Claim from Iglesia ni Cristo


#1

In the Philippines there is a dish which consists of pigs blood. I work with a lady who belongs to the cult Iglesia ni Cristo which don’t eat this dish stating that the Bible says not to. Where does it say that we can’t eat a dish of pigs blood and how can I address this?


#2

Try Acts 10: 9-16, where the Old Testament dietary restrictions were lifted and were explicitly made non-binding on Christians. Or Mark 7:1-14, which makes the same case by allusion.


#3

I really like dinuguan (the aforementioned pork blood dish). Just saying.


#4

In the Old Testament there was a prohibition against both pork and blood. During the first period of the early church it was a controversial subject. Remember that although the Jewish Christians had been raised with this law the Gentile-Christians had not.

Leviticus 11: 1-3, 7-8 (NAB-R)
Clean and Unclean Meats.
1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 2 Speak to the Israelites and tell them: Of all land animals these are the ones you may eat: 3 Any animal that has hoofs you may eat, provided it is cloven-footed and chews the cud. 7 ** and the pig, which does indeed have hoofs and is cloven-footed, but does not chew the cud and is therefore unclean for you.** 8 You shall not eat their meat, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.

Deuteronomy 12:23-25 (NAB-R)
**23 But make sure that you do not eat of the blood; for blood is life; **you shall not eat that life with the flesh. 24 Do not eat of the blood, therefore, but pour it out on the ground like water. 25 Do not eat of it, that you and your children after you may prosper for doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.


There were people termed Judaizers who were quite insistent that the new Christians must still follow the Laws of Moses. These Laws included circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, and
following the food restrictions. St. Peter and St. Paul themselves had a disagreement about the Law.

Galatians 2:11-14
Peter’s Inconsistency at Antioch.
11 And when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong. 12 For, until some people came from James,* he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself, because he was afraid of the circumcised. 13 And the rest of the Jews [also] acted hypocritically along with him, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not on the right road in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of all, “If you, though a Jew, are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”*

These issues were finally settled at the Council of Jerusalem held in 50 AD.

Council of Jerusalem.
1 Some who had come down from Judea were instructing the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the Mosaic practice, you cannot be saved.” 2 Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question. 3 They were sent on their journey by the church, and passed through Phoenicia and Samaria telling of the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers.

4 When they arrived in Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, as well as by the apostles and the presbyters, and they reported what God had done with them. 5 But some from** the party of the Pharisees who had become believers stood up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and direct them to observe the Mosaic law.**” 6 The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.

7 After much debate had taken place, Peter got up and said to them, “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for by faith he purified their hearts. 10 Why, then, are you now putting God to the test by placing on the shoulders of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? 11 On the contrary, we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they.” 12 The whole assembly fell silent, and they listened while Paul and Barnabas described the signs and wonders God had worked among the Gentiles through them.

Christians were now released from the strict observance of the Law covering these practices. This included circumcision and the consumption of pork and blood.


#5

thank you for this. I have another concern though. Im afraid that my coworker might come back with arguments similar to those in this article:
theiglesianicristo.blogspot.com/2013/12/does-acts-1014-16-abolish-prohibition.html?m=1
Which make it sound like James is making judgment that blood shouldn’t be eaten. How can I address this if it’s brought up?


#6

please if anyone could help. What did James mean by stating “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood”


#7

Drinking blood was associated with pagan rituals. Paganism was rampant in the areas to which the letter from the Council of Jersalem were addressed.

Jewish converts to Christianity were also telling non-Jewish converts to Christianity that they had to observe the Law of Moses or they would not be saved. The Law of Moses forbade consumption of blood. God forbade the blood of animals because “The life is in the blood” as it says in Leviticus 17.

God was waiting for us to consume the Blood of Christ because he wants us to live the life of Christ rather than the life of animals.

-Tim-


#8

so you’re saying I should make the point that James was saying consuming blood in pagen rituals not as a common food and now that we have the blood of Christ the old forbidding of blood doesn’t apply?


