There are numerous Bible verses about eating meat, which can be confusing when trying to determine if it’s okay to eat meat or not. Christians are often confused about eating meat due to a biblical account in the book of Genesis.
This account (Genesis 1:29-30) doesn’t provide much clarity on the matter, which is why this post clarifies all relevant biblical info regarding eating meat and whether it’s a sin or not.
What did God say about eating meat?
The Bible is replete with mentions of meat consumption, suggesting that God has no objection to humans eating animals.
In Genesis 9:3, God says,
“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”
Leviticus 11:2-3 gives specific instructions on what animals are “clean” to eat and which are “unclean.” Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is a sin to eat meat. Jesus even ate fish after his resurrection.
However, some Christians make an argument that Jesus’ teachings on love and mercy should make Christians want to avoid eating animals.
Jesus said that his followers should do whatever they can to prevent causing pain to others. These people believe that eating meat causes unnecessary suffering to animals, and therefore they choose not to eat meat anymore.
Many Christians, on the other hand, consider that this viewpoint is harsh and disproportionate. While there are some really cruel factory farms operating today, there are also farms where animals are treated humanely till the end of their lives.
Even if a person has moral objections to factory farming, he or she can purchase humanely reared foods.
Bible verses about eating meat
It’s common to wonder if you should eat meat, or whether it is allowed in certain situations, so I’ve decided to write an article with all the Bible verses about eating meat.
1 Corinthians 8:13 – Meat offered to idols – Sin?
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
~ 1 Corinthians 8:13
Christians sometimes argue about whether or not eating meat that has been offered to idols is a sin.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “I will not be mastered by anything.”
Our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit lives. We won’t allow anything to control our bodies. When we eat, we won’t bring honor to false gods by saying grace over food sacrificed to idols.
Genesis 9:3 – Authority to Eat
Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything
~ Genesis 9:3
From the scripture, God had told Adam that he might eat from every plant, this is an exception to forbidden trees.
He told Noah and his sons that they can eat anything that moves, as well as any of the vegetation.
There is no constraint on classifying specific animals as clean or unclean. We have seen that from the beginning, God had given man the dominion and permission to eat that was created by him.
Romans 14:20 – Meat to destroy?
For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence
Paul exhorted Christians who are steadfast in their faith to seek out what leads to peace and the strengthening of one another.
Now he warns Christians not to desecrate or destroy God’s work for the sake of sustenance.
Simply put, Paul is urging these Christians of more faith to be willing to forgo the meat they are free to consume in order to strengthen and unite the church rather than divide and destroy it.
1 Corinthians 10:28 – Reasons not to eat meat?
But if anyone says to you, ‘This is meat sacrificed to idols,’ do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and for the sake of conscience
~1 Corinthians 10:28
Eat not of it raw, nor sodden at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance thereof.
~ Exodus 12:9
This Bible verse is a warning to Pharaoh that Egypt’s firstborn sons would perish, God instructed Moses to educate the Israelites on how to escape the coming plague.
The Lord explained the unleavened bread feast, or Passover, which would become a commemoration of the Lord’s liberation of Israel from Egyptian slavery.
The Passover would enable the Israelites to anticipate the coming of the Messiah and the liberation of God’s children from spiritual death.
Bible verses about eating meat in the new testament
Before sharing a list of Bible verses about eating meat in the new testament, I have to make an important point about the Christian life. There are several biblical verses about eating meat in the new testament, and how eating meat also means following Jesus and being a follower of God.
Romans 14:21 – Freedom to eat meat
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
~ Romans 14:21
In this Bible verse, Paul notes that it is improper to cause someone to stumble because of what they eat or consume.
Now he says it’s best not to eat meat, drink wine, or do anything else that can cause a Christian brother or sister to fall into sin.
As Christians, we are free to eat what we want to like Paul, but we should be careful where we do this so it won’t cause another believer to be weak in faith.
1 Corinthians 8:8 –
But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
~1 Corinthians 8:8
Bible verses about eating beef
Beef meat was not prohibited in the Bible. But, do we have an excuse for eating it? Eating meats was not prohibited in the Old Testament, especially among the Israelites. Eating pork and shellfish was prohibited from partaking in them. However, there are specific Bible verses that prohibit the taking of innocent lives either directly or indirectly, which includes eating beef.
