Yes, it’s okay, providing it isn’t done, as Paul says, when it will cause real offence, such as when inviting a Jewish guest. This is Mark’s comment that Jesus “declared all foods clean”:

Mark 7:18 And [Jesus] said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?”  Thus he declared all foods clean.

The only exception is where any food — either a “clean” food offered to idols (e.g., beef or mutton), or a food that was unclean to Jews like pork or shellfish, or by extension today beef to a Hindu or meat to a Buddhist — will cause a stumbling block or barrier between someone and belief in Christ. Paul discusses how and why not to offend converts from idol-worship in 1Co.10, and how not to offend converts from Judaism in Rom.14. However, in those chapters Paul repeatedly makes it clear that, apart from not causing other believers (particularly new believers) to stumble, he himself is free to eat anything, and so are Christians.

Paul specifically warns about Christians who try to establish again the Jewish food laws:

1Tim.4:1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

The rules against pork and shellfish in the Law of Moses were a temporary restriction. Now circumcision, and the Law of Moses generally, has been fulfilled and finished. The following two passages argue from the abolition of circumcision to prove abolition of all the Law.

Eph.2:11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

Col.2:13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. 16 Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.

Note above that Paul also dismisses the Sabbath along with rules about food and drink.

Food with blood

This has been discussed previously:

The idea of clean and unclean animals dates back to Noah selecting two of each kind of the unclean animals and seven of each kind of the clean animals for the ark. After the ark came to rest, God removed any restriction on eating meat:

Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

Thus leaving only the warning about meat with the blood in it. Blood is a separate issue that was binding on Noah before the Law of Moses, and also more or less binding on Christians in the Jerusalem and Antioch areas during the early years of the church.  In Acts 15, as a result of a dispute with Jewish Christians who had very extreme views in Antioch demanding circumcision, wanting Gentile Christians to adopt all the food laws, etc., James and the Jerusalem Church adopted a compromise position with only three food requirements:

Acts 21:25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, we have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality.”

However Paul later overturned these three rules about meat offered to idols, meat with blood in it, and strangled meat as well:

1Co.10:25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”

This rule applied to beef and mutton too, not just pork.

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91 Responses to Is it okay for Christians to eat pork and shellfish?

  1. Grahame Grieve says:

    Given the depth and longevity of the prohibition on eating blood, and the symbolism of it (owning the life), and given the context of 1 Cor 10 v 25 is *food sacrificed to idols*, it’s not reasonable to say that Paul is overturning the rule about blood. He might be, but it’s hardly convincing – unless you have really good evidence for market = idols = strangulation. Other possible verses are equally unconvincing to me.

    I, for one, won’t eat blood. (of course, there’s always a little, but I will deliberately avoid blood if at all possible)

  2. james says:

    My step-dad and mom will not eat pork. They are not Jewish but goes by what the bible says not to eat unclean animals.The get help from food banks and they sometimes get ham. They will give it away, I tell them that God is helping to provide for them at times of trouble and if that is the only thing to eat then don’t feel bad about it. It seems now days pigs are eating feed and not like in the old test. I believe doing what the bible says but this is a heavy topic in our lives. They will give it to me to eat, except sausage, I don’t like. But I will if it’s all I have. My aunt on the other hand told them Jesus made it okay to eat pork or the unclean. My step-dad said he never read it. I have read something about Jesus okays it after the gates were open, or something like that. Help us resolve this please. I know its not what goes in but what comes out is unclean.

    • Sirsilius says:

      I have yet to see anywhere in the NT where Jesus has ok’d the eating of Pork or other unclean meats.

      Just curious as to what is the evidence, as far as verses go, that your aunt uses to support such a claim.

      • Jonathan Morgan says:

        How about the verses quoted in the answer (especially Mark 7:18)? Do those verses not meet your criteria?  If not, could you please explain what’s wrong with the verses rather than just saying you haven’t seen anything that would convince you?

        • lequida says:

          Mark 7:19 means what God had already called food which did not include swine or shell fish

          • Jonathan Morgan says:

            I’m sorry, but that interpretation sounds very far-fetched to me.  Jesus’ whole reasoning here is that is things that come out of your mouth that are wrong, not things that go in (e.g. food).  It would seem strange then to still say that some of the food that goes in and is digested will make you unclean, even though Jesus has said nothing like it.

