4. What does “to abstain from blood” (Acts 15:29) mean?



It means to abstain from eating any flesh with its blood (Genesis 9:4).

Therefore when we slaughter an animal it is good to make all the blood spurt out of its body; and before cooking the meat it is necessary for us to cause the blood that could be still in the flesh to come out of it, this can be done by putting the flesh for a while in cold water. If we roast the flesh, it is good to roast it well so that the blood might drain away. Furthermore, we must abstain from eating any food made from blood, such as the blood sausage, which is made from the pig’s blood and eaten in many places here in Italy. Unfortunately it is eaten even by some believers. Obviously, we must also abstain from drinking blood.

The reason for this prohibition is written in the law: “For it [the blood] is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel: ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off” (Leviticus 17:14).