Does the Bible say that blood is required to be forgiven?

Does blood have to be shed for Gods forgiveness? Does God require a blood sacrifice before He will forgive?

The Christian religion teaches that blood is required, while Judaism teaches that blood is not required. So which is it? What does the Torah teach us? The first few chapters of Leviticus is dedicated to explaining the sacrificial offering requirements.

(Leviticus 1:1 – 5:26). God called Moses by name. He wants to talk to Moses about Offerings, the different kinds, what they are to be, and how to do them. There were three major groups of offerings.

1. Animal Offerings

2. Bird Offerings

3. Minchah Offerings (grain offering)

One particular offering is the one to be given when a person “misses the mark”, or breaks a commandment.

This topic starts in chapter 4:1 and goes to 5:26. The topic is presented in verse 2 of chapter 4, “a person sins unintentionally.” Note the word unintentionally. The Offerings in these two chapters were brought for “unintentional sins”. If the Offering was an animal the blood had to be drained, because the soul dwells in the blood1. The blood was collected and placed on the horns of the alter, and the Priest poured the remaining at the base of the alter, for the “individual offering”. But this was only if you could afford an animal, or a bird. If you could not afford an animal, or a bird you could bring a tenth-ephah of fine flour without oil or frankincense.2 Blood was not required for the Sin Offering.

If the sin was “intentional”, the requirement was repentance, or good works.

I give several Scripture references and detail in a study article on the Study Material page. The title is “Sin, Repentance & Atonement”.

So what if your not Jewish and you are not a Christian? Ezekiel chapter 18 addresses this. In verses 5 – 9, in particular he talks about how a Righteous person should live. But in verse 21, we learn that if he sins and “repents he shall live, and not die”. So if you desire to live as a Righteous Gentile, no conversion to Judaism is required, the only requirement is to examine your life, and repentance (ie. turn from any unrighteous living). Return to the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, learn Torah, and live according to it.

The Christian belief teaches that blood is required for forgiveness, but all through out the Tanach (the Jewish Bible) we learn that blood was not a requirement. A good example of this is Nineveh, and the Prophet Jonah. Nineveh was a Gentile community, Jonah was sent to them to “repent”. Also King David, after being approached by the Prophet Nathan for his sin, David was convicted and repented.

“The Righteous Gentile” also known as “B’ni Noach”, or “Noahide”, is a non Jewish person that believes in the God of Israel, and desires to serve, and to worship only Him. During the Exodus they are called “Sojourners”, and in the Christian Bible they are refereed to as, “God Fearers”. They were not a separate religion from Judaism, the term only distinguished them from the Jewish person. So there has always been a place for the Righteous Gentile, no conversion necessary, in the Jewish community.

Jim Behnke

1Leviticus 17:11 – “For the soul of the flesh dwells in the blood….”

2Leviticus 5:11

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