    • beebruno says:

      I have never found a text in the bible that okays us to eat unclean animals. Have you ever thought about your parents being right and not wrong? Jesus has a reason why he didn’t want us to eat unclean animals.
      Read Mark 7 over again and pray before you read it. It’s very clear that they were talking about eating with out washing their hands “unclean hands”. That’s what Jesus said was ok to do. In all of Mark 7 there’s no mention of unclean foods ok to eat now. Read it and find the truth for yourself. That text is always taken out of context by people who don’t want to give up pork or whatever they like to eat.

  3. Gordon says:

    The Bible is clear about not eating pork. It is forbidden. People say that times are different, that conditions are different. They search for ways to dance around clear Scripture. Isaiah 66:17 puts pig eating in the same category as eating rodents, and both are abominable-detestable. Leviticus 11 is still true today. So in order to convince yourself that eating pig is okay, you have to find Scripture that shows God has changed His mind on this. He hasn’t. Many Christians find it appalling when at Christmas or Easter pig is eaten in celebration of a Jew – our Lord Jesus Christ. Pigs and Jews do not have a relationship. They didn’t have it “back in the day”, nor do they have it today. It is a rather shocking and regretable association. Many Christians worship at the Church of the Local Buffet, thinking that they can believe some of this, some of that, not this, not that. “Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”. It was true then. It is true now. Let’s not make the belly the god. The Christian’s relationship is founded upon thus saith the Lord, not upon God says, but I believe.

    • Sirsilius says:

      GREAT points, Gordon!

    • But my question why do we put more emphasis on The Old Testament rather than The bible as a whole. Isn’t it true that the Old Law was fulfilled when Jesus dies on the cross? Were we not freed from the bindings of some of the laws? If the Old Testament still holds true to word why are we still not sacrificing for God? I just become so confused when one professes one book, while the other professes the other. The Bible as a whole is both the Old and New testament right? So why do we divide the word “unrightfully” by choosing which is the one we will follow? ISn’t the object of the bible is to see the progression of faith and Jesus to do away with the middle man by giving us new mercies everyday? What makes this gentlemans interpretation of the bible wrong that he sees God freeing us from outdated Law? I have seen numerous postings that you haven’t read “Fact” that allows us the eating of pork and shell fish. BUt genesis9:1 says it clearly to me.  So does 1Co. 10, the earth is the Lords and the fullness there of. Why does our interpreation of the readings make it wrong? Is not your interpreatation of one book of the bible skew your interpreation? Again im just curious

    • Nick1066 says:

      I would respectfully remind you of Acts 10:9-16:On the next day, as they were on their way and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the [f]sixth hour to pray. 10 But he became hungry and was desiring to eat; but while they were making preparations, he fell into a trance; 11 and he *saw the [g]sky opened up, and an [h]object like a great sheet coming down, lowered by four corners to the ground, 12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animals and [i]crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the [j]air. 13 A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter, [k]kill and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything [l]unholy and unclean.” 15 Again a voice came to him a second time, “ What God has cleansed, no longer consider [m]unholy.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the [n]object was taken up into the [o]sky

  4. motherof2 says:

    I don’t think eating pork or catfish, or shellfish, ect is a sin now, but I do believe they were created to clean the earth and that has not changed. So if we choose to eat them there are consequences. Just like smoking, or drinking. God has told us why they are unfit to eat, so if we do so…………….

  5. Susannadeyorkies says:

    Pig meat is NOT forbidden to Christians. HOWEVER, they are considered unclean in a Levitical Old Testament diet and science proves the wisdom of a Levitical diet more every day. Refer to Leviticus 11 for a list of the unclean and clean. However, it’s probably healthier to abstain from pig meat as it is one the most parasite infested animals on the face of the earth, and you really have to cook it in a very high temperature to get rid of the parasites and its not always successful. Also, as Christians, we should take into account that the Jewish population is very sensitive about the Christian diet, and those witnessing to the Jew should be careful not to offend them. They will use this in arguing against accepting the Messiah. See Romans 14:13-23 below.

