Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

Dietary Laws: Did Jesus Model or Dismiss Them?

Should Christians keep Kosher too?

by
Rhonda Robinson

Bio

July 28, 2013 - 1:00 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Guy-and-his-Dog

When my oldest son moved out of the house, he called to brag about his newfound freedom. ”Hey, mom, I’m just standing here with the refrigerator door wide open. This morning I got up, with all the lights still on, and ran down the hall with scissors in my hand yelling — it was awesome.”

To this day, I can only assume that he just wanted to give me a laugh — which he did. But the truth is he could have done all those things. He lived under his own roof, not mine. He could have, but I don’t believe he did. Although he still loved to push his mother’s buttons, he knew the wisdom behind those house rules. He no longer followed them because I made him; he willingly acted accordingly because he understood it prudent and beneficial.

In reading the New Testament and attempting to see it through author Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s eyes in Kosher JesusI’m trying to discern whether Jesus really was a Jewish rebel who dismissed dietary laws, or if that is merely an uninformed perception of the Christian church.

If in fact our God is a good Father, and I believe He is, and He gave His people laws to live by including dietary laws for their benefit, not His — why would Jesus rescind them?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
The answer is simple: Yes, Jesus kept kosher, because he fulfilled all aspects of the Law; No Christians are not required - indeed are specifically freed from - keeping kosher and all other aspects of the Jewish ceremonial law. See Peter's vision in Acts 10, and Paul's letters to the Galatians and Colossians, which - among other things - dismiss as unnecessary for Christians the keeping of the ceremonial law.

Of course one must first see that Rabbi Boteach’s whole concept in "Kosher Jesus" is wrong in the first place. Jesus was not a rebel, nor simply a teacher, and He was not crucified by the Romans for any crime that He committed. Unless you accept Who and What He really was and is, you cannot understand why He came.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know why this article was recycled but since i missed it the first time around I am glad to have caught it this time.
The Laws of Kashrut ( kosher ) are meant for Jews and there is no spiritual benefit for the non-Jew in keeping them. They are quite difficult and complex and many questions arise that require consultation with competent religious authorities. It is a burden Jews are demanded to assume, non-Jews should be happy they are exempt.
That said The Almighty did provide specific laws regarding eating habits for non-Jews which pertain to kindness to animals and appreciating their role in sustaining human life.
The las are part of The Seven Laws of Noah, the Noahide Laws. All human beings are forbidden to eat the flesh of a living creature. All humans are prohibited from eating the flesh of an animal that has been injured.
These two laws are commonly ignored in the general public.
Rather than trying to keep kosher the essence of these laws is to provide ethical boundaries. They are worth studying.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
As for whether Jesus followed the dietary laws or not, of course He did. Jesus was a faithful Jew and followed ALL of the laws of Moses. Indeed, He followed them perfectly - and was the only person to ever have done so. His doing so is what enabled Him to make the sacrifice and fulfill all of the Law, and in so doing free us from it.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (42)
All Comments   (42)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
"I’m trying to discern whether Jesus really was a Jewish rebel who dismissed dietary laws, or if that is merely an uninformed perception of the Christian church."

In mulling this over again I noticed an important point that hasn't been made.

"an uninformed perception of the Christian church"? Where do you hang out? I've never heard this idea in Christian circles. It would have to be a remarkably ill-informed Christian to have that view. In fact, expressed that way, it's close to blasphemy.

If that's a common view where you fellowship, it's past time to get out of there and find a church that is more than nominally Christian.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I’m trying to discern whether Jesus really was a Jewish rebel who dismissed dietary laws, or if that is merely an uninformed perception of the Christian church."

Well, the easiest way to answer that question is to set aside Rabbi Boteach, and pick up Rabbi Jesus.

In other words, read the Bible.

The question is emphatically and clearly answered in a number of places, not the least of which is Acts 15, where it is explicitly stated that the Gentile Christians were NOT required to keep Jewish law, which Peter referred to as a "burden which neither we nor our fathers could bear".

Paul answers it explicit in his epistle to the Romans, when he points out that we are dead to the law. "How shall we who are dead to the law continue any longer therein?"

He again answers it in his epistle to the Galatians - it's the whole point of the epistle.

The writer to the Hebrews (possibly Paul) spends the entire book telling the Jewish Christians why it's time to leave Judaism behind - it's been superseded. "He takes away the first, that he may establish the second." He labors to show that the second cannot be established while the first (Judaism) remains.

Are there some health benefits to a diet that conforms to the Levitical law? Yes, in some cases, and in some places. Visiting in a third world country where sanitation is... suspect, would be a good place to avoid pork, for example. Pork raised on a modern, sanitary farm? It's not the same thing at all. And where in the world can you even FIND someone going out of their way to boil a kid in its mother's milk? But not eating the meat of scavengers? Sounds sensible to me! And I'm pretty sure that none of us wants to eat animals that die by themselves, or are killed and partially eaten by predators.

And remember that modern Kosher laws bear only a faint resemblance to God's food laws.

