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What did Jesus say about Killing Animals

The Bible does not contain direct quotes from Jesus about killing animals for food. However, the Bible provides guidelines on clean and unclean animals, indicating which animals were permissible to eat under Old Testament law. For instance, Leviticus 11 details the animals that are considered clean and can be eaten, such as those that part the hoof and chew the cud . Deuteronomy 14 repeats these dietary laws, further emphasizing the distinction between clean and unclean animals and what is permissible for the Israelites to consume .

From these passages, we can derive three main takeaways:

  1. Distinction between clean and unclean: The Bible makes a clear distinction between animals that are considered clean and unclean for consumption. This distinction is part of the dietary laws given to the Israelites and is a reflection of the holiness code that separated them from other nations.
  2. Respect for life: While the Bible permits the eating of certain animals, there is a broader theme of respect for life and creation. For instance, Proverbs 12:10 states, “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.” This suggests that even in the consumption of animals, there should be a sense of responsibility and kindness.
  3. New Testament perspective: In the New Testament, dietary laws are viewed under the new covenant in Christ, where the emphasis shifts from ceremonial laws to spiritual purity. Acts 10:13-15 recounts Peter’s vision where he is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” This signifies a transition from the Old Testament dietary laws and suggests a new understanding of cleanliness and holiness that is not based on food.

It’s important to note that these takeaways reflect the complexity of biblical teachings on animals and their use. The dietary laws were part of a larger covenantal context with God, and the New Testament opens up a new dimension of understanding regarding law, purity, and the kingdom of God.


  • Greg Gaines

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