How can we drink the Blood of Jesus when Acts 15:20 forbade drinking blood?


Is this a violation of Levitical Law?


Acts 15:20 is a jurisdictional decision from the Bishop that gentiles in his area abstain from blood.

Yes, per Leviticus, drinking blood was not allowed; however, Mosaic ritual law was fulfilled in Christ and is no longer required. Baptism replaces circumcision, is one example.


Then what takes the place of mosaic ritual law?


The laws of the Church (abstinence on Fridays during Lent, etc.).


Each aspect? I can’t think. Here are a few:

Purity laws under Moses focused on outward contamination; outside forces contaminate a person. Jesus focuses on inward cleanliness; we sanctify outwardly through the Holy Spirit.

Passover: Liturgy/Eucharist

Every major Jewish holiday (Pentateuch): Liturgy

Circumsicion: Baptism

Levitical Priesthood: Priestly vocation

Sacrifices: Eucharist

Don’t do bad things (Mosaic): Don’t think bad things (Church)


This is an interesting question. I looked up this passage in Acts in various commentators, who believe that drinking blood was forbidden because the Jews had a deep-set aversion to this, and this was forbidden simply not to unnecessarily turn them off.
I can’t help but reflect on this fact. There are Christian countries whose people, both Catholics and Protestants, have boiled blood with their meals. This is true in fact in the Philippines, where I live, which is 85% Catholic and 10% Protestant. If this rule still applied I would expect Christian leaders would universally forbid this. Christians generally do not believe this rule now applies.


You mean fasting?

Im not sure that is a ‘Law’???

Its an observance, right? The Mosaic Ritual Law refers to blood sacrifice. This was accomplished/finished once by Jesus for all eternity.



Not all the Mosaic rituals were sacrifices. There were others (such as blowing a horn at the beginning of each month, only wearing clothes of one material, etc.). A complete list is here:


Fasting takes place on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Abstinence from Meat is requested of us by the Church for every Friday of Lent. Outside of Lent, we are still required to perform an act of penance on Fridays, which in some areas is requested by the Bishop to refrain from meat on Friday’s year long.


You are conflating apples and oranges. Christ’s blood is a constituent of his glorified body. His body is physical, so his blood is physical but it is not the same physicality as he possessed before his death. His glorified body and blood are no longer subject to the laws of nature, rather they control the laws of earthly physicality. Therefore neither can be identified with earthly matter. His blood is no longer earthly blood. Therefore the prohibition against drinking blood would not apply, that applied only to earthly blood, what you might call " warm " blood. Christ’s blood is heavenly blood, not earthly. And there is nothing degrading or tainted in heaven.

That is my humble explanation.




Thanks for that clarification as well.



We can drink Christ’s blood just as we can now eat pork which was also forbidden in the book of Leviticus :wink:


Correct me if im wrong,

When we receive His blood in Communion, it is a non-bloody representation of His sacrifice.

This does not contradict the fact that the Communion cup is in fact His blood, yet there is deep mystery there.

Remember, Jesus did not cut Himself and share His real blood with the Apostles at the Last Supper. Instead, He consecrated the wine to be His real blood. This is His resurrected, glorified body and blood which is the Holy Spirit incarnate with the flesh and blood of man. IOW, the Son of Man.

We are not drinking mere blood of this world, yet blood of man and of God! Furthermore, He commanded us to drink this blood.



Jesus has a glorified body, He is God, He can pour out His body and blood any way He chooses to and He does for the benefit of our souls. John 6:66 disciples walked away because they didn’t trust Jesus when He first told them they will eat and drink His Flesh and blood.


Our Lord told us that it is not what goes in a man’s mouth that defiles him, it’s what comes out.


To be more specific, it’s Christ’s blood but it’s not cannibalism. As the Church Fathers say we are “really and truly” receiving the blood of Christ which is violation of Leviticus.

Jesus is deliberately violating Leviticus in order to teach the old covenant must come to an end and Jesus is about to inaugurate a new covenant with us. It’s an indirect invitation to join him.

Remember the prohibition of blood is a customary law pertaining to the time and situation when it was instituted which can be abrogated. Think of all those people that love their medium rare steaks with some of that juicy blood still on their plate. That we be an abomination in the eyes of the Jews (God bless them).


I wouldn’t say that Jesus deliberately violated the law to teach that the old covenant had to end, rather (since the entire plan of the world was known by God before time) Jesus was going to come and give us his life/blood as the new covenant, the old covenant was set up specifically denying the drinking of blood because the old covenant taught that “the life of a creature is in the blood” Lev 17:11. Not drinking the blood kept this always in mind, so that when the time for the new covenant came around, we would know “And having taken the chalice, he gave thanks, and said: Take, and divide it among you: For I say to you, that I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God come. And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me. In like manner the chalice also, after he had supped, saying: This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you.” Luke 22:17-20.


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