Questions From Readers
● Leviticus 3:17 states: “It is a statute to time indefinite for your generations, in all your dwelling places: You must not eat any fat or any blood at all.” Nehemiah 8:10 says: “Go, eat the fatty things and drink the sweet things.” How can these two commands be reconciled?—E. Z., United States.
Leviticus 3:17 and Nehemiah 8:10 are not at variance with each other. Leviticus refers to the layers of fat in animal bodies, which were not to be eaten. By the expression “fatty things” Nehemiah refers to rich portions, things not skinny, things not dry but luscious, including tasty things prepared with vegetable oils. Frequently “fat” is used figuratively to indicate richness or lushness or prosperity. Instances of this are “the fatness of the earth,” “his bread shall be fat,” “they found fat pasture,” “they took strong cities, and a fat land,” “the large and fat land which thou gavest,” “in a fat pasture shall they feed,” and “the fattest places of the province.”—Gen. 27:28, 39; 49:20; 1 Chron. 4:40; Neh. 9:25, 35; Ezek. 34:14; Dan. 11:24, AV.
Now we are not under the Leviticus prohibition concerning fat, since we are not under the Mosaic law, it being made inoperative by God through Jesus’ death: “He kindly forgave us all our trespasses and blotted out the handwritten document against us which consisted of decrees and which was in opposition to us, and He has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the torture stake.”—Col. 2:13, 14.
Does this mean we are no longer under the Law’s prohibition concerning blood? No, because the prohibition against eating or drinking blood was given long before the Mosaic law covenant, namely, in the days of Noah immediately after the flood. This prohibition against blood was incorporated into and restated in the Mosaic law covenant to give it renewed emphasis, but mankind in general still continued under the obligations of the Noachian mandate concerning the sanctity of creature blood. Thus when the law covenant, binding upon the Jews, was taken out of the way by Jehovah’s nailing it to the torture stake of Jesus Christ. the Jews still continued under the prohibitions against eating and drinking blood, along with all the rest of mankind down to this very day. Christians were specifically notified of this continuing prohibition concerning blood: “They should keep themselves from what is sacrificed to idols as well as from blood and what is killed without draining its blood and from fornication.”—Acts 21:25.
The prohibition against fat, however, was lifted with the removal of the Mosaic law covenant. Other foods listed as unclean under the Jewish law covenant were thus removed from under prohibition by abolition of that covenant, and Jewish Christians as well as Christians from among Gentiles could eat such foods in all good conscience, giving thanks to God therefor that such foods might be sanctified through prayer.
● Sometimes in your publications you capitalize personal pronouns referring to Jehovah God and Christ Jesus, but generally you do not. Why not?—W. S., United States.
The practice of some who capitalize all personal pronouns referring to Jehovah and Christ appears to be merely a matter of preference or style and not something made obligatory by any principle in God’s Word. The way to praise and honor Jehovah and Christ is not by the mere capitalizing of initial letters in personal pronouns referring to them, but is by study and service, obedience and preaching. In the oldest Bible manuscripts available all the letters are alike. Capitalization is of relatively recent origin. Says Sir Frederic Kenyon in his book Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pages 19, 20, 25: “Capital letters, which are occasionally used in business documents to mark the beginning of a clause, do not occur in literary papyri . . .” It is interesting to note that not even the translators of the respected King James or Authorized Version always capitalized personal pronouns referring to Jehovah and Christ.—See Genesis 15:4-13; John 1:1-4, AV.
It is our policy to lower-case pronouns referring to Jehovah God and Jesus Christ in all our publications, with the exception that capitals are used when other pronouns in the sentence might make the meaning doubtful. If, for instance, both Jehovah and Jeremiah are mentioned in a sentence and then in that sentence the pronoun “he” occurs, the “h” would be capitalized if the pronoun were referring to Jehovah and it would be lower-cased if it referred to Jeremiah.