Can Christians Eat Pork?

by | Mar 10, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Kosher laws, also known as kashrut, are a set of laws that were given under the mosaic covenant on dietary restrictions ( Leviticus 11:7-8 and Deuteronomy 14:8). In these laws, God gave strict guidelines on which animals were clean and which were unclean. The Jewish people were therefore expected to steer away from any meat that was considered unclean – like pork. Because pork is a popular modern delicacy, it has resulted in many wondering whether or not Christians are allowed to eat it. So can they?

Even though the Torah says not to eat pork, the New Testament declares all animals clean as long as they are sanctified with the word of God and with prayer. The Kosher laws were given as a symbol of purification but this purification was made perfect by the blood of Jesus. 

There are still a lot of questions on the issue of eating pork and the best way to address it comprehensively is by investigating what the Bible says. As we have already seen, Leviticus 11:7-8 and Deuteronomy 14:8 outline the reason pork was not to be eaten by the Jewish people. However, we will focus on the New Testament references to get a clear picture of God’s stand on the issue under the new covenant.

Reasons Why Christians Can Eat Pork

  • Jesus Declares all foods clean

When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Mathew 15:10-11

In this controversial Scripture, Jesus shares an interesting truth that rubbed the Pharisees the wrong way. He was responding to the question of why his disciples did not wash their hands before eating. He used the opportunity to share an important truth – what enters a man’s mouth will go to the stomach and then get eliminated which means it cannot defile him. However, the problem is what enters a man’s heart. By saying this, Jesus made it clear that we should not be too worried about the foods that were once considered ceremonially unclean. What matters more is the condition of our hearts. 

  • Paul declares all foods clean

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 1 Tim. 4:4

In the scripture above, Apostle Paul echoes the words of Jesus by saying all creatures that God created are good for food – as long as they are received with prayer and thanksgiving. Paul was called to reach the Gentiles and his message was readily received by them. However, it was not easily accepted by the Jewish Christians because they still held the teachings of Moses dear. But as Paul explained in great detail in most of his epistles, Christians are no longer slaves of the law since we are under grace. In the words of Jesus, the sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath

  • Peter’s vision

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Acts 10:15

The background of the story is Peter had been in prayer for a while when he got hungry. As they were fixing a meal, he got drowsy and got into a trance. He had a vision of all kinds of unclean animals being let down from heaven and he was told by a voice to eat. He quickly objected because he fully understood the difference between clean and unclean animals. However, he was pleasantly surprised by the response he got from heaven. The voice cautioned him against calling anything that God had sanctified unclean. 

Granted, the entire vision was a metaphor to prepare Peter for the ministry that he would be doing to the Gentiles in a short while. As a devout Jew, he did not expect the gospel to be preached to the Gentiles but God was telling him the issue of clean and unclean had already been finished on the cross. And even though the lesson was about Jews and Gentiles, we can extrapolate the same lesson on the kosher laws. The same way gentiles were considered unclean is the same way pork was considered unclean. However, if God had accepted the Gentiles, it would make sense that he had also accepted pork. And as we have already seen, other scriptures confirm this. 

  • The covenant of grace

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17

The confusion on whether or not Christians can eat pork mostly stems from a lack of understanding of the new covenant. In the scripture above, John clarifies that the law was given by Moses but grace and truth were given by Jesus. It insinuates a demarcation of the Bible into two covenants – the covenant of the law and the covenant of grace.

The covenant of the law (also known as the New Testament) was given to reveal the futility of man’s effort in attaining legalistic righteousness. Paul explains this in the book of Romans. Check it out:

For by works of the law, no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20

This is arguably the best summary for the purpose of the Old Testament – it was given to reveal man’s sinful nature. Through the law, we realize that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18) and that our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). As such, the old covenant is incomplete without the New Testament. This is why Paul said;

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (Romans 8:3-4).

With this understanding, we can appreciate how Jesus could do things that were considered against the law of Moses. He healed the sick on the sabbath, allowed his disciples to eat without watching hands, hung out with pelicans, etc. As we have seen, he told the Israelites not to be limited by the kosher laws because defilement comes from the heart and not from food. 


As we have seen, Christians can eat pork. Even though it was forbidden in the Torah, Jesus came as a fulfillment of the law and then established a new covenant – a covenant of grace. However, Christians are reminded not to use their newfound liberty to cause others to stumble (1 Cor. 8:9)

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About: Ronie

Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.
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Ronnie Amaya has been actively involved in ministry since his high school and university days where he served as a Christian union leader. After graduation, he worked as an itinerary minister preaching in Schools, Universities, Street Evangelizations, and Churches. In 2018, he led a team in planting a new church in Nairobi, Kenya where he is currently serving as the lead pastor.

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