    Jesus gave the Gentile Christian certain liberties, and I believe that does include all meat by the scriptures I’ll provide below. However, we are forbidden as Christians to eat the blood or things strangled. (the Jew is also very sensitive to the fact that Jesus said he gave his blood for us to drink. The Jew must be reasoned with here to understand that the His meaning is spiritual and not literal. They get a little hysterical about that one and again use this as a reason to reject Messiah.) Chickens are the only things generally strangled to death. Now how do you tell what’s strangled in the grocery store? I still haven’t figured that out. Butchers drain the blood out of the meat so you’re ok there. Some people believe in boiling their meat.

    Rom 14:13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
    Rom 14:14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
    Rom 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
    Rom 14:16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
    Rom 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
    Rom 14:18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
    Rom 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
    Rom 14:20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.
    Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
    Rom 14:22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.
    Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

    Hopefully this clears things up a bit.

    • Sirsilius says:

      Sorry, but it clears nothing up! All it does is continues to further clutter things up, for those not well versed, with the same old false interpretation of the verses you render.

      These verses have absolutely NOTHING to do with the unclean meats of GOD’S law! So how in the world then, can they be “proof” that we can now eat of the God forbidden meats?

      The verses you provide are in regards to the instruction of the relations between vegetarians (non meat eaters) and those who eat meat (naturally, those sanctified by God as being clean and permitted for food in Lev.11 & Deut. 14), and nothing more than that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Deut. 16:11 and 16:13 is a continuation of God giving the people of Israel rules to live and govern themselves by which include food in chapter 14, other laws in chapter 15 and in chapter 16, it’s the Holy Days.  Notice that in Deut. 16:13-14, he states, ” You are to keep the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your sons and your daughters and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.”  Notice the word stranger which most definitely means a Gentile(non Jew).  When God gave His people His Law, it was not for Jews only but for Jew and Gentile.  Why would God who is about unity give people 2 different rules to live by?  Also Jesus stated in Matthew 5:17 that he didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill.  Truly i say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Furthermore, God doesn’t look at the unclean animals as food.  Any scripture that seemingly makes it okay to eat all meat is not referring to the unclean meats as God doesn’t consider those animals food. Acts 10 talks about Peter seeing the sheet with all the animals.  Yet look at Acts 10:28, “God showed me that i should not call any man common or unclean.”  Acts 10 is about Gentiles coming into salvation, it isnt about food.  One has to ask oneself why would Peter who has walked with Jesus for 3.5 years say “Not so I have never eaten anything common or unclean?”  If it was okay to eat Pork, why is Peter not eating it?  Why didn’t Jesus let him know it’s okay for you to eat pork during the 3.5 years he spent with his disciples?  Hmmm! Nevertheless, God prefers for us not to eat unclean animals.  However is it a salvation issue?  NO, of course not!  But is it preferred, you bet it is!

  6. Ed says:

    The Bible is clear that eating Swine or Shellfish are prohbited. Lev. 11: 7-8 And the swine…he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat…” Verse 12 “Whatsever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.”

    As Creator, God knows what is the best diet for man. When we purchase a new vehicle, we are diligent to follow the car manual because we want the vehicle to perform at its best. The same principle applies to the Creator (God) and man (created beings). Before sin existed, God gave us a diet that consisted of fruits, nuts and grains. After sin, the diet changed to include vegetable. It is only after Noah came off the Ark that God allowed them to partake of certain flesh ( as indicated in Lev.). And this was done due to the fact that the earth was barren, nothing had been planted, etc.

    As Eve thought, when presented the decption by Satan to ascertain a higher existance by disobeying God, that God was trying to keep something good from her, people today are also reluctant to give up flesh meat and other animal life that would bring injury to their bodies, believing, too, they would be missing out on something. But our God is a loving God who wants what is best for us; He knows what diet would give us optimum health and what would destroy us.

    Remember, you cannot call something clean that God has already pronounced unclean.

    Keep in mind that the early generations of man lived almost 1000 years. It is only after sin and the change in diet did man’s year of life greatly decreased. In some countries the average age of death it is approximately fifty years, and even less centuries ago.

