Introduction Should a Christian eat only kosher/clean foods as taught in the Old Testament? Or, can Christians eat anything placed before them?
A. Peter’s Vision
Whatever is the interpretation of Peter’s vision, one must be careful. If one says that Peter’s vision cannot be taken literally, than what about John’s visions in the Revelations? If one says visions cannot be taken literally than how is one to interpret Revelations? Was Jesus deceiving Peter when He told him to ‘kill and eat’?
“And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:  Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.  And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.  But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.  And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.  This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.  Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate,  And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there.  While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee.  Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.”Acts 10:11-20
"And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days." Acts 10:48
“I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:  Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.  And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat.  But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth.  But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.  And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven.”Acts 11:5-10
Gentiles are not cleansed to become uncommon.
Those in Jerusalem are concerned about Gentiles and foods! Gentiles eat foods that aren’t clean. Peter ate foods that were most likely unclean! Jesus gave him a vision preparing him to eat all foods offered by Gentiles. Jesus had shown him to eat all foods, because all foods are now ‘clean’.
“Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.”Acts 11:3
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them." Galatians 3:10
"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:24-25
"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law." Galatians 5:18 B. Paul’s Revelation on Food
“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;  Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:  For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”1 Timothy 4:2-5
“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.  Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.  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.  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.  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat (1033), now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.  Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.  For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.  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.  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth.  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”Romans 14:1-23
‘Meat’, #1033, never means ‘food articles allowed by Jewish Law’.
“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.”Romans 14:14
C. Paul Corrects Peter
Paul’s point is not to be double minded.
“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?”Galatians 2:11-14
D. Buy and eat with the only concern being of offending a weaker brother or sister.
“Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”1 Corinthians 10:25-32
E. The Dietary Law of the Old Covenant
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. 3 Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing. 4 These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat, 5 The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg, and the wild ox, and the chamois. 6 And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat. 7 Nevertheless these ye shall not eat of them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the cloven hoof; as the camel, and the hare, and the coney: for they chew the cud, but divide not the hoof; therefore they are unclean unto you. 8 And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase. 9 These ye shall eat of all that are in the waters: all that have fins and scales shall ye eat: 10 And whatsoever hath not fins and scales ye may not eat; it is unclean unto you. 11 Of all clean birds ye shall eat. 12 But these are they of which ye shall not eat: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray, 13 And the glede, and the kite, and the vulture after his kind, 14 And every raven after his kind, 15 And the owl, and the night hawk, and the cuckow, and the hawk after his kind, 16 The little owl, and the great owl, and the swan, 17 And the pelican, and the gier eagle, and the cormorant, 18 And the stork, and the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat. 19 And every creeping thing that flieth is unclean unto you: they shall not be eaten. 20 But of all clean fowls ye may eat. 21 Ye shall not eat of any thing that dieth of itself: thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayest sell it unto an alien: for thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.”Deuteronomy 14:2-21
“Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on themuntil the time of reformation.”Hebrews 9:10
“Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.” Hebrews 13:9
F. More Old Covenant Verses
“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”1 Peter 1:15-16
“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”Leviticus 11:44
“Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh in all thy gates, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the roebuck, and as of the hart.” Deuteronomy 12:15
“If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 22 Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.”Deuteronomy 12:21-22
“And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; 19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?”Mark 7:18-19
“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,”Deuteronomy 14:26
“Thou shalt eat it within thy gates: the unclean and the clean person shall eat it alike, as the roebuck, and as the hart.”Deuteronomy 15:22
2 Corinthians 6:17
‘Touch’ means ‘touch’ it does not mean ‘eat’.
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch (680) not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”2 Corinthians 6:16-17
“Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you.”Leviticus 11:8
“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.”Isaiah 52:11
Jehovah is preparing to return the Israelites back to Zion (v:8). They are not to touch anything unclean – like a body, certain foods (Leviticus 11), etc. These Israelites are under the Law of Moses. The Israelites today to be clean must be under the Law of Christ.
In Leviticus 11, ‘touching’ is used of connecting with an ‘unclean’ animal. Touching a dead person or touching a dead ‘unclean’ animal makes the live person unclean, if a person is under the Law of Moses.
Did Jesus sin when He touched a dead body? Was she dead or sleeping?
“And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. 40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. 41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. 42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.”Mark 5:39-42
She was dead!
“And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. 53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. 54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. 55 And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.”Luke 8:52-55
God’s people sleep.
“And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep."Acts 7:60
Paul touched a dead body.
“And there sat in a window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead. 10 And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him.” Acts 20:9-10
Elisha touched a dead body.
“And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead, and laid upon his bed. 33 He went in therefore, and shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. 34 And he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the flesh of the child waxed warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”2 Kings 4:32-35
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: 2 But for his kin, that is near unto him, that is, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother,” Leviticus 21:1-2
“Neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother;” Leviticus 21:11
“He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days. 12 He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean. 13 Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him. 14 This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.”Numbers 19:11-14
“Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.”Haggai 2:13
What does 2 Corinthians 6:17 mean? Jesus and Paul touched an unclean thing in the natural, a dead body. Does the verse mean one should not touch unclean things in the spiritual? Like witchcraft, astrology, numerology, etc.
“Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:”1 Corinthians 10:25
‘Shambles’ never refers to a Jewish meat market. The context is meat having been offered to idols. Would a kosher meat market have meats having been offered to idols? NO. ‘Shambles’ would have pork. Eat it in faith knowing that God is not calling it ‘unclean’.
“If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”1 Corinthians 10:27-33
An Unclean Person
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean (169) person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.”Ephesians 5:5
What is an ‘unclean person’ under the New Covenant? Under the New Covenant an unclean person is anyone who is spiritually unclean. Generally akathartos is used to describe an unclean spirit (demon). Has a demon become unclean by eating the wrong foods? NO. A demon is spiritually unclean. A person becomes clean by receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, by water baptism in the name of Jesus for the washing away of sin, and fire baptism. All three parts are required for a person to be clean.
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable (948), and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”Revelation 21:8
Who is ‘abominable’? I do not know.
G948βδελύσσωbdelussōTotal KJV Occurrences: 2
1) to render foul, to cause to be abhorred
3) to turn one’s self away from on account of the stench
4) metaphorically to abhor, detest
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from a (presumed) derivative of bdeo (to stink)
Citing in TDNT: 1:598,*
The following verses of defilement seem to refer to worshipping God the wrong way.
“I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. 2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; 3 A people that provoketh me to anger continually to my face; that sacrificeth in gardens, and burneth incense upon altars of brick; 4 Which remain among the graves, and lodge in the monuments, which eat swine's flesh, and broth of abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. 6 Behold, it is written before me: I will not keep silence, but will recompense, even recompense into their bosom, 7 Your iniquities, and the iniquities of your fathers together, saith the LORD, which have burned incense upon the mountains, and blasphemed me upon the hills: therefore will I measure their former work into their bosom.”Isaiah 65:1-7
More verses of defilement by those who try to sanctify and purify themselves eating swine’s flesh, etc. A Christian knows a person is not sanctified and purified by eating swine’s flesh. These were acts of the Romans.
“For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. 17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD. 18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.”Isaiah 66:15-18
Conclusion A Christian cannot eat anything that has been offered to idols, if the eating will offend a weaker brother or sister. A Christian cannot eat blood. A Christian can eat everything else.