ARE BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS FORBIDEN BY GOD?

Here is what JW.org says about blood transfusions.

http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovahs-witnesses-why-no-blood-transfusions/

Here is a quote:  ” Why don’t Jehovah’s Witnesses accept blood transfusions?  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 s the heart, vessels, and so on — it is essential for life. But when ingested it’s 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.”

In Summary, the JW Organization view is:

1)  Bible says to abstain from blood.
2)  Life is in the blood – respect Jehovah as life giver.

OUR RESPONSE:

We know the there is much health advice in the Old Testament.  Blood in the heart and vessels is essential for life, but when ingested through the mouth and into the stomach, it is toxic. Okay, so it is good medical advice not to ingest blood.

How is a blood transfusion not respecting Jehovah as life giver?  We get the opposite thought.  By embracing the life and healing benefits of blood transfusions are we not showing our appreciation to Jehovah for his provision of the live giving benefits He has provided in blood?  Since blood represents LIFE, then why not use it save a LIFE, providing it’s not contaminate, but then again without “worldly” donators the JWs couldn’t get blood fraction!

To make a rule of no blood transfusions allowed, which has often resulted in death of a loved one, is not a position we would want to have to defend some day when standing before Jehovah’s judgement seat.

“But flesh with the life thereof, which Is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”—Ge 9:4

THIS and other similar texts of Scripture are being used by some In an effort to prove that donating blood to save another’s life, or receiving a transfusion of blood, Is forbidden by God and a sin So gross as to result In eternal death. Are we justified In placing such an interpretation upon the divine injunction against eating or drinking the blood of lower animals?

Read more here:

65 comments to ARE BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS FORBIDEN BY GOD?

  • Hank

    To Doug and Dupin;

    Freedom! It is a nice word isn’t it? Do Satan and his followers ever use it? Well Satan told Eve you won’t die you will be just like God.

    Now we here you can have the earthly hope but just in case you have the upward call you will receive freedom.

    True Jesus said, “the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 But God’s word says some things about freedom also. Peter warned the brothers back then, and it happens all the time now. 2 Pe 2:19,”While they are promising them freedom, they themselves are exsisting as slaves of corruption. For whoevre is overcome by another is enslaved by this one.”

    So if you want to trade the freedom you have for that, it is up to you. Gal 5:1,”For such freedom Christ set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselfs be confined again in a yoke of slavery.”

    How did they do that back then? Gal 2:4,”But because of the false brothers brought in quietly, who sneaked in to spy upon our freedom which we have in union with Christ Jesus, that they might completely enslave us.”

    Do you find it interesting that they spy on our freedom, and then offer a nicer freedom?

    Hank

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Hank – I will be interested to hear from Doug and Dupin respond to your comments. You make a real good contrast here. Many of those “existing as slaves of corruption” may very well consider themselves free from God’s commandments and rules. You quoted John 8:32, “the truth will set you free.” Yes, God’s truth will free us from the enslavement of sin and evil. That is the real freedom we are seeking. I like when you said, “Do you find it interesting that they spy on our freedom, and then offer a nicer freedom?” It really is sometimes true. You have to wonder, why don’t these people just leave us alone and go off and do their own thing. They are determined to validate their path, by having us join them. Thanks Hank.

    • Dupin

      Hello there Hank!

      As typical I just spent about an hour composing a lengthy response when something far shorter will do. On the subject of law and freedom, we are really under the law of love. By this I mean that Jesus laid certain commands on his disciples. James mentioned two of them as being incumbent upon us, so we know the third is expected of us as well (James 2:8, 4:11). Those three simple laws can be found at Matt.22:36-40 and the last one stated twice to his disciples for emphasis at John 13:34-35, 15:12-13. Think on them and You’ll hopefully see that those three laws are truly liberating. In them is no need for dozens or hundreds of rules or “laws” since one truly motivated by them will always do what’s right in every situation toward God, his neighbor and his brethren. That is Christian liberty which people focused on this world simply cannot understand because they need laws or chaos ensues.

