Rare Steak & Indian Cuisine - Council of Jerusalem

At the Council in Acts they say to avoid food that has been strangled, sacrificed to idols and blood.

What about rare steak that still has blood in it?

And what does “sacrificed to idols” mean, does it include an indian takeaway, which has some kind of spirituality attached to it?

The passage you speak of is also known as the apostolic decree of the Council of Jerusalem:

Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day" (Acts 15:19–21).

These laws come from the Old Law, which does not apply to us. These particular laws, legislated by James, the leader of the Jerusalem Church, are understood to have been in effect for only a short time as sort of a “damage control” to pacify the Jews who were upset by the presence of Christians in the area. If the Jews saw Christians as righteous people who respected their ancient law, the Christians would have more leverage, so to speak, with them because of what the Jews would have perceived as the Christians’ understanding of and respect for the Jewish ethnic law.

The Council of Florence offers:

[The holy Roman Church] also declares that the apostolic prohibition, to abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled, was suited to that time when a single church was rising from Jews and gentiles, who previously lived with different ceremonies and customs. This was so that the gentiles should have some observances in common with Jews, and occasion would be offered of coming together in one worship and faith of God and a cause of dissension might be removed, since by ancient custom blood and strangled things seemed abominable to Jews, and gentiles could be thought to be returning to idolatry if they ate sacrificial food. In places, however, where the Christian religion has been promulgated to such an extent that no Jew is to be met with and all have joined the church, uniformly practising the same rites and ceremonies of the gospel and believing that to the clean all things are clean, since the cause of that apostolic prohibition has ceased, so its effect has ceased (Bull of Union with the Copts).


To answer your question regarding rare steak:

In the Jewish tradition, the laws of kashrut require that meat be “koshered” with salt in a process that removes all the blood from the meat. Therefore, you can eat steak as rare as you like–or raw–because all the blood is considered to have been removed in the koshering process.

As for Indian takeaway, there is no spiritual association with that food solely on account of it being Indian.

I believe the reference to “blood” applies to acts of violence.

Many times in the Bible “men of blood and deceit” or similar words apply to violent men or gangs.

No, the bull from the Council of Florence makes it clear that “blood” here refers to dietary matters.

I wouldn’t sweat it about the rare steak. It’s not like you’re sucking blood out of a cow, like a vampire or something.

Thank you for your help - though I read in the restaurant I was in that there was some sort of spirituality informing it, etc. I didn’t read all the details but I was a bit like, huh? Let’s say there was, where would that leave me?

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