KJV Bible question

My grandfather just had a stroke. He’s on life support and the family is discussing what to do. All the decisions rest on my Aunts head (the oldest) and she is very extreemly fundy (baptist). I am too torn up to do this on my own so will someone PLEASE help me. I need scriptural references for all these questions to help everyone with the decisions.

  1. Scriptural references about removing life support.

  2. Scriptural refs about cremation.

  3. Scriptural refs about suing the Dr. for malpractice (theres VERY strong evidence that she made a big mistake).

Please help me and hurry.


I don’t know enough to guide you to specific passages, but you might try searching here.

First of all, you have my sympathies.

How about “thou shall not kill”? That’s probably as close as you’re going to get. You’re not going to find scriptual references to medical practices which simply didn’t exist at the time.

The most important thing is to decide if removing life support is “killing” or not. I’m of the opinion that, if someone is being maintained on life support, and they have zero chance of recovering, then they are alread dead for all practical purposes. The life support system is simply maintaining the illusion of life. It’s forcing their body to “go through the motions”.

My grandmother is very much against cremation, and her stance is based on the fact that everyone is supposed to rise from the dead after the rapture. If you’re cremated, then how can your body rise from the dead? Of course, she can’t seem to answer when asked what will happen to all the people who died in fires.

That said, there are no scriptural passages forbidding cremation. In fact, “…dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3:19)

I don’t imagine that there is any scriptural referance to suing anyone. The Bible isn’t a reference manual where you can follow step-by-step directions for every single thing that happens.

You’re going to have to field this one on your own.

Thank you. I am not a fundy so its really hard to do this. My grandfather’s wishes were to be cremated, but my aunt (his eldest) is against it. Me, my dad, and my uncle have already tried to talk to her on logical terms. That didn’t work so now we’re trying on her terms. She has absolutly no references to back her up (and me saying Cite! just makes her madder).

Anyway I’m going to approach this last one from the crime/punishment standpoint as well as from the debts standpoint.

It’s been a REALLY long time since I opened a bible so this should be interesting.


there is something somewhere in the Bible against taking fellow christians to court (or the closest thing to court they had in those days), but i think it’s kind of changed since people don’t take it upon themselves to make up for things on their own without being taken to court.

That’s most likely the best way to deal with it; I’ve found that most fundies are impervious to logic. That Genesis quote might help to soften her up a bit, though.

That’s probably the best angle for that one. You should also check out 1 Peter 2:13-17

Yeah, I normally only open the bible to argue with religious people trying to “save” me. If that’s what someone truely believes in, then that’s the best way to understand them.

On cremation:

This seems to be a common question, and all the answers I’ve Googled up have said things like, “It’s not that common, but it’s okay.” The source with the most Biblical justification of this that I’ve found is http://www.bibleanswers.ie/Q&A/Cremation.html

On life support:

Most of the sources I’ve seen don’t come down firmly on either side. Sans scriptural references, it might be a good idea to get a clergymember that your aunt trusts to give the usual opinion. (Basically, if life support is helping the person get better, keep it, if it’s just stringing someone along who is nearly dead, it’s messing with God’s plans.)

On lawsuits:

Bible doesn’t like them. Again, finding a clergymember would be best.

! Corinthians 6 has something to say about lawsuits, but specifically about lawsuits between believers:

Whether this is a principle legitimately extensible to other situations will be a matter of debate.

On the cremation thing; logic only here (no Bible cites, I’m afraid) - it will not be possible for God to resurrect people’s bodies with exactly the same components as when they died, because even in the case of the best-preserved corpse (say, Lenin or Eva Peron), some of the atoms leave the body and become part of other organisms etc. That water molecule in your spinal fluid (no, not that one… THAT one, yes, that’s it) was once part of the synovial fluid in Napoleon’s left knee, before that it was owned by no less than two of the Caesars (albeit briefly) and before that it was part of the aqueous humour of a goat herder named…(you get the idea); at the resurrection, who gets that water molecule?

