Jehovah's Witnesses are told by their religious leaders that God requires them to 'abstain from blood'. Acts 15:20,29; Acts 21:25;
They say the Bible is very clear about the sacredness of blood and that it must not be eaten. The Jehovah's Witnesses say eating blood is wrong under any circumstances, even in emergency situations. 1 Samuel 14:31-35. Blood has symbolic meaning in the Bible and represents life.
The Bible says that God's people could kill animals for food but they were not to eat the blood. Genesis 9:3-5; Deuteronomy 15:14-23; Leviticus 7:26,27;
The Bible says that the life of living things is in the blood, and because it symbolizes life, it is not to be eaten. Leviticus 17:10,11; Deuteronomy 12:23-25; Genesis 4: 8-11; Leviticus 17:13,14
Jehovah's Witnesses also believe that putting blood in their body in the form of a transfusion is exactly the same thing as eating it. e.g. if a doctor told someone to abstain from alcohol does that mean they could inject it directly into their blood stream?
The ancient laws of Moses were not meant to harm people or their animals. Rules could be broken in life threatening situations. e.g. working on the Sabbath day was punishable by death. Exodus 31:15; However it was ok to provide water for their animals on the Sabbath. Luke 13:15,17
Since Jehovah's Witnesses say that blood represents life, why not use it for that purpose? Why choose death when you can choose life? If blood represents life, use it to save a life.
Blood is not essential in our digestive system. Healthier food choices are available for us to eat. However blood in our veins is essential for life. We can't live without it. We need blood in our veins for survival. We don't need it in our stomach.
Common sense tells us that it's impossible to 'abstain from blood' in our veins unless we want to die. The Bible does not condone draining the blood in our body in order to abstain from it.
When the Bible says 'abstain from blood', it means to abstain from eating it as a food. Any other interpretation of what the Bible means is absurd. Here's why.
Also there is a big difference between eating blood and injecting it directly into our veins. It is not the same thing. Virtually all foods are processed by our digestive system first before reaching our blood stream.
Jehovah's Witnesses say that if a doctor told someone to stop drinking alcohol, does that mean it would be okay to inject alcohol directly into the blood stream? Common sense tells us that food and beverages should never be injected directly into our veins. As for alcohol, it can be absorbed directly into our blood stream without being digested, but it is not essential for life. Blood is.
If a doctor says that protein shakes are good for us, does that mean we can inject them directly into our blood stream? If a person safely drinks coffee, does that mean they can inject coffee directly into their veins?
Food belongs in our stomach, not our lungs, heart, or veins. Blood, on the other hand, belongs in our veins and arteries.
Common sense tells us that we can't live long without blood in our veins, so we can't 'abstain from blood'. However we can live a life-time without putting blood into our digestive system.
Since blood represents life, it makes sense to put it back into our veins where it belongs if we lose blood due to an accident or medical procedure.
Common sense also tells us that there's a huge difference between eating blood every day on a regular basis and having a blood transfusion in the rare event it is needed to save a life.
There is Bible based evidence to support this understanding of God's law about blood. Consider the following articles.