Can ancient prescription trump modern medicine?
The faculty and staff at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science would do well to adopt the prohibition on blood transference from one of Godâ€™s creatures to another specifically for medical purposes as chronicled by the prominent African Moses as discussed in last weekâ€™s article. The argument on whether it animal blood or human blood is mute. Why? Because as Moses noted, God viewed them the same; hence, Moses used the same Hebrew word, dam, for both human and animal blood.
To illustrate, allow me to ask you a question: When Yehowah Elohim used Moses to turn the Nile River into blood, what kind of blood was it, animal or human? The Hebrew word is dam, consequently, the blood is non-descript. As far as God was concerned, theyâ€™re one and the same insofar as the life being in the blood is concerned. Interestingly, ultra-modern hospitals today treat discarded blood as toxic waste. In doing so, theyâ€™re only a few millennia behind procedures written by the African-educated Moses. (Lev 17:10-14; Deut 12:16, 22-24; 15:23; 23:12, 13) But what about Christianityâ€™s view on blood transfusion?
Luke vs. Asklepios?: Jesus said â€œPersons in health do not need a physician, but the ailing do.â€ (Matt 9:12) A later disciple of Jesus was just that–a physician. The apostle Pau wrote: â€œOur dear friend Luke, the doctorâ€¦send[s] you greetings.â€ (Colossians 4:14, Jewish New Testament) The Greek word used here for â€œdoctorâ€ is medicus. From this springs the English words â€œmedical,â€ â€œmedicine,â€ and the related word â€œmedic.â€ So there can be no doubt that Luke was a physician or medical doctor.
The mythical Greek god of medicine, Asklepios (Asclepius or Aesculapius in Latin)–who â€œmay have been a real person who was renowned for his gentle, humane remediesâ€ according to one source–was in reality the Egyptian surgeon and medical specialist Imhotep turned White. Youâ€™re more familiar with Asklepios than you may realize. Greek mythology says that Asklepios fathered the goddesses Hygieia (as in â€œhygieneâ€) and Panaceia (as in â€œpanacea,â€ which means a universal remedy), and carried around a staff with a snake wound around it. This staff or rod of Asklepios is the commonly used symbol for medicine having been adopted by the American Medical Association (AMA) and a number of other medical societies.
Given this background, the question now is: What connection is there between Doctors Luke and Asklepios and the application of blood in a medical context? Fascinatingly, in the mythological goddess Athena gave Asklepios a vial of blood (Greek, haima; Hebrew, dam) from a Gorgon that allegedly contained magical properties. â€œIf taken from the left side of the Gorgon, it was a fatal poison; from the right side, the blood was capable of bringing the dead back to life.â€ Dr. Luke penned an opposing view, recording that Christians should â€œabstainâ€ from blood, according to the inspired Christian governing body, at Acts 15:29. â€œAbstainâ€ means to â€œkeep awayâ€ according to A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature.
Instead of using the actual English word â€œabstainâ€ at Acts 15:29, another translation says, â€œyou are to avoidâ€¦blood [Greek, haima; Hebrew, dam].â€ (The New Testament: A New Translation, by Olaf M. Norlie) And yet another says, â€œkeep away fromâ€¦blood [Greek, haima; Hebrew, dam].â€ (The New Testament in the Language of Today, by William F. Beck) One cannot â€œavoidâ€ or â€œkeep away fromâ€¦blood,â€ and at the same time allow it, in the most intimate way, to be absorbed into the blood stream–irrespective of the mechanism. Elsewhere in the Bible, Dr. Luke used the Greek word for â€œabstain,â€ knowing that it also means to keep a â€˜distanceâ€™ from, or â€œbe distant,â€ according to Greek-English lexicons. (Compare Luke 15:20) In The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures the expression â€œstand you awayâ€ is used. (Acts 5:38) The clear message for Christians is: keep your distance from blood! â€œStand you awayâ€ from it! Inspired doctorâ€™s orders!
Dr. Luke repeated the inspired edict issued by the governing council to â€œstand you awayâ€ from blood at Acts 21:25, but did so with a twist. The text reads: â€œAs for the believers from among the nations, we have sent out, rendering our decision that they should keep themselves from what is sacrificed to idols as well as from blood [Greek, aima; Hebrew, dam] and what is strangled [something that would happen exclusively to animals] and from fornication [Greek, porneia, meaning unlawful sex between humans, also, intersex between humans and animals among other sexual violations of a gross nature as noted above].â€ This â€œbloodâ€ (Greek, haima; Hebrew, dam), was the same type of indistinguishable â€œbloodâ€ (Greek, haima; Hebrew, dam) that was the Nile River–it being inconsequential as to whether human or animal. (Exodus 7:17-21; Psalm 78:44; 105:29) Thereâ€™s more.
Significantly, at Acts 21:25 Dr. Luke interjected the Greek word that basically means â€œguardâ€ (phylasso) instead of using the Greek word for â€œabstainâ€ (apecho) as he did earlier at Acts 15:29. Regarding phylasso, one lexicon states that the word basically means to â€˜be on oneâ€™s guard againstâ€¦look out forâ€¦avoid.â€™ Even to the uninitiated these cautions may well smack of doctorâ€™s orders as opposed to a religious restriction. An even more exhaustive, comprehensive lexicon adds clarity when, in connection with defining phylasso in the context of Acts 21:25, it translates straightforwardly the words of Dr. Luke as follows: â€œKeep away fromâ€¦beware ofâ€¦be carefulâ€¦keep safe [from blood].â€Â
Finally, as a physician, Dr. Luke used a number of medical terms, one of the most interesting of these being apokatastasis, found at Acts 3:21. The word means â€˜to restore,â€™ as in the restoration of good health. Intriguingly, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Joseph Henry Thayer says that â€œthe restoration [is] not only of the true theocracy but also of that more perfect state of (even physical) things which existed before the fallâ€ of man. In other words, Almighty God Jehovah, under his theocratic government, will restore mankind to the perfect health that Adam and Eve enjoyed before they sinned. To be sure, the blood from a Gorgon wonâ€™t be in the mix. If the powers that be at King-Drew had embraced divine wisdom in the matter of blood–especially while being a theatrical spectacle under media scrutiny–the cast and crew may well have been seen in a whole new light. So be it my friends. Peace. Out.Â Â