BLOOD and the Noahide Laws
I doubt one Jehovah's Witness in a thousand has ever heard of the Noahide Laws as such. It isn't part of the Watchtower teaching.
There are good reasons for that.
Noah and family were not Jews, Israelites or Mosaic Law covenant parties because they were long BEFORE such things even existed.
They were the new progenitors of the human family and represented what we might well call GENTILES as a category.
What was Jehovah expecting from these 8 souls (and their progency from the flood's end forward?) behavior-wise so that they might
become "righteous" in His eyes?
The Seven Laws of Noah (Hebrew: ??? ????? ??? ?? Sheva mitzvot B'nei Noach), often referred to as the Noahide Laws or Noachide Code, are a set of seven moral imperatives that, according to the Talmud, were given by God to Noah as a binding set of laws for all mankind. [ 1 ] According to Judaism any non-Jew who lives according to these laws is regarded as a Righteous Gentile and is assured of a place in the world to come (Olam Haba), the Jewish concept of heaven. [ 2 ] Adherents are often called "B'nei Noach" (Children of Noah) or "Noahides" and may often network in Jewish synagogues.
- Prohibition of Idolatry: You shall not have any idols before God.
- Prohibition of Murder: You shall not murder. ( Genesis 9:6 )
- Prohibition of Theft: You shall not steal.
- Prohibition of Sexual Promiscuity: You shall not commit any of a series of sexual prohibitions, which include adultery, incest, bestiality and homosexual acts.
- Prohibition of Blasphemy: You shall not blaspheme God's name.
- Dietary Law: Do not eat flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive. ( Genesis 9:4 )
- Requirement to have just Laws: Set up a governing body of law (eg Courts)
Gentiles were always (before Jesus, during and afterward) judged righteous by these instructions.
The Noahide Laws preceded Israel and the Covenant. Only the Jews were under the law (because it was a Covenant).
Historically, some rabbinic opinion holds that not only are non-Jews not obligated to adhere to all the laws of the Torah, but they are actually forbidden to observe them.
The blood transfusion issue is a distortion as offered by the Watchtower.
The Jerusalem ruling as to what behavior was required of Gentile converts was a RE-statement of the existing old Noahide Law which had NOT CHANGED AT ALL in thousands of years!
It was forbidden to eat a living animal and it was forbidden to murder.
Abstain from blood means nothing more than this.
Preserving life (in a life OR death situation medically) trumps any other considerations of doctrine because without LIFE there is no value to anything and there is no service, worship or righteousness possible.
Watchtower policy is not PRO-life.
It does not concern itself with protecting the flock from life-threatening injury or death.
Watchtower policy is a Pharisee obsession with RULES. And worse: wrong interpretation of rules, at that!
Abstain from bloodSHED is not the same as "Don't save an injured person's life by giving them donated blood which does not kill the one donating it."
The Nohide Laws were pro-righteousness, pro-life and not a burden on anybody.
Watchtower Laws are only concerned with exercising authority to the point of preventing the preservation of life.
Jesus himself was accused of breaking the Law by HEALING on the Sabbath, was he not?
He demonstrated the proper attitude when a conflict arose between a RULE and a LIFE.
Pity the Watchtower ignores Jesus' demonstration of that understanding!
There is another small body of regulations that is little known among people born after 1980.
The Naugahyde Laws.
Were it not for this quick piece of legislation, the Nauga may have been hunted to extinction!
Sorry Terry. Couldn't help myself.
Excellent post, as usual.
Thanks Terry, for this review. I am always amazed at how stubbornly JW's adhere to this false WT blood dogma. It was around 1984-85 that I refused to carry a signed no-blood card and the elders reminded me numerous times that I hadn't signed my card(they witness it). I basically told them I didn't think I needed to carry one. They never did anything to me, but I could tell they had me marked. A JW from Facebook told me this past week that the WT has to be right about their no-blood doctrine, because they are on sound scientific ground about the safety of bloodless surgeries. Huh? I asked, what does good science that have to do with Bible laws anyway? He is not talking to me anymore. I believe the Noahide laws were a Jewish attempt to find the universal law of morality.
One can argue that Jesus himself was "OK" with the "eating" of Blood as per Luke where Jesus "makes all foood clean", in which case the issue with Blood becomes one of its use in pagan rituals exclusively.
A universal law of Morality.
Morality doesn't stem from being given Rules from an Authority figure.
Morality is a Practical Matter.
What works is practical.
Not injuring others is the beginning of a practical morality.
Commanding somebody to refrain fromaiding the injured and preventing death is not only impractical it is immoral.
The Jehovah's Witness morality is destroyed clearly by their elevating a Policy above human life as a value.
Rules, policies, Laws all exist to create a BENEFIT for Society and individuals who are alive. Destroying (or allowing to be destroyed) life
is immoral as a practical consideration.
All Vales stem from life itself.
You negate your policy when you negate life.
It is self evident these people are living in error and killing others with the compelled practice of it as a policy.
Terry, as a Jew, I must compliment you on this thread. Your research is excellent and your argument superb.
Scholarship isn't the strong point of the Watchtower Society...beyond, of course, lifting ideas and tidbits from Christendom's concordances, dictionaries of the Bible, and other reference books.
The Jehovah's Witness approach reminds me of the urban myth about the U.S.Military having obtained a UFO from the crash in Roswell New Mexico.
It is said they've "reverse engineered" all sorts of technology from examining the flying saucer.
Heh heh heh.
The Watchtower does this for real by "reverse engineering" Christendom's scholarship and converting them into weird doctrinal positions.
They do this with medical and scientific writings as well.
And their results are about as convincing as the UFO myths.
The Blood doctrines stem from the worst era of Watchtower contrarianism when J.F.Rutherford's pet peeves, rants and diatribes started an avalanche of strangely twisted beliefs about proper Christian behavior.
Rutherford was so hellbent on creating a "brand" of religion that he'd risk the lives of members to do so.
Everything from the Golden Age/Awake articles condemning the pasteurization of milk, the poison content of aluminum cookware and the "false" science of innoculations against illness are a huge indication of insanity from the Governing Body.
The Society has had to back off on practically every one of those crazy pronouncements by distancing themselves. But--the BLOOD issue lingers on.
Could it be because the actual deaths of children are too horrifying to own up to if they admit they were WRONG headed and contrarian?
Is there such a thing as a Christian Conscience operating inside the Governing Body?
Actions speak louder than words.
Didn't the blood rule come in the 1950s under Knorr/Franz at about the same time the inoculation ban was lifted so that the higher-ups could travel overseas?
I thought that somebody once posted here that Knorr did not have much enthusiasm for the blood law, but went along with Franz on it?