20 December 2013

Did Apostle Paul abolish the prohibition on eating blood?

Does Colossians 2:14-16 prove that the prohibition on eating blood is already abolished?

 IF WE ARE going examine carefully the verses they used to prove that Apostle Paul already allowed the eating of the blood and if are going to study other verses of the New Testament, these are what we could find out:

(1) Nothing in the verse (Colossians 2:14-16) that says eating of blood is already allowed or the prohibition on eating blood is already abolished. Let us quite the verse:

“Having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” (Colossians 2:14-16, NIV)

(2) Although Colossians 2:14-16 tell us that there are Jewish rules or law abolished in the Christian Era (the Jewish dietary law, festivals and Sabbath day), however, other verses of the New Testament tell us that the prohibition regarding the eating of blood is one of the few things remained.

“When they finished, James spoke up: ‘Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.  The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' that have been known for ages.  It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.” (Acts 15:13-20, NIV)

(3) It is wrong to interpret that when Apostle Paul said “do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” he is abolishing the prohibition on eating blood because he indeed agreed with the decision of the apostles and elders of the Church to continue prohibit the eating of blood.

“Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers. With them they sent the following letter: THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.  SO WE ALL AGREED TO CHOOSE SOME MEN AND SEND THEM TO YOU WITH OUR DEAR FRIENDS BARNABAS AND PAUL-  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. IT SEEMED GOOD TO THE HOLY SPIRIT AND TO US not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:  YOU ARE TO ABSTAIN FROM FOOD SACRIFICED TO IDOLS, FROM BLOOD, FROM THE MEAT OF STRANGLED ANIMALS and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.  The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.” (Acts 15:22-30, NIV, emphasis mine)

What Apostle Paul is referring to when he said, “do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink” is the “Jewish dietary law.” Take note that Apostle Paul mentioned it with other Jewish practices:

“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” (Colossians 2:16, NIV)

And these (the Jewish dietary law, Jewish festivals and celebrations and the Jewish Sabbath day mentioned in verse 16) what Apostle Paul referring to as “having canceled” and “took away and nailed to the cross.” He himself taught that:

“Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39, NIV)

However, regarding the prohibition on eating blood, the Acts of the Apostles tell us the following:

“But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we have sent them a letter telling them we decided that they must not eat any food that has been offered to idols, or any blood, or any animal that has been strangled, and that they must keep themselves from sexual immorality.” (Acts 21:25, TEV)

Thus, the Acts of the Apostles tell us of many things abolished by the apostles EXCEPT the eating of blood which is one of the few things remained.

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