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What Does The Bible Say About Blood Transfusions

Breaking The Sabbath Was Just As Serious As Eating Blood

Blood Transfusions- Jehovah’s Witnesses

The punishment for breaking the Sabbath was death which was the same as intentionally eating blood . Eating flesh from a dead animal with the blood still in it made you unclean until the evening and until you have bathed and washed your garments.

With the above in mind, and for arguments sake assuming that IF it was wrong to accept a blood transfusion, it would still be scripturally reasonable to break the law on blood to save a human life.

We would do well to ask the question: If Jesus said we should break the Sabbath which is punishable by death, to save a life, then would it not be reasonable to apply this same principle to save a human life, much less the life of an animal?

Does The Bible Prohibit Blood Transfusions

Although the Bible does not specifically mention this medical practice, we do not believe God will condemn one for having a transfusion. Some religious groups have misinterpreted God’s command against eating blood , mistakenly extending it to receiving blood by transfusions. Ingesting blood and receiving it into the circulatory system are not the same thing. God specifically commands against the eating of blood, a prohibition reiterated in the New Testament as tied to idolatrous worship .

While having a transfusion is not a sin, a proficient doctor would advise that medical risks are involved, as in any transmission of bodily fluids. Thus, one ought to weigh these risks and the anticipated benefits carefully.

Jehovah’s Witness’ Beliefs And Teachings About Blood:

The Jehovah’s Witnesses urges its members to refuse to accept blood transfusions and to not allow them to be given to theirchildren. This is primarily based upon four passages in the Bible which they interpret as prohibiting the consuming ofblood:

  • Genesis 9:4 But flesh with…blood…ye shall not eat
  • Leviticus 17:12-14…No soul of you shall eat blood…whosoever eatethit shall be cut off
  • Acts 15:29 That ye abstain…from blood…
  • Acts 21:25 …Gentiles…keep themselves from things offeredto idols and from blood…

The faith group once interpreted “eating” of blood in its most general form to includeaccepting “transfusion of whole blood, packed RBCs, and plasma, as wellas WBC and platelet administration.

L.C. Cotton, associate director of Jehovah’s Witnesses hospital information services, said:

We feel that the Bible clearly indicates that blood is sacred and it is not to be used for human consumption. Though it doesn’t discuss it in medical terms, Jehovah’s Witnesses feel that would preclude the acceptance of it in a blood transfusion.”1

All or essentially all other Christian and Jewish faithgroups interpret these same passages as referring to dietary laws; i.e. to the actual eating of meatcontaining blood.

Witnesses are also urged to “discontinue their chemotherapy treatments when platelet transfusions are needed.2

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Do Bible Verses About Not Eating Blood Mean That People Should Also Avoid Receiving Blood Transfusions Does The Bible Say Anything About Blood Transfusions At All

Sometimes its been interpreted that the biblical law against eating blood means that people also shouldnt have blood transfusions. A look at the verses about blood in the Bible shows that this wasnt the intent of the law. The command was a prohibition against customs that pagan nations around Israel were using in their worship of idols and false gods. This type of pagan worship sometimes involved drinking the blood of animals in the belief that the worshiper would receive strength through the blood.

So when the Bible does talk about blood, it doesnt have anything to do with the modern practice of blood transfusions.

What Does The Bible Say About Blood Transfusions

What Does the Bible Say About Blood Transfusions_ _ Bible ...

The Russellitesthe cult/denomination more commonly known as The Jehovahs Witnessesare the world-famous champions of the idea that blood transfusions should be rejected under all circumstances. They contend that the Bible is against such a medical treatment. In fact, they do cite some key Bible verses . Firstly, from a medical standpoint, what exactly is a blood transfusion? Secondly, what specific arguments do the Jehovahs Witnesses raise against it? Thirdly, what does the Bible say about it? Finally, what should we as Bible believers conclude about the whole matter? To the Scriptures, friends, to the Scriptures!


According to the Mayo Clinic , blood consists of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, and carry carbon dioxide away from tissues to the lungs to be exhaled. White blood cells, part of our immune system, fight off infection. Platelets form clots in the holes of blood vessels.

The Mayo Clinics website tells us what blood transfusions entail:

WebMD medical doctor, Matthew Hoffman, M.D., writes the following on about blood :

With the medical aspect covered, we move on to the religious side of the issue.


With the religious aspect covered, now we move on the Holy Scriptures.


