I know Jesus was a Jew. Jews are circumcised and don't eat pork. Was Jesus circumcised and did he eat pork?

If so, why are these two things not primary ingredients of Christianity? I thought, to be a good Christian you have to be like Jesus.

  • 2
    possible duplicate of To what extent does the Law of Moses still apply?
    – curiousdannii
    Sep 24, 2014 at 8:03
  • Paul covers both topics. For circumcision see Gal. 5. For eating unclean animals see 1 Cor. 10:23-31.
    – user3961
    Sep 24, 2014 at 16:09
  • Related: Do Christians believe that Jews must still follow the Mosaic law?
    – user13992
    Sep 27, 2014 at 3:40
  • As a vegan i am convinced Jesus and God are pure evil, Jesus apparently knows the future of the earth but doesn't have a problem with aprox 400 quadrillion fish to date being killed after his time (And that does not include animals) knowing full well about it and could have easily spoke against eating fish and meat. It is just the same as manslaughter and the guy had no problem with slavery and the wars religion has caused.
    – zeddex
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:29
  • Remember it was an angel that visited mary and not god direct so he was probably made by a fallen angel to begin with, but got wiped out the planet and various locations so either way he is the son of evil . The whole drinking wine and eating bread ritual is also satanic and represents blood drinking and eating dead things.
    – zeddex
    Oct 17, 2016 at 13:33

4 Answers 4


From Luke 2:21, we know that Jesus was circumcised, as it states there

At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was given the name Jesus...

But we also have Peter's teaching in Acts 10:28:

"You know yourselves that how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit any one of another nation, But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean".

As to whether Jesus ate pork, we have neither record, nor good reason to presume that he did, but we don't really know for certain.

We do however, have record of Peter's vision in Joppa (Acts 11:1-9) where, when Peter protested against the eating of unclean things that were on the sheet which was lowered from heaven, by stating that an unclean thing had never entered his mouth, that the voice from heaven rebuked Peter, saying "What God has cleansed you must not call common".

As to why circumcision and the refusal to eat pork in particular, and adherence to Jewish dietary laws in general are not "primary ingredients of Christianity," note that while it is true that the way to be a good Cristian is to be like Jesus, first note that in the teaching on salvation in Matthew 25 (vv 31 ff.), where the King is separating the sheep and the goats, the separation was on what they did for other people. What they ate or whether they still had a foreskin is not reported to have mattered much.

Furthermore, if these external characteristics were "primary ingredients of Christianity", and if to be a good Christian one had to be like Jesus, would it not necessarily follow that to be a good Christian one must become an itinerant, unemployed Jewish carpenter? Or a vertically challenged tax collector (Zacchaeus)? Or an unemployed fisherman (several of the apostles)?

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    If Jesus did eat pork the Peter probably would not have protested in Acts 11. Therefore, I think it is unlikely that He did. Sep 24, 2014 at 8:34
  • 1
    I agree that it is unlikely. However, we don't have the information that would allow us to say he didn't.
    – brasshat
    Sep 24, 2014 at 9:26
  • 2
    Since the sign of the new covenant was Jesus' own blood, it's safe to assume that the new covenant did not begin until he was killed. You'd be hard pressed to find any scripture where Jesus clearly teaches any Jew to break the Mosaic Law. He argued with the Pharisees because they had added many of their own rules on top of the law which Jesus did not follow, and he told them places where they were misinterpreting the Mosaic Law. But he never taught them to directly break the Law. Sep 24, 2014 at 12:34
  • 6
    @Wikis It appears that in a round about way, the Bible does tell us that Jesus did not. Jesus fulfilled the law he did not do away with the law. He could not have fulfilled the law until his life was over, until then he had to live up to every 'jot and tittle' of the law (Matthew 5:18) in order to fulfill it.
    – BYE
    Sep 24, 2014 at 12:36
  • (-1) "As to whether Jesus ate pork ... we don't really know for certain."
    – Andrew
    Sep 30, 2016 at 12:41

Yes, Jesus was indeed a Jew. More than that, Jesus was a truly righteous Jew. His parents did circumcise him (Luke 2:21) as all good Jewish parents do for their sons, and it is a reasonable assumption that Jesus never ate any unclean animal per the Law in Leviticus.

