The Bible says it’s both OK and not OK to eat pork. However it’s not a contradiction.
In the Old Testament God told Moses, “the pig, though it has a split hoof completely divided, 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.” (Leviticus 11:7-8)
In the New Testament, however, Jesus said, “Nothing outside a man can make him `unclean’ by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a man that makes him `unclean’.”
After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him `unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean”.) He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean’. For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean’.” (Mark 7:15-23)
So, why are these not a contradiction? It’s because there is an old covenant and a new covenant. The old covenant was completed and finished with the death and burial of Jesus. The new covenant was enacted with the resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Paul explains it very well, so if you really want to understand it, read the book of Romans. But here are a few verses, pulled from the middle, that help explain the point well. Here’s Romans 7:1-6
Do you not know, brothers – for I am speaking to men who know the law – that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.
So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.
Because Jesus Christ freed us from the bondage of sin, He also freed us from the Law. It’s through this freedom that we can worship and obey Christ because we love Him, rather than being obligated by Law.
What does the Bible say about eating pork? You are free to eat pork anytime you want. However, I would recommend an exercise program to go with it.
(Photo credit: flickr creative commons, Pork Loin with Blue Cheese Stuffing and Roasted Pears, by Cookbookman17)