What Does the New Testament Say About Eating Pork (KJV)?
The topic of dietary restrictions has been a matter of interest for many believers, especially when it comes to the consumption of pork. In the New Testament, there are several references to dietary laws and the idea of clean and unclean foods. Let’s take a closer look at what the New Testament, specifically the King James Version (KJV), says about eating pork.
1. Acts 10:9-15
One of the pivotal moments in the New Testament regarding dietary restrictions is found in the account of Peter’s vision in Acts 10. In this vision, Peter sees a sheet descending from heaven with various animals, including unclean animals according to Jewish dietary laws. A voice tells him to kill and eat, but Peter refuses, proclaiming that he has never eaten anything unclean. The voice responds, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” This vision is often interpreted as a declaration that all foods are now clean, including pork.
2. Romans 14:14
In Romans 14, the apostle Paul addresses the issue of dietary restrictions in the context of personal convictions. He states, “I know, and am persuaded 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.” This verse suggests that if someone believes eating pork is unclean, then it is unclean for them. However, it does not declare it universally unclean.
3. 1 Corinthians 8:8
Similar to Romans 14, Paul discusses the issue of food offered to idols in 1 Corinthians 8. He argues that an idol is nothing, and there is no harm in eating food offered to idols. He states, “But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” This verse implies that eating certain types of food, including pork, does not affect one’s relationship with God.
4. Mark 7:14-23
In Mark 7, Jesus addresses the Pharisees’ concern about His disciples eating without washing their hands. He explains that it is not what enters a person from the outside that defiles them but what comes from within, such as evil thoughts and actions. Jesus declares all foods clean, shifting the focus from external rituals to matters of the heart.
5. 1 Timothy 4:1-5
In 1 Timothy 4, Paul warns against false teachings that promote abstaining from certain foods. He writes, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving.” This verse reinforces the idea that all foods are permissible, as long as they are received with gratitude to God.
6. Colossians 2:16-17
Paul addresses the issue of dietary restrictions in Colossians 2, emphasizing that believers should not be judged what they eat or drink. He writes, “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” This passage suggests that dietary laws should not be used as a basis for judging or dividing believers.
7. Matthew 15:11
In Matthew 15, Jesus responds to the Pharisees’ criticism of His disciples not following the tradition of handwashing before eating. He states, “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” This verse further reinforces the idea that what one eats does not affect their spiritual purity.
1. Does the New Testament explicitly state that eating pork is permissible?
While the New Testament does not explicitly state that eating pork is permissible, it provides various verses that imply all foods are now clean, including pork.
2. Are Christians obligated to follow Jewish dietary laws?
No, Christians are not obligated to follow Jewish dietary laws. The New Testament presents a shift away from such restrictions, emphasizing matters of the heart rather than external rituals.
3. Is it a sin for Christians to eat pork?
No, it is not a sin for Christians to eat pork. The New Testament teaches that all foods are permissible and that dietary restrictions do not affect one’s relationship with God.
4. Why were dietary restrictions given in the Old Testament?
Dietary restrictions were given in the Old Testament as part of the Mosaic Law to distinguish the Israelites from other nations and promote holiness and purity.
5. Can Christians choose to abstain from eating pork for personal reasons?
Yes, Christians can choose to abstain from eating pork for personal reasons. The New Testament allows for personal convictions regarding food, as long as it does not become a basis for judging others.
6. Should Christians be concerned about food hygiene and cleanliness?
Yes, Christians should be concerned about food hygiene and cleanliness. While the New Testament declares all foods clean, it does not dismiss the importance of practicing good hygiene and ensuring food safety.
7. How should Christians approach dietary restrictions in a multicultural context?
Christians should approach dietary restrictions in a multicultural context with respect and sensitivity. They should strive to understand and accommodate the beliefs and practices of others while upholding their own convictions.