Does The Bible Say You Can T Eat Pork

Does The Bible say You Cannot Eat Pork?

The Bible speaks a lot about what can and cannot be eaten. In the Old Testament, in particular, the dietary laws are a major part of the religion. One of the most notable of these restrictions is the prohibition of pork and other pig products, as well as some other foods like shellfish.

The origin of this restriction is thought to be two-fold: practical and spiritual. In the Near East, where the ancient Hebrews lived, the pig was seen as an unclean animal. This was primarily due to its reproductive cycle, which was seen as unhygienic, as well as its association with carrion, which further suggested uncleanliness. In addition, the pig was seen by many cultures as a symbol of spiritual impurity, waste, and excess.

In the book of Leviticus, the Lord gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions about what animals, birds, fish and insects can and cannot be eaten. In these directives, pork and related pig products were included in the category of unclean animals. Moreover, if anyone touched or ate any of these unclean animals or creatures, they would be deemed unclean until evening.

It is important to note, however, that in the New Testament, the importance of following the Old Testament dietary laws is downplayed. While there are still some dietary restrictions specified in the New Testament – such as being forbidden to eat food sacrificed to idols – the emphasis is not on restriction but on having a relationship with God in which one can discern what is good and bad. Paul, in particular, made it clear that some of the Jewish dietary laws were no longer relevant or applicable and that they should be treated as matters of conscience.

So while the Bible does say that pork and related pig products are unclean, it is more in the sense that they should be avoided, not that they are forbidden. This means that, while it is still a personal choice, many Christians have chosen to abstain from pork and other pig products for spiritual and health reasons. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide what is right for them according to their own conscience.

Pork In Ancient Times

The consumption of pork was widespread in Ancient Near Eastern cultures. The Egyptians even held the pig in high esteem and dedicated annual festivals in its honor. They considered the pig to be a symbol of fertility and prosperity and its consumption was a sign of prosperity and abundance. The pig was also an important part of Ancient Greek culture, where it was considered a symbol of fertility and abundance.

Even in ancient Israel, pork and other pig products were widely consumed, although the restrictions on their consumption were increasingly enforced as the religious system developed. Despite being widely consumed, the pig was largely seen as being unclean and a source of disease due to its reproductive cycle, as well as its association with scavenging and eating carrion.

It was partly due to the uncleanliness of the pig, as well as its frequent association with idolatry, that it was eventually prohibited in the biblical laws. This prohibition was seen to ensure that the Israelites would be pure and free from contamination, as well as to prevent them from participating in the religious practices of their neighbors.

It is also worth noting that there were other prohibitions and regulations around the consumption of pork, such as the prohibition of eating meat from pigs that died of disease or from pigs that weren’t slaughtered in a certain way. These regulations suggest that the intention wasn’t to completely prohibit the consumption of pork, but to ensure that it was done in a way that was clean and safe.

Health And Dietary Benefits Of Not Eating Pork

One of the primary reasons given for not eating pork is the potential health risks associated with it. Pork is a fatty meat, making it high in cholesterol and a potential source of heart disease. There are also some bacteria that can be present in pork, such as salmonella, which can cause food poisoning if it is not cooked thoroughly.

In addition to the potential health risks associated with eating pork, there are also some dietary benefits to abstaining from it. Due to the high fat content of pork, it is a concentrated source of calories, so by avoiding it, you can reduce your calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight. Also, by avoiding pork, you are more likely to eat a variety of other meats and plant-based foods, which can be beneficial for overall health and well-being.

It is important to note, however, that while abstaining from pork may provide some health benefits, it is not necessary to do so in order to maintain a balanced diet. Eating lean cuts of pork that are cooked properly are perfectly fine as part of a healthy diet. Ultimately, it is a personal choice and what is right for one person may not be right for another.

Alternatives To Pork

For those who do choose to abstain from pork, there are a variety of alternative proteins available. These include other types of red meat, such as beef and lamb, as well as poultry and fish. In addition to these, there are also plant-based alternatives, such as tofu, tempeh, beans, and lentils. These protein sources can provide a similar amount of protein as pork, but usually have less fat and calories and are often cheaper, making them a healthy and economical alternative.

In addition to these alternatives, there are also a variety of pork-like products available. These include vegetarian sausage made from plant-based proteins, as well as vegan bacon made from seitan, mushrooms, and other plant-based ingredients. These can provide a satisfying, flavorful alternative to pork that is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as people who are trying to reduce their consumption of animal products.

Finally, there are also a variety of pork-based dishes that can be made without using pork. This includes using plant-based proteins or other meat alternatives in dishes like tacos or lasagna, or vegetarian versions of traditional pork dishes like bibimbap or chorizo.


The Bible does prohibit the consumption of pork, but this is more in the sense that it should be avoided, not that it is forbidden. For those who choose to abstain from pork and other pig products, there are a number of alternative proteins and dishes available, from plant-based sources to vegetarian and vegan alternatives. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide what is right for them according to their own conscience.

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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