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How is ignoring clear Biblical instructions in Leviticus justified?

I am a non-Christian, however I have wondered why Christians are not restricted by the Jewish dietary laws as seen in Leviticus -

Leviticus 11:7-8 NIV

And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

I have seen many Christians eating pork even though the above lines are specified in their religious book. Why are Christians not bound by this rule that is clearly stated in the Bible?

  • Good to see you on this SE, Ashu
    – user1054
    Jul 27, 2012 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


This question is similar to many questions that find a command in the Old Testament and ask if it should apply to Christians today.

It is important to note that the Old Testament refers to the Old Covenant. God has made several different covenants with different people at different times. The covenant which is of note here is the one He made with Abraham, the father of the Jewish people.

In this covenant, God committed Himself to blessing Israel in very significant ways--He would bless their land with rain and crops; He would protect them from their enemies; He would reveal Himself to them; and He would send the Messiah to them.

This wasn't a one-sided covenant, though. Israel was obliged to follow not a few rules and regulations, of which not eating pork was one of them. Also, Israel was to proclaim God and His ways to the entire world.

This covenant was in effect until the coming of the Messiah (Jesus). The Old Testament even speaks of a time when God would give a new covenant. Since Jesus rose from the dead, we are now in this new covenant.

So, if you or I were Jewish people living between 2000 B.C. and 33 A.D., then this command would most definitely apply to us. Since we are not Jewish and do not live in that time period, those rules do not apply to us.


The following verse is usually brought up as a reason that Christians are allowed to eat most things. It is part of the New Testament or as I call it sometimes, "the new deal".

Matthew 15:11 NIV

It is not that which goes into the mouth which defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.

And here:

1 Corinthians 10:25–28 NIV

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. 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.

And from Paul here:

Romans 14:14 NIV

I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.

Finally, the Bible specifically states that you should NOT refrain:

1 Timothy 4:1–3 NIV

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.

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