"Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it on the
earth like water."
While willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of
this verse, the Jehovah's Witnesses cannot be bothered to drive across town to obey it!
Commercial Gentile slaughter-houses do not pour out the blood onto the ground, but use it to enrich
other products. Like they used to say in Chicago, 'They use every part of the pig but the squeal'.
Kosher butchers make a study of draining blood from a slaughtered animal: "Another rule of 'kashrut' ['fitness']
is that a kosher animal must be slaughtered properly, in accordance with ancient ritual practice, in order for Jews to eat its
meat. The ritual slaughterer, or 'shohet', is trained in the procedure, which basically requires one swift incision in
the jugular vein so that blood gushes out in large volume and the animal is rendered unconcious almost instantaneously...According
to the rules of 'kashrut', as much blood as possible must be withdrawn from the meat before it can be eaten, since 'the
blood is the life,' and this must return to God rather than be consumed by human beings. For this reason kosher meat must
be salted with a coarse type of salt, either by the butcher in his shop or by the purchaser at home, and then thoroughly washed
before it is cooked. The salting and washing help remove much of the blood that may have remained in the meat."
(p. 162-163, The Concise Guide to Judaism, Roy A. Rosenberg).
The Jehovah's Witnesses ignore these considerations right up until the
moment when their children require a blood transfusion...then all of a
sudden they get 'religion' on blood! Where is the consistency in this?
"The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of
fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day
and night forever and ever." (Revelation 20:10).
The Jehovah's Witnesses offer Revelation 20:10, with its guarantee "they will be tormented day and night forever
and ever"...as a proof-text that the wicked dead cease to exist and have no continuing conscious existence!: "Jehovah
will execute these selfish ones along with Satan and all his demons. All wrongdoers will then be gone
forever - Revelation 20:7-10." (Knowledge that Leads to Everlasting Life, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of
Pennsylvania, 1995, p. 190). This would seem to be a case of 'interpreting' a verse...to say the exact opposite of what it does
say. "And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" is not quite the same as 'be gone forever.' The
same word, 'basanizo,' is used in Revelation 9:5: "And they were not given authority to
kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like
the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man."
The Bible promises a lot of "everlasting contempt" for the
lost: "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life,
Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise
shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the
stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:2-3).
According to Jesus, denizens of Hell suffer conscious torments: "And
being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus in his bosom. Then he cried and said, 'Father Abraham,
have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger
in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.'" (Luke
16:23-24). "I am tormented" is not the statement of an unconscious non-entity.
The Jehovah's Witnesses assert that the Hebrew word 'Sheol' means
only the grave. In some cases it does seem primarily to mean the grave:
“And all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and he said,
'For I shall go down into the grave to my son in mourning.' Thus his father wept for him.”
It is interesting that the Vulgate has here, "descendam. . .in
infernum." At other times a conscious experience of misery
is ascribed to those in hell or Sheol, which is not plausibly
ascribed to the body moldering in the grave.
The Jehovah's Witnesses allege that the pagans invented Hell. Some pagan
poets, like Virgil, do portray a detailed road map of Hell, erupting with
lurid volcanic imagery. Here is a sampler of this detailed topography,
with which the Christian poet Dante did not scruple to supplement the Bible basics:
"Now of a sudden Aeneas looked and saw
To the left, under a cliff, wide buildings girt
By a triple wall round which a torrent rushed
With scorching flames and boulders tossed in thunder,
The abyss's Fiery River. A massive gate
With adamantine pillars faced the stream,
So strong no force of men or gods in war
May ever avail to crack or bring it down...
From the interior, groans
Are heard, and thud of lashes, clanking iron,
Dragging chains. Arrested in his tracks,
Appalled by what he heard, Aeneas stood.
"'What are the forms of evil here? O Sister,
Tell me. And the punishments dealt out:
Why such a lamentation?'
"Said the Sibyl:
'Light of the Teucrians, it is decreed
That no pure soul may cross the sill of evil."
(Virgil, Aeneid, Book VI, 735-760).
It is interesting to speculate where the pagans got this information: near-death
experiences? When New Testament authors used terms like 'Hades' and 'Tartarus'
(2 Peter 2:4), this is what contemporary readers understood them to be
talking about,-- and with good reason; the fire and brimstone are Biblical:
"Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone
worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead
or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of
God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation.
He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And
the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest
day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives
the mark of his name.'" (Revelation 14:9-11). One cannot eject this
information from the Bible on grounds that some pagans felt intimations of it.
Speaking of God's marvellous plan of salvation, Paul says,
“But as it is written: 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered
into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love
If it is true that the delights of the blessed are beyond our present experience,
it is also true that the sufferings of the doomed exceed what we now see
and hear. Fire gives light; yet the realm of "everlasting fire"
is a realm of darkness not light: "These are wells without water,
clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness
forever." (2 Peter 2:17). Fire as we know it consumes and exhausts
its fuel thus putting itself out of business; what is "everlasting
fire?" Go to Tahiti and tell people about 'snow.' This is like recounting
to the living the experiences of the damned; what they experience, both
before the resurrection and in eternity, is not in our photo album of present
experiences. But one cannot leap from the uncanny and unfamiliar nature
of hell to the conclusion that such experiences cannot occur.