Pete Buttigieg a democratic candidate running for president of the United States, made a public statement recently inferring that a baby is not a person apart from the mother until it takes a breath of air. He stated that this is what the Bible says, that life is in the breath. I believe the scripture he is referring to is Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
However there is a contradiction to this in Genesis 9:4 “ you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.” Scripture does not contradict itself therefore this means that the blood and the breath do not mean the same things.
I then looked up online what the ‘breath is in the life means’. The Got Questions web site explains the breath of life this way, “So, what is the breath of God? It is the life and power of God, given to man to animate him. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which means “wind, breath, air, spirit.” The life of God lives on and on; the immaterial part of man was designed to live eternally. The only question is where will we live?”
Here in their explanation Got Questions is saying the ‘breath of God’ is the spirit of a person which lives on and on. Our physical mortal body does not live on and on. It dies.
God breathed into Adam the ‘breath of life’ during Adam’s creation after he had formed him from the ground. God had not yet made Eve. Later, when Adam and Eve began to have children the physical and spiritual (breath) components made up the new child. This took place in the womb. The ‘breath’ was not something that happened after the child was born but is related to and is in reference to the child’s spirit.
This is what makes sense otherwise there would be a contradiction in the Word between Genesis 2 and Genesis 9 of whether the life is in the blood or in the breath.
So I think Mr. Buttigieg has his point but not in regards to when life begins for the child who is in the womb. It is clear that the child has both a physical body and a spirit while he/she is developing within the womb. Therefore, this child is a complete person.
A baby taking that breath of air after they are born is to make the transition by the physical lungs to functioning in a new environment of air.