I have never read in the bible whether eating of unclean meat as described in the Old Testament where it is allowed to eat "unclean meat" or unclean meat is now clean meat.

Except for one vision from Peter where the vision orders him to "eat unclean meat" however, this is clearly not literal as the context is for Peter to preach unto the Gentiles:

Acts 10:

(17) While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. (18) They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

(22) The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” (23) Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests.

Other verses in the bible tells "all foods are clean" however we should take note that it says nothing about "all meats are clean", food is totally different word from meat.

Was the vision literal or not? If it's literal what is the biblical proof? Why are people lead into concluding that this vision is to be taken literally?


And what could be it's relation to Isaiah 66:17 which states:

Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together,” says the LORD. (NKJV)

Which by deduction swine flesh as described in this verse refers to unclean meat, and the verse says, those who eat these Shall be consumed together which by deduction again means, AFAIK, refers to the end of the world. So in other words, those who consume unclean meat shall perish together in the end of the world, which basically puts the interpretation of Acts 10:17-118, 22-23 in question:

"It's okay to eat unclean meat as interpreted in the vision but doing so will cause you perish in the end" -- a questionable argument.

So I have two concrete questions here:

  1. Was the vision literal or not? If it's literal what is the biblical proof? Why are people lead into concluding that this vision is to be taken literally?
  2. Why are people lead into concluding that this vision is to be taken literally and eating unclean meat is okay as it is already clean when there is verse in Isaiah 66:17 which conflicts with the interpretation?

Answers in the views of [protestantism] would be appreciated.


2 Answers 2


The vision was understood by Peter in a specified way as listed in Acts 10:27-29

As Peter talked with him, he went inside and found many people gathered together. He said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with a foreigner or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was invited, I came without objection. I ask, then, why have you sent for me?”

And again in Acts 10:34, 35

Then Peter began to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism, but welcomes those from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.

Thus, the vision of the sheet was used by God to explain a very important lesson to Peter as observed by Ellicott in his comments on Acts 10:13

in like manner, hungering and thirsting after a wider fellowship which should embrace "all manner" of the races that make up mankind, while, on the other hand, he was as yet waiting to be taught that the distinction between Jew and Gentile was done away in Christ.


The Law of Moses can be understood as forming the Moral Law and the Ceremonial Law. Both aspects of the Law died when we came to faith in Christ.

The Moral Law died in its condemning power, because those who are in union with Christ by faith died with him, and the law no longer has any power over a person who is already dead. So, though the Moral Law guides us in what pleases God, it can no longer condemn the believer in Christ.

The Ceremonial Law also died, Christ being the fulfillment of all its types and shadows. So in Acts 15:8-11 it says:

"God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.

In talking of the yolk which neither we nor our fathers were able to bear he is talking of the ceremonial law.

And Paul is talking of the same ceremonial law, including circumcision, when he writes of "the weak and beggarly elements" in Galatians 4:9. He also speaks of the ceremonial law when he writes of the "handwriting of ordinances":

13 "And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, 19 And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, 21 (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body: not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2:13-23)

Jesus also declared all foods clean in Mark 7:19 which admittedly is not well translated in the King James Version. The whole chapter down to verse 23 is almost fully dedicated to declaring that all foods are clean in the New Covenant:

"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 7:19)

The remaining passages speak of food being clean in itself, but a Christian needs to remember that not all Christians understand this, their consciences have become used to seeing food offered to idols as unclean, or food containing blood as unclean, or animal meat which was not killed in the Old Testament manner as unclean. And therefore a Christian in private can eat such food if he sees it as clean, but not in the presence of a Christian who sees it as unclean. Christians must consider not only their own conscience but also the consciences of others:-

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. 15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. 18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. 19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. 20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. 22 Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. 23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:14-23)

1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Corinthians 8:1-13)

23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth. 25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: 29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: 33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 11 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 10:23-11:1)

The eating of pork was also part of the ceremonial law. I finish by asking you, "Did you receive the Spirit by believing what you heard or by not eating pork?" (Galatians 3:2)

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