      As to how we know when we’ve found those who truly follow this Royal Law (James 2:8)? Jesus explained that one for us in his famous Sermon On the Mount and I would like you to go to Luke for that one, Luke 6:43-45. Jesus also told us according to John 13:35 that we would recognize his disciples by the love they would have for each other, a truly substantive love freely given. So when you find a people so driven by such love that they are freed from rules and laws that they “fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2), then you know you’ve found both the right kind of liberty and freedom as well as God’s people.

      I hope that answers your questions.

  • doug

    If a dr tells you not to drink alcohol that it is bad for you, would you then inject it into your veins,and then turn around and say the dr never said anything about not injecting it into the veins ?
    I personally feel that blood is holy and that its there to keep us alive for the life is in the blood

    • Jacqueline

      Hi Doug, Blood has been used to save lives many times.
      Hebrew 9:22 without the shedding of blood there is no remission. Jesus laying down his prehumn life would not have redeemed us, he had to shed blood to SAVE OUR LIVES.
      Exodus 12:13 the angel saw the sprinkled blood over the doorposts and passed over and SAVED the life of the firstborn inside.
      1Sam. 14:31-35 The penalty for not properly draining blood by the Israelites when in battle was not death. Saul and the people acknowledged their sin and Saul properly bled the animals.
      Doug where in the bible does it say you have to die when getting a blood organ infusion or transplant.
      The society once injected that the bible taught organ transplants was cannibalism. The bible was not speaking of making a medical decision here. In fact Jehovah would have known about the advances in medicine and covered transfusion if the bible was dealing with medicine.
      Whole blood is given if you are on a battle field and no blood available and it is man to man. On fractions are given and even the watchtowere society says you can take all the fractions even if added together it equals with the water almost whole blood.
      In other words you can eat the cake piece by piece but not stuff the whole cake down at once. BTW the governing body has changed it’s stance on blood transfusion as only a sin that one can repent of before a judicial committee like fornication, adultery, etc. Also depending on the country you are from it is against the law for the watchtower society to say anything at all to a member for taking blood. They don’t let members in the US know this. The government will close them down if they violate the right of citizens to make medical decisions. So at best only certain countries of J. witnesses are bothered by the society’s interpretation of abstain from blood. ie (eating it as gladiators did to show victory, mixing it in puddings etc. and disrespect by putting a life in danger.)
      Also Doug if you decide medically that a blood transfusion is not for you and you would rather try some other means or just die, that also is your choice and no one should condemn you for your conscience.
      BTW the society condones cows blood in transfusion. A couple of witnesses have taken it with their blessings. Google alert for Jehovah witnesses has carried these articles. Google it.
      Also a parent shouldn’t decide death for their minor children, most when adults might abandon the religion, so they should have protection from these organizational laws until they can make the decision to take or not take blood transfusion. It is not mentioned in the bible at all. Jehovah didn’t see it as a salvation issue as organ transplants aren’t either. Sincerely Jacqueline

    • Dupin

      Hello Doug:

      The line of reasoning you use is the one the Watchtower uses quite commonly and is fallacious. However, to address it directly, that same doctor who orders his patient to abstain from alcohol may well turn around and prescribe a medication for something which contains alcohol because the medicine itself only dissolves and reaches a useful state in alcohol. The doctor may simply weigh the benefits of using the medicine against the risk of the alcohol and decide the benefits out weigh the risks.

      Jesus constantly spoke out against a rigid adherence to the law as men interpreted it. This was no small matter as I believe Josephus informs us that high level Essenes expelled from their community often died because they considered it unlawful to even eat anything not prepared properly in accordance with the rules of their community.

      On one occasion Jesus and his disciples were walking through a wheat field when the Pharisees criticized them for plucking and eating some of the grain since it was the Sabbath. He replied to them: “And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?”
      (Luk 6:3-4). I think the pre4cedent set here is easy to see. While there are occasions where we must be willing to lay down our lives rather than deny our Lord, in matters such as this God does not require a strict adherence to his law and will tolerate a violating of it.

      Note that what was in play in Luke was a transgression of an interpretation of the Pharisees as to what the law meant, not an obvious transgression of it. It’s the same case with the interpretation of the letter in Acts the Watchtower places on the passage. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians made it clear that what the Apostles wrote in Acts 15 wasn’t completely sacrosanct (1 Cor. 10:25-27). Note that both acts mentioned, purchasing meat from the local meat market and sitting down to eat at an unbeliever’s home might well mean eating food which violated one or more of the Acts’ restrictions. Note his words are to not esquire as to the source of the food and not to worry about it unless our host mentions it.

      Doug, I’m not setting out to blast the Witnesses for their stance. All I’m doing is laying out for you the scriptures which bear on the matter. It is for you to decide whether you accept what I lay out for you or not. I personally believe that if you’re a Witness and hoping to enter Christ’s kingdom on this earth you will see that hope realized if you don’t. However, I also believe that your being led here is a call towards the possibility of much, much more and hope you don’t let this one thing stop you from looking at more of what we believe is the truth that sets people free.

  • Jacqueline

    I ran across this in another discussion and thought it interesting. I can’t really understand it but here it is.

    *** w61 1/15 p. 64 Questions From Readers ***

    If the taking of a blood transfusion is the first offense of a dedicated, baptized Christian due to his immaturity or lack of Christian stability and he sees the error of his action and grieves and repents over it and begs divine forgiveness and forgiveness of God’s congregation on earth, then mercy should be extended to him and he need not be disfellowshiped. He needs to be put under surveillance and to be instructed thoroughly according to the Scriptures upon this subject, and thereby be helped to acquire strength to make decisions according to the Christian standard in any future cases.

    If, however, he refuses to acknowledge his nonconformity to the required Christian standard and makes the matter an issue in the Christian congregation and endeavors to influence others therein to his support; or, if in the future he persists in accepting blood transfusions or in donating blood toward the carrying out of this medical practice upon others, he shows that he has really not repented, but is deliberately opposed to God’s requirements. As a rebellious opposer and unfaithful example to fellow members of the Christian congregation he must be cut off therefrom by disfellowshiping.

  • Jacqueline

    Vertroosting (Consolation), September 1945 p. 29, “Wanneer wij ons leven verliezen, doordat wij weigeren, inspuitingen te laten maken, dient zulks niet tot een getuigenis ter rechtvaardiging van Jehova’s Naam. God heeft nooit bepalingen uitgevaardigd die het gebruik van medicijnen, inspuitingen of bloedtransfusie verbiedt. Het is een ultvinding van menschen, die gelijk de Farizeën Jehova’s barmhartigheid laten.”
    From:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses_and_blood_transfusions#cite_note-72

    Translation: (copied from JWN)
    “Consolation” September 1945
    “When we lose our life because we refuse inoculations, that does not bear witness as a justification of Jehovah’s name. God never issued regulations which prohibit the use of drugs, inoculations or blood transfusions. It is an invention of people, who, like the Pharisees, leave Jehovah’s mercy and love aside.”

    .Google translation:(google translating tool.)
    Consolations (Consolation), September 1945 p. 29 “When we lose our life, because we refuse injections to make, should this not be a witness to justify Jehovah’s name. God never provisions which prohibits the use of drugs, injections or blood transfusion ban. It is a ultvinding of men who, like the Pharisees Jehovah’s mercy show. ”
    from:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah% 27s_Witnesses_and_blood_transfusions # cite_note-72

    My father was Disfellowshiped in 1958 because he took blood transfusion and rejected this new prohibition. Of course they say they DF”d becuse he lied to them but it was for defying them and taking blood transfusion.

  • Dupin

    I’m going to point out something:

    When Paul went to Jerusalem with the folks he was in conflict with on the issue of circumcision and all it implied the Apostles had the perfect opportunity to lay down some laws like many other supposed “successors” have through the millenia. They didn’t. Please let me explain.

    Other commentators have pointed out something rather interesting, the requirement God placed upon mankind through Noah after the flood. Although only the requirement regarding bleeding animals is mentioned there Jewish scholars through the ages have held that all the commands the Apostles name in the 15th chapter of Acts were part of a covenant made between man and God through Noah on the occasion found in Genesis Chapter nine. So the Apostles were in effect only holding the Gentiles to those commands traditionally believed in Judaism to be incumbent upon all men. Although James is given credit in the Bible for the decision, given that the only highly educated Jew who’d been taught of Jesus present was Paul I don’t think it all that speculative or difficult to see where James and the others got that one by means of the debate that occurred.

    In Revelation 2:24 Jesus says something pretty interesting to the congregation of Thyatira, “But to you I say, to the rest that are in Thyatira, as many as have not this teaching, who know not the deep things of Satan, as they are wont to say; I cast upon you none other burden.” (ASV) In the Revelation there was a perfect opportunity to put more commands in effect than those Jesus commanded while on earth and the Apostles recognized in Acts, yet both he and his father chose not to “cast any other burden” in the way of more laws.

    If the one we follow and his father chose to add no further burdens upon their flock, then those who would err. And the rest of us should avoid any who would add further burdens and refuse to accept said burdens. That is part of what our freedom is about, to be guided by unselfish love towards God and others not “law” in the form of regulations and hair-splitting.

  • ari matthew davies

    The bible says not to eat blood, the bible also says anybody working on sabbath is to be killed.now I have written so many articles on blood its a bloody shame ! but please see the truth here ! jesus showed its allright to heal on sabbath, now remember that the healing was not a life or death situation !

    jesus showed that human well being was just cause to break one of the laws !

    thats a simple irefutable lesson it stands not just for one law but all of them !

    jesus lesson plainly demonstrated that its ok to set aside the law or laws to help a sick person..that being said giveing blood is permited.the scripture about eating blood does not apply because the given blood does not become food nor is it digested,,and the blood that was given does get placed in the ground as required by the law upon death.. furthermore because this is a law it is proper to have it interprated by a lawer .
    now if you do not beleive what I said just take my statement contained in this paragraph to any lawer and ask him if transfusing blood is the ofense of eating it..rest asured you will get told what I printed ! the wbts should in my humble opinion stop telling people that a blood transfusion is equal to eating blood because its not! when you eat blood stomach acid kills the liveing cells and then the body uses the broken down nutrients…

    when you transfuse blood it remains alive ! and will not be digested… therefore there is NO scriptural obligation to pour it upon the ground because the flesh that gave it is not dead and not being digested as food.. how can anybody who studys the bible not understand this ? well I know someone will disagree as allways but my goal is not to win a scriptural debate but rather to provide mercy to a sick person.
    well thats that.I truely wish j.ws would devote as much energy to saveing a man health here and now
    as the do discourageing blood transfusions.I leave you with a final thought the bible says nothing about canibalism in an emergency like the plane in the mountains.so if I properly blead my leg of man (lamb haha) can I eat it ?

  • ari matthew davies

    dosent the bible say that without the sheding of blood their was no forgivness of sin? like I said before no eating of blood is a law,so is dont lie, or steal. but who among us would not lie to save a life or steal something? especialy your child, who would not grab a pick and shovel on sabbath to help dig out persons traped in a cave in ! oh what hypocrasy you would take the wounded bleeding man to the hospital and say get well brother! do you not remember jesus words ? go in peace brother, keep warm and well fed yet you give nothng to him ? yes freind who is bleeding to death get better, see ya, heck no before i leave im going to say doctor take some of my blood so he/she will live, and her is something more to consider you fathers with daughters if she needs blood give it to her your blood is already in her in the first place.. second the bible says you shall not eat blood,when you eat something it gets digested and goes out ! when you give blood it does not get digested .therefore if you want to go by the law since the blood is not digested for nourishment, you did not eat…what you did was to transplant a body organ. ok im done Ive written to many blood threads

    • Ken

      Very good point amd! Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if the Jw org. blundered the whole blood transfusion thing and maybe are too proud to change it?

  • ari matthew davies

    I want to talk a little about blood.yes it is written not to eat blood. we dont need to go in to millions of scriptures because it says what it says ! the bible also says anyone working on sabbath should be put to death, saterday is the sabbath . Im sure everyone will agree that kingdomhall cleanup/ maint and field service are hard work !
    Therefore you must stop doing it on saterday the bible is very specific that sabbath day is to time indefinate theirfore you better obey jehovahs law and quit saterday service..ridiculous you say ? well the bible says word for word if you obey one of the laws you must obey all of them..so stop preaching on saterday..ok I have made my point. back to the blood yes its a sin to eat blood, yes let us read the scriptures and admit this.. now let us again read the bible ,all maner of sins can be forgiven except blasphemy of gods spirit so without makeing a federal case out of it take the blood save your life or childs life, than ask for and receive forgiveness in jesus name. dont play games with god because quite literaly saterday service is practiceing a sin with a capital punishment ! that is if you intentend to say the law says this and the law says that. you cant obey one law like no blood and disregard sabbath for your conveinance god dosent go for that game ! rather than play a double minded game we as christians must grow up, ok the blood is wrong. Yes lord I was afraid to die, lord I did not want my child to die.and I ate the blood, I ask your forgivness in jesus name… my freind thats the end of the matter.. you can not evan claim its martardom because you singled out one of the comandments to obey yet you have been blowing off the sabbath for years and not once have you acknowledged that to be a sin ! wow how some people can deceive themselfs and others !
    And just look at jesus who broke sabbath to heal…remember how he said the law is made to serve man, not for man to serve the law…this is enough said dont you die or let someone die for lack of blood,jesus attonement is far bigger than your sin, and its a really scarey thought that you might just refuse the blood die and wake up in the lake of fire for attempting to secure the resurection by a last final obediance to the law ! instead of jesus grace

  • ari matthew davies

    I simply have to coment on the blood thing again.
    Blood transfusion may be a sin, but I call your attention to judas iscariot, who went out and hung himself for his sin rather than ask jesus for forgiveness ! if we confess our sin he is faithfull and just to forgive us and cleanse us from unrightousness. like judas some people would rather die than admit to jesus their sin and be forgiven !Im sorry if I offend anyone but dieing due to lack of blood is idiotness ! a blood transfusion may be a sin, but its not the unforgiveable sin. save you life ! save your childs life ! save your fellowmans life ! then lay the matter at jesus feet. if its a sin jesus has it covered ! dont play martar and die because you beleive your final act of obediance gurrentees you eternal life ! you may wake up in the lake of fire for attempting to purchase your way by your rightousness ! I would rather sin,to save a life and throw myself on jesus mercy, than depend on my final act of rightousness for life.. the bible says what it says confess your sins and be forgiven.. this includes blood.. blood is sacred to jehovah, so preserve your own alive so that you can continue to serve jehovah,the sin of the blood transfusion is pale compared to the sin of leaveing your earthly ministry abandoned because you see an easy way to paradise by dieing for refuseing a blood transfusion ! and you parents who refuse blood for their children just what if your child had grown up to be the scientist who invents the alternative blood substitute for the world.. ok im off to fly through the night for someone out their has already compared me to a vampire…

    • Jacqueline

      ari matthew davies, I never thought about the last thing done in life assuring a resurrection. That’s what happens when Jesus is not recognized as the saviour and redeemer. As xjw I was taught that my works was what saved. I was a slave to a book corporation. There is not mention of organ transplants in the bible it is silent on that. Blood is a liquid organ transplant and Jesus blood saved. The blood on the doorpost in Egypt saved. The sprinkling on the altar of blood saved. No one dies to give a Blood transfusion just as a kidney and a piece of liver can be given to someone without you dying. And only one JW as I know of took bovine blood recently. (don’t understand it but anyway). Why go beyond what is written? The organization does not have a conscience.

