Why Jews Do Not Eat Pork and Why Christians Do?

By Mei Manuel, March 13, 2017 03:03 AM



Some religions often have restrictions when it comes to food. Both Jews and Muslims, for instance, do not eat pork. But, what about Christians? Why do they still eat pork if others are against it?

The first mention of banning 'unclean' pig meat can be read in Leviticus 11:7 - 'And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you' - and Deuteronomy 14: 'The pig is also unclean; although it has a split hoof, it does not chew the cud. You are not to eat their meat or touch their carcasses.'

According to studies and early beliefs, early Christians did not eat pork during these times and it was only later did they start consuming pork. This was primarily seen in the Bible and the turning point is not seen in the New Testament.

The key moment is outlined in Acts 15, which describes the Council at Jerusalem where the Judaic Christians and Gentile Christians debated about various customs. In this meeting, the Judaic Christians said to the Gentile Christians to obey Mosaic customs such as circumcision and no-meat diet, which was not followed by the latter.

A delegation - led by the apostle Paul and his friend Barnabas - was appointed to confer with the elders of the church in Jerusalem. One may say that this is the time where the Church started modernizing itself as this determined the current traditions seen today.

In the end of the meeting, a compromise was met by both Christian groups as seen in a letter sent to the Gentiles: 'You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality.'

In fact, some argue that Jesus had already pointed the way, saying: 'Nothing outside a person can defile them by going into them. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles them' (Mark 7:15).

This may have been what led Paul to say: 'I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself...' (Romans 14:14-15).

However the argument developed, and the decision reached at the Council of Jerusalem is the start of how Christianity became encompassing and allowed disciples to become Christians without having to adhere to external observances.


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