Eating of blood prohibition specifically not forbidden for non-Jews

by peacefulpete 25 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • truth_b_known

    This is clearly the Watchtower being a solution looking for a problem. It is the trademark of the Watchtower.

  • Longlivetherenegades

    Blanket ban or prohibition approach by the organization will lead to reading and interpreting the below scripture 1 Peter 2:11

    Beloved, I urge you as foreigners and temporary residents+ to keep abstaining from fleshly desires, which wage war against you.

    Keep abstaining from fleshly desires such as food, drinks, sleep, watching football, sports, sex, recreation e. t.c.

    Compare with Acts 15 29

    to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood,+ from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality.

  • jhine

    I agree that Paul's words refer to murder. Also l believe that there was a rather vile practice at the time of people drinking the blood of dying gladiators in the belief that they would gain the strength of that gladiator . So that would be forbidden.

    Jews have no problem taking transfusions because

    a) it's blood from a human being who is still alive , not a creature which has died to provide food or as a sacrifice.

    b) the preservation of human life is a sacred duty.


  • Giles Gray
    Giles Gray

    @ peacefulpete

    I recently had an online exchange with a JW who claims to be on the HLC. We touched on the point you are making with regards to the scripture in Deuteronomy 14:21.

    Here is an excerpt from one of my comments which you may find helpful/interesting:-

    The Mosaic Law states that it was forbidden to eat unbled meat only to those who were under obligation to observe the Law. For others there was no prohibition.

    Deuteronomy 14:21 clearly shows that Jehovah stipulated that meat with blood in it was to be given or sold to the Gentiles who were ‘inside their gates’ and it was to be eaten as food.

    According to the Law, only natural Israelites and proselytes (Gentile converts) were under obligation to abstain from the consumption of meat with blood in it. The Law states that Gentiles were not restricted in what they ate.

    This scripture has a huge significance when considering the events that took place in the lead up to the Council of Jerusalem described in Acts.

    Under the direction of Jehovah through Holy Spirit, Peter was sent to the house of Cornelius. As a Gentile, Cornelius and his household were not required to observe the Law and were completely at liberty to eat unbled meat. However, according to the Law, Peter should never have entered the house of an unclean Gentile such as Cornelius and certainly should not have eaten a meal under his roof. (Acts 10:28 ; 11:2). Nevertheless Peter was sent there by the Holy Spirit.

    To confirm His approval, Jehovah made it known that He accepted the ‘people of the nations’ as anointed Christians by giving those Gentiles the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

    Crucially, God accepted them into the congregation without imposing on them the need to observe the Law, including any dietary restrictions that the Jews were obligated to observe. This point is vital to bear in mind.

    If it really was Jehovah’s intention for Gentile Christians to ‘ABSTAIN’ from eating unbled meat, that moment would have been the time to make His will known.

    The fact is that GOD DIDN’T STIPULATE ANY SUCH COMMAND, either then or at a later date.

    Not only that, but Jehovah continued to accept the Gentiles into the Christian congregation under those conditions for 13 YEARS before the issue of the Law came up at the Council of Jerusalem. During that time, Gentile Christians were totally at liberty to eat unbled meat and Jehovah demonstrably anointed them as ‘spirit adopted sons’ on that basis. (Romans 8:15)

    It wasn’t until the unauthorised Jewish Christians started to insist that the Gentile Christians observe the Law that the issue was raised and as a result, the Gentile Christians were told to ‘abstain…from things strangled’. (Acts 15:1,5,24 ; Compare: Galatians 6:12)

    This was not because God expected Gentile converts to permanently refrain from eating unbled meat, otherwise He would have administered His wishes 13 years previously. The bible makes no mention of Jehovah’s commands on this matter. The only reason that the Gentile Christians were told to refrain from eating unbled meat was to appease the overly fragile sensibilities of certain easily offended Jewish Christians, who took it upon themselves to impose the Law onto the Gentile converts.

  • Fisherman
    and it therefore cannot reasonably be argued that the blood of such is sacred. -

    According to the HS, blood is intrinsically sacred on its own to God and it’s sacredness does to depend on being used for animal sacrifices to atone for sins.

    distinguishable from the consumption of blood

    That is not the case because in the HS blood could not be used or stored because of its symbolic sacredness. Also, whether or not blood is digested in the stomach, the recipient of a BT consumes blood by using it inside his body and in time absorbing it. There is usage and benefit from the blood of another creature by the transfused.

    The Christian injunction to “keep abstaining from blood” cannot be invalidated and does not grant permission to use blood for any reason. The tension is not whether or not the injunction means medical use or any use of blood but whether God allows violating it to save a life.

  • Fisherman

    And from things strangled

    The Christian blood injunction does not prohibit eating un-bled dead animals that died on their own. However, if it was possible to extract the blood from such animal, it would be a sin for a Christian to eat that blood according to said injunction same as it would also be a sin to eat the blood-if it was possible to extract some of it-from an animal that was properly bled, because the blood -either dead or alive or slaughtered - represents the life of that animal to God. In other words, the blood is still sacred. According to the injunction, it would also be sinful fir a Christian to eat a strangled or an unbled animal. According to a WT article, there is a distinction between the blood of a slaughtered animal and an animal that died on its own. What is that distinction?

  • peacefulpete

    Fisherman....A subtle shift in the significance of blood has taken place in your mind and that of many others.

    According the author of the Genesis dietary directive, life is sacred, bleeding a animal ensured the life was not present in the animal when it was eaten.

