Right to Life and the Bible

I had one of those “a-ha” moments during my Bible time this morning. I came across a verse in the King James Bible that leaves no doubt about where we should stand on the issue of right to life vs. abortion.

Once I saw this verse that I’m about to share, two questions came to mind:

  1. First, does the fact that words are changed in the modern Bible translations have anything to do with the way we view children in the womb today?
  2. And second, as long as I’m broaching the tough subjects, I have to ask this question too: Is there a connection between the multitude of modern bibles and the proliferation of abortion in America today?

My hope is that you’ll read this article thoughtfully, and prayerfully … and perhaps eventually answer these questions as you think about the facts I’m about to share.

Pro-life language in the Bible

The verse I’m referring to is in 1 Kings, chapter 15, where there is a whole lot of conspiring and slaying going on in Israel.

King Zechariah rules six months and does evil before the Lord. Shallum conspires against him, kills him, and takes over the throne. Shallum rules only one month before Menahem of Tirzah murders him and takes over the kingdom. When Menahem tries to take over Tiphsah, the town refuses to surrender to him. Which leads to his vicious killing of the entire population — even ripping children out of the womb! (And — can you believe it? — Menahem continues to rule for after that for ten years in Samaria!)

In the middle of all of this chaos, here are the words that jumped out at me:

“…and all the women therein that were with child he ripped up.”

—2 Kings 15:16b

This verse alone could speak against abortion. But only in the King James Bible! Why? Because the phrase “with child” so clearly affirms the humanity of the unborn!

God doesn’t call women pregnant. He calls them “with child.” (In fact, you won’t find the word “pregnant” at all in the King James Bible.) In fact, I’m going to ask a hard question here: If you are pro-life, why would you choose a “bible” that removes words affirming the humanity of children in the womb?

In the King James Bible, the term “with child” appears 26 times in 25 verses. The word “pregnant” does not appear once! So what’s up with the modern versions changing the powerful phrase “with child” to a verse that takes away the clear and perfect reference to the humanity of the child?

Weak and impotent words in modern translations

As soon as I realized how powerful of a statement God makes in this verse in the King James Bible, I decided to compare it to the language used in the other “bible” variations.

What did I find? Most modern translations refer to the women in this verse (and others) merely as “pregnant.”

The ESV says “were pregnant.”

The Amplified Bible says “pregnant.”

The LSB and the NIV align themselves with each other in this verse, changing not only the wording but also the part of speech from an adjective to a noun — “all pregnant women.”

And the 2020 NASB says “women who were pregnant.” (Interestingly, the 1995 NASB says “with child” — so why did they change when it was more accurate before?) In the NASB 2020 version, “with child” does not appear even once. And “pregnant” appears 24 times!

The NKJV gets it right in this verse. But interestingly, even though it uses “with child” 22 times, it removes that life-giving phrase in four verses, replacing it with “pregnant” instead. (The NKJV may claim to be just an easier-to-read King James Bible, but if you did deeper, you’ll see that’s false. It follows the modern variations more often than anyone would like to admit. And it’s considered a “bridge bible” — one to slowly lure the unsuspecting reader away from the King James Bible and make them open to the idea of modern and “more updated” versions.)

God’s warning about altering his words

For the record, changing words is basically removing words and adding other words in their place.

“Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.”

—Proverbs 30:6

“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”

—Deuteronomy 4:2

“For I testify unto every man that heareth the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”


Changing God’s word has consequences

By using the term “with child” in the KJV, God gives us a complete picture of two people being murdered, a description that cannot be waved away or diminished.

All of these versions who change “with child” to “pregnant” have lost a bit of truth. How? By choosing words that allow for a pro-abortion narrative.

Once we add to, remove, or change words in our bibles, they cease to be God’s words. So is it any surprise that the fruit of the new versions is plain for all to see — not only in today’s culture but in our churches?

Incidentally, speaking of fruit, the year the NIV was published was the same year as Roe v. Wade. The New International Version was published by Zondervan Corp. on January 1, 1973, and exactly 20 days later, the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized abortion across the United States.

Wolves in sheep’s clothing

Would God allow men to change his word? Not without consequences. God said he would not let one of his words fall to the ground (1 Samual 3:19), and that those who add to his words or “diminish ought” from them would face judgment. In fact, throughout the Old Testament, it was always when Israel chose to turn from God’s words that God allowed their enemies to bring them into captivity.

God promises that his words can never be lost, and will be available to every generation (Psalm 12:6-7, KJV). Therefore the “bibles” that have let go of these life-affirming words like “with child” are most certainly imposters, wolves in sheep’s clothing that have snuck in to deceive — to steal, kill, and destroy.

Right to life and the King James Bible

There are so many who hold to high moral standards and continue to fight for the right to life — and that is admirable.

But what if the fact that we even have to fight for a child’s right to life is the bad-fruit end result of abandoning God’s true word? If that is the case, then the things we do on behalf of unborn children would be so much more effective if we first returned to God’s true words, and then asked him to intercede in this important cause.

Then we can easily discern which words have a more clear meaning — “with child” or “pregnant” — and use the life-giving words God has already given us once and for all in his true word, the King James Bible.

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Are you interested in studying the Bible but you aren’t sure which version to choose?

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