(Assuming that the resurrection is to be a real event, God must have something else planned).

Sorry, Biohazard, but I’m quite certain that there are no Bible verses addressing cremation, suing doctors for malpractice, or taking someone off life support.

As far as taking someone off life support, as was already pointed out, the Commandment “Thou shalt not kill” probably applies to this. The question then becomes, “If it’s brain-dead, is it human, and does pulling the plug count as killing?” You need more help than we can give you here, Biohazard, and I mean that in a nice way. The hospital where your grandpa is almost certainly has a non-denominational chaplain-in-residence who has had much more experience with this sort of decision–I suggest you look him up. And if he can’t answer your questions, I guarantee that he has a Little List of pastors who will be happy to come over and take a shot at it. It’s what they do.

On cremation and on “needing to be buried in order to be able to rise again at the Last Trump”, you might ask Auntie what she thinks happened to the Christians who were killed on 9/11, and at Hiroshima. Are they damned forever because they were vaporized or incinerated or blown to bits and there was nothing left to bury?

(And yes, there were Japanese Christians who were killed at Hiroshima…)


There were other Christians in Hiroshima. Some of them survived. Some didn’t.

I was always taught in Sunday School that at the Last Trump, all the dead will rise, not just the ones who happened to have been properly buried. Refer Auntie to Revelation 20:12:

It means “all the dead”. Not “all the dead who were buried in coffins in cemeteries”.

That means that all those who were lost at sea, or blown into fragments by a terrorist’s bomb, or vaporized in the World Trade Center or a space shuttle, or cremated, will still come back–there is nothing God cannot do, He knows who they all are, and it’s child’s play for the Lord to give them back a body of some kind on their way up.

The Bible does not speak to suing doctors, unless the doctor in question is a member of your aunt’s church, in which case she is instructed not to take him to court before unbelievers but to bring it before the elders of the church, or other suitably delegated church authorities.

From I Corinthians 6:1ff:

Needless to say, the Bible wasn’t designed to be a manual for the nitpicky details of day-to-day living. It was designed as a set of general religious guidelines for the best way to live your life in harmony with God and your fellow man. Thus, many issues are not addressed.

Again, I suggest you hunt up the hospital chaplain and drop this all in his lap. He does this for a living, you know, and if the answers he gives don’t make Auntie happy, then he will know another pastor in the Hospital Counseling Trade who can help.

Also on the cremation issue: what about all the righteous people whose properly-buried bodies have crumpled into dust and become mixed with the Earth itself? The idea that obliteration of the body somehow leaves the soul “homeless” is not only non-scriptural, it’s closer to Ancient Egyptian than Christian belief.

That said, I understand that some Christians may believe there is an express scriptural proscription of cremation because Orthodox Judaism does not allow it, but AFAIK there is no specific “thou shalt not cremate”, and it’s not related to the Resurrection, but to a teaching (shared by Islam) that Man’s body is not for us to dispose of as we wish and as much as possible of it must be returned to the Earth from which G_d created Man.


Oh, and BTW, maybe a Mod should change the title to something more descriptive of the topic such as “Teachings related to terminal patients in KJV Bible?”

Well. #1 was taken out of our hands. He was pronounced brain dead today and was taken off of life support.

Then this is moot, but my understanding is that “thou shalt not kill” is more accurately rendered as “thou shalt not murder.”

In my (conservative Lutheran) wife’s words, “Honor thy father and mother. It’s the fourth commandment and the first dealing with how you relate with other people. The three before it deal with how you relate to God” She personally does not want to be cremated on the personal (non scripture based) belief that one should not permanently disfigure one’s body, but feels that the commandment should take precedent.

Everything’s taken care of, he was cremated as were his wishes although my aunt and cousins tried to talk her out of it down to the last second.

Thanks everyone.