Meat is a typical food around the world. Some common types of meat often consumed worldwide include; seafood like crabs and fish, poultry like turkey and chicken, and red meat like lamb and bee. While some people consume meat as a meal, others consume it as a snack. However, have you ever wondered if it is right for Christians to eat meat? Is eating meat a sin?
There is nowhere in the Bible where Christians are prohibited from eating meat. The book of Genesis 9:3 suggests that every moving creature on earth shall be food for us. However, the Bible has regulated which kind of meat is acceptable for Christians. However, eating meat is not considered a sin and should not be perceived as a matter of obedience and disobedience.
Are Christians allowed to eat meat according to the Bible? What verses talk about Christians eating meat? What meat did the Bible forbid Christians to eat? What does the Bible say about Christians eating meat? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Can Christians eat meat?
Christians can eat meat as eating meat is not a sin. Most Christians eat meat as they believe that is what animals were created for. This belief is not wrong, as God gave humanity power over walking creatures in the book of Genesis and allowed them to eat their meat. Additionally, Christians can eat meat as even Jesus Christ, the son of God, was pictured eating meat in several instances in the Bible. In Luke 22:8-15, the Bible records Jesus eating lamb, and Luke 24:42-43 records him eating fish. Luke 24:42-43 notes, “They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.”
Additionally, during Noah’s time when the floods were over, God in the book of Genesis 9:2-3 permitted Christians to eat any moving creature. Though in the Old Testament, God gave Moses and Aaron some rules about which meat can be eaten and which is considered unclean, most bible scholars argue that it was in the context of what the Israelites were going through. This can be justified in the New Testament as there is nowhere Christians are prohibited from eating meat.
What does the Bible say about eating meat?
Some people strongly disagree with Christians eating meat. Those who hold this belief argue that it is more of a moral issue and a biblical direction rather than just a diet. However, Christians should not lean towards this belief as the Bible allows Christians to eat meat. Even Jesus Christ, the son of God, was pictured on several occasions eating meat.
Additionally, the New Testament does not prohibit Christians from eating meat. The book of Corinthians notes that one should not eat meat only if it makes a fellow brother stumble. Therefore, meat is generally safe for consumption amongst Christians and should not be perceived as a matter of obedience and disobedience.
In Genesis 9:3-, the Bible allows Christians to eat any moving creature on earth. “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has lifeblood still in it. And for your lifeblood, I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too. I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.”
What meat did the Bible forbid Christians from eating?
The meat that the Bible forbids Christians from eating is meat that has blood in it. After God instructed humanity to eat meat in Genesis 9:3, He went ahead in verse 4 and warned about eating animals that are still alive. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
The terms life and blood are directly connected in Hebrew, which is why you will get some versions of the Bible using the term “lifeblood” in this verse. Leviticus 17:11 even defined these terms better as it notes that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” In Deuteronomy 12, we see the people in the Old Testament draining blood from animals before consuming them.
Therefore, eating meat is not a sin, as God permits Christians to eat meat. However, He shows that he values the lives of the animal by warning against eating meat that has blood in eat as that demonstrates life. Additionally, it is essential to note that just because God gave us dominion over animals does not mean we completely dominate them. God requires us to be animal stewards and not abuse animals.
Additionally, in the book of Leviticus, while God was speaking to Aaron and Moses, he instructed them on the meat they could eat and shouldn’t. Leviticus 11:1-8 notes, “You may eat any animal that has a divided hoof, and that chews the cud. Some only chew the cud or have a divided hoof, but you must not eat them. Though the camel chews the cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is ceremonially unclean for you. Though the hyrax chews the cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. Though the rabbit chews the cud, it does not have a divided hoof; it is unclean for you. And the pig, though it has a divided hoof, does not chew the cud; it is unclean for you. You must not eat their meat or touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.”
And though some Christians follow these instructions to the letter and do not eat meat from the animals mentioned above, other bible scholars argue that God gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron based on their circumstances. However, some Christian denominations stick to the instructions God gave Aaron and Moses concerning the Israelites; hence they consider eating certain types of meat a sin.
What Bible verses talk about eating meat?
Several verses in the Bible talk about eating meat. In the Old Testament, the book of Genesis opens the discussion of whether Christians should eat meat when God gives instructions on what we can eat. Genesis 9:3 notes, “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”
In the next verse, Genesis 9:4, the Bible forbids Christians from eating any meat with blood or life. Bible scholars agree that God prohibited eating meat with blood to teach respect for the sacredness of life. Another book that talks about meat in the Bible is Deuteronomy, where the Bible notes that foods with blood are unclean for consumption. Deuteronomy 12:16 “for the blood is the life; you may not eat the life with the meat.”
Additionally, In the New Testament, the book of Romans touches on what foods we can eat. “One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.” – Romans 14:2. Additionally, 1ST Corinthians 8:3 only instructs one not to eat meat if they know that eating the meat it will make a fellow Christian stumble. “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
In Numbers 11:18-20, God tells Moses, “Tell the people: ‘consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The Lord heard you when you wailed, “if only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten, or twenty days, but for a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it because you have rejected the Lord, who is among you and have wailed before him saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”
Therefore, most bible scholars agree that eating meat is not a sin, nor a matter of obedience and disobedience. And though some people hold different beliefs concerning this, what is common is that Christians can eat meat, as most bible verses do not prohibit them from eating meat. Christians should avoid any meat that has blood in it, as blood symbolizes life.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.