    • Nick1066 says:

      The Bible is clear…The Law WAS fulfilled in Christ, that is why he uttered the words “It is finished.” on the Cross at Golgotha.

  7. Jerry Keene says:

    It never seems to surprise me that when this discussion comes up; there are many reasons given as to why one should or should not eat certain things; Well I am 75 yrs. old & Wanda Jean is 70 yrs. old and we still have all our parts that we was born with except a few teeth…We don’t get sick very often, and if we feel something coming on; we simply do what the {Scripture} says to do;{Laying on of hands} and {Mark 16:} 15-16-17-18; very simply tells us exactly what to do; As for eating anything; we eat all that is set before us; but we never eat without “Prayer” first… {very simple} if “God” can’t remove what is called parasite’s or what ever, like pesticides used today in growing food+ many other things; then how do you think he can raise you from the “Dead” or Change you in a moment in the twinkling of an eye…The Bible is very plain about people in the latter yrs. denying the power of God… We have been saved for 45+ yrs. or so and i can’t even count how many times the “Lord Jesus” has performed miracles in our lifes; simply because we ask, as his word tells us to do… Brain tumors healed; Children raised from the dead;simply speaking the word of “God” from Ezekiel in the 16th chapter; it will stop “Bleeding”; We have used it on hemorrhaging; cut arteries that shot blood out for almost a foot;to simple cuts; but it has never not stopped the “Bleeding”… P.S. Ed. this is with “love”…As i read your comment; i was reminded of the “Hebrew” children being led from captivity by “Moses”; They saw all the mighty works of “God” and still were doubters of the truth…Read 2 Tim:2-15…and if you do as instructed by the word; please turn to Colossians 2 v 14… Where it is very plainly said…We are not under the “Levitical law; as all the “Law & all 660 ordinances were nailed to the “Cross”…We are under {GRACE}… These signs shall follow them that believe… Are they following you? {Mk.16v17}

  8. Rebeca says:

    of course it is difficult to understand scripture now that we are in 2011 and because we are gentiles, but there is a passage that says that His Word will last forever and ever, earth will pass but His Word will not pass, whether we like it or not. As Christians we are to follow Christ and live a life like Him, what was His life like? Pure… defenetly following His Father’s laws, which were all of them, ALL… what i don’t comprehend is why do we as wanna be children of God think that the old testament is not to be followed? then why have an old testament in our Bible? we should just take it away and forget that, just keep the new testament since it has our favorite part, God’s free Grace. what about the many passages that say that we are to follow all of God’s laws (which many are in the new testament by the way) or else He does’t know us?
    As Christians we weren’t given permission to live a simpler way than the rest of God’s people. or else we are not any different from a nonbeliever! and we suppose to be the light of the world, the rare humans that do God’s will.
    its just a simple question we should answer each day of our lives, are we truly children of God? Am I fit to be called a child of God? when Jesus comes back will i be able to rejoice and know i overcame all evil and just followed God’s Word? As Jesus asks, will He find faith on earth when He returns??
    True children of God are diminishing every day… will you change the true meaning of His word and find yourself in the lake of fire for eternity?

    1 John 3:4 -sin is breaking of the law
    1 John 1:6 – a liar if we don’t keep His commandments
    2 john 1:6 – love = walk in His commandments since the beginning
    Matthew 5:17 – did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it
    John 15:10 – remain in love if we keep His commandments just like Jesus did
    John 14:15 – if we love Him we keep His commandments
    John 15:14- we are His friends if we do all of His commandments

    Revelation 21:8
    Revelation 14:12 -patience of the Saints, keep both law and faith of Jesus

    Romans 7:12 – “Therefore the law is holy, and the commandments holy and just and good.”

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      God’s principle (that some things are unclean) remains. However, under the new covenant the focus changes from physical things to spiritual things. For example, unclean animals appeared in a vision to Peter in Acts 10 and he was told to eat them. When he objected, he was told “Do not call unclean what God has called clean”. The message was spiritual: he was not to reject the Gentiles, but to preach to them. The physical food was not important.

