And you must not eat any blood in any places where you dwell, whether that of fowl or that of beast. Any soul who eats any blood, that soul must be cut off from his people. (nwt)
This text is frequently quoted in support of the Watchtower Society’s ban on blood transfusions. Even though the verse specifically forbade Israelites to eat the blood of fowl or beast, Jehovah’s Witnesses stretch its meaning to include medical administration of human blood to save life—a thought obviously not intended when Moses recorded God’s words. Leviticus discusses at great length the divinely ordained arrangements for animal sacrifice by the Jewish priesthood, and blood played a major role in those sacrifices as a foreshadow of the precious blood of our Savior, the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. Any attempt to read these verses as a prophetic ruling on the pros and cons of modern medical procedures totally ignores the context of the passage.
When discussing Leviticus 7:26–27 with Jehovah’s Witnesses, you might bring up the fact that Orthodox Jews of today, who still scrupulously observe the regulations for kosher butchering and bleeding of meat, have no religious objection to blood transfusions. Therefore, the original Hebrew text does not even hint at the interpretation that the Watchtower imposes upon it.
If a Jehovah’s Witness still insists that he must refuse blood transfusions on account of Leviticus 7:26–27, the next move would be to show him Leviticus 3:17, which says: “You must not eat any fat or any blood at all” (nwt). Ask him to explain why Watchtower leaders tell him to refuse blood transfusions but allow him to eat fat. Are they not simply pulling words out of context from Jewish dietary laws?
See also the discussions of Genesis 9:4 and Acts 15:28–29.
Reed, D. A. (1997, c1986). Jehovah’s Witnesses : Answered verse by verse. Includes indexes. (electronic ed.) (29). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.