A brother from Kenya asked the question: “When does life begin?

Life begins at conception.
Independent life begins when breathing begins after the baby is born.

Life begins at conception. This is obvious. The unborn also is influenced by surroundings and is capable of "feelings".

It was said of John the Baptist, when still in the womb (Like 1:41) "as Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb". The Holy Spirit (via Luke) said that. Then Mary adds in verse 44, "As the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped with joy in my womb". The reason for the response is given.
Medical evidence confirms this, (although we do not need it if Scripture says it). The above verse shows fully that life is evidenced.

I would think that if it is properly established, by at least two doctors - independently, and impartially - that a mother's life was really in danger - not just an excuse - then I could understand an abortion being performed. That is my feeling, without having a chapter and verse for it.

Independent life begins at birth.
This occurs when breathing begins. In the original languages, the word for "spirit" is the same as breath, wind, "hard blowing", etc.

It is very significant that in Genesis, "God breathed into man, and man became a living soul". God did not do that for any other creature. God had a direct involvement in the creation of man. Every person has a spirit - that direct link with God.
A tree is a living thing - it has a body.
A dog has a body and a soul (but not an immortal one). It has feelings, cares for, nurtures its young, etc.
Man has a body, a soul, and a spirit. A man can reason about the future, has a conscience from God, can think about "why he is here", etc.
The soul and spirit are never said to be separated, as far as I know. Humans have an immortal soul (i.e. the soul never dies).

I trust that I have given you something that may help. I also have an article on "Spirit, Soul and Body" at

MM March 2010