‘Begetting’ in the Bible means ‘conceiving’. Begetting describes the key role the father plays in reproducing – by ‘fathering’ he passes on genetic material to the next generation. According to chapters such as Genesis 5 (in the Old Testament) and Matthew 1 (in the New Testament) it is at the time of conception, or begetting, that a man becomes a father and a woman becomes a mother. Although the Bible often draws attention to the birth of a child, it doesn’t always make a distinction between an unborn child and a child that has been born – the Greek word brephos is sometimes used in both instances (eg Luke 1:44 and Luke 2:12).
I’m researching when human life begins, looking at the uniqueness of human life and the fact that God knows each person from conception (even before conception!).
I’m also looking at what the Bible teaches about the afterlife, in particular where do the unborn children of Christians go? Although the Bible doesn’t specifically mention this, the general principle seems to be that God usually saves the children of Christian parents – there are references to whole families coming to salvation in both the Old and New Testaments. There are also many verses stating God’s particular concern for children. And, of course, certain verses about King David, the Prophet Jeremiah and John the Baptist reveal that God chooses us even before conception. Did you know that John the Baptist was aware of his saviour when he was a foetus of six months, and the Son of God was smaller than a full stop at just two or three weeks’ gestation? It’s true – when John in the womb became aware of Jesus in the womb, he leapt for joy.
I want to remind people of the sanctity of human life and the fact that we are all created in God’s image. Secondly, I want to show that we are human – people – from the time of conception. We’re not just a mass of cells. We’re known to God from conception onwards. I also hope to provide some comfort for parents who’ve suffered a miscarriage or lost a very young child.