Leviticus 11 as a catholic


As a practicing catholic I have just come upon reading Leviticus 11, in which where it states: “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘Of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat: 3 You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof and that chews the cud.”

To what extent should a catholic practice these teachings, if at all…


There are some verses on the purification of these animals. You might want to look them up. I think St. Peter had a vision in Acts or something.


Acts 10:10-16:
‘And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.’


Read Acts 10. Peter’s vision. “Do not declare unclean what the Lord has made clean”


I think the Catholic response in general to this kind of commandment involving dietary regulations is that Jesus fulfilled the Law in regard to certain practices as these so that Christians (including Catholics) are not required to eat only certain foods deemed kosher. Such ritualistic practices have been superseded by the New Covenant. In fact, Christians who follow them are sometimes described as Judaizing.


Jesus declared all foods clean. See Mark 7:14-23. St Paul also wrote about a Christian’s liberty when it comes to food in Romans 14.


Did Jesus Himself eat only kosher foods?


You are a far better Catholic than many Catholics! I’m embarrassed… :flushed:


LOL Thanks for the compliment!


A tip of the hat to our elder brother in the faith.


I would turn my attention to Acts 15 whereby this & other topics were addressed at the Council of Jerusalem:

Acts 15 NABRE (USCCB): Letter of the Apostles


Then the apostles and presbyters, in agreement with the whole church, decided to choose representatives and to send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. The ones chosen were Judas, who was called Barsabbas, and Silas, leaders among the brothers.
This is the letter delivered by them: “The apostles and the presbyters, your brothers, to the brothers in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia of Gentile origin: greetings.
Since we have heard that some of our number [who went out] without any mandate from us have upset you with their teachings and disturbed your peace of mind,
we have with one accord decided to choose representatives and to send them to you along with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are sending Judas and Silas who will also convey this same message by word of mouth:
‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,
namely, to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals, and from unlawful marriage. If you keep free of these, you will be doing what is right. Farewell.’”


We are not held to anything that is stated in Leviticus. This book relates almost exclusively to the tribe of Levi - the priestly tribe among the priestly people. It exaggerates observations for the sake of an ancient people of 3,500 years ago. It does not apply to us in any way.


I can’t be absolutely sure, since the Bible doesn’t specifically address what Jesus ate, but He was a faithful Jew. I would assume that He faithfully observed everything that the Law prescribed. I’m sure that the Pharisees would have strongly objected if He had broken any of their dietary laws, and those objections would, most likely, have been mentioned in at least one of the Gospels. They certainly disapproved that He often ate with “sinners” (tax collectors, etc.), but I don’t think His eating of forbidden foods was ever mentioned. Maybe someone else can confirm or deny this with examples, but I don’t recall ever hearing about it.


Is the abstaining from blood not applicable to the blood found within animals (meat) but only to blood alone apart from meat? If the former, then koshering the meat (with salt as Jews do; with vinegar as Muslims practice) would be important to remove any and all blood.


Of course, although Judaism will deny this is the reason, there are certain health benefits to eating kosher food. With regard to meat, including beef and chicken, it is a requirement that the animal slaughtered be healthy, that is, have no disease, no punctured, torn, or scarred internal organs, no broken bones, and so on. Further, since the hindquarters of animals are discarded or sold to non-kosher meat companies, there is much less chance of E.coli contamination since the bacteria is found in the feces of animals (and humans).


As far as I know, Jesus ate only kosher foods. Except for a piece of broiled fish that he ate after his resurrection to prove to his disciples that he wasn’t a spirit (Luke 24:42) and perhaps the Passover meal the night before he died, the New Testament doesn’t say what he ate. Among the charges brought against him by Jewish authorities, like breaking the Sabbath and blasphemy, no mention was made of him also having eaten non-kosher foods.


To the dismay of Orthodox Judaism, this is close to the position of Reform Judaism as well, not quite but nearly.

From the perspective of (Orthodox) Judaism, Christians (and other non-Jews) are NOT bound by the dietary laws EXCEPT with regard to eating a living animal.


In that case, if Jesus Himself followed the dietary laws, one MIGHT legitimately ask why his disciples should not? I realize the Gospel says otherwise, but just a thought.


Wait for it, this is often a set up question.

The ceremonial laws of Leviticus are not part of Christianity.

The moral laws are.


Yes, there is that distinction regarding type of law according to Christianity. However, in (Orthodox) Judaism, there is no distinction. In other words, a law is a law is a law. Reform Judaism has a different perspective. Further, Judaism is viewed (by some) as a means of sanctification in EVERY aspect of life including the most mundane: it pervades the way Jews eat, what they wear, how they work, play, interact with others, and on and on. Therefore, the commandments form one piece, are inseparable one from another, and fashion the means by which Jews live an ethical and moral life.

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