Biblical Passages for Bioethical Awareness and Ministry




This resource was assembled with the pastor, small group leader, or concerned friend in mind who needs to answer one critical question, “What does the Bible say about this bioethical issue?” While the Scriptures do speak to many bioethical issues, it must be admitted that there are gaps in the Scriptural response to the intricate ethical details of some bioethical issues. It is therefore hoped that the amount of material that is in the Scriptures will aid teachers and counselors to guide those areas where the Scriptures are apparently silent. Further while this resource aims to point the reader to the Scriptures for the morality and wisdom of certain actions, specific counseling helps are beyond its scope. (For example, with what Scriptures to comfort a patient who has recently discovered her genetic predisposition for breast cancer. For specific counseling helps in this area, please see Linda Costello’s similar work.) Finally, this is by no means an exhaustive work. Rather, the most applicable Scriptures have been listed. While trying to list all of the related Scriptures might be helpful to some, listing only the most salient insights should prove to be ultimately more helpful—indeed, an important criterion for effective teaching or counseling is not the quantity of material, but the quality of its reception. Less is often more.
  • Indexed by bioethical topic in Table of Contents and Scripture and theological topic in appendices.
  • Each entry is tagged with its Scripture reference in parentheses and theological topic in square brackets. A short commentary follows.
  • All Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.
There are three entry points into the material. First, one may use the Table of Contents to discover applicable texts based on bioethical topics. Second, one may start with a Scripture and use the Scripture index to find appropriate material. Third, one may start with general theological themes and use the Theme index to find appropriate material. For example, a pastor may use the Table of Contents to collate various Scripture references and thus form the skeleton of a topical Bible Study or preaching series based on bioethical topics. Or, a small group leader may have a Scripture in mind (e.g. – from leading a Bible Study) and use the Scripture index to see its bioethical connection to share with the group. This will model a helpful interdisciplinary approach to Scripture and bioethics. Or, a teacher may look up a generic theological theme in order to collect a variety of verses for a bioethics class devotion by using the Theme index.