Can Christians Eat Blood?
The ancient Israelites were not allowed to eat blood. However Jesus brought with him a new understanding of God. The Bible says that all authority in heaven and on earth was given to Jesus. Matthew 28:18.
- The question as to whether Christians are obligated to obey the ancient law of Israel came up years after Jesus died. The followers of Jesus along with some Pharisees in the early Christian congregation got together and decided they didn't need to keep the law given to Moses. However they decided 'To keep from things offered to false gods, and from blood, and from things put to death in ways which are against the law, and from the evil desires of the body; if you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. ' Acts 15:29.
Do Christians need to follow the law of Moses?
- If it is important for Christians to abstain from blood and keep all the laws of ancient Israel, Jesus would have affirmed this requirement with his followers. He did not. Thus decades after the death of Jesus, the early Christian congregation took matters into their own hands and decided what laws they would keep and which ones they would discard.
- All authority was given unto Jesus. Matthew 28:18. Christians are not obligated to follow rules made by anyone else.
- True Christians would not run ahead of what Jesus taught or add to his word. 2 John 1:9-11. However the early Christian congregation, comprised of Christ's followers and Pharisees who converted to Christianity made doctrinal decisions without Jesus. These doctrines were written down in the new testament.
- Apostasy began immediately after Jesus died when Saul, a zealous Pharisee converted to Christianity. Get the Facts About The Apostle Paul
- Pharisees and Christians were making decisions together in the early Christian congregation. Acts 15:1-6
- Jesus warned his followers about the 'leaven of the Pharisees'. Luke 12:1; Matthew 18:6; Matthew 12:11;
- The message of Jesus was not about keeping and explaining the law of Moses. The message of Jesus was about love. John 5:12,17
- Since Jesus was silent about the need for Christians to keep the ancient laws of Israel, some believe it should not be a requirement. All authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Jesus. Matthew 28:18.
The fact that followers of Jesus did not know if they were obligated to keep the law, says that Jesus was silent on the matter.
- Jehovah's Witnesses agree that the decision to keep the law about abstaining from blood was made decades after Jesus died. By that time the Bible says that the Apostle Paul and other Pharisees took on leadership roles in the early Christian congregation. Acts 23:6; Acts 15:5.
Did the Pharisees who converted to Christianity after Jesus died truly understand what it meant to be a Christian? What they did was similar to a group of Jehovah's Witnesses joining the Catholic church and then becoming priests. Would a Jehovah's Witness make a good Catholic priest? If not, what makes us think that the Pharisees who joined the Christians after Jesus died, were good role models for us to follow?
- On numerous accessions Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for keeping the letter of the law but neglecting the justice and love of God. Luke 11:42.
Jesus warned his followers about the Pharisees who were zealous about keeping the traditions of men that were passed down to them over hundreds of years. They wanted to please God. The problem was that keeping the law was difficult. It was a heavy burden. Jesus brought with him a new understanding of God based on love, not laws. What he taught was easy to follow. Matthew 11:29,30. Jesus taught us to love ourselves and our neighbors. This was his law. Matthew 5:43; Matthew 18:19
Since the Bible is very clear on Christ's instructions about the Pharisees, some Christian teachers today say it would be apostate to abide by decisions made jointly with the Pharisees decades after Jesus died. The Bible says that all we need to do to gain eternal life is to follow the teachings of Jesus. - not Moses, the Apostles, the Pharisees, or the early Christian congregation. Only the words of Jesus are required for salvation. 1 John 5:11; John 3:15,36; John 6:68; John 5:24;
When we try to harmonize the entire Bible with what Jesus taught, we run into problems. We can't serve two masters. And we certainly can't serve dozens of Bible characters, each with a slightly different perspective on what is required for salvation. That's why true Christians read the words of Jesus and follow him. It's not required if Jesus didn't say it. See All Scriptures Are Inspired