dictates your politics. The same is true for me.

Whether you still agree that involuntary abortions are morally right or wrong is at this stage immaterial — all we are dealing with here is how to correctly interpret the meaning of the text. The answer there is yes, the text does support the idea that the author would value the life of a child in the womb separately from the mothers. That would align with God’s reactions to child sacrifices later on (Jeremiah 19:5, et al), the words of David (Psalm 139:13) and of course Jesus’s rebuke of his disciples (Matthew 19:14).

Long story short, is the Bible consistent with the idea that the unborn and born have intrinsic human value — yes. That is the orthodox, conservative view of how the original authors would have meant it. To answer no, you have to start being theologically creative.

From where I’m sitting, you’re the one being theologically creative. There is no objective bar by which to judge this, because there is no one objectively correct interpretation or translation of the Bible, because, fundamentally, words are imprecise. Calling something “orthodox” is merely an appeal to tradition and authority.

Outside of that, there are good medical grounds to justify that the foetus is a self-contained human entity completely separate from the mother, but that’s not what we are talking about here.

There are good medical grounds to say quite the opposite. If it’s a complete human, entirely separate from the mother, let it argue its own case.

Just the facts: Writer. Gamer. Feminist. Educated in Astrophysics. Professional Gambler. Student of Language. Satanist. Anarchist.

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