Glen T. Winstein





  The connections to make with those verses and the "blood" symbolism of Gen.9:

  - There's a need to recognize only God as the ultimate, eternal life giver
and taker by inherent right since he is the creator, therefore primary owner,
of everything, including all life.  Followers should only kill life or eat his
living things, and only eat blood (JWs leaders' view: about half of animal blood
is allowed; Jewish view: blood of a non-living animal is allowed), as God per-
mits or requires.

  - Animals have some similarity to human life but only humans are created in
God's image.  Therefore, to use an animal for food, it couldn't possess life,
so God either called for it to be dead (the Jewish view) or called for it to be
both dead and killed by a symbolic blood ritual that removed about half of the
blood (the JWs leaders' view), whereas killing a human called for capital pun-

  - Not eating "blood"/"life" reminded people of their fallen sinful state and
that they must die like Adam and Eve who couldn't eat from the tree of life.
One way this would be regularly brought to their attention was when they took
the lives of animals to use as food.  The JWs leaders' view adds they would be
reminded when slaughtering animals caused about half of the blood to be removed.

  Why were some animals "clean" (here, approved for ritual use) to kill as sac-
rifices (Gen.8:20) yet all animals were acceptable for food?  The Bible doesn't
say.  Any of the views might figure that it showed ritually that God was more
important than his followers.  Showing devotion to God by offering an animal to
him was to be understood as having a meaning more exclusive and special than in
a human killing an animal to feed themself.  (Later, in Mosaic law, some ani-
mals were unclean for sacrifice, food, and sometimes even to touch--Lev.11;
Deut.14:3-21.  The Jewish view of degree of animal blood removal likewise sees
the degree of blood removal as developing further with Mosaic law.)

  More connections to make with earlier verses and Gen.9:1-6

  God permits the flood survivors and their descendants to eat all other (non-
human) creatures except for their flesh with its life--its "blood"; the JWs
leaders add except for the blood removed by slaughter.  (The flood survivors
aren't given permission to eat human flesh or blood.)  But while God had already