The question of what to eat and what not to eat springs up in many debates centered on religion. Of particular interest is the Christian view to diet as outlined in the Bible. The Old Testament had a lot of regulations concerning food, some of which the New Testament attempted to address during and after the time of Jesus.
In this article, we shall look at the Christian (and catholic) standpoint in as far as eating pork is concerned. Read on to learn more on what the Bible says about eating pork.
What You'll Learn Today
Pig Products And The Bible
In the books of Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, all of which are in the Old Testament, you can find a collection of rules and regulations that God gave to the Israelites.
The main aim He was particular about the Israelites is that they were His chosen people as recorded in Deuteronomy 14:2.
A little down the chapter in Deuteronomy 14:8, God through Moses gives the following direction:
“The pig is also unclean; although it has a divided hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.” (NIV)
Contextually, this verse of scripture is taken from the farewell speech from Moses to his people. Therefore, the argument is that it was directed to a specific people and a particular point in time. Inasmuch as Christians are the new chosen people of God, some of the rules of old are not applicable to Christian living.
In Isaiah 65:4, the Bible says the following:
“…who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of impure meat;” (NIV)
From the surface, this shows that because pigs are unclean animals, those who eat them will also become unclean.
In Isaiah 66:17, the LORD warns of destruction to those who eat pigs and mice.
“Those who consecrate and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one who is among those who eat the flesh of pigs, rats and other unclean things—they will meet their end together with the one they follow,” declares the Lord.” (NIV)
The New Testament View Of Pork
In the book of Mark 7:15, Jesus was categorical in His teachings and said the following:
“Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them.” (NIV)
This is an express declaration by Jesus that all foods are clean.
In Acts of Apostles Chapter 10, God prepared Peter in readiness to spread the Gospel among the gentiles. In his vision, Peter was presented with a sheet full of unclean animals and he was told to kill and eat. When Peter was hesitant, verse 15 records that:
“The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” (NIV)
This was another confirmation that the rules given in the Old Testament pointed to a specific people at a specific time to differentiate them from the rest of the people living on the land.
In 1 Corinthians 10:25, Paul instructs the church at Corinth to eat whatever is sold in the meat market.
“Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience,” (NIV)
Pigs being some of the delicacies sold in the meat market came under the blanket approval by Paul.
The True Christianity
In 1 Corinthians 8:9, Paul explains a very important guideline when it comes to foodstuffs and the freedom to eat. He cautions Christians to be mindful of others lest their actions cause them to stumble.
Simply because you have the freedom to eat pork doesn’t mean that you involve everyone even to those that are not comfortable. It is a foolish thing to do since you can potentially cause others to struggle in their faith or even drop off from Christianity.
Looking for more biblical symbols? Here is our guide to the number eight in the Bible.