What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats?

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Table of Contents

Clean and Unclean Meats: Does God's Word Draw a Distinction?

Many people have misconceptions about the biblical teaching on clean and unclean meats. What does Scripture really reveal on this subject?

How Should We Understand Scripture?

God expects us to learn to properly understand and apply His Word.

Understanding 'Unclean' in Romans 14

Paul's point is that the possible association of a particular food with idolatrous activity had no bearing on whether the food was suitable for eating.

Does the New Testament Abolish Meat Distinctions?

Some people believe that certain New Testament scriptures remove all distinctions between clean and unclean meats. But what do these passages really say?

Not Only a Matter of Diet

From cover to cover, from Genesis to Revelation, nowhere in the Bible do we find an example of a servant of God or follower of Jesus Christ eating the flesh of an unclean animal.

[Infographic]: Which Animals Does the Bible Designate as 'Clean' and 'Unclean'?

God reveals which animals - including fish and birds - are suitable and unsuitable for human consumption in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14. Although the lists aren't exhaustive, He reveals guidelines for recognizing animals that are acceptable for food.

A Matter of Health?

Do science and medicine help us better understand why the Bible designates some animals as unfit for human consumption?

A Matter of Proper Cooking?

What about the common view that God forbade the Israelites from eating pork so they wouldn't catch diseases, such as trichinosis, from undercooked meat? Does this view hold up under scrutiny?

A Telling Event From Jesus Christ's Ministry

Many people assume that Jesus Christ abolished the distinctions between clean and unclean meats, even though, as we have seen, no evidence for this exists in the Scriptures.

[Infographic]: A Biblical Guide to Clean Vs. Unclean Meats

Use this chart to determine what animals are clean (good to eat) or unclean (not food) based on the biblical food laws recorded in the book of Leviticus.