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.


  1. Susan said,

    December 4, 2005 at 8:28 pm

    Hi, my name is Susan. Are you the Lane Keister who graduated from St. Olaf and whose Dad is J.C. Keister of Minnesota?

    That’s a little abrupt, but I was delighted to google your name just now and find your blog. I’m looking at St. Olaf college as a music student and your dad (if it is your dad) recommended to my dad that I get in touch with you to learn more about St.O from the perspective of a Reformed, Christian music student.

    I’ve had your phone number for a year now but never made the time to call. Would you mind emailing back and forth? You could email me at sebeisner47 at parnassum dot net.

  2. December 6, 2005 at 6:26 pm


    Fabulous comments on Acts 10.


  3. reformedNJ said,

    July 11, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Hello, thanx for the post. One thing I wanted to point out if you hadn’t noticed it, you said, “The way in which we are holy now is to be in Christ Jesus, the Holy One of Israel.” Christ is the only way in which someone can be made holy, however, is not all believers of every age whether Old Testament times or New Testament times until now also holy through Christ alone? Abraham wasn’t saved by some other means was he? Faith alone in Christ alone, though Abraham looked ahead to the cross, we are looking back to the cross (so to speak) Romans 4:3

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