Sunday, 23 February 2014

Blood Lies

There is a question asked on the official Jehovah's Witness website; and it reads: "Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood transfusions?"

The answer given reads:

"This is a religious issue rather than a medical one. Both the Old and New Testaments clearly command us to abstain from blood. (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 17:10; Deuteronomy 12:23; Acts 15:28, 29) Also, God views blood as representing life. (Leviticus 17:14) So we avoid taking blood not only in obedience to God but also out of respect for him as the Giver of life." (, link, visited 02/22/2014)

But the Bible references given have nothing to do with blood transfusions. They relate to eating the blood of animals.

Genesis 9:4 reads:

"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (KJV, Gen 9:4)

"Only flesh with its life — its blood — you must not eat." (NWT 2013, Gen 9:4)

Both the King James Version and the New World Translation both clearly state you shall not eat flesh that contains blood. Before everyone starts thinking about The Walking Dead, zombies, and brain-eating it is actually on about animal flesh and that it should be drained of blood before eating. As is typical with the Jehovah's Witnesses they only give you half the story. Reading in context it reads as:

"Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat." (KJV Gen 9:3-4)

"Every moving animal that is alive may serve as food for you. Just as I gave you the green vegetation, I give them all to you. Only flesh with its life — its blood — you must not eat." (NWT 2013, Gen 9:3-4)

To be honest the New World Translation version does a better job at explaining that it has nothing to do with blood transfusions. As God/Jehovah is giving animals as food as he has the vegetation.

Leviticus 17:10 reads as:

"And whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, that eateth any manner of blood; I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people." (KJV, Lev 17:10)

"If any man of the house of Israel or any foreigner who is residing in your midst eats any sort of blood, I will certainly set my face against the one who is eating the blood, and I will cut him off from among his people." (NWT 2013, Lev 17:10)

Are blood transfusions mentioned? No. It clearly states "eating the blood". And if you read around the quoted verse (Lev 17:3-12) it is clear that it is on about the blood of animals; in particular bulls, rams, and goats that may be used in offerings to God/Jehovah.

Deuteronomy 12:23 reads as:

"Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh." (KJV, Deu 12:23)

"Just be firmly resolved not to eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the flesh." (NWT 2013, Deu 12:23)

Once again it is eating blood not blood transfusions. And as usual the Jehovah's Witnesses have only told half a story. If you read the verse in context it is all about eating animals.

"But whenever you desire it, you may slaughter and eat meat, according to the blessing that Jehovah your God has given you in all your cities. The unclean person and the clean person may eat it, as you would eat a gazelle or a deer. But you must not eat the blood; you should pour it out on the ground like water." (NWT 2013, Deu 12:15-16)

Acts 15:28, 29 reads as:

"For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well." (KJV Act 15:28-29)

"For the holy spirit and we ourselves have favored adding no further burden to you except these necessary things: to keep abstaining from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from what is strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you carefully keep yourselves from these things, you will prosper. Good health to you!" (KJV Act 15:28-29)

As it is claiming 'to lay upon you no greater burden' it is discussing rules, or commandments, which have previously been mentioned. Therefore the the blood mentioned in context with idols is the same blood talked about with regards to sacrifices. If it had been a new rule, concerning blood transfusions then the 'no greater burden' part would be a lie.

This method used by the Jehovah's Witnesses is used throughout their literature, both online and in printed format. Where verses are used out of context or a quote is given which is not the full quote. There is nothing in the Bible (any version) about God/Jehovah forbidding medical blood transfusions.

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