What is the current policy on blood?

by stillin 38 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TD


    There are several possible explanations for Mattew. Probably the most attractive from a Christian standpoint is that Jesus' quarrel is with the House of Shammai, (A hardline faction within Phariseeism at the time.) and the author simply does not differentiate between the different factions within the sect. .

    Paul is something of an enigma and I don't think anybody has a good explanation. He claimed to be a tentmaker by trade, which is not compatible with being a Pharisee at all. His demeanor towards Christians (Which you note above) is also very, very different than that of Gamaliel who he claims to have studied under. Clearly, there's a piece of the puzzle missing. (Again from a Christian standpoint)

  • Vanderhoven7

    Although a possibility TD, it certainly is not clear from scripture that Jesus is addressing a single segment or faction within the Pharasic camp. If the vast majority of Pharisees were good guys, I don't believe Jesus would have condemned the lot.

    Certainly, from scripture at least, we see some of the Pharisees of Jesus day, objected to him healing on the Sabbath although I don't know of any segment of modern Judaism that would have such objections today.

  • TD

    Condemned the lot?

    Come now

    It is clear from scripture that Jesus' contact with Pharisees was friendly at least as often as it was not.

    It is clear from scripture that Jesus dined with Pharisees on at least three occasions.

    It is clear from scripture that it was the Pharisees who warn Jesus of Herod's intent to kill him.

    It is clear from scripture that Jesus' dialogue with Pharisees sometimes ended in compliments and mutual respect

    It is clear from scripture that Jesus accepts elements of the Oral Law as binding. (In the context of a discussion on blood, pikuach nephesh is probably the most striking. Who do you think came up with that?)

    It is clear from scripture that the most influential Pharisee of his generation urged leniency towards Christians.

    It is clear from scripture that a substantial number of early Christians (In Jerusalem at least) were Pharisees and that James, Jesus' brother was aligned with them ideologically.

    As a thought experiment, why do you think so much of Jesus' dialogue is with Pharisees? You can't discuss trigonometric functions with someone who does not accept that two and two make four and similarly, can't have a theological discussion of the caliber we find in the Gospels unless there is a substantial foundation of agreement to base it on.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Hi TD

    Have you read S. H. Vanour's, "Jesus and the Pharisees". He divides his work into three parts:

    1. The Pharisees, their background and beliefs

    2. The Pharisees' opposition to Jesus

    3. Jesus' opposition to the Pharisees

    I think it worth a read.

    True, Jesus did not reject every Pharisee. Obviously not all were corrupt and self seeking. Some individuals were open to Jesus and his teachings about himself largely due perhaps to the wonderful works they saw him perform. As Nicodemus stated, "No one could do the works you do unless God was with him".

    But as a lot, or group, they rejected Jesus as Messiah, were offended by his claim to deity and authority to forgive sins.

    As a group, I fail to find one positive statement on the lips of Jesus aimed at the Pharisees. Of course Jesus held common views on various subjects with the Pharisees. Both held the the Torah to be the word of God. Yet it was not the doctrine that Jesus was offended by, but by their practices like ejecting people from the synagogue who believed in Jesus, like ignoring the poor in Israel etc.

    As a group, Jesus spoke to them in parables so they would not understand. He called them hypocrites and blind guides, children of the devil, just as some might say of the WTS leaders today.

    No where in the gospels does Jesus paint a glowing picture of this group, nor of the scribes nor of the lawyers, nor of the Saducees.

    If I am to accept Jesus's view of the Pharisees, modern scholarship's attempt at revisionist history falls short.

  • TD


    I've read a book by Bowker with that title (Cambridge University Press, 1973) but I have honestly never heard of Vanour

    With respect, my friend, I think this conversation is at an end. I'm going to respond to some of the fundy nonsense in your latest reply with (hopefully) some food for thought and you are more than welcome to have the last word

    As a group, Jesus spoke to them in parables so they would not understand.

    So Jesus adopted the teaching style of the Pharisees so as to confuse the group that invented this method of teaching in the first place?


    You understand that the use of parables and physical metaphors to illustrate the moral principles behind the Law significantly predates Jesus of the Bible?

    I suppose when he began his model prayer with the Pharisaic formula, "Πάτερ ἡμῶν ὁ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς ἁγιασθήτω τὸ ὄνομά σου" it was for confusion too? Those poor Pharisees probably never knew what hit them.

    Jesus was not just a little bit like the Pharisees. He was so much so that they (As I've already pointed out) accepted him as one of their own. In addition to dinner invitations, his choice of associates and the failure of his disciples to wash their hands like good little Pharisees would not have been issues otherwise. (i.e. The criticism is that of one Pharisee to another.)

    Jesus' entire approach to the Law and the discussion that resulted from it could not, in fact, have been held with any other group except the Pharisees, because nobody else accepted it. It was the Pharisees that believed that although laws are culturally specific, the principles behind them are timeless.

    You use the term, "Revisionist history," but do you fully understand it? I've given (via a link to a previous post) a clear example of redaction in the Matthean account where a polite and respectful exchange between Jesus and Pharisee in the Marcan account is morphed via omission into one of open hostility. That is the very definition of revisionism.

