This doctrine, which by many is derided as esoteric, is anything but. It has very important moral and social implications. But before turning to that, let’s set forth what is meant by the term and why it must be accepted as biblical.
Traducianism is the teaching that not only the body but also the soul is passed down by natural generation. That is to say, in contrast to the rival doctrine called Creationism there is no time from conception on when there was not a soul present in the child. Creationists believe that a new soul is created for every child but differ as to whether it is placed within him at conception or possibly at some other time preceding birth.
Now, the proofs for traducianism are many, among which I shall mention these:
- When God finish creating there was nothing more left to create. According to Genesis 2:3, after creating man He ceased creating. His Creative work was complete. The Scriptures never indicate that God created anything else. In His providence He now orders all that occurs in that creation, but does not create anything more de novo.
- Sin (both corruption and guilt) is passed down from one generation to the next. Though the body suffers from the effects of sin (clubfeet, retardation, and so on), it is not the conveyor of the sinful nature itself. The sinful nature is a matter of the heart (or soul). Unless sinful corruption is passed down through the generations by means of the soul, it could not happen. Such continuity would be broken if the Creationist’s suppositions were true.
- If God created souls (after Adam and Eve’s) then He would be creating something sinful rather than “good.” That, of course, is unthinkable. He Himself declared His creation “good.”
- The fact that children die before birth indicates that they are considered “sinners.” That is true because the “wages of sin is death.” In Adam all die. Since children in the womb die at every stage, their standing as human beings, held guilty of Adam’s sin, is assured from conception.
From this discussion there is but one conclusion to reach – Traducianism is true. There is also one implication that I wish to draw: If Creationism were true, Creationists could not be called upon to refute the idea that the fetus at some stage or other might be less than a human being. Creationists might be forced to admit that until the new soul was created and placed into the body (whenever that might be), the living substance within the womb could be considered non-human. Clearly, Creationism leaves this option open, though (without any evidence) many Creationists refuse to posit such a period of time. While it is unknown how the soul is passed down in conjunction with the body, that is no objection to Traducionist teaching. There are aspects of many things that are assuredly true for which we await answers.