The purpose of this article, and indeed this website, is not to get involved in any partisan politics, but to advocate for God’s Word, the Bible. As the late Billy Graham said late in life, he wished he’d stayed out of politics. Yet, the Bible is very “useful for . . . correction” (2 Tim 3:16 NIV).
In an opinion column in the Tallahassee Democrat on March 6, 2018, Rabbi Jack Romberg says that “Jewish tradition . . . considers a fetus a life, but not equivalent to a fully formed human life”. That may be true about Jewish tradition. He should know, being a Rabbi. But, he unfortunately goes on to make a false statement about the Bible. He claims “This is based on Exodus 21:22 through 25, which makes clear the loss of a fetus by human misconduct is not punished the same way as murder”. Since the Rabbi probably uses the TANAKH, which is a Jewish translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, or Old Testament, let’s quote these verses from there:
“When men fight, and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other damage ensues, the one responsible shall be fined according as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment based on reckoning. But if other damage ensues, the penalty shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”
You can easily see that the loss of even the “fetus”, or unborn child is “punished the same way as murder” since it clearly says “the penalty shall be life for life”. Either the Rabbi has not really read these scriptures, or more likely, he’s putting a popular spin on them, so as to “follow the crowd” (Exodus 23:2 NIV). This is the principle of the Mosaic Law, “life for life”. This principle is even followed, under the law, for a malicious false witness (Deuteronomy 19:16-21), “life for life” (vs 21). Murders were to be “put to death” (Deuteronomy 19:11-13 Tanakh).
The Mosaic Law was cancelled with the death of Christ (Romans 10:4; Colossians 2:13-16), but since God does not change (Malachi 3:6), He still views wrongful, or deliberate taking of human life, even the unborn as murder (Revelation 21:8; 22:15).