Note: I'm using the Young's Literal Translation of Acts 15:28-29: http://wwwdev.bibleshark.com/bible/YLT/Acts/15/
28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, no more burden to lay upon you, except these necessary things:
29 to abstain from things offered to idols, and blood, and a strangled thing, and whoredom; from which keeping yourselves, ye shall do well; be strong
Sorry for yet another of these threads, albeit curiously I'm more interested in the views of non-JWs (my main question is in the last paragraph).
The main line of attack coming from JWs trying to defend their stance towards blood transfusions (based off the verses above) is one of comparison - noting that "thou shalt not kill" makes no mention of the means via which the killing shall be performed, that "thou shalt not steal" makes no mention of the things one might steal, and so on... it seems the logic, unless I'm mistaken, goes like: for all X that facilitates Y, don't do X.
Without being so formal they then try to argue that the same game can be played with "abstain from blood". I.e. for all things X that lead to the uptaking of blood Y, don't do X. There are numerous problems with this, firstly it can (and has many times) be argued (unlike the directives above) that the surrounding passages imply context to the X - i.e. attention ought to be restricted to some proper subset A
of the collection B
of all things leading to the uptaking of blood.
Many who are more knowledgeable about the Bible than I have argued A should be the things X that have a ritualistic nature - like eating or sacrificially draining it from animals
and with just my own cursory reading that is also what I take away from the verses above
. But then as a medical procedure, blood transfusions don't fall into that subset. To get round this problem the Jehovas witness maintains that with their own interpretation, attention should not be so restricted. This itself gives rise to another problem; namely we have no conditions, or statements governing what from B can or cannot be admitted into A. indeed as blood transfusions are in some cases a necessary life saving procedure it follows, trivially, A should include some things which are necessary to continue living.
Another thing that is necessary to continue living is one's own blood, and so I'm compelled why things that facilitate the production or retention of one's own blood should not also be a candidate for inclusion in A?
and in a playful manner I\'m sure we could all offer speculations as to why JW \"G\"od would want JWs to die quickly - perhaps to see who is worthy of being in the 144,000\!
. Or in simpler terms, I ask the JW why don't they abstain from their own blood?? Of course if I ask either of Robbie Carrobie or Galveston this question it gets either ignored or branded as stupid. So my question(s) to the rest of the forum is: In what way is
it stupid!? i.e. how, given the material we have to work with in arriving at the JWs position, have I lost sight of the features which necessarily determine what should not
lie in A?