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Answering The Atheist
May 7, 2006 / Volume 6, Issue 19

Is childbearing sinful? Some verses indicate yes (Leviticus 12:6-7), but other verses indicate no (Genesis 1:28; 1 Timothy 2:15). Is there a contradiction?

God commanded that man be fruitful and multiply, which obviously results in childbirth. Paul speaks of childbirth in conjunction with a woman's salvation, as she labours in accordance with God's design for the family. What then, is this need to offer a burnt offering and a sin offering under the old covenant?

The process of childbirth made the woman ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 12:4-5). There is a difference between ceremonial uncleanness and sinfulness. The one who had leprosy, but was afterward cleansed, also needed to bring offerings before God (Leviticus 14:4-7, 10-13). It was not sinful to have leprosy, but it made one unclean. Over and over, the law of Moses taught lessons of purity. The need for sacrifice after one was unclean (whether by disease, diarrhea, menstration, childbirth, etc.) logically follows this consistent lesson in the law of Moses.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible