May 13, 2012 in Chapters

Meat and Other Animal Foods

1 Timothy 4:1-3:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Some have taught that since the term meat has been used throughout Scripture to include all manner of food, this passage is not specifically referring to animal flesh.  However, it says “meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.”  God didn’t just create the herb and tree yielding seed, he also created “every living creature that moveth.”  Of which, His Word says in 1 Timothy:

1 Timothy 4:4-5:
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

God intended for meat to be a part of man’s diet after the flood and He gave guidelines to the children of Israel to ensure the wellness of His people.  The fossil record of ancient humans as well as the physiology of our teeth and digestive system all indicate that man is best adapted to be an omnivore.  Though some still propound the necessity of a vegetarian diet with religious zeal, the Bible does not support this, but rather says that commands to abstain from meats stem from “doctrines of devils.”  The argument has been made that because the Bible says “Thou shalt not kill,” humans should not eat animals.  However, God Himself killed animals to provide skin coverings for Adam and Eve’s survival outside the Garden of Eden when they were expelled.  Additionally, the word translated as “kill” is never used in any other passage in the Scripture with reference to killing animals, but is most often translated as “slayer” and “murderer” in the context of premeditated or accidental killing of another human being.

If vegetables alone were suitable to meet all of our nutritional needs in a post-flood environment then God would not have commanded in Genesis 9:3, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.”  This instruction was given prior to the Mosaic Law and was not nullified in the New Testament.

 This is just an excerpt from "Food in the Bible."  For the full chapter, you may download the book here.