    • ZENODotus

      Hello, I don’t believe anymore that it is a sin to have or give blood. Where in de bible is talked about the holyness of blood it is talked about as nourishment, not as medicine like it is used to day. For example an animal had to be blooded out before eaten, but you cannot get all the blood out of the animal.
      I do believe that partly thanks to JW’s we have a lot of alternatives to choose from, so that it becomes an emergency method, because blood really is unique, and taking it has consequenties.
      You make a good point about your children… Refraining from blood for yourself in a life threatening situation is not as much so hard as choosing this for your children or kinsmen.
      Like Jacqueline already stated, blood was used for life threatening situation, with the ultimate sacrifice of the blood of Jesus for the possibility to eternal salvation.

      • Peter K. (admin)

        ZENODotus – Thanks for sharing some good insights. I agree with you. Let me add that in a sense we might say that Jesus gives us a spiritual blood transfusion for those of us who figuratively drink his blood. To my mind, the real question here is whether a compelling scriptural case can be presented to prove that blood transfusions are not permitted by Jehovah. I am not aware of strong evidence for this, other than the simple statements like: “Only flesh with its soul—its blood—you must not eat” (Genesis 9:3-4); “[You must] pour its blood out and cover it with dust” (Leviticus 17:13-14); and “Abstain from . . . fornication and from what is strangled and from blood” (Acts 15:19-21). However, I don’t see how you make a case against blood transfusions from this. Blood carries oxygen and from that standpoint, life is in the blood. Without it we die. Yet with our without a blood transfusion, upon death, “the spirit returns to God who gave it” (Eccl 12:7). That is, our life essence returns to Jehovah’s care, awaiting the future awakening from the dead.

  • sidgi

    Most make the blood transfusion issue an emotional one. they envision themselves, or a loved one, or a friend, in dire need of a blood transfusion, and on the basis of that emotional pressure, they defend themselves, their loved one, or their friend. Rather than asking the question…Are blood transfusions forbidden by God? Perhaps the question ought to be…Are blood transfusions permitted by God?

    When Adam sinned, why didn’t God save his life? Why didn’t he give him a “spiritual transfusion”? After all, life is important to God, isn’t it? God doesn’t want anyone to die, does he? After all, he created life, didn’t he? How does anyone’s death serve God? …”For just as in Adam all are dying, so also in the Christ all will be made alive.” All men are dieing. At best, only a temporary solution can be accomplished with any medical procedure, and God has made a permanent solution available.

    Anyone caring about God’s thought’s on the matter should think long and hard about it, before giving any recommendations. If someone finds them self in a position of having to make a decision quickly, they have to decide which way their faith is directing them. God forgives in a large way, so any decision made in faith, should leave one with a clean conscience. A decision made in presumptuousness, would not leave a clean conscience…” 7 Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” While this was written about generosity, the principle of giving God his due would fall into the same category.

    sidgi

    • Jacqueline

      sidgi, thank you for commenting. I agree with the spirit you show. Any medical procedure, even non liquid organ transplants, like kidney, heart, etc should be a matter done in faith. In the case of my father he had nine little children that he would leave with my mother that night. (not one child was 18yrs). In 1959 he decided to take blood, so as he said, “I can teach the boys how to repair items around the house, build etc. Almost all of us own our own businesses because he taught us in 5 little months so much. We over 50yrs later are still referring back to and taught the younger chikdren his counsel. His decision possibly altered the life of nine little children, for he did a great amount of talking before he died. He left us also in the hands of the oldest boy, 15yrs. That “boy” 70yrs old called me last monday to make sure I had not gone to a religion that didn’t believe in the Ransom and 144,000. When he found out the BS were still alive he was shocked, but he gave me his blessing.
      A simple decision to take the transfusion to come out of the operation and live possibly six more months made the difference in the lives of 9 little children. May God has mercy on my father, my mother was scared to death that night as she talked to him. (I was hiding in the curtains in the room, I was 91/2 and my mother took me everywhere with her. I have told the story to the nieces and nephews and my own children so they will make conscience decisions. Jehovah does not hate life.

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