#9

The Bible (OT and NT) does say, explicitly, that blood (any blood, not just pigs’ blood) should not be eaten. The eating of blood is therefore impossible to defend using the Bible.

God gave only one reason why blood should not be eaten: The life of the flesh is in the blood. Or, blood is the life of all flesh.

Now, since when has blood ceased to be the life of all flesh, that blood can now be eaten?

Justifying the taking of blood by saying that this is part of the law of Moses and so it went with its passing will not work, not only because the law of Moses did not make blood to be the life of all flesh, but also because the law of Moses came after the prohibition was made (Gen. 9:24).

Moreover, the written revelation handed on to the NT Church of God by the Apostles clearly instructs Gentile Christians to [like the Jews] “abstain… from blood” (Acts 15:20).

It is not very hard to see why blood should not be eaten if it is the life of all living creatures. God is the Giver of life. When a creature dies its “dust return to the earth, from whence it was,” while the life God gave to it – “the spirit” – “return to God, who gave it” (Ecc. 12:7).


#10

The Law was given to the Chosen People to perfect them tin preparation for the Coming of Christ. The Jews were held to Mosaic Law (which included dietary restrictions) but the Christians were never asked to do so.

When James writes his letter attempting to continue this practice, it actually comes as a surprise to Paul. The Council had decided not to require that the Christians follow the Law. But remember that Paul was over the entire mission to the Gentiles, while James was the leader of the Church around Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Church had a high percentage of Jews and his writing was done strictly as a social convention. James was concerned for the unity of the faithful in his community. He advised his church to continue the dietary restrictions to ease the tension in his community- not because he felt that Christians were required to follow the Law. This community gradually dwindled with time after the destruction of the Temple and the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem.

But greater than Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles and Peter, our first pope, is Christ who spoke about the restrictions explicitly and TWICE!

Jesus said:
"Hear me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him." And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) (Mark 7:14-19)

The Church Teaching

The Catechism explains, “Jesus perfects the dietary law, so important in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through a divine interpretation . . . What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts …” (CCC 582). Paul taught similarly concerning other Old Testament law:

Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon . . . These are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ . . . **Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things which all perish as they are used), according to human precepts and doctrines? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting rigor of devotion and self-abasement and severity to the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh. **(Col. 2:16-17; 20-23)

The Church does not obligate us to follow these dietary restrictions. That is fact, not opinion. We may choose to disagree with Church teaching, but the teaching in the Chatechism stands on its own.


#11

thank you so much!!


#12

I think there is a need for some clarification here. What is this “Law” that was given to the Jews? What is the Law of Moses?

When James writes his letter attempting to continue this practice, it actually comes as a surprise to Paul. The Council had decided not to require that the Christians follow the Law. But remember that Paul was over the entire mission to the Gentiles, while James was the leader of the Church around Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Church had a high percentage of Jews and his writing was done strictly as a social convention. James was concerned for the unity of the faithful in his community. He advised his church to continue the dietary restrictions to ease the tension in his community- not because he felt that Christians were required to follow the Law. This community gradually dwindled with time after the destruction of the Temple and the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem.

Context. The reason why the council was called was because there were some Jews in Antioch teaching the Gentile Christians, “That, except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved” (Acts 15:1). Notice it. The controversy centered mainly on the ritual of circumcision.

When Paul and Barnabas got to Jerusalem, some of the converted Pharisees there were saying, “they must be circumcised and commanded to observe the law of Moses” (v. 5). Now, what particular point, or points, of the Law of Moses did the council deliberate and finally decide upon to not be applicable to the Gentile Christians? Certainly, circumcision was one of them, as this was the main topic of contention. Was there any other? What are these laws that Peter said “neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (v. 15) and to which the Gentile converts need not follow? The written revelation does not say.

What it tells us though is that at the council’s conclusion, James was the last to speak. He said that, “we write unto them (Gentile converts in Antioch), that they refrain themselves from the pollutions of idols… and from blood” (v. 20). Was the letter made?