    As a final observation I would point out (Again with respect) that you are being hypocritical. You've steadfastly maintained throughout this discussion that Jesus' condemnation of the Pharisees who opposed him should be understood as inclusive of the entire movement, while his approval of those who agreed with him should be understood as exceptions to the "rule."

    There is zero textual evidence for that conclusion and I suspect that you are simply reading the account through spectacles that were forged when you were much younger.

    Hopefully, we can both agree that it sucks to get old.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Thank you for the last word TD.

    I agree that it sucks somewhat to get old but then again it sucks totally not to.😁


  • I believe in overlapping
    I believe in overlapping


    Basically all blood is acceptable.

    With respect, I think you have misunderstood.

    As Vanderhoven said, intact red cells are not acceptable. Whole plasma is not acceptable. Intact platelets are not acceptable.

    These are the three most commonly transfused components by far and make up the vast majority of transfusions.

    And how many of the 8 million JW members do you think know what the hell Intact platelets means, and whether or not they are acceptable or not? The majority of JWs know very little about biology-let alone the study of hematology.

    All they see is what the WT Organization has posted on their website; and it does not go into detail in explaining intact red cells and whether they are acceptable or not. All the current info on the JW website reads as follows.

    All White cell blood fractions are acceptable

    All Platelets blood fractions are acceptable

    Hemin and Hemoglobin from Red cells are acceptable

    Albumin, all clotting factors, fibrinogen, and immunoglobulins from blood plasma are acceptable.

    Most jw members are not going to engage in a study of hematology to learn all the components found in blood and then correspond with the Watchtower headquarters to determine at the last minute if they can accept blood. The Watchtower has left it open for interpretation for the individual member to do what needs to be done.

    Now if a jw wants to be gun-ho spiritual and call he HLC or elders or Miss elder know it all and ask for their opinion, then they have just put their lives in the hands of idiots and will have to suffer the consequences.

    But most of the young jws like me, and those middle age jws that are starting to see it our way, are calling no one when a medical emergency arises.

    We just say;

    “We followed the Society’s instructions posted on their website” and leave it at that.

    That’s why I said;


    The trick is not to invite the HLC or tell any of the congregation because their ignorance will force you to abide by “Their” Interpretation.

    Intact platelets are not acceptable is an interpretation not posted on the Official JW org. website. Whether the interpretation is True or not is besides the point because it is going beyond the things written.

  • TD

    I believe in overlapping

    Most jw members are not going to engage in a study of hematology to learn all the components found in blood and then correspond with the Watchtower headquarters to determine at the last minute if they can accept blood.

    The difference here is the method of administration. In JW parlance, "Primary components" are administered as traditional transfusions. Fractions derived from these primary components are typically administered as injections.

    I can completely understand a JW being confused when the preparation is administered as a simple injection.

    But how much confusion can there be when the preparation is administered as a transfusion? (i.e. a suspepnded 500ml bag connnected to the patient by IV)

    How much confusion can there be when the attendant physician and hospital staff explicitly refer to the procedure as a transfusion?

    JW's are not allowed to accept transfusions and any who do clearly do not buy into the belief system anymore.

    If this is the state of mind among younger JW's, then that's the best news I've heard in a long, long time and I'd happily buy you all the beer you could hold.

  • I believe in overlapping
    I believe in overlapping


    If this is the state of mind among younger JW's, then that's the best news I've heard in a long, long time and I'd happily buy you all the beer you could hold

    Thanks for the offer TD, but I’m not old enough YET and any adult buying me alcohol can get in trouble. -------Soon though!

    I would say the majority of young ones around my age don’t buy into the blood doctrine. We’re not about to let go of our life for some stupid and crazy idea. Most of our parents know our intentions and silently just don’t say anything to anyone in the congregation

    Like my mom used to tell me;

    “If you don’t want to follow the directions of the slave, then that’s between you and God’s Earthly Organization.

    And if you want to hire some lawyer to write your own dual power of attorney for health care, (Hint, Hint) then that’s between you and Jehovah. You’ll have to research a good attorney dealing with power of attorney for health stuff and you will have to pay the lawyer with your own money. You’re 18 now and it should be your own decision. I’m not going to get involved.

    That’s was a couple of years ago. And I could tell my parents were relieved that if something happened to me, I carried a copy of my power of attorney with me in case of some accident, and my non-jw uncle was named in my power of attorney to make decisions for me in case I was unconscious and not able to choose for myself. My parents were out of the loop and I believe they were happy my non jw uncle was in charge.

    I do have to admit that reddit for exjw helped a lot in guiding me and encouraging me to get a lawyer and what to expect.And it was ingrained in me to never tell any JW because they are the kings and queens of gossip.

    Of course there are a few die-hard young ones in every congregation who have uber parents and want to please them, but those are few in number and usually they are the isolated ones who are home schooled, have limited access to the internet, and want to get married real bad.

    But the majority know better. There's just to much information on the web about the Watchtower's dirty little secrets.

    Now imagine when I get married and have children!!!!

    Do you think they will have anything to do with Watchtower Inc.!

    The new overlapping generation of Jws, will probably see the fall of the Watchtower from 8 million to around 50,000 worldwide in about 30 years.

    Our children will be asking us;

    “Mom, Dad, is it true that grandpa’s religion didn’t allow them to take blood?

    “Yes son that’s true!”

    Man, they were really messed up weren’t they Dad?


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