So, in closing, What does the Bible say about blood transfusions? NOTHING!

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Is It Wrong To Donate Blood

Ask a Question!NewsletterQuestion:blood

Answer: Let us look at the proof text concerning blood used by one major church denomination to justify their teaching that donating it, or having a transfusion, is not God’s will. It is found in Acts 15, where the apostle James is addressing a large group of church brethren gathered to discuss and debate whether circumcision was necessary for salvation.

James states to those in Jerusalem regarding Gentile converts, “. . . my judgment is that we do not trouble those of the Gentiles who have turned to God; But that we write to them to abstain from pollutions of idols . . . and from what has been strangled and from blood . Basing church doctrine on a single scripture, especially in the case of donating blood which could save the life of others, is not a wise thing to do.

Note that the above verses are not discussing the donating or receiving of some bodily fluid. These verses are referring to a sometimes common practice among Gentiles of eating or drinking blood. It was a practice that God forbid the Israelites, who had just left pagan Egypt, from doing when he said, “It shall be a statute forever for your generations throughout all your dwellings that you eat neither fat nor blood” .

The judgment rendered in Jerusalem concerns what to avoid in killing an animal for food or what parts should not be eaten by humans. It does not concern either donating or receiving blood from another human for the express purpose of saving their life.

Final Thoughts From The Christian Perspective

Nevertheless, Christians comprehend that Jesus Christ chose to shed His blood on the cross during the crucifixion to give humankind a chance for redemption. many Christians believe that acceptance of Christ as the Savior brings a person into membership of the church as a Christians. No physical sacrifice is needed. The spiritual transformative blood of Jesus Christ washes sins away while a rebirth of the inner being is initiated for the individual, noted in Revelation 1:5. In short, blood is essential for humankind in this world and preparing for the next realm, according to a variety of religious views.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses And Blood Transfusions

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible prohibits Christians from accepting blood transfusions. Their literature states that, “‘abstaining from … blood’ means not accepting blood transfusions and not donating or storing their own blood for transfusion.” The belief is based on an interpretation of scripture that differs from other Christian denominations. It is one of the doctrines for which Jehovah’s Witnesses are best known.

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature teaches that their refusal of transfusions of whole blood or its four primary componentsred cells, white cells, platelets and plasmais a non-negotiable religious stand and that those who respect life as a gift from God do not try to sustain life by taking in blood, even in an emergency. Witnesses are taught that the use of fractions such as albumin, immunoglobulins and hemophiliac preparations are not absolutely prohibited and are instead a matter of personal choice.

The doctrine was introduced in 1945, and has undergone some changes since then. Members of the group who voluntarily accept a transfusion and are not deemed repentant are regarded as having disassociated themselves from the group by abandoning its doctrines and are subsequently shunned by members of the organization. Although the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses accept the doctrine, a minority do not.

Why Do Jehovah Witnesses Not Believe In Blood Transfusions

What Does the Bible Say About Blood Transfusions ?

Jehovahs Witnesses believe that it is against Gods will to receive blood and, therefore, they refuse blood transfusions, often even if it is their own blood. The willing acceptance of blood transfusions by Jehovahs Witnesses has in some cases led to expulsion from and ostracisation by their religious community.

Also Check: What God Wants From Us Bible Verses

Proof That The Letter Of Acts 15 Was Circumstantial

Elsewhere in Scripture, however, the Apostle Paul clearly proves, in accordance with Jesus teachings , that Christians may eat all foodseven food that has been sacrificed to idolsdespite the fact that the letter in Acts 15:2829 clearly prohibited this. Paul said:

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that an idol has no real existence, and that there is no God but one. However, not all possess this knowledge. But some, through former association with idols, eat food as really offered to an idol, and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. Food will not commend us to God. We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgement on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.

The Importance Of Blood In Life And Worship For Humanity

Unquestionably, blood has crucial functions in our lives and in worship. Primarily, the vital fluid brings nutrients to our body tissues. The blood delivers oxygen to the lungs and carries away carbon dioxide. In addition, blood takes away waste from our bodys organs, and it is filtered and cleaned by the liver and kidneys. Moreover, blood carries immune cells and antibodies to places of infections, forming clots at wound sites to halt the loss of further fluids. Finally, blood helps in regulating body temperature. Since blood is important to survival, there is little wonder why religions have incorporated it symbolically into worship activities.

The use of blood physically or as a symbol in religions can have many connotations. For instance, a rite of passage could be involved, which may include nonlethal piercings. Many religions may demonstrate death by evoking images of blood. Indeed, rebirth or initiation could be called forth applying the universally recognized fluid for life.

Coincidentally, Christians believe once a person has accepted Jesus Christ as the Savior, His blood spiritually is the means by which sins are forgiven. As a Christian minister, Ive provided verses below from the Old and New Testaments of the King James Version of the Bible along with what other religions say about the vital life-supporting substance circulating inside of every living human being.

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What Is The Difference Between Christianity And Jehovah Witness

Instead they believe that parts of the Bible are written in figurative or symbolic language. Witnesses follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as their savior and the son of God. But they believe that Jesus is not God and that there is no scriptural basis for the trinity doctrine.

So What Have We Learned

What Does the Bible Say About Getting Blood Transfusions ...

We have learned that the prohibition of drinking blood is for drinking blood of slain animals only. We are to drain that blood to the earth. Drinking blood, as the pagans did, is an abomination to God, and we are to take care not to do that. We are to show respect for the life in the animal we eat and drain its blood onto the earth.

So are transfusions OK? Most certainly they are! First, no human was slain to get the blood. Second, no blood wasconsumed in any pagan ritual which is an abomination to God. Third, according to , we will be required to present an accounting for the life of our fellow human being. If a transfusion can save lives, then it should not be denied, and it is not against the will of God.

When the Torah was recorded by Moses, electricity was not known either, yet today, since God has allowed us to use the brains He gave us, electricity is used in all sorts of positive ways and negative ways. Dont be overwhelmed by medical advances! They are in no way playing God! He permits these advances for are good and sometimes for our bad.

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Bible Verses From The Old Testament Concerning Blood

  • Deuteronomy 12:23 – 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.
  • Exodus 12:13 – And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.
  • Ezekiel 35:6 – Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord God, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.
  • Genesis 9:4 – But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.
  • Leviticus 17:11 – For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.
  • Leviticus 17:14 – For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whosoever eateth it shall be cut off.

The New Testament explains why the blood of Jesus Christ is important for Christians.

Lori Truzy

Does Believing In God Stop One From Taking Medicine Or Blood Transfusion

CHRIS IREKAMBA 26 Sep;Ibru Ecumenical Centre

Due to religious beliefs, when some people, especially Christians fall ill, they refuse to take drugs preferring to go to their prayer houses, instead of heading for the hospital. While no one has the right to query the stand of another in such matters, it nevertheless elicits curiosity when someone at the point of death, and who probably could have been saved by medical treatment refuses to avail himself/herself of such. Does medicine in any way reduce ones faith in the Creator? Recently, for instance, a pregnant woman reportedly shun the idea of blood transfusion, which was meant to aid in her safe delivery, as she was experiencing prolonged and difficult labour. She did this on the ground that her faith does not permit such. So, one cannot but ask: should believing in God stop the individual from taking medicine, going to the hospital or receiving blood transfusion? Is availing oneself the benefits of medicine tantamount to less faith in the Lord? How far can faith carry the believer? Some Clerics ventilate on the issue, as reported by CHRIS IREKAMBA.;

Where Does Faith End And Medicine Begin?

I Deem It Unfortunate That The Woman Refused Blood Transfusion

Many Leaders Have Misled Their Members On Blood Transfusion

;;;A Christian should, however, avoid anything idolatrous for that is sinful. ;;It is only the Lord alone that heals and this belief is perfectly in order.

Anyone Who Does That Is Going To The;

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What Does The Bible Say About Blood Transfusions Is It Lawful With Reference To The Holy Scriptures To Transfuse Blood

Posted on Jan 11, 2016

Because Scripture is silent on this issue, we believe there is nothing wrong with either receiving or giving a blood transfusion. One has said that it is amazing that God has created billions of people and yet there are only FOUR BLOOD TYPES, which makes it possible to transfuse blood from one person to another, regardless of race or nationality. This would be a good argument for blood transfusions.

Bible Verses From The New Testament Concerning Blood

Biblical Myths Exposed / Blood Transfusions?
  • 1 John 1:7 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
  • 1 John 5:6 – This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
  • Acts 15:20 – But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
  • Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
  • John 6:53 – Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
  • Hebrews 9:22 – And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
  • Hebrews 13:12 – Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
  • Matthew 26:28 – For this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
  • Revelation 1:5 – and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

Many religions recognize the symbolic power of blood.

Lori Truzy

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