Christian Questions and Answers

Is It OK For Christians To Eat Rabbit?

In this article we look at the question of whether or not Christians are allowed to eat rabbits. And we look at where the idea comes from that Christians may not be allowed to eat rabbits. So, are Christians allowed to eat rabbits or what happens if they do?

To make a long story short: Christians may eat rabbits if their conscience permits it. The dietary commandments in the Old Testament do not apply to Christians.

What does the Bible say about eating rabbit?

In fact, there is a rule in the Bible that says that you should not eat a rabbit. And if one looks at this verse, the thing seems then at the end also totally sun-clear: Rabbits may not be eaten.

The rabbits chew the cud, but they do not split the hooves; therefore they are unclean. The hare also chews the cud, but it does not split the hooves; therefore it is unclean for you. […] Of this flesh ye shall not eat, nor touch the carcase thereof: for they are unclean unto you.

Book of Deuteronomy, chapter 11, verse 5-8

And sometimes a discussion starts here whether the first word “rabbit” is really a “rabbit” and not rather a “small rabbit”. A dispute about which Hebrew word is there exactly and which is not and when Luther got it wrong and how.

But this dispute does not really help to decide whether a Christian is allowed to eat a rabbit or not – because it is completely overlooked: This instruction is part of the Old Testament and part of the purification laws.

Why the Old Testament is not a good place to start when considering whether or not Christians should be allowed to eat rabbit

Why is it so important to know that this very clear verse is part of the Jewish law? Quite simply, the Jewish law has lost binding power for Christians. Jesus Christ himself came to remove this very obstacle that stands between man and God.

This above passage is to be seen in particular: On one side it speaks of uncleanness and on the other of food commandments – both things are explicitly no longer needed in the new covenant with Jesus.

Jews had to become clean so that they could go to the great temple to meet God. This condition is created today by Jesus in every believer through the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we don’t have to be particularly pure or impure or do anything to be pure – as a Christian (and this is simplistic) we are pure before God.

On the other hand, we have the food commandments. They were there at that time to set the Jewish people apart from others and to be a sign “to God”. The whole matter would only complicate this issue. The important thing is: the food commandments applied only to this people at that time.

That is why Christians can eat rabbit

The following Bible verses explain very clearly that rabbits may be eaten by Christians – precisely because the food commandments were more or less abolished by Jesus.

He answered them: Do you also not understand? Do you not understand that what enters a man from the outside cannot make him unclean? For it does not enter into his heart, but into his stomach and is expelled again. Thus Jesus declared all food to be clean.

Mark 7:18-19

All that is sold in the meat market, eat without inquiring for conscience’ sake.

1 Corinthians 10:25

For everything that God has created is good, and nothing is objectionable if it is eaten with thanksgiving; it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

1 Timothy 4:4-5

This does away with all food commandments. Every Christian has permission to eat anything – if it does not make him feel guilty. There is no obligation to eat a rabbit as a Christian, and there is no explicit prohibition.

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