What Was Meant By 'Abstain From Blood'?

by headisspinning 44 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TD

    There's something quixotic when Jehovah's Witnesses or any other fundamentalist Christian group starts interpreting Jewish Law.

    If we can establish relevancy, (Some sort of equivalency between the eating of blood and the transfusion of blood) I'll be happy to comment.

  • Larsinger58

    Whatever it means, it was only to be done while you were around Jewish believers!

    The Bible clearly says if you're in the home of an unbeliever, you can eat whatever you wanted without making any inquiry in regards to your conscience.

    Allow me:

    1 Cor 10: 25 " Everything that is sold in a meat market keep eating, making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience; 26 for “to Jehovah belong the earth and that which fills it.” 27 If anyone of the unbelievers invites YOU and YOU wish to go, proceed to eat everything that is set before YOU , making no inquiry on account of YOUR conscience."


    The key here is "unbelievers". That is, if you're around unbelievers you can eat anything. This acknowledges the rule about abstaining from blood in another circumstance, which would be around Jewish believers. So that rule was made for congregations where the weak conscience of Jewish converts was consistent and offensive to eat blood. That was appropriate to keep peace and consistency within the congregations. But that was for the sake of the weak conscience of the Jewish brothers. But there are no Christian rules against blood or anything else that is taken into the body if it does not violate your conscience (i.e. tobacco?)

    But, if you are outside that community and with an unbeliever, perhaps an unbelieving relative, you don't have to apply the "abstain from blood" rule and you can chow down on all the blood sausages and tobacco you want to. It's not sin. Nothing taken into your body is a sin. What you eat does not reflect your heart condition. What comes out of your mouth reflects your heart condition and can defile you.

    Think of all the blood transfusion deaths that were unnecessary, perhaps, because of this stubborn misinterpretation by the WTS? That's why they are called the "man of lawlessness" at 2 Thess 2.

    One place says "abstain" another says, "eat everything." But this is not a conflict. The context of eating anything is in the home of an unbeliever. The rule to abstain was to be followed when you were around believers, but that comes from the context of this being lots of Jewish believers.

  • Murray Smith
    Murray Smith

    Sab's cross-thread as well as cofty's at the outset of this thread say it all . . . I can honestly say that the exact same understanding came to me through my own personal research (including some others input of course), . . . but what amazes me is that almost every individual that examines this topic COMES TO THE SAME CONCLUSIONS based on little more than thier own research/conclusions . . . that's saying something I think. Great thread . . . can't be repeated enough . . . this more accurrate and balanced understanding should be encouraged and progressed as much as possible

  • Heaven

    Yes, Heaven, there you go again throwing the baby out with the bath water the Bible is pure and it's message perfect,

    WoJ, incorrect. The scripture "Abstain from blood" is incomplete because the action to be "abstained" or refrained from is missing. How can you possibly follow something that is an incomplete instruction?

    Ask yourself exactly what action you're supposed to be "abstaining" from. Here are a few questions I've come up with...

    Is it licking blood? Tasting blood? Eating, drinking, or swallowing blood? Circulating blood? Painting with blood? Signing your name in blood? Donating blood? Collecting blood? Storing blood? Transfusing blood? Flicking blood? Soaking up blood from a wound? Using blood topically to heal? Touching blood? Smelling blood? Holding blood? Wiping blood up off the floor? Flushing blood down the drain? Cutting open an animal's throat to bleed it?

  • Vidiot

    What about "abstaining from bloodguilt"?

  • RubaDub

    The word "abstain" means to break something into several parts before consuming it.

    Rub a Dub

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    Commentary Press has Chapter 9 of In Search of Christian Freedom for free as a pdf. I don't remember exactly what Ray Franz's take on the blood issue was but I'm sure it's reasonable and compassionate:


  • Knowsnothing

    @ Headisspinning:

    Allow me to quote from the "Questions From Readers," The Watchtower , May 15, 1983, pp. 30-1.

    Despite pressures to water down God’s requirements, true Christians know that life is a gift from Jehovah God and must be used as he directs. They obey God whether it seems physically practical now or not. For example, Acts 15:28, 29 commands Christians to abstain from idolatry. Thus a true worshiper threatened with death if he refused to share in idolatry would not argue that since “an idol is nothing,” he should not lose his present life over just a symbol. (1 Corinthians 8:4) The three faithful Hebrews set the proper example of obedience, as did the early Christians who accepted death in the arena rather than put incense on an altar.—Daniel 3:1-18.

    Similarly, if a problem arose concerning blood, as when an accident or an operation causes extreme blood loss, the Christian cannot compromise his integrity. He obeys his Life-Giver with full assurance that if, despite the best alternative medical treatment, his present life should be lost, his eternal life is not endangered. Jesus told his followers: “Do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”—Matthew 10:28.


    OK, those comments I highlighted are BS. So they allow fractions now, but yet somehow, whole blood or the 4 major components are compromising integrity?

    Something that helped me get my mind straight on this was organ transplants. They were wrong about that, and they are wrong about blood transfusions. Don't let a couple of men in suits make decisions for you. All they want to do is control your conscience. And they can, and have done it to all of us, at the flick of their magic wand.

  • Heaven

    Welcome, Knowsnothing!

    Good points about the WT$ BS. Hey, that rhymes! Just goes to show you can use the Bible to justify anything.

  • cofty
    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

    Hi Headspinning - In typical Watchtower style the JW apologist who wrote that reply in the link completely ignores the context of the relevant texts. He/she claims that an Israelite could not eat the flesh of an animal "already dead". He tries to provaricate about it being accidental eating of unbled meat, this is nonsense.

    'Anyone, whether native-born or alien, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then he will be clean. But if he does not wash his clothes and bathe himself, he will be held responsible.' - Lev 17:15

    The whole thing is covered quite thoroughly in my original link. Sorry I don't have time just now to reply in more detail.

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