Life of a creature is in the blood?


Hi. I’m trying to refute someone’s claim (who I believe isn’t even christian) that when Leviticus 17:11-14 says: “for the life of a creature is in the blood”, it clearly means that what is says and that Jews believed it as well. Further more, he applies the claim to his argument that it doesn’t make sense for Christians to believe that life is created at conception and that according to this an embryo clearly isn’t alive before it has blood and thus abortion before that shouldn’t be problematic for Christians.

Now, I know this is wrong. The claim seemed from from the beginning, but when he applied it to abortion it became obvious. I’m just not sure how to prove him that he is wrong. I said that these were dietary laws that were there so that Jews could prepare themselves for the coming of the Messiah, whose blood we are now to drink to have life. To this he simply repeats the quote, saying that the verse in Leviticus clearly says that life in in the blood.

So, what should be my response?

Thank you very much beforehand!



The person you are debating with has got it right - insofar that “the life is in the blood” means exactly that.

He is wrong however that this means that the embryo has no life, for, in fact, it is the MOTHER’s blood that nourishes the embryo at that stage of human life. So blood is always necessary for life.




He’s not open to hearing the truth. He is using Leviticus in a twisted way on purpose. He thinks he’s very smart and has found a way to justify abortion and turn it back on Christians. He will not listen to any argument about Jewish Law-- you were correct it was a dietary law-- or the teachings of Christ, or the proper way to interpret Scripture because he doesn’t want to.

He wants to be a smarty-pants.

Don’t waste too much time, there’s not more you can say b/c he doesn’t want to hear it. He lacks the ability to argue genuinely and with logic.


Simply point out that by his theory, he is a living collection of dead cells (since cells don’t have blood). Ask him if his functioning cells are alive or dead. If he says dead, offer to bet him $100 on the matter, and phone up the local university biology department and ask somebody there if functioning cells are alive or dead. Then you get $100 and win the argument too. :slight_smile:


Ask the person if they are familiar with the verse “Even before you were formed in the womb, I knew you”. Our personhood, our uniqueness, is in our soul. The very thing that makes us in the image and likeness of God, and unlike every other living creature that exists is our soul. This soul is given to us by God, and exists outside of our human body. According to the passage I just gave, there is a strong argument that the soul is joined to the body at the moment of conception. I’m starting to delve into theology here, which I try not to do because I am no theologian. The whole point is, this person is clearly basking in the non-existent rays of their own intelligence.

The bible is not a science book. Anyone who fails to realize that is not as bright as they want to appear, and anyone who wants to argue a point by presupposing that we, as believers, think it is, is only fooling themselves.


As an afterthought, I want to present this in a little different way.

We, as Christians, believe abortion is evil because it is murder. Murder is intentionally exterminating the life of an innocent human being. Murder is wrong because humans are created with a soul, in the image and likeness of God, and their lives are a precious gift given by God, that we do not have the moral right to take away from them.

The question then becomes, “at what point do we become human beings ?” The bible tells us that God knows us even before we were formed in the womb. This seems to tell us that this unique gift of a soul, the very thing that makes us in God’s image and likeness, is with us from the moment we are conceived. (I mean, come on, if a baby at conception was nothing more than a “blob of cells”, then why would God claim to “know” a blob of cells ?)

Even assuming that the life is literally “in the blood”, there is nothing anywhere else in Scripture (and actually quite a bit to support the fact) to suggest that the life being talked about isn’t merely our earthly existence, because we as Christians believe that our SOUL will live forever. The fact that we are known BEFORE we are formed in the womb means that from the moment we are conceived, we are in the image and likeness of God, regardless of the qualifications placed on how “alive” we may be in a biological sense.


Tell your friend - who sounds like he’s trying to use scripture against a Christian (you) to justify abortion:

Jeremiah 1:5
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you."
God himself considers us persons BEFORE we are born.
THAT is why abortion is problematic for us, as Christians.

God bless,


Thank you very much for you answers. You were all very helpful. :slight_smile:

Pax Domini!


YOu can tell him that Judaism clearly disagrees, at least to the extent that it recognizes the fetus as being life, albeit life who’s rights are subject to those of the mother in life and death situations.


Also keep in mind that whether or not the embryo is alive or not is a moot point…once conception occurs, this embryo is already DESTINED to become a human being.
This destiny cannot be destroyed.

Years ago, I was ok with the morality of abortion if it occurred very early…but once I had my daughter that all changed.

Returning to my Catholic faith after years of “Lukewarm nonchalance” has strengthened my belief to the point that I even agree with the sin of contraception.


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