Are there any passages in the New Testament where Jesus himself condemns the practice of contraception? As a virgin and the product of a miraculous conception himself it would seem odd for Him to have a strong opinion on the subject.

  • If you're wondering about the various Christian views on contraception, check out the blog entries: christianity.blogoverflow.com/?blt=1 There are two entries out there already, and if I'm not mistaken, two more to come? – David Stratton Mar 12 '12 at 15:59
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    Welcome to Christianity—Stack Exchange pguardiario! @David: You are correct. My entry answers the question fairly well, I think. In sum, the Bible has no mention of contraception with the possible exception of an obscure reference to what the Talmud calls "thresh[ing] within and winnow[ing] without". – Jon Ericson Mar 12 '12 at 16:10

No, there are no passages in the New Testament where Jesus even speaks about contraception. Coincidentally, He never mention airplanes, computers, fast food, or cell phones either. :)

All of these are modern inventions for which there was no vocabulary or context in which teaching could be given. (While there were examples of contraceptives in ancient history, the Jewish people don't appear to have used any.) The basis of the teachings of the Catholic church and others comes from arguments of design. God's design of intercourse leads to reproduction--not all the time, of course, but that is certainly a reasonably common outcome. Additionally, there is a specific command given to Adam and Noah to fill the earth and multiply upon it, so taking unnatural action to prevent reproduction seems to go against that to some extent.

Also, the idea that Jesus would not have a strong opinion on the subject, merely because He Himself was the product of a miraculous conception, ignores the Biblical teaching that Jesus was Himself the eternal Son of God who took on flesh 2,000 years ago. The Son of God, through whom all things were created, certainly has a strong opinion on truth and morality.

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    Thanks for the reply @narnian. Where I live it sometimes feels that the command to fill the earth has been accomplished too well. – pguardiario Mar 13 '12 at 2:13
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    @pguardiario Yes, but have you been to Wyoming? :) – Narnian Mar 13 '12 at 12:12
  • Intentional contraception generally also requires rejection of the Scriptural principle that children are a blessing from the Lord, instead viewing them as a burden. – Ben Voigt Apr 3 '12 at 6:54
  • There's also the line Jesus says (mark 10:8): "and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one." To me, this passage seems to support the catholic doctrine: the point of contraception is to stop 'the two' from making a little 'one,' wouldn't contraception be against the will of God? – Joe Daniels Aug 9 '12 at 18:02

There are not any references to contraception in the Bible. The two arguments I have heard against using contraception are Onan dying after spilling his semen on the ground to avoid getting his brother's wife pregnant (Genesis 38:8-10). The other is just that it is unnatural

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Jesus didn't condem Contraception per se, but there is a stong traditon running back to Genesis, that children are a good thing:

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth

And another (Psalm 127:5):

Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies in the gate.

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If you'll excuse what may be faulty parallelism, you might see that one of the more ancient prophecies about Christ is right next to the denouncement of "those who engage in witchcraft"

Deuteronomy 18:9-15 (NIV)
9 When you enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD; because of these same detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. 13 You must be blameless before the LORD your God. 14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.

I don't know if no one thinks about contraception as witchcraft nowadays, but in days of yore, I'd imagine, if you'd want to get a contraceptive back in the day, you didn't go to Planned Parenthood. You went to the old hag who knew how to conjure that kind of stuff.

I should note, witchcraft as contraception is not completely bogus opinion.

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  • One also notes Galatians 5:20, in which the word translated "witchcraft" is the root for pharmacology, and certainly included contraceptive herbs. – Ben Voigt Apr 3 '12 at 6:52

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