Why dont Christians observe Kosher dietary laws?

Ive been thinking about this a lot. I mean we still follow the 10 commandments, observe the sabbath (albeit in an altered form), and have carried over the Jewish ritual of Tviliah (baptism); besides, Jesus said “I came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” . So why dont we observe mosaic dietary laws and abstain from pork, shellfish, mixing milk and meat, or practice ritual slaughter? Is there a historical reason for this?

God Bless,


Mark 7: 14 And he called the people to him again, and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 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.”[g] 17 And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 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, 19 since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?”[h] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”

Acts 10: 9 The next day, as they were on their journey and coming near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. 10 And he became hungry and desired something to eat; but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heaven opened, and something descending, like a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “No, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

Acts 11: 1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, 3 saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” 4 But Peter began and explained to them in order: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me. 6 Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. 7 And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ 8 But I said, ‘No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ 9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has cleansed you must not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesare′a. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” 18 When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”

1 Corinthians 10: 23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience.

Romans 14: 13 Then let us no more pass judgment on one another, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for any one who thinks it unclean. 15 If your brother is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit; 18 he who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. 20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for any one to make others fall by what he eats; 21 it is right not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother stumble.** 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God; happy is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves. 23 But he who has doubts is condemned, if he eats, because he does not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.[c]**

Jesus brought us a new covenant, one which fulfilled the promises made of old. The keeping of the old ritualistic, external laws was meant to prepare the Israelites for the new, to slowly discipline and improve God’s chosen people. They were not ends in themselves. The keeping of the old, external rules does not add to the amount of grace we receive, nor purify us in any way better or additional to the new covenant. We are able to obtain the fullness of God’s promises with the new covenant alone.

Most of the Jewish dietary laws were abrogated by the apostles and church elders at the Council of Jerusalem mentioned in Acts 15. The only food restrictions they imposed on Christians at that time were that they were “to abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, from blood, from meats of strangled animals.” (Acts 15:29)

Christians are not Jews. We haven’t been since the New Testament.

It would not only be the dietary laws that would have to be followed, but all the other 612 laws too in order to be accepted by God. Thankfully, Jesus freed us from all that nonsense and we are accepted by God unequivocally. Live a life without smoked pork barbeque? Never!

We Christians do pick and choose which laws of the Jewish Covenant we do keep though. Of the 613 commandments, I wonder how many we still hold valid.

Which one’s?

Which of the 613 commandments do Christians still keep? Some that come to mind are obviously the 10 commandments. Others:

Not to cherish hatred in one’s heart (Lev. 19:17)
Not to take revenge (Lev. 19:18)
Not to bear a grudge (Lev. 19:18)
To rebuke the sinner (Lev. 19:17)
Not to afflict an orphan or a widow (Ex. 22:21)
To give charity according to one’s means (Deut. 15:11)
To love the stranger (Deut. 10:19)
Not to wrong the stranger in speech (Ex. 22:20)
To honor father and mother (Ex. 20:12)
To be fruitful and multiply (Gen. 1:28)
To obey all the incest prohibitions. (Lev 18)
The debated: Not to commit sodomy with a male (Lev. 18:22)
Not to swear needlessly (Ex. 20:7)
Not to violate an oath or swear falsely (Lev. 19:12)
Not to testify falsely (Ex. 20:13)
Not to rob by violence (Lev. 19:13)
Not to defraud (Lev. 19:13)
Not to covet what belongs to another (Ex. 20:14)
Not to crave something that belongs to another (Deut. 5:18)
Not to indulge in evil thoughts and sights (Num. 15:39)
To build the Sanctuary (Ex. 25:8)
To kindle lights in the Sanctuary (Ex. 27:21)
Not to destroy anything of the Sanctuary, of synagogues, or of houses of study, nor erase the holy names (of God); nor may sacred scriptures be destroyed (Deut. 12:2-4)

Because a life w/o cheeseburgers…:eek:

As I understand it, what we keep from the old law is what is expressly repeated in the new testament. Could be wrong on that, often am.

What we keep is what can be summed up in the Great Commandment. As Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it:[d] You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Most of those can be considered to be under the 10 Commandments declaration. The things we don’t have to do is stuff like not eating grape skins or fresh grapes, cut your beard, women shaving their heads, or the hundreds of other ridiculous things. Jesus truly did set us free.

I recommend Bmullins’ response on this thread:

The simplest answer is that Christ gave the Apostles the power to bind and loose, and they loosed these “conventional” parts of the law for us, because they lost their purpose, their purpose being fulfilled by Christ.

Christi pax,


Many were Temple-based also. Not applicable even in Orthodox Judaism. But you have to give those Orthodox Jews a lot of credit for keeping the mitzvot. So why do we keep the Levitical precept against a male lying with a male and not the one where a widow must marry her husband’s brother? Same section of sexual commandments.

You have already called the Law “nonsense” and now “ridiculous.” To some, this description is not apt since the whole Law is interconnected with the Ten Commandments, not just parts of it. Moreover, the Law is not considered a burden or slavery of any sort, but on the contrary, a symbol and practice of free men and women and an act of sanctification on the part of G-d.

However, it is true that non-Jews, including Christians, need not observe the dietary laws according to BOTH Jewish and Christian teaching.

Becuase sodomy is inherently wrong, while eating pork was wrong because God wanted Israel’s obedience, her separation from the Gentiles, etc. The first type of law is natural, while the second is conventional.

Both types of law still exist: failure to fasting on Fridays isn’t inherently wrong, but is wrong because the Church has bound us to it, for whatever reason. Christ gave the power to bind and loose these conventional laws based on the situation and times. Since the Jewish Kosher laws were fulfilled by Christ, they no longer had a purpose, and so the Apostles loosed us from them.

Christi pax,


And I would say that a male lying with a male is not inherently wrong in our current time, as many Jews would agree.

This is almost exactly what Rabbi Hillel the Elder said about the Law a generation before Jesus. However, as some say, G-d is in the details.

Hillel is one of my favorites. Many of the saying of Jesus came from other Jews of that era.

And even when this statement was first written in the Hebrew Bible, there were specific qualifications attached to it, thus giving rise to the debates about homosexuality within the Jewish community.

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