So, you might know there are foods Christians are allowed to eat and foods that are not to be touched by them. This actually used to be a law in the Old Testament that prevented Christians from eating unclean foods. The whole concept is known as “kosher.”
Some Christians have abided by this law, while some haven’t. However, things have changed quite a lot since the New Testament, and Christians are longer keeping kosher. Are you aware of precisely what kosher means? We’ll take you through the entire concept, its origin, and why Christians were ordered to keep it if you don’t know its reason.
What Does Kosher Mean?
The term “kosher” originated from the Jews and has since been used in the Jewish community to determine which foods are proper or clean to eat. It segregates clean food from unclean, where the latter is not allowed to be consumed. If a food is considered unfit or dirty to eat, it’s not be touched, smelled, or eaten as per the Jewish law.
However, two different types of koshers exist: traditional and biblical. Let’s discuss traditional kosher first: The concept of traditional (rabbinic) kosher is much more complicated than Biblical kosher. It has strict rules and laws with many levels, which are only evolving more in the coming years. The rabbinic rules and regulations required to keep kosher are called kashrut. Kashrut determines what one person will eat and how it will be prepared.
Biblical kosher distinguishes between what creatures (animals) are considered clean to eat and which aren’t. There isn’t much complexity in biblical kosher as it came around way before the Sinai Covenant (named after Moses). Biblical kosher’s evidence can be found in the passage of the Great Flood, where the Lord talks to Noah about which animals are clean to be taken to the Ark and which aren’t. The purpose behind taking these animals to the Ark was to sacrifice them for food (Gen. 7:1-9). There’s a lot of clarity found in the concept of Biblical kosher as animals are divided explicitly into categories to serve worshippers’ dietary preferences.
Why Don’t Christians Keep Kosher?
Christians don’t keep kosher because that law doesn’t apply anymore, according to the New Testament. Acts 15 claims that only four commandments are applied to Christians, and the concept of kosher was challenged. Some Christians questioned its sanctity as they noticed that many foods that orthodox Christians were allowed to eat under the Old Testament were all unclean foods.
In addition, there’s no evidence about any Apostle, such as St. Paul, following the kosher rules during their lifetime. It’s pretty evident from this that the Apostles had coined a different definition of kosher and started viewing clean and unclean foods differently. In other words, Christians changed the description of what’s clean and what’s not.
The Concept Behind Uncleanliness
Since kosher suggests that no unclean animals are to be eaten, the question arises: how do animals happen to become unclean in the first place? God never created anyone (human or animal) to be unclean. He made every living creature as pure as possible. It’s the excessive sinning that made everything impure.
It’s clearly mentioned in Genesis 3: “Cursed is the ground because of you” (v. 17). The sins made by humans have tainted the universe that God has created, and according to the prophecy mentioned in Genesis 5, God is enlisting the Flood of Noah to un-taint the world He has created from the sins of humans.
As mentioned earlier, the take on uncleanliness is now viewed differently. Christ himself noted that it isn’t the food one consumes which is unclean, but the constant sinning and evil acts that make it unclean. Hence, Christians are no longer supposed to keep kosher but are still meant to practice it in a much deeper sense. Acts 10 tells Christians to eat whatever they want.
Prohibition Against Blood
After the Flood of Noah was over, God blessed Noah and his family with great rewards, including allowing them to eat meat. According to Gen. 9:4, “but flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.” This meant they could surely eat meat but not without draining its blood first. This applied to the meat of birds and mammals but not fish. Other Gentiles living with them were also instructed to do the same.
Not all kosher laws are explained in detail, but the reason behind the prohibition against blood is mentioned clearly in the scriptures. Lev. 17:11 says, “for the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” Hence, God had instructed them to drain the meat’s blood completely.
Reasons Behind Kosher Laws
Kosher laws fall into the category of statutes. Statutes are those laws that have no science behind them and have to be followed regardless. God hasn’t explained the purpose of imposing kosher on Christians. Neither the Torah nor the Bible has any explanations for kosher laws. We are supposed to follow these laws blindly, out of sheer love and respect for God.
However, if you look at kosher laws through modern medicine, you’ll find many benefits. Most health experts claim poor nutrition to be the leading reason behind diseases such as strokes, diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc. Many people eat what they think is edible, but God has only allowed us to eat specific foods that He thinks are edible.
Our Final Thoughts
There’s nothing that God doesn’t do without a reason. He may not explain a few particular things, and He doesn’t have to, as our faith tells us to obey His rules without any questions.
The things God has prohibited in the Bible are now proving beneficial in recent times. God never intends to do anything that may be detrimental to His subjects. We must also understand His actions without raising any questions.