God, at that point in history, was not forcing his laws and principles upon the pagan nations who were not involved in worship to Him, even those non-proselyte temporary residents within their boundaries. Because he would allow the eating of a carcass or otherwise unbled flesh to these pagan "peoples" outside of the realm of his worshippers in no way can stand as evidence that he allowed it to his worshippers in the pre-Law era. If He was willing to concede "divorce" that he "hated" even unto his own people, how can it be stated that God's allowing a pagan to do something stands as evidence his worshippers could do it? One would surely be employing the verse in a manner that it was not intended to be employed to force that meaning upon the text.
Also dictating against that interpretation of Deuteronomy 14:21 is the fact that God only permitted the use of animals "alive" (Genesis 9:3) for food and that the Apostolic Decree "abstain from things strangled" was Noachian Law and the "pniktos" (things strangled) was in regard to animals which died of themselves, were torn by beasts or were strangled through whatever means. This meaning of "pniktos" is unmistakably demonstrated by means of early church writings. Therefore, Noah would have had no permission to eat animals found dead or strangled, only animals that were "alive" as is clearly stated in Genesis 9:3.
What they use as criteria to prove that God did not place sacredness upon blood is negated by the fact that Noah was NOT permitted to eat animals found dead. An honest and direct reading of Genesis 9:3 definitively establishes that. To entertain any other view is to truly place the burden of proof upon the one promoting it. Also, there can be no mistake that God placed a representative equality upon blood to life. In the confines of Genesis 9:4 it cannot be denied that blood was put on a par with the soul as demonstrated above. God viewed Abel's "blood" as that which cried out (Gen. 4:10), therefore the blood clearly represented Abel's soul. To shed "blood" means to take "life," another indicator that God views blood as representatively equal to the life.
For instance, let us take the flag that represents the United States. It is merely cloth but it is held in high esteem by those who are loyal to the United States. If one is seen to deliberately disrespect the flag, to burn, or trash it, it is regarded as an affront against the United States, because the flag possesses a type of representative equality to the United States.
Think of one's wedding ring and what it represents. If your mate were to lose your wedding ring by accident not much would be thought of it, but what if they were to purposely disregard it. Perhaps throw it away or pulverize it with a hammer. It would viewed as a direct affront against your marriage and its value in the eyes of the mate who destroyed or purposely discarded it in some way.
Likewise, with blood. "Life" is indeed sacred, I don't think that anyone would argue against that axiom. God views blood as representatively equal to life. Life belongs to God and so does blood. Disregard for blood would be viewed as disregard for life just like purposeful disregard for ones wedding ring would be regarded as purposeful disregard for the marriage it represents. Life is "sacred." Therefore blood as that which God views as representatively equal to "life/soul" carries a certain sacredness to it which must be respected, and according to the Apostolic Decree that respect amounts to "abstaining from blood." We cannot use blood in a fashion that has not been allowed by God either through his word or what we might observe in a divinely constituted arena. To take upon ourselves a use of blood not precedented by those two factors is to disregard God's ownership of that sacred fluid.
The above question has been defended by some in this doctrinal camp as stating that the pre-Law individual would not be allowed to drink the blood of the living animal because Genesis 9:4 states the animal must not have the soul in the flesh to be eaten, but this does not answer the question asked. The question does not deal with the eating of the "flesh" with the "soul/blood" in it, it deals with just the drinking of "donor" blood from a living animal, not the eating of the flesh. They must admit that their view of the Noachian Decree would clearly allow the tapping and drinking of a living animal's blood without consequence. And, if they find exception with that, how then can the transfusion of living "donor" blood be held in a different light in view of the Apostolic Decree which more than just "don't eat" blood but further, "Abstain from blood"?
It is admitted by these ones that the Mosaic Law would provide grounds for the prohibition of blood transfusions because of the fact that God attaches sacredness to it. This sacredness actually parallels the very same language that God used to Noah. God stated the grounds for the sacredness of blood by saying in the Law: "For the soul of the flesh is in the blood." How is this any different then the equation that God makes with the "blood" and "soul" in Genesis 9:4? There is no difference at all!
In regard to all that has been said, it has been amply demonstrated that to teach Noah could eat animals found dead and therefore blood has no special sacredness to it does not conform to what the scriptures indicate about the situation. Will this convince that doctrinal camp of their error? I think I can guarantee that it will not convince them as we know how doctrinal differences generally go. What has been demonstrated however, is that the doctrinal understanding concerning the sacredness of blood, as held by Jehovah's Witnesses and some others, is solidly founded and that to teach otherwise leaves that teacher with the burden of proof, and a large burden at that.
Blood was either to be poured out or to be used as a part of a sacrifice to God, not used by man for any personal gain. (Leviticus 17:11-14) To use it for another purpose than as God directs, degrades its value and worth. To use it for another person actually raises them to the level of God, as the blood belongs to Him.
Since the sacredness of blood is actually what establishes our means of redemption from sin and "temporary" life, it could be argued that the sacredness of blood is worth far more than the temporary life that any of us now enjoy.
Consider also the account of Uzzah, who was struck down by God for presumptuously seizing the Ark of the Covenant, a symbol of His presence. (2 Samuel 6:6-7) Jehovah's remaining jealous for the symbol of His presence (the Ark of the Covenant) was more important to Him than His sparing Uzzah's life for his rash presumption against the Ark's sanctity.
Thus, it simply needs to be asked, "Is obedience to Jehovah more important than life?" This question
helps to draw out the person's true motivations in this matter, as in trying to find a loophole to get around Jehovah's
law without abandoning it. One could use the same bad reasoning to say that if the government ever threatens you
with execution if you don't renounce your faith, you should renounce it temporarily so that you can live longer
in Jehovah's service. Such compromises do not vindicate Jehovah's sovereignty. Jesus also said to his disciples:
"If anyone wants to come after me, let him disown himself and pick up his torture stake and continually follow
me. For whoever wants to save his soul will lose it; but whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it."—Matthew
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