Whoopi Goldberg is the Resident Bible Scholar on ‘The View’

Whoopi Goldberg is a classic practitioner of the ignorant expert. She often gets away with her ignorance because her audience is often just as ignorant as she is.

Here’s her latest:

“The hosts of The View on Tuesday ranted about Catholicism, the Pope and his visit to America. Whoopi Goldberg, offering her thoughts on the faith, complained about Pope Francis discussing abortion: ‘Well, there’s nothing in the Book that says anything about abortion. Let’s make sure of that. The Ten Commandments are the Ten Commandments. There’s only ten.’”

Actually, these “ ten commandments” are literally called the “ten words” (Ex. 34:28; Deut. 4:13; 10:4). It’s unfortunate that some translations substitute the word “commandments” for “words.” Whoopi can’t be blamed for this mistake since millions of people make it.

That’s why it’s more accurate to use the word “Decalogue,” from the Greek words deka (ten) and logos (words), to describe what’s listed in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Even so, command “words” (debarim) from God are laws to be followed.

In addition, there are more than ten commandments, laws, or command words in the Bible. By someone’s count, there are 613, and this doesn’t count various extensions of how a law can be applied. One of the laws found in the Decalogue is the command not to murder. Killing an unborn baby would come under the Sixth Commandment if an unborn baby is a person, and according to the Bible, an unborn baby is a person.

Read more: “How Rand Paul Turned the Tables on the Abortion Debate.”

It’s true that there is not specific law in the Bible that says, “You shall not abort your child.” You won’t find these laws either: “You shall not drown your child. You shall not throw your child off a bridge. You shall not strangle your child. You shall not leave your child in a hot car. You shall not stab your child. You shall not poison your child.” “You shall not murder covers” all these situations and many more.

The Bible attributes self-consciousness to unborn babies, something that modern medicine has studied and acknowledged. Jacob and Esau “struggled together within” their mother’s womb (Gen. 25:22). The New Testament offers a similar glimpse into prenatal consciousness: “And it came about that when Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). “Struggling” and “leaping” are the result of consciousness. Jacob and Esau fighting inside the womb is indicative of their continued fighting outside the womb. John leaps in reaction to Mary’s pregnancy.

Read more: “Planned Parenthood Uses Bible to Support Abortion.”

Some commentators claim that in Exodus 21:22 killing a “fetus” is nothing more than a property crime rather than the killing of a human being. This is absurd. Their operating premise is that an unborn baby is not defined as a person. The Bible teaches otherwise. The original Hebrew reads: “And if men struggle with each other and strike a pregnant woman so that her children [yeled] come out. . . .” Notice that the text uses the word “children,” not “products of conception.”

The Hebrew word for “children” in this verse is used in other contexts to designate a child already born. For example, in Exodus 2:6 we read: “When Pharaoh’s daughter opened [the basket], she saw the child [yeled], and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children [yeled].’” Since in Exodus 21 these are “children that come out,” they are persons, not body parts like an infected appendix or a bad gall bladder.

If there is no injury to these individuals — the mother and her prematurely delivered child or children — then there is no penalty. If there is injury, then the judges must decide on an appropriate penalty based on the extent of the injury either to the mother and/or her children because mother and children are persons in terms of biblical law.

Some translations have “so that she has a miscarriage.” The 1977 edition of the New American Standard Version translated the text using “miscarriage.” The 1995 translation is better (“she gives birth prematurely”), but it still does not capture the literal rendering. In a marginal note, the NASB translators recognize that the literal rendering of the text is “her children come out.” It’s frustrating to read translations that include marginal notes telling us what the original language really says literally.

There is more that can be said on this subject, but it’s clear that Whoopi Goldberg does not know what she’s talking about.

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