      None of the verses you quote address the facts given in the answer, particularly Jesus declaring all foods clean in Mark 7:18. Should we be calling unclean foods that Jesus (acting with God’s authority) called clean? Instead, we should be watching that what we think and what we say is clean.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen Rebeca!  I am in total agreement with you.  A lot of the New Testament is repeating what was stated in the Old Testament.  We need to stop dividing the Word of God.  The Holy Bible is one cohesive book from beginning to end.  The only thing we don’t need to do is sacrifice animals or have a priest go to God on our behalf.  The rest still applies. 

      • Actually, the rest does not still apply. We also aren’t still required to circumcise our male children Genesis 17:10-14 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” God says this is an EVERLASTING covenant. Yet in the NT, this EVERLASTING covenant is done away with. Galatians 5:2-11 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

        You see, a lot actually has been changed from OT times. We have been saved by Grace, through faith. Gal 3:23-28 23 Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

        Many people enslave themselves still to the law even now that we are under Grace. Even though the bible clearly states in Romans 7:6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. And Colossians 2:14-17 By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him. Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

        The fulfillment of the law is LOVE. Romans 13:10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

        When Jesus came, He became our Priest and the Word says in

        Hebrews 7:12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. The Law was given to show us that we are sinners. God gives us His Grace and Forgiveness through Jesus to show us He loves and accepts us. Does this mean we are entitled to live as mindless heathens? Of course not. We are commanded to Love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength, and Love our neighbors as we love ourselves. If we live in Love, we will abide in Christ, and be in His will, not doing the things we shouldn’t do. I give thanks and praise and glory and honor and blessing to God, and to Jesus whom He sent.

  9. Kelly says:

    I just think some christians want to do what they want to do ….like eat pork, shellfish, catfish, so they try and twist scriptures to justify it. It is written not to eat unclean meat ….God doesn’t contradict himself like that. He doesn’t want you to eat Unclean foods for a reason….he knows what is best for us all….so have faith in what he says to be true and stop trying to get your way ….but do it his way that is the best.

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      Understanding what Jesus and the apostles said (as shown in the verses quoted in the answer) is not about “wanting to do what we want to do”, it’s about understanding the scripture, why it was written and what it means.

  10. Brad says:

    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17 You will find this over and over in the gospels. The fact is that Paul made allowances for the early church as not to over burden them. He wrote the church in Acts 21 telling them to focus on four commandments. Did this mean everything else outside of those four was beneficial? Certainly not!

    Whatever made certain meats and foods unclean for our bodies (parasites, toxins, disease) likely has not changed. Many people want an easy route and the scriptures certainly grants them that if they want it. The point is that Yeshua (Jesus) came and emphasized the heart and a personal relationship with him. He did not want us divided on issues such as this. I eat foods that meet many old testament requirements because God is an intentional, purposeful God, that is not without reason. We should each consult the Lord through prayer and study of the word and see where he wants us to be. We should not condemn anyone for not being in accordance with this specific command.

  11. Rea says:

    Jesus said He did not come to abolish the Law because at that time He had to live by it. Since His death however, Paul says in Rom. 10:4 “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness..” We are no longer under the law of Moses. However, in grace we are free to keep any of the law that doesn’t contradict the New Testament law, as long as we are not keeping it to gain any righteousness by it. We need to do as Paul instructed in Romans 14 and allow for freedom in those areas and walk in love.

  12. Bob says:

    People who try to make the the issue of clean and unclean foods as applying to only the Jews seem to forget that God showed the distinction between clean and unclean foods long before his promises to Abraham. At the flood Noah was instructed to take 7 of every CLEAN animal but only a pair of every UNCLEAN animal. See Gen 7:2 So Noah observed God’s health standards but he was not Jewish.
    The verses that Christian’s use as an excuse to be able to eat what God called unclean at the flood, that discuss judging others on what they eat or that all is now declared clean are dealing with the controversy in the church of eating foods that had been offered to idols.
    And if Jesus actually did declare all meat to be good for food, at what time was this done? Because in Acts 10:14 Peter said he had still not eaten anything unclean. And he soon realized that the vision he was given had nothing to do with diet, only that he should accept Cornelius- see Acts 10:28

    • Jon Morgan says:

      A few points here:
      1. You’re assuming that the clean and unclean animals in the time of Noah are exactly the same as the ones in the law. It could be, but are you sure?