    However in time the close relationship of blood with life morphed into a magical property whereby blood became synonymous with life itself. Even so, Jewish thinking then and today denies blood had value for forgiveness of sins. Animal sacrifices were an ancient tradition all over the middle east so naturally worshipers of Yahweh did it as well. However, they were gifts of thanksgiving or a reminder of the failures to keep perfect obedience, not a tool of redemption. At some point the novel idea that blood could buy forgiveness crept into certain early Christian thinking. Not all Christians adopted this view, branches of Christianity existed without the novel idea of blood redemption at all. But among the circle of Christians represented in Acts two views are in tension, Christians like Paul understood the blood of Christ alone had significance while certain other Jewish Christians felt the blood of animals had magical value yet. JWs cling to this later view in contradiction of Paul.

  • Vanderhoven7

    Blood Questions Basic

    Where does the Bible outlaw Blood Transfusions? (Acts 15:29 Gen.9:4)

    (Orthodox Jews aren't bothered by transfusions) (If your Dr. abstain alcohol... meat)

    Could it be that the dietary laws in Acts 15 were temporary, designed to help unify Jews and Gentiles. If so, your organization has had blood on its hands since 1945 and even before with it's outlawing of vaccinations and later organ transplants.

    a. Which components of blood are acceptable and which ones are not? What is the scriptural basis for this distinction? (red cells, white cells, platelets, plasma banned)

    b. Why plasma? Why is plasma (55% of blood volume) unacceptable when all of its elements are on the WTS acceptable list? Plasma is made up of 92 % water, albumin and fibrinogen proteins. What's the problem?

    c. Why white blood cells? Why are white blood cells banned when 97 percent of the white cells are not found in the blood stream but in organ tissues that are permitted by the WTS to transplant? Of course billions are transferred with every major transplant. By the way,12 times more white blood cells are found in a mother's milk than in the blood. Millions are passed from mother to child at every feeding. Seems Jehovah doesn't abide by the same rules JWs do.

    d. Why is it sinful to store whole blood? Where is the biblical exception that allows JWs to have their blood stored in tubes for lab technicians to test? By the way, only blood of animals that were slain by Jews under the law was to be poured out. No one was slain/killed to acquire the blood stored in blood banks. (Lev.17:13)

    e. Why is it alright to use the life-saving fractions (eg. Factors VIII and IX) derived from the donated and stored blood of others when these products were stored immorally? And aren't hemophiliac Witnesses leeches when they take these blood products without contributing to the blood bank themselves?

    f. Where is the rule found that it is OK to remove blood from the body to be long as there is no interruption in it's flow back to the body?

    g. Why did it take JWs over 70 years to find these rules out when they are so obvious to JWs now. And didn't Jesus appoint the F&DS in 1919 when JWs were still being encouraged to work for the Red Cross as alternative service and give and receive transfusions when necessary?

  • luckynedpepper

    1Sam 14:32. Here is how WT sees it in a questions from readers article:

    So they may have been making some attempt to drain the blood. (Deuteronomy 15:23) Yet, in their exhausted, famished state, they did not hang up the slaughtered carcasses and allow adequate time for normal blood drainage.”

    This strikes me as having been written by someone who never killed or butchered an animal. Animal killed by a hunter dies due to blood loss. By the time you've field dressed the animal and hung it up to "drain" there is very little blood left. What does it maybe enough to paint a sheet of paper and is likely the residual loss within the body cavity. There is no real draining that happens, IMO. Perhaps there is some other method of death that requires independent ex-sanguination.

  • TD


    The position of Jehovah's Witnesses, stated in multiple publications is that, "People of all nations were bound by the requirement at Genesis 9:3, 4, but those under the Law were held by God to a higher standard..."

    The position of Jehovah's Witnesses, stated in even more publications is that the Apostolic Decree was, "...based on the Bible record concerning events that predated the Law. So there was not an imposing on Gentile Christians of a responsibility to conform to the Mosaic Law or some portion of it but, rather, there was a confirming of standards recognized prior to Moses."

    The abstention of blood in the Decree was therefore not a reiteration of the strict requirements of the Law. It was (According to the JW parent organization) a reiteration of the simpler Noahide requirement.


    Even strictly within the context of the Law, there is no prohibition on the storage of blood. The ceremonial uses of blood mandated in the Law actually required the storage of blood and there were pitchers and bowls among the temple accoutrements for that purpose which are described in Deuteronomy.

    The idea that blood cannot be "used" comes from the Oral Law and Chumash sources, which Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept. -More specifically, you could not profit from the use of blood in any way, which is not quite the same thing, but is pretty close when it comes to using animal blood as an ink, dye, stain, paint, gelling agent, etc.

    Throughout all of this, Jehovah's Witnesses steadfastly ignore the fact that blood had a "use" long before the fall of Man and the need for a Redeemer ever arose. All of us "use" blood in this sense, which is what transfusion is all about. It is a use of blood in accordance with its design purpose and not comparable to anything you can find in the Bible.


    You've reiterated a flawed argument that the Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned in the late 1960's, which is that, ..."the recipient of a BT "consumes" blood by using it inside his body and in time absorbing it."

    Hemoglobin, through a series of enzyme reactions is converted into unconjugated bilirubin which gives excreta (i.e. bile and stool) their characteristic colors and is the polar opposite of absorption.

    The one single component of blood that actually can provide a nutritional benefit when transfused is serum albumin. We have much better and more cost-effective solutions today, but it was used in post-war Japan for example to bring people back from the brink of starvation when they were too weak to eat. Serum albumin, even when administered as a transfusion to burn patients has been allowed under JW policy for decades now, so that secondary benefit is of no consequence and the JW parent organization does not make that argument today.

Share this