Some religions prohibit the eating of blood or certain flesh meats and even on certain days. For instance, Seventh Day Adventists and a few “Churches of God” prohibit pork, shellfish, rabbit (or other rodents) and birds of prey. Prohibition of eating blood exists in a number of religions. Catholics are prohibited from eating meat on Friday during Lent or certain holy weeks but yet are not forbidden from eating blood. There is a caveat: members of these religions generally have better health.
A number of bible verses are in the Old Testament about these prohibitions but do they still hold in the New Testament?
Leviticus 17:11-14King James Version (KJV)
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.
Acts 15:29King James Version (KJV)
29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses use this to prohibit blood transfusions and equate it to eating blood; however, the below pertains to eating:
Matthew 15:17King James Version (KJV)
17 Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
A symptom of a bleeding ulcer is black stools. Yes there is a risk in a blood transfusion because the donor may have infected blood BUT the word “transfusion” did not exist in biblical times.
Prohibition of eating certain food:
Leviticus 11King James Version (KJV)
11 And the Lord spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying unto them, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, These are the beasts which ye shall eat among all the beasts that are on the earth. 3 Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat. 4 Nevertheless these shall ye not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof: as the camel, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 5 And the coney, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you. 7 And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. 8 Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you. 9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat. 10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you: 11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination. 12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you. 13 And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 14 And the vulture, and the kite after his kind; 15 Every raven after his kind; 16 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 17 And the little owl, and the cormorant, and the great owl, 18 And the swan, and the pelican, and the gier eagle, 19 And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 20 All fowls that creep, going upon all four, shall be an abomination unto you. 21 Yet these may ye eat of every flying creeping thing that goeth upon all four, which have legs above their feet, to leap withal upon the earth; 22 Even these of them ye may eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind. 23 But all other flying creeping things, which have four feet, shall be an abomination unto you. 24 And for these ye shall be unclean: whosoever toucheth the carcase of them shall be unclean until the even. 25 And whosoever beareth ought of the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even. 26 The carcases of every beast which divideth the hoof, and is not clovenfooted, nor cheweth the cud, are unclean unto you: every one that toucheth them shall be unclean. 27 And whatsoever goeth upon his paws, among all manner of beasts that go on all four, those are unclean unto you: whoso toucheth their carcase shall be unclean until the even. 28 And he that beareth the carcase of them shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until the even: they are unclean unto you. 29 These also shall be unclean unto you among the creeping things that creep upon the earth; the weasel, and the mouse, and the tortoise after his kind, 30 And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole. 31 These are unclean to you among all that creep: whosoever doth touch them, when they be dead, shall be unclean until the even. 32 And upon whatsoever any of them, when they are dead, doth fall, it shall be unclean; whether it be any vessel of wood, or raiment, or skin, or sack, whatsoever vessel it be, wherein any work is done, it must be put into water, and it shall be unclean until the even; so it shall be cleansed.
Deuteronomy 14King James Version (KJV)
14 Ye are the children of the Lord your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead. 2 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. 3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. 9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat. 12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14 And every raven after his kind, 15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 19 And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. 20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat. 21 Ye shall not eat of anything that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk. 22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year. hath no part nor inheritance with thee.
So in short, these two verses indicate that pork, rabbit (and other rodents), horses, four pawed (dogs, cats), shellfish, birds of prey or insects are prohibited from being eaten.
1 Timothy 4:1-4King James Version (KJV)
4 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
This particular passage states that commanding to abstain from meats is a doctrine of the devil.
Acts 11:4-9New International Version (NIV)
4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’
Colossians 2:16King James Version (KJV)
16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
Colossians 2:20-22King James Version (KJV)
20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?
It goes hand in hand with 1 Tim 4:1-4. Along these lines, in the Old Testament it was commanded to tithe 10 percent but in the New Testament we are taught to offer willingly from our heart.
Mark 7:18-19King James Version (KJV)
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
Matthew 15:11King James Version (KJV)
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Romans 14:17King James Version (KJV)
17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
So eating blood is prohibited in both the Old and New Testament.
No evidence shown where certain foods are prohibited in the New Testament. In fact, it is a doctrine of the devil to command to abstain from flesh meat. Some of the countering verses about abstaining from certain meat come from a Catholic source. The religions that observe prohibition of certain food or observing Sabbath (SDA, CCG, Armstrongism, Judaism) are not wrong in doing so because it IS written in the Old Testament.
The religions that observe Sabbath also claim that Sunday worship is the mark of the beast. One has to remember if they want to get technical, all days of the week names are of pagan origin. The below is mainstream Christianity’s justification for Sunday worship:
Acts 20:7 King James Version (KJV)
7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.
Along these lines, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Armstrongism don’t celebrate birthdays because John the Baptist’s head was served on a platter to the Pharaoh’s daughter.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unclean_animal about the various practices of religions. Among professing Christians, Seventh Day Adventists, Armstrongists and Christian Churches of God practice some form of dietary restriction.
http://www.jrsusa.org/RSG_Day?TN=DTN-20110407120622 more on dietary restriction.