Not only was the letter made, it was written/endorsed by the Apostles and elders of the council. Verse 23: “Writing by their hands: The apostles and ancients, brethren, to the brethren of the Gentiles….” The letter concludes with, “That you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood…” (v. 29).

When Paul visited Jerusalem again (this time he was rumored to not have kept the law), James mentioned the letter saying, “But, as touching the Gentiles that believe, we have written, decreeing that they should only refrain themselves from that which has been offered to idols and from blood…” (Acts 21:25).

The CC’s Deposit of Faith - that which was handed down to the church by Christ or His Apostles whether by word or by writing.


#13

Again, context. Notice verse 2-3: “And when they (Pharisees) had seen some of his disciples eat bread with common, that is, unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews eat not without often washing their hands, holding the tradition of the ancients.”

The Pharisees confronted Jesus with this asking, “Why do not thy disciples walk according to the tradition of the ancients, but they eat bread with common hands?” (v. 5).

The accusation here was eating with unwashed hands and Jesus’ statement addressed that issue. Notice in Matthew’s account, Jesus concluded His statement by saying, “These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man” (Matt. 15:20).

The subject under consideration here is eating with dirty hands, not eating unclean meats or blood.

By the way, the statement in parenthesis, “Thus he declared all foods clean,” is not part of scripture. That should not have been added to the biblical record without some notation that it is only an addition made by the translators.


#14

If consuming blood was wrong and sinful surely the catholic church in the Philippines would’ve spoken out about this though don’t you think? They must have some reason behind it.


#15

FUEGO: Again, context. The Pharisees confronted Jesus with this asking, “Why do not thy disciples walk according to the tradition of the ancients, but they eat bread with common hands?” (v. 5).

Matthew 15:1-3, 7-20
USCCB > Bible

The Tradition of the Elders.*
1 a Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said,
2 b “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?* They do not wash [their] hands when they eat a meal.”
3 He said to them in reply, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?*

7Hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy about you when he said:
8 d ‘This people honors me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me;
9 e in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’”
10 f He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand.
11 It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”
12 Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”
13 He said in reply,
“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted.
14 g Let them alone; they are blind guides (of the blind). If a blind person leads a blind person, both will fall into a pit.”
15 Then Peter* said to him in reply, “Explain [this] parable to us.”
16 He said to them, “Are even you still without understanding?
17 Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine?
18 h But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile.
19 * For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witness, blasphemy.
20These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Notes from the Bible References Above:

  • [15:1–20] This dispute begins with the question of the Pharisees and scribes why Jesus’ disciples are breaking the tradition of the elders about washing one’s hands before eating (Mt 15:2). Jesus’ counterquestion accuses his opponents of breaking the commandment of God for the sake of their tradition (Mt 15:3) and illustrates this by their interpretation of the commandment of the Decalogue concerning parents (Mt 15:4–6). Denouncing them as hypocrites, he applies to them a derogatory prophecy of Isaiah (Mt 15:7–8). Then with a wider audience (the crowd, Mt 15:10) he goes beyond the violation of tradition with which the dispute has started. The parable (Mt 15:11) is an attack on the Mosaic law concerning clean and unclean foods, similar to those antitheses that abrogate the law (Mt 5:31–32, 33–34, 38–39). After a warning to his disciples not to follow the moral guidance of the Pharisees (Mt 15:13–14), he explains the parable (Mt 15:15) to them, saying that defilement comes not from what enters the mouth (Mt 15:17) but from the evil thoughts and deeds that rise from within, from the heart (Mt 15:18–20). The last verse returns to the starting point of the dispute (eating with unwashed hands). Because of Matthew’s omission of Mk 7:19b, some scholars think that Matthew has weakened the Marcan repudiation of the Mosaic food laws. But that half verse is ambiguous in the Greek, which may be the reason for its omission here.

