The Highway

Old Testament Dietary Laws

Posted By: Tom

Old Testament Dietary Laws - Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:36 AM

I have a question related to Peter's vision in Acts 10. The vision seems to repeal the dietary laws in order to bring the Gospel to Cornelius and by extension the Gentiles. There are some that say that the Kosher dietary laws are something all of us should learn from and follow. Yet, can we really take that as something we can learn in order to stay healthy?
I need to admit before this, the only ones I heard say anything like that, were Seventh Day Adventists; who told me that the dietary laws are not part of what was really amended and it is a mistake to believe they were.

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Old Testament Dietary Laws - Wed Jan 08, 2020 12:23 PM

1 Corinthians 10:23 (ASV) 23 All things are lawful; but not all things are expedient. All things are lawful; but not all things edify.

Romans 14:2 (ASV) 2 One man hath faith to eat all things: but he that is weak eateth herbs. (see the remainder of the chapter on the use of Christian Liberty).

Both of these texts are specifically written to address questions regarding food and drink and how Christians should conduct themselves, not only as to what is allowed to be eaten/drank but more so the differences to individual (rightful) scruples and how to treat each other who hold different scruples. These two passages are clearer vs. the vision in Acts 10, although it seems to me that it is clear enough to conclude that dietary laws from the OT are no longer binding. One's own conscience will determine one's diet, from either the standpoint of correct biblical teaching; the strong in the faith or from a place of misguided or misunderstood biblical teaching; the weak in the faith.

1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJV) 12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Romans 14:14 (KJV) 14 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.

See here:
"The Weak and the Strong" - Prof. John Murray
"Liberty of Conscience" - Donald MacLeod
Posted By: Tom

Re: Old Testament Dietary Laws - Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:39 PM

Thank you, that was helpful.
As I was thinking about the matter, it occurred to me that I see no passage of Scripture telling Gentile believers to follow Jewish dietary laws.
I do however, understand that the Jews were forbidden to eat things like pork because those kind of animals and birds were scavengers; which can carry diseases.
Do you have any thoughts on those particular aspects?

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Old Testament Dietary Laws - Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:47 PM

nope I don't recall the "why" of the dietary laws. There may be something in Scripture that reveals that, but again, I can't recall any. What I do know is that Scripture doesn't forbid any type of food for Christians if consumed in moderation. Personal matters, e.g. allergies, etc. do restrict some from eating particular foods, but that isn't a matter of scruples which is what Paul addressed in 1Cor and Romans. Make careful note that the "weaker brother" has scruples based upon a misunderstanding of the Scriptures in regard to "liberty" in Christ. Those who have scruples based upon other matters are not included, e.g., it is wrong to eat anything that is not "organically grown", etc. etc. So, the "stronger brother" who rejoices in that liberty will refrain from eating or drinking of certain items when a weaker brother is in his midst so as to not offend him or worse yet to convince that brother to eat something to which he believes is biblically forbidden. This does NOT mean that the stronger brother should not take opportunities to open the Bible and show that "all things (food and drink) are good and given by God to be enjoyed. And lastly, the Church should NEVER take the position of a weaker brother, which would be a regression to bondage. grin
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