Bible Question: Is
it a sin for a Christian to eat pig's meat?
Bible Answer: Many
different products are made from pig's meat: ham, bacon, sausage,
pork chops, pork ribs, and pork loin to name a few. Pork is eaten
by many people, but it is prohibited among those of the Islamic and
the Jewish faiths. There are other people who do not eat pig's meat
either, because they believe the Old Testament dietary laws are still
in effect today.
Testament Laws. There are several previous questions and answers that
we would encourage you to read before you continue. The first one is "What
Old Testament Laws Can We Ignore?" and the second one is "Could
Jesus, as a faithful Jew, eat turkey?" In the Old Testament, God had
told the Jewish people that they could not eat a variety of foods, including
pork. This is clear from the following passage in Leviticus.
LORD spoke again to Moses and to Aaron, saying to them, “Speak
to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘These are the creatures
which you may eat from all the animals that are on the earth.
Whatever divides a hoof, thus making split hoofs, and chews
the cud, among the animals, that you may eat. Nevertheless,
you are not to eat of these, among those which chew the cud,
or among those which divide the hoof: the camel, for though
it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof, it is unclean
to you. Likewise, the shaphan, for though it chews cud, it
does not divide the hoof, it is unclean to you; the rabbit
also, for though it chews cud, it does not divide the hoof,
it is unclean to you; and the pig, for though it divides
the hoof, thus making a split hoof, it does not chew cud,
it is unclean to you. (NASB) Lev. 11:1-8
Testament Laws. In the New Testament, God changed the rules
because they were no longer necessary. Jesus' birth, death, and return
to life changed everything. Major portions of the old Mosaic Law,
such as the sacrifices, were no
longer in effect. The dietary laws were changed, and God indicated
this to the Apostle Peter during a dream. The event is recorded in
the book of Acts.
. . Peter . . . fell into a trance; and he saw the sky opened
up, and an object like a great sheet coming down, lowered
by four corners to the ground, and there were in it all kinds
of four-footed animals and crawling creatures of the earth
and birds of the air. A voice came to him, “Get up,
Peter, kill and eat!” But Peter said, “By no
means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean.” Again
a voice came to him a second time, “What God has cleansed,
no longer consider unholy.” (NASB) Acts 10:9-15
message was clear. These foods were no longer to be considered unholy.
They were now clean. Not only were foods such as pig, shrimp, crab,
and other sea foods now clean, but Gentiles were clean too!
had sent Peter this vision about the foods to let him know that “What
God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” If God changes
the rules, then it is okay. The Jews had made many rules that violated
God's desires. One of the rules they had created said that Gentiles
were unclean. Later, in Acts 10, God also showed the Apostle Peter
that Gentiles were not unclean either. In fact, they never were.
Peter discovered two very amazing truths. Both Gentiles and all types
of foods were not unholy. Both were okay. God loves both Jews and
Gentiles and He enjoys giving us good things.