Was the early Christian Church against abortion?

The Bible doesn’t give the full recipe for the “bitter water that carries a curse”, nor full details for a lot of the other things the priests did. There might have been books of that sort of thing available only to the priests, or they might have been oral tradition. Personally, my suspicion is that there were at least two different recipes for the bitter water, one containing active ingredients and one that just tasted bad but didn’t do anything, and the priest chose which one to use based on his assessment of the woman’s guilt.

Yep. here is a long detailed article about it from a Jewish perspective, and it never even mentions abortion.

I could possibly go along with this but to be consistent doesn’t this mean you should be against birth control, too (like the Catholic church)?

Yes, it was a book about the history of the status of women in Islam.

Specifically, I was taught that just as God ensouled Adam by breathing into him, a newborn baby is ensouled when it takes its first breath. (Gen 2:7) My understanding is that breath and soul are the same word in hebrew, NShM.

Wait, you are taking Abraham’s lies to his servants as evidence that he didn’t plan to kill Isaac? Half the point of the story is that Abraham DID plan to kill his beloved son. He wasn’t going to say, “wait here while i kill my child”.

Also, some rabbi told me that Jewish tradition says that Isaac never spoke to his father again after that day.

Err, what? Their own religious texts contain specific references to the people in Israel burning children to Moloch. You think it didn’t actually happen and the Israelites just added it in later as flavor text? What motivation would they have to do that?

The religious followers of Judaism purposely avoid reading certain parts of their text (they consider it forbidden) because the Messianic references align very closely with the life of Jesus. Instead try asking a Messianic Jew what they think. You’ll get an earful.

It’s my opinion of course, but I don’t think Abraham was lying at all. God had promised he would have countless descendants through Issac and Abraham took God at His word. Perhaps he thought God was going to resurrect Issac after he killed him? Ironically this would have matched the Messianic prophesy even more accurately.

No, it says DONT do that:

Leviticus 18:21 — The New International Version (NIV)

21 “ ‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 18:21 — English Standard Version (ESV)

21 You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

Leviticus 18:21 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

21 And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord.

Leviticus Chapter 20

And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying:|
Moreover, thou shalt say to the children of Israel: Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death; the people of the land shall stone him with stones.|
I also will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people, because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile My sanctuary, and to profane My holy name.

Thus we assume that some Israelites did this, but that is an assumption.

This wiki article has some interesting theories including that Moloch wasnt a deity but a term for child sacrifice.

Should also point out that the Pagan romans were also pretty anti sacrificing children too. They were fine with infancide for practical reasons, but the kind of child sacrifice carried out by the Carthaginians (who were a related Phoenician people to the Molek worshipers described in the bible) was definitely not OK as far as the Romans were concerned.

It gives a recipe and doesn’t say that there’s anything left out. One of the ways in which Judaism represented a revolutionary break with the religions of neighboring cultures is precisely that it DOESN’T have any special knowledge reserved for the religious elites. For example, the Torah mandates the death penalty for private manufacture or use of the special incense recipe used in the Temple; but it also includes said recipe in full, because everyone has the right to know what it is. There are certainly instructions given in the Torah that aren’t clear, and oral traditions about how to fill in the blanks, but those traditions aren’t secret. And AFAIK there is no Jewish oral tradition suggesting that any secret recipes were involved.

Do we have the religious texts of the people worshipping Moloch? I didn’t know that. Can you link me to them?

Where on earth are you getting that?

Every word in the Torah is read. At least every year.

Uh, no we don’t. That’s complete and total bullshit, and you should distrust whatever source you got that from.

And if by “their text” you mean the Bible, it doesn’t contain any messianic references, because the concept of the Messiah is post-Biblical.

Well, obviously the motivation of making their enemies look bad. But look at DrDeth’s citations above and note that there are three different translations of the relevant phrase, of which the most literal is “pass through the fire”. It’s been suggested that walking between fires may have been some sort of initiation or manhood ceremony that didn’t necessarily involve actually burning anyone.

We’ll never know, but (NIV to the contrary), the Hebrew Bible doesn’t explicitly state that they were sacrificing children (although AFAIK it has always been the mainstream Jewish interpretation that they were).

Cite? This is the first I’m hearing of this.

Well it only makes them look bad if “sacrificing children” is a bad thing in your moral system. And the fact they claimed that about their enemies means it was (as opposed to infanticide generally where the attitude is generally “look at those irrational Jews and Egyptians, letting all their kids grow up and not killing the unnecessary ones as babies, that’s just not practical!”)

Additionally modern archeological evidence has pretty conclusively backed up the fact that it actually happened.

I assume the connection between biblical Molek and the Carthagian tophets is not a modern thing, and goes back to the Hellenistic period? There were big jewish populations in Roman North Africa, so the link would have seemed obvious?

Your cites deal with ancient Carthage. The Molechites were around a thousand years earlier and a thousand miles away. Still, the Carthnigenians did originally come from the Canaan area and spoke a Semitic language, so it’s possible there’s some connection.

It’s likely that around the time of the codification of the Torah as we have it today (about 2500 years ago), the Jews had contact with Carthage, although there weren’t large Jewish populations in the western Mediterranean at that time. But the traditions in Numbers had been passed down by oral tradition for hundreds of years previously.

So the redactors of the Torah probably weren’t directly responding to Carthagenian practices, but may have been reacting against the practices of some tribes whose descendants would eventually become Carthage.

Nah. The Books of Ezra–Nehemiah are rather late, and date after the concept of a Messiah. And of course the Deuterocanonical books which are not in the Hebrew Bible but are in others.

Huh? That’s not true. The whole Torah is read aloud in public every year, and all the other canonical texts, including the talmud, are available for anyone to read. Heck, we’re ENCOURAGED to read it all. And arguing about what it means is our tradition. And there’s no prohibition against reading non-canonical religious texts. We’re the people of the book, after all, we read stuff.

That’s one of the most bizarre claims I’ve ever read about Judaism. I don’t even want a cite, because it’s trash, and you should just ignore whatever your source is.

It’s not just dirt, it’s dirt from the tabernacle:

the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle shall the priest take, and put it into the water

That’s the same tabernacle that contained the ark of the covenant, that killed anyone who touched it without God’s explicit order. A friend suggests that the ark may have been radioactive, or contained toxic heavy metal or some such. At any rate, whatever made the ark dangerous may well have been in the earth of the floor of the tabernacle, and that dirt may well have been an actual chemical abortifacient.

Interesting. You now have me down a rabbit hole of articles agreeing and disagreeing with that one; it seems to still be disputed.

I am a bit thrown by this from that article:

Dr Quinn said: 'People have tried to argue that these archaeological sites are cemeteries for children who were stillborn or died young, but quite apart from the fact that a weak, sick or dead child would be a pretty poor offering to a god

That appears to assume that they’re offerings to a god, and to conclude from that assumption that they couldn’t have been ‘weak, sick, or dead’ (or, presumably, have died of being weak or sick.) That’s circular reasoning, and causes me to doubt in general how well Dr. Quinn reasons.

Quinn might be right anyway, of course.

Doesn’t seem too unreasonable. Identifying offerings to a god, vs regular burial or refuse disposal, is a pretty fundamental bit of Archeology (i.e. I;ve found this stuff thats been in the ground for 1000s of years, what is it?).

That wasn’t the only article on the matter, just the first one that came up. I’m totally not an archeologist but I’ve read pretty extensively on Carthage and the Punic wars (its a properly amazing story), and the evidence for it is fairly overwhelming.

The people who are still denying it are really grasping at straws IMO, and letting what they think should be the case get in the way of the evidence (which I kinda get, I mean the Romans were prejudiced stuck up jerks who wiped out a civilization, it would be more satisfying if the outlandish stories about how horrible the civilization they wiped out was turned out to be BS),