Many supporters of abortion say that unborn babies are not persons; some even say that they are not human beings. The Holy Spirit’s use of a specific Greek word in Luke 1 provides believers with revelation to address these views.
John the Baptist in the Womb
The Holy Spirit speaks of John the Baptist in the womb by twice using the Greek word βρέφος , which is not used at all in the Septuagint:
Luk 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
Luk 1:41 καὶ ἐγένετο ὡς ἤκουσεν ἡ Ἐλισάβετ τὸν ἀσπασμὸν τῆς Μαρίας, ἐσκίρτησε τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ αὐτῆς· καὶ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου ἡ Ἐλισάβετ,
Luk 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luk 1:44 ἰδοὺ γάρ, ὡς ἐγένετο ἡ φωνὴ τοῦ ἀσπασμοῦ σου εἰς τὰ ὦτά μου, ἐσκίρτησεν ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει τὸ βρέφος ἐν τῇ κοιλίᾳ μου.
These verses show that the Spirit uses this word to communicate that John was a person in the womb who expressed emotion upon the sound of Mary’s voice being heard by John’s mother Elizabeth.
Jesus as a Very Young Child
In the next chapter, the Spirit uses the same Greek word to speak of Jesus as a very young child after He had been born:
Luk 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Luk 2:12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.
Luk 2:16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
Luk 2:16 καὶ ἦλθον σπεύσαντες, καὶ ἀνεῦρον τήν τε Μαριὰμ καὶ τὸν Ἰωσήφ, καὶ τὸ βρέφος κείμενον ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ.
Based on the Spirit’s use of the same word to designate John in the womb and Jesus as a very young child, Christians have revelation that supports their holding that God views unborn babies as persons who are human beings in the womb in the same way that He views them as persons after they have been born!
Additional New Testament Corroboration
All four of the other occurrences of βρέφος in the NT show that the Spirit teaches the same truth by using this word to refer to newborn babies, infants, and children, all of whom are persons and human beings, even as John was in the womb:
Act 7:19 The same dealt subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young children, to the end they might not live.
Act 7:19 οὗτος κατασοφισάμενος τὸ γένος ἡμῶν, ἐκάκωσε τοὺς πατέρας ἡμῶν, τοῦ ποιεῖν ἔκθετα τὰ βρέφη αὐτῶν, εἰς τὸ μὴ ζωογονεῖσθαι.
1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
1Pe 2:2 ὡς ἀρτιγέννητα βρέφη, τὸ λογικὸν ἄδολον γάλα ἐπιποθήσατε, ἵνα ἐν αὐτῷ αὐξηθῆτε,
Luk 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
Luk 18:15 Προσέφερον δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ τὰ βρέφη, ἵνα αὐτῶν ἅπτηται· ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ μαθηταὶ ἐπετίμησαν αὐτοῖς.
2Ti 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:15 καὶ ὅτι ἀπὸ βρέφους τὰ ἱερὰ γράμματα οἶδας, τὰ δυνάμενά σε σοφίσαι εἰς σωτηρίαν διὰ πίστεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ.
The New Testament teaches Christians that unborn babies are persons who are human beings. Asserting that unborn babies are not persons and are not human beings is a false basis for supporting abortion.