At a certain point in time, in the 1st Century C.E., the two groups of humanity stood face to face: the covenant JEWS and the Noahide GENTILES.
They were about to join hands for the first time by being grafted together under a belief in Jesus as the redeemer of BOTH groups.
This raised a conflict which needed to be settled.
The conflict was this:
Jews have special laws which the Gentiles do not.
SHOULD THE GENTILES PRACTICE JEWISH LAW ? Or, was an alternative permissable from Jehovah's viewpoint: WERE THE GENTILES acceptable inside the JEWISH system without adopting JEWISH LAW too?
____The answer is Yes!____________________________________________________________________________
The Jews considered all mankind to have come from Noah and his family.
Jews considered themselves under a special relationship to God by reason of special laws given through Moses.
The Moses laws were only binding on Jews while the Noah Laws were binding on Gentiles
Jesus came along and demonstrated that the Laws (all laws) which came from God were for the BENEFIT of humans.
Humans were not to serve the LAW, but, the LAW was to serve humanity.
What are the 7 Laws of Noah?
The Seven Laws of Noah are:
1. Belief in a Supreme Being and the prohibition of worshipping any other beings.
2. Respect G-d and Do Not Blaspheme His Name.
3. Respect Human Life and Do Not Murder
4. Respect the Family and Do Not Commit Immoral Sexual Acts such as adultery, homosexuality, and incest
5. Respect Others' Rights and Do Not Steal
6. Create a Judicial System which will uphold the other six Laws and Pursue Justice.
7. Respect all Creatures and Do Not Eat the Flesh of a Living Animal. (meaning the removal of flesh from a live animal)
Review the above 7 Laws and then read this:
Augustine of Hippo in the 4th century, in Contra Faustum 32.13 noted:
"The observance of pouring out the blood which was enjoined in ancient times upon Noah himself after the deluge is thought by many to be what is meant in the Acts of the Apostles, where we read that the Gentiles were required to abstain from fornication, and from things sacrificed, and from blood, that is, from flesh of which the blood has not been poured out. Others give a different meaning to the words, and think that to abstain from blood means not to be polluted with the crime of murder ." (see #3 above)
With the words of Augustine firmly in mind we now ask this important question:
The Jerusalem Council failed to prohibt murder? (bloodshed). Wouldn't "abstain from blood" cover that very important prohibition?
The Noahide Laws are regarded as the way through which non-Jews can have a direct and meaningful relationship with God or at least comply with the minimal requisites of civilization and of divine law.
A non-Jew who keeps the Noahide Law in all its details is said to attain the same spiritual and moral level as Israel's own (high priest) (Talmud, Bava Kamma 38a). Maimonides states that a Gentile who is precise in the observance of these Seven Noahide commandments is considered to be a Righteous Gentile and has earned a place in the world to come.
Jehovah's Witnesses want to interpret the words of the Jerusalem Council in a way that doesn't exactly fit the CONTEXT!
English Standard Version (ESV)
19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
The Law preserves and improves life. Abstaining from Blood(shed) preserves Life! Abstaining from Blood(transfusion) has resulted in the DEATHs of
observers of this prohibition.
WHAT GOOD ARE DEAD KEEPERS OF A LAW to God or the world of mankind?
What is better a Living or a Dead worshipper?
The Watchtowers "famous" scholars have yet to publish any instances of the Laws of the sons of Noah that I am aware of. If this is correct, we have to ask ourselves WHY a theological education should overlook this important piece of bible history!
Some Christian writers, particularly those affiliated with Primitive Apostolic Christianity see the verses in Acts 15:19-21 as a directive from the first Council of Jerusalem to observe the basic understanding of the Noahide Laws in order to be considered righteous Gentiles, and not be required to live completely as Jews.