At any rate, the health issues are interesting and arguable.

What is NOT arguable, from a Biblical point of view, is that Christians are NOT under any legal obligation to the Levitical law, and to suggest that we are is, in fact, heresy. Paul says that any who teach that are anathema.

46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is no heresy for keeping kosher oneself, provided first you both do not feel obligated to keep kosher to receive God's grace and second, you do not teach other Christians they have to keep kosher. That's what the ancient Church canons teach. If for health or novelty or experiment someone keeps a kosher diet, there is no harm. I don't know of anyone before modern times who has questioned whether Jesus ate kosher or not. Of course he did. He might not have followed every rule the Pharisees had, but he followed the rules of the Torah.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
They were chosen, emphasis Were, until Christ, when their murderous hatred for Him was consummated on Calvary. A manner of metaphysical line was crossed then which cannot be 'uncrossed' & their murderous hatred for Him, and now His own, continues unabated. They would murder Him again this afternoon, given that opportunity.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart. Zech 12:9-14
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"He who receives you receives me." "Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." The fundamental error here to try to get to Jesus by working around the apostles and by extension the church.


46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yeah well, modern science has confirmed the wisdom of those kosher laws.

The meat of an injured or diseased animal is justifiably discarded...it's now a no-brainer.

The anti-pork edict has some merit as well. My dad (ne 1905) was counseled with the venerable wisdom..."don't eat pork unless there is a "r" in the month.

Pigs like dogs, will eat anything...including human feces...

Refrigeration and modern food handling practice has made inroads....but......

AND bear in mind that in Northern Europe, consumption of pork in past times was not as hazardous as in the ME or Southern Europe...different climate.....

The Northern European practice of smoking meat....was also a factor in allowing consumption of pork....cause or effect?
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
For the fun of it, some added detail.

Pork worked in northern climes when slaughtered in the winter. The cooler the better. It gave time to work the meat before it began to go bad. In warmer climates pork and its cousins were generally disease ridden (trichnosis-sp?). And when eaten pork had to be well done. Modern husbandry techniques are allowing the loosening of that code.

Also, smoked meats are cooked meats...thus killing many infectious bacteria. Other curing methods do the same.

Seafood is only practical if eaten, cured or frozen immediately; its "Time Before Rotting" is very short. Modern refrigeration dates from about 1890 with Willis Carrier et al.

FWIW the REAL advantage of fire is the ability to cook food and thereby kill some of the bad stuff. Remember, sacrificed Burnt Offerings were then consumed.

Also, oils, used for cooking, allow a much higher temperature than water. Oils can cook up to about 350 F while water is limited to 212 F.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The answer is simple: Yes, Jesus kept kosher, because he fulfilled all aspects of the Law; No Christians are not required - indeed are specifically freed from - keeping kosher and all other aspects of the Jewish ceremonial law. See Peter's vision in Acts 10, and Paul's letters to the Galatians and Colossians, which - among other things - dismiss as unnecessary for Christians the keeping of the ceremonial law.

Of course one must first see that Rabbi Boteach’s whole concept in "Kosher Jesus" is wrong in the first place. Jesus was not a rebel, nor simply a teacher, and He was not crucified by the Romans for any crime that He committed. Unless you accept Who and What He really was and is, you cannot understand why He came.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
The question. Is keeping Kosher an Act of Obligation or an Act of Worship and/ or Obedience?
If Worship and/ or Obedience, there is ever less distance between Judaism and its largest sect, Christianity.

A side issue. Christianity or some such was required for God's flock to grow. Jews are not typically evangelical (In fact, can one become a Jew by choice? And How?) and can't breed fast enough for all of the world to be God's people. While I believe Jews are STILL God's Chosen, I also believe that Jews are not God's ONLY.

ta
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
"(In fact, can one become a Jew by choice? And How?) "

Yes, it's called conversion. I don't see a raging tide of converts to Judaism, but it's happening. Sammy Davis Jr. was one, and, I think, Little Richard.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obviously one should endeavor to eat healthy and one would think that it would be a good thing to be dissuaded from chowing down on a half-pound chunk of ground beef smothered with cheese and topped with bacon. OTOH, it is also wrong to make a religious deal about what other people eat.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I found a simple way to look at the ancient dietary laws of the Israelites: back then, there was no refrigeration or pasteurization, no knowledge of how foods made people ill, only the accumulated wisdom that pork or shellfish could be deadly and eating with unwashed hands could make one ill. Codifying this knowledge and teaching it gave the Israelites something we still consider: survivability.
I do not think Jesus would advocate ditching those guidelines, but wanted the people to think about their motivations and behaviors. You can keep kosher as far as food habits but Jesus wants us to love each other and temper our angers and hatreds.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
They were also put in place to separate the Jews from the surrounding nations, to keep them as a distinct people of God. Remember, the entire purpose of Israel and the Jewish people was to set the stage for Jesus.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oy, it feels good, if a bit cowardly or overly humble, to be kind of an agnostic.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All