      2. You’re assuming that he didn’t eat unclean animals. I don’t see any evidence either way on this.

      3. Just because all foods were declared clean does not obligate Peter to eat unclean foods. In the same way, it seems like Paul kept a lot of the requirements of the law and was even proud of doing so, though he stood strongly against requiring the Gentiles to follow them.

      4. As far as it being an “excuse”, look back to my comments on 20th October. I don’t see it as an excuse to try and actually understand things said by Jesus and the apostles.

  13. Colleen says:

    It is a person’s relationship with God that helps them with this diet. No one else can influence or make the decision for you. Some Christians are Old-Testement Christians, so they follow those dietery rules. Some Christians are New-Testement Christians, so they follow those dietery rules. It comes down to what God is personally telling you what to do. I wish you the best!

    • Jon Morgan says:

      I agree. There is nothing whatever wrong with keeping the OT dietary rules, so long as you do it for the right reason. I do think it is wrong trying to force others to keep these rules.

  14. Bob says:

    1. I would just say that we can only depend on the Bible to interpret itself and I see no reason to believe that God would change the animals He distinguished as clean and unclean at the flood. At creation he made them that way-In His infinite wisdom and foreknowledge that sin and death would enter this planet, he created scavengers to take care of the dead and decaying matter that would be present in the future.
    Since there was no death in Eden prior to sin, God’s original diet for man and ALL animals was fruits, grains and nuts Gen 1:29-30. It was only after the flood that God permitted a flesh diet Gen 9:3-4 and knowing that they would not be finding many crops after they got off the ark, He provided an ample supply with the 7 off all clean animals He guided onto the ark.
    2. And yes, if Noah and his family would have been allowed to eat the minimal supply of unclean animals, we would probably not even be having this discussion because they would have most likely not made it off the ark.
    Also note that only clean animals were used as sacrifices Gen 8:20. It was only a perfect, unblemished lamb that could be offered to point them ahead to the sacrificial “Lamb” that paid the ultimate for our sins on the cross. Nowhere will you find a pig being offered as a sacrifice by people following God’s will.
    Clean and unclean distinctions are not just an OT or NT issue-The Creator gave guiding principles to help man maintain better health and we are made the same in OT times or in our times, though we are probably deteriorated more now and in need of an even healthier diet.
    I just heard last week that Harvard has published a study where they found if someone has a heavy diet of red meat (yes CLEAN red meat), they were at 30X the risk to get diabetes. And if someone has a heavy diet of processed meat their risk of getting diabetes was 300 times greater to get diabetes, yes that was a 3 with 2-0’s. I was quite surprised myself and there was no reference made to the coronary problems that also result. So God did know what was best for us with the diet He prescribed for us in Eden!

    • Jon Morgan says:

      A few points:
      1. As before, I’m not sure that the assumption that clean and unclean animals at the time of the flood were the same as those in the law.
      2. Just because “you see no reason to believe” something does not make it untrue.
      3. Protein is still an important part of the human diet. It can be got from other sources than meat, but I think it is considered much harder to get right.

  15. Jack says:

    Those of you who keep quoting the Gospel of Mark where Yeshua supposedly “declares all food clean” must go back and look at the passage. You do, of course, realize that things in italics are not in the oldest manuscripts!!! Hello!!! This line is NOT in the oldest manuscripts – meaning that someone ADDED it long afterwards. What does inspired scripture say about those who ADD things to scripture??? Perhaps they didn’t want to give up their shrimp cocktail so they ADDED to scripture! What is their fate for not submitting to inspired scripture and for leading millions astray from the truth by adding their opinion to inspired scripture.

    Anti-Jewish thought and actions were rampant in the 2nd century (and the end of 1st century, too) and beyond. This anti-Jewish mindset caused this type of change to the dietary laws that God gave to His people AND “those who are with you” meaning non-Jews who chose to identify and travel with the Hebrews as they left Egypt. Guess what? That means they were grafted in to the Hebrews. Sound familiar modern-day Gentile?

