By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:


Does God require us to follow the Old Testament laws about not eating pork and other kinds of meat today?


The dietary laws for Israel recorded in Leviticus, chapter 11, which include, for example, a prohibition against eating pork, were given for specific religious and, perhaps, health reasons.

The New Testament, however, makes it clear that observation of these Old Testament food laws for religious reasons is no longer required in the New Testament era. Jesus Himself declared that all foods were “clean” (Mark 7:17-23).

In Acts 10:9-16, Peter was informed by God through a vision that he was not to reject the use of certain animals for food on a religious basis. The apostle Paul also writes, “For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4).

The Bible makes it clear that “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

There is no saving grace in either eating or not eating certain foods. We are saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; see Ephesians 2:8-10. This, of course, does not mean that all animals we use for food are of equal value when it comes to our health.

Many people feel they can win God’s favor and have eternal life by following the dietary laws of the Old Testament. But this is a misunderstanding. You cannot save yourself—but Christ can, and He will as you commit your life to Him by faith.

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  1. suzy says:

    that’s amazing, thank you 🙂

  2. Myka'el Azariyah Ysrael says:

    Read Isaiah chapter 66:14-17. It specifically tells what will happen to those who eat the unclean meats (according to Leviticus 11) when Christ returns.

    1. John says:

      The old covenant was done away with when Jesus was crucified. So the old testament covenant no longer applies to Christians.

  3. holly says:

    This was very helpful because I have been wanting an answer about this question from a reliable and trusted source. Everyone has a different interpretation about this matter. Thank you.

  4. Kathie says:

    Thanks for clarifying!

  5. Tammy Burns says:

    May God bless you with favor and grace. Thanks so much.

  6. Tom Beedle says:

    4 possible purposes of God’s law?
    1. To prove we can’t keep it and that we need a Savior. Rom. 3:19,20
    2. For God’s people to be healthy. Ex. 15:26; Prov. 4::20-22
    3. To prosper. Psalm 1:2-3; 128:1-6
    4. For things to go well, longer life? Deut.5:16; Ephesians 6:1-3
    These come to mind; there may be more!

  7. Owen says:

    In Mark the vision about the animals was a vision about the people he was about to meet who he thought was not worthy in the eyes of God.
    In Timothy it talks about the food that God has declared devine that you can eat. Everything he made was good but not everything was made devine to be consumed. So in Mark 7, Jesus is talking about foods that are devine and that if you dnt wash your hands before you eat them, that doesn’t make you unclean.
    So what I understand is that foods that aren’t meant to be eaten can still defile you and what is in your heart can defile you.

  8. Levertis Steele says:

    There is no saving grace in eating or not eating meat. So true! However, there is saving grace in obedience. “Faith w/o works is dead.” Circumcision for example, was not anything, but obedience was. Still, obedience is not anything without faith. ” We are saved by grace through the Lord Jesus.” Amen!

  9. Levertis Steele says:

    Does God require us to follow the old testament laws of honoring our patents, not stealing, not killing, not committing adultery, etc.? Certainly! Does He expect us to follow OT laws of animal sacrifice? No. He was the sufficient sacrifice.

    1. Myka'el Azariyah Ysrael says:

      Yes, Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

  10. sue says: