what does the bible say about what animals not to eat

Biblical Dietary Laws: Understanding Which Animals You Shouldn’t Eat According to the Bible

Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about which animals we should or shouldn’t eat? As a youth pastor who loves my community, I understand the importance of understanding biblical perspectives on dietary laws. In this article, we’ll explore the introduction to biblical dietary laws, the Old Testament’s list of unclean animals, the New Testament’s perspective on dietary restrictions, how Christians interpret these passages today, and ultimately, the conclusion that personal choice and spiritual discernment are key. So, whether you’re a lifelong Christian or just curious about what the Bible has to say, read on for an insightful and informative overview.

An Introduction to Biblical Dietary Laws

what does the bible say about what animals not to eat

As a youth pastor, I understand the importance of teaching about Christianity in a loving and caring way. One topic that often comes up is biblical dietary laws – what does the Bible say about what animals not to eat?

In Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14, God lays out specific guidelines for which animals are considered clean or unclean for consumption. Some examples of unclean animals include pigs, shellfish, and certain birds.

But why did God give these dietary laws? Some scholars believe that it was to set apart the Israelites as a holy people with distinct practices from their surrounding cultures. Others argue that there may have been health reasons behind these restrictions.

Regardless of the reasoning behind them, it’s important to remember that these dietary laws were given in an Old Testament context under Jewish law. As Christians living under grace through Jesus Christ, we are no longer bound by these food restrictions (Mark 7:19).

However, this doesn’t mean we should completely disregard them either. The principles behind biblical dietary laws can still be applied today – such as being mindful of our health and avoiding excessive consumption of certain foods.

Ultimately, it’s important to approach this topic with love and understanding towards those who may have different beliefs or practices when it comes to food choices. Let us focus on our common faith in Jesus Christ rather than getting caught up on minor differences in practice or interpretation.

The Old Testament’s list of unclean animals

As a youth pastor who cares deeply about your spiritual growth and understanding of Christianity, I want to take a moment to discuss the Old Testament’s list of unclean animals.

In Leviticus 11, God provides guidance on what animals should not be eaten. This list includes animals such as pigs, shellfish, and certain birds of prey. It is important to note that this was specific guidance for the Israelites at that time in history and does not necessarily apply to Christians today.

However, it is still valuable for us as believers to understand why these guidelines were given. One reason may have been for health purposes – some of these unclean animals carry diseases or parasites that can harm humans if consumed. Another reason may have been symbolic – avoiding certain foods was a way for the Israelites to demonstrate their separation from other cultures and their commitment to following God’s laws.

As Christians living in modern times with access to advanced knowledge about health and nutrition, we are free from strict dietary restrictions like those outlined in Leviticus 11. However, we should still strive towards healthy choices based on our knowledge of what will benefit our bodies physically and mentally.

Furthermore, we can also reflect on how avoiding certain foods symbolically represents our commitment as followers of Christ – separating ourselves from worldly temptations while remaining steadfast in pursuing righteousness.

In conclusion my dear reader , while the Old Testament’s list might seem archaic or irrelevant at first glance , it holds lessons applicable even today . As long as one remains committed towards personal growth both spiritually & physically , old testament guides might serve well even now .

The New Testament’s perspective on dietary restrictions

As a youth pastor who loves his community, I am often asked about the New Testament’s perspective on dietary restrictions. While there are some references to food in the New Testament, it is important to note that Christianity does not have strict dietary laws like Judaism or Islam.

One of the most notable passages related to food in the New Testament is found in Acts 10:9-16. In this passage, Peter has a vision where he sees all kinds of animals and hears a voice telling him to “kill and eat.” This vision was meant to show Peter that God accepts people from all nations, regardless of their diet. The message here is clear – what you eat doesn’t matter as much as your faith in God.

Another passage worth mentioning is found in 1 Corinthians 8:8-13. Here Paul talks about eating meat sacrificed to idols. He says that while it may be permissible for Christians to eat such meat because idols are nothing and have no power over them, they should be careful not to cause others with weaker faith (who still believe these things have power) stumble by their actions.

Overall, while there are certainly guidelines for healthy living within Christianity (such as avoiding gluttony), there aren’t any specific foods or categories of food that Christians must avoid altogether. Instead, focus on using wisdom when making choices about what you put into your body – both physically and spiritually speaking!

How do Christians interpret these passages today?

As a youth pastor, I am often asked about what the Bible says about what animals not to eat. While this topic may seem trivial to some, it is actually an important aspect of Christian faith and practice.

The Old Testament contains several passages that outline dietary restrictions for God’s people. Leviticus 11:1-47 provides a list of clean and unclean animals, while Deuteronomy 14:3-21 repeats this list with some slight variations.

Many Christians believe that these dietary laws no longer apply in the New Testament era. In Mark 7:19, Jesus declares all foods clean when speaking on ceremonial cleanliness compared to moral cleanliness which pertains more closely relating one’s heart toward God than outward appearances like washing hands before eating.

However, others argue that these laws still hold relevance for Christians today as they reflect God’s desire for his people to live holy lives and avoid practices that are harmful or unclean. They also point out how other scriptures such as Psalm 104 teach us we should be mindful stewards over creation by taking care of nature around us including avoiding certain types of food if it helps protect ecosystems from being disrupted too much .

Ultimately though each individual Christian must discern their own convictions through prayerful study upon reading scripture rather than merely following legalistic rules blindly without understanding why something was given so simply because someone told them so without questioning deeper motivations behind commandments originally given long ago centuries prior during ancient times before modern science existed which could have provided additional insights into reasons behind guidelines presented back then!

Conclusion: Personal choice and spiritual discernment

In conclusion, personal choice and spiritual discernment are key components when it comes to interpreting what the Bible says about what animals not to eat. As a Christian, it is important to remember that our relationship with God is unique and personal. This means that we must approach our faith with an open heart and mind, seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit as we navigate through life’s challenges.

The Bible does provide guidance on which animals are considered unclean or unfit for consumption. However, this should not be interpreted as a strict set of rules that must be followed without question. Instead, Christians are called upon to exercise their own judgment in determining what foods they choose to consume.

It is also important for us as Christians to understand that dietary restrictions should never become a source of contention or division within our communities. We must respect each other’s choices and refrain from judging others based on their dietary preferences.

As youth pastors who love our communities deeply, it is vital for us to teach these concepts in a loving and caring way so that young people can develop healthy relationships with both God and others around them. Let us continue spreading love instead of hate while living out the teachings of Christ in all aspects of life including food choices!


Understanding the biblical passages on dietary restrictions is an important part of understanding the foundations of Christianity. Whether or not you decide to adhere to these restrictions in your personal life depends on what spiritual discernment and reflection tell you, and it’s a question we are all called to explore for ourselves. We hope this article has helped provide some clarity around this subject, so that further investigation can be done with confidence – if there’s anything else our church community can do help navigate it, don’t hesitate to reach out!