What Was Meant By 'Abstain From Blood'?

by headisspinning 44 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • witnessofjesus

    Yes, Heaven, there you go again throwing the baby out with the bath water, the Bible is pure and it's message perfect, it is the dirty waters of human tradition that have muddied it up for us all, so do yourself a favor and study it for yourself and interprete it for yourself.

  • palmtree67


    I felt the same as you about the blood issue just a short time ago. Doing research on my own helped alot. I thought I was well-informed on the subject, thanks to the JW's!! Well, I found out that I had only been fed the information they wanted me to have.

    Here's the thread I started about it. I found alot of the inofrmation given by others quite helpful. I checked out alot of what I was being told on that thread and it was all accurate.


  • cofty

    do yourself a favor and study it for yourself and interprete it for yourself

    Sorry many of us have been there and done that and it is clearly just another collection of ancient human writings. Its full of error and contradiction and capable of being used to support anything the reader favours.

  • TD

    There is no such thing as abstinence from an object or thing.

    Period -- End of story.

    Anyone who thinks differently needs a refresher course in English grammar.

    'Abstain' negates action. Its fundamental meaning is to keep or prevent yourself from doing or saying something. When the word 'abstain' is used in connection with an object or thing, an action is inferred from the nature of the object of thing.

    For example:

    "Abstain from junk food" means "Do not eat junk food"

    "Abstain from liquor" means "Do not drink alcoholic beverages"

    "Abstain from cigarettes" means "Do not smoke cigarettes"

    When an action cannot be inferred from the nature of the object or thing, an "Abstain from...." construction becomes meaningless

    For example:

    "Abstain from sky" means what?

    "Abstain from shrubbery" means what?

    "Abstain from boat" means what?

    As you can see above, we abstain from actions done in connection with objects. --Not objects themselves.

    In context, "Keep abstaining...from blood" is a reference to the eating of blood as forbidden in the Law. It is not a direct condemnation of transfusion as Watchtower writers like to pretend.

    If the transfusion of blood was either a physical or moral or maybe even an ontological equivalent to the eating of blood, then there might possibly be an argument here.

    But since it's not, the JW's don't have an argument and there's nothing to even discuss.

  • TD
    I always bought into the analogy of a doctor telling a patient to abstain from alcohol... it wouldn't matter whether this individual drank the alcohol or took it intravenously... it would all be in direct contradiction to the doctor's orders to 'abstain' from alcohol.

    Realistically, no doctor would ever say, "Abstain from alcohol" in the absence of a situational context. The phrase would mean different things in different contexts. Consider these two simple examples:

    "Her obstetrician said, 'Pregnent women should abstain from alcohol.'"

    "His dermatologist said, 'Persons with sensitive skin should abstain from alcohol.'"

    While both doctors have said to "Abstain from alcohol" they are clearly talking about two entirely different things.

    We would understand the first example to be a reference to drinking alcoholic beverages

    We would understand the second example to be a reference to the topical application of alcohol.

    Our source for the verbs, "Drink" and "Apply" is the context itself.

    With that context in mind, there is nothing in what the obstetrician said that would preclude using cosmetics containing alcohol and there is nothing in what the dermatologist said that would preclude drinking alcoholic beverages.

    Again, we would only have a viable argument if there was an equivalency between the transfusion of blood and the consumption of blood comparable to the equivalency between the drinking of alcohol and the injection of alcohol.

    But since blood is not a simple compound that is broken down and metabolized by the body regardless of the method if entry, we don't have that equivalency.

    Transfused blood resumes its function in the body of the recipient and continues to function as blood. It is a form of tissue transplant and even the JW's acknowledge that tissue and organ transplantation is not equivalent to consumption.

  • sabastious
    But since it's not, the JW's don't have an argument and there's nothing to even discuss.

    The discussion involves debunking the rampant fallacies within this suicide-inducing doctrine.


  • TD


    The discussion involves debunking the rampant fallacies within this suicide-inducing doctrine.

    I completely agree that the fallacies are rampant, but when the question is reduced to what specifically it means to, 'Keep abstaining...from blood." we're talking about the assertion that transfusion is explicitly condemned in the Bible

    There are only two possible ways that transfusion could be condemned in the Bible at all.

    1. A law governing blood could be stated in terms broad enough to include transfusion. This would be an explicit condemnation.

    2. Transfusion could be either a physical or moral equivalent to something else that is condemned. This would be an implicit condemnation.

    The idea that the incomplete predicate, "Abstain...from blood" can be invoked as a stand alone construction apart from the context that completes it as a direct condemnation of transfusion (Number 1 above) is a piece of semantic ledgerdemain that should be dismissed out of hand because it is ungrammatical at its core. Failing to dismiss it out of hand is taking a step back and giving the apologist a toe-hold that they don't deserve.

    I agree that there is no shortage of other fallacies to discuss, but they all fall into the category of an implict condemnation. (Number 2 above)

    --Blood is sacred; blood must not be used; blood has been withheld from man's perogative, blah, blah blah.

  • glenster

    What I have on the JWs leaders' affectations about their exclusive stances,
    meant to substantiate their pose as leaders of a literal 144,000, is at the next
    link. The blood issue is covered on pp.11-14a.

    Long story short, the four rules of Act 15 were meant for the Gentile converts
    "because Moses is taught...."--when around Mosaic law-following converts to not
    alienate them. Likewise, Paul has Timothy circumcised "because of the Jews" in
    Acts 16:3 and Paul goes through a Jewish cleansing ritual at Acts 21:24,25 for
    the same reason, and it's restated that as for the Gentiles they're told the
    four rules.

  • headisspinning

    I appreciated Cofty's link about the Israelites only remaining unclean 'til evening if they ate a dead animal that died of natural causes and was therefore unbled and I thought about it all day... then I found this: http://onlytruegod.org/jwstrs/MCB-w830415.htm


  • wantingtruth

    Hello headspinning !

    here is my standing

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