Does The Bible Say Not To Eat Pork

Defining the Bible’s Stance On Eating Pork

Eating pork is a contentious topic, especially in the context of religion, such as the Bible. The Bible refers to pork as unclean and not to be eaten, however this stance is not as black and white as one might believe, making it difficult to decipher what the Bible really says about eating pork. To understand the Bible’s position on the matter, it is imperative to look at the Old and New Testaments and seek to delve into the meaning behind verses that may refer to pork consumption.

Old Testament and Eating Pork

The Bible is made up of two Testaments; the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament consists of books that are revealed by God to Hebrew prophets and is primarily associated with Judaism. The Old Testament references pork in several passages, such as in Leviticus 11:7, which states “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you.” The book of Leviticus lists animals that were considered to be unclean and could not be eaten, according to God’s instructions. However, the verses do not completely forbid the consumption of pork, as the book Deuteronomy allows for the consumption of pork in certain contexts when the requirements are met.

Context of Pork in the New Testament

The New Testament is composed of books that focus on Jesus Christ’s life, ministry, and message of salvation, and is primarily associated with Christianity. In terms of pork in the New Testament context, Jesus is known to have followed the Jewish dietary laws (or “kashruth”) and discouraged eating pork. Thus, Jesus himself maintained a Jewish traditional stance on the consumption of pork, especially in terms of health. This was likely due to concerns with the lack of sanitary practices employed in the production of pork at the time, resulting in sickness and disease.

Eating Pork in Context of Current Times

Today, it has been concluded by experts that pork can be consumed as long as it is properly handled and cooked at temperatures of at least 145 °F (63 °C) in order to kill any bacteria or parasites. This is due to the presence of modern food safety standards and improved sanitary practices in the production and handling of pork. As a result, pork has become a popular food worldwide, with thousands of varieties of pork dishes now widely available. Thus, the Bible’s stance on eating pork must be considered in the context of its original timeframe and the changes that have occurred in terms of food production in modern times.

Religious Perspectives on Eating Pork

Religious experts believe that certain passages in the Bible still prohibit the eating of pork today, whereas other experts disagree and state that pork is acceptable providing it is properly cooked and handled. Thus, there appears to be no unanimous consensus when it comes to this topic. Ultimately, it is up the individual to determine what their religious stance on eating pork is and how these views fit into their broader religious beliefs.

Cultural Perspectives on Eating Pork

In addition to religious perspectives, cultural perspectives on pork consumption also need to be taken into account. For example, in some countries, such as India and China, pork has been prohibited since ancient times and many citizens still abstain from consuming it. This is largely due to certain religious and cultural reasons that are related to the prohibition of pork in those societies. Additionally, some people simply opt not to eat pork for personal preferences, such as to maintain their own health.

Health Perspectives on Eating Pork

In terms of health, it is widely accepted that pork can be part of a balanced diet, as long as it is cooked to the set temperatures and any bacteria or parasites are destroyed. Pork is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and phosphorus, which is vital for a healthy body. Studies have also shown that pork can help reduce a person’s risk of heart disease and other illnesses, such as diabetes, if consumed in moderate amounts.

Psychological Perspectives on Eating Pork

Eating pork can also have psychological effects on individuals. For some people, pork can be associated with feelings of guilt due to its status as a prohibited food in some religions. Therefore, individuals may choose to abstain from pork to avoid these feelings of guilt. On the other hand, some people may choose to include pork in their diet despite its cultural or religious restrictions and enjoy it for its taste and for the associations that it brings. Thus, the psychological effects on eating pork depend on the individual and the beliefs that they hold.

Environmental Perspectives on Eating Pork

Eating pork has certain environmental consequences as well. Pork production is energy-intensive and produces emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane. Furthermore, the production of pork requires land and animal feed, thus impacting the environment, as well as the animals used for production. Therefore, if people are looking to reduce their environmental impact, they should consider cutting back on the consumption of pork where possible.

Economic Perspectives on Eating Pork

The consumption of pork also has implications in terms of economics. Pork is typically cheaper to buy than other forms of meat, such as beef or lamb, making it an affordable source of protein for many people. Additionally, pork production brings money into the economy in terms of taxes, job opportunities and the sale of pork products. However, some experts have raised concerns that increasing pork consumption could have adverse effects on global pork production and pricing if demand exceeds supply.


When examining the Bible’s stance on eating pork, it is important to take into account a variety of factors, such as the Old and New Testaments, religious perspectives, cultural perspectives, health perspectives, psychological effects, environmental impacts, and economic implications. Ultimately, it is up to the individual and their religious and personal beliefs to decide whether or not to adhere to the Bible’s stance on pork consumption.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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