Pork has to be well done to prevent parasitic diseases and some people have allergic reactions to shell fish. Both are very high in cholesterol. There are some cultures that eat dogs and cats but a majority of people consider it appalling to do so.
Sometimes dietary restrictions can improve your health but one should be skeptical if your religion expels you for eating unclean food.
Some religions practice abstinence when it comes to alcohol consumption and others are ok with moderate consumption but not getting drunk.
Ephesians 5:18King James Version (KJV)
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Leviticus 10:9King James Version (KJV)
9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations:
Don’t drink wine before going to a house of worship is basically what it says.
Numbers 6:2-4King James Version (KJV)
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the Lord: 3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. 4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
Sounds like abstinence when taking a form of religious vow. The below follows.
Numbers 6:20King James Version (KJV)
20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.
“Getting drunk” can also refer to over eating.
The below pertain to gluttony and drunkenness (a Bible Gateway keyword search on the word “glutton”).
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.
The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
The below is an interesting thought on moderation:
Philippians 4:4-6King James Version (KJV)4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
The below can be a point for abstinence:
1 Thessalonians 5:22King James Version (KJV)
22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Some would use it to say you can’t drink alcohol because the temptation to get drunk exists. Or to smoke marijuana? So, should we not eat because the temptation of gluttony exists?
This is what the bible says about health:
Acts 27:33-35King James Version (KJV)
33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing. 34 Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.
So if you read into it, protein is needed.
Here is a verse about wine and health:
1 Timothy 5:23New International Version (NIV)
23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.
The two videos below are a Biblical Unitarian view on alcohol and marijuana.
To sum it up:
Do things in moderation and do them for your own health. Can’t go wrong with fish and chicken. Tuna actually has more protein than beef and not as fishy tasting as sardines or mackerel (although the latter two have higher Omega-3 fatty acids and that is better for one’s health).
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and at the least a high triglyceride level (remember the liver is what processes not only alcohol but fats). Also, certain medications prescribed state not to consume alcohol. Listen to your doctor!
Studies have shown that a glass of red wine every now and then lowers your blood pressure and beer is actually better for your health than soft drinks. Sometimes abstinence is better for one’s health more than anything. Also remember that most states a blood alcohol concentration of .08 is considered “Driving Under the Influence” and one should consider that generally there is going to be one night in jail, $1500 bail, about $2400 every 6 months for automobile liability insurance (for 3 years), suspension of driver’s license, possible loss of security clearance and/or employment, disciplinary action (if in the military).
Tobacco and marijuana are not written in the Bible but both have harmful effects. They say that medicinal marijuana cures gout. Smoking anything ingests carcinogens into your lungs and bloodstream. For that matter, the so-called “e-cigarettes” are just as harmful. Also, some jobs and the military can subject one to random urinalysis for THC (the component in marijuana) and that can result in loss of employment or (for the military) an other than honorable discharge; this limits employment choices.
The Biblical Unitarians (www.truthortradition.com) have this thought about use of alcohol and marijuana: for the purpose of medicine it’s OK but for the purpose of mind-altering (“catching a buzz” or intoxication) it is wrong. Think about this: mouthwash and cough syrup have small quantities of alcohol in them. When we go to the dentist for a wisdom tooth extraction we often get Tylenol III, which contains Codeine (a narcotic).
On to meat: Pork ribs and shellfish contain a lot of cholesterol. Roast beef is much more lean than ground beef – eat a French Dip instead of a hamburger. It has also been stated that Tilapia is the worst fish to eat, healthwise.
White rice and large quantities of cake and bread contribute to triglycerides and high blood sugar. A bowl of Vietnamese pho soup jacks up blood sugar. Carbohydrates are necessary when preparing for a long distance running event (why marathon runners eat a lot of spaghetti the night before), though. The body burns carbs first and then fat. After that, muscle.
Eating rare steak does not constitute eating blood nor does eating sushi do so. Eating pork anything less than well done is a health hazard. There is always a risk of parasites.
One man did 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald’s food and had serious health issues.
They say eggs are high in cholesterol but they also have protein. Once or twice a week is OK.
Going vegetarian for a weekend resulted in a lower blood pressure reading on Monday morning. One has to have protein of some sort, though.
One would be surprised how much weight can be lost by simply cutting out sugared soft drinks and candy. Even diet drinks are bad – aspartame is poisonous and causes cancer; Pepsi has used a new artificial sweetener. Stevia is being offered in lieu of sugar at coffee houses. There is one brand of Sprite-ish drink that uses Stevia instead of sugar. Coca Cola had one drink in green cans that used Stevia and had half the calories.
So just MAYBE Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 were more of a health concern. It doesn’t say you are doomed to the lake of fire if you eat a ham sandwich with your left hand.
Common sense, people! It is simple: don’t do drugs unless prescribed by a doctor, don’t inhale poison into your lungs, do other things in moderation.