Acts 10 and pork

Recently, I have heard of some interpretations that take Acts 10 as only saying that now, Gentiles are no longer unclean. The rubber hits the road when it is further claimed that pork is still on the taboo list, via the OT. There are several problems with this interpretation. The first is that if Peter was now to eat with Gentiles (if Gentiles were now included in the Kingdom of God, that would necessitate table fellowship), then Peter would be required to eat Gentile food, which included pork.

Second, would the Lord really tell Peter to “rise, kill and eat” (vs. 13), if the symbol had no significance at all? In order to believe the above interpretation, one has to empty the symbol of its meaning entirely in order to throw the weight of it completely on the metaphor. This is not hermeneutically sound, especially because of the

Third reason. Israel’s dietary laws were part of the holiness system of the OT that was part of the civil law of Israel, which law is now abrogated, since there is now “neither Jew nor Greek” (Gal. 3:28). The way in which we are holy now is to be in Christ Jesus, the Holy One of Israel.

Besides, in Matthew 15:10, Jesus states categorically that what goes into a person’s mouth does not make that person unclean, but what comes out of the heart makes a person unclean, if the heart is unclean. This statement is a change of law from the Lawgiver. This statement is impossible on the part of Jesus, if the Jewish dietary laws are still in effect, even though Jesus is talking about unwashed hands here.

Furthermore, the Acts 15 council commanded people not to eat food…sacrificed to idols. They said *nothing* about not eating pork. It would surely have been addressed there, especially when the whole point of the council was how Jewish Gentiles needed to be to be saved. These reasons forbid us to make the avoidance of pork an issue. It is an issue of Christian freedom.

Commentaries on Leviticus

This one is fairly easy.

The best ones are Milgrom (Jewish), Hartley, Currid, Wenham, and Bonar. On the second rank are Harrison, Levine, Kaiser (New Interpreter’s Bible), Balentine, Bailey, Gane, Rooker, and Ross. Forthcoming is Watts in the Historical Commentary OT. Very liberal and on the third rank is Gerstenberger (his take on the homosexual passage is very twisted indeed). Also on the third rank is Noth (out of print). Very helpful is Mary Douglas’ book Purity and Danger.

Commentaries on Exodus

You could go broke on this one:

The best commentaries are as follows: Currid, Enns, Houtman, and Ryken. Houtman is very expensive, and very worth it (a three volume set). You can only buy it at Dove Booksellers, to which I have a link. It is part of the Historical Commentary on the OT. Less important, but still very important are Propp, Durham, Cole, Childs, Cassuto, Fretheim, Brueggemann (in the New Interpreter’s Bible), Pink, Sarna, Motyer, and Gowan. Forthcoming are Alexander (Apollos), Stuart (NAC), and McBride (Herm). Sorry for the abbreviations. I hope they don’t confuse those people whom this post is meant to help! Again, you should have Calvin, Keil and Delitzsch, and Matthew Henry.