I seem to recall learning at some point during an Old Testament study that they did, and that the belief explained things like the significance of the blood that was part of the animal offerings required in the Pentateuch.

We're trying, in this question, to track down the significance behind an apparent New Testament dietary prohibition against the consumption of animal blood, as given in Acts 15:10.

  • Could you elaborate or give some references? Blood offerings were a foreshadow of blood of Messiah that would be shed. I don't think they meant anything beyond that. – Monika Michael Jul 25 '12 at 6:09
  • Also it would help if you could define what exactly you mean by unique spiritual properties. Magical? Therapeutic? – Monika Michael Jul 25 '12 at 6:19
  • @Monica: The lesson I'm trying to recall may have had to do with a Hebrew belief that blood was what animated the matter that comprised the body, which was understood to be distinct from the soul. But I'm not sure. Thanks. – Philip Schaff Jul 25 '12 at 6:34

Such a belief is clearly expressed in both Genesis and Leviticus.

Genesis 9:4

But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.

Leviticus 17:11-14

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.

12 Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.

13 And whatsoever man there be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn among you, which hunteth and catcheth any beast or fowl that may be eaten; he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust.

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.

In both cases, the blood-as-life theory is used specifically as the reason why eating blood should be forbidden.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.