The majority of Christians, however, believe that these elements of the Law are no longer necessary based on a few portions of Paul's epistles.

Eating Unclean Animals (includes pork)

Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”

If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:25-31 (NIV)

The most common interpretation is that it is acceptable to eat any meat so long as the animal was not sacrificed to an idol.

There is also Jesus' own words to his disciples as recorded in Mark:

“Don’t you see that nothing that enters a person from the outside can defile them? 19 For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)
Mark 7:18-19 (NIV)

This is pretty clear that Jesus was noting that all animals are clean to eat.


Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
Galatians 5:2-6 (NIV)

The most common interpretation is that Paul was addressing the Galatians' demanding that all Christians keep the entire Law. Paul specifically chose circumcision as the sign of the Law and says plainly "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value." These verses are also commonly used to say that the Christian need not follow any of the Law.

There are other groups that believe differently.

As with most beliefs in Christianity, there is no complete unity on these issues. A common argument among Christians that avoid unclean animals (Seventh Day Adventists are most well known), is that it is clear in the Bible that the clean/unclean distinction predates Moses by a long while. Noah apparently knew the difference between clean and unclean animals (Genesis 7:2). I cannot speak about any Christian groups that demand circumcision because I do not know of any, but I would not be surprised if any exist.

  • cf. Mark 7:19 another reason why Christians may eat pork. You may wish to add. Currently your answer is the most correct. PS also since scribes and pharisees were always on the lookout to catch Jesus breaking the law, there is no record of them catching Jesus or the disciples eating an unclean animal.
    – user13992
    Sep 24, 2014 at 20:45
  • @FMS Good point. They bothered Jesus for "breaking" the Sabbath, so they likely would have bothered him for eating unclean animals if he had done that. Thanks for the verse. I've added it.
    – user3961
    Sep 24, 2014 at 21:24
  • 1
    Related: I've always felt weird about parenthetical notes in the scripture: Is there any reason to think that Mark 7:19 has a later addition?
    – user3961
    Sep 24, 2014 at 21:24
  • I would like you to add something to this answer that contrasts why Christ did these things, yet we are free not to do them. I think that is the heart of the question and a bit more focus on it would improve this answer.
    – Andrew
    Sep 30, 2016 at 12:44

Although the Bible does not address dietary restrictions directly in the New Testament; it does appear to indirectly. The reason for Jesus coming to Earth was to live a perfect life, and fulfill God's laws, since We are unable to do ourselves.

As a Jew and still under the law the dietary restrictions would have still applied to Jesus and in order to fulfill the law he would have been required to conform to them.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

The only way Jesus could do that is by obeying all of the laws of God for his entire lifetime, since disobedience of any one would be the same as disobeying all of them.

Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The law is still just as relative today as it was, before and during Jesus lifetime.

The difference is in the fact that God in his infinite wisdom, has accounted Jesus righteousness to us; who have accepted God's grace, just as:

Genesis 15:6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Salvation is only possible, because God counts belief in Jesus as the savior, the same as the physical action of keeping the law:

John 8:23 and 24 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

Hope this helps.


Was Jesus circumcised?

Yes! Please see Luke 2:21 and brasshat's answer.

[A]nd did he eat pork?

There is no record that he did and from the circumstantial evidence from scripture we can with certainty conclude that since he was an observant Jew, he didn't eat pork. Citing a few:

  1. The enemies of Jesus were always on the lookout to catch him, either breaking the law, or from what he said and did. There is no evidence of them accusing him of eating unclean animals.
  2. This wasn't one of charges against him when his enemies were seeking to put him to death.
  3. Jesus challenged his listeners to convict him of sin.
  4. In Acts 10 Peter protested, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” We can be certain if Jesus ate pork, Peter would have as well.

If so, why are these two things not primary ingredients of Christianity? I thought, to be a good Christian you have to be like Jesus.

Who is like Jesus? Whoever does the will of [his] Father in heaven.

Is it God's will that Christians be circumcised and not eat pork?


In Mark 7:19 Jesus declared all foods clean.

As regards circumcision, this was an issue in the early Church and resolved at Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 50 or 51).1

1. cf. Acts 15 and the section Council of Jerusalem (A.D. 50 or 51) in Judaizers | New Advent.

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