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
~ Romans 14:17
Man shall not live by bread alone Jesus, but by the whole truth of God’s Word, and the reach of God’s rule extends far beyond the temporal needs such as eating meat and drinking.
Because the substance of God’s kingdom consists of spiritual matters, which are eternal reconciliation to God, which gives birth to righteousness, we should rather stick to this.
Ye shall not eat any thing with the blood: neither shall ye use enchantment, nor observe times.
~ Leviticus 19:26
This chapter looks at the laws of cleanliness and uncleanliness from both a bodily and spiritual standpoint.
Its focuses on laws that determined how a person under Mosaic law lived righteously and in a way that pleased God. It discusses the crucial reminder that persons must be holy, just as God is holy.
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
~ Acts 15:20
Jewish Christians who adhered to the Pharisees’ norms demanded that Gentiles first convert to Judaism before receiving salvation via Christ.
Peter, Paul, and Barnabas answer with both practical and theological solutions. They explain that the entire debate is meaningless since they have seen the Holy Spirit.
But as Christians, we must abstain from idol worship and fornication. We must also abstain from eating polluted meat so we don’t glorify idol worship in our way of life.
These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat. ~ Deuteronomy 14:4
Moses begins this chapter by reminding the Israelites of their one-of-a-kind relationship with God. He addressed them, saying, “You are the sons of the LORD your God.
Being referred to be the LORD’s sons means that the LORD is their father and that they have a particular relationship with Him as a result.
As God’s children, they are expected to be an example to others in their way of life, even with the food they eat and the meat they eat, that is why God had to tell them what is okay to be eaten by then in this verse.
Bible verses about eating right.
If you’re looking for Bible verses about eating right, you’ve come to the right place. We have exactly what you need. I know that probably sounds a bit corny, but thanks for giving us your interest anyway.
And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
~ Exodus 23:25
It is God’s blessing that makes food nutritious for us. The majority of the illnesses that men suffer from are directly caused by sin and what they eat
And would be eliminated if men lived Godly and blameless lifestyles. Others, such as plague and pestilence, are scourges sent by God to punish those who have sinned against Him.
In this verse, God assures Israel and us in extension, that if we serve Him, He will protect us from all kinds of illnesses through supernatural intervention.
1 Corinthians 10:31
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:31
We should do everything to the glory of God. And whether we are alone or with people, our attitudes and deeds should be such that they are a positive reflection of God’s grandeur.
Whether we find ourselves at the dinning table with Kings, we should be like Daniel in the old testament. Everything should be done in moderation and to the glory of God.
For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.
~ Proverbs 23:21
Solomon makes a personal plea to his son to be wise about what he accepts into his mouth, heart, and head. Take note of Solomon’s advice and challenge:
Solomon addressed a pattern of wickedness that has brought the greatest of men and women to ruin: which is drinking and gluttony.
Gluttony is not just bad; it has also resulted in an epidemic of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Most people are literally eating themselves to death!
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee.
~ Proverbs 23:1
King Solomon advised that when you are invited to a great man’s table, be it a king or Governor, study carefully what is before thee, what plenty and diversity of meals and drinks.
Be careful not to be easily driven to excess in partaking of them, and so be induced to say or act in an unsuitable manner in the presence of your host.
Restrain and manage thy appetite, as if a sword were hanging over thy head, or a man stood with a knife at thy throat, ready to take thy life if thou didst transgress.
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
~ Psalm 81:10
This signifies that “I am Yahweh, thy God; the God to be worshiped and respected by thee; the cornerstone of the claim is seen in the fact that he brought them out of Egypt.
I shall fill thy mouth if thou openest thine mouth wide – Perhaps an allusion to fledgling birds being fed by their parent bird. The implication is, “I can meet all of your requirements.
You do not need to resort to other gods from other lands. I can meet all of your requirements. Ask for what you require, and you will receive it says the Lord.
is it a sin to eat meat in Christianity
No, eating meat is not always considered sinful. Meat-eating is never explicitly condemned as a sin in the Bible. In truth, there are several verses in the Bible that mention God’s people eating animal flesh on special occasions (Exodus 12:43, Ezekiel 4:9). How could eating meat be sinful if the Bible says it is permissible for God’s people to do so?