*** [15:2] * [15:2] The tradition of the elders: see note on Mk 7:5. The purpose of the handwashing was to remove defilement caused by contact with what was ritually unclean. **

Jesus says, “anything that enters your mouth” when He answers the questions. I would not question Jesus’ statement. You become “ritually unclean” by, among other things, eating unclean food. He apparently was teaching a broader lesson beyond the issue of unclean hands. He also lists the things that defile. They do not include any food regulations.

The return to the original topic is a literary device used by the writers of the time. By this “sandwiching” at the beginning and end of the message their intent was to emphasize the content of the message.

Continued…


#16

Continued…

Mark 7: 1-2, 5-8, 13-22
The Tradition of the Elders.*
1 Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him,a
2 they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.

5 So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders* but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
6 He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:b‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
7 In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.’
8 You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!

13 You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”
14 d He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand.
15 Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”
16* [My insertion from the explanatory notes: *“Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear,” is omitted because it is lacking in some of the best Greek manuscripts and was probably transferred here by scribes from Mk 4:9, 23.
17 * e When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable.
18 He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that [COLOR=“Blue”]everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
19 * f since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
20 “But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.
21 g From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
23 All these evils come from within and they defile.”


FUEGO: By the way, the statement in parenthesis, “Thus he declared all foods clean,” is not part of scripture. That should not have been added to the biblical record without some notation that it is only an addition made by the translators.

They do: * [7:19] (Thus he declared all foods clean): if this bold declaration goes back to Jesus, its force was not realized among Jewish Christians in the early church; cf. Acts 10:1–11:18.

Leave it out of consideration as not being part of Scripture, if you like. It is only included in the following: NIV, New Living Translation, ESV, NASB,Holman Christian Standard, International Standard, NET Bible, Aramaic Bible in Plain English, God’s Word® Translation, Jubilee Bible 2000, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Englisf Revised, Webster’s Bible Translation, Weymouth New Testament, World English Bible, and Young’s Literal Translation.
( biblehub.com/mark/7-19.htm )

The point is made by the Word of Christ.

BTW, None of this discussion does, can, should, or will change the view of the Church as described in the Catechism. We may consume all foods prohibited to the Jews.


#17

Acts 10 is the other big chapter to read about dietary prohibitions and Christianity.

If God is still banning blood and impure animals, He’s also still banning us Gentiles. Gentiles and impure animals and blood are at very much the same levels of impurity in the old Law. Heck, you’re probably better off eating something un-kosher than staying in a Gentile’s house… and most of us Christians are Gentiles, and I kinda want a house.


#18

The official church teaching is that consuming blood is not wrong and sinful, so all the clergy take that position. I would do the same. You cannot [or are not supposed to] teach anything contrary to what your church officially teaches.


#19

Maybe we should discuss this in another thread. We are now off topic. The TS was asking about the eating of blood, not unclean meats.

The Bible [in Leviticus] gives the list of foods that are unclean and blood is not one of them. When God told the Israelites not to eat blood He did not say it was because blood is unclean, but that blood is “the life of the flesh.”


#20

I would like to correct your list. The Douay-Rheims, which is the official Bible of the Catholic Church being a translation from the Latin Vulgate, does not contain the words in question. The other Bible translations in your list that do not carry the words are Aramaic Bible in Plain English, Jubilee Bible 2000, Webster’s Bible Translation, and Young’s Literal Translation.

I would not have bothered to check your list have I not noticed that you included the Douay-Rheims and Young’s Literal Translation. Literal word-by-word translations like these 2 bibles would not contain an added sentence. A word or two may be added by the translators to help the reader understand the meaning of a sentence but never a whole sentence.

I would have included the International Standard Version in this list as it does not also contain the words (in the link you provided) but my e-copy of this translation does have them.

The other word-by-word translations that do not include the added words are the Literal Translation of the Bible (LITV) and Analytical Literal Translation (ALT).

BTW, None of this discussion does, can, should, or will change the view of the Church as described in the Catechism. We may consume all foods prohibited to the Jews.

Of course.


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