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Friday, January 11, 2013

Is it Scripturally Acceptable for a Christian to Eat Animal Bone Marrow? Bone Marrow Transplants?

Throughout human history, God consistently made it clear for humans to abstain from blood. God began with commanding Noah and his family to abstain from blood. (Gen. 9:4) He repeated this through the Mosaic law (Lev. 7:26,27; 17:10, 11, 13, 14) and He continued to remind us through the pages of the New Testament. (Acts 15:28, 29; Acts 15:19, 20) (For much more concerning Christians and the proper use of blood, see Blood - Links to Information; Search For Bible Truths.)

Because red marrow plays an important role in the formation of blood, this has brought up the questions, "Should Christians eat animal bone marrow?" and "Should Christians accept bone marrow transplants?"

Is it Scripturally Acceptable for a Christian to Eat Animal Bone Marrow?

There are two kinds of marrow, yellow and red. Yellow, or inactive marrow is composed mainly of fat where the red marrow plays an important role in the formation of blood. Animal bone marrow was apparently used for food by the Israelites. (Compare Micah 3:2, 3.) And Isa. 25:6 says that God Himself "will certainly make for all the peoples, in this mountain, a banquet of well-oiled dishes, a banquet of [wine kept on] the dregs, of well-oiled dishes filled with marrow." So animal marrow is spoken of like any other flesh that could be eaten.

What About Bone Marrow Transplants?

There is good information concerning whether Christians should accept a bone-marrow transplant in the 'Questions From Readers' in the 5-15-84 Watchtower. A small excerpt:

"Of course, marrow used in human marrow transplants is from live donors, and the withdrawn marrow may have some blood with it. Hence, the Christian would have to resolve for himself whether—to him—the bone-marrow graft would amount to simple flesh or would be unbled tissue. Additionally, since a marrow graft is a form of transplant, the Scriptural aspects of human organ transplants should be considered. See "Questions From Readers" in our issue of March 15, 1980. Finally, writing in Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine (Update I, 1981, page 138), Dr. D. E. Thomas observes that "virtually all marrow transplant recipients will require platelet transfusions" and many are given "packed red blood cells." So the Christian should consider what additional issues he would have to face if he submitted to a marrow transplant.—Proverbs 22:3.

"Though a personal decision has to be made on this matter, the Bible's comments about blood and marrow should help the individual to decide."

For more, see:

MARROW - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

MARROW (Insight-2 pp. 344-345; Watchtower Online Library)

Your Body’s Microscopic “Trucks” - Where Blood Cells Come From (g01 11/22 pp. 26-27; Watchtower Online Library)

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