Bible Terminology for Fetuses

Joseph Tkach Jr. failed to acknowledge that the Bible does not use different Hebrew or Greek words to distinguish between children in the womb and children already born. The Hebrew word ben is used in the Old Testament about 3,022 times in reference to both fetuses and children already born. The Greek word huios is used in the New Testament about 405 times in reference to fetuses and in reference to full-grown men. The Greek word brephos is used in the New Testament about 8 times in reference to a fetus and in reference to children already born. The English words fetus and embryo are not used in Bible translations. Pregnancy is spoken of in both the Old and New Testaments as being "with child," not as being "with fetus" or "with embryo."

The Error

Joseph Tkach Jr., "Born from Above," sermon tape, September 1991:
"When God inspired the Bible, was he confused? He didn't know which word that he was supposed to inspire the person to use to convey meaning?"

"John 1:12-13: 'But as many as received him, to them gave he power to' what? 'Become a fetus'? 'To become an embryo'? No, 'to become the sons of God.'"

"John 13:33-35: John says 'little children,' not 'little embryos,' 'little fetuses who are conceived.'"

"Romans 8:16: 'The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are' what? 'The spiritual embryos'? 'The spiritual fetuses'? No, 'the children of God.'"

"Galatians 4:6: 'And because you are' what? 'The spiritual embryos'? 'The fetuses'? No, 'because you are the sons of God...'"

"'The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children' — not 'embryos' — not 'fetuses.' He doesn't say, 'we are God's conception.'"

The Truth

King James Version of the Holy Bible:
Ruth 1:11 And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons [ben] in my womb, that they may be your husbands?

Genesis 42:37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons [ben], if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.

Genesis 25:22 And the children [ben] struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Exodus 2:10 And the child [ben] grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son [ben]. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

Luke 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son [huios] in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

Matthew 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children [huios] with her sons [huios], worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons [huios] of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe [brephos] leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Luke 18:15 And they brought unto him also infants [brephos], that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Genesis 19:36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.


Herbert W. Armstrong, Just What Do You Mean — Born Again?:
"Upon conception, the now fertilized ovum is called an embryo. A few months later, it is called a fetus. But during this nine-month period of gestation, we do not speak of the embryo-fetus as having been born. It is in the PROCESS toward birth. It is the child of its parents. The father has already begotten it — sired it. But the mother has not yet given birth to it. Yet it is, during the gestation period, the unborn child of its parents."

"Now, further: 'For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God' (Rom. 8:14). The unborn child in his mother's womb is the child of his father and mother, though not yet born — delivered from the womb. So are we, if God's Spirit dwells in us — if we are being led by God's Spirit — children of God. Yet, at this time, we are in the gestation state, not yet at parturition." (pp. 18, 20)


Next:


Topical Bible Studies > Personal Commentary > WCG "Born Again" Doctrinal Change > This Page