    Please note the last few chapters of Acts where Paul is on trial and, in his defense argument, truthfully states that he has done NOTHING against Jewish law or tradition. Please consider this for a moment. Paul was Torah-observant. He did NOT come against Torah…he only came against the legalistic perversion of Torah that “the Judaizers” were preaching which stated that belief in Messiah required circumcision. Read Paul’s epistles…this is the main issue. Not whether Torah should be honored. Paul honored Torah consistently as he stated in his defense…twice. When he wrote in a rhetorical manner whether Torah should be thrown out, he answered himself with “Heaven forbid!” How then, is he preaching against Torah? Also, please note Yeshua’s very clear statement that heaven and earth will pass away before one jot or tittle of the Torah will be changed. Yeshua upheld the written Torah…but he often came against the Oral Law (or commentary). If you want to follow or imitate “Jesus” you should observe Sabbath as He did. You should be Torah-observant, as He was. What do we think “Jesus was sinless” means? It means He fulfilled Torah! He didn’t come up short – unlike the rest of us who, as Paul said, have fallen short of the glory of God. But, we should strive toward obeying His commandments and is written MANY times in the “New Testament” in James, John, I John, Jude, Revelation, etc. And follow Paul’s example of being Torah-observant, as well.

    If you read Paul differently and think he was throwing out Torah…you have to deal with the passages I have noted. Scripture should not contradict itself. I believe that Paul was saying that faith is what gets you “saved” just as it was accounted to Abraham. But, then we show our love for God by following His commandments
    (I John 5:1-5). We don’t have to follow commands to be saved, but its how we show our love for God.

    • Jon Morgan says:

      Though it is not in italics, I will agree with you that the statement is not so clear in the KJV/NKJV. However, by and large the more modern translations, like the ESV that I think the quote is taken from, are actually based on earlier manuscripts than the KJV, so your comment about the older manuscripts actually shows the reverse of what you think it does. Which version do you say the statement is shown in italics in?

      The Torah required circumcision. You seem in agreement that Paul spoke against this being applied to the Gentiles. I don’t quite see how the same logic doesn’t apply to Jewish food laws. Look in Colossians 2:16 – 23, where Paul says that these kind of rules seem like they should lead to godliness, but don’t actually.

  16. Nathan says:

    Heb 7:18
    “For on one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness.”
    Heb 8:13
    “In that he says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what has becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.”

    Bacon. Yum.

  17. Karen says:

    Jesus did NOT declare all meats clean, that statement was added to some versions of the bible but is non existant in the greek. I checked it myself. It is not there at all!
    “Meat” to in the bible is clean animals designated for food by God. Unclean animals are never called “meat” or “food”.
    Christians should obey God in every way, just as Christ did. If we submit ourselves to Him, He will enable us to be obedient.

    • Rob J Hyndman says:

      Here is Mark 7:19 in the Westcott-Hort Greek Text:

      οτι ουκ εισπορευεται αυτου εις την καρδιαν αλλ εις την κοιλιαν και εις τον αφεδρωνα εκπορευεται καθαριζων παντα τα βρωματα

      The last word βρωματα (bromata) means food, and is translated foods in Mark 7:18 ESV. I don’t know what Greek text you looked at, but there is not a single textual variant that omits βρωματα as far as I know.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Deut. 16:11 and 16:13 is a continuation of God giving the people of Israel rules to live and govern themselves by which include food in chapter 14, other laws in chapter 15 and in chapter 16, it’s the Holy Days.  Notice that in Deut. 16:13-14, he states, ” You are to keep the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your sons and your daughters and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns.”  Notice the word stranger which most definitely means a Gentile(non Jew).  When God gave His people His Law, it was not for Jews only but for Jew and Gentile.  Why would God who is about unity give people 2 different rules to live by?  Also Jesus stated in Matthew 5:17 that he didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill.  Truly i say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.  Furthermore, God doesn’t look at the unclean animals as food.  Any scripture that seemingly makes it okay to eat all meat is not referring to the unclean meats as God doesn’t consider those animals food. Acts 10 talks about Peter seeing the sheet with all the animals.  Yet look at Acts 10:28, “God showed me that i should not call any man common or unclean.”  Acts 10 is about Gentiles coming into salvation, it isnt about food.  One has to ask oneself why would Peter who has walked with Jesus for 3.5 years say “Not so I have never eaten anything common or unclean?”  If it was okay to eat Pork, why is Peter not eating it?  Why didn’t Jesus let him know it’s okay for you to eat pork during the 3.5 years he spent with his disciples?  Hmmm! Nevertheless, God prefers for us not to eat unclean animals.  However is food a salvation issue?  NO, of course not!  But is it preferred to live by God instituted dietary laws, you bet it is!

