From Answers Magazine 1984
HALLEY'S HANDBOOK COMMENTARY ON Leviticus 11 says: "There was a
distinction before the Flood between Clean and Unclean animals
(Genesis 7:2). Moses enacted this distinction into law. It was
based partly on their wholesomeness as food; and partly on
religious consideration, designed to serve as one of the marks of
separation of Israel from other nations. Jesus abrogated the
distinction (Mark 7:19), '...making all meats clean.'"
So aren't all meats clean now?
In response to the above quote from the highly respectable and
helpful Halley's Handbook, it is true that there was a
distinction between Clean and Unclean animals before the Flood.
But after the Flood it was God, not Moses, who enacted this
distinction into formal writings (See Leviticus 11:1-2). These
are God's laws for us, not the laws of man. They serve not only
as a help to our physical health, but they have a spiritual
aspect in addition. (See article in this issue "To Eat Or Not To
Eat".)(This article is not on this Website - Keith Hunt).
In the New Testament, Jesus never once even hinted that all meats
were made clean. For example, in Mark 7 the entire context of the
chapter is a vital concept involving our MIND and not physical
food. The first rule of Bible Study is to study scriptures in
their context, and not to pull them out of context to try to
establish a doctrine or point of truth.
Mark 7:1-13 shows Christ chastising the Jews for being hypocrites
(verse 6), and thinking more about their picky Do's and Don'ts
(like washing their ceremonially, verse 3), rather than vital
matters such as honoring your parents (verse 10).
Then in Mark 7:14-16. Christ spoke a parable to the people
stating that taking in a bit of dirt when you eat without washing
your hands cannot defile you (verse 15). But it is that which
comes OUT of a man that defiles him.
Since the disciples didn't understand the parable. Christ, in
verses 17-23 explained to them that ingesting some food with a
bit of dirt on it couldn't harm them at all, because it doesn't
enter the mind, rather it passes through the normal bodily
function (verses 18-19). This has absolutely nothing to do with
Clean and Unclean meats.
The point of Christ's discourse is that wrong thoughts and
temptations which enter your mind through the five senses or
through your imagination do not themselves constitute a sin.
Rather sin occurs when you ACT improperly upon these thoughts or
imaginations (verses 21-22). Christ is talking about evil
thoughts being dwelt upon or acted upon. Not the slightest
inference is made that indicates Unclean creatures are all at
once made clean, or have ever been clean.
Halley's Handbook is simply in error. It does not take Mark 7.19
COMPARING VERSIONS OF MARK 7:19 "purging all meats"
Each of the following 7 versions of Mark 7:19 shows a normal
physical elimination process that has absolutely nothing to do
with "making unclean meats clean."
The last four versions have added (in parentheses) a dishonest
statement that is nothing more than a biased Commentary designed
to alter the true meaning of God's Word. This verse, with it man
made additions, should not be the basis for negating two chapters
of the Bible - Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14.
"Because it enters not into his heart, but into the belly, and
goes out into the draught, purging all meats."
Draught = sewer or digestive process.
Purging all meats =carrying off all that is eaten.
"Because it does not enter into his heart: into his stomach, and
then is thrown out through the intestines, thereby purifying the
"Because it does not reach the intellect passes into the bowels:
which eliminate all foods."
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD:
"Because it does go into his heart but into his stomach, and is
eliminated. (Thus He declared all foods clean)."
"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
"Since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes
on. (Thus he declared all foods clean)."
"For food doesn't come in contact with the heart, but only
passes through the digestive system. (By saying this he showed
that every kind of food is kosher)."
Answers Magazine 1984