  19. James says:

    Romans 14:

    “Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

    Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

    Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.”

    I think some Christians get so caught up with the law that they forget about love. These are the finger pointers, who like to go around condemning others and dictating every rule and restriction of the religion as they ride along on their high horses of thorough scriptural knowledge. If they were really doing it out of love, as often claimed, they should have more consideration for the people being told and be concerned over how they’ll actually take the advice, instead of just throwing it out there and enforcing God’s law like police officers. Many don’t come to the faith or turn away from it because of an indignant defiance sparked by the constant conviction being rained on them by fire and brimstone type of Christians, and by the seemingly rigid lifestyle preached as the ideal standard of a holy existence. We’re not going to agree with each other on every biblical aspect so instead of bickering with fellow believers over doubtful things, we should focus on how to better reflect God’s love, not law. Guide, not assert. Lead by action, not by word. If we set good enough examples in love others will be drawn to us and actually want to follow us, and the values they may gain along the way will mean much more to them if they were realized by themselves or through God’s own guidance. Let’s worry about the planks before our own eyes first, and let God do the speck picking in others.

    • This is the best answer to date

      • Tina says:

        What God has said is an abomination , he does not change. He gave us health rules for a reason. Leviticus 11:7-47. It is sanctified by the word to those who know the TRUTH. 1TIMOTHY 4:3-5. ISAIAH 66:17 , they that sanctify THEMSELVES and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the mist, eating SWINE’S FLESH , and the ABOMINATION and the mouse , SHALL BE CONSUMED together, saith the Lord. ( That is at his coming).
        So how can something he made an abomination be eaten by his royal holy priesthood ( us ) cause we are Israel , if we believe and are walking with him we are Abraham’s seed and heirs along with the Jews that believe in the Savior. Ephesians 2:12 – 22

  20. believerofonegod says:

    I have not read anywhere in the bible the Jesus Christ said that you can eat the forbidden food mentioned in the scriptures. Instead he said that he was sent by his God the Father to fullfill the scriptures and not to give any new law. As per Jewish customs Christ never eat pork. Also , Christ said that what goes in through mouth comes out and it will not make any one unclean. This was said when Christ was found eating with the outcast, and the tax collectors. The people were considered to be unclean by the Jews. It was not said for eating the forbidden food. The forbidden food is there is in Islam and the law given to Moses and Prophet regarding the forbidden food is same. So how can Christ defy the God’s law. He was born to fullfill the scriptures and interprete the scriptures correctly, which were being misinterpreted by the hypocratic Jews. So Christian should not eat the forbidden food and drink alcohol. Pork was the food eaten by the Romans and Europeans who were pagans at that time. If you read the chapters of Macabees in bible old testament, you will find the Roman rulers desecreted the alter by slaughtering the pork and God was angry and made Macabees brothers rise to power and revolt against the Romans. 

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      I suggest you look again at Mark 7.  It seems to me that the context there is not “eating with the outcast, and the tax collectors”, but the Pharisees commenting about his disciples (ordinary Jews) eating without washing their hands in the prescribed ceremonial way.  Also, I suggest the reasoning Jesus makes applies to all foods, not just the foods that are clean.

      Two other comments:
      1. I don’t see the relevance to this site of Islam having the same law.
      2. Maccabees is not in the Old Testament of many (most?) Bibles.  While we would consider it a historical record, we would not consider it inspired.  In its discussion of the eating of pork it represents the opinions and practices of orthodox Jewry.  That doesn’t say anything about whether we should follow orthodox Jewry under the new dispensation of Christ.

    • This is a little off topic but Jesus also went against “the Law” when He forgave the woman caught in adultery. The Law given to Moses dictated that adulterer are to be stoned, period. So I don